Mitigation Strategies and Solutions

Topics: Air pollution, Smog, Ozone Pages: 6 (1853 words) Published: August 11, 2010
Mitigation Strategies and Solutions
SCI 275 Final Project

Atmospheric pollution is a serious problem that the United States faces each day, the problem is growing worse every year because of the millions of drivers on the road and the industrial factories going up around the world. The pollutants in the air are causing the ozone to get thinner and thinner, global warming has become a major problem, the ice melting in arctic places, hurricanes tearing through towns that have never had them before, tsunamis destroying everything in its path in China, and earthquakes killing and destroying thousands of people, homes, and businesses. The atmosphere is composed of five concentric layers; the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, and exosphere. The atmosphere performs several valuable ecosystem services, first protecting Earth’s surface from most of the suns ultraviolet rays. Second, allowing visible light and some infrared radiation to penetrate, both of which warms Earths’ surface and lower atmosphere. However, over the course of the years, the pollution in the air has caused the weather and climate to change.

The two major causes of primary air pollutants are transportation, causing 57% of the airs pollution and fuel combustion, other than vehicles, causing another 21%. They release significant quantities of nitrogen oxides, carbon oxides, particulate matter, and hydrogen oxides into the air. One heavy duty truck emits as much as particulate matter as 150 automobiles, whereas one diesel train engine produces 10 times the particulate matter of a diesel truck. Electrical power plants and other industrial facilities, known as stationary sources, emit most of the particulate matter and sulfur oxides; they also emit sizable amounts of nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbon, and carbon oxides. These air pollutants in the atmosphere harm the respiratory tracts of animals, including humans and can worsen existing medical conditions such as chronic lung disease, pneumonia, and cardiovascular problems.

By reducing the amount of atmospheric pollution, it will allow the climates to go back to normal, snow in the winter instead of just mild to cold air and hot summers with less humidity or heat waves. People will be able to conserve energy and the water will become less contaminated. The pollution in the atmosphere contributes to everything including the animals and the food, the more pollutants in the air can cause the plants to die and the animals to become sick and die as well. Holding seminars to educate people on atmospheric pollutants can reduce the way people use transportation, electricity, natural resources, and the water supply. Smaller more fuel efficient automobiles produce fewer polluting emissions. Even the use of mass transit can reduce automobile use, decreasing nitrogen oxide emissions. Modification of furnaces and engines to provides more complete combustion helps control the production of both carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons.

Stationary landfills are another leading cause of atmospheric pollution; they make up 55.4% of solid waste disposed of everyday. The process requires solid waste to be placed into the ground, compacted, and covered with a thin layer of soil everyday, this reduces the odor but may cause the gases to seep through the soils waste and accumulate in underground pockets, creating the possibility of an explosion, even in basements of nearby homes. Leachate which is liquid created from the solid waste can seep from unlined landfills or through cracks in the lining of the lined landfill can potentially contaminate surface water and groundwater. Landfills by nature fill up and more are created but they are not a long term remedy for the disposal of waste. Most of the land for landfills is taken, making the construction of them to become closer to homes, polluting their air.

Another type of pollutant is carbon...
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