Climatic and Environmental Problems

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Climatic and Environmental Problems

Causes: Sulphur dioxides and nitrogen oxides emitted from power stations are carried by the wind. They either fall to earth as dry deposits or are converted to acids and fall mixed with water droplets as acid rain.

Climatic and Environmental Problems

Pollution from Britain and other areas of Europe has caused huge amounts of damage in Scandinavian and Eastern European countries.

Effects: Lakes and rivers have been contaminated killing fish and plant life. The water may also end up being drunk by humans. Forests have been destroyed, with trees losing all their needles due to alack of nutrients and resistance to disease. Soils have become more acidic, making them poorer for farming purposes. Buildings can also be affected by the chemicals being dropped on them.

Causes: the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The most common of these, making up 56% of the contributory gases, is carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide is produced by power stations, vehicles, even animals breathing. Trees and plants can convert it back to oxygen, however large scale deforestation of areas such as the Amazon rainforest has led to an increased amount of the gas in the atmosphere.

Other gases such as chlorofluorocarbons (23%), methane (14%) and nitrous oxides (7%) also contribute to the layer of pollutants that is encircling the world. These gases allow the radiation from the sun to enter the atmosphere but then do not allow enough of it to leave, causing the atmosphere to heat up.

Climatic and Environmental Problems

Effects: The increasing temperature of the atmosphere could have some devastating results for the Earth. The polar ice caps and glaciers around the world will melt (they already are showing signs of doing this), creating more water. This could flood huge areas of coastline throughout the world. Some low-lying islands could disappear altogether and the map of the world would be drastically altered.

World climatic patterns may be altered, meaning previously warm areas could experience bitterly cold winters, and other previously cold areas may become uncommonly warm.

It has been suggested that Britain might actually become colder as the Gulf Stream may move away from our shores.

Causes: Ozone is the gas in the atmosphere that prevents harmful ultra-violet rays from affecting us. These are the rays that will cause you to get a sun tan, but could also burn you or cause skin cancer in later life.

Climatic and Environmental Problems

Holes in the ozone layer have been found over both Poles. They grow and shrink throughout the year, depending on the season, but are in general increasing in size.

The chemical responsible for the destruction of the ozone is chlorine, which is released into the atmosphere as chlorofluorocarbons. It is commonly used in aerosols and the cooling system of fridges.

Effects: The primary effects to humans arethe increased danger of skin cancer, and a possible reduction in immunity from disease. Two countries most in danger are Australia and New Zealand, who have two of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. They have introduced massive advertising campaigns to try to get people to be careful in the sun.

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