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Env Science Week 13

Week 13 Vocabulary for Environmental Science

pollutant Anything that contaminates the soil, water or the air
Air pollution any unwanted pollutant (chemical, particulate matter, or biological material) in the air which causes harm to humans and the environment
primary pollutants pollutants that are emitted directly into the atmosphere
secondary pollutant form when a primary pollutant comes in contact with other primary pollutants or naturally occurring substances
Sulfur oxides (SOx) produced by volcanoes and in various industrial processes
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) emitted from high temperature combustion; reddish-brown toxic gas has a characteristic sharp, biting odor
Carbon monoxide a colorless, odorless, non-irritating but very poisonous gas. It is a product of incomplete combustion of fuel such as natural gas, coal or wood
Carbon dioxide (CO2) a greenhouse gas emitted from combustion; a natural gas in the atmosphere
Volatile organic compounds a major indoor air pollutant, often divided into the separate categories of methane (CH4) and non-methane (NMVOCs); significant greenhouse gases
Particulate matter tiny particles of solid or liquid suspended in a gas;originating from volcanoes, dust storms, forest and grassland fires, living vegetation, and sea spray; burning of fossil fuels in vehicles, power plants and various industrial processes
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) harmful to the ozone layer; emitted from products currently banned from use such as aerosols, refrigerants, etc.
Ammonia (NH3) emitted from agricultural processes; a gas with a characteristic pungent odor
Odors from garbage, sewage, and industrial processes
Radioactive pollutants produced by nuclear explosions, war explosives, and natural processes such as the radioactive decay of radon
Smog smoke/fog which results from large amounts of coal burning in an area or auto and industrial emissions; caused by a mixture of smoke and sulfur dioxide
Ground level ozone formed from NOx and VOCs; At abnormally high concentrations brought about by human activities (largely the combustion of fossil fuel), it is a pollutant, and a constituent of smog when close to earth's surface
combustion also called burning
Ozone a poisonous form of oxygen, harmful at Earth's surface, but helpful by blocking radiation from the sun when it is in the atmosphere
acid rain occurs when pollution in the air is carried to the Earth with rain or snow, mostly caused by air pollution from factories that burn fossil fuels and by vehicles
pH scale measures the amount of acid in a substance
EPA Environmental Protection Agency: protects human health and the environment through the regulatory process and voluntary programs such as Energy Star and Commuter Choice
Clean Air Act the law that allows the EPA to set limits on how much of a pollutant is allowed in the air anywhere in the United States
Air Quality Index (AQI) a "public-friendly" way of using actual monitoring data to help assess how clean our air is;The color codes, which range from green to purple, correspond to specific pollution levels
greenhouse effect warming of earth's atmosphere caused by atmospheric gases that trap the heat from the sun's rays
Greenhouse gas molecules of gas that allow the passage of visible and UV radiation from incoming sunlight, but they absorb the longer wavelength infrared (heat) radiated from the warm earth
Heat the total kinetic energy of all atoms or molecules in a substance
Temperature the measure of the average kinetic energy within a body
heat budget The measurement of energy absorbed and the amount of energy lost by the Earth to space
climatology the study of our climate
Created by: jodytwining