Chemistry of the atmosphere

  • Created by: SGOzwald
  • Created on: 04-03-18 17:32
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  • Chemistry of the atmosphere
    • Evolution of the atmosphere
      • Phase 1: Volcanoes
        • For the first billion years the surface mostly consisted of volcanoes that released various gases
        • The atmosphere mostly consisted of Carbon Dioxide with very little oxygen
        • The volcanoes also released nitrogen as well as water vapour via methane and ammonia
      • Phase 2: Oceans, Algae, green plants and CO2
        • The vapour within the atmosphere condensed into water
        • Lots of CO2 was absorbed into the oceans into carbonate preticipates that formed seabed sediments
        • Green plants and algae wtihin the oceans absorbed CO2 for photosynthesis
          • This led to marine animals so some of the carbonates are within their shells and skeletons
        • Some carbon was locked within rocks as organisms died
          • when animals die, their corpses will fall and will be covered in sediment. This will be compressed by sediment
            • Fossil fuels are made via this process
              • Crude oil and natural gas is formed via plankton
              • coal is a sedimentary rock made by plants
      • Phase 3: Green plants, algae and oxygen
        • Plants and algae used photosynthesis to produce sugars
          • The production of oxygen allows for the evolution of more complex life
    • Greenhouse gases
      • Greenhouse gases act as  a layer that keeps the planet warm
        • As the radiation hits the greenhouse gases, it will be re-radiated in all directions, including back towards the earth
        • Deforestation can release CO2 production but burning fossil fuels, agriculture and waste production known as
      • The earths temperature varies naturally but recently it has been agreed among scientists that increased CO2 production has led to the average temperature increasing
        • This could lead to:
          • Ice caps melting, increasing sea level, flooding and coastal erosion
          • Changes in rainfall patterns
          • Increased danger and frequency of storms
          • Editing the habitats of certain species
    • Carbon footprints
      • A carbon footprint is how much CO2 is produced by something
        • This can be hard to measure however as it requires counting the emissions throughout the entire cycle of its existence
      • There are ways to reduce your carbon footprint
        • Use renewable or nuclear energy sources instead of fossil fuels
        • Governments could tax companies on how much carbon they emit
        • Governments could put a cap on how much carbon is emitted from a company
        • You  could use more efficient processes and reduce waste
    • Air pollution
      • Combustion of fossil fuels
        • Fossil fuels produce water vapour and carbon dioxide during combustion
          • When there is little oxygen, some fuel doesn't burn and carbon monoxide will be produced (known as incomplete combustion)
            • Particles can lead to respiratory issues and can damage the environemnt
            • carbon monoxide prevents oxygen from properly carrying oxygen but it has no colour or smell so its hard to detect
        • Sulfur dioxide is released during the combustion of fossile fuels
          • Nitrogen oxides are created from reactions between oxygen and nitrogen
            • Can mix together to produce acid rain


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