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Year 9 Geography Research Action Plan - Air quality in Sydney

By Nader Haidar
by

Nader Haidar

on 4 September 2012

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Transcript of Year 9 Geography Research Action Plan - Air quality in Sydney

Step 1: Identify the aim/purpose of the investigation:
Is the air quality in Sydney as significant an environmental and health issue as it has been described to be? Year 9 Geography Research Action Plan: Air Quality in Sydney What are some examples of media portrayal of the issue?
Has anyone taken actions into addressing this issue?
What groups are involved?
Which level of government is responsible for addressing the issue?
What are the perceptions of these different groups?
Why is the air quality in Sydney a problem?
What is the primary cause of this issue?
How is it influencing society?
Where is the issue most prominent? Focus Questions The techniques that will be used to collect the data are:
Finding statistics of Sydney air pollution at Government Websites such as Australian Bureau of statistics.
Find newspaper articles of or relating to air quality from websites such as Sydney morning Herald and the Daily Telegraph
Actions taken into resolving air quality – Government websites such as NSW Environment & Heritage
Reports on Air quality in Sydney – Google Scholar
Air Quality Index records – found at Government websites such as NSW Environmental Issues Step 5: Collect primary and secondary data Graphs of Regional Air Quality Index & Annual Exceedences for Sydney East, West and South-West Source: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/air-quality-in-sydney-breaches-safe-levels-19-times-20100117-me85.html Source: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/ozone-levels-to-worsen-over-next-15-years-20100308-psuy.html Source: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/growth-undermining-improved-air-quality-20100819-12s47.html Source: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/indepth/citys-air-quality-on-the-nose/story-fn4x9za1-1225820404019 Source: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/air-pollution-hits-nsw-health-warnings/story-e6freuy9-1225699420120 Article 1 analysis:
The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper article 'Air quality in Sydney breaches safe levels 19 times' describes the environmental issue of air quality in Sydney, as well as the need for government response. The article states that Sydney breached the National Air Quality Standards on 19 occasions and that "For Sydney to exceed these standards 19 times in a single year is a distressingly bad performance that requires substantial response from the government." Ms Cusack an opposition environment sustainability spokeswoman stated that air quality was a major environmental and health issue in the Sydney Basin, with experts putting the cost to human health at more than $4.7 billion each year. Article 2 analysis:
The Sydney Morning Herald article 'Ozone levels to worsen over next 15 years' describes the worsening quality of the air in Sydney projected to 2026 with reference to reports compiled by the Department of the Environment, Climate Change and Water. The article states that 'Sydney's air quality is only going to get worse', as evident by a state government report signalling that residents will suffer from rising levels of ozone. The report recognises the areas in Sydney of which will be most greatly affected over time; the problem will be worst in the region stretching from Richmond in the north to Macarthur in the south and centred on Bringelly which are identified as major growth areas for the city. The report compiled by the Department of the Environment, Climate Change and Water argues that unless government action is taken into reducing emissions, population growth will boost petrochemical smog which could 'significantly worsen Sydney's air quality, and potentially expose more people to ozone concentrations. The article briefly highlights current pollution policies but according to opposition environment spokeswoman Cathy Cusack 'NSW has the world's only clean air strategy that sees rising ozone levels locked in and predicted to increase in the future. Article 3 analysis:
The Sydney Morning Herald article 'Growth undermining improved air quality' describes Sydney's risk of falling short of its air pollution targets for photochemical smog and ozone with reference to a report from the NSW Department of the Environment, Climate Change and Water. The article highlights that most indicators of Sydney's air quality have been steadily improving since the 1990s according to University of Technology research, which contended that the air in Sydney could contain more carcinogens than that of a person that smoked 10 cigarettes a day. The main driver of these described improvements was the switch to unleaded petrol, as well as other changes to vehicle emissions standards. But contrary to these improvements is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's estimates, which show that the number of days when air pollution from ozone exceeded guidelines would rise 40 per cent from 2021 and 92 per cent from 2051. The article describes the areas of which will be most greatly affected by an increase in ozone levels; South-west Sydney. The article recognizes the government plans to achieve further improvement s requires the number of kilometres people travel in private vehicles to peak by 2021 is "pretty unlikely." The article describes government actions taken into reducing the environmental and health issue of air quality in Sydney. These actions include the investment of $1.8 million into researching ways of preventing particle emissions. Article 4 Analysis:
The Daily Telegraph article explores the environmental and health issue of air pollution, with reference to departmental figures obtained by the State Opposition showing the air quality in the Sydney metropolitan region. According to the article the figures obtained by the State Opposition show that in the Sydney Metropolitan region last financial year there were 37 days of 'poor air quality.' The article describes the increasing need for tougher controls of air pollution because of the high pollution days which breach national standards. The State Government had blamed photo-chemical smog for this decline in air quality but the State Opposition blamed the deteriorating conditions on increasing traffic congestion and the lack of public transport. Opposition climate change and environmental sustainability spokeswoman Catherine Cossack stated, "The health costs of air pollution in the Sydney basin are well over $4 billion so it is both socially and economically irresponsible to dismiss these astronomical costs." She then continued to state, "The Government blames the weather and they blame motorists, but does nothing to address traffic congestion and lack of public transport." This article shows the decreasing air quality in the Sydney metropolitan region, as well as the need for tougher controls on air pollution. Article 5 analysis:
The Daily Telegraph article 'Air pollution hits NSW, health warnings' describes the incidence of poor air quality resulting from dust storms, as well as the impacts of particle pollution. This article serves primarily as a warning to the public of the detrimental impacts of particle pollution on Health. NSW Health advises the public that those susceptible to effects of particle pollution remain indoors as well as those with lung or heart disease monitor their symptoms. I chose this particular article as it is representative of the issues which may occur if action isn't taken into fixing the health and environmental issue of air quality. Graphs:
The graphs titled "Regional Air Quality Index…" show the monthly regional air quality index for Sydney's north-west, east and south west in July 2012. The graphs demonstrate, as opposed to the articles, that the air quality has remained within the good to fair index through the Sydney metropolitan region. For the Sydney-east region the regional air quality index for 10 of the days remained in the very good index with 19 days in the good index and 2 exceeding the rest in the fair index. The graphs labeled 'Annual Exceedences' show the annual exceedences; the number of days in which pollutant standards were exceeded, from 2006 to 2011.The graph for each region shows the number of days per year that each of the pollutants exceeded the goals and standards set by the National Environment Protection Measure. These graphs demonstrate air quality by showing the days that National Environment Protection Measure standards and goals were exceeded in the Sydney North-west, east and south-west regions. The data collected shows that the air quality in Sydney is as significant an environmental and health issue as it has been portrayed to be.
The articles collected from the Sydney Morning Herald and the Daily Telegraph describe the increasing environmental and health issue of air quality in the Sydney metropolitan region.
The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper article 'Air quality in Sydney breaches safe levels 19 times' describes the need for government response to air quality stating that Sydney breached the National Air Quality Standards on 19 occasions.
The Sydney Morning Herald article 'Ozone levels to worsen over next 15 years' describes the worsening quality of the air in Sydney projected to 2026 with reference to a report compiled by the Department of the Environment, Climate Change and Water which states 'Sydney's air quality is only going to get worse.’
The Sydney Moring Herald article 'Growth undermining improved air quality' contended that the air in Sydney could contain more carcinogens than that of a person who smokes 10 cigarettes a day.
The Daily Telegraph article explores the environmental and health issue of air pollution, with reference to departmental figures obtained by the State Opposition showing that in the Sydney Metropolitan region last financial year there were 37 days of 'poor air quality.
The Daily Telegraph article 'Air pollution hits NSW, health warnings' describes the incidence of poor air quality resulting from dust storms, as well as the impacts of particle pollution, serving primarily as a warning to the public of the detrimental impacts of particle pollution on Health.
The graphs labelled 'Annual Exceedences' show the annual exceedences; the number of days in which pollutant standards were exceeded, from 2006 to 2011. These graphs demonstrate air quality by showing the days that National Environment Protection Measure standards and goals were exceeded in the Sydney North-west, east and south-west regions.
The research findings have clearly shown that air pollution, depending on its nature and concentration, can adversely affect human health and the environment. Step 8 Propose individual or group action in response to the research finding and where appropriate, take action. Nader Haidar I propose the following individual and group action in light of research findings:
Individual action:
Choosing a cleaner commute; using public transportation as opposed to driving.
Follow gasoline refuelling instructions for efficient vapour recovery, being careful not to spill fuel and always tightening your gas cap securely.’
Follow manufacturers’ recommendations to use and properly seal cleaners, paints, and other chemicals so smog forming chemicals can’t evaporate.

Group action:
Tougher controls introduced on air pollution as stated in the 2nd Daily Telegraph article which refers to departmental figures obtained by the State Opposition showing the air quality in the Sydney metropolitan region.
Research into preventing particle emissions and enacting the results of the investigation.
Stress the issue of air quality in Sydney in order to make the public aware of the issue. Step 4: Identify the techniques that will be used to collect the data. Step 3: Decide which primary and secondary data are needed to answer the focus questions. Year 9 Geography Research Action Plan: Air Quality in Sydney Nader Haidar 9Y Geography 2 Step 6: Process and analyse data collected. The most effective presentation method to communicate the research findings is either a report or a prezi. Step 7: Select presentation methods to communicate the research findings effectively.
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