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Rising Mercury - Greenhouse Gas Effect

By: Ahmed Sallam and Ryan Sandarage; Teacher: Ms. Bouchard; Course: SCH3U

Ryan Sandarage

on 18 October 2013

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Transcript of Rising Mercury - Greenhouse Gas Effect

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
By Ryan Sandarage & Ahmed Sallam
Rising Mercury: The Greenhouse Effect
What is the Greenhouse Effect?
What Causes GHG Effect?
GHG effect is caused by the absorption of infrared thermal radiation, that would normally be reflected off the surface of the Earth.
Since the Industrial Revolution humans have been producing more GHGs, causes more radiation to be trapped in the atmosphere. The biggest source being carbon dioxide.
Human contribute to global warming in several ways...
What are its Potential Effects?
If this continues to happen, then the world will start facing some serious problems and these include:
The sea level rise is on of the main problems caused by the greenhouse effect. Eventually, all the islands will erode.
As the temperature increases, this will increase the rate of evaporation and the world will have many dry areas
There are 150,000 annual deaths world wide caused by the climate, and the World Health Organization states that this number is expected to double in less than 25 years.
How do we Prevent the GHG Effect?
Where is the Chemistry?
Air Quality Technician
Environmental Scientist
Climate Change Specialist
Greenhouse effect is the process were the greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere absorbs thermal infrared radiation being reflected off the planetary surface

This a naturally occurring phenomena, without this greenhouse effect the planet's average temperature would be -19 C, compared to the current average temp. 14 C.

GHG only comprise of less than 1% of the atmosphere yet it is a regulator of the climate
List of GHG Gases
Environmental chemists often specialize to analyze particular aspects of the air, water, and soil
Their main concern is to improve the environment using the knowledge of chemical properties of substances
Working as an Environmental chemist allows one to test new products to ensure that the products don't put in the environment in danger
In order to become an Environmental Chemist, one should take the following courses in high school and should also have interest in: Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology, Physics, andEnglish
An air quality technician/technologist deals with air pollution and quality of air.
Their primary role is to analyze, assess, and report on ambient air quality within and outside urban centers
They have to keep track of the polluted environment by recording weather information
Some of them work as inspects where they have to inspect sites to insure that nothing is harming the air.
In order to become an Air Quality technician, a person should have a good background on all sciences and math.
David Suzuki
Environmental Chemist
More on Environmental Chemist
David Suzuki is a famous Canadian environment activist and zoologist, who speaks out against climate change and prevention of GHG emissions
Suzuki has two dreams and they are: To include the "right to a healthy environment into the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that all levels of government should enact or strengthen the legislation recognizing and protecting the right to a healthy environment"
Ways for each individual to contribute to the prevention of GHG effect:
Thank You For Listening!
Carbon dioxide (CO )
Methane (CH )
Nitrous Oxide (N O)
Fluorinated Gases
HFCs, CFCs, and Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF )
Water (H O)
Ozone (O )*
The Greenhouse Effect
Environmental chemists spend part of their time collecting air, soil and water samples.
They are also asked to provide an advice to decision-makers to ensure that the environment is well protected
Anthropogenic (man made) GHG emissions are causing the Earth's average temp. to increase drastically, causing severe problems for life on Earth
Meteorologists study changes in the atmosphere in order to make weather predictions.
We rely on Meteorologists everyday in our lives especially those who pilot airplanes or ships will rely on the information for the safety
Their predictions to the weather conditions also allows services such Meteorological Service of Canada to predict more about the future of the environment.
Environment Canada greats the value of knowing about the past, current, and future weather conditions through Meteorologists
To become a Meteorologist it is highly recommended to study all Sciences, Math, and Computer Studies.
Combustion of Fossil Fuels
Farming and Land-Use Practices
Humans rely heavily on fossil fuels as a result this is the largest source for GHGs.

Chemical Formula for Combustion of Octane:
2C H + 25O 16CO + 18H O + energy

Not only does fossil fuels release carbon dioxide it also releases water vapor
2 (g)
Climate change specialists study the change of the weather conditions over a period of time
They make climate trends and changes
They can find what human activities affect today's world and need to provide suggestions of how to stop them
In order to become a Climate Change Specialist, high school students should study Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Geography, English
Canada's Arctic provides a great research area for climate change scientists to obtain data
These human activities most involve the release of methane and nitrous oxide.
Farming from rice paddies and livestock uses microbial metabolic process of methanogenesis, acetate (CH COOH) is split into CO and CH :
The use of nitrogen fertilizers are known to stimulate the denitrification process, which nitrate reduction that produces nitrogen (N ) and nitrogen oxides. Part of the nitrogen cycle.
Deforestation causes plants and trees to be destroyed. Forests are major carbon sinks meaning they remove carbon dioxide gas through photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis Equation:
6CO + 6H O + Energy C H O + 6O
This process removes carbon dioxide from the air creating glucose (sugar) and oxygen
Electron Transitions in GHG
Properties of GHGs
Global Warming Potential
GHG are created through special processes like methanogenesis, denitirification, and combustion of fossil fuels.
What makes GHG gases very unique is that it absorbs electromagnetic waves below the spectra of visible light (infrared waves)
The ozone layer in the stratosphere, 20-30km above Earth's surface absorbs ~99% of UV radiation
Innovations/Ideas to prevent GHG effect:
Electron transitions in GHGs correspond to energies in the IR spectrum.

Thus IR radiation absorbed by molecules cause further transitions.

Collisions between these energized molecules transfer energy surrounding all the molecules, which increases the average thermal energy and, hence, raises the temperature.

This phenomena is called molecular electronic transition.
GWP is a measurement of energy a greenhouse gas contribute to atmospheric warming over time relative to CO .
This rating is dependent on three factors:
Wavelengths the molecule absorbs (absorption must be within thermal IR range where the Earth emits)
Strength of the relevant absorption (more energy the molecule absorbs the greater its ability to warm atmosphere)
Atmospheric lifetime of the molecule. (Longer the life of the molecule the more the warming persists)
Shoot mirrors into space: Geoengineers have a plan that involves shooting Greenland size objects that will act as a mirror and will be able to deflect sunlight.

The Idea of Volcanic Eruption: When a volcano erupts, sulfur dioxide gas gets released in the atmosphere and blocks some of the sunlight. By releasing sulfur in the atmosphere, scientists believe that they will be able to cool down the earth.

Build a fake artificial tree: Scientists have developed a fake tree that is capable of absorbing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This will help cool the temperature down, and the carbon dioxide will then be injected into rocks underground.
Stop the industrial processes which produces harmful gases.
Reduce the Carbon Dioxide. For example, if you can go somewhere walking or biking, it would be better than using a bus or a car.
Plant trees, they help in the absorption of Carbon Dioxide
Try recycling or reusing materials
Buy organic. This will help reduce the amount of chemicals used in planting
GWP for water and ozone are not calculated due to their short atmospheric lifetimes (few days) and their varying concentrations in atmosphere. Since, water is constantly be evaporated and condensated, and ozone is a very unstable allotrope of oxygen found in stratosphere
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