OSC Project

The subjects that I am going to focus on are climate change and chemistry. The interdisciplinary topic I am going to focus on is air pollution.

Air Pollution –  the presence of substances in the air that are harmful or has poisonuss effects


Question 1:      What reactions are the main causes air pollution?(chemistry)

Burning fossil fuels creates many chemical reactions in the air that cause air pollution.

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Some Common Examples of Burning Fossil Fuels include:

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Sulfur dioxide(S04):

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Nitrogen Oxide (NOx):



Question 2:      What chemicals cause air pollution?(chemistry)

These are the main chemicals that cause air pollution in Canada.


Gaseous hydrocarbons: molecules are made up of carbon linked by chemical bonds with hydrogen. Some examples include:


Nitrous Oxides(NOx):


Carbon Monoxide (CO): is also known as the “silent killer” and can be very hazardous to our health.


Particulates (Atmospheric particulate matter): are tiny pieces of solid or liquid in the Earth’s atmosphere that can occour naturally from things like volcanoes, dust storms, and forest fires. 

Sources of Particulate Matter

Lead (Pb):

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Question 3:      How is Ozone formed in the Troposphere?(chemistry)

Ozone(O3) is very toxic and negatively effects our health, it also damages buildings.

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The reaction that takes place looks like:

CO + 2O2 + hν → CO2 + O3



Question 4:      How is acid rain formed?(chemistry)

Acid rain is precipitation with high acidity levels.  It can damage plants, animals, cars, and buildings.

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Question 5: How does air pollution contribute to the greenhouse effect?(climate change)

This graph shows the main greenhouse gases in the US


Many air pollutants contribute to the greenhouse effect.


Question 6: What is the trend in the concentration of sulphur dioxide over the past decades?(climate change)


SO2 levels in Canada over the years, it has been constantly decreasing.

SO2 levels in Canada over the years


sulphur dioxide levels has decreased drastically since 1970


Question 7: How does air pollution interact with the climate?(climate change)

Air-pollution-and-climate (1)

Air pollution and climate change greatly effect each other, many pollutants also lead to global warming.


Question 8: How can we reduce air pollution?(climate change)

Using less cars:



Turn off Air Conditioners and Heaters:



Turn off lights:

turn off light

All these can release many harmful gases.


 Bibliography Citations:

Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Greenhouse Gases Overview. (n.d.). EPA. Retrieved May 23, 2014, from http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gases.html

National Air Pollution Surveillance Program (NAPS). (n.d.). Government of Canada, Environment Canada. Retrieved May 23, 2014, from http://www.ec.gc.ca/rnspa-naps/

Urban Landscapes Update: Megacities Impose Health Challenge for Developing World. (2012, October 16). 21st Century Tech Blog. Retrieved May 23, 2014, from http://www.21stcentech.com/urban-landscapes-update-megacities-impose-health-challenge-for-developing-world/

High School Earth Science/Air Pollution. (2014, January 29). – Wikibooks, open books for an open world. Retrieved May 23, 2014, from http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/High_School_Earth_Science/Air_Pollution#Causes_of_Air_Pollution

Air Pollution and chemical Reactions in the Atmosphere . (n.d.). . Retrieved May 23, 2014, from http://www.out.ac.tz/avu/images/Chemistry/11_Environmental%20Chemistry/env_comp_readings_20080911/Comp-R-airpollutants.pdf

Thomas, W. (2013, August 06). Health effects caused by air pollution. Retrieved from http://www.disabled-world.com/health/respiratory/pollution.php

Particulate Matter. (n.d.). EPA. Retrieved May 23, 2014, from http://www.epa.gov/airscience/air-particulatematter.htm

Lead in Air. (n.d.). EPA. Retrieved May 23, 2014, from http://www.epa.gov/oaqps001/lead/health.html

Chemistry of air pollution. (n.d.). Chemistry of air pollution. Retrieved May 23, 2014, from http://www.sepa.org.uk/flash/mtc_chem_of_air_pollution.html

“ACID RAIN”. (n.d.). “ACID RAIN”. Retrieved May 23, 2014, from http://www.rpi.edu/dept/chem-eng/Biotech-Environ/Environmental/acidrain/kids.html