Geographical Issues: Air Quality Report

914 words - 4 pages

Intro: Air quality investigates the level of contamination and cleanliness throughout the atmosphere of the earth. When the process of industrialization and urbanization started, there were few who realised its effects, and how it impacted on our air quality today. Major factories and industrial sites burnt fossil fuels and emitted unfriendly substances, and still do, all over the world. This process of Air pollution and the contamination of the atmosphere has been pushed to such an extent that it has lead to the belief that the air pollution has dramatically effected and impacted on Major cities and large urban areas, and a lot of people would consider these locations unsustainable for human lifestyle and welfare.Nature: The air quality in which we live can largely effect us in certain ways, and have significant impacts on our health. Although Sydney is considered an area of fairly good air quality in comparison to other major cities, it can still be effected in the following ways:As Sydney is basin-shaped, with the great dividing range to the west and the costal highlands to the south and north, it is the perfect place for disastrous air pollution conditions. A few factors contribute towards this: when an easterly wind hit's Sydney, the weather is hot and humid, and emissions and pollutants are at a high, Photochemical smog is formed from the chemical reactions of the sun and other pollutants floating around, and in turn causes a thick haze that results in health problems and poor visibility. When there is photochemical smog present, the only way it will recede is if there is a cool snap in the weather, or there is a westerly wind. A westerly wind is necessary to push the photochemical smog out of Sydney basin, and relieve the urban areas of their pollutants. When the air is humid and hot, it causes chemical reactions with the pollutants, and this will persist with the hot weather. If you get a extended period of hot days, which is quite possible in Australia, the Photochemical smog thrives and cannot escape upwards because the hot denser air traps the less denser, cool smog under neath it, and this is why the smog can be so thick that it causes visibility problems. A cool snap in the weather will result in the air to turn to a similar density in the atmosphere, and the smog can expand and occupy a higher altitude, and be cleared away by winds.Impacts: Common photochemical smog components include: Nitrogen oxides, Carbon monoxide, lead and various toxic substances. These substances are inhaled on a day-to day basis, and can majorly effect our health in various ways: The Cardio-Respiratory system takes a blow, and you can suffer from this if you already have initial problems. Asthmatics, and people who suffer from bronchitis and breathing problems can have extreme difficulty trying to breathe, sensitive eyes can grow red, itchy and uncomfortable; The respiratory system is effected and hence your ability to fight back lung infections and...

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