TITLE

THE AIR WE BREATHE

PUB. DATE
January 2004
SOURCE
World Almanac for Kids;2004, p72
SOURCE TYPE
Almanac
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article looks at facts about air and air pollution. The air surrounding the Earth is made up of different gases: about 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, and 1 percent carbon dioxide, water vapor, and other gases. Air pollution causes health problems and may bring about acid rain, smog, global warming, and a breakdown of the ozone layer. Acid rain is a kind of air pollution caused by chemicals in the air. The main sources of these chemicals are exhaust from cars, trucks, and buses, waste incinerators, factories, and some electric power plants, especially those that burn fossil fuels, such as coal. When ozone is high up in the atmosphere, it helps protect us from the Sun's stronger rays. But near the ground, ozone forms smog when sunlight and heat interact with oxygen and particles produced by the burning of fossil fuels. Each August, a hole in the ozone layer forms over Antarctica. The nine hottest years have all been since 1990. This gradual rise is called global warming. Certain gases in the atmosphere act like the glass walls of a greenhouse: they let the rays of the Sun pass through to the Earth's surface but hold in some of the heat that radiates from the Sun-warmed Earth. Human activity is putting more of these gases into the air. If the climate changed enough, the plants and animals that normally live there could no longer survive.
ACCESSION #
11074807

 

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