Notes for ME3003 – Environmental Studies for

Mechanical Engineers Module 1 part 2
Topics covered - Global warming, climate change, acid rain,

ozone layer depletion, nuclear accidents.
Reference for the notes

Book 1 : [1] Environmental Studies by Mr. Benny Joseph

CH4 and water vapor absorb long wave radiation from surface of earth (trap heat) . snow and ice melting. • Gases Like CO2. ozone and other gases.Greenhouse effect (abbreviated as GHE) • Process which occurs naturally which helps in heating of earth’s surface and atmosphere. • As solar energy passes thru surface (s/f) of earth.26 % of energy Absorption by clouds.19 % Passing thru earth s/f .55% (51+4) Reflected by earth s/f Reaching earth s/f .4% .similar to glass of greenhouse. evaporation of water. Reflection by clouds and particles to space . photosynthesis) .51% 1 (used in heating s/f. • The earth’s temp would have been -18 o C if GHE was absent. particles .

Greenhouse effect Sun Long wave radiation to space Greenhouse Gases like CO2.water vapor absorb long Greenhouse Gases wave radiation from surface of earth (trap heat) Absorption by surface Conversion Heat More Heat gain and radiation again 2 . CH4 .

Methane – CH4 (accounts for 15%) . causes evaporation in oceans.Nitrous Oxide . Greenhouse gases . Increase of Earth’s temperature due to GHE is called Global Warming. Modeling indicates (doubling CO2 -> 2-3 O C rise in temp) .CFC (accounts for 25%) .Chlorofluorocarbons .).CO2 (accounts for 55 % GHE) . clouds reflect more counteraction of GHE. more cloudy.Ozone – O3 (not quantified) 3 .Greenhouse effect and Global Warming Amount of heat added by GH gases to atmosphere depends on their concentration (has been increasing since Industrial Revoln.N2O (accounts for 5%) .

more CO2 means more photosynthesis. Climate conditions determine availability of food. • • • Coastal Resources – rise in sea level. Energy and Transportation – water transport impacted because of flooding.quality. • Global Climate – glacier melt. fire susceptibility. quantity and availability for irrigation. water resources etc. They influence • Water Resources . Changes in precipitation (lower rainfall) causes drought. • Vegetation – Changes in vegetation affect hydrological cycle. cold water addition alters sea currents of Atlantic ocean which are heat conveyors.Global Warming – Effects Causes climate changes in world. Oceans – complicated effect (increase water vapor content but their thermal holding capacity reduces GW. insect damage. 4 . electricity generation impacted due to change in precipitation and increased evaporation. Drastic effect : Northern Hemisphere (may become colder) Southern Hemisphere (may become drier). inundation of land. industrial use. Phytoplanktons (biological CO2 pump) remove anthropogenic CO2 (reason for GW). lower river level.

5 . walking etc. • Design of compact and complete towns involving lesser need for driving. reduces CO2 emission from automobiles. • Practicing sustainable farming and forestry. fuel cell or electric vehicles. • Use of biofuel (Ethanol. wind.Global Warming – Effects (continued) • Health (cause mortality due to heat). encourages bicycles. solar energy use. Global Warming – Solutions • Using less polluting fossil fuels. (traps carbon in soils and plants). Biodiesel).

humidity) pattern in a locality over many years. so climate changes. Waste – waste incineration with energy recovery.burning since Industrial Revln. geothermal sources). Dealing with Climate change • • Energy Supply . reduce deforestation. alternate refrigerant fluids. Climate change – influenced by either heat coming into earth or going out of atmosphere. 6 . better manure mgmt to reduce CH4 emissions. • • Forests – Afforestation. SF6).Increasing use of (hydro. N2O. rainfall. more GW. Industry – More efficient equipment. composting organic waste. cooking stoves. PFC(per). solar. Agriculture – Better grazing and crop mgmt to improve carbon storage of soil. CH4. wind. HFC (hydro). N2O emissions in nitrogen fertilizer applications.Climate Change Climate – Average weather (temperature. increases GH gas concentration (CO2. Caused by increased fossil –fuel. control of gas emissions. Transport – More cleaner and fuel efficient vehicles. heat and power recovery. • • • Buildings – More efficient appliances.

Causes 1) SO2 by burning of fossil fuels and from industrial plants 2SO3 O2 This reaction is influenced by sunlight. Corrosion of metals promoted. particulates etc. Building materials get damaged (e. humidity.Plant nutrients are washed away from soil. Makes soil acidic. hydrocarbons. 2SO2 + SO3 SO2 + + H2O + H2O (l) H2O H2SO4 (Sulphuric Acid) H2O (l) SO2 (g) + H2O (l) H2SO3 (Sulphurous Acid) 2) Nitrogen Oxides released from power plants and vehicles 2NO + 4NO2 + O2 2H2O + O2 2NO2 4HNO3 (Nitric Acid) Effects • • • • On Vegetation .7 .g. Marble). Aquatic Life (If pH < 4.5 affects Ca metabolism in fish). Cu ions which harm plants. Limestone.Acid Rains When Rain water has pH < 5. aids release of Al. 7 . temp. it is called acid rain.

(Eqns. damage to vegetation. Net oz concentration is a net result . it can re-form quickly. So oz layer also called as chapman layer. 8 (Eqn. 3) O3 (Eqn. Chapman’s eqns. Atomic oxygen combines quickly and forms ozone. 4) Even if UV splits ozone. O2 + hʋ O + O2 O + O (Eqn.Ozone (abbreviated as Oz) layer depletion Ozone naturally occurs in stratosphere of earth as a layer. etc. 1) O3 O3 +hʋ (Eqn. Oz (O3) in stratosphere protects earth from harmful UV rays which can cause skin cancer. 1-4) form oz layer. Oz layer denser at poles than equator. 2) O2 + O O2 + O of these reactions. It is formed when UV radiation from sun strikes stratosphere and splits oxygen molecule (O2) into atoms (O) reaches .

total amount of ozone in an overhead column of atmosphere. broken down by sunlight. release Cl atoms.Ozone (abbreviated as Oz) layer depletion Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC). Measures how thick the layer would be if it is compressed to 1 layer at 0 o C under pressure of one atmosphere acting over it. reduces natural immunity. eye cataract. Steps of control •Many ODC (ozone depleting chemicals phased out of use in uses as aerosols. damages life and vegetation due to depletion. 9 . Effects of depletion Causes skin cancer. and act as catalysts in destruction of ozone. Cl +O3 ClO + O2 Measuring depletion of ozone In DOBSON Unit .) •Proper equipment maintenance so that CFC’s are not released into atmosphere. refrigerant etc.

Ways of minimizing damage •Distance . of sites are : Nuclear power plants. smell etc. chronic illness etc. more safer it is. transported or stored. death. e. major highway etc.More the distance from source. •Shielding – More heavier and denser the materials separating person from source.g. •Radioactive materials pose danger because these emit radiations which are harmful for body cells.Lesser the time of exposure. better is the shielding. •The possibility of their occurrence when radioactive materials are used. cancer. Effects Skin hardening. industries. research centers. 10 .•Nuclear accidents/disasters have potential to cause catastrophic destruction. death etc. Radiation cannot be detected by sight. Nuclear Accidents hospitals. depending on amount of radiation absorbed and duration of exposure. •Time . lesser is the radiation.

End of Module1 part 2 notes .