Unit 3.1 (solution)

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F.3 Geog. notes/3.1 What are the effects of air pollution on us ?/P.1 of
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Pui Ying College
F.3 Geography
Section 3.1
What are the effects of air
pollution on us ?
A.
What is air pollution ?
When gases, such as nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide, and dust particles are emitted
into the atmosphere, the air will become dirty. Above a certain level, this added waste
will harm our health. This is called air pollution. The waste gases and dust are known as
air pollutants.
B.
How clean is our air ?
1.
Many countries use the Air Pollution Index (API) to show air quality.
2.
The API has a range of 0 to 500. It is a way to show how polluted our air is. Similar
indexes are used in places like the United States, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia.
3.
The API is based on the measurement of 6 air pollutants, namely,
a)
nitrogen dioxide,
d)
carbon monoxide,
b)
sulphur dioxide,
e)
respirable suspended particulates, and
c)
ozone,
f)
total suspended particulates.
4. Air pollution level can be divided into 5 levels, namely, low (0 – 25), medium (26-50),
high (51 – 100), very high (101 – 200) and severe (201 – 500).
5. We know the API from newspapers, radio, television and the web page of the
Environmental Protection Department.
C.
Ways to obtain the API in Hong Kong
1.
In Hong Kong, the API is measured by the Environmental Protection Department.
2.
They set up air quality monitoring stations in different districts and on busy streets
and roads.
Altogether, there are 11 general monitoring stations and 3 roadside
monitoring stations. The 3 roadside air quality monitoring stations are in Central,
Causeway Bay and Mongkok.
3.
D.
There are 2 types of API, namely, the general API and roadside API.
Effects of air pollution on us
1.
Traffic disuption
Air pollution casues traffic disruption since it lowers visibility and traffic accidents
may increase.
2.
Economic loss
a)
↓ foreign investment
F.3 Geog. notes/3.1 What are the effects of air pollution on us ?/P.2 of
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Air pollution discourages foreign investment. Some foreign investors may move
their business to other places and some professionals may refuse to work in Hong
Kong because of health concerns. So, Hong Kong may suffer great economic loss.
b)
↓ tourism
Air pollution discourages the development of tourism. Lower visibility gives the
tourists an impression that Hong Kong is a polluted city. This will affect our
international image.
3.
Increased government expenditure
Government has to spend more money on curing diseases related to air pollution and
improving air quality.
4.
Environmental problems
d)
Global warming
i.
Burning of fossil fuels and deforestation lead to the rise of CO2 level.
ii.
These greenhouse gases trap more heat and cause the rise of temperature in
the world.
iii.
Global warming results in the melting of ice caps and so, the rise of sea level.
Finally, the risk of flooding in coastal areas increases.
e)
Ozone depletion
Ozone protects us from ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Too much ultraviolet
radiation can cause cancer in people and animals. Recently, ozone layer is getting
thinner as a result of the emission of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from sprays.
f)
Acid rain
Pollutants, expecially sulphur dioxides and nitrogen oxides, lead to the formation
of acid rain, which pollutes our water sources and land. Acid rain also damages
farmland and corrodes buildings.
Vocabulary
1. pollutants
12. visibility
21. melting of ice caps
2. Air Pollution Index
13. foreign investment
22. rise of sea level
3. general monitoring stations
14. economic loss
23. risk of flooding
4. roadside monitoring stations
15. health concerns
24. ozone depletion
5. Central
16. tourism
25. ultraviolet radiation
6. Causeway Bay
17. international image
26. cancer
7. Mongkok
18. government expenditure
27. Chlorofluorocarbons
8. traffic disruption
19. global warming
28. acid rain
9. traffic accidents
20. trap heat
29. corrodes buildings
10. Environmental Protection Department
11. air quality monitoring stations
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