Global Warming #1:  Los Angeles & Rhine River

(Do we want to live this way?)



-Los Angeles has a major smog problem due to overpopulation, too many cars, and a ring of mountains keeping smog centered over the population area.

-12 mil. people in LA basin

-13,000 sq. mile area with mountains surrounding basin.

-smog build-up by noon each day


-photochemical smog effects:  eye irritation, shortness of breath, coughing,  headache, chest pains, nausea, runny nose, cracking of rubber, plant damage


-the catalytic converter is an add-on box that reduces car emissions by 90%; it chemically converts car exhaust into harmless emissions.





-Hydrocarbons + oxides of nitrogen + sunlight -> photochemical smog  (O3)


-Acid rain (dilute sulfuric acid) & ozone (O3) gases destroy forests -- producing yellow and sparse needles.  Ozone reduces # of needles produced, causing weakening & death.   Same problem in Europe, Scandinavia, Canada, & on Mt. Mitchell in N.C. 


-Effect of smog on people:   0.390 ppm of ozone:  eye irritation, shortness of breath, chest pains, wheezing, nausea, headaches, coughing, runny nose.  Ozone is a health hazard for children, asthmatics, & the elderly especially.


How can Air Pollution be decreased?

-regulation on products used & emissions allowed.

-small businesses regulated

-compulsory car-pooling

-cleaner burning fuels

-emission-free vehicles







-Chrome is a carcinogen

-Carcinogen:  a cancer-causing agent

-Chromium discharge next to an elementary school; 1988 school was informed of the risk; chromium is a cancer causing agent.


-Possible changes to deal with smog, air pollution, & over population:

         1) carpooling (DC)

         2) electric cars (Calif.)

         3) public transportation (NY city)

         4) exhaust regulations & better

                    filters (all over USA)

         5) catalytic converters on cars

         6) ban aerosols (spray cans)




Rhine River in Europe


-Waddenzee is an area along the northern coast of Europe (Netherlands) at the mouth of the Rhine River.  It is a protected natural area.  Few North Sea seals are found there due to pollution spilled into the area by the Rhine River.


Seals = "indicator species"

-Much pollution accumulates in the Rhine as it flows from Switzerland to Denmark.

-20 years ago there were 100+ varieties of fish; now less than 20.

-Fish in Rhine & Waddenzee are heavily contaminated with toxic PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) (used in plastic & petroleum industries).  Seals eat fish & ingest PCBs.  PCBs reduce seals' ability to protect itself from disease & to reproduce.


-factory & human waste in water sources yield high levels of bacteria which need oxygen to live;  this bacteria depletes oxygen supply normally going to fish; result = fish die from lack of oxygen. (suffocation)  ........ (fish kill)


-Pesticides are not easily filtered out of water.  Example:  Bentazone was found in Amsterdam, but source was 200 miles upstream at BASF chemical plant on Rhine River.






-bentazone   -suffocation    -Rhine River

-pesticide   -bacteria       -PCBs   -fish kill    -Waddenzee    -N.Sea Seals  -indicator species    




- smog       -chrome         -smog formula   -effects of O3

-catalytic converter   -ozone   -acid rain   -carcinogen