Looking at the Distribution of Pollution
The isopleth map showing the average concentrations of ions per litre of precipitation shows that the lowest results found were through south-west of France and Spain, through to the west of the U.K. and Ireland and through the north of Scandinavia. The highest concentrations of ions per litre of precipitation were through Germany and eastern France, through to the eastern side of Britain to the south of Scandinavia.
The isopleth map that shows the measure of acidity micrograms of sulphur dioxide in precipitation shows that the higher results were found in central Europe in the east of U. K. to Hungary and Germany. The lowest results were found on the outskirts of Europe, in the west of the U. K. to Spain, Portugal and Scandinavia, (mainly the north). The similarities of the two maps are that the lowest results were found in he western side of Europe and northern Scandinavia. The difference is that highest results were vaster through the whole of Germany compared to part of it, and the south of Scandinavia is also in this and also the northeast of France.
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The areas that produce the highest amount of pollutants also have a high amount of acidity in their precipitation such as Germany, western U. K, and the Netherlands. However places like Scandinavia which are north-east from the major pollutants get more of this pollution and acid rain due to the prevailing winds which blow south-westerly from the tropics which blows the acidity away from the source and towards Scandinavia. Germany and such countries are major pollutants because they are high industry countries with large urban areas with major roads, which create loads of pollution.
The reason Scandinavia gets more pollution is because of the southwest prevailing wind from the tropics and because of relief rainfall and because Scandinavia is very mountainous there is a lot of this. Relief rainfall is caused by the moisture in the air (clouds) from evaporation are forced over the mountains by the winds and when the moisture rises it gets cooler and condensation occurs eventually forming rain (as shown in the diagram on the bottom of the last page) which falls on the areas around and this rain will contain acidity from the major pollutants.
The worst effect of acid rain on the environment is:
1. Wildlife, because it is a loss of the life of fish, birds and amphibians especially in the larval stages of aquatic amphibian species. If this continues then species will become extinct and for something they don’t contribute to.
2. Trees, because we use the oxygen the leaves produce from carbon dioxide to breathe and if we are destroying trees we are reducing our oxygen levels plus the trees don’t contribute in any way to the acid rain problem and the trees house animals, birds etc.
3. Freshwater lakes, because this needs to be reduced to reduce the death of water creatures and also water plants.
4. Soil, because this needs to be reduced to stop the declining forests and trees, which are homes to animals and the loss of crops.
5. Buildings, I found this the least important because the buildings aren’t contributing to the death of animals however its still a problem which needs to be stopped as ancient history is being destroyed by recent pollution.
I believe that the wildlife are affected the worst because all the case studies (excluding 5 above) are all linked, the trees which are under threat are homes to wildlife such as birds and squirrels etc and the loss of trees is a loss of homes for animals. The freshwater lakes also are homes to animals such as fish and frogs etc and these animals can be killed by acidic lakes for something that isn’t their fault. The soil in which plant life and crops grow in is being acidified. This is preventing the growth of crops, which animals can feed off and the trees are being poisoned by the soil surrounding them, which also causes them to die. Animals are left with no home and the possibility of death and starvation. I think that all these help to contribute to the wildlife being the worst affected.
Different people and organisations see the problem of atmospheric pollution in different ways. Some will emphasise some aspects of the problem more than others. Some will see pollution as very important and others will play down importance. People have different views on the responsibility.
* An organisation such as Friends of the Earth would not specifically blame anyone but share out the blame and state what needs to be done. They would care more about the pollution to the environment than the costs of what can be done.
* The organisation such as the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions would use statistical facts to put the blame on certain countries rather than state what could be done to prevent some of the pollutants.
* An organisation such as an Electricity Company in Ireland (ESB) which contribute to the pollution by emissions being released from using energy in excess would promise to reduce the amount of pollution in the environment from their company. They would use statistics that are past to show they are already doing this and try to move the blame from them to someone else.
I think that the atmospheric pollution is very serious as it has risen over the years and countries that don’t contribute as much are more polluted because of the prevailing winds such as Scandinavia. The countries responsible for this atmospheric pollution are most of central Europe such as Germany, eastern France, western U.K. and the Netherlands. This is because they are highly developed countries and are high industry countries with large urban areas with major roads, which create loads of pollution.
To reduce this pollution we can make laws to use catalytic converters on cars and putting filters on top of chimneys. However this would cost millions and then the costs would go up which would go against the public who would complain. We could make these reductions happen by using less energy at home when its not needed, to sharing transport to reduce emissions from cars. This would reduce the major pollutants a bit at a time so the costs aren’t so hefty which would keep taxes down and keep the public happy.