Science & Technology in Action

1st Edition

Pollution Prevention


The topical issue of air pollution is the subject of this lesson. In particular, the ecological impact of fossil fuels is described. The issues of the greenhouse effect and global warming are also covered. The meaning of the Carbon Cycle is explained, as is the importance of vehicle maintenance.
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Lesson excerpt

Atmospheric Pollution
It is ironic that, as human beings, we cause severe damage to the very atmosphere that supports our lives. We do this by polluting the atmosphere. One of the ways we pollute is by burning fossil fuels. Petrol is such a fuel, and when we drive cars we produce pollution. So, it is essential that all vehicles are well maintained so that harmful emissions are controlled. In this lesson we look at the general topic of atmospheric pollution and show how the work of the National Car Testing Service contributes to a cleaner and healthier atmosphere.

What is Pollution? 
Pollution is the contamination and disruption of the biosphere with harmful materials and other agents as a result of human activity. Pollution is not just a threat to human lives, but also to biodiversity and the stability of natural communities.

What is the Biosphere?
The thin membrane or layer of living organisms covering the Earth which is known as the biosphere. 

Living organisms are present in the atmosphere, in soil, sediments, and freshwater, saltwater, rock and also on and in the bodies of other living organisms.

Living organisms must cope with the abiotic and biotic factors of their environment. Biotic factors are the influences of other living organisms whereas abiotic factors are the influences of non-living components on an organisms struggle to survive and reproduce. 

The relatively recent arrival of our human species has greatly altered the biotic and abiotic factors for much of life on Earth.


True or False?

  1. The biosphere is the part of the earth where living organisms exist. true
  2. Biodiversity is the range of different species in an ecosystem or biosphere. true
  3. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, as it is needed for photosynthesis. false
  4. The burning of fossil fuels is the major cause of 'global warming'. true
  5. Without the 'greenhouse effect' planet Earth would be a frozen world. true
  6. Carbon forms the skeletal framework of all biomolecules. true
  7. The melting of sea ice will cause a rise in sea levels. true
  8. CO2 is the only pollutant gas produced from fossil fuel burning. false
  9. The burning of fossil fuels also leads to acid rain pollution. true
  10. Carbon monoxide is not a major pollutant in city traffic. false
  11. Ozone is a form of oxygen. true
  12. Ozone in car exhausts is not a pollutant. false