the "Carbon Dioxide" puzzle piece
for more information about Human Influences on this gas.
Climate Change: Human Influences-- Tropospheric Ozone
Ozone (O3), in addition to nitrogen oxides
(NOx) and hydrocarbons (-CH-),
is a by-product of the combustion, or burning, of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels include
oil, natural gas, and coal. These fuels are burned in automobile engines,
as well as many power plants and industrial factories.
Ozone occurs naturally in the upper layer of the atmosphere called the
stratosphere. There, O3
protects the earth from the sun's damaging
ultraviolet rays. However, O3
produced by humans in the lower layer of the
atmosphere, the troposphere, is harmful. Tropospheric ozone is a major
component of smog. Smog is the thick, brown haze that is often seen over
cities and industrial regions. Besides being a powerful greenhouse gas,
tropospheric ozone irritates the eyes and lungs, may cause lung cancer,
and kills plant tissue. Photo:
Traffic on the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, CA . Photo courtesy Phil Greenspun.
CFCs / Atmospheric Methane / Atmospheric
Nitrous Oxide / Tropospheric Ozone
/ The Chemistry
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