Changing The Atmosphere

All of the factors in this section affect the air around you. As the atmosphere circulates, it is influenced by many factors. We have discussed ways that the atmosphere affects life around the planet. What happens when life changes the atmosphere? Most animals don't affect the world on a global level. Animals need to adapt to what the world gives them, and they try to survive. Humans are special. Our struggle for survival has actually changed our environment, and now we must react to those changes.

Interacting With The Surf And Turf

Of course, there are interactions between the ocean and land. As the tides go higher, more land is covered with water and local atmospheric changes occur. It may get warmer in the morning and cooler at night. There are also times when a volcano might explode and shoot dust into the atmosphere. The dust moves around the world on the wind currents. A result of the increased amount of particles is less radiation getting to the Earth. Overall, the atmosphere may become cooler.

Here We Go Again

Then there are the humans. We have factories and cars going all the time. Each of these machines is tossing small particles and molecules into the atmosphere. They change the way the Earth works. We make huge amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2). While that carbon dioxide may be good for plants, an excess can slowly heat up an atmosphere. People also use aerosol cans that send out compounds. Those compounds (CFC's) break down ozone in the atmosphere. Less ozone in the atmosphere allows a larger amount of UV radiation to hit the surface of the Earth.

Then It Gets Ugly

You are probably from a country in the western world. Did you know that in China, most of the country still burns coal for energy? They even burn it in the cities. There are many nasty compounds created when you burn coal, not to mention black soot that goes into the air and all over the buildings. Read about how much money China spent to clean up Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games (just one city). That pollution and uncontrolled industry is what happens when you don't have as many environmental controls as we have in the U.S. Even though people protest about the pollution in the U.S., when you compare it to places like Mexico and China, the U.S. is a very clean country for all the industry and cars we have here.

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