BIOLOGY 301 -- HUMAN IMPACTS ON ECOSYSTEMS -- WINTER 2013

AIR QUALITY: FOCUS ON TROPOSPHERIC OZONE

Copyright: Patricia Muir, 1998

Notes on tropospheric ozone pollution -- sources, effects, and regulation -- follow. See the list of "clickable" topics, below.

Please note that, depending on your browser, some of the links in this section, and in other sections that link to this one, may show up as underlinings rather than as blue (or red!) highlights. (Don't ask me why!!! One of those mysterious things...) Information on criteria for determining causation with regard to air pollutants, and on various methods for assessing air pollutant impacts are in a section called "Air Quality."

Why are we discussing ozone pollution?

Ozone pollution is currently one of most of the serious of the regional air pollutants, although it isn't necessarily one that you hear a great deal about. The concern addressed in this section is over elevated levels of ozone in the troposphere. (The troposphere is the layer of the atmosphere closest to Earth, and it runs up to about 12 km above the surface of the earth.) In the troposphere, the problem is too much ozone. Later this term, we'll be discussing it in the stratosphere (the layer of the atmosphere above the troposphere), where the problem is too little of it -- the "ozone hole." The same gas -- ozone -- is involved in both cases, but in the stratosphere it is protective, while in the troposphere it can be damaging.

Ozone pollution is a serious problem because:

To help you find what you are looking for, material is organized according to the following outline. Just click on the the topic of interest, listed below, to jump to that area now.

List of topics:

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Page maintained by Patricia Muir at Oregon State University. Page last updated Oct. 11, 2012.