Chemistry GCSE C9: Chemistry of the Atmosphere Flashcards Preview

Chemistry GCSE > Chemistry GCSE C9: Chemistry of the Atmosphere > Flashcards

Flashcards in Chemistry GCSE C9: Chemistry of the Atmosphere Deck (30)
Loading flashcards...

  • Where did the gases in the early atmosphere (over 3 billion years ago) come from?

  • Volcanoes 


  • What was the main gas in the early atmosphere?

  • Carbon dioxide 


  • Which other gases were present in the early atmosphere?

  • Nitrogen
  • Water vapour
  • Methane
  • Ammonia


What happened to the water vapour in the early atmosphere?

It condensed to for the oceans.


The carbon dioxie concentration in the atmosphere now is much lower than it was in the early atmosphere. What happened to the carbon dioxide?

  1. It was used by plants and algae in photosynthesis.
  2. It dissolved the the oceans and ended up.....
  3. Trapped in fossil fuels.
  4. Trapped in rocks.


What happened to the carbon dioxide once it had dissolved in the oceans?

  1. It formed carbonate precipitates.
  2. These were used by plankton to make shells and skeletons.
  3. The precipitates and dead sea creature fomed sediments on the sea bed that later formed sedimentary rocks.
  4. The carbon dioxide was used by plankton in photosynthesis.
  5. Dead plankton formed crude oil and natural gas.


Algae and plants removed carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. How else did they impact on the atmosphere?

They added oxygen to the atmosphere.


What are the main gases in the atmosphere today?

What percentage of the atmosphere does each gas make up?

  1. Nitrogen: 80%
  2. Oxygen: 20%
  3. Water vapour, noble gases and carbon dioxide: Less than 1%


What are the three greenhouse gases?

  1. Carbon dioxide
  2. Methane
  3. Water vapour


What are the three greenhouse gases?

  1. Carbon dioxide
  2. Methane
  3. Water vapour


Explain the greenhouse effect. 

  • Sun
  • Shortwavelength radiation
  • Earths suface
  • Long wavelength radiation
  • Greenhouse gases

  1. The sun gives out long wavelength radiation which is absorbed by the earths surface
  2. The earths surface gives out long wavelength radiation
  3. This is absorbed by greenhouse gases
  4. And reradiated in all directions


What human activities are leading to an increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere?

  1. Deforestation: Less CO2 removed from the atmosphere
  2. Burning fossil fuels (for transport and generating electricity): Releases CO2
  3. Farming/agriculture: Farm animals produce methane
  4. Landfil: Decomposition releases CO2


  1. Do Scientists believe that extra carbon dioxide from human activity is increasing global temperatures and this is causing climate change?
  2. Why have they drawn this conclusion.

  1. Yes
  2. There lots of evidence that has been peer reviewed, so it is reliable.


Why do some media organisations (TV channels, newspapers) and politicins disagree with scientists views that carbon dioxide produced by humans is causing climate change?.

  • They may be biased
  • The evidence is hard to understand so they don't understand it.


An increase in global temperatures could lead to polar ice caps melting, what would be the effects of this?

  • A rise in sea levels
  • More coastal flooding


Increasing global temperatures could lead to some places getting more of less water. How would this impact upon humans?

  • There would be dangerous flooding in some places
  • There could be serious droughts and food shortage in other places.


What is carbon footprint?

The amount of carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gases) produced by a service (e.g a school bus or a hospital) an event (e.g a football match or music concert) or a product (e.g a TV or a phone) in its life.


How can the carbon footprints of services, events and products be reduced?

  1. Using renewable energy sources.
  2. Create less waste (more efficient processes, less packaging etc).
  3. Use energy efficient devices.
  4. Governments can uses taxes and caps..


Governments can use taxes and caps to reduce the aount of greenhouse gases companies produce. What is the difference between taxes and caps?

  1. Taxes: Companies pay based on how much carbon dioxide they produce.
  2. Caps: The governemnt sets a limit on how much carbon dioxide a company can produce and fines them if they go over this. 


What is incomplete combustion?

When a fuel burns (combusts) without enough oxygen, so some of the fuel doesn't burn.


What pollutants are produced in incomplete combustion?

  1. Carbon dioxide
  2. Carbon monoxide
  3. Particulates
    • Carbon particulates (soot)
    • Unburned hydrocarbons


Sulfur dioxide is a pollutant. How is it made?

When sulfur in fuels (e.g diesel and coals) reacts with oxygen in the air during combustion. 


Nitrogen dioxide (and other nitrogen oxides) is a pollutant. How is it made?

Heat from burning fuels (e.g in car engines) causes nitrogen and oxygen in the air to react together. 


Which pollutants cause respiratory (breathing) problems?

  1. Particulates
  2. Nitrogen dioxide (and other nitrogen oxides)
  3. Sulfur dioxide


Carbon monoxide does NOT cause respiratory problems.


  1. Which pollutant causes global diming (darkening)?
  2. How does it do this?

  1. Particulates
  2. Particulates form clouds which reflect sunlight back into space.


  1. Which pollutant stops blood from carrying oxygen?
  2. How does it do this?

  1. Carbon monoxide
  2. It sticks to heamoglobin in the red blood cells


Why is carbon monoxide difficult to detect?

It doesn't have any colour or smell.


What are the potential health effects of breathing in carbon monoxide?

Fainting, coma and death.


Which pollutants dissolve in clouds to make acid rain?

  • Sulfur dioxide (makes sulfuric acid)
  • Nitrogen dioxide (makes nitric acid)



How does acid rain impact on the environment?

  • Kills plants
  • Damages buildngs
  • Corrodes metals