Atmospheric Change

A full impact assessment includes all scales of ecological impact. Impact can occur in local, regional, or global scales. Regional and local effects of pollution on atmosphere include acid rain and smog. Large-scale effects in clude global climate change caused by releases of greenhouse gases and increased ultraviolet (UV) radiation from ozone-depletion gases.

A relative scale is a useful method for characterizing the impact of emissions that deplete ozone or lead to global warming. For example, the heat-trapping ability of many gases can be compared to carbon dioxide, which is the main greenhouse gas. Similarly, the ozone-depleting effects of emissions can be compared to chlorofluorocarbons such as CFC-12. Using this common scale makes interpreting the results easier.

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