Earth’s atmosphere is a vital and fragile component of our environment. This course covers the chemical composition of the atmosphere and the principles of chemistry that control the concentrations of chemical species. Following an introduction to the atmosphere, including its structure and composition, the course investigates basic concepts relating to atmospheric chemical kinetics and photochemistry. This foundation of chemistry and physics is applied to the study of the gas-phase chemistry of the troposphere and the stratosphere including focused study of criteria pollutants such as carbon monoxide (CO), tropospheric and stratospheric ozone (O3), chlorinated fluorocarbons (CFCs), sulfur and nitrogen oxides (NOx and SOx) and particulate matter (PM). Many trace species and their impacts on atmospheric chemistry are investigated. Condensedphase chemistry topics include aqueous-phase chemistry, the chemistry of clouds and fogs and aerosol chemistry (including particulate matter chemistry). The chemistry of climate change and the radiative forcing of atmospheric constituents is studied. The relationship between atmospheric chemistry and air quality is stressed via focusing on negative human health and environmental impacts. The course stresses application of these concepts to current and relevant atmospheric chemistry issues.
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