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Adriana Rocha Natural Disasters March 5th, 2014 Eportfolio

Environmental Degradation
What is the rot cause of your chosen environmental issue? Utahs air quality has really seemed to taken a toll on us this year with the inversion. As a child I have never noticed our air quality being so bad, not even as a teen. Maybe its because I was younger and didnt know any better, but this year was different. Utah has inversion every winter, which is something that cannot be prevented, however the pollution that we are putting out can be. What is an inversion you might ask? In meteorology, an inversion is a

deviation from the normal change of an atmospheric property with altitude. It almost always refers to a "temperature inversion", i.e., an increase in temperature with height, or to the layer ("inversion layer") within which such an increase occurs. An inversion can lead to pollution such as smog being trapped close to the ground, with possible adverse effects on health (Wikipedia).
Where is it occurring? The root of the problem is throughout northern Utah. Its not a subtle fog that you see in the morning, it is literally a layer of brown smog over northern Utah. The mountains trap all of the smog into the valley making it hard for the smog to clear out on its own and making it a little hard for the people residing in the valley to breathe. Wintertime inversions are a common event in Utah, occurring primarily during the

months of December through February (Salt Lake City). The main places that Air Now has been keeping track of is Brigham City, Logan, Ogden, Provo, Tooele, Provo, Salt Lake City, Vernal, Canyonlands National Park and Washakie Reservation (AirNow). Why is this occurring? Inversions trap a dense layer of cold air under a layer of warm air. The warm layer acts much like a lid, trapping pollutants in the cold air near the valley floor. The Wasatch Front valleys and their surrounding mountains act like a bowl, keeping this cold air in the valleys. The snow-covered valley floors reflect rather than absorb the heat from the sun, preventing the normal vertical mixing of warm and cold air. Fog exacerbates the problem, facilitating chemical reactions that create even more particles and higher pollutant concentrations. The longer the inversion lasts, the higher the levels of pollution trapped under it (Salt Lake City). What is being done or can be done to handle this environmental problem? We are trying to make a few changes here in Utah in order to Clear the Air. Being idle free, car-pooling, lower home emissions, telecommute, maintaining your ride, public transport and weather proofing (Clear the Air). These are just a few ways for Utahans to try and clear the air to make it easier for everyone to breathe. If everyone could participate in at least a few of these actions, it will make a difference. We deserve to have clean air for our lungs! You can make a commitment to help with the inversion at http://www.ucair.org . If we all get involved and spread the word, we could have clean air.

Works Cited
AirNow. Forecast. 19 02 2014 <www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.local_state&stateid=46>. Clear the Air. How Will You Clear the Air? 17 02 2014 <cleartheairutah.org/airpollution-commitments.html>. Salt Lake City. Winter Inversions: What Are They and What Can We All Do To Help? 17 02 2014 <www.ci.slc.ut.us/winter-inversions-what-are-they-and-what-can-weall-do-to-help>. Wikipedia. Inversion (Meteorology). 09 01 2014. 19 02 2014 <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/inversion_(meteorology)>.