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III. Natural And Anthropogenic Influences

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Chapter Summary

The dispute about the natural, non-human, contribution to the thinning of the ozone layer has a long history. The basic argument was that any detrimental impact on the ozone layer was more likely caused by nonhuman natural sources than anthropogenic causes. Natural events or patterns are also at the forefront to the challenge that humans overtly influence the Earth's climate. The specific areas of concern are volcanoes, sunspots, Earth wobbles, and clouds. In 1980, Soviet researchers demonstrated that the Sun, although primarily stable, could influence the Earth's temperature either by flaring or through spot activity, which the Sun did on a regular cycle. With regard to air pollution, and especially earlier forms of air pollution typically known as 'acid rain', one of the primary arguments was over how much the causes of air pollution were non-human in origin, or whether air pollution was actually beneficial for the environment.

Keywords: acid rain; air pollution; anthropogenic causes; natural sources; ozone layer



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