hide You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of University of Alberta using Archive-It. This page was captured on 16:34:14 Dec 08, 2010, and is part of the HCF Alberta Online Encyclopedia collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page.
Heritage Community Foundation Presents
Alberta Online Encyclopedia
Top Left of Navigation Bar The Nature of Alberta Logo
Species at Risk in AlbertaView our site layout to navigate to specific areasSearch our site for informationObtain help for navigating our sitePlease emails us your questions and comments!View our partners that helped us in this project

Ecosystems OverviewEnvironmental IssuesGeological History of AlbertaAlberta's Natural RegionsAdditional Resources
Visit Alberta Source!
Visit the Heritage Community Foundation
Visit Canada's Digital Collections

Air Pollution 

Industrial PlantThe constant movement and mixing of air masses allow the atmosphere to absorb a certain amount of air pollution.  Emissions from cars and trucks, smokestacks, chimneys, and flare stacks are mixed with the air, diluted, and moved away.  Air pollution occurs when these emissions are too concentrated for the air to move away or when conditions in the atmosphere disperse emissions too slowly.

When the air is very still, mixing and dispersal are very slow.  Sometimes the air near the ground is cool and the upper air is warm.  The warm air acts like a cap, preventing the air from mixing.  This is called an inversion.  When this takes place air pollution can build up and exceed standards because emissions cannot escape.

Air pollution is a more serious problem in cities than it is in rural areas.  This is because there are more sources for emissions in a city.  Major sources of pollution are: exhaust from cars and trucks, industrial emissions, electrical generating plants (coal and natural gas), fireplaces and home heating.  In urban areas of Alberta, the major source of pollutants is vehicle exhaust.  In rural areas, oil and gas processing, power plants, pulp mills, wood and paper processing, forestry and some agricultural activities contribute to air pollution.  

Reprinted from Focus On Air Quality  (1993) with permission of Alberta Environment.

Albertasource.ca | Contact Us | Partnerships
            For more on the natural history of Alberta, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.
Copyright © Heritage Community Foundation All Rights Reserved