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Chemistry: A Pollutant’s Tale: Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Change by Tim Harrison, The University of Bristol

2nd May 2014 @ 13:15 - 14:15


This lecture demonstration covers:

• the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere in comparison to other planets

• a brief description of the structure of the atmosphere

• investigation of some of the chemistry and properties of nitrogen and oxygen

• a few of the tropospheric pollutants including carbon dioxide


Throughout the lecture there are demonstrations including some involving liquid nitrogen, oxygen foam, dry ice and a few explosions. Some familiar Chemistry concepts will be revised and some expansion of ideas about climate and climate change.

Lecturer Profile: Tim Harrison


Suitable for: Year 10 and 11


Preparation/Pre-reading: None required.

However post lecture reading:

Information about simpler experiments.

Further information about possible future experiments.

Extension Reading: Ozone depletion, Stabilisation wedges.

If back copies of Chemistry Review magazine are available:

A. Harrison, T.G., Shallcross, D.E., Henshaw, S., Detecting CO2 -the Hunt for Greenhouse-gas Emissions (2006). Chemistry Review, 15 (3), 27-31.

B. Shallcross, D.E. and Harrison, T.G., (2009b). Out of thin air. Hydrogen in the Earth’s Atmosphere, Chemistry Review, 19, 2-6.

C. Shallcross, D.E. and Harrison, T.G., (2010b). Out of thin air. From Volcanoes to Sea Salt: Atmospheric Sulfur Chemistry Review, 20 (1), 16-19.

D. Shallcross, D.E. and Harrison, T.G., (2010). Out of thin air. Atmospheric Nitrogen. Chemistry Review, 20 (2), 7-9.

E. Grant A., and Harrison T.G. (2011). Out of Thin Air. Poison in the Air: Atmospheric Carbon monoxide, Chemistry Review, 20(3).

F. Khan A., Harrison, T.G. and Shallcross, D.E. (2011). Out of Thin Air. Do Ants Destroy the Ozone Layer? Chemistry Review, 20(4).


2nd May 2014
13:15 - 14:15
Event Category: