Team Question 4 for Session 6

4. The concerns of acid rain vary across the globe. Many countries in North America and Europe have websites dealing with acid rain. Either search to locate one (“Canada, acid rain”) or use these links to websites in Canada, the UK, or Europe. What are the issues in the country you selected? Does the acid deposition originate outside the borders of the country?


In Canada, acid deposition originate from both within the country as well as its neighbouring state, USA. Most of the cause of acid rain is due to emission of sulfur dioxide from non-ferrous metal smelters and coal-fired generators.

This issues faced in Canada as a result of acid rain is the water quality of its water bodies. The pH of the lakes become more acidic and there has been increasing concentrations of sulfate and certain metals such as aluminium and manganese.

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Meeting #3

Location: Amalina’s House (Pasir Ris)

Time: 10am – 2pm

Duration: 4h

Present: Zahwah, Amalina, Atiqah & Shalinah

Absent: Yu Chen & Nicholas (Doing their respective tasks in school)


Zahwah, Amalina, Atiqah & Shalinah

  • Started filming cooking demonstration for first video (Chemical Concepts)
  • Zahwah to edit first video

Nicholas & Yuchen

  • Prepared slides for explanation of chemical concepts
  • Publish ‘Chemical Concepts’ post


  • Complete ‘Chemical Concepts’ video by 15 March.
  • Email Fluff Bakery regarding interview for second video by 22 March
  • Filming for second video to be tentatively between 3-5 April
  • Nicholas to include references for ‘Topic Overview’ in References page by 8 March
  • Shalinah, Atiqah and Amalina to prepare slides for second video by 27 March

NOTE: Each member to pay $3 to Nicholas for ingredients used in first video.

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Meeting #2

Location: South spine Basement 3 study area

Time: 12.30pm – 1.30pm

Duration: 1 hour

Present: Zahwah, Amalina, Shalinah

Absent: Atiqah (Has lecture), Nicholas (competition)

Topics Discussed:

  • When, where and how to film first video
    • When: 5th March 2014
    • Where: To be confirmed
    • How: Shoot recipe for demo (silent background), have a voice over track and slides to illustrate the chemical concepts.
  • Recipe for filming (only 2 out of 3 recipes will be filmed, depending on availability of ingredient):

Tasks to be done:

Shalinah – find for maltodextrin and soy lecithin for recipe (by 27th feb).

Zahwah, Amalina – have a rough idea on how to film the recipe demo.

Shalinah, Nicolas – chemical concept slides for video.

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Improvements for CM8001

Some suggestions for improvements:

  1. Go through lecture notes after quizzes
  2. Classes to be held in tutorial rooms to facilitate better group discussion.
  3. Go through key concepts in lecture with videos
  4. Alternatively, post videos on NTUlearn to illustrate material in lecture notes before lecture.
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Team Questions Session 3

1. Understanding Earth’s energy balance is essential to understanding the issue of global warming. For example, the solar energy striking Earth’s surface averages 168 watts per square meter (W/m2), but the energy leaving Earth’s surface averages 390 W/m2. Why isn’t the Earth cooling?

Due to the greenhouse effect, the atmosphere will absorb and re-radiate energy back to Earth’s surface.

Solar radiation at the frequencies of visible light largely passes through the atmosphere to warm the planetary surface, which then emits this energy at the lower frequencies of infrared thermal radiation. Infrared radiation is absorbed by greenhouse gases, which in turn re-radiate energy in all direction.

Most of this re-radiation will fall back on Earth’s surface and thus contribute to warming the Earth’s surface. This is how we achieve Earth’s energy balance and hence Earth will not cool down.

2. “The winter has lowered my concerns about global warming…”. Do you think the statement made by the cartoon is justified? Explain.

No, this statement is not justified. The cartoon shows that people are ignorant and unaware of global warming. It does not mean that the earth is getting colder just because there are winter days. Global warming has led to extreme weather changes. Some parts of the world are experiencing snowing repeatedly, while other parts are very warm. For instance, certain parts are experiencing droughts, heatwaves, fire and floods. Thus there will still be snow in certain parts of the globe, but the average climate is getting warmer. Hence the global surface temperature is generally increasing and global warming must be a concern.

3. One of the first radar devices developed during World War II used microwave radiation  of a specific wave range that triggers the rotation of water molecules. Why was the design not successful?

As the war dragged on, American military scientists tried to find ways of producing more powerful microwaves. Led by Dr. Charles Townes, these researchers found that microwave radiation does not work very well for radar because the waves are too easily absorbed by water vapor in the air; and as the beam travels farther more of it gets absorbed, so it gets too weak to do any good. But in a way, these experiments had not failed. They had made Townes very interested in learning more about microwaves, research that would eventually lead to the laser.

4. Now that you have studied air quality (Unit 1), stratospheric ozone depletion (Unit 2), and global warming (Unit 3), which do you believe poses the most serious problem in the short run? In the long run?

We believe that in the short run, air quality would pose to be the most serious problem. This is because changes in air quality have widespread effects and most of them are immediate. An example would be the haze that affected Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. The drop in air quality due to the haze could be seen instantly with the appearance of fogs. Not only that, everyone’s health was affected as they breathed in the polluted air. It was reported that there was a higher incidence of people visiting the doctors for respiratory problems and eye irritation during the haze period. On top of being a health hazard, the haze also affected the transportation industry especially so in Indonesia as flights are disrupted due to poor visibility. This would also affect other industries such as tourism and even business. Hence, as seen from how extensive and immediate the effects of the haze could be, air quality would likely pose to be the most serious problem in the short run.

As for the long run, we believe that air quality, ozone depletion and global warming would all pose to be a serious problem.

  • This is because common pollutants such as CO2, SO2, Nitrogen oxides, CH4 and halogenated organics have health consequences like asthma, cancer and liver, kidney and central nervous system damage if humans constantly breathe the pollutants. Acid rain may also occur from NOx and SOx.
  • Ozone depletion will increase UV exposure and may cause skin cancer.
  • The common pollutants can also absorb IR radiation and thus trap heat as a greenhouse gas. This will then raise the Earth’s temperature causing global warming. Global warming have serious consequences such as extreme weather, rising sea levels and mass extinction.

All of these consequences are not reversible and can only be slowed down if companies producing large amounts of the pollutants view sustainability as a business strategy. Most of the pollutants are caused by humans activities as such change depends on us.

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Meeting #1

Location: Benches outside Lee Kong Chian  Lecture Theatre

Time: 12.30pm – 1.30pm

Duration: 1 hour

Present: Zahwah, Amalina, Shalinah, Nicholas

Absent: Atiqah (Has lecture)

Topics Discussed:

  • Unit allocated for team was Unit 9: Food and team decided on “Molecular Gastronomy” as sub-topic
  • 1st video to illustrate the chemical concepts of cooking
    • Include two chemical concepts
  • Impact to society can focus on how the new style of cooking can change the food industry
  • Include interviews for 2nd video regarding people who are aware of molecular gastronomy and uses them
  • Do research to find out if there are more significant impacts molecular gastronomy has on society
  • Tentatively to film first video by recess week (2-8 March)
  • “About the Team” page to be updated with self-introductions by the end of the week
  • “Introduction” page to be filled in by the end of the week
    • Nicholas, Amalina & Atiqah to fill in “Topic Overview”
    • Zahwah & Shalinah to fill in “Why is it important?”

Tasks by next meeting (23-27 Feb)

Nicholas, Atiqah , Amalina – Research for recipes & chemical concepts

Shalinah, Zahwah – Impacts to society

Everyone- Ideas on how to film video

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