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ATMS 111 Global Warming Midterm Guide

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by: Felicia Yap

ATMS 111 Global Warming Midterm Guide ATMS 111

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Felicia Yap

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About this Document

This is the midterm guide for this course, midterm study guide completed with answers.
Global Warming
Dr. Michael Warner
Study Guide
global warming, atms, midterm
50 ?




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"Better than the professor's notes. I could actually understand what the heck was going on. Will be back for help in this class."
Ramona Leannon

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This 8 page Study Guide was uploaded by Felicia Yap on Thursday February 11, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to ATMS 111 at University of Washington taught by Dr. Michael Warner in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 105 views. For similar materials see Global Warming in Environmental Science at University of Washington.

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Better than the professor's notes. I could actually understand what the heck was going on. Will be back for help in this class.

-Ramona Leannon


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Date Created: 02/11/16
ATMS 111 - Midterm Review - What is the difference between weather and climate? Weather is the condition of the atmosphere at a specific time and place, while climate is the average weather conditions over a long period of time - What sorts of things can influence regional climate? 5 main influences: Topography (mountains, terrains) Proximity of oceans and large lakes Latitude (sun angles) Vegetation Ocean Currents - What lines of evidence do we have that tell us the climate is indeed warming? Warmed about 1.5 degrees F in last 130 years, also: Arctic sea ice melting Ocean gaining heat Sea level rising - Radiation from the sun (mainly visible) v. radiation from earth (IR). Shortwave v. longwave. Sun’s radiation: UV radiations and SW radiation - 1366 W Earth’s radiation: LW and infrared radiation - Earth loses energy - What are the relative amounts of radiation absorbed and reflected by Earth? Incoming radiation=342 W/m Only 20% gets absorbed in atmosphere, 50% absorbed at surface, and 30% reflected back to space. Of the 30% reflected, 20% clouds 5% atmosphere 5% surface Total 70% gets absorbed, so 240 W/m - What is albedo? What is the Earth’s average albedo? What are some things with high albedo? Low? Albedo is the fraction of incident light that’s reflected away. Clouds, ice, snow have high albedo. Oceans and forests have low albedo. White things reflect, darker things absorb. - What is the main reason the Earth experiences seasons? Seasons happen because of Earth’s tilt that causes directness of sunlight. - What is the relationship between wavelength of radiation emitted and the temperature of the object doing the emitting? Higher temperature=more radiation - Understand energy balance and what will happen to the Earth’s temperature if it is out of balance. Energy balance: when energy in equals energy out If energy into Earth is greater than energy out, the temp increases. - What do the two sides of the Energy Balance equation represent in words? Energy in vs. Energy out Solar Radiation in vs. Longwave Radiation out Greenhouse Gases - Describe the greenhouse effect. What are the important pieces of the greenhouse effect? Without it, would the Earth be cooler or warmer? Why? GH Gases block and absorb LW radiation from escaping to space. The gases re-radiate both upward and downward. The extra radiation causes additional warming of the surface. Important pieces: Air gets colder as you go upward, so radiation to space is less. Cloudy nights cool less quickly. (Desert temps plunge at night) Without the greenhouse effect, there would be no energy balance, and the temp of Earth would be 0 degrees F, unsustainable for life. - What is the Keeling curve a measurement of? Why is it shaped like a “sawtooth”? Keeling Curve is measurement of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. “Sawtooth” shaped because of seasons-CO2 levels low in summer and high in winter (plants) - What makes a gas a greenhouse gas? Which gases are NOT greenhouse gases? Which are? Monatomic or Diatomic gases are NOT greenhouse gases. (Nitrogen and Oxygen) GH Gases are POLYATOMIC molecules. (Absorb LW radiation by rotating and vibrating) GH Gases: 1. Water Vapor 2. Carbon Dioxide 3. Methane CH4 4. Nitrous Oxide 5. Ozone 6. CFCs - After Earth’s initial formation, where did gases come from that made up its early atmosphere? Earth: Nitrogen 78%, Oxygen 20.5%, and Argon 0.9% Mainly from volcanic eruptions. 1. H2O condensed into lakes and oceans 2. CO2 dissolved in oceans, carbonate shells, settle into sea floor 3. N2 accumulated over time 4. O2 built up due to photodissociation, then balanced through life - Which natural greenhouse gas has the largest impact on the greenhouse effect? What about man-made? Natural largest impact: Water Vapor Man-made largest impact: Carbon Dioxide - What is the relationship between the temperature of the atmosphere and water vapor concentration? Warmer air holds more water vapor. - What is the primary source of CO2 emissions in our atmosphere? Fossil fuel burning 90% Deforestation 10% - What is Global Warming Potential? What are the factors that go into calculating GWP? GWP is a way to compare different greenhouse gases to CO2 CO2=1 Gases can be strong as well as live in the atmosphere longer. - Is the annual appearance of the ozone hole in the polar stratosphere related to global warming? Unrelated, due to CFCs and should be recovered within 50 years or so. - Why is ozone in the upper atmosphere considered "good" while ozone in the lower atmosphere is considered "bad"? Good ozone upper layer protects us from UV radiation. Bad ozone near surface caused by air pollution. Forcings and Feedbacks - What is the difference between a forcing and a feedback? Forcings change global temperatures directly. Feedbacks respond to temperature changes indirectly. - What is the difference between a positive and negative feedback? Positive feedbacks amplify warming/cooling, and negative feedbacks decrease warming/cooling. - What is longwave radiative forcing a measure of? What about shortwave radiative forcing? Radiative forcing: change in shortwave in or longwave out due to the climate forcing Longwave radiative forcings: instantly change gas concentration Shortwave radiative forcings: change in solar energy absorbed by the planet - Why do we instantaneously change the greenhouse gas concentration to calculate the forcing caused by increases in GHGs? To ensure that temperature remains constant. Temp. must remain constant to measure the effect of GH has on outgoing LW radiation. - What is the difference between shortwave and longwave forcings? Can you give examples of each? Examples of SW forcings: Changes in the strength of sun Changes in surface albedo Volcanoes Air pollution Examples of LW forcings: Changes in concentrations of GH gases - Relative to total forcing, is the sunspot cycle responsible for large changes in Earth’s mean temperature? More sunspots = more solar radiation - Why do volcanoes have a cooling effect on climate? Is that a positive or a negative forcing? Dust and sulfates from volcanoes block out the Sun. Negative forcing because cooling effect. - Why will a volcano erupting in Australia not have much of an effect on global mean temperatures? Only large volcano eruptions in the tropics cool the global mean temp of Earth. - How do aerosols affect climate? What are the aerosol direct and indirect effects? Aerosols are air pollutants, but also reflect sunlight. (Negative forcings) Direct effects: higher albedo from haze (cools), absorption of light by soot (warms) Indirect effect: higher albedo from clouds (cools), darkening of snow or ice (warms) - The Earth has been warming over the last 150 years. What dominates the total climate forcing? Greenhouse gases dominate total climate radiative forcing. - How do feedbacks affect climate sensitivity? Lots of positive feedbacks means a very sensitive climate. Lots of negative feedbacks means a not-so sensitive climate. - Know your climate feedbacks that we have discussed and if they are positive or negative! This will definitely be on the midterm! Water Vapor Feedback: Temp INCREASE  Water V. INCREASE  GHE INCREASE  Temp INCREASE Ice Albedo Feedback: Temp INC.  Ice DEC.  Albedo DEC.  Radiation INC.  Temp INC. Cloud Feedback (Positive greenhouse effect): Temp INC.  Water V. INC.  Clouds INC.  GHE INC.  Temp INC. Cloud Feedback (Negative albedo effect): Temp INC.  Water V. INC.  Clouds INC.  Albedo INC.  Temp DEC. - Which feedback mechanism accounts for the largest uncertainty in climate model forecasts? Cloud feedbacks. Who’s Responsible? - Which country is responsible for the most total CO2 emissions? What about per capita emissions? China is responsible for most total CO2 emissions. Oil producing states (Qatar, Kuwait) is for most per capita emissions also USA. - Which countries have the HIGHEST per capita emissions? Oil producing states, also USA (17.3 tonnes) is high as well as Australia and Canada. - What is carbon leakage? When production of goods moves to a location with less strict regulation of emissions. - Which sectors are responsible for CO2 emissions, and how do those values compare to the rest of the world? Coal and oil makes up 80% of worldwide fossil fuel emissions. Coal for electricity, oil for transportation. Emissions: 29% Industry 18% Electricity and Heat 15% Transportation (rising rapidly) 13% Other Fuels Extreme Heat - What is the relationship between the heat index and humidity? How does this effect evaporation and cooling? Humidity = Moisture = Water Vapor Heat Index: takes into account how humidity makes it feel hotter More humidity means less evaporational cooling. (Nighttime temps stay warmer) - How does humidity affect heatwaves? How do drier climates affect heat waves? Humid heat waves  Higher heat index in the day and warmer nights - What effect does vegetation have on daily high temperatures (warming or cooling) and why? How about nightly low temperatures? Lots of vegetation means it takes longer to heat up during the day, and helps evaporative cooling. - What is the “Urban Heat Island Effect”? Buildings in urban areas get hotter and causes: LW Radiation not able to escape easily (emit to surface) More absorption of solar radiation Less evaporation - Why can’t you point to individual weather events and say that they were caused by global warming? One warm/cold season is not proof/disproof of global warming. Back and forth pattern is common (North Atlantic Oscillation). In US, record highs have been outpacing record lows over last 2 decades. - Who are the people who are most affected by heat waves? People in areas that have high humidity, lack of air conditioning, and old people. Also when heat waves are significantly long (night time stays warm too). - What does a shift to a warmer climate mean for our cold and warm extremes? We should expect: More hot extremes & less cold extremes Humidity rising as a whole, higher heat index Drier areas = higher daytime temperatures Moist areas = higher nighttime temperatures Floods and Droughts - What sort of terrain is associated with the rainiest places on Earth? Associated with mountains. - What are the ingredients needed for precipitation? To get rain: Water Vapor and Rising Motion Condensation: when moist air cools (water vapor turns into water) - On a global scale, where are areas where we find the most precipitation? Most rain: Mountain areas Tropical rainy regions Monsoon areas Storm tracks - What is the “Hadley Circulation”? Why are the Earth’s deserts generally located around 30 degrees latitude? - How does a Monsoon Circulation work? Hadley Circulation: when hot air rises above the warmest ocean surface near equator, then sinks at low latitudes (deserts) and then back to the equator, then cycle continues. - Roughly what latitudes are “storm tracks” usually found? Midlatitudes - Why do we expect wet regions to get wetter and dry regions to get drier? Wet regions get wetter: More water vapor is brought into regions already rainy. (Tropics, monsoons, storm tracks, and high latitudes) Dry regions get drier: Less water vapor and more evaporation from dry regions. (Subtropical regions in between tropics and midlatitudes) - How will a warming climate affect precipitation in general? Precipitation extremes? Warmer climate: Water Vapor concentrations increase, more moisture to rainy regions Increased evaporation (sucks up moisture from land), drier soil in dry regions Precipitation Extremes: Intense storms (warmer temps  more water vapor) Intense floods due to increased heavy rains - Why is the ITCZ found near the equator? Inter-tropical Convergence Zone: the tropical band Follows the warmest ocean temperatures as they shift with the seasons.


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