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UGA / Geography / GEOG 1111 / What are the features of earth's movements?

What are the features of earth's movements?

What are the features of earth's movements?


School: University of Georgia
Department: Geography
Course: Introduction to Physical Geography
Professor: Hopkins
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: geography, 1111, Hopkins, uga, University, Of, Georgia, Lecture, 3, and, 4, and 8-17
Cost: 25
Name: Geography 1111 Lecture 3 & 4 Notes 8-17
Description: This is a filled in copy of the Lecture 3 & 4 notes that we took on 8-17.
Uploaded: 08/22/2016
7 Pages 59 Views 2 Unlocks

Geography 1111 Lecture 3 Notes

What are the features of earth's movements?

∙ Earth and Sun Relationships

o Greater than (>) 99% of Earth’s energy is from the sun o The amount (intensity) of sunlight striking the Earth varies:  Spatially: over space or area with latitude

 Temporally: over time with the seasons (day length)  and between day and night

 These variations cause an unequal heating of the  

Earth’s surface with derives the ocean currents and  

forms wind

∙ In turn, energy is transported across the globe

∙ Earth Movements:  

o Rotation: the spinning of the Earth on its axis

 It makes one turn about every 24 hours defining day &  night

Why do seasons occur?

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∙ Meaning the same side of the planet is not always

facing the sun making solar intensity vary

∙ The Earth turns counterclockwise when viewed  

above the North Pole and the atmosphere rotates  

with the Earth

o held by force of gravity

∙ A circle of illumination forms between the area of  

light (daytime) and dark (nighttime).

o Revolution: movement of the Earth in its orbit around the  Sun

 It makes one orbit every 365.2422 days (365 days, 5.8  hrs.)

∙ Commonly called 1 calendar year

 It is a counterclockwise orbit, when viewed above the  North Pole

o The orbit is elliptical, so at one time of the year it  

What does axial parallelism mean?

is closer to the Sun than the opposite end of the  

orbit and solar intensity varies

o These 2 points are known as:

1. Perihelion: when the Earth and Sun are  

closest to each other Don't forget about the age old question of Which goal of psychology is linked to changed bahavior?

 About 1.47 X 108 km or 91,500,000  

miles apart, which occurs on January


o Thus a little higher solar  


2. Aphelion: when the Earth and Sun are the  

furthest apart

 About 1.52 X 108 km or 94,500,000  

miles apart), which occurs on July 4

o Thus a little lower solar  


∙ Earth’s Seasons:

o Seasons are due to Earth’s orientation to the Sun and thus the varying angle the Sun’s rays strike the Earth’s surface o Why they occur:

 Revolution

 Rotation

 Tilt of the Earth on its Axis

 Axial Parallelism

 Sphericity

o Inclination of the axis: Earth’s orientation to the Sun as a  result of the tilt on it’s axis

 Currently 23.5° from a perpendicular to the plane of the  elliptic

 Its revolution around the Sun and its daily rotation on its axis are also major factors

o Axial Parallelism: the orientation of the North Pole of the  Earth toward a specific star

 The fact that the Earth is a sphere (its sphericity) are  also factors controlling solar intensity at the surface If you want to learn more check out What is the basis of all music?

o Inclination of the axis, axial parallelism, and the shape of the  Earth’s orbit (revolution) change over long periods of time  This can be seen by the varying solar intensity with day  length and with varying seasons

∙ Summer has:

o Longer days

o Higher solar altitude

o More intense sunlight and more energy

∙ Winter has:

o Shorter days

o Lower solar altitude

o Less intense sunlight and less energy

o Solar Altitude (SA): the angle of the Sun above the horizon  at any given latitude If you want to learn more check out What are examples of illusory correlation?

 Ex: At a SA of 90°, the sun is “directly overhead”, and  yields the potentially maximum solar intensity

∙ Solstices and Equinoxes

o The 5 factors above (Revolution, Rotation, etc.…) cause the  seasons with 4 days of particular interest:

 The 2 Solstices and the 2 Equinoxes

∙ March Equinox

o Start of Spring in Northern Hemisphere  

o Start of Fall in Southern Hemisphere

∙ June Solstice

o Start of Summer in Northern Hemisphere

o Start of Winter in Southern Hemisphere

∙ September Equinox

o Start of Fall in Northern Hemisphere

o Start of Spring in Southern Hemisphere

∙ December Solstice

o Start of Winter in Northern Hemisphere

o Start of Summer in Southern Hemisphere

o The Sun is never directly overhead (SA = 90°) outside 23.5°  North or South Latitude (the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn) o Northern Hemisphere Winter = Southern Hemisphere, etc.

∙ Climatological Seasons:

o Winter: Dec, Jan, and Feb

o Spring: Mar, Apr, and May

o Summer: Jun, Jul, and Aug

o Fall: Sep, Oct, and Nov

Geography 1111 Lecture 4 Notes



The day-to-day conditions of the  Atmosphere

The statistical properties of the  atmosphere, including measures  of the average conditions,  

variability, etc. over long periods  of time

Constantly changing

Slow, long-term changes

The state or condition of the  atmosphere at a particular time  and place

A description of aggregate  

weather conditions

Comprised of various factors:  ∙ Air pressure

∙ Air temperature

∙ Humidity

∙ Clouds

∙ Precipitation

∙ Wind

∙ Visibility, etc.

A sum of the daily and seasonal  weather events over decades,  hundreds or thousands of years ∙ Averages of these factors

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∙ Meteorology: the science that studies the atmosphere and its  processes on a short-term basis

∙ Climatology: the study of long-term atmospheric conditions ∙ Origin of the Atmosphere:

 A B C D

--|------------------------------------|------------------------------|--------------- -----

4.5 billion 3 - 1.5 bybp .5 bybp

 years before  

 present (bybp)

A. Earth formed and hot gases escape

∙ The process of outgassing

B. Earth cooled and gases accumulate

∙ The atmosphere comprised mainly of:  

o CO2 (Carbon Dioxide)

o N2 (Nitrogen)

o Methane

∙ There was little to no O2 (oxygen) or O3 (ozone)

C. O2 generating aquatic organisms evolve and oxygen supply  slowly rises

∙ The main process for increased oxygen levels is  


D. Green land plants widespread and the atmosphere has taken  on its basic present conditions

∙ Ozone levels increase and spread

∙ Composition of the Atmosphere:

o The atmosphere is a mixture of discrete gases, with solid &  liquid particles suspended within it  

o Some components are fairly stable while others vary spatially  and/or temporally

o Constant Gases: those found in the same proportions (%)  within the lower atmosphere (up to 50 miles altitude)

 3 gases makeup just under 100% of the atmosphere ∙ Nitrogen (N): ~78%

∙ Oxygen (O): ~21%

∙ Argon (Ar): ~9%

o Variable Gases: those present in the differing amounts  spatially and/or temporally within the lower atmosphere  4 gases influence weather and life systems

∙ Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

∙ Ozone (O3)

∙ Water vapor (H2O)

∙ Methane (CH4)

o CO2 and CH4 are two of the Greenhouse Gases which help  absorb and reflect long wave or terrestrial radiation (heat  energy) emitted by the Earth which helps regulate surface  temperatures

o Water vapor (also a Greenhouse Gas) is quite variable  throughout the atmosphere

 Ranges from about 4% by volume in tropical areas to  <1% in some deserts

 It is the source material for cloud formation and  


 It also absorbs radiant energy and helps regulate  

surface temperatures and is important in energy  

transfer within the atmosphere

 Water is the only substance found in all 3 states (solid,  liquid and gas)

o Carbon Dioxide, methane, water vapor and nitric oxides are all  known as the “Greenhouse Gases”

∙ Ozone: concentrated in the Stratosphere (10-50km above the  surface) in amounts of <.00005% by volume of the atmosphere o It is not a Greenhouse Gas but it does absorb damaging  ultraviolet (UV) radiation coming from the Sun

o It is important because it helps block out some of the UV  radiation (harmful to living organisms) and helps regulate  surface temperatures

o Ozone Hole: around the Earth’s Polar regions and is a  seasonal depletion of ozone in the stratosphere

 Thought to be caused by increased amounts of  

chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) in the stratosphere because the chlorine atom of the CFC molecule has been shown  to break apart ozone molecules

 Some research suggests that a 1% loss of O3 leads to a  2% increase in UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface ∙ Some consequences of less ozone:

o Increased amounts of UV radiation reach the  

Earth’s surface which can lead to:

 Increased cases of human skin cancer  

and cataracts

 Increased damage to other animals  

and to plants

 Increased energy reaching the  

Earth’s surface and this increased  

surface temperatures

∙ Vertical Structure of the Atmosphere:

o Important aspects of the atmosphere:

 Air pressure:

∙ At sea level the average pressure is 1013mb or  

1kg above every cm2 or 29.92in of mercury

∙ Air pressure increases with decreasing height

∙ Regarding volume, 50% of the atmosphere is  

below 5.6km (~3.36mi) and 90% of the  

atmosphere is below 16km (~9.6mi)

 Temperature:  

∙ Measure of the degree of hotness or coldness of a  


o Temperature may increase or decrease with  

changing altitude in the atmosphere

o In the troposphere it normally decreases with

an increase in altitude at an average rate of  

6.5°C/km, but as the temperature increases  

with altitude its called a temperature  


o Any change in temperature with a change in  

altitude is termed a Temperature Lapse Rate

∙ Layers of the Atmosphere:

o Two general regions based on their chemical composition 1. Homosphere: the area of uniform chemical  

composition in the lower atmosphere

 Surface to 80-100 km (50-63mi) altitude

2. Heterosphere: the area of non-uniform chemical  composition in the upper atmosphere (above the  


o There are also 4 layers delineated by temperature changes: 1. Troposphere: where temperature usually decreases  with increasing altitude from the surface to an average  altitude of 8-10mi

o This is where almost all weather takes place

2. Stratosphere: where temperature stays constant or  increases with altitude  

o It lies above the troposphere to an altitude of  

about 50km (31mi) and contains the ozone layer  

which is the heating element for this layer

3. Mesosphere: shows a temperature decrease with  increasing altitude between ~50-80km (31-50mi)

4. Thermosphere: the top layer and where the  

temperature increases dramatically with altitude

o The area of the atmosphere where the aurora  

borealis and aurora australis occur (Northern and  

Southern Lights)

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