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SYRACUSE / Science / EAR 111 / What is a system?

What is a system?

What is a system?


School: Syracuse University
Department: Science
Course: Climate Change Past and Present
Professor: J. proett, z. lu
Term: Summer 2015
Cost: 50
Name: EAR 111— Ocean and Atmospheric Circulation
Description: Chapters 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8. Past notes will connect with the topics on here.
Uploaded: 02/07/2020
7 Pages 4 Views 8 Unlocks

Exam 1 Study Guide

What is a system?

Chapter 1:

What is a system?—a reservoir, subsystem, and attribute

Human body system—different subsystems (skeletal, nervous, circulatory) Positive and negative couplings

Coupling–linkages between components

Positive → when one goes up, so does the other

Negative → when one goes up, one goes down

Albedo—how much reflectivity given off by a surface

Negative loops stabilize a system

Perturbation — a temporary disturbance, changing equilibrium within systems Ex: 1991 Mt. Pinatubo Eruption. Release material in the atmosphere and circle the globe.

Forcing — a persistent disturbance

● Increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration

● Modern urbanization

● Changes in the sun's luminosity through time (increasing)

Chapter 3:

Electromagnetic Radiation: (infrared, x-rays, etc)

Wavelength - the distance between the crests of the wave

What are the Positive and negative couplings?

Frequency - number of wave crests that pass a point per unit time

Longer wavelength=lower frequency

ER (electromagnetic radiation) has a characteristic of wavelength and frequency) Example: Visible light has wavelengths between 0.4 (blue) and 0.7 (red)

ER always travels at the speed of light

Photons that make up the wave can have different energies-- relates to frequency and wavelength

● Flux (F) = the amount of energy (or # of photons) per unit time that pass through a given area

● Measured in watts per square meter (W/m2)

● Think of it like amount of cars passing through a toll meter, cars per rate of the toll

Inverse square law = solar flux (sun’s energy per unit area) decreases with increasing distance

The Greenhouse Effect

● Greenhouses gases absorb infrared (longwave) radiation

What is Electromagnetic Radiation?

● Infrared radiation causes greenhouse gas molecules to rotate, vibrate, and collide ● Movement among molecules generate heat

Blackbody = an object that absorbs all the radiation that falls on it and re-emits it all back to space Don't forget about the age old question of bio 290

● Perfect absorber and emitter of radiation

Wein’s Law: Hotter bodies emit shorter wavelengths than cold bodies

Stefan-Boltzman Law: amount of energy emitted is the same by multiple bodies Blackbody radiation = the characteristic spectrum emitted by a blackbody

Earth’s Temperature depends on:

● Solar flux

● Earth’s reflectivity (albedo)

● Atmospheric composition (greenhouse gases)

Radiative Forcing: difference between insolation absorbed and energy radiated back to space

● Scientists use it to measure climate change

Clouds cool the earth by increasing albedo

● They’re also considered water vapor, which is a greenhouse gas that absorb and re-emit infrared radiation

Chapter 4:

Pressure – force per unit area of gas (or liquid) on a surface

Earth’s Atmosphere:

● Troposphere = where weather occurs

● Stratosphere = air gets warmer with altitude

● Mesosphere = temperature decreases with altitude Don't forget about the age old question of a firm that adopts an undifferentiated targeting strategy assumes that

Thermosphere (top layer) = temperature increases with altitude

● Absorption of shortwave UV radiation by O2

Mesosphere (second-most top) = temperature decreases with altitude ● Above the stratopause, both ozone and heating rate decrease

Buoyancy = tendency of an object to float in fluid

Density = mass over volume

● Hot air is less dense than cold air

Buoyancy and the Density of Air

● Upward motion of warm air = CONVECTION If you want to learn more check out oritsegbubemi ayu

● Downward motion of cool air = SUBSIDENCE

● Horizontal motion = ADVECTION

Pressure Gradient: wind flows from area of high to low pressure

Rising air diverges out, creates a circulation cell called a Hadley cell

From 30-60 latitude, another hadley cell is created by mixing warm and cold air=called Meridional Circulation

East-to-West Air Patterns

● Surface winds in the tropics are called ‘easterlies’

● Surface winds in the midlatitudes are called ‘westerlies’

○ They are named depending on which direction they’re coming from ● Surface winds in the mid-latitudes

Coriolis Effect

● Large-scale motions that tend to be deflected right in Northern Hemisphere ● Tend to be deflected left in the Southern Hemisphere

● Helps explain cyclones and anticyclones

● Earth rotates faster at the equator than it does at the poles, since it’s wider ● As air flows away from the equator, Earth’s rotation causes the streams to curve

Anticyclone = air flowing out of a high = descending air

Cyclones - air flowing in

● Air flows counterclockwise in North, clockwise in South

Jet Stream—geostrophic wind in the upper atmosphere

Monsoons: seasonal reversal of surface winds

Summer = high surface temps and low pressure on Tibetan Plateau

Winter = snow and high pressure on land

Orographic effect: Rain can occur when a moist body of air is forced upwards by a mountain Don't forget about the age old question of cfas 2300 ttu exam 1

Chapter 5

Ekman Transport

Gyre: water that circulates around a given area

● Ekman spiral—idea that coriolis effect with wind stress causes a deflection of 45 degrees towards the direction of the wind

● Each layer below moves 45 degrees above that with less energy

● Current above move more strongly than the ones below

● Net transport of water at 90 degrees away from the wind

○ Right in northern hem, left in southern hem

● The total net movement is the Ekman Transport

Atmospheric heating bottom up

● Heat is transferred to the atmosphere by evaporation, convection, and infrared radiation

Convergence and Divergence

● Convergence: Water flowing into one another (westerlies and easterlies) ○ currents move clockwise in the

○ downwelling, creates a little hill in water

● Divergence: water moving out from the Northern hemisphere areas

○ Currents move counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere

○ upwelling, creates a little divot in water

Thermohaline Circulation

● Warm salt water cools, becomes very cold and sinks

● Warm water carried towards poles via currents

● Can use radiocarbon to figure out the residence time of deep ocean water ● Radioactive carbon decays over time

○ As soon as carbon is not exchanged through the atmosphere, the water sinks ○ This helps scientists depict the age of the bottom water

Chapter 8

Carbon Cycle—Cycle in which carbon is exchanged between Earth system components: biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere If you want to learn more check out cod psychology meaning

● This cycle regulates the level of carbon dioxide in each component of the earth system (and the atmosphere in particular)

Carbon Reservoirs (in order from biggest to smallest)

● Lithosphere

● Ocean

● Soil

● Atmosphere

● Biosphere

Photosynthesis is how carbon is incorporated into living things

Carbon Dioxide from biomass gets carried via erosion/runoff to oceans, dissolves and gets converted into bicarbonate

The reverse of photosynthesis, respiration uses oxygen to break down carbohydrates to get energy

Seasonal variation between photosynthesis and respiration If you want to learn more check out kazuha watanabe

In between May and early fall, photosynthesis occurs a lot when there’s a lot of sunlight Friction: the closer to the ground the wind is, the slower the wind speed

● Carbon is returned to the atmosphere by methanogenesis.

● Methanogenesis–production of methane

● Carbon dioxide + methane = carbohydrate

● This happens at the bottom of lakes and in cow’s stomachs because no oxygen is involved

● The main difference between methanogenesis and respiration is the usage of oxygen

Chapter 6:


● includes glaciers and ice sheets on the land surface

● frozen lakes and rivers,

● sea ice on the oceans and frozen ground.

● Antarctica and Greenland are the largest sources of freshwater


● Permafrost is permanently frozen ground and is defined simply in terms of temperature ● Stays frozen all year round

● Ice wedges form through many processes

● Big chunks of reminiscent glaciers all over these regions

● Permafrost is considered present if the ground is freezing temperature or below ● Permafrost temperatures respond to decadal-scale climate changes ● Permafrost doesn’t decay after one season of summer, it would take long periods of weather change

Causes of Permafrost

● Talik—a layer of year-round unfrozen ground that lies in permafrost areas ● lake drainage and ponding occur

● Drunken forests— trees are slumped down and fall over

● Carbon feedback causes a greening of the arctic


● When snow persists through summer and accumulates over time

● Ice crystals fuse together, density increases

● Mountain glaciers form at high altitude

● Glacier size = balance between accumulation and ablation

● Glaciers gain mass from snowfall in the accumulation zone

● Glaciers lose mass in the ablation zone

○ Melting

○ Calving icebergs

○ sublimation

● Accumulation < ablation, it retreats

● Accumulation = ablation, decreases

● Accumulation > ablation, increases

● Equilibrium line moves up and down due to temperature

● Glaciers move under the influence of gravity

● Melting of glaciers will lead to sea level rise

● 70% of Earth’s freshwater in 10% of the land surface area

Rising ocean temperatures lead thermal expansion

Sea ice

● When ocean temperatures drop below freezing point

● Northern hem: 8.5 million km in summer

● Southern ocean: 4 million km2 in summer 20 million km in winter

● Sea ice moves by way of winds and ocean currents

● forms when the temperature of the ocean surface drops below the freezing point (about -l.8°C for typical ocean salinities)

● Affects ocean circulation, current patterns that have to move around the ice ● Clockwise circulation in the West…’

● constant production of new ice, thus releasing salt to the upper ocean and increasing the density of the surface layer.

● Sea ice albedo feedback : positive

● Sea Ice Heat Flux Feedback: positive

● Thermohaline circulation begins in the Earth's polar regions. When ocean water in these areas gets very cold, sea ice forms. The surrounding seawater gets saltier, increases in density and sinks.

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