Earth Science - Exam 1
Earth Science - Exam 1
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Date Created: 10/08/14
Environmental Science 1 Scientific method Consists of making observations formulating questions stating a hypothesis generating predictions testing predictions and analyzing results 2 Hypotheses amp Theories Hypothesis A testable prediction about what is expected to happen Driven science uses the steps of the scientific method to answer ques ons Theory A wellestablished principle that has been developed to explain some aspect 3 Components of experiments Experimental control system 0 Independent variables The variable we are in control of 0 Dependent variables The variable we are measuring Replication of the experiment 0 No reproducibility in many cases in the real world limited resources 4 Scientific models 0 A computer program that models information The results we get from it are our predictions We analyze data using the plotted graph 5 World population growth amp its effects 0 Contributed to famine disease and conflict 0 Depletes resources stresses social systems and degrades the natural environment resulting in a decline in the quality of our life 6 Sustainable development Trial of growing economy and higher standards of living for us and the people around us in a way that will not deplete Earth s resources May not be achievable but we try and minimize damages Ozone Depletion 1 Ozone and UV radiation How does ozone affect UV There is higher concentration of the ozone in the stratosphere Ozone absorbs UV light so the UV light that hits our Earth will decrease 0 Carbon dioxide doesn t affect the ozone to some extent 0 Halocarbon Generic term for a CFC 2 Ozone depletion Causes and consequences CFC s break apart and release chlorine atoms that react with the ozone creating ozone depletion Caused by human emissions to the atmosphere Each chlorine atom reacts with one oxygen atom from the ozone Equation Cl O from O3 ie ozone CIO O2 Thus ozone is depleted and only oxygen atoms which allow UV rays to pass through are left 3 Ozone hole When where and what is it Each spring a large hole in the stratospheric ozone layer forms most severely over Antarctica due to the role Polar Stratospheric Coud s play in catalyzing the ozone construction reaction 4 Layers of the atmosphere Troposphere and stratosphere Troposphere The bottommost layer Where we live and the air pollution Stratosphere Ozone layer 5 Montreal Protocol What is this and what did it do An international treaty dealing with ozone depleting substances limiting them Paleoclimates amp Climate Change 1 Milankovitch cycles 0 Major climate changes caused by variations in the Earth s orbit Influence climates 2 Carbon cycles How do they enter into climate change A longterm cycle that results in rocks and volcanic eruptions A cycle that takes carbon out of the atmosphere and puts it in the ocean resulting in ocean circulation Biosphere Plants breathe carbon dioxide and water and make sugars carbohydrates Both plants and us decay and go back to carbon dioxide 0 More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means more plants to absorb it 3 Climate forcings Examples amp what each one does Carbon dioxide Causes global warming by trapping heat Surface albedos How much ice we have It is the reflectivity of the Earth s surface due to ice Cloud albedos Clouds intercept about 17 to 27 of Infrared Radiation which causes cooling 0 Aerosols Result in cooling of the Earth s atmosphere They are dust particles that block sunlight which increases albedo thus more reflectivity and more cooling Sun Major driver of the climate Several other greenhouse gases but not major Measurements don t show that output is increasing from the sun 4 Paleoclimate evidence Clues about past climate conditions are obtained from proxy indicators which are indirect form of evidence that can be used to infer climate 0 These include isotopic studies the study of tree rings pollen distribution and fossils 5 Isotopes What are they How are they used 0 An atom of a particular element that weighs a bit more since its nucleus is heavier Paleothermometers Used to estimate temperatures of the past 6 Greenhouse effect What causes it Why is it a concern The greenhouse effect is causes by greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide that absorb outgoing infrared radiation and heat up the atmosphere 0 It is causing the temperature of the atmosphere to go up which has implications such as sea level rising precipitation causing floods temperature rising causing droughts The trapping of the sun s heat in a lower atmosphere because of the greater transparency of the atmosphere to visible radiation from the sun than to infrared radiation emitted from the surface 7 Greenhouse gases How do they work Which are the major ones Greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere by absorbing and reemitting infrared radiation Carbon dioxide Come from burning fossil fuels and forests They are increasing and are absorbing heat from the peak Water Vapor It absorbs most of the heat Methane Come from agriculture like plants and animals They are going up in amount significantly Ozone Mostly in the stratosphere not much in the troposphere 8 Natural and anthropogenic sources of greenhouse gases Natural sources Volcanic eruptions ocean circulations decomposition Anthropogenic sources Coal burning plants exhaust of vehicles such as cars 9 Global climate models What are they A program that tries to model atmospheric circulation and climate An overall prediction of the weather the ocean circulation the ice and snow of land and the effect of the land on the atmospheric circulation Run on different levels like global or regional Divided up into several grids to help calculate what s going on in each little grid Wind will affect the grid beside it Grown in sophistication over years so they are becoming more accurate 10 Positive and negative feedbacks General concept amp examples In terms of climate positive is usually bad and negative is good One thing leading to another rather than causes and effect Positive increases resulting in heat while negative results in cooling Positive An effect occurs like increasing carbon dioxide which leads to a decrease in albedo which leads to more heat which leads to a bigger increase in temperature Negative An effect occurs like increasing carbon dioxide which leads to water evaporation which results in more clouds which leads to higher atmospheric albedo which leads to less heat 11 Effects of global warming More natural disasters occur which leads to a spread of diseases Sea level rise Melting of glaciers causes a rise in sea level which leads to loss of land area Precipitation Some areas will flood Temperature rising some areas will get warmer and dryer which leads to droughts That in turn leads to crops fish and livestock to diminish Aerosols are exacerbating the drought Clean Air Act reduced aerosol usagethough 12 Kyoto Protocol What is this and what did it do 0 An agreement between several countries under the UNFCCC that committed to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases 13 Reengineering Proposed solutions amp potential problems Carbon dioxide sequestration Separating carbon dioxide from sources and putting it in another place 0 Blocking sunlight and the albedo effect cool the Earth Air Pollution 1 Sources of air pollutants What type of pollution comes out of each source amp what are the effects of each pollutant Major indoor pollutants OutdoorAir pollutants Mobile source Car Exhausts releasing carbon monoxide for example Stationary source Coal burning plants 2 Primary and secondary pollutants 0 Primary pollutants are natural or manmade which are directly injected to the atmosphere CO Secondary pollutants form in the atmosphere through chemical and photochemical reactions from the primary pollutants ozone O3 3 Soot Sources and effects Soot is emitted by many sources including burning coal for electricity or industrial fuel manufacturing oil refining and motor vehicles Soot pollution is dangerous and kills people 4 Residence time The amount of time a chemical will remain in a system CFC s in the atmosphere have a long residence time decades Soot associated with soil has a short residence time since it will be washed away off the land from the rain 5 Air pollution control devices 0 Scrubbers A filter that goes on a factory or power plant and cleans emissions that are being released Catalytic Converters Usually put on cars turning carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons into carbon dioxide and water becoming nontoxic Radon Mitigation System Usually for basements not becoming too hot and instead ventilating to get fresh air 6 Acid rain Sources and consequences 0 Acid rain is caused by a chemical reaction that occurs when compounds are released into the air Tends to harm forest and aquatic ecosystems 7 Smog What is it and how does it form 0 Fog or haze combined with smoke or other pollutants 0 Industrial smog is produced by fossil fuel combustion and is still a problem in urban and industrial areas of any developing nations 0 Photochemical smog is created by chemical reactions of pollutants in the presence of sunlight It impairs visibility and human health in urban areas 8 Clean Air Act What did it do Set strict standards for air quality imposed limits on emissions and provided money for research 9 Thermal inversion Causes amp effects A heat issue including the inversion of temperature and density in the troposphere A weather related phenomena where the air above is warm and the air below is cool The cool air is denser so it doesn t seem to rise Sunshine turns primary pollutants into secondary pollutants 10 Major indoor air pollutants Tobacco smoke cigarettes pipes and cigars Result in heart attacks lung cancer and emphysema Radon naturally occurring Result in lung cancer Formaldehyde furniture and paneling Result in nasal and lung cancers Asbestos insulation Result in lung cancer and difficulty in breathing 11 Bioaccumulation Things accumulating in bodies What is an quotecological footprintquot A measure of the amount of people wanted on Earth What is meant by the term quotovershootquot It happens when a population is more than the capacity of the environment 0 What are the two meanings of quotsciencequot There is natural and social science Where is the ozone layer located It starts briefly in the troposphere but mainly in the bottom portion of the stratosphere Why is stratospheric ozone beneficial to living things The ozone blocks ultraviolet light which can have a negative effect on humans plants and animals 0 How do CFCs deplete stratospheric ozone 1 sentence simple answer CFC s break apart and release chlorine atoms that react with the ozone creating ozone depletion Why is ozone depletion a longterm problem What has been done to address ozone depletion 0 What is the difference between a primary pollutant and a secondary pollutant Give an example of each Primary pollutants are natural or manmade which are directly injected to the atmosphere CO Secondary pollutants form in the atmosphere through chemical and photochemical reactions from the primary pollutants ozone O3 0 How do weather and topography influence smog formation List 3 impacts of acid deposition Acidifies water bodies damages the nature and makes the decay of materials built faster 0 What is the main source of acid rain that falls on State College Coal burning plants and forests What are Milankovitch cycles Major climate changed caused by variations in the Earth s orbit 0 List 3 natural processes that affect the amount of carbon dioxide CO2 in the atmosphere Weathering release of volcanic carbon dioxide along mid ocean ridge systems and metamorphism of marine carbonate sediments 0 How do scientists study the ancient atmosphere a general term Give 2 examples Proxy records two examples are isotopes and ice core 0 Why do scientists think increasing CO2 in the atmosphere will warm the earth Since the industrial revolution correlation of carbon dioxide and temperature in ice core record observations of increasing carbon dioxide and temperature What are 2 likely negative impacts of increased global temperature Ice will melt and sea levels will rise 0 What are potential impacts of global warming on human health More natural disasters occur which leads to a spread of diseases What is the Greenhouse Effect The trapping of the sun s heat in a lower atmosphere because of the greater transparency of the atmosphere to visible radiation from the sun than to infrared radiation emitted from the surface 0 How do greenhouse gases warm the lower atmosphere They trap heat within the atmosphere so the more greenhouse gases present the more heat or warmth we will feel 0 What are some of the negative and positive feedback cycles that may affect future climate changes Positive An effect occurs like increasing carbon dioxide which leads to a decrease in albedo which leads to more heat which leads to a bigger increase in temperature Negative An effect occurs like increasing carbon dioxide which leads to water evaporation which results in more clouds which leads to higher atmospheric albedo which leads to less heat 0 Summarize the scientific data that global warming is occurring as a result of human activity Since the industrial revolution warming was shown in measurements of temperature Ice core and carbon dioxide measurements show that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased over that time because of industrial activity by humans 0 What is the difference between light visible and heat infrared radiation Extra credit Infrared radiation has longer wavelengths and lower frequency that visible light What is the Kyoto Protocol An agreement between several countries under the UNFCCC that committed to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases Describe one marketbased approach for reducing greenhouse gas emissions Provisions for carbon emissions trading program and incentives for carbon sequestration in agriculture and forestry Do you think it is a good idea to block sunlight to cool the Earth Yes because the less the sunlight that is hit on Earth the less the warming and heat No because our Earth needs sunlight for many things like plants I think it isn t a good idea unless its time to loose warming desperately What is the main hurdle to sequestering CO2 on a massive scale Implementing technologies that sequester carbon dioxide at an acceptable price on the scale necessary and infrastructure
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