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CORNELL / Science / EAS 1540 / What refers to the compensation light level?

What refers to the compensation light level?

What refers to the compensation light level?


School: Cornell University
Department: Science
Course: Introductory Oceanography
Professor: B monger
Term: Fall 2015
Cost: 50
Name: Final Exam Study Guide!
Description: The first part is just the first two prelims summed up. The second part is all of Unit 3 condensed. The main thing to take away from this unit is that humans caused our current situation and it is up to YOU to fix it! Best of luck!!
Uploaded: 12/14/2015
16 Pages 16 Views 31 Unlocks

Aaron Lind (Rating: )

Why didn't I know about this earlier? This notetaker is awesome, notes were really good and really detailed. Next time I really need help, I know where to turn!

Oceanography Study Guide:

What refers to the compensation light level?

red=NEED to know

(The first 10 pages of this study guide are all the answers from Prelims 1 + 2) 1/3 of the Final will be questions from Prelims 1 & 2 

Prelim 1: 

It’s been roughly 15 billion years since the big bang

Our Solar system formed about 4.6 billion years ago

Stars form when cold hydrogen and helium (and sometimes other heavy  elements) condense under gravity to form very large masses that generate  great internal pressure and temperatures ignite thermonuclear fusion to  produce, among other things, visible light and heat energy.

The carbon atoms in your body were originally formed inside a star! ^YOU ARE MADE OF STARDUST!!

Why do whales use sound?

How the Moon was formed:

A giant, Mars-sized asteroid knocked into Earth, giving it the 23 degree axis  is has today

If you want to learn more check out plural executive in texas

Global Warming is the Earth’s mid-life crisis. Right now the Earth is about 4  billion years old and has roughly 4 billion years of life left. The sun will burn  out after about 4 billion more years and then, before dying, its outer layer will expand beyond the orbit of the earth and completely incinerate the earth  back to dust.

What is copernicus transformation?

Don't forget about the age old question of make me o lord thy spinning wheel complete

If you were on a boat at 10N and 30W,

you would be in the Atlantic Ocean.



Latitude is the degree from the equator

to any given lateral line

(with the globe center as the center point)

Longitude is the degree from the prime meridian (London) to any given  vertical line (with the globe center as the center point)

The earliest known fossil is aChemical fossil We also discuss several other topics like uconn psych

Life on earth transitioned from being

just simple prokaryotic organisms in the ocean to more complex eukaryotic  organisms about 2 billion years ago.

The Cambrian Explosion occurred about 550 million years ago.  

Mammals began to rise to greater prominence/became the dominant large  animals on earth 65 million years ago (after the meteor).

Mass extinctions:

• typically clear niche space and allow previously minor groups of  organisms to fill the space and become prominent components of the  global biota (just like 65 million years ago)

• there have been 5 mass extinction events in the geologic past • humanity is now powerful enough to cause a mass extinction event If you want to learn more check out nsg 320 class notes

Earth’s outer crust is thin, rigid, and floats on higher density mantle

The symmetric banding of magnetic anomalies as you move away from a mid ocean ridge axis is really a proxy for the symmetrical increase in age of ocean  crust as you move away from the ridge axis.

^Magnetic anomalies are a proxy measure of geologic time - each anomaly  can be assigned a specific geologic date. (proves to us that new crust is  formed from the bottom and spreads out to the sides.) We also discuss several other topics like whimmm

Continents will continue to move and will eventually all collide again to form  a new super continent. [When continents repeatedly break apart and collide together, it’s known as the Wilson Rock Cycle. (Pangaea to individual  continents to Pangaea again).]

1. Divergent Boundary (when plates move apart)



examples include: Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Red Sea.

When ocean crust collides with continental crust, the ocean crust slides  underneath because it’s only slightly lighter than the mantle, while the continents are much lighter than mantle.

An example of ocean crust colliding with an  

ocean crust is the Japanese Islands.

When India collided with Eurasia, it did not

slip back down into the mantle because the  If you want to learn more check out ori rodriguez

continental crust of the Indian Continent is  

too buoyant to sink into the mantle.

Ocean sediment cores can record these Earth processes over millions of years: • Ocean Temperature

• Ocean Productivity

• Large Volcanic Events

• Ice Ages and Iceberg Formation

Siliceous and Calcerous oozes are typically found in biologically productive  open-ocean regions.

Scientists obtained information about past ocean temperatures from  sediment cores using chemical isotope ratios of the fossil shells.  

A wave crest moving across the ocean surface is an important mechanism by  which energy is propagated across large distances (not mass!!)

A bunch of waves with a 25-meter wavelength (deep) and a bunch of waves  with a 1-meter wavelength (shallow) propagate southward out from under a  big storm system in the Gulf of Alaska. The 25-meter wave will reach Hawaii  first!

Wave energy gets focused on the headland and spreads out in an embayment as it approaches a coastline.

There are strong laws and regulations against building rock walls/jetties that  extend outward from a beach and into the ocean on someone’s private  property because it could block longshore transport of sand and shrink an  adjacent property owner’s beach.

If you’re ever caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore for 10-20 meters.  Then swim back to shore and call Bruce!!!

Wind Speed sets the maximum upper limit on

ocean wave height.

The definition of wind fetch = the unobstructed

distance over which the wind blows

Oceanographers decide that a tsunami has been

generated by the detection of a passing tsunami wave using moored buoys that are fitted with bottom pressure sensors and can detect small change in  sea-surface height as the tsunami wave passes overhead

If you ignored a tsunami warning and went to the beach you would be a sad,  stupid, and pathetic idiot

Other than gravity, the centrifugal force is the other key player involved with  the creation of the two tidal bulges that make up the tides.

If you went down to the beach on Saturday at 5:00am to dig clams at low tide,  in order to catch the same low tide to dig more clams, you would need to go  down to the beach on Sunday at 5:50am. Remember, the tide is 50 min  slower.

To get all three daily tidal patterns (diurnal, semi-diurnal, and mixed semi diurnal) on earth you need two tidal bulges and a lunar orbit at 28 degrees  from the equator.

If you are on the beach and the moon is full, then the tide range is  exceptionally large.

We get rotary tides because the continents block the propagation of the tidal  wave and the Coriolis force acts on the tidal wave.

There is almost zero tidal range in Hawaii because it is near an amphodromic  point.

There is an exceptionally large tidal range in the Bay of Fundy because tidal  forcing is at resonant frequency for the bay’s length.

The Westerlies are a global surface wind pattern that is contained within the  30-60 degree latitude band.

The pattern of atmospheric pressure at sea level (sea level pressure) that  alternates with latitude between low and high levels and the Coriolis force both are needed to explain the three main wind bands on Earth.

The ocean’s mixing depth is shallower in the summer because warm surface  waters in summer are very buoyant and buoyant surface waters cannot be  mixed downward very easily by the wind. Remember the beach ball analogy  Bruce used.

The Ekman Transport is the movement of a relatively thin slab of ocean  surface water (50-100meters deep) in response to wind forcing. This slab  moves exactly to the right or left of the direction of the wind in the northern  or southern hemisphere, respectively.

Fully developed Geostrophic Currents move along lines of constant pressure.

The mound of surface water in the middle of a subtropical gyre is formed by Trade Winds and the Westerly winds that drive the Ekman Layer towards  the center of the subtropical gyre.

When the surface waters mound up in the center of the subtropical gyre in  the northern hemisphere, it creates a center of pressure under the mounded  water. The response of the water below the mound is to move out away from  the high pressure at first, but then to turn until it moves along lines of  constant pressure in a clockwise direction around the center of high pressure.

Vertical upwelling of deep water along the Equator is caused by divergence of  the Ekman Layer that is driven by the trade winds.

If the wind is blowing from the south along the west coast of the USA, then  the Ekman Layer would move onshore.

The main water masses in the ocean interior are identified based on  temperature and salinity signatures.

The speeds of deep currents are determined by measuring the rate of  decrease in the abundance of 14C (a radioactive form of carbon) in deep-ocean  seawater.

It takes about 2000 years for deep ocean water that sinks in the north  Atlantic to make its way down around the Southern Ocean and up into the  deep north Pacific.  

Oceanographers care so much about the conveyor belt circulation because it  moves a lot of heat away from the equator to higher latitudes to moderate  temperatures at both low and high latitudes. (contributes to melting of the  polar ice caps)

Prelim 2:  


Net Primary Production is the difference between CO2 gained through  photosynthesis and CO2 lost through respiration.

The compensation light level refers to the light level where photosynthesis  and respiration are equal.

Nitrogen, phosphorous, silica, and iron are the principle nutrients studied by  oceanographers because they are the elements that, from time to time, can be  in short supply and limit the growth of phytoplankton.

Subtropical gyres have low levels of primary production per square meter  because there is a persistent lens of warm low-nutrient surface water that  depresses the thermocline and associated nutricline.

Trade winds that force the Ekman Layer divergence in combination with a  relatively shallower thermocline in the eastern equatorial Pacific (off Peru)  causes primary production along the equator to be high in the eastern equatorial Pacific and low in the western equatorial Pacific.

Enhanced tidal mixing over shallow continental shelf regions account for  year-round high levels of primary production in coastal regions.

The Critical Depth= depth to which phytoplankton can mix whereby the time  they spend below the compensation depth losing carbon just balances the  time they spend above the compensation depth gaining carbon and resulting  in net primary production over the course of the day being zero.

50% of the oxygen you breathe each day comes from the ocean. Aka, 50% of  global primary production takes place in the ocean.

To make sense of all organisms that make up pelagic communities,  oceanographers classify organisms into broad groups based on: • Autotrophic

• Heterotrophic

• Body size

Exploitation Efficiency of the copepod community that has just come out of  winter diapaus (hibernation) at the start of the North Atlantic spring  phytoplankton bloom is expected to be low


Main reason coastal upwelling regions have much higher amounts of  harvestable fish production each year is because of….

• Close to fishing port cities and are therefore efficiently harvested • Have largest number of trophic steps between primary production +  harvestable fish

• Upwelled waters are colder so fish mature more slowly and thus grow  larger before reaching adulthood


Walker Circulation Cell in transition from normal to El Nino conditions slows  down or reverses

The Cold Tongue (cold sea surface temperature along the equator) becomes  less cold and shrinks back towards Peru in the eastern Pacific during El Nino  conditions.

Global average temperature during an El Nino year rises pretty dramatically.

The effects of El Nino conditions in the Pacific can be transmitted to the far  reaches of the globe by variation in the position of the Jet Stream in the  atmosphere.

A pelagic environment that has naturally very low plant nutrient is called  Oligotrophic and can be found in vast subtropical gyres.

Growth requirements for heterotrophic bacteria ???? need dissolved organic  matter.

Prochlorococcus is the main contributor to primary production in open-ocean  oligotrophic environments. It’s also a type of autotrophic bacteria.

Biological Carbon Pump is at its most efficient in Eutrophic conditions (high  nutrient conditions).

As a general rule, carbon is found to be efficiently recycled in a given pelagic  ecosystem, nitrogen is also efficiently recycled.

Competition with other species or predation by other species typically sets  the lower limit in the vertical elevation of a given species living in the rocky  intertidal.

Some sort of intermediate physical disturbance such as a drift log smashing  on the rocks, or big storm waves crashing on the rocks, wipes the rock clean  and restarts the whole process of competition among all species. This  prevents single rocky intertidal species from eventually out-competing all  other species and becoming the only species in the rocky intertidal.

Exceptionally warm coastal waters is an underlying environmental factor  thought to be causing the massive starfish die-off from Alaska to Baja  California.

Kelp forest declines when sea otters are removed.

60-90% of coral’s overall nutrition comes from their Zooxanthellae symbionts.

Coral bleaching occurs as a result of the breakdown in symbiotic relationship between the coral and its Zooxanthellae.

Coral bleaching begins when normal ocean temperatures are increased by  about 1oC for a few weeks.

A wolf comes closest to representing the earliest form of whale (Pakicetus).

Whale vocalizations can be used for:

• Prey detection

• Communication

• Sexual selection

• Navigation

A bar of written music is a reasonable analogy for a Spectogram that whale  researchers use to visualize the pattern of whale vocalization.

Professor Christopher Clark thinks ambient noise from commercial ship  traffic may be the greatest threat to whale population survival.

Norway, Iceland, and Japan are currently hunting whales in large numbers.  Viruses can often play a positive role in pelagic ecosystems.

Viruses vary as a fixed proportion of the abundance of bacteria so they are  high near the ocean surface and low at great depth.

In order for a viral infection to propagate, the host must be highly abundant (i.e. during a large phytoplankton bloom) and the viruses must be in high  abundance in order to overcome the high probability of viral decay due to  destructive enzymes in seawater.

Professor Ian Hewson recently discovered the type of virus that is causing the  die-off of starfish along the west coast of the USA.

H-bonds and Thermal-Kinetic Energy are the two opposing forces/energies that determine the three phases of water (solid, liquid, and gas).

If you added an equal amount of heat energy to the ocean, atmosphere, and  land, the ocean would experience the smallest temperature change.

93% if excess heat that accumulates in the earth system as a result of  human-caused greenhouse gas emissions has been taken up by the ocean.

When winds blow over the surface ocean to cause evaporative cooling, the  heat that leaves the ocean surface is then transferred from the ocean to the  atmosphere as latent heat in the form of atmospheric water vapor.

If you have 1000-gram sample of seawater that has a salinity of 34%o, and  you boiled away all of the water, 34 grams would still remain. (34/1000)

The surface ocean salinity is typically the highest in the subtropical gyres.

Conveyor belt circulation explains, in part, why nitrate and phosphate  concentrations in the deep oceans are low in the deep North Atlantic and  high in the deep North Pacific.

Oxygen concentration reaches a minimum level just below the sunlit layer (euphotic zone) of the ocean because microbial respiration fueled by dead  organic material raining down from above consumes oxygen down to low levels.

The concentration of oxygen will decline in response to global warming n the  oxygen minimum zone.

CO2 is high in the deep ocean because microbial consumption of organic  matter and associated respiration produces CO2.

CO2 would diffuse out of the ocean if deep water were brought up to the  surface an into contact with the atmosphere.

The ocean has taken up about 30% of the total CO2 emitted by fossil carbon  emissions since the star of the industrial era.

Coral reef growth will begin to decline/stop and polar seas will be corrosive to  calcium carbonate shells of marine plankton within a matter of decades as a  result of ocean acidification.

Unit 3: Climate Change 

2/3 of the Final will be questions on this material 

To figure out if an organism is Autotrophic or Heterotrophic, simply ask  whether or not it has chlorophyll. Yes???? autotroph. No???? heterotroph.

Two major types of Methane:

• Methane formed in rock  

formations over  

geological time frame  

• Methane formed by  

decomposition of organic  

matter by bacteria in  

absence of oxygen


Controlling methane is critical to the solution!!

Climate is stable to a point, but rapid, radical change can tip it over the edge!

Natural gas is not the solution!

Natural gas is mostly methane.

Methane is much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, so even small emissions matter.

When it comes to ocean pollution, Nitrogen and Phosphorus are both  detrimental to aquatic ecosystems. Phosphorus is a bigger problem in  freshwater lakes.


P is major cause of eutrophication in lakes

 N is major cause of eutrophication in coastal marine ecosystems  

Critical N:P ratio for needs of phytoplankton = 16:1 (Redfield ratio)  

Climate influences N pollution from the landscape – wetter climates deliver  more nitrogen pollution to the coast. Climate also influences the sensitivity of  coastal ecosystems to N pollution.  

Dead zone= great lakes

Pasta > Burgers


Coastal nutrient pollution

(particularly nitrogen) is a

severe problem. Nitrogen

comes from many sources,

but agriculture dominates


Technical solutions exist, including some that are relatively inexpensive.  Policy considerations of diet (meat, overconsumption) and energy (liquid  biofuels!) are critical.  

High quality science is essential to understanding and solving the problem.  

Coral bleaching is loss of symbiotic algae usually from heat stress Most of corals’ food comes from photosynthesis  

Because of this, Elkhorn coral, once the commonest coral in the Caribbean,  has now been added to the endangered species list!

• El Nino 2015-16 is already a big warming event

• Coral bleaching and disease will increase with this event, thus  endangering sustainability of these ecosystems  

• Other surprising outbreaks, like the sea star epidemic, might also  increase

Two fundamental types of Geoengineering:

1. Solar Radiation Management (SRM) - Altering the Earth's radiation budget to affect temperatures directly; a climate intervention approach.  2. Carbon Dioxide Reduction (CDR) - extracting CO2 from atmosphere and  storing it elsewhere; a CO2 remediation approach.

Carbon Dioxide Reduction:

Carbon dioxide reduction refers to the

extraction of carbon dioxide from the

atmosphere and its long-term storage

underground, in the ocean, in the

terrestrial biosphere, or in the built


LOL no


year in global  


2000-2010 -


decade in  

global record.

2012 - warmest  

year in the US  


2015 - on track  

for warmest  

year in global  


Warming in the Pipeline: Ocean has absorbed most of the heat from  greenhouse warming over the past 50 years, and as it equilibrates with the  atmosphere, the atmosphere’s temperature will rise.

“Hurricane” (Superstorm)  

Sandy was a hybrid storm

formed from convergence  

of tropical hurricane and  

extra-tropical storm  


^Changed the politics of

global climate change;  

politicians were once again  

willing to talk about it.

Sustainable Development  


Development that meets  

the needs of the present  

generation without  

compromising the ability  

of future generations to meet their own needs.

Review of Unit 3: 

The ecological footprint expresses how much of nature's renewable  

bioproductive capacity is currently being appropriated.  

SO if the ecological footprint (area) resulting from consumption by the entire  global population exceeds the actual area of the planet, then we are  withdrawing more from earth than earth can replenish…

The UN estimates that humanity’s total Ecological Footprint is now 1.6  planet Earths. UN scenarios also show that if our current consumption  trends continue, by 2030 we’ll need two Earths to support humanity.

Human Population Growth We reached 7-billion in 2011 and we are expected  to add another billion by 2024!

Sea level rise since Industrial Era:

IPCC* 5 report that came out about a year ago has placed the expected rise to 1 meter above pre-industrial level by the end of this century…

Many scientists now think the arctic summers will be completely ice-free by  2030!

1. With business as usual rates of CO2 emissions ocean acidity will increase  by 170% by the end of the century  

2. Within decades polar oceans will be corrosive to unprotected calcareous  shells of marine organisms  

3. Within decades tropical coral reef growth will be hampered or stopped  altogether.  

4. The far-reaching effects of ocean acidification are predicted to impact food  webs

5. People who rely on the ocean’s ecosystem services are especially vulnerable  and may need to adapt or cope with ocean acidification impacts within  decades.

We have 500 Gt (1015 grams) of CO2 remaining while still keeping the planet  surpassing the 2 oC warming above the pre-industrial level that is thought to  be “safe”.

We have two options:

1. Keep emitting at 50 Gt per year for 20 years (if the oceans and land takes up 50%) and then go instantly to zero?

2. Slow down emissions starting now and make the 500 Gt last a bit  longer while we switch to a zero carbon emission society.

The Millennium Ecosystem  

Assessment Report, 2005:

It provides an assessment on the  

state of the planet's health. It  

was five years in the making. It  

was put together by about 390  

experts and peer-reviewed by an  

additional 1000 experts.

The bottomline is that solving  

the global emissions problem  

MUST address the emission of  

China and India for the climate  

change issue will be solved.

“Copernicus Transformation” ???? the idea of convincing humans that they are  not separate from nature (not the center of the universe), but rather just one  part of nature does not seem too far fetched to me

There are about 20 slides just telling you that YOU can make a difference, so  don’t forget that!!

Good luck!!

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