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GLY 102, Week 2 of Notes

by: Nicole Shaughnessy

GLY 102, Week 2 of Notes GLY 102

Marketplace > University at Buffalo > Geology > GLY 102 > GLY 102 Week 2 of Notes
Nicole Shaughnessy

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These are the notes and material covered in the last week.
Climate Change
Jason Briner
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Nicole Shaughnessy on Sunday January 31, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to GLY 102 at University at Buffalo taught by Jason Briner in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 37 views. For similar materials see Climate Change in Geology at University at Buffalo.


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Date Created: 01/31/16
Our Atmosphere  What causes climate change? 1. Our atmosphere 2. Plate tectonics- long term effects 3. Short term causes  Geologic evidence clearly indicates relative long-term climate stability that has allowed liquid H2O to exist for most of geologic history. An example of this evidence is fossils and glacial evidence.  The concentration of greenhouse gases, particularly CO2, is important for global climate regulation.  The CO2 Cycle- with sources and sinks  Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide- increases with the growth of plants in Spring and Summer.  Long-Term Climate Change  Plate tectonics play and important role in regulating atmospheric CO2 and therefore, climate.  Geographic arrangement of continents  Amount of volcanic activity; increased Mid-Cretaceous Volcanic  Flood Basalt Volcanism- releases large amounts of gas  Uplift of Large Mountain Ranges (Himalayas, Tibetan plateau)- exposure of large volume of crust increases chemical weathering and lowers CO2 levels  Short-Term Causes  Ice Age: 1. 30% of the planet’s surface was covered by ice 2. Global sea level was 350 ft. lower than today 3. Northern NY was covered by 1 km. thick ice sheet  Cold Glaciations and Warm Inter-Glaciations  Orbital parameters of Earth around the sun  Changes in the tilt and the eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit  Solar activity  Sunspot Cycle- found by Galileo, goes up and down on an 11-year period  Volcanism  Mt. Pinatubo, 1991: the gases released went past the troposphere and into the stratosphere and lowered the Earth’s temperature for about two years.  Greenhouse Effect  Climate will be cooler without greenhouse gases  The Atmosphere 1. Composition of the atmosphere 2. Vertical structure of the atmosphere 3. Atmospheric circulation  Earth’s Atmospheric Composition  An air (mixed gases), aerosols and dust.  99% of atmospheric gases extend only 30 km above Earth’s surface  Most of our weather occurs within the first 10 to 15 km  What’s air made of?  Nitrogen  Oxygen  Argon  A small sliver of others: Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Ozone, etc.  Water vapor, aerosols, dust, pollutants  Earth’s atmosphere over time  1 : dominantly hydrogen and helium; leaked into space  2 : Generated after Earth formed  Volcanic degassing  Meteors  Appearance of life and adding of oxygen  Vertical Structure of the Atmosphere  Troposphere  Temperature decreases with height – 10 degrees Celsius per km (depends on humidity)  Most of our weather occurs within the troposphere, and water vapor is here  Heating from below- re radiated heat from Earth’s surface  Varies in height around the globe, higher at equator and lower at the poles  The tropopause separates the troposphere from the stratosphere, creates anvil clouds  Stratosphere  Temperature inversion (warmer over colder air)  Ozone plays a major part in heating the air by absorbing UV radiation from the sun  Prevents and intense flux of UV radiation from reaching eath’s surface  Air flow is mostly horizontal and smoother  Mesosphere  Middle atmosphere- air thin, low pressure (just enough atoms for meteors to start burning up)  Air quite cold near the top  Thermosphere  Hot layer- absorb energy from solar rays  Aurora zone- solar energy ionizes molecules  Exosphere  Temperature vs. Altitude: depending on the layer you are in, it gets colder or warmer as you go up  Lapse rate: change in temperature with altitude  Influences on Temp:  Abiatic cooling: Air cools 6-10 degrees Celsius per km in altitude, due to pressure drop (therefore, higher pressure warms air)  Solar heating: above the tropopause, solar radiation directly heats the air  Pauses: where temperature gradients change  Atmospheric Circulation  The rotation of the Earth changes the flow of the air  Landmasses also effect the flow  The Coriolis Effect:  Different deflection in the northern vs. southern hemisphere  Defection to right in north  Deflection to right in southern  A low pressure system means the air is flowing towards you, the Coriolis makes it spin counter clockwise in the Northern hemisphere  The magnitude of the Coriolis Effect changes with latitude, based on Earth’s circumference, will be stronger at higher latitudes  The effect is zero at the Equator  Hurricane tracks are indicators of circulation, no hurricanes at the Equator  Global Wind Patterns  Winds named for the direction the come from  Air converges at the equator because of the Coriolis Effect  ITCZ- Intertropical Convergence Zone- the easterly trade winds of both hemispheres meet at this area near the equator  This zone is not always at the equator because of seasons and the distribution of land and water  Doldrums: an area of low pressure occurring where the trade winds meet along the equator. Winds here are usually calm or very light  Horse latitudes: these are located mostly over the oceans, at about 30 degrees latitude in both of the hemispheres


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