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Biology 1012 Life: The Natural World Week 3, Chapter 3 Notes

by: Madison Lovegren

Biology 1012 Life: The Natural World Week 3, Chapter 3 Notes Biol 1012

Marketplace > University of Northern Iowa > Biology > Biol 1012 > Biology 1012 Life The Natural World Week 3 Chapter 3 Notes
Madison Lovegren

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About this Document

Important concepts from the textbook
Life: The Natural World
Barton L Bergquist
Class Notes
Biology, EARTH, climate
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Madison Lovegren on Tuesday September 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Biol 1012 at University of Northern Iowa taught by Barton L Bergquist in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 29 views. For similar materials see Life: The Natural World in Biology at University of Northern Iowa.


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Date Created: 09/06/16
Chapter 3 ­ Climate Section 3.1 ­ Earth Intercepts Solar Radiation The Steps  Solar radiation (energy emitted) travels through space and reaches Earth’s atmosphere o The energy emitted depends on the object’s temperature, so the hotter the  object, the more energy emitted and the shorter the wavelength (shortwave  radiation) o The sun would give off shortwave radiation, while the Earth’s surface is much  cooler, so it gives off longwave radiation  The solar radiation heats the land and oceans, which in turn emit longwave radiation  back to the atmosphere  The atmosphere can only allow a small part of this energy to pass through into space  In turn, much of this energy is radiated back to Earth, which produces the greenhouse  effect 3.2 ­ Intercepted Solar Radiation Varies Seasonally  Amount of solar radiation taken in at any point on Earth’s surface varies with latitude o At higher latitudes, radiation hits at a steeper angle, which spreads sunlight out  over a larger area o Radiation that penetrates the atmosphere at a steep angle must travel through a  deeper layer of air, therefore the area is not as warm  Areas near equator receive greatest amount of radiation (are warmer), while higher  latitudes are colder (the poles)  Also, due to the Earth being tilted on its axis, parts of Earth receive seasonal differences  in solar radiation o This is how some parts of the Earth are cold when at the same time in a different  place, there are places that are hot o Also plays into how the seasons change 3.3 ­ Air Temperature Decreases with Altitude  As you climb upward, the mass of air above us decreases, pressure declines as well o The atmosphere gets thinner the higher you go Environmental lapse rate: rate at which temperature decreases with altitude  Since heat rises, as a volume of air rises, the decreasing pressure causes it to expand  and cool, which is why the top of a mountain can have snow even in a warm  environment Adiabatic cooling: decrease in air temperature through expansion, not through heat loss in the  surrounding atmosphere Adiabatic lapse rate: rate of temperature change with elevation 3.4 ­ Air Masses Circulate Globally  The spin of Earth on its axis deflects air and water currents to the right in the Northern  Hemisphere, and to the left in the Eastern Hemisphere (the Coriolis Effect)  Three cells of global air flow occur in each hemisphere o Hadley cell o Polar cell o Ferrel cell 3.5 ­ Solar Energy, Wind, and Earth’s Rotation Create Ocean Currents  The global pattern of winds and the Coriolis Effect cause ocean current patterns  Each ocean is dominated by 2 great circular water motions (gyres)  These gyres move clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the  Southern Hemisphere 3.6 ­ Temperature Influences the Moisture Content of Air Latent heat: the amount of energy released or absorbed during a change of state  When going from a more ordered state to a less ordered state, energy is absorbed  When going from a less ordered to a more ordered state, energy is released Evaporation: when water transforms from a liquid into a gaseous state Condensation: water vapor transforms into a liquid state Vapor pressure: amount of pressure water vapor exerts independent of the pressure of dry air Saturation vapor pressure: maximum amount of moisture the air can hold at any given  temperature Relative humidity: amount of water in the air expressed as a percentage of the maximum  amount the air could hold at a given temperature Dew point temperature: temperature at which saturation vapor pressure is achieved 3.7 ­ Precipitation Has a Distinctive Global Pattern  Wind, temperature, and ocean currents make global precipitation patterns Intertropical Convergence Zone: narrow region near the Equator where the trade winds meet,  high precipitation 3.8 ­ Topography Influences Regional and Local Patterns of Precipitation  As an air mass reaches a mountain, it becomes saturated with water vapor and releases much of the moisture on the windward side of the mountain  This is rain shadow ­ when a windward side of a mountain supports more vegetation  than the leeward side of the mountain o On the leeward side of a mountain, dry, desert­like conditions can exist 3.9 ­ Irregular Variations in Climate Occur at the Regional Scale Irregular variations in the trade winds contribute to periods of unusually warmer waters off cost  of western South America  This is referred to as the El Nino­Southern Oscillation, a global even from large­scale  interaction between the atmosphere and the ocean  La Nina ­ when cold water is more intense than usual, cools the surface of the eastern  Pacific 3.10 ­ Most Organisms Live in Microclimates  The actual climatic conditions that organisms live in varies a lot within one climate Microclimates: local variations which define the conditions organisms live in  These microclimates reflect topography (physical features of the land), vegetative cover,  as well as exposure to solar radiation  Angles of solar radiation cause differences between north­facing and south­facing  slopes, whether on mountains, sand dunes, etc. o South­facing sides are always warmer and drier than north­facing sides, which  are cooler and have more moisture


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