GEO 101 Week 2 notes
GEO 101 Week 2 notes GEO 101LEC
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Anisha Karim on Monday September 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to GEO 101LEC at University at Buffalo taught by Bennett, S J in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 32 views.
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Date Created: 09/12/16
Week 1 Notes GEO 101 CHAPTER 2 Solar Energy ● Every second the sun provides us with energy equal to ten days of our demand ● Nonrenewable fossil fuel drives our economy but the solar energy industry is growing quickly ● Solar panels are very powerful; New technology is making them cheaper as well creating more usage and more jobs Electromagnetic Radiation ● Anything that possesses internal energy radiates this wave energy. It travels at the speed of light ● A wavelength is measured by the distance from one wave crest to the next; the strongest being the gamma rays and the shortest being the tv or radio. ● The shorter the wavelength= the hotter the object= more energy ● The longer the wavelength= the cooler the object= less energy ● Electromagnetic Spectrum ○ Shortwave (SW): energy ranging from 0.2 to 3 μm; ultraviolet, visible, infrared (emitted from the sun) ○ Longwave (LW): energy ranging from 3 to 5 μm (emitted from earth) ○ We are the optimal distance from the sun for life Insolation ● Daily insolation: flow rate of incoming solar energy measured at the top of the atmosphere. It depends on ○ Sunlight angle and day length ○ Circle of illumination which separates day and night ■ Equator always gets 12 hours of day ■ The poles always get either 24 or zero hours ■ Other latitudes have varying hours ● Sunlight is most direct at equator and oblique at distances. ● Seasonal Change ○ The earth revolves around the sun every 365.242 days ■ Travels counterclockwise in an ellipse ■ Perihelion is when the earth is closest to sun (this happens in the winter); more sun in the southern hemisphere ■ Aphelion is when the earth is farthest from the sun (this happens in the summertime) More sun in the northern hemisphere ○ Equinox: subsolar point falls on equator; circle of illumination passes through both poles; day and night equal length everywhere ○ Summer solstice: June 21/22 ○ Winter solstice: Dec 21/22 Atmosphere ● Earth’s environment by Latitude ○ Equatorial, tropical, subtropical, mid latitudes; polar ● Layers of the Atmosphere by Temperature ○ Troposphere: goes 11 miles up, temperature decreases with height ■ Tropopause: Contains the ozone layer; which keeps out most of the sun's harmful rays. Lies between the Troposphere and the stratosphere ○ Stratosphere: temperature increases with height ○ Mesosphere: Coldest near the top of this layer ○ Thermosphere: Hottest layer ● Composition of the Atmosphere ○ 97% of it is within 30km of the earth’s surface ○ Homosphere and Heterosphere permanent gases ■ 78% nitrogen ■ 21%oxygen ■ Argon ○ Homosphere and heterosphere variable gases ■ Carbon dioxide (absorbs longwave radiation; some plants need it) ■ Water vapor (absorbs heat, varies to 2%) ■ Ozone (ozone layer) ● Aerosols ○ Tiny particles that float around in the atmosphere from factories, industries, deserts, dry plains, volcanoes, lake beds, etc ○ Creates haze when it attaches to water vapor, creating a murky brown fog ○ Leads to global dimming ■ Reduction of industrial pollution leads to increase in solar radiation ■ Decrease of atmospheric particles leads to decrease of sun’s reflection ■ Warming Solar Energy and the Earth's Atmosphere ● Absorption: electromagnetic radiation is absorbed as radiation strikes molecules or particles; raising energy content ○ 16% of incoming solar radiation is absorbed ○ Water vapor holds latent heat ○ Carbon dioxide ○ Clouds absorb SW radiation ● Reflection ○ Albedo is the proportion of solar radiation, reflected upwards from a surface (snow/ ice have a high albedo; black pavement has a low albedo) ○ Albedo of water depends on the angle of the sun ■ Directly above sunlight or darker water= less albedo and vice versa ■ Clear skies= less olar energy loss ● Scattering ○ Particles direct solar radiation in different direction; sometimes back to space ○ Diffuses radiation Incoming Energy ● SW from the sun ● Greenhouse effect ○ CO2, methane, N2OC, CFC12, HCFC22, Sulfur hexafluoride ○ Stronger in humid regions because of water vapor ○ Without it, earth would be too cold so it is a good and natural process ■ Humans “enhance” it with our activities, disrupting the climate; “enhanced” greenhouse effect is not good! ● Net Radiation and global energy bucket ○ Net radiation is the difference between incoming and outgoing radiation ○ There is more incoming (SW) radiation than outgoing radiation (reflected SW and LW emitted from earth) ○ Earth’s global temperature has increases by one degree in the past century ● Human impact ○ Surface albedo change ○ Air pollution ○ Increased concentration of greenhouse gases ○ Thinning of the ozone layer
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