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1972 Week 4 Lecture 2 Notes

by: Bradleigh Jenkins

1972 Week 4 Lecture 2 Notes geog 1972

Bradleigh Jenkins


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About this Document

Transformations of the earth: carbon cycle
Environment-Society Geography
Professor Travis
Class Notes
geography, Society, Environment
25 ?




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Bradleigh Jenkins on Sunday October 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to geog 1972 at University of Colorado at Boulder taught by Professor Travis in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views. For similar materials see Environment-Society Geography in Geography at University of Colorado at Boulder.


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Date Created: 10/02/16
Thursday September 15 Week 4 Lecture 2 Summary: Theme 2: Humans Transformations of the Earth; Transforming Biogeochemical Cycles, carbon cycle. C = abbreviation for Carbon CARBON CYCLE  Land use change: clearing forests, and settlement. Net flux of C from the biosphere  atmosphere  Human revegetation/reforestation: putting some C back into the biosphere.  Fossil fuels: solid earth  atmosphere Main Storages of Carbon  Gas in atmosphere, aq.sol in oceans  Biomass (ex. wood is 50% carbon)  Sedimentary layers (ex. limestone, coal)  In solution, deep oceans Main Fluxes  Air  Biosphere, oceans, lithosphere - Photosynthesis fixes C in biomass - Absorption by oceans; storage in deep, cold waters - Fixed in bodies/shells of ocean creatures  die, fall to ocean floor and form sedimentary layers  Biosphere, oceans, solid earth  atmosphere - Respiration (vegetation releases C into atmosphere as it grows) - Outgassing: volcanoes, other gases leaking out from the earth - Release from oceans: ocean spray moves up - Anthropogenic burning & decay of biomass: Human caused flux as we burn fossil fuels, and wood. **Human influence is a net increase in atmospheric storage** Summary: Human intervention in C. cycle  Devegetation: deforestation, settlement. Vegetation decays, releases CO2  Extraction & burning of sedimentary carbon (fossil fuels) increases flux to atmosphere  Sequestering of C in various ways: accidental and purposeful - Increase vegetation in some areas. Some crops may put more C back into soil than others - Preserve biomass: wood used in construction that otherwise would have decayed Keeling Curve: atmospheric concentration of CO2 since 1958. General positive trend upwards. Per year, it goes up and down because of the seasons changing. Plants growing in the spring take CO2 out of the atmosphere, and in winter they die and put CO2 back into the atmosphere. Energy/Radiation Balance  Incoming solar (short-wave) Thursday September 15 Week 4 Lecture 2  Reflection back to space by clouds, particles, surfaces  Absorbed into systems: sensible heat, energy, does work  Re-radiated (outgoing terrestrial, long-wave) back into space; intercepted and re-radiated Human Transformation of Energy/Radiation (also in first lecture this wk.)  Mostly inadvertent  Change surface fluxes: absorption, albedo (% reflected)  Change surface storage: pavement, concrete stores more than plants and soils  Changes atmospheric transmissions - Pollutants block incoming solar radiation; cools lower layers & surface - Ex: CO2 incoming clear, outgoing opaque CO2 Case Study BIG TAKEAWAYS 1. Carbon is everywhere and everything 2. Carbon is sensitive to economic activities. Our progress as a human race is highly connected to CO2; all of our energy sources that power our lives is carbon-based, making extracting ourselves from these systems has great implications to how we are capable of running our lives and societies on a very logistical, basic level.


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