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Geol lecture 9a

by: Shelby Green

Geol lecture 9a Geol101

Shelby Green
GPA 3.8
Physical Geology
Dr. Coulson

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in case you want it in a diff format than a powerpoint like dr. coulson has on blackboard
Physical Geology
Dr. Coulson
Class Notes
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This 0 page Class Notes was uploaded by Shelby Green on Wednesday March 23, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Geol101 at Clemson University taught by Dr. Coulson in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see Physical Geology in Geology at Clemson University.


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Date Created: 03/23/16
22316 Geology Lecture 9a Climatology Intro to Climatology Why do we care Climate change If conditions are changing on earth it may affect where we live how much food and water are available how severe natural hazards are etc Why are we covering this in a geology class Geologists do a lot of climate research Studying ancient climate helps predict future climate trends remember uniformitarianism Climate Basics Climate Average surface conditions over some long period of time Ex usually want at least a decade of data Often confused with Weather Average surface conditions over some short period of time Ex daysseason EX Temp in Clemson last February was often in the 305 but that is not Clemson s climate that was just the weather during Feb 2015 Why does climate vary so much around earth ie why don t we have a desert planet or an ice planet like in Star VVars Climate cli is determined by complex interactions among the lithosphere atmosphere biologic processes ocean circulation etc It s n0t just about atmospheric processes System Interactions Interactions among all these earth systems are complicated to untangle Ex how do the lithosphere and atmosphere interact to affect climate Some interactions create feedbacks a change in one component of system affects other things that then eventually affect the original component So you create a type of cycle Positive Feedback Change in the 2nd component enhances the change in the lst component 4 Which causes A to increase again Ex Increasing the amount of soil causes more weathering to occur which creates even more soil which again causes weathering to increase which again creates more soiletc etc etc 0 Note A can decrease every time you come around the cycle too When A increases B changes This is still a positive feedback bc you keep enhancing the initial change EX When temp drops glaciers can get larger which makes the temp drop even lower which allows the glaciers to grow even larger causing another temp dropetc Positive feedbacks can be problematic bc it can be hard to break out of the cycle they just keep going until one component cannot change anymore or something else affects the system Runaway trainquot effect Negative Feedback Change to 2nd component offsets the initial change in the 1St component Steps in a negative feedback 1 When A increases B decreases 2 When B decreases A decreases 3 When A decreases B increases 4 When B increases A increases back to step 1 0 Each component goes through a seesaw effect 0 First A goes up then it goes down then it goes back up then it comes back down etc 0 Same for B 0 Negative feedbacks stabilize the two components neither can get too high or too low What Controls Climate Main energy source for earth s surface is the Sun lnsolation Mcoming ar radiATlON Solar energy that reaches earth M insulation Vary insolation and you vary the climate Several things affect how much insolation earth receives Orbital Parameters Vary earth s distance from the sun and you vary how much insolation we receive The Sun is not directly in the center Perihelion Aphelinn of earth s orbit Aphelion farthest orbital point from the 1 Sun 152 million km Perihelion closest orbital point to the sun 147 million km NOTE the 5 million km difference has an effect on how much insolation reaches earth 39 NOTE Aphelion amp perihelion do NOT Sun Ea h control summer versus winter Essentially Milankovich cycles cyclic changes in Maximquot I earth s motions in space 3 main ones 1 Eccentricity The shape of ea rth s Orbital path is orbital path oscillates from more to more mime less circular Affects earth s distance from Sun the Sun 2 I o It takes about 100000 yrs for Ofblt lpath 15 one full Cycle hf H h more C1rcular 50000 to go from max to min then another 50000 to go itth Sun 5 back to max In uences warmingcooling trends during ice ages o It takes 50000 years to change from one extreme to Emm the other gm 2 Obliquity Tilt Earth is tilted on it s axis and the tilt angle oscillates over time o It takes 41000 yrs for one full cycle 20500 years to go from min to max angle Why does such a small change in the tilt angle affect climate Earth is large planet so even a couple of degrees difference impacts how much insolation different areas receive Obliquity affects the seasons Emmi Obliquity is why we have quot39Efaghfh fggrg t opposite seasons in the N and S hemispheres NH amp SH EX December NH is tilted away from the Sun so it gets less insolation winter SH is titled towards the sun so it gets more insolation amp experiences summer l allz lnrnurn Mllily39l ijg i Today s tilt Hi September July mph elicm Decem ber March 7 Changing the obliquity angle changes the seasonal contrast The temp contrast btwn summer amp winter Higher angle each hemisphere is pointed more directly towardsaway from the sun so summer is really warm amp winter is really cool creating a high seasonal contrast Lower angle each hemisphere is pointed less directly towardsaway from the sun so summer is less warm amp winter is less cool creating a low seasonal contrast Eccentricity also affects the seasonal contrast 0 Obliquity NH tilted away from sun winter BUT o Eccentricity NH winter currently occurs near perihelion see pic below 0 SO the 2 cancel each other out some amp the seasonal contrast is relatively low Remember the cycles are changing over time o Eventually NH winter will occur aphelion It can be dif cult to track all 3 Milankovitch cycles at once to determine what their net affect on climate will be 3 Precession Earth not only rocks on its axis but it also wobbles The wobble is called precession This causes the North Pole to point in different Axis in directions in space over time Axisnow appioximatew 11 000 years Watch the animation at this link note how the red line indicating the N Pole points in different directions as the video runs That motion represents the wobble of the planet on its axis How is Precession different from obliquity Students often get these 2 confused Obliquity was a rocking motion precession is a spinning motion Ex think of the difference between a rocking chair and spinning a toy top Precession takes about 22000 years per cycle one full spin through a complete circle Precession affects climate because it determines which hemisphere is pointed towards the Sun at any given time of year see pic on next slide Top Earth s orientation during January NH points away from the Sun so NH has winter Bottom 11000 years from now 139 NHMMEI precession will have wobbled so that during January NH is pointed towards the Sun so January will be summer in the NH Atmosphere First thing insolation encounters is the Atmosphere 39oposphere the lowermost layer of the atmosphere This is where most weather phenomena occur Some insolation ca 30 is re ected back into space so it provides littleno energy to earth Albedo a measurement of re ectivity Varies with material That 30 loss comes from re ection off 3 things see pic on next slide Ground 4 Solar Energy that Reoohes Earth39s Atmosphere Atmosphere 6 The Greenhouse e eot i NHsummot ewes some ed sols memories a 53m ml new 5 E Some oi the homes Too ofe m ospl39rere 7 i nzelosorfbed WHEELvo g smeoi ommmoeomls quot quot Immmoroooi ooihrthe a 1 2 Hei l nenmlng sonar iiiE39in l39 Emmi l39m m 39 mu u w L 1 dire boti ihe wormimrall 1 mm H m u o n 39 A sum nolllho u u o g 39l I L 39 1 VI Soniasea gallon meoro loooionol loin Mellon Ill again 1 51 also tieoi emotion I Irr mmwholh lEIEIE Wadsworth Publishing EompsnyilTF 7 J 397 r j V 7777 W E Clouds 20 Atmospheric Gases lnsolation also interacts w the different gases in the atmosphere Atmospheric Composition Nitrogen 78 Oxygen 21 C02 H20 and all others lt 1 Many gases are thus present in small amounts but they are important as greenhouse gases Greenhouse gases they trap insolation close to earth s surface for longer periods of time When insolation reaches earth s surface some is absorbed as heat energy the rest is reradiated back into space Greenhouse gases prevent that reradiated energy from leaving as quickly as it should This allows earth to absorb more of the energy making it warmer This is the greenhouse effect insolation comes in through the atmosphere but can t easily leave Ex this is why the inside of your car is much warmer than the outside air temp during a sunny day Key point even though greenhouse gases GGs make up a small of the atmosphere they trap a large amount of insolation If you were to remove all 665 from the atmosphere earth s surface temp would be 33 C lower This explains why scientists think that adding more 665 to the environment could cause Global Warming we ll come back to this in lecture 10 Next point lnsolation Changes w latitude At the equator a given amount of insolation covers a relatively small area bc it strikes the earth perpendicular to the surface But closer to the poles the same amount of insolation gets spread over a larger area bc it strikes a curved surface see pic on next slide Explains why the poles are colder than the tropics there s less insolation per unit area fig anew Light from the Sun Latitudinal Isolation Distribution This means there s an energy imbalance on earth see graph on next slide Equator absorbs a lot loses a little Poles absorb little lose a lot Nature doesn t like such gradients so processes redistribute the energy Otherwise the equator would get extremely hot and the poles would get extremely cold BESS I I I ll I ii i u l I I I I a 2001 E E fair E a n r de lmt E 100 Lu l South i a i l I ll ll I I n l I a i i Pme an an 4 21 El 2 4a am am Pole 3 Latitude lial Heat Transfer in the Atmosphere Several circulation cells help move heat energy away form the equator and towards the poles Hadley cells Transport heat from equator to 30 degrees lat l39 Descending quot A 1quot HIEn a EEDDI dry air r 3 Hadley cell IlFlising warm maletalr j Hadley cell escending gr nonhdry air Steps in the Hadley cells starting at equator 1 lnsolation warms the air close to the ground a Remember convection When you heat something its density decreases causing it to rise 2 As it rises it begins to cool and gets pushed aside by warmer air rising beneath it a This creates low air pressure at the equator Thus Hadley cells work just like convection cells in the asthenosphere 3 As the air mass cools down while rising some water vapor cools into liquid water amp falls as rain a This is why the equator is associated with rainforests amp lots of rain 4 Once pushed aside some of the air moves N and some moves S 5 As it moves N or S the air mass continues to cool so more water vapor is lost as rain along the way 6 By the time the air mass reaches 30 degrees latitude it is cold enough that its density has increased causing it to sink back to earth s surface a This creates high air press at the surface b There is little water vapor left so this area gets little rain 7 Once close to the surface the air absorbs more lnsolation heating it up as it moves across the surface as wind until it is warm enough to rise again a Some of the wind blows N moving the heat farther N b Some of the wind blows S completing the cell The Ferrel cells and polar cells operate in the same way just at higher latitudes The three interlock like gears to keep moving heat away from the equator and towards the poles El Nino periodic changes in wind strength over the Paci c Ocean during some winters Affect global weather patterns First let s look at normal conditions in the Paci c The map on the next slide is colorcoded by water temperature Notice that near the equator water temp is much higher in the western paci c near Australia than in the eastern paci c near Peru West Paci c Warm Pool WPWP the area of warm water in the western Paci c 315 Much cooler over here even though it39 s the same latitude Normal Winter Conditions 1 Trade winds push water to the W 2 The void left is lled by cool water upwelling in the E 3 WPWP heats the air above it causing the air to I liqulnar rise a g H g Creates low Erwin V L atmospheric 39 pressure aboveit 4 The rising air cools creating lots of rain Just like the beginning of the Hadley cell 0 So in the western Paci c during normal conditions it s warm amp wet o In the Eastern Paci c it s cool amp dry L quot Up nn quot tirrIril El Nino Winter Conditions 1 The trade winds weaken or even stop 2 This allows the WPWP to ow back to the east remember the winds were the only thing pushing the warm water west 3 Eastern waters become warm so upwelling stops 4 The low pressure area must follow the warm water bc the warm water creates it Southern Oscillation the resulting ip op in air pressure between west amp east 5 The rain must follow the low pressure area So in the Western Paci c during El Nino conditions it becomes cool amp dry And in the Eastern Paci c it becomes warmer amp wetter Basically everything switched NOTE The El Nino cycle can be tricky to understand You have to keep in mind which location you are at AND you have to determine whether normal or El Nino conditions are occurring The animation is a good illustration of the entire process El Nino Effects Why do these changes affect weather in other parts of the world The Paci c Ocean is huge As the warm water amp low pressure system move across the Paci c they displace other air and water currents like the Jet Stream If the Jet Stream moves it affects weather across N America During El Nino SC has a wet amp cool winter dry amp warm summer El Nino does not occur like clockwork Quasiperiodicity of once every 47 years Scientitsts know what happens during an El nino but they still are not sure why the trade winds occasionally weaken and cause an El Nino What is La Nina In some years the trade winds strengthen instead of weaken This pushes the WPWP farther west La Nina basically has the opposite effects from El Nino Ex The eastern Paci c gets even cooler amp drier than usual EX SC has a relatively warm amp dry winter Winter 20112012 was a La Nina winter which explains why it was so warm around Clemson


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