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Chapter 15 - Climate

by: Abigail Bruning

Chapter 15 - Climate EAS 2600

Abigail Bruning
Georgia Tech
Earth Processes
Andrew Vern Newman

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Understanding Earth, 6th Ed. Chapter 15 - Climate. Notes from textbook combined with additional information from lecture.
Earth Processes
Andrew Vern Newman
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Abigail Bruning on Tuesday October 27, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to EAS 2600 at Georgia Institute of Technology taught by Andrew Vern Newman in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 29 views. For similar materials see Earth Processes in Earth Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology.


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Date Created: 10/27/15
CH 15 THE CLIMATE SYSTEM I Components of the Climate System a Climate the average conditions years to miennia controlled by energy exchange i Solar forcing cyclical variation in the input of solar energy day vs night summer vs winter 1 Albedo fraction of energy reflected out related to color light a lot reflected ii Earth s internal heat very small iii Also related to sunearth relations seasons days etc Weather short period of time days to weeks b The Spheres i Atmosphere most mobile fastest moving 1 Troposphere layer closest to Earth s surface to about 11 km up a Convection quotturning sphere most of weather b 75 of air mass 2 Stratosphere above the troposphere dryer to about 50 km up a Contains the Ozone layer 3 Outer atmosphere slowly thins with altitude until it becomes space 4 Components a Water b Ozone absorbs harmful UV solar radiation decreasing due to human activity and global warming ii Hydrosphere all the liquid water on over and under Earth s surface 1 Oceans 99 of water driven by a Thermohaline circulation cold water is denser than hot water salty water is denser than fresh water circulation of water b Winddriven currents surface movement of water smaller impact 2 Continental water 1 of water seas lakes rivers groundwater iii Cryosphere ice caps glaciers frozen lakes and river 10 of fresh water 1 Interacts heavily with hydrosphere high albedo effect iv Lithosphere land surface absorbs visible light and radiates solarinternal energy v Biosphere all the living organisms on and beneath the surface The Greenhouse Effect a Atmosphere is transparent to incoming solar radiation then traps energy b Greenhouse gases water vapor carbon dioxide methane and ozone all absorb energy and reradiate it as infrared energy in all directions i Ex COZ CH4 HZO c Greenhouse effect allows light energy in and then traps it increasing the temperature at the surface d Positive and negative feedbacks i Positive feedback reinforces the initial change snowball effect ii Negative feedback produces results that counteract it offsetting the original effect buffer Climate Variation a Short term i El Nino Southern Oscillation ENSO 3 to 7 year cycle of changes in Pacific equatorial surface water temperatures El Nino hotter surface water La Nina colder surface water b Long term i Glacial cycles ice ages ii Milankovitch Cycles very longterm changes in earth s orbit and tilt about the sun affecting amount and distribution of solar radiation iii Study using the Vostok Ice Core a 400000 year record of temperature in ice in Antarctica IV The Carbon Cycle a Ocean holds most C02 the atmosphere holds some b Changed when fossil fuels are allowed to impact the system much more carbon released goes to ocean some in the atmosphere and some in the biosphere V Human Impact of Global Climate a Humans have been modifying the environment over extensive areas for thousands of years i By making fires ii Fossil fuels b Temperature and C02 are increasing c Atmospheric carbon levels currently 400 ppm d Consequences i Altered distribution of water effecting productivity of agriculture regions ii Rise in global sealevel increased coastal erosion and flooding iii Changing weather patterns cyclonic storms frequency and intensity of heat waves droughts and storms iv Longer growing seasons at higher latitudes


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