Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
Reading...
Front

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key

image

Play button

image

Play button

image

Progress

1/87

Click to flip

87 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What is the IPCC?
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (a group created by WMO and UNEP to study climate)
What greenhouse gas is the most predominate?
Carbon Dioxide
What is the "atmosphere"?
The layer of gases that surround Earth
What is the hydrosphere?
The ocean and all other bodies of water on Earth
What is the cryosphere?
The area on the planet that is covered by snow and ice
What is the biosphere?
The areas on the planet that are inhabited with life.
What 2 factors complicate the study of global temperature prediction?
1. Earth is dynamic and complex.
2. Human behavior is unpredictable.
What are the "highways" for transport of global heat?
The ocean currents
Oceans store more heat than the atmosphere because
Ocean water is more dense and has a higher heat capacity
The proportion of radiation reflected away from a surface is referred to as the
albedo
The average albedo of the Earth is estimated as
.31
The range for the albedo on Earth is generally
.1-.9
Which type of surface tends to have a low albedo?
A dark surface
How do phytoplankton affect the climate on Earth?
They consume carbon dioxide
What is a carbon dioxide "sink"?
A process that uses carbon dioxide (such as photosynthesis)
What is the function of the station at Cape Grim, Tasmania?
Measure the concentration of atmospheric chemicals at regular intervals
What is the function of the station at Mauna Loa, Hawaii?
Monitor carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere
In what atmospheric level do stratus and cumulus clouds form?
the troposphere
In what atmospheric level do cirrus clouds form?
Lower stratosphere
In what atmospheric level does ozone form?
Stratosphere
What is the approximate distance from the earth to the sun?
150 million km.
What is the approximate radius of our solar system?
1 x 10 to the 13th power
What is the timeframe for the paleozoic era?
570-245 mya
What is the timeframe for the Mezozoic era?
245-66 mya
What is the timeframe for the cenozoic era?
66 mya - present
For which historical period are the best climate records available?
the last 10,000 years (Holocene)
What isotopes (used to determine climate) are found in ice sheets?
Heavy hydrogen and heavy oxygen
In order for ice core records to effectively render climate data, they must include which period of time?
the Holocene
Which two regions on Earth have preduced the best records for climate study?
Antarctica and Greenland
What timeframe is represented by the Vostok ice cores?
4 cycles of 400,000 years
When did the last intergalacial period occur?
100,000 years ago - the Eemian
What climatic pattern governs the Eemian intergalacial period?
extreme warmth
What climatic pattern governs the Holocene period?
a slight rise in temperature followed by a plateau
What was the warming period of the Holocene called?
the Medieval Warm Period
Wha was the cooling period of the holocene called?
the Little Ice Age
What kind of plant thrives in dry, cold climtes?
grassy steppes
What kind of plant thrives in warm wet climates?
Trees
What kind of tree favors a colder climate?
evergreens
What kind of tree favors a warmer climate?
deciduous
What is an anoxic condition?
a condition that does not freely supply oxygen
Which plant structure have proven to be an effective climate "track"?
pollen
What are packrat "middens"?
collected materials cached b packrats
What are the "amberates"?
caches preserved in crystal urine by packrats
Why are tree rings important to climatology?
They show timescales as short as seasons
What is cross-dating?
Correlating tree rings from living trees to dead trees
Who is credited for establishing tree-ring records?
Andrew Ellicott Douglass
What climatic condition is represented in tree-ring data?
precipitation amounts
The years from 1645-1715 in climate studies are referred to as
Maunder Minimum
What was the Younger Dryas?
the cold snap that occured at the beginning of the Holocene
What is the Milankovitch cycle?
The study of the effect of Earth's motions on its climate
How much of the Suns energy actually reaches the Earth?
less than one two-billionth
how much of the Earth's heat is generated by solar radiation?
99.9%
What are the two major motions of the Earth?
Rotation and revolution
What does the rotation of the Earth refer to?
Earth's spinning on its axis which produce day and night
What does the revolution of the Earth refer to?
Earth's movement (orbit) around the Sun
The rate that the Earth is traveling around the Sun is
113,000 kph (70,000 mph)
What is meant by perihelion?
The position of Earth's orbit when it is closest to the Sun
What is meant by aphelion?
the position fo Earth's orbit when it is furthest away from the Sun
What causes the seasons on Earth?
the angle of the sun above Earth's horizon
For an observer in the northern hemisphere, the angle of the Sun is greater during which season?
Summer
For an observer in the southern hemisphere, the angle of the Sun is much less during which season?
Winter
What is the typical angle of Earth's axis of motion?
23 1/2 degrees
What is meant by Earth's plane of the ecliptic?
Earths plane of orbit around the Sun
What is meant by the Earth's axis?
an imaginary line through the poles around which Earth rotates
What would happen to the weather if the Earth had no inclination of axis?
There would be no seasonal changes
When the angle of the Sun above the horizon is 0 degrees, what is the equivalent number of atmospheres through which sunlight must pass?
45
When the angle of the Sun above the horizon is 30 degrees, what is the equivalent number of atmospheres through which sunlight must pass?
2.00
When the angle of the Sun above the horizon is 60 degrees, what is the equivalent number of atmospheres through which sunlight must pass?
1.15
When the angle of the Sun above the horizon is 90 degrees, what is the equivalent number of atmospheres through which sunlight must pass?
1.00
When does the summer solstice occur?
June 21-22
When does the winter solstice occur?
December 21-22
When does the spring equinox occur?
March 21-22
When does the autumnal equinox occur?
September 22-23
The region located at 23 1/2 N is referred to as
Tropic of Cancer
The region located at 23 1/2 S is referred to as
Tropic of Capricorn
The region located at 0 degrees is referred to as
The equator
What months are included as spring in the Northern Hemisphere?
March, April, May
What months are included as summer in the Northern Hemisphere?
June, July, August
What months are included as autumn in the Northern Hemisphere?
September, October, November
What months are included as winter in the Northern Hemisphere?
December, January, February
What hapens during the equinoxes?
12 hours of day and 12 hours of night
Energy is defined as
The ability to do work
List the five forms of energy.
heat, chemical, nuclear, radiant, gravitational
What are the two types of energy?
Kinetic and potential
How is kinetic engery defined/
Energy of motion
What are the two forms of atmospheric kinetic energy?
Heat energy and radiant energy
What is the definition of potential energy?
Energy due to position