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55 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
reasons for cold winters and warm summers
beam spreading
atmosphere effect
length of day
beam spreading
intensity of radiation is effected by the angle the beam makes with thos horizontal surface

the larger the angle of incidence the, the more energy that is spread out on the horizontal surface
earth's orbit around the sun
agle is -23.5 degrees

when angle does not equal -23.5 this increases seasonal change
atmospheric effect
intensity is effected by angle of beam as it passes through the atmosphere

the larger the angle, the greater the distance th beam must travel and the more energy that is lost by the atmosphere's absorption and reflection of the beam
2 types of planets
terrestrial: mercury, venus, earth mars,

other: jupiter, saturn, uranus, neptun, pluto -- less dense -- gas giant planets
eath's orbit

closest to the sun at the parhelion (jan. 3)
farthest at aphelon (july)
environmental change
fact of our planet's existence

from ice core data we know that temp. and atmospheric comp. have fluctuated

job of EAS scientists is to decide whether chances are anthroprogenic or natural
process occurs outside of human society

environmental catastrphies that are not necessarily anthroprogenic
- ex: KT boundary: some of the mass extinctions that have occured
change is caused by human activities

usually more severe
change not understood by scientists
global warming

we know that the greenhouse effect is caused by burning fuel and deforestation; but due to past fluctuations in temp. we are not sure how much of the warming is caused by this
gaia hypothesis
james lovelock

suggests that life is responsible for keeping earth habitable at least part in spite of perterburtions

ex: plants keep atmosphere oxygen-rich
human dimensions of global change
land use/cover

human population
land use
how humans employ land and resources -- anthroprogenic

ex: farming, urban, lumber
land cover
physical state of land surface -- can be natural or anthroprogenic

ex: crops, forests; or spec. characerteristics of soil, etc.

important because we need land to grow food

best soil tends to be in heaviest populated/urbanized areas
cutting down forests causes CO2 to increase which affects cliamte
loss of it related to loss of habitats

ex: loss of wetlands
important facts about land change
1. not always bad; arable land can increase naturally

2. its a natural process
land cover info.
can be natural or antrhoprogenic

can be good

not always bad for the environment
cultivation/crop lands
arable land: areas that are cultivated for crops that are replanted after each harvest
cultivable land
land that is ice-free -- around 75%
domesticated animals -- non-pets
types of livestock landcover
rangeland: use of livestock production constitutes areas that provide forage for free-ranging livestock and wild animals

meadows and pastures: land used permenantly for herbaceous forage crops, either cultivated or growing wild -- wild prarie or grazing land

24% total of ice-free areas
land under natural or planted stands of trees, productive or not, and includes land from which forests have been cleared but that will be reforested in the future
land used for human habitation -- urban/built-up land
modern extinction
extinction of large mammals and birds corresponds to human pop. spread

note: africa has a diff. curve because people evolved there with animals
human pop. growth over time
increases linearly for ~9500 yrs and then started growing exponentially about 600 yrs.

rise in population with ind. rev. is paralleled by rise in urbanization

regions of world have experienced growth at different times - this relates to when they urbanized
malthus theory of human pop.
will increase geometrically -- double in fixed amts. over time

food supply increases linearly -- pop. will outdo food supply leading to a famine


population doubling time has decreased with time -- super exponential

growth rates vary by region -- no famine has occurred
demographic transition
birth rates in agricultural societies are high but death rates are high due to bad med. care and that farming is dangerous

children are 401k -- you need them to take care of you in old age so people have more

in urban society, death rates go down since medical care is better

there is gap because birth rate stays constant and death rate drops

experts predict human pop. will stabalize this century since developing nations will make dem. transition
resource price
more urbanized countries consume more
stable pop. and fertility rate
to maintain a stable pop. fertility rate must be 2.1
metastable equilibrium
depends on amt. of disruption; stable if disturbed a little, unstable is disturbed a lot
stable equilibrium
if system is disturbed, it still returns to original position
unstable equilibrium
if dist. if won't return to initial state
persistent change
occurs in one direction -- ex: slow decrease of earth's rotation on axis
period/rythmic change
follows a sinusoidal variation with set of period oscillation -- ex: waves, tides
cyclical/oscillatory chance
like period changes but more random with respect to period and magnitude of oscillation
short-lived events that can cause brief changes from normal conditions
systems approach/paradigm
way to conceptualize, analyze, and understand how complex entities operate, evolve, change

system: composed of related parts that make up a whole
- components: parts
- state: conditions in terms of spec. parameters
processes that cause various components in system to be interrelated

positive coupling: increasing electric blanket temp causes an increase in body temp

negative coupling: body temp. goes up so we decrease the temp. of the blanket
feedback loops
2+ couplings in a system can cause a feedback loop

electric blanket example is a negative feedback loop

positive loops: can cause the system to go out of control -- unstable

stable system = uneven number of negative couplings

multiple together the amt. of negs. and postives and if you get a negative its stable, if you get a positive its not
temp. events
more persistent disturbances
solar luminosity
radiation from the sun

has increased throughout the history of the earth
cold sun paradox/hot sun catastrophe
sun's outgoing energy has increased with time but earth's temp is constant
reflectivity of any planetary surface

ex: white daisies reflect light -- higher albedo; gray soil absorbs more light -- lower albedo

%albedo = reflected light/incident light
planetary albedo
area weighted average of the albedo of each surface type on the planet
albedo and daisyworld
daisy coverage increases albedo which decreases climate
-- temp. goes down b/c surface absorbs less energy

living organisms have optimum temp. -- parabolic plot -- daisies start dying off after optimum temp is exceeded

stable mech.: t is below t optimum

unstable: t is above t optimum

new eq. is eventually established

daisies ended up prolonging their own lives
first law of thermodynamics
conservation of energy
electromagnetic radiation
prop. of energy involving coupled electric and magnetic waves

w/l - lamda
freq - v
speep - c

radiation also acts as a stream of photons

E = hv = hc/lamda

h = plack's constant

forms are determined by lamda and v
radiative flux
rate at which enery o mass passes though unit area

units of WM^-2

ex: tropic of cancer (23.5 degrees has the greatest amt. of flux

also depends on distance from source

depends incidence of radiation upon surface and distance from source
macroscopic property of a substance that describes the ave. amt. of internal energy in the substance

random kinetic energy

proportional to ave. velocity of molecules
blackbody radiation
perfect emitter; follows stefen-boltzman; emits and absorbs at all wavelengths with max. efficiency

follows planck, stefan-boltzman, wien's
effective temp.
ave. temp. of a body at which it radiates energy

for planet, its also the temp. the planet would have in the absence of an atmosphere to maintain thermal balance

we can calculate this by demanding a simple energy balance

energy absorbed = energy emitted
energy absorbed by the earth
eff. area for absorbing radiation is the equiv. a 2-D circle facing the sun
if albedo does not vary...
Teff is prop. to (1/r^2)^(1/4)