APES Atmosphere and Climate Study Guide

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APES Atmosphere and Climate Study Guide
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2012-01-09 23:13:06
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Atmosphere and Climate Study Guide
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  1. 1. Which characteristics of the atmosphere make it especially conducive to life?
    1. Which characteristics of the atmosphere make it especially conducive to life?
  2. What was the composition of the Earth’s early atmosphere?
    Mostly carbon dioxide and it was primarily lost due to space and was probably Helium and Hydrogen
  3. What is the current composition of the Earth’s atmosphere? What has caused the changes in the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 3.5 billion years?
    Composition: 78 % Nitrogren, 21% Oxygen, 0.9% Argon
  4. What are the layers of the Earth’s atmosphere? Approximately how high do the troposphere and stratosphere extend? What is the tropopause?
    • . Troposphere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere Thermosphere
    • . Troposphere (0-10 km), Stratosphere (17-48km)
    • . Tropopause-The troposphere is the lowest portion of Earth's atmosphere. It contains approximately 80% of theatmosphere's mass and 99% of its water vapor and aerosols.
  5. What are atmospheric conditions like in the troposphere and stratosphere?
    • . Troposphere: unstable, there is constant mixing
    • . Stratosphere: similar but less dense, low humidity, less turbulence
  6. What causes global air circulation and wind patterns?
    Surface heating & the Earths rotation
  7. Describe each of these key properties of the atmosphere that influence weather and climate:
    air pressure: less denseair temperature: decreases with height, highers our temp. and can hold more pressurehumidity: low, relative humidity= % of saturation with water vapor
  8. What is the prevailing wind in the continental US?
    in temperate zones is westernly
  9. 8. What is weather?
    short term (daily, weekly) atmospheric conditions
  10. What are the types of climate by latitude?
    Horse Latitude- 30 degreesDoldrums- 0 degrees
  11. What is the significance of climate type for biogeography?
    modified by land topography, proximity to oceans
  12. 10. What is a microclimate?
    very localized conditions11. List and describe the 4 ways th
  13. 10. What is a microclimate?
    very localized conditions
  14. List and describe the 4 ways that climate in midlatitude cities differs from the surrounding rural areas.
    Urban microclimate: Cities are warmer, less humid, have more dust particles, fog and precipitation than surrounding areas
  15. How has the global climate changed over time?
    How do we know that it has changed?
    Yes

    We can tell due to the weather and climate changes that have happened over the following years due to data that scientist have provided
  16. What changes have occurred since the 1850’s? What is significant about the last 2 decades of the 20th century?
  17. What is global warming?

    What factors affect the temperature at or near the Earth’s surface?
    Natural or human caused change in average global temperature
  18. Why does the sun radiate energy of shorter wavelengths and higher energy than the Earth does?
  19. What is the greenhouse effect?
    The process of trapping heat in the atmosphere
  20. Which greenhouse gases are naturally occurring?
    98% of naturally occurring greenhouse effect is due to water vapor
  21. Which greenhouse gases are anthropogenic? For each, describe the sources, rate of increase, and relative contribution to the anthropogenic greenhouse effect:
    • * carbon dioxide (CO2): 50-60% - from fossil fuel combustion, deforeestation
    • * methane (CH4): 12-20% -from rice cultivation, cattle
    • * chlorofluorcarbons (CFCs) : 15- 35% - from refrigerants ( close to the atmospheric window)
    • * nitrous oxide (N2O): 5% - from fertilizers and fossil duel combustion
  22. 18. What is the atmospheric window and what is its significance in global warming?
    the region of the EM spectrum where neither carbon dioxide nor water vapor absorbs, but cfcs do
  23. n terms of global climate change, what is meant by forcing?
    The process of changing global temperature
  24. What are some of the scenarios and models of global warming that have been developed?
  25. Describe the 8 feedback cycles discussed and shown in the figure in your text.
  26. Describe how these forces can affect global climate: solar activity: changes in olar activity, sunspots aerosols and volcanoes: methane: stored in the ocean floor and permafrost human activities: burning fossil fuels and deforestation - increases global warming
    • solar activity: changes in olar activity, sunspots
    • aerosols and volcanoes:
    • methane: stored in the ocean floor and permafrost human activities: burning fossil fuels and deforestation - increases global warming
  27. What is El Nino?
    periodic slaken of trade winds in tropical pacific
  28. What are some of the effects of an El Nino?
    water becomes much warmer and global weather patterns shif
  29. What are some of the potential effects of global climate change?
    • * shifts in temperature & precipitation patterns
    • * more severe hurricanes
    • * melting of ice land
    • * shifts in ranges of wild life
    • * agriculture
    • * life on earth
  30. What adjustments we will have to make?
    Bleach coral reefs
  31. What is being done to address global warming?
    reduce the GHG emissions, plant forests, and stop deforestation
  32. What was the goal of the Kyoto Protocol?
    international agreement ro reduce GHG
  33. What is happening in Durban, South Africa right now?????
    a conference about the GHG and Global warming that’s going on now
  34. Some useful terms used while discussing the Earth’s climate:Aerosol: liquid or solid suspended particles, e g dust, soot. Aerosols can block solar radiation and cool atmosphere
    • * Albedo: measure of how much light is reflected from a surface
    • * CFCs (halocarbons)- an anthropagenic GHG that closes the atmospheric window
    • * Coriolis effect: Due to Earth’s rotation, deflect right in N hemisphere and left in S hemisphere
    • * El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO)- periodic slacken of trade winds in tropical Pacific, water becomes much warmer and global weather patterns shift
    • * Goldilock’s Principle- just right
    • * Ice-albedo feedback- build up of ice reflects solar radiation and leads to more ice buildup, change is amplified
    • * insolation: incomming solar radiation
    • * IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel and Climate Change)-
    • * Infrared radiation, long wave radiation- electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths of 4-200mm
    • * Mauna Loa Observatory: volcano in Hawaii, site of CO2 measurements showing seasonal change in concentration and increase in concentration.
    • * Methane- anthropagenic GHG
    • * Milankovitch cycles:Variations in Earth’s orbit and wobble in Earth’s tilt produce ice to build up in N hemisphere, periodic ice ages
    • * Nitrous oxide- Anthropagenic GHG? increases global warming
    • * Ocean conveyer belt:differences in temperature and density cause sinking and upwelling of ocean water, current redistribute heat energy
    • * Solar radiation, electromagnetic radiation
    • * Sulfur dioxide: can cause acid rain due to the sulfur content
    • * Water vapor feedback:Increase in temp increases evaporation, increased H2O vapor increases temperature, which increases H2O vapor, etc

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