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Physical Geography Notes.pdf

72 Pages

Course Code
GPHY 102
Ryan K Danby

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20130403 349 PM Spheres Scales Systems CyclesPhysical GeographyStudy of the physical or natural environmentThe physical environment often uses shapes or influences human movement culture resource us behavior land use etc physical geographers examine natural processes including environmental responses to human activities Regional Geographyexamines the characteristics of particular places on earth examines everything in one area break up regions Ex Africa Sahara southern Africa Systematic Geography looks for principles that explain the patterns and processes that we observe on the earthexamines one thing everywhere Climatologystudies the heat and moisture states of the earths surface that create our weather Current emphasis on global climate modelingGeomorphologyis the study of the earth surface processes and landformsCoastal and Marine Geography geomorphological processes shaping coasts and shorelinesGeography of Soils pedology studies the distributions of soil types their properties and processes of formation Biogeographystudies the distributions of organisms over space and time and the processes that produce those distributionsProcess refers to behavior mechanisms by which change occursfunction and mechanismsPatternrefers to expression what you see at any given time Composition and structureApplications of physical geographyHazard assessment Explores hazardous events such as earthquakes floods hurricanes volcanic eruptions forest fires Coupled with patterns and process of human activitiesWater resources Studies the location distribution and movement of waterCoupled with human use of waterThese fields of study bring together both human and physical geography by studying how humans affect and are affected by the natural world Systems in Physical Geography A system approach considers the interconnections and flows of matter and energy in natural systemsPhysical geography differs from other sciences in that it often focuses on the entire system rather then its componentsGlobal Geographic ConcernsImportant contemporary topics related to physical geography includeo Global climate change Current concerns about rising temperatures and changing precipitation related impacts on humans and environmento Carbon cycleCarbon moves between the atmosphere oceans biosphere and human combustion of fossil fuelso BiodiversityLoss of biodiversity has many implications including loss of resourceso Pollution Degradation of not only freshwater and air but also oceans and soilo Extreme Events With changes in climate models altered frequency and magnitude of extreme eventsGlobal Climate Change
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