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GOPH 375 Lecture Notes - Little Ice Age, Vertical Draft, Cenozoic

Course Code
GOPH 375

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Chapter 10: Climate Change
Fig 10.2 Fig 10. 4
Weather is short term, climate is long term
Sun heats earth unequally, equator gets 2.4x more energy than poles (steeper ray angle). Earth’s
spin and gravity (pull cold air) even out heat
Earth always has a band of cloud around the equator because it’s hotter there so hot air rises
and condenses
Weather (atmospheric circulation) is the earth trying to distribute heat (clouds) around the
equator to the poles. Through wind/water vapor (storms)
Poles snow increases albedo, increases reflection making it colder greenhouse effect counters
this, makes it warmer
Incoming sun rays are short wavelengths, outgoing is long wavelengths
100% energy coming in, variously reflected so only 45% is absorbed into atmosphere, land gets
hot and heats air above it. Land reflects infrared rays, not UV?
Planet cools by radiating infrared radiations some is trapped in the atmosphere: “Greenhouse
effect most of GH is caused by water vapor in the air, without this the world would be 25
degrees cooler
o Non-condensable gases, don’t rain out when in atmosphere
o Glass (like atmosphere) is invisible so it absorbs heat but doesn’t release it
Water has a high heat capacity, oceans hold a lot of energy; released when water changes:
o Evaporation (liquid to gas) Condensation (gas to liquid) Freezing (liquid to solid)
Sublimation (solid to gas) Melting (solid to liquid)
Humidity: amount of water vapor in the air, holds a lot of energy as well
o Saturation humidity: max amount of water air can hold (increases with temperature)
o Dew-point temperature of air is when relative humidity = 100%. Relative is
absolute : saturation humidity
Air is denser closer to earth because of gravity. Air flows up towards lower pressure, against
gravity, by adding heat
o Adiabatic process when temperature changes without the loss of heat (air expanding,
becoming cooler and sinking)
o Altitude of 100% humidity is called lifting condensation level. Where clouds are made
(condensation, releasing heat)
o MONSOONS pg 272 fig 10.6
Earth layers Fig 10.7: structure of atmosphere.
o Troposphere: lowest layer, most moisture. Warmer at the base, colder above. Where
weather occurs; 8-10km in the winter, 15 km in summer
Connective part of atmosphere
o Tropopause: higher layer of troposphere; cooling upward trend reverses and air begins
to warm upward through stratosphere. Boundary, keeps weather in troposphere
o Two places where atmosphere is heated; bottom and ozone layer (approx 50km)
o Reverse thermal gradient higher is warmer
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