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Lecture 4

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Biological Sciences
Rudy Boonstra

LECTURE 4 October 2, 2007 Exam October 23, 2007 Geological Time Scale (handout) Keep it with you so you can reference as it will understand where you are regarding a variety of issues. At least for the next couple of lectures bring it with you. Lab Bio-fuels are what the lab is about this week. This is an extremely important area so I wont discuss it today. The argument is that they will replace or significantly substitute for fossil fuels. If so how will the earth sustain that for its use? Be prepared to discuss that. Changes in Global Climate Temperature Ocean Temperature Precipitation & Drought Water Vapour The Cryosphere snow and ice You will see where we have been as a benchmark and potentially where we are going. Cryosphere About 10% of the earths land surface is permanently covered in ice. Only a tiny fraction happens outside of Greenland and Antarctica. On an average (not including recent estimates) ice also covers about 7% of the worlds oceans. Snow covers 49% of the lands surface in the Northern Hemisphere in the winter. This is relevant because of Albedo which is the extent to which an object reflects light. Incoming light is short-wave and a portion goes back into space as short-wave, it is not converted to infrared. This is critical in the process. Albedo is a major factor in terms of the heat load of the planet. (Refer to graph) At the top is 100% Albedo which is reflectants and the bottom is 0% Albedo. Old snow as it breaks down is less good so up to 90% is reflected if it is good snow and ice isnt quite so good. The quality of ice is variable in terms of it colouration and water isnt good at all, it is less than 10%. As you increase the amount of water in the oceans then you have less Albedo. As you increase all these other components of the biosphere they have very low BGYC58H3F.October,2, 2007 LECTURE 4 1
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