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Lecture 1-2012 notes.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Environmental Science
Tanzina Mohsin

Lecture 1 – Notes – EESA09H3 May 10 2012 - Specific kinds of winds - What is the role of wind in hurricanes? - A: causes the tornado to develop Why study wind?  Human mythology  Destructiveness – tornadoes, hurricanes  165 Tornadoes in 24 Hours, 194 Dead in Alabama , April 2011  Hurricanes: Katrina, Irene, Bill……..  Climatic importance – wind chill, local cooling and heating, Chinooks  Power source – wind power  Did you ever think of the role of wind in all these? History of Wind – Mythology  Greeks (Euro-centric)  Aeolus designated by  Zeus to look after the four winds  Zephyrus – gentle, west wind  Boreas – chilly, north wind  Notos – southern rain bringer  Eurus – ill-tempered east breeze  Chinese mythology: o Feng Po Po, Wind goddess, replaced Feng Po  Japanese mythology: o Fujin was one of the earliest gods of Shinto, the God of Wind  North American Indian: o Navajo (DinE) – wind intimately connected to their spiritual life o Part of creation stories (Holy wind – nilch‟i) – links to breathing  Others – wind mythology permeates most human societies  Been used as a metaphor, representing change  In the Hindu and Buddhist religions, o wind is viewed as the nature or state of a god, and referred to as “vayu”, “pavan” and “godai”  In other religions, such as Judaism, Islam, or Christianity - Wind is viewed as one of the five great elements of power  The wind power had been used to teach lessons to the followers in the past  Each book of the religions describe the act of wind power in different ways History of Wind – Geologic Control - 4.6 billion years - Has the atmosphere always been as it has now? - No- the atmospheric composition is dynamic not static o Balance come not from static but because inputs are equal to outputs In the beginning - Early earth o Atmospheric composition largely the result of volcanic emissions (geologic control) – CO 2 C0 4 o Life appeared 3.8 billion years ago - 2.3 billion years of methane, carbon dioxide atmosphere o Anaerobic conditions, “age of bacteria” - Abrupt change 2.3 billion years ago o Oxygen makes an appearance in the atmosphere and stabilizes at 21% o Aerobic life appears and flourishes (biological control) o Links to Gaia hypothesis (James Lovelook) History of Wind – Biological Control - Basic premise of life that modifies the environment to best suit itself - 21% oxygen is optimum for life - Mars and Venus are static equilibrium with high levels of carbon dioxide and methane - Why switch from anaerobic conditions to aerobic conditions 2.3 billion years ago? Gaia Hypothesis - Early sun produced 30% less energy (archea) - Solar output has been gradually increasing - Early earth with high levels of methane and carbon dioxide had a strong greenhouse effect which lead to conditions warm enough for life - After 2.3 billion years, solar output increased and earth was becoming too warm, the switch to aerobic life reduced the ghg and cooled the planet - We now was considerably lower levels of C0 in t2e atmosphere than the early earth - The Gaia hypothesis postulates that the atmospheric constituents have been controlled by life to optimize conditions for life History of Wind – Anthropogenic Control - During the Carboniferous Period (360 – 290 million years ago) during the Paleozoic Age life arrives on land o The sun’s energy converted to plant material (photosynthesis) o Decaying plants are not fully oxidized o Converted coal and oil under geologic pressure o Stored for millions of years o Many of today’s air quality problems arise for the release of this stored energy Story of Coal - First major anthropogenic modification of the atmosphere - Britain – industrial revolution – 19 century th th - USA – 19 anth20 century - China – 11 century, present A modern dumping ground - Fossil fuel (coal, oil, other hydrocarbons), source of emissions o Acid rain o Urban air quality o Urban heat island o Global warming - Other industrial emissions o Ozone hole Composition - What phase of matter is air? o Gas mainly o Liquid (cloud)
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