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Environmental Science
Tanzina Mohsin

Lecture 1 Wind Why study wind?  Human mythology  Destructiveness – tornadoes, hurricanes o 165 tornadoes in 24 hrs, 194 dead in Alabama, April 2011  Climatic Importance – wind chill, local cooling and heating, Chinooks  Power source – wind power History of Wind – Mythology  Greeks o Aeolus designated by Zeus to look after four winds  Zephyrus – gentle, west wind  Boreas – chilly, north wind  Notos – southern rain bringer  Eurus – ill-tempered east breeze  Chinese myth o Feng Po Po  Wind goddess, replaced Feng Po  Japanese myth 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 Nilch’I – holy wind Cultural winds  Culturally, wind has been used as a metaphor, often representing change Wind in Religions  In Hindu and Buddhist religions o Wind is viewed as the nature or state of a god o Referred to as “vayu”, “pavan”, “godai”  In other religions such as Judaism, Islam or Christianity o Wind is viewed as one of the five great elements of power o The wind power had been used to teach lessons to the followers in the past o Each book of the religions describe the act of wind power in different ways History of Wind – Geologic Control  4.6 Billion years  Atmospheric condition is dynamic not static  Early earth o Atmospheric composition largely results of volcanic emissions (geologic control) – C02, CH4  2.3B years of methane, carbon dioxide atmosphere o Anaerobic conditions, “Age of Bacteria”  Abrupt change 2.3B years ago o Oxygen makes an appearance in the atmosphere and stabilizes at 21% o Aerobic life forms appear and flourish (biologic control) o Links to Gaia hypothesis (James Lovelock) Gaia Hypothesis  Early sun produced 30% less energy  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 B years, solar output increased and earth was becoming too warm, the switch to aerobic life, reduced the greenhouse gases and cooled the planet  We now have considerably lower levels of CO2 in the atmosphere than the early earth  Gaia Hypothesis postulates that the atmospheric constituents have been controlled by life to optimize conditions for life Story of Coal  First major anthropogenic modificatthn of the atmosphere  Britain – Industrial Revolution – 19 century  US – 19 and 20 centuries  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 of the atmosphere  Nitrogen, Oxygen, Argon, Neon, Helium, Hydrogen, Xenon  What is a greenhouse gas? o A greenhouse gas is an atmospheric constituent that traps outgoing terrestrial radiation o Includes water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and CFC’s  Greenhouse effect vs Enhanced Greenhouse effect o Greenhouse effect – is the natural process that keeps the earth warm. Solar radiation reaches the surface of our planet from the sun. It is then converted into thermal radiation which is then absorbed by atmospheric greenhouse gases (such as carbon dio
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