EESA05 Lecture 09 Notes.docx

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Environmental Science
Caroline Barakat

1 EESA05 Lecture 09 (Climate Change)  Areas threatened by climate change:  Arctic regions (Canada should be very concerned about this due to us holding a bunch of this region),lots of permafrost and it’ll thaw and the top layer = active layer will thaw and refreezes; active permafrost will result in active carbon gases  California (fire and flood); more droughts and drier summers  Maldives (sea level rise); islands in the south pacific  Changes in our economy due to the increase in natural disasters  Reasons to climate change:  Growing values  Value concentration in coastal areas  Changing hazard cycles and trends; ex// natural and manmade climate change  Solar energy is the most important factor controlling the earth’s energy  Earth receives uneven solar heating  Near the equator, the Earth receives the Sun’s rays vertically making the earth warmer  Near the poles, the earth receives the Sun’s rays in an oblique angle, making the earth cooler in those regions  The warm air near the equator rises, it actually cools down since it expands = adiabatic cooling = change in gas by changing its pressure, causing it to expand; this is why we have lush-full rainforests  The 30 degrees latitude is also known as “horse” latitude because there weren’t much winds and sailors would throw horses out of their boats to be able to sail…or something like that  Coriolis effect = change in deflection of the air masses; as you’re descending it’ll force you to the right  Trade winds are near the equator  The cool air near the poles sink  When air rises, we have areas of high precipitation  When air sinks we have areas with low precipitation because air sinks it compresses and warms up, making it unlikely for water vapour to condense to rain or snow  Equinox = equal hours in day and night  Albedo:  Measure of reflectivity; depends on the surface; 0-1  Snow is reflective  Water depends on the ripples and change  Reduces the amount of energy that reaches the earth’s surface  Caused by clouds or snow and ice cover  Greater cloud or ice cover reflects away more heat  30% of what we receive, the earth reflects it back  So, so much of the sun is reflected back  June solstice = longest day of the year; closer to the sun; if this didn’t happen, our summers will be colder  Winter solstice = longest night of the year and shortest daylight  Winds are the most effective way of carrying heat  Winds drive surface ocean currents, which travel in roughly circular paths in each ocean basin, carrying warn water away from the equator towards the poles  Ocean currents carry heat as well  Salinity = the amount of salt in the water  When evening out heat distribution, ocean circulation also evens out salinity over the oceans 2 EESA05 Lecture 09 (Climate Change)  In the tropics, evaporation is intense, and the ocean is salty, so that warm, salty water flows towards the poles to mix with the less saline waters there (from precipitation and glacier melting)  Ocean water moderates against large changes in temperature, so that climes in coastal regions tend to be much more stable and moderate than climates in regions far from the ocean  In the past, earth used to have similar temperature t
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