ESS205H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Pleistocene, Homo Erectus, Geologic Time Scale

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Published on 13 Sep 2016
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Lithosphere (Textbook) – Solid Earth Sphere (Tutty)
Biosphere – living and dead things
How do the spheres interact with each other? (provide example of how all four interact)
Ex. Fish (biosphere) in a pond (hydrosphere) breathing air bubbles (atmosphere) putting its
spawn at the bottom of a lake (lithosphere)
Feedback:
1) Reinforcing feedback (+)
- Sea ice in the arctic reflects sunlight back into space which results in more ice forming
2) Balancing feedback (-)
- Carbon dioxide from a coal burning power plant
- Warm air is able to hold more water which means that more clouds are going to form
- And those clouds will reflect sunlight back into space so that the atmosphere cools
down
Growth:
- Human population growth in the last 2000 years has not been linear; it is much closer to
exponential (not perfectly exponential but closer to exponential than linear)
- the increase with time depends on the size of the population
Cambrian explosion is a good thing because life on Earth became more diverse and it was the
biggest change for life on Earth of any time
***When and when there was not life (don’t have to name all the creatures)
Biggest extinction the earth had ever seen – permian triassic extinction
Wiped out most of life on earth
Why was there such a huge extinction on Earth?
- climate change
- huge volcano eruptions (big eruptions that last for millions of years, spewing out cubic
kilometres worth of magma)
- Siberian traps??? – huge outpourings of magma, sometimes takes millions of years to
build them up
- Eruptions spew out toxic gases, sulfur, ash, CO2, greenhouse gases for a long period of
time
- Lava calmly pouring out but other volcanoes are different
- This extinction ushered in a new time period
Dinosaurs are now able to take over
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