Office hours - Dr. J. Weaver - 3-5PM Thursdays – SS 5061
Geography - Science that studies the relationships among parts of the earth and the
interdependence of them over space.
Spatial - Nature/character of physical space, measurement and distribution of things within it.
Physical geography - patterns/processes in our physical environment.
A system has inputs/outputs. Within it, the inputs are either stored or converted in some way.
•Ex: Car. Inputs: Gas, fuel etc. Output: Exhaust.
•Ex: Sunlight. Input: Sunlight. Gets converted and such, then outputted as heat.
Two systems: Open and Closed
Open systems - have an input and output.
Closed systems - shut off from surrounding environment, and is self-contained. The Earth and
its atmosphere is an example, in terms of air, water and materials.
**Feedback - When an output loops and becomes an input.**
Ex: Meltpods - areas of ice that are melted. The are a darker colour than the ice, so they absorb
more sunlight, and therefore grow more. This has an exponential effect.
Ex: Thermostat in the house - maintains a constant temperature rather than letting it get out of
Ex: Predator-prey cycle - Stable.
Equilibriums in earth systems – three kinds *find out which ones*
Metastable ex: rains a lot, pond water keeps increasing. all of a sudden, the banks of the pond
break and the water level goes way down.
0 degrees of longitude is in England, where the royal observatory is. If you go 180 degrees, you
reach the international date line.
Longitude lines are always 90 degrees of latitude lines.
Difference between small-scale and large-scale
1:24,000 vs 1:50,000,000.
1:24,000 is the large-scale. trick: treat as fraction. Smaller the scale, more abstract and less
detail there will be on map.
When you project a map, you end up losing either the shape of a region, or the area of it.
Mercator projection keeps the shape of a region, not the area.
Topographic maps are usually used for navigation.
When contour lines are close together, it is a steep incline.
**read up on remote sensing cause you fell asleep faggot** p.30 Aral sea was so contaminated that it was undrinkable by 1997.
GIS (Geographic Information Systems)
Works with layers. Possible to put two pictures together and subtract them to find out volume
Lectures 3 + 4
Urban areas have a heat island effect – higher air temperatures, longer growing season, warming water
bodies. Reasons why invasive species migrate is because humans feed them, abundant food.
Toronto’s mandatory method to control invasive species is “addling” eggs, putting a chemical on them so
that they never hatch.
Energy and the Atmosphere
Test question: What are the patterns of how we receive solar radiation on the earth and what is the effect
it has on the earth?
Earth rotates eastward on its own axis. Sun rises in the east. Memory tip: E-E.
Stefan-Boltzmann law: Q (radiation intensity) is proportional to temperature^4.
A wavelength is the distance between two crests in a wavelength, and the frequency is how often these
The shorter waves are absorbed farther away from our Earth’s surface by the atmosphere. Longer the
wave, the more it can penetrate. That’s why we require sunblock for UV rays.
Need to know solar constant – 1372 W/m^2.
The poles of the earth are colder because the sun’s rays are oblique, and therefore an area of the sun’s
rays have to travel further to reach the earth’s surface.
Perihelion – Closest to sun, Jan 3
Aphelion – Farthest from sun, July 4
5 reasons for seasons remembered by STARR
Know perihelion and aphelion – whole earth, does not vary depending on location on the earth.
The equator’s day length is 12 hours year round.
Axis is angled at 23.5 degrees from the plane of the ecliptic.
Sun never goes above Tropic of Cancer and never goes below Tropic of Capricorn.
Go over “defining the seasons” slide for test – lecture 3.
Read pgs. 68-71 – ozone.
Atmosphere is divided by temperature: troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere
Read ozone layer – kittinger balloon.
Temperatures don’t just increase as you increase distance from earth’s surface.
Earth’s atmosphere: 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, <1%/traces of other stuff.
You can never measure the sub-solar point above or below 23.5 degrees. Hotter objects emit higher radiation intensities.
More pollution makes ice darker, which gives them less reflectivity, which causes them to absorb more
North passage – able to stay open year-round now, more ships, even more melting and pollution.
Cloud cover causes insolation on the Earth’s surface to decrease because they have a higher albedo –
Solar radiation entering the atmosphere: *SW – Shortwave. *LW – Longwave.
Scattering - does not change wavelength. If there is a lot of pollution, the sky appears white, because all
wavelengths are being scattered equally?
K* (total) = k (coming in) multiplied by (1 – k(going out) divided by k(coming in))
K refers to SW. Net shortwave radiation – K*
Snow has a higher albedo than water.
Cloud-greenhousing – more longwaves being stuck under the earth.
Convection – usually vertical. Advection is horizontal.
Latent heat – gas to water; phase change.
***Earth’s albedo is 31%***.
Earth-atmosphere radiation balance diagram – know how the waves travel.
A humid landscape will have more latent heat than a dry climate because there is more precipitation.
Oceans have a high amount of latent heat.
Urban Heat Island Effect
Darker objects absorb more energy than they reflect, which is why their albedo is lower (made up of
Different angles of buildings end up trapping radiation.
Producing energy results in heat.
Pollution traps longwave solar radation.
Lectures 5 and 6
Temperature – kinetic energy / movement of particles.
Kelvin: -273 degrees, no molecular motion.
Only USA uses Fahrenheit still. Celcius is based on freezing/boiling points of water.
Stevenson screens house thermometers that measure temperature:
1. White so that they reflect sunlight – no insulation effect.
2. Has slats so that they are ventilated and no greenhouse effect occurs.
Warmest time of day is a few hours after noon, which is when the most insolation is absorbed. This is
because it takes time for shortwave radiation to be converted to longwave radiation – time for atmosphere
to heat up.
The coldest time is right after sunrise.
Overcast day – less energy gained, lower maximum temperature, less energy lost as well. Determinants of local temperature
1. Latitude – Poleward transport of energy surplus (hot molecules travel to colder ones)
2. Altitude (elevation) – Altitude is something that you measure in the air, whereas elevation is
something you measure on the land. At high elevations (i.e mountains) there is a higher
temperature during the day and lower temperature during the night due to denser air. Asl – above
3. Atmospheric conditions
4. Land-water heating differences – Requires more energy to heat up water than it does land.
5. Surface characteristics – orientation (side of a hill that faces sun is warmer).
Global patterns – figures 5-13 and 5-16 in text.
Southern hemisphere is closer to water, which is why the temperature is generally milder than the
Water on Earth – Where does it come from?
Water has also been found on Mars and several moons of Jupiter.
Eustisy – the movement of sea levels (rising and falling)
Freshwater is potable (drinkable) because it’s non-saline.
When it’s cold, the air cannot hold as much vapour in it, so the air is drier.
Temperature/Vapour pressure x 100 = relative humidity
100% = saturated, over = supersaturated, under = unsaturated
Clouds and Fog
Read figure 7.19
Lectures 7 + 8 (sick and missed 7)
Midterm exam: EX320 – bring a pen and t-card
Final paper: References should primarily journal articles.
Make sure reference list is alphabetized.
You don’t have to prove any point/argument in your paper, but make sure to have an overall sense.
Have an informative title
Coriolis force: Deflects wind to the right in northern hemisphere, left southern hemisphere. Due to earth’s
Anticyclones are high pressure, cyclones are low.
Atmospheric patterns of motion:
Low-pressure system sinks down south, and then moves up in the summer.
Equatorial low-pressure trough due to warm air.
Subtropical high is due to air being force down in the tropics? (Look at figure 6-12)
Intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) – low-pressure, high insolation, higher temperature, high moisture
Figure 6.12b might be on midterm – know jet streams, types of winds, layers of atmosphere.
Read pg 150 – rossby waves and jet stream
Land-sea Breezes – figure 6.17.
Mountain-valley freeze (same as land-sea) – day: warm, hot air rises. Night: Dense, cool air sinks.
Katabatic winds – When winds go over a plateau and are forced downwards. Changes from high to low
pressure. Sometimes air is heating/dried as it flows down slope, causing dramatic warning (i.e Chinook –
rockies). Oceanic Currents:
Thermohaline (temperature and salt)
Upwelling occurs when cold water takes the place of warm water that has been pushed away.
Downwelling occurs when
Good fishing where there’s cold water because it’s nutrient-rich. (west coast of N/S america, good areas
In some areas, even if warm waters are being pushed out, they are being replaced with more warm water
(i.e east of asia)
Deep ocean currents – figure 6.22
Deep currents: Thermohaline circulation – hot/cold water taking the place of each other.
Atmospheric circulation: More of a thermal force, but also a dynamic force.
Lectures 9 + 10
Next week, office hours Wednesday 2-4 (same room)
Weather – short-term condition of the atmosphere (never static because of air parcels, temperature, etc.)
Climate – long-term condition of the atmosphere. Climate affects weather.
Forest fire determinants: fuel, topography, weather.
Processes that affect air masses are similar to those that affect air parcels.
Air masses intersect, interact, and affect each other. After that, they end up taking on the characteristics of
the local conditions.
i.e snow belts – air mass that picks up heat and then picks up moisture from a lake or something and then
moves over a land which is cooler and cools down because of that, then the air wil