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Lecture 1

GGR100H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Negative Feedback, Positive Feedback, Circle Of A Sphere

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Nina Hewitt

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GGR100H1F: Introduction to Physical Geography May 12, 2015
Lecture 1
Introduction to Physical Geography
Our study of geosystems – Earth systems – begins with a look at the science of physical geography
and the geographic tools we use. Physical geography and the geographic tools we use. Physical
geography is key to studying entire Earth system because of its integrative spatial approach.
Geography (Geo meaning Earth, Graphein meaning write) is the science that studies the
relationships among natural systems, geographic areas, society, cultural activities, and the
interdependence of all these over space.
Interdisciplinary: involves a combination of academic disciplines
Shared among geographic continuum where human-earth science relationship exists
Physical Geography is the spatial analysis of all the physical elements and processes that make up
the environment. Includes: energy, water, climate, soils, air, weather, animals, etc.
Spatial Analysis: is a set of techniques for analyzing spatial data
It is important to understand the results of spatial analysis are dependent on the
locations of the objects being analyzed
Spatial Analysis + Critical scientific approach = interpret facts correctly
In the news, there are often news that required interpretation
E.g. 1: Greenland ice loss doubles from the late 200
Makes us question: why the recent ice loss?
A: Global temperature isn’t constant, so what’s your real reason?
E.g. 2: Heat flow from Earth’s mantle contributes to Greenland ice melting
Makes us question: Is geothermal heat-melt relevant, in this context?
A: NO! it always existed, since the formation of the planet!
Scientific Method: a method of investigation in which a problem is first identified and observations,
experiments or other relevant data are then used to construct or test hypotheses that purport to
solve it
Earth’s 4 Major Spheres is where the planet’s vast area is where four
immense open systems interact made up of abiotic (nonliving) and biotic
(living) systems
a) Atmosphere: solar energy and the seasons, surface energy balances,
temperatures, atmospheric and oceanic circulation
b) Hydrosphere: water & atmospheric moisture, weather, water resources,
climate change
c) Lithosphere: tectonic, earthquakes, volcanism, landforms
d) Biosphere: geography of soils, ecosystems, terrestrial biomes
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