ENV200H1 Lecture Notes - Electromagnetic Spectrum, Photosynthesis, Atmospheric Circulation

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Fossil fuel = decomposition of living organisms --> liquid or gas, they're actually
fossils made through millions of years
We use them very quickly.
Water cycle: slide7
The earth = 97% water = ocean
Moves water around the globe,
water from ocean evaporates b/c of solar energy ends up in atmosphere
Makes up clouds
Precipitate in the form of rain/snow
Makes way back to the ocean
Complete recycle of water back to the eco system.
Nitrogen cycle: slide 8
Proteins and DNA, what makes who we are, requires nitrogen which is an
important element
78% of the atmosphere is made out of
We'd think that nitrogen wouldn't run out or have a shortage, but nitrogen in our
atmosphere is not in a biologically useable forms
Nitrogen in our atmosphere cannot be changed into proteins for us to use it,
biological useable form
Nitrogen cannot be used unless converted into useable forms , after it goes through
ammonification then it can be used in a biological way.
It has to go through a complicated five steps, details will be in the text book go
check it
In the past, b/c
nitrogen in the atmosphere isn't in a biologically useable form we relied on
bacteria to convert the nitrogen into the biological useable form which is called
nitrogen fixation
There're some plants that had this bacteria in their root structures that were able
to do this miraculous chemical transformation to convert it to ammonia, a more
usable form, which would take it through other four stages of chemical
transformation.
Lots of nitrogen in the air, but not in useable form unless it's converted.
Understand how atmosphere affect nitrogen, go through the nitrogen fixation and
how it goes back to the cycle and how it gets back into the atmosphere.
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Human activities significantly altered the nitrogen cycle , we saw how nitrogen
could be incorporated to our agricultural system.
From rarly 20th cen, our chemical advance allowed us to do what bacteria was
doing for us before , that is converting nitrogen into useable forms
This altered the landscape and how nitrogen was incorporated to the system
--> great growth in agriculture, fertilizers have high percentage of nitrogen
b/c it's needed for growth to happen
Nitrogen in the atmosphere will be doubled in 25 yrs, this is an enormous amount
Impact? Concept of Eutrophication, richness in the water body, an excessive
nutrition
Many plants will grow, which will decompose and cause the problem creating
oxygen sucked up by decomposition process. Makes water less easy to clean up or
consume
Smog, acid rain and formation of green house gases, would also be a factor other
than carbon dioxide.
Phosphorus cycle (another fertilizer)
Big diff b/t this and nitrogen, phosphorus is not in our atmosphere nor can be
altered to be created
Yet still an imp. Element in our dna and atp (chemical energy).
Basic understanding of how phosphorus works through food chain is, we don't get it
from atmosphere instead, we find it in the land.
It's in the earth's systems. Phosphates move through the food chain
Organism eat plant -> organism eat other organism -> -> organism dies ->
phosphorus goes back into the land
= Organisms making an access to phosphate
b/c it's not in our atmosphere it's in a patchy distribution
There're areas that doesn't have so much phosphorous this is why plants grow
abundantly when it has phosphorus in fertilizer
When it's trapped in the lithosphere it won't move like nitrogen that's in the
atmosphere but will stay there
Once it ends up in ocean, seabed that's very deep that phosphorus will be tied up
So the cycle can take a very long geological time
Although having an abundance of phosphorus is a good thing, over-abundance
causes\ similar things as things caused by over abundance of nitrogen.
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Document Summary

Fossil fuel = decomposition of living organisms --> liquid or gas, they"re actually fossils made through millions of years. Complete recycle of water back to the eco system. Proteins and dna, what makes who we are, requires nitrogen which is an important element. 78% of the atmosphere is made out of. Nitrogen cannot be used unless converted into useable forms , after it goes through ammonification then it can be used in a biological way. I t has to go through a complicated five steps, details will be in the text book go check it. In the past, b/c nitrogen in the atmosphere isn"t in a biologically useable form we relied on bacteria to convert the nitrogen into the biological useable form which is called nitrogen fixation. Lots of nitrogen in the air, but not in useable form unless it"s converted.

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