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Lecture 2

Biology 2483A Lecture 2: Lecture 2

Course Code
BIOL 2483A
Graeme Taylor

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Biology 2483A
Lecture 2
Dr. Macfie
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
The Biosphere Chapters 2 & 3
Climate is a fundamental component of the physical environment
o Weather has day to day variability
o Climate is long-term patterns of temperature, wind and precipitation
o Temperature
Earth heated by sun, 50% absorbed by surface
Solar intensity is more intense at the equator
Ocean temperatures have their own pattern (she will not ask us to recreate any of
these maps but understand the concepts behind them)
Blue = ocean, red = surface
The ocean current at the equator carries about 50% of the hear going to the
ocean at both poles
The Gulf Stream, from gulf of mexico upwards
Even though it is same latitude as Labrador it is much warmer water due to
the current
Seasonal Variation in Temperature
These numbers on this figure show the difference between temp in season
Ex. 60 degrees means there is a difference of 60 degrees between summer
and winter
The larger the land mass the bigger the difference between temp during
summer and winter
Closer you get to land the more variability there is, vice versa with ocean
Water takes longer to change temperature
Heat capacity of water
Water has a higher capacity to retain heat
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Takes more energy to heat it up but retains it longer
o Winds
This figure (2.10) represents july average
Higher pressure situation, air is colder and it is descending
Low pressure = warmer air and it rises
Causes storm conditions because it mixes with cooler atmosphere
o Precipitation
Uplift = warm air rises
Subsidence = cool air falls
Patterns of uplift and subsidence are fairly established on long term patterns
Wa ai ises lose to euato, eatig…
Hadley Cells, these are driven by uplift
Polar Cells, cooler cells which are driven by subsidence
Ferrel Cells, driven by the movement of the other two cell types
These global air currents are responsible for global precipitation
This establishes our regions of Polar, Temperate, or Tropical Zones
These all have certain patterns
Atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns establish global patterns of temp and
o Red is warmer, darker = colder
o You can see the effect of ocean currents when the red and orange pushes up near the
northern pole
o Elevation has a role on temperature, in the Himalayas, the rockies and the andes
o Global Annual Precipitation
Mainly driven by Hadley, ferrel and polar cells
There are some very important regional difference
Regional Climates are influenced by:
o Mountains
Because increase altitude
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