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Lecture 3

Geography 2153A lecture 3 notes.docx

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Geography 2153A/B
Jamie Baxter

Geography 2153A Chapter 3 - Lecture Notes Nature’s Building Blocks Matter • 2 chemical forms: i) elements; ii) compounds- (organic and inorganic) • the Earth is a “closed system” for matter, which is of both “high quality” and “low quality” - low quality matter: little potential use as a resource; it is either dispersed or diluted (in oceans or atmospheres) or too far underground - high quality matter: usually concentrated and organized; found at or near the Earth's surface (such as coal) and has high resource potential - Inorganic compound: Metal, plastic, water, anything that doesn’t have hydrogen and oxygen in one - Organic compound: plants - Low quality matter take a long time to extract - Sometimes its better to leave it there and just use high quality matter - High quality matter, it already has been processed so recycling it is very easy - You can take metal to a scrap place to get money - Ex. Some people steal copper pipes because its valuable Types: - Atoms - Ions - Protons - Neutrons - Electrons Earth’s gases - in terms of environmental change, it is the variable gases that tend to be most important Uniform gases: - molecular nitrogen, molecular oxygen, argon, neon, helium, methane, krypton, and molecular hydrogen Important variable gases: - water vapour, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, sulphur monoxide, nitrogen dioxide - Understand the cycles - Hydrogen is high abundent to sustain life - Need nitrogen fixing bacteria - Affects how we use things - The variable gases are more important than uniform gases - The ozone can be good or bad - Can contribute to acid rain Energy • 2 forms: i) kinetic (e.g., wind); ii) potential (e.g., coal) • Energy, the ability or capacity to do work, is of two qualities: - high quality energy: high velocity wind or coal, natural gas energy - low quality energy: dispersed and of lesser value for work (ocean energy) - Potential energy is what sits on the ground - Kinetic energy is what can do work now - High quality energy, High mass to high energy output - The amount you can attain from the energy - Low quality energy, ex. the tides have mass amount of power, but largely distributed so not a lot of energy - What is more efficient in terms of producing energy? - Wind has lower impact but doesn’t create a lot of energy - Whereas nuclear provides high amount of energy, but high risk Physical and chemical changes • Law of conservation of matter - matter may change form, but it can neither be created nor destroyed (e.g., products of incomplete combustion from incineration) • First law of thermodynamics - energy may be changed or moved from place to place, but during physical or chemical change it can neither be created nor destroyed - have a set amount of energy Second law of thermodynamics • each change in energy, results in degradation to less useful forms • incandescent light bulb: 90% of the energy is dispersed heat (low quality energy) ; only 10% is used for light (high quality energy • Better to use compact fluorescent bulbs than incandescent bulbs since energy is lost in the old bulbs • Conservation in matter • We don’t destroy the mercury in the fluorescent bulbs Entropy: • measure of disorder • high quality energy has low entropy • increases over time – we are moving slowly towards a low-energy system • 30% energy is lost as heat Earth’s Major Components • Atmosphere -air - troposphere - stratosphere - ozone layer • Biosphere -living and dead organisms, vegetation and animals • Hydrosphere- water • Lithosphere -where we mine for things -crust, top of upper mantle Energy Balance • Understanding the energy balance provides the foundation for understanding environmental problems like climate change • Processes – absorption, reflection • Energy coming in from the sun, a major energy source • Not all the energy gets to us, major loss of energy along the way Diagram note: • Solar radiation entering earth’s atmosphere 100% • Absorption by dust and molecules, clouds, photosynthesis and earth • Reflection by scatter, clouds and ground • Earth absorbs the 68% and the 32% is reflected from the ground • Know roughly the percentage of the diagram Ecology • study of interactions of living (biotic) organisms with one another and with their nonliving (abiotic) environment of matter and energy • Levels of organization: • Bottom up increasing organization biome – the collection of ecosystem environments ecosystem – grasslands, wetlands (multiple communities) community – alpine meadow (multiple species) population – group of individuals of the same species organism – a single member of a species - The authors are both biologists and ecologists - Know the different levels of organization - There are increasing organisms going up the list - Ecosystems are collection of different species living together - The balance of these species are based on predator and prey relation Biodiversity 3 classifications of biodiversity: • species biodiversity the number of different species and their relative abundance • ecological diversity the variety of biological communities that interact with one another and with their non-living environments • human cultural variety of human cultures that represent our adaptability in the face of changing conditions Species biodiversity. Ex bears - Grizzly bears have the hump
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