Climate Notes.docx

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Department
Earth & Environmental Sciences
Course
EESC 1158
Professor
Donald James
Semester
Fall

Description
i. Climate: weather averaged over time • Earth’s climate system is driven by the sun ii. A key property of solar radiation ▯ relatively short wavelength iii. The earth radiates longer wavelength energy • Inverse function… (i.e. sun is hot ▯ short wavelength, earth is cold ▯ long wavelength) Atmospheric Gas Composition The Greenhouse Effect i. Permits Earth to sustain life (as opposed to moon) ii. Where does extra CO2 come from? ▯ Earth surface: powerplants, cars, etc… The Carbon Cycle Photosynthesis▯ plants take up CO2 and respire the O2 i. Biosphere photosynthesis and respiration is biggest flux of global O2 and CO2 ii. Human Effects: we add 7.1 gigatons to atmosphere per year iii. New Plant Growth: (and air­sea exchange) removes 3.8 gigatons per year iv. The Keeling Curve ▯ shows graph of CO2 ppm by volume/year (increasing significantly)  a. Has increased about 100 ppm in 60 years b. Carbon dioxide cycle increases and decreases (peaks and troughs) every year due to the loss of plant  life…this leads to respiration > photosynthesis. However, the contrary is also true (I.e. plant rebirth  overshadows respiration) Significant Impacts i.  Ice­Albed
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