GEOL-1010 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Hydrosphere, Lithosphere, Negative Feedback

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5 Feb 2018
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2/7/17
Lecture 9: Continued
The Hydrosphere
Total amount of water on Earth
Good at helping us move heat from equator to the poles
Water has a really high heat capacity
o Example: Gulf Stream
Located in the Gulf of Mexico, goes up the Atlantic coast,
eventually going over to the Northern coast
Oceanic Heat Transport
o Thermohaline Circulation
Global oceanic circulation system that moves heat and salt around
the oceans
Red Pathways: Surface Water
Blue Pathways: Ocean floor water
o Why does water sink in the north Atlantic?
As the water releases heat it becomes cooler and cooler thus it gets
denser and denser causing it to sink
The water also gets a higher salt content as it travels
o Slowing in recent decades
Glaciers are almost all freshwater
When glaciers melt it adds a lot of fresh water to the ocean
Causing the water to slow down
o Negative feedback loop
o The Day After Tomorrow
It reality this wouldn’t happen
The Biosphere
Plants
o Draws down CO2 for photosynthesis
o Affects albedo
Animals
o Release CO2 and methane
Biological Pump
o Process of moving CO2 from the atmosphere to the lithosphere
o Interaction of biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere
The Cryosphere
All the frozen material on Earth
o Glaciers, Snow, Tundra, Permafrost
Ice covers ca ~9% of land surface
Most land surfaces albedo ~ 15-25%
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Snow/Ice albedo~ 40-90%
The Lithosphere
Tectonics affects climate in several ways
1. Continental Position
2. Continental Size
-Bigger continents have dryer climates
-Big continent means it’s hard for rain to reach the middle of the
continent
3. Collision Zone Uplift
- Rain Shadows
-Rain comes in from the coast and tries to go over mountains, in
order for it to move over the mountains it must rise, when it rises it loses
moisture causing the other side of the mountain range to get little to no
rain
4. Land Bridges
-Thin strip of land that connects two larger land masses
Recording Climate
Instrument and historical records only go back so far
Ice Cores
o Air trapped in glacial ice
o Atmospheric air in a closed system
o Can tell the chemical composition of the air so many years ago
o Ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica > 2 miles (3300 m)
o Some represent > 1 million years
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