GGR100H1 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Soot, Surface Tension, Climate Change

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27 Jan 2013
Chapter 1 Essentials of Geography (Tuesday May 17th)
Physical geography = spatial analysis of all the physical elements and processes that make up the
environment: energy, air, water weather, climate, landforms, soils, animals, plants, microorganisms, and
Earth itself
Geography = relationship among natural systems, geographic areas, society, cultural activities, and the
interdependence of all of these over space
Spatial = nature and characteristic of physical space, its measurement, and the distribution of
things within in (ex. Route to class includes knowledge of street patter, traffic trouble spots, bike
rack locations, etc)
Humans are spatial actors, both affecting & being affected by the earth
5 main themes: location, region, human-Earth relationships, movement, place
Scientific Method
Real world (Perception) Observations/Measurements (Data collection, acquisition,
observation) → Inductive Reasoning (explanation analysis, interpretation) → Hypothesis (search
of patters/orders/process) → Predictions (Experiment & testing, verification) → General
Theory/Governing Laws (Theory Formulation)
Geographic Analysis
Governed by method of ‘spatial analysis’
Depend on earth’s system to provide: oxygen, water, nutrients, energy, and materials to support
Earth Systems Concept
Systems Theory = is any ordered, interrelated set of things and their attributes, linked by flows
of energy and matter, as distinct from surrounding environment outside the system
o Open Systems = not self contained: inputs of energy and matter flow into the system,
and outputs of energy and matter flow from the system ex. The body, plants, cars, etc)
o Earth is open system in terms of energy (solar energy enters, changes into kinetic,
potential or chemical and earth radiates heat energy leaves back to space)
o Closed Systems = self contained, shut off from surrounding environment
o Earth is closed system in terms of physical matter and resources
Systems Feedback = system’s outputs influence its own operations
o Outputs function as ‘info’ that returned to various points in the system via pathways
called Feedback loops
o Ex. / sunlight/CO2/H2O affects photosynthetic system => causing changes in growth
o Feedback information discourages response in system = Negative Feedback
Cause self regulations in natural system, stabilizing and maintaining systems
o Feedback information encourages increased response in system = Positive Feedback
Unchecked growth will reach a critical limit, leading to instability, disruption or
death of organism
Ex. Good review of movie, compound interest, fires, melting of glaciers
o System Equilibrium = energy and material system balanced, rate of inputs and outputs
are equal and amounts of energy and matter in storage within the system are constant
(ex. Body weight)
Steady-state equilibrium = fluctuates around steady average
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Dynamic equilibrium = increasing or decreasing system operations (steady
change over time), tend to resist abrupt change, but may reach
threshold/tipping point where it change into a new operation (this abrupt
change is called ‘metastable equilibrium) new equilibrium eventually reached
Ex. Hillside after landslide
o Model = simplified, idealized representation of part of the real world.
Earth’s Four Spheres
o 3 abiotic (non-living) systems overlapping to form the realm of the biotic (living system)
o Atmosphere = thin gaseous veil surrounding the earth, held to the planted by gravity,
formed by gases arising from within the Earth’s crust and interior and the exhalations of
all life over time
o Hydrosphere = Earth’s waters exist in the atmosphere, on the surface, and in the crust
near the surface, frozen portion called ‘cryosphere’
o Lithosphere = earth’s crust and portion of the upper mantle directly below the crust
o Biosphere/Ecoshpere = intricate interconnection web that links all organisms with their
physical environment, 3 overlapping abiotic systems
Spherical Planet
o Geoid = shape of Earth is earth shaped
o Latitude = angular distance north or south of the equator measured from the center of
Earth, parallel lines to equator, 49°
Determined by observing fixed celestial objections, sight Polaris and measure
angel to horizon
Zones: equatorial and tropical (23.5°N 23.5°S), subtropical (23.5°N/S
35°N/S), midlatitude (35°N/S - 55°N/S), subarctic/subantarctic (55°S/N
66.5°N/S), arctic/Antarctic (66.5°N/S - 90°N/S)
Notable: Tropic of Cancer (23.5°N), Tropic of Capricorn (23.5°S), Arctic circle
(66.5°N), Antarctic circle (66.5°S)
o Longitude = angular distance east of west of a point on Earth’s surface, measured from
the center of the earth
Line connecting all points along same longitude is a ‘meridian
Prime Meridian = 0°, passes through Greenwich, England
o Great Circle = any circle of Earth’s circumference whose centre coincides with the
center of the Earth (basically divides the earth into equal halves)
o Small Circle = divides earth in unequal halves
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Prime Meridian & Standard Time
o Time changes every 15°per hr
o International Date Line = where the day officially begins, from this line new days sweeps
o Time relies on tracking earth’s rotation, tug of tidal forces and re-arrangement of earth
o Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) replaced Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
o Day light saving time = set 1 hr ahead in spring and set back 1 hr in fall
Maps, Scales, and Projections
Map = generalized view of an area, usually some portion of earth’s surface, as seen from above
and greatly reduced in size
Map Elements: Title, Legend, North Arrow, Scale, Date, Projection info
Types of Geographic Data: Discontinuous, Continuous, Qualitative, Quantitative
Cartography = part of geography that involves map making
Topographic Maps: high detail of surface area, physical and
human feature, contour lines
o Contour lines never cross, all points on the line have
same elevation
Thematic Graphs
o Point Symbol: dot density proportional symbols
o Area Symbol: choropleth maps, cartograms
o Line Symbol: quantitative or qualitative
Cylindrical projections Mercator projections, Planar projections
Gnomonic projection, conic projection Albers equal-area conic
projection, oval projections
Mercator present false size as toward poles areas smaller, Greenland
looks bigger than South America but in reality Green land only 1/8th
size of south America
o Contains rhumb line = denotes constant direction and appears as a straight line on the
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