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[EARTHSS 15] - Final Exam Guide - Ultimate 63 pages long Study Guide!


Department
Earth System Science
Course Code
EARTHSS 15
Professor
Michael Stephen Pritchard
Study Guide
Final

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UC-Irvine
EARTHSS 15
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Simple
· The climate is very complex but the basic physics of climate change are not that hard to
understand
o Weather vs climate
§ Whats the differanccce ?
§ If you do not like weather…. Wait an hour!
§ If you do not like the climate ….. move !
o Climate is place.
§ Location, location, location!
ú Depends on where you live!
· Latitude!
· Altitude (mountains vs valley)
· What is upwind (ocean vs land)
· Changes very slowly
· Very predictable
o We can predict that Phoenix is warmer that Fargo for precisely the same reasons that we can
predict a warmer future
§ Every wonder why?....
ú Day is warmer than night
ú Summer is warmer than winter
ú Phoenix is warmer than Fargo
· HEAT BUDGETS!
o Dancing molecules and heat rays!
§ Nearly all of the air is made of oxygen (O2) and nitrogen (N2) in which 2 atoms of the same
element share electrons
ú Diatomic molecules can vibrate back and forth like balls on a spring, but the ends are identical
· INFRARED (HEAT) ENERGY RADIATED UP FROM THE SURFACE CAN BE ABSORBED
BY THESE MOLECULES, BUT NOT VERY WELL.
ú Carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O) are very different
ú Molecules that have may ways to wiggle are called “greenhouse” molecules
· THEY HAVE MANY MORE WAYS TO VIBRATE AND ROTATE, SO THEY ARE VERY
GOOD AT ABSORBING AND EMITTING INFRARED (HEAT) RADIATION.
o The green house effect
§ Some of the infrared radiation passes through the atmosphere but most is absorbed and re
emitted in all directions by greenhouse gas molecules and clouds. The effect of this is to warm
the Earths surface and the lower atmosphere
§ Solar radiation powers the climate system
§ Some solar radiation is reflected by the Earth and the atmosphere
§ About half the solar radiaton is absorbed by the Earth’s surface and warms it
§ Infrared radiation is emitted from the Earths surface
o Common sense
§ Doubling CO2 would add 4 watts to every square meter of the surface of the Earth, 24/7
§ Doing that would make the surface warmer
§ This was known before light bulbs were invented
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§ John Tydall, Januaary 1863 stated this
o Common myth #1
§ We are concerned about climate change because of how fast it’s been getting warmer lately
ú False, we are concerned because when you add energy to a system it tends to warm up
· II. Serious
o How much warmer?
§ Land vs ocean
§ Nort vs south
§ Global mean waring of 2-5 deg C
ú = 5-11 deg F
§ Arctic warming of 8-14 deg F
§ Rainfall water supply? Agriculture? Water supply? Drought?
o Where is it 10F warmer “on the average”?
§ Irvine--àMexiCali
§ Illinoià Mississippi
§ Grand JunctionàTuscon
o A region on the edge
§ Much of the southern California already receives little precipitation
§ Not enough snow to support forests and reservoirs
§ Just enough water imported to support farming, landscaping
§ Just enough water to support over 10 million people
o Wildlife in the West
§ Earlier spring snowmelt and runoff
§ Hotter peak days with lower relative humidity
§ Longer fire season
ú Change in area burned for 1C increase in global average temperature (NRC 2011)
§ Iclicker question
ú “if we reduce or stop burning fossil fuel, CO2 will go away and things will go back to normal?
· False
§ Common myth #2
ú “If we reduce or stop burning fossil fuel, CO2 will go away and things will go back to normal?
· If China and India indistrualize with coal, CO2 will rise to 5x preindustrial
· Extra CO2 will last for millennia after coal is gone
§ The worst myth of all:
ú Without the subsidy of cheap fossil energy, civilization will crumble
ú People will freeze in the dark!
ú We will starve
ú “THE SKY IS FALLING”
ú Be skeptical… be very skeptical .
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