Chapter 5 summary notes

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Environmental Science
Carl Mitchell

CHAPTER 5 - EARTH SYSTEMS AND ECOSYSTEM ECOLOGY - Asystem is a network of relationships among parts, elements or components that interact with and influence one another through the xchange of energy, matter or info. - systems receive inputs of energy, matter or info and process them. - open systems (open to both energy and matter - will take in energy(sunlight) and also matter (water, carbon, oil, gas..etc) and also output the product of rxn of the inputs) everything can be systems- e.g. this classroom, mouse - closed system are those that receive inputs and produce outputs of energy but not matter. (only opened to energy, not matter)the Earth is a closed system. the matter gets recycled and eventually creates heat, Earth engulfs a lot of opened systems. - matter cycles among system but does not leave or enter. but in nature there is no system thats truly closed. - feedback loop - a systems output can serve as an input to the same system. (e.g. earth has its own feedback loops - not going to 3000 degrees.) - negative feedback loop (enhence stability) results when the output of a system becomes the input of the system thus moving the system in the opposite direction. inputs and outputs essentially neutralize one anothers effects, stabilizing the system. - positive feedback loop (destabilizing effect) rather than stabilizing a system, it drives it further towards 1 extreme or another. E.g. population growth (more ppl born = more ppl to give birth = more...etc). Rare in nature but common in natural systems altered by human impact. - dynamic equilibrium is when processes win a system move in opposite dirn @ equivalent rates so their effects balance out. its an ever-changing balance not statistic - homeostasis is the tendency of a system to maintain constant or stable internal conditions. (in stable, steady state) - emergent properties are characteristics thats not evident in the components alone. - The earth can be broken down into a few sub-systems. such as the atmosphere-(air surrounding our planet) everything above Earths surface. Lithosphere-(rock and sediment beneath our feet, in the planets uppermost layers) everything below the surface, rocks...etc. Biosphere-consists of all the living things and the non living portions which they interact with. Hydrosphere-all the water based systems on earth (oceans, lakes rivers, ponds...etc) All these systemsboundaries overlap. - Earth itself is a closed system, and these are all the opened systems win earth that interact weach other. Everything happens in the closed boundary of Earth itself. - Over time, Rocks and minerals (naturally occurring, inorganic crystalline solids) are heated, melted, cooled broken down and reassembled in a very slow process called the rock cycle. (help determine biotic components of regions ecosystem) - All rocks can melt if T is high enough, liquid state of rock = magma, it amy flow or spatter across Earths surface as lava. Cooled magma forms igneous rock. - magma that cools slowly and solidifies under Earths surface is known as intrusive or plutonic rock. (e.g. granite) - magma from a volcano solidifies on the surface cools very quickly so minerals have little time to grow into coarser crystals -> extrusive or volcanic rock. (e.g. basalt)
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