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Environmental Science
Carl Mitchell

Chapter 14 Climate: an areas long-term atmospheric conditions Global climate change: trends and variations in Earths climate, involving temperature, precipitation, and storm frequency and intensity Global warming: an increase in Earths average surface temperature - Sun, atmosphere and oceans determine Earths climate Sun supplies energy atmosphere, clouds, land, ice, and water absorb 70% of insolation, reflecting 30% - absorbs incoming short-wavelength solar radiation - surface materials increase in temperature and emit infrared radiation (radiation with longer wavelengths than visible light) Greenhouse gases (GHGs)radiatively active gases: water vapour, ozone (O3), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrious oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and halocarbons absorb infrared radiation - Reemits infrared energy of different wavelengths - Some is lost to space, some returns warming the tropospheresurface (greenhouse effect) - Human activities (anthropogenic) increased concentrations of GHGs over 250-300 years - Global warming potential: the relative ability of one molecule of a given greenhouse gas to contribute to warming - carbon dioxide is most abundant, most potent GHG - decay of organic material volcanoes Carbon is sequestered in the lithosphere deposition, partial decay, and compression of organic matter - Burned fossil fuels faster than can be replenished, clearedburned forests - increased methane tapping into fossil fuel deposits, raising livestock that emit methane as a metabolic waste product, disposin
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