Wind - Chapter 1 notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Environmental Science
Tanzina Mohsin

EESA09H Lecture 1 Mythological and Cultural Winds 1. Aeolus Greek God of Wind 2. Feng Po Po Chinese Goddess of Wind 3. Haya-Ji Japanese God of Wind 4. Nilchi Navajo Holy Wind Atmospheric Primer: The History of Wind The earths atmosphere has existed for 4.6 billion years Composition of atmosphere was not constant due to: 1. Geologic Control (4.6 2.3) Volcanic emissions carbon dioxide (CO ), 2ethane (CH ) 4 Early Life Age of bacteria Anaerobic (not needing oxygen) 2. Biological Control (2.3) Early sun produced 30% less energy (Archean Era) Solar output gradually increasing strong greenhouse effect Solar output continued to increase, earth was becoming too warm, the switch to aerobic life (oxygen stabilized at 21%) reduced greenhouse gases (CO , 2H ),4 cooled down Earth Gaia Hypothesis (James Lovelock): Atmospheric constituents have been controlled by life to optimize conditions for life 3. Anthropogenic Control (Carboniferous Period, 360-290 million years ago) Photosynthesis Process by which plants take carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to create plant material Plant takes sunlight + H 2 + CO , 2elease O in2o atmosphere (stripped from CO ) 2 When plant dies, plant material rots in an oxidation process which returns carbon back to carbon dioxide form Not all decaying plants are fully oxidized, geological pressure (millions of years) converts plant material into fossil fuels (coal and oil) Anthropogenic modification Atmosphere has become a modern dumping ground, fossil fuels causing: Acid rain, urban air quality, urban heat island, and global warming Composition: Solid, Liquid, Gas
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