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GG101 (32)


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Rich Petrone

GG101 Chapter 1 Notes Geography- the science that studies the relationship among natural systems, geographic areas, society, cultural activities, and the interdependence of all of these over space Spatial- the nature and character of physical space, its measurement and the distribution of things within it - five important spatial themes: - location - region - Human – Earth relationships - Movement - Place - Using these themes, geography is governed by a method rather than a specific body of knowledge, this is known as SPATIAL ANALYSIS - Geographers use spatial analysis to examine how Earth’s processes interact over space or area - Geographers view phenomenon as occurring in spaces, areas, and locations Process- a set of actions or mechanisms that operate in a special order; it is central to geographic analysis Physical Geography- the spatial analysis of all physical elements and process systems that make up the environment, ex, air, energy, water, animals, plants, etc - Systems analysis techniques began with studies of energy and temperature (thermodynamics) System- any ordered interrelated set of things and their attributes linked by flows of energy and matter, as distinct from the surrounding environment outside the system Matter- a mass that assumes a physical shape and occupies space; energy is a capacity to change the motion of or to do work on matter Open System- inputs of energy and matter flow into the system, and output of energy and matter flow from the system; Earth is an open system in terms of energy due to the fact that solar energy enters freely and heat energy leaves, going back into space - Kinetic energy (of motion), potential energy (of position), chemical or mechanical energy are some forms of energy that the Earth transfers - Ex. Photosynthesis process converts inputs to stored chemical energy in the form of carbohydrates. This release an output from the plant system, the oxygen we breathe Closed System- a system that is shut off from the surrounding environmental so that it is self contained; rarely found in nature; Earth is essentially a closed system in terms of physical matter and resources- air water and material resources Feedback loop- outputs function as information that is returned to various points in the system Negative feedback- if feedback information discourages continued change in the system in response to an initial change; it informs and causes self-regulation in a natural system. Positive feedback- feedback information encourages more changes in the system; it stimulates further system changes in response to an initial change. Unchecked positive feedback in a system can cause a snowballing condition. Unchecked growth in natural systems can reach a critical limit, leading to instability, disruption or even death of an organism. - Ex. Global climate change; Melt ponds are darker and reflect less sunlight, and therefore absorb more solar energy, which in turn, melts more ice, which forms melt ponds and so forth. - Therefore the positive feedback loop is in operation, further enhancing the effects of higher temperature and warming trends. - As sea ice melts, the darker open water absorbs more sunlight which produces increase air and water temperatures - The greater a fire, the greater becomes the availability of fuel, and thus more fire is possible Steady-state Equilibrium- when the rates of inputs and outputs in the system are equal and the amounts of energy and matter in storage within the systems are constant Dynamic equilibrium- A steady-state system may demonstrate a changing trend over time Threshold- Also known as tipping point; where it can no longer maintain its character so it lurches to a new operational level. - They can be reached in plant and animal communities - Ex. The death/bleaching of coral reefs worldwide accelerated after 1997 when warming condition in oceans combined with pollution to lead coral systems to a threshold. Today, about 50% of the corals on earth are ailing or nearing collapse - Human forced climate change is increasing the temperatures of the ocean and atmosphere. Higher temperatures cause higher evaporation rates that affect the condensation level - Increased clouds affect the daily temperature range: Clouds at night, acting like insulation, raise nighttime minimum temperatures, whereas clouds during the day act as reflectors, lowering daytime maximum temperatures - The chytrid fungus thrives when temperatures are between 17-25 degrees Celsius. The new cloud cover keeps the dynamic maximum below 25 degrees Celsius at the forest floor. In these more favourable conditions, the disease pathogen flourishes. Harlequin frogs have moist, porous skin that the fungus penetrates, killing the frog - Global warming affects the hydrologic cycle by raising air and water temperatures and increasing evaporation, all of which change the nature of cloud formations and alter day temperature patterns. The Earth’s Four Spehere- Each sphere is a model of vast Earth systems. This four part structure is the organizational framework for Geosystems. The four spheres are the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere Model- simplified representation of the real world Abiotic- non-living, ex, atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere Biotic-living, ex, biosphere Atmosphere- a thin, gaseous veil surrounding the Earth, held in place above the planet by force of gravity. Formed by gases arising and interior and the exhalations of all life. Lower atmosphere is a combination of nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, water vapor and traces gases. Hydrosphere- Earth’s water exists in the atmosphere, these waters form in the hydrosphere. Cryosphere is the frozen portion of the hydrosphere, snow, ice sheets, ice caps, glaciers, ice shelves, sea ice, lake ice, and frozen ground and permafrost. Water exists in all 3 states of liquid, solid and gaseous Lithosphere- earth’s crust and a portion of the upper mantle directly below the crust form the lithosphere. The soil layer is the edaphosphere and covers Earth’s land surfaces Biosphere- interconnected web that links all organisms with their physical environment is the biosphere. This is where the physical and chemical factors form the context of life. The biosphere exists in the overlap among the abiotic spheres extending from the seafloor, the upper layers of the crustal rock to about 8km into the atmosphere. This sphere evolves, reorganizes itself, faces extinctions and still manages to flourish. Geodesy- the science that determines Earth’s shape and size by surveys and math calculations. - Newton reasoned that the faster rotational speed at the equator would produce an equatorial bulge as centrifugal forces pulls Earth’s surface outward Geoid- “earth shaped” - the geoid surface is a balance among the gravitational attraction of Earth’s mass, the distribution of water and ice along its surface and the outward centrifugal pull caused by Earth’s rotation. Location and Time on Earth - Geographic science requires an internationally accepted, coordinated grid system to determine location on Earth - Ptolemy, a geographer, atronomer and mathematician contributed to the principles used to create modern maps - He divided the circle into 360 degrees, with each degree having 60 minutes (60’) and each minute have 60 seconds (60”) in a manner adapted from the ancient Babylonians Latitude- an angular distance north or south of the equator, measured from the centre of the earth. Lines of latitude run east and west, parallel to the equator. Earth’s equator is assigned the value of 0 degrees. Latitude increases from the equator northward to the North Pole at 90 degrees north latitude and southward to the South Pole at 90 degrees south latitude Parallel- a line connecting all points along the same latitudinal angle - Latitude is the name of the angle, parallel names the line - Both indicate distance north of the equator - Latitude is determined by observing fixed celestial objects such as the sun - Lower latitudes are closer to the equator, higher latitudes are closer to the poles Longitude- an angular distance east or west of a point on Earth’s surface, measured from the centre of the Earth Meridian- a line connecting all points along the same longitude - These meridians run at right angles to all parallels, including the equator - Longitude is the name of the angle, meridian is the name of the lines - Both indicate distance east or west of the prime meridian Great and Small Circles Great Circle- any circle of Earth’s circumference whose centre coincides with the centre of Earth - Every meridian is one-half of a great circle that passes through the poles - Only one parallel is a great circle- the equatorial parallel Small Circle- All other parallels diminish in length toward the poles and along with any other non-great circles that one might draw - these circles have centres that do not coincide with Earth’s centre Global Positioning System (GPS)- compromised of 24 orbiting satellites in 6 orbital planes that transmit navigational signal for Earth-bound use Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)- is important to a locational, spatial geographic science because this precise technology reduces the need to maintain ground control points for location, mapping and spatial analysis. - Also reduces the need for traditional surveys International Date Line (IDL)- the place where each day officially begins - The new day sweeps westward - The westward movement is created by Earth’s turning eastward on its axis and the sun being in a fixed location - At the IDL the west side of the line is always one day ahead than the east side Daylight Saving Time- occurs in 70 countries, time is set ahead one hour in the spring and set back one hour in the fall in order to extend daylight for early evening activities Map- a generalized view of an area Cartography- deals with map making Scale- relates a unit on the map to the same unit on the ground - 1:10 000, in which one unit on the map represents 10 000 of the same units on the ground - A graphic scale or bar scale is a bar graph with units to allow measurement of distances on the map - A written scale simply states the ratio in words - Scales are small, medium and large depending on the ratio described. - Projection comes from the past when geographers actually projected the shadow of a globe onto a geometric service. The wires represented parallels, meridians and outlines of the continents. A light source was then cast to create a shadow pattern of latitude and longitude lines from the globe onto various geometric surfaces such a cylinder, plane or cone. Mercator Projection- a cylindrical projection; it is a true shape projection, with meridians appearing as equally spaced straight lines and parallels appearing as straight lines that are spaced closer together near the equator - The advantage of this projection is that a line of constant direction (rhumb line) is straight and thus facilitates plotting directions between two points. - It is useful for navigation and is the standard for nautical charts Remote Sensing- information acquired from a distance without physical contact with the subject, ex, photography - Satellites record images that are transmitted to Earth-based receivers. - A scene is scanned and broken down into pixels, each indentified by coordinates named lines and samples Active Remote Sensing- direct a beam of energy at a surface and analyze the energy reflected back. - A radar transmitter emits short bursts of energy that have relatively long wavelengths toward the subject terrain, penetrating clouds and darkness. Energy reflected back to a radar receiver for analysis is known as a backscatter Passive Remote Sensing- these systems record energy reflected from a surface, particularly visible light, infrared and microwave Geographic Information System (GIS)- is a computer based data processing tool for gathering, manipulating and analyzing geographic information - The beginning component for any GIS is a map - This establishes reference points against which to position data - GNSS units are now used to provide the basic locational data needed for GIS. - Remotely sensed imagery and other layers of data can then be added on top of the coordinate system - GIS is capable of analyzing patterns and relationships within a single data plane, such as the flood plain or soil layer. Chapter 2: Solar Energy to Earth and the Seasons - there are 125 billion galaxies - Solar System is located on the edge of the Milky Way Galaxy - It consists of 8 planets, 4 dwarf planets, and asteroids is some 30 000 light years from this black hole at the center of the Galaxy, and about 15 light years above the plane of the Milky Way Solar System Formation and Structure - Solar system condensed from a large, slowly rotating and collapsing cloud of dust and gas called a nebula. - Gravity- the mutual attraction exerted by the mass of an object upon all other objects, was the key force in this condensing solar nebula - Protoplanets- small accumulation eddies swirled at varying distance from the centre of the solar nebula - Planetesimal Hypothesis- explains how suns condense from nebula clouds with planetesimals, solid objects that grow from the collision of matter in space forming in orbits about the central mass - There are about 500 million planets in habitable zones Dimensions and distances - The speed of light is about 300 000 km/second - Light year- distance that light travels in a year - Moon is an average distance of
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