Geo Chap 11

Geo Chap 11 - February 28, 2008 Chapter 11; Page 1...

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February 28, 2008 Chapter 11; Page 1 Geological Catastrophes: Chapter Eleven I. Weather and Climate A. Weather : response of the Earth system to energy imbalances. Day-to-day stuff. B. Climate : long-term worldwide distribution of temperature, precipitation, and storm pattern (the average of weather!) II. Processes and Disasters Fueled by the Sun A. Sun powers hydrologic cycle and (with gravity) drives agents of erosion B. Weather : short-term processes 1. Tornadoes, heat waves, hurricanes, floods C. Climate : long-term processes 1. Ice ages, droughts, atmosphere changes, ocean circulation shifts D. Sun heats Earth unequally 1. Equatorial regions receive about 2.4 times more solar energy than polar regions 2. Earth’s spin and gravity set up circulation patterns in ocean and atmosphere to even out heat distribution 3. Circulation patterns determine weather and climate III. Solar Radiation Received by the Earth A. Relative amounts reflected, used in hydrologic cycle and converted to heat are different at different latitudes 1. Equatorial belt (32 o N to 34 o S) faces Sun directly, so massive amounts of solar radiation are absorbed 2. Polar regions receive solar radiation at low angle, so much is reflected net cooling 3. Excess heat at equator is transferred through mid-latitudes to polar regions B. 30% is reflected and scattered, while 70% is absorbed IV. Three Heat Transfer Mechanisms A. Radiation : transfer by electromagnetic waves B. Conduction : transfer by molecular collisions C. Convection : transfer by circulation (water or air) V. Radiation and Wavelength A. Energy may be transferred from one object to another without the space between them being heated. This is how Earth receives energy from the Sun. B. Waves of radiation distinguished by wavelength VI. Electromagnetic Spectrum A. Energy increases this way ( ) B. Wavelength increases this way ( ) VII. Sun’s Energy = Electromagnetic Radiation A. Radiant energy interacts with matter in 3 ways:
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February 28, 2008 Chapter 11; Page 2 1. Reflection : only changes direction of energy, not its wavelength or amplitude. 2. Transparent : again, no change in properties of the radiant energy. 3. Absorption : radiant energy is transferred to the matter. Result is an increase in the molecular energy of the matter VIII. Reflectivity = Albedo (Reflected Energy/Incident Energy) B. Darker, rougher surfaces (soil & pavement) have lower albedo (absorb more energy) C. Average albedo for Earth: 30% D. Average albedo for moon: 7% IX. External Sources of Energy A. The Hydrologic Cycle 1. Sun’s heat evaporates water, plants transpire water into atmosphere 2. Atmospheric moisture condenses and precipitates 3. Sun’s energy is stored in water and water vapor 4. Equatorial regions receive excess insolation (solar radiation); in polar regions radiation back to space exceeds insolation 5. Imbalance between equatorial and polar regions cause ocean currents and winds,
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Geo Chap 11 - February 28, 2008 Chapter 11; Page 1...

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