Final2001 - ESM 203 Earth System Science Jeff Dozier Thomas...

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ESM 203: Earth System Science Final Examination Jeff Dozier Due: 13 December 2001 5:00 p.m. Thomas Dunne Yiping Cao (e-mail to Dozier and Dunne, hardcopy only for drawings and equations, not text) The Final Examination counts 50% of your course grade. Answer all six questions. The exam is open- book. You may use your notes, assigned readings, or other material. You may not use each other, so please do not discuss the exam with anyone else. You should refrain from even discussing course notes once you have downloaded or read the exam. Please write focused answers on all of the following questions. Remember that organization, preci- sion, and clarity are important measures of an answer for leaders in environmental management. Also, remember that explanations are more important than re-statements of the information in the question. You do not need to repeat the question; just the number/letter combination is sufficient. After com- pleting each answer, read it with a critical eye to ascertain whether it fully answers the question as- signed. 1. Evidence for Human Causes of Global Climate Change “…a firmer association between human activities and climate has emerged. Even the most skepti- cal climatologist in the IPCC group now concedes that warming bears an anthropogenic hand- print. That is important news because reservations about the source of the past century’s warming have often been cited effectively in policy debates, usually in support of deferring mitigation ac- tions.” Don Kennedy, editor of Science , editorial, November 10, 2000 However, if you’re trying to convince a skeptic who points out the evidence of much larger cli- mate variability before human activity was extensive enough to affect the climate, you can’t just quote the editorial. You have to present good empirical and theoretical evidence. (a) Briefly [two paragraphs maximum] describe some compelling evidence that the cause of the global rise in temperatures over the last half century has a large anthropogenic component, whereas other periods of similar warming did not have human origins. (b) How can global climate models help us assess whether the recent climate warming is a result of greenhouse gases whose atmospheric concentration is larger because of mankind’s activi- ties? (c) Why must we consider ocean processes also in answering this question? 2. Wind-Driven Ocean Circulation What is a gyre and how does it form? (a) Describe how the mean wind field drives surface ocean currents. Explain Ekman transport in the near-surface layers and the resulting direction in the net wind-driven transport of those layers.
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Final2001 - ESM 203 Earth System Science Jeff Dozier Thomas...

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