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my sio final stuy guide

my sio final stuy guide - SIO Study Guide 1 What factors...

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SIO Study Guide: 1) What factors determine earth’s climate? Solar radiation powers the climate system. There are three ways to change the radiation balance of the earth: 1) changing the incoming solar radiation 2) changing the fraction of radiation that is reflected 3) altering the longwave radiation from earth back towards space. About 30% of the sunlight that reaches the atmosphere is reflected back to space. Volcanic eruptions can cause a drop in mean global temperature by about half a degree Celsius that can last up to years. Most important greenhouse gasses are CO2 and O3. Clouds tend to have a cooling effect on climate. Atmospheric about half a degree Celsius circulation is pri-marily driven by the release of this latent heat. The ice-albedo feedback’, amplifies the initial warming caused by rising levels of greenhouse gasses. 2) What is the relationship between climate change and weather? Averaging weather can provide a clue into what a future climate will look like. Calculating an overall climate change is easier than predicting weather. Climate can be viewed as concerning the status of the entire Earth system. 3) What is the Greenhouse effect? The sun radiates energy to the Earth in the ultraviolet spectrum. The earth radiates it back at a longer wavelength in the infared spectrum. Much of this thermal radiation emitted by the land and ocean is absorbed by the atmosphere, including clouds and reradiated back to the Earth. This is called the greenhouse effect. Burning of fossil fuels and deforestation has greatly intensified the natural greenhouse effect, causing global warming. The water vapor feedback may be strong enough to approximately double the increase in the greenhouse effect due to the added CO2 alone. 4) How do human activities contribute to climate change and how do they compare with natural influences? Since the start of the industrial era the overall effect of human activities on climate has been warming. Human activities result in emissions of 4 principle greenhouse gasses: CO2, CH4, N2O and halocarbons. All these increases are attributed to human activities. More solar radiation is being reflected from earth’s surface as a result of human activities. Aircraft contrails increase earths cloudiness and are estimated to cause a small positive radiative forcing.
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5) How are temperatures on earth changing?
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