Lecture 21 - Chapter 21, Global Climate Change The climate...

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Chapter 21, Global Climate Change The climate system The climate system includes the Atmospher e Hydrospher e Geosphere Biosphere Cryosphere (ice and snow) How is climate change detected? Techniques for analyzing Earth’s climate history Seafloor sediments – numbers and types of organic remains are indicative of past sea- surface temperatures Oxygen isotope analysis – ratio of 18 O/ 16 O in shells of microorganisms reflect past temperatures Other sources of data for studying past climates include Growth of tree rings Pollen contained in sediment and coral reefs Information found in historical documents Composition of Earth’s atmosphere Some atmospheric basics Composition of the atmosphere Air is a mixture of many discrete gases Composition varies over time and distances After water vapor, dust, and other variable components are removed, nitrogen and oxygen make up 99% of the clean dry air CO 2 , although present in minute amounts (0.0338%), greatly influences the heating of the atmosphere Two important variable components of air are water vapor and aerosols Water vapor absorbs ultraviolet radiation given off by Earth similar to CO
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Lecture 21 - Chapter 21, Global Climate Change The climate...

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