lifs 1030 midterm notes.docx - L1 Five components of earth’s climate system Atmosphere Hydrosphere Cryosphere(sea ice lake ice river ice snow cover

lifs 1030 midterm notes.docx - L1 Five components of...

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L1 Five components of earth’s climate system: Atmosphere Hydrosphere Cryosphere (sea ice, lake ice, river ice, snow cover, glaciers, ice caps, ice sheets, frozen ground) – cryosphere overlap with the hydrosphere Lithosphere (restricted to surface soils, rocks, sediments) Biosphere Global climate change: Definition: a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years Climate: pattern of changing and distribution of weather in a long period (from decades to millions of years). Climate change often used to describe human-specific impacts. Factors causing climate change: Ocean circulation (currents) o Changes in the ocean happens longer than the air, water has very high thermal inertia, temperature adjustments still lagging o Mixing of warm water and cold air causes typhoons, high energy for forming a low-pressure system. o Water temp is much lower than atmosphere because of the water current (Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean) o Conveyor belt hotter, lighter water on the surface, while cooler, denser water on the bottom, forming a circulation (change in temperature cause by sea-to-air heat transfer and solar warming) driven by global density gradients created by surface heat and freshwater fluxes salinity is a factor for affecting the water current higher salinity = denser water o north pole is clockwise and south is anti-clockwise o hot water from equator to poles and cold water from poles to equator o ocean bed shapes and the land masses can also affect the ocean currents o Short term fluctuations in temperature and surface pressure El Nino: weakening of cold current La Nina: weakening of warm current PDO: changing of phases in the pacific ocean NAP: changing of phases in north Atlantic ocean SOI: southern oscillation index Biotic processes
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Variations in solar radiation o Changes in solar output Both long and short term variations in solar intensity are known to affect global climate Short term radiation intensity observed with sunspots and beryllium isotopes o Changes in reflection of the atmosphere (albedo) Variations in earth’s orbit o The shape of the orbit is ellipse o Eccentricity: measure of the departure of the ellipse o Axial tilt: Obliquity of the ecliptic Obliquity increases: amplitude of seasonal cycle in insolation increases, receive more radiation from sun for both hemispheres o Axial precession: Axis of rotation relative to fixed stars Related to the tidal forces exerted by the sun and the moon When axis points toward the sun: northern hemisphere has a greater difference between seasons (away = southern) o Milankovitch cycles: summary of all changes Plate tectonics o Motion of tectonic plates and geographical location affects the ocean circulation Location of the seas affects the currents and heat transfer o
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