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Final-1

Final-1 - ENERGY AND RESOURCES 102 QUANTITATIVE ASPECTS OF...

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ENERGY AND RESOURCES 102 QUANTITATIVE ASPECTS OF GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS Professor John Harte with TAs Danielle Svehla and Andy Jones FINAL EXAMINATION May 19, 2008 This is a closed book, closed notes, exam. You may use two 2-sided sheets filled with any materials you wish; calculators are also permitted. Each problem is worth the number of points indicated. There are a total of 180 points, which is also the number of minutes you have for the entire exam. So allocate your time wisely. The problems are not tricky; don’t make them harder than necessary; look for the simplest possible way to answer them. Always show your work so that credit can be given for valiant attempts. If you write neatly, the grader won’t get angry reading your paper and will be more likely to be generous! If you need a number and can’t find it, please guess the value and state clearly what your guess is. Even if the guess is wrong, you can get a lot of partial credit for working consistently with a guessed value. Of course a good guess will get more credit than a bad one. Have a good summer! 1. In the absence of anthropogenic nitrogen deposition the terrestrial nitrogen cycle can be studied and modeled at local scale. In contrast, the carbon cycle, even in the absence of human activity, would be difficult to model at any scale other than global. Although both cycles are strictly speaking global in nature, what is the essential difference between the two cycles that makes it possible to characterize the nitrogen cycle, but not the carbon cycle, to a pretty good approximation in a patch of soil? (6 pts.) 2. a. Explain in a few sentences why the Vostok core data imply that there very likely was a positive carbon-climate feedback mechanism operating on earth.during the past 800,000 years. (5 pts.) b. Give two possible suggestions, one terrestrial and one marine, for the actual process or mechanism that might have caused this feedback (6 pts.) c. Some people have suggested that while the feedback mechanism operated over the past 800,000 years it will not operate in the future. State one reason why that might conceivably be the case. (4 pts.) 3. It is sometimes claimed that “dilution is the solution to pollution.” In a sentence or two, explain why that claim might not be applicable to the health hazard of radionuclides in the environment. (4 pts.)
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4. Stratospheric ozone: a. Explain why relatively modest emissions of CFCs can have a large destructive effect on the stratospheric ozone layer. (4 pts.)
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