Lect 5 Ecosystems _ Biogeochemical Cycles

Lect 5 Ecosystems _ Biogeochemical Cycles - Ecosystem The...

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Ecosystem The set of organisms living in a particular place and the physical and chemical environment with which they interact. Spatial scales vary tremendously Local scale: lake or forest tract. Regional scale: ocean basin. Global scale: the ocean. The atmosphere and ocean together drive climate and provide a broad physical context for living organisms.
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Atmospheric circulation The atmosphere is a heat engine. Solar energy input density varies with latitude. Average sun angle decreases with latitude. The tropics are warmer than high latitude regions. The atmosphere and ocean act together to redistribute this uneven input of solar radiation. Adiabatic movements of air. In an adiabatic process, the heat content of a parcel of air is constant. That is, the parcel neither gains nor loses heat through exchange with its surroundings.
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Coriolis Force The earth is a non-inertial frame of reference. Any object moving over the surface of the earth will be affected by the rotation of the earth. The rotation of the earth imparts an apparent force acting on any moving object. The Coriolis force is zero at the equator and maximal at the poles. The Coriolis force acts perpendicular to the direction of motion: to the right in the N hemisphere and to the left in the S hemisphere.
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General Atmospheric Circulation
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Ocean Circulation The surface circulation of the ocean is driven by the prevailing winds. Major basins have a gyral (circular) circulation
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This note was uploaded on 07/21/2010 for the course PHYS 2212 taught by Professor Lasater during the Spring '10 term at Albany State University.

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Lect 5 Ecosystems _ Biogeochemical Cycles - Ecosystem The...

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