EARTH AND PLANETARY
ASUC Lecture Notes Online is the only
authorized note-taking service at UC Berkeley. Do
not share, copy or illegally distribute (electronically
or otherwise) these notes. Our student-run
program depends on your individual subscription
for its continued existence.
These notes are copyrighted by the University of California and are for your personal use only.
N O T
C O P Y
Sharing or copying these notes is illegal and could end note taking for this course.
Last time we talked about climate and how climate
affects vegetation. We talked about organisms and
how they grow and how they need nutrients, such as
nitrogen and phosphates.
We also talked about the release of carbon dioxide,
water vapor, and nitrous oxides. When we burn
organic matter we also release particles in addition
to these gases. These particles are bad for your
health if you breathe too much of them.
We see that there is a release of greenhouses gases
through natural decay and burning things.
These slides will be posted on bSpace. After this
lecture, I will post a bunch of stuff about the rules
and regulations that the government wants to pass
regarding the topic of today’s lecture, fossil fuels.
In today’s world
, we realize we are running out of
oil slowly, but we are not running out of coal.
Fundamentally, we generate electricity in the same
way. All we do is boil water to create steam, which
goes through a turbine. The turning motion of the
turbine in an electromagnetic field generates
electricity. In fact, right next to the tennis courts on
campus, we have a plant that is doing just this.
People bought this land from the university to
generate electricity. In this plant, the boiling of
water generates steam. However, there is extra
steam that the fans can’t capture, which keeps the
heating systems in the dorms running. It is this
steam that you see coming up from the vents on
campus as well. This is called
company uses the first layer of steam, and we use
the extra steam, which is secondary.
Now, we can look at what is used for fuels. One of
the fossil fuels we use is
. Coal is made from
the remains of plants that died millions years ago.
Coal starts off as a swamp with a lot of vegetation
around. Depending on the type of plant, the plants
take in the nutrients they need from the water, but
also take in other materials such as lead, mercury or
other metals. These other materials cause adverse
health effects when coal is burned.
is the first
step in forming the organic material. It is where all
the plants have rotted and decayed but the carbon is
mostly there. Peat is made up of 50% carbon.
Over time, we let geology do its business, and the