24 - Lecture 24: Climate & causes of climate change...

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1 Lecture 24: Climate & causes of climate change Earth: a Solar-powered Machine • Earth’s surface and adjacent atmosphere are a giant heat-transforming machine: – solar energy is absorbed ___________ over planet – this energy is redistributed by winds and ocean currents, and is ultimately returned to space – there are interrelated consequences: • latitudinal variation in temperature and precipitation • general patterns of circulation of winds and oceans Weaker light away from tropics Temporal Variation in Climate with Latitude • Temporal patterns are predictable (diurnal, lunar, and seasonal cycles). • Earth’s axis is tilted 23.5 o relative to its path around the sun, leading to: – seasonal variation in latitude of most intense solar heating of earth’s surface – general increase in seasonal variation from equator poleward, especially in N hemisphere What could be causing current warming? • Several candidate factors
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This note was uploaded on 04/06/2011 for the course FNR 103 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Purdue University-West Lafayette.

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24 - Lecture 24: Climate & causes of climate change...

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