Unit 1 - Unit 1 Thursday, January 20, 2011 5:03 PM e arth...

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earth vs. moon--> suggesting water (75% of the earth is covered with water) Earth has water Earth has vegetation (contrast between vegetative areas and non vegetated areas) You can see things moving (weather)- stuff forming, dissolving, etc. The earth has an atmosphere where the moon des not - Change and transformation: A contiuum - Time changes from minute to minute (doesn’t change expectations); transformation of time is getting into physics Trend discontinuity: what is expected cross an area is not being attained under the usual environmental conditions; something has been altered Change Transformation Brief; temporary; reversible; cyclic; erasable; restricted in scale Long- term of permanent; non-reversible; shift to new conditions or equilibrium; broad scale; system alteration Open (have to have the transfer of mass and energy), closed, isolated system (neither mass nor energy) Energy comes in from the sun- the earth in comparison to the sun is a closed system, but not isolated How does the earth measure up in these different systems? The earths temperature has natural changes (ice age/ global warming) System variability around the mean System V Self organizing flows of mass and energy ---------------------v V Equilibrium <-----System disturbance <------Predisposing factors/contributing factors/triggers V Weakness- predisposed factor Contributing factors- ones that come periodically (drought, wind makes it weaker; rain makes it stronger Triggers: tipping point- leads to disequilibrium Soil: weak in structure [powdery] (louss: a lot in China, made from windblown residue) Disequilibrium Total transformation: in ecosystems: total impossibility of bringing something back- species extinction No matter what force you apply, it will stay and continue upright "The answer to pollution is dilution" saying in the 50s- but doesn’t work No matter how much forcing one does, the response is constant (that is what people think; but it is not true) It holds to a certain extent, but there is a breaking point (infraction point) Leverage/ forced- what human activities are tipping something into disequilibrium Many earth systems are fairly stable and unresponsive to forcing, but may flip to a new equilibrium state rapidly if pushed beyond a threshold Environment as Systems - Technological capacity (We like to accrue wealth- it motivates us) + sociocultural organization (how we organize ourselves around the earth, we like to be near water/ the coast, group together) + Socioeconomic condition Human Sphere Concept…. . - Theoretical Framework and Basic Concepts Unit 1 Thursday, January 20, 2011 5:03 PM Transforming Global Environment Page 1
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Biogeochemical cycles- [geo- soil (comes from rocks)] Natural Sphere Put the two spheres together- and what happens when they overlap?-- wherer the system
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Unit 1 - Unit 1 Thursday, January 20, 2011 5:03 PM e arth...

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