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RNR Notes for Exam 2

RNR Notes for Exam 2 - 124 Sept 07 Monday Beginning of...

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124 Sept 07, Monday Beginning of material for EXAM 2 Life in the Biosphere Ecology is the study of how organisms interact with their environment Rules of Ecology: 1. Energy flows through ecosystems in one direction and is lost as heat Discussion: sunlight produces a spectrum of light which reaches the ground and is used by terrestrial and aquatic plants for photosynthesis, vegetation is consumed by animals, animals die, and soon everything becomes mushrooms sun ----- uv, CO2 ---- plants ---- animals ---- decomposed “fix carbon” Note: when you change the form of energy, some energy loss occurs as heat 2. Energy and the earth’s ecosystems As the sun’s energy hits Earth’s atmosphere, some of it is reflected and much of the energy reaches the Earth’s surface and serves to heat the planet. Cooling of the atmosphere occurs due to: clouds, ice, suspended particle matter (SPM) all reflect heat and energy out into space Heating of the atmosphere 1) CO2 2) perflochlocarbones occurs due to: 3) Methane 4) water vapor 5) Clouds 6) hydroflurocarbons 7) Sulphur hexafluoride All trap heat and radiate heat back to the surface “Greenhouse gases” CO2 (carbon dioxide) is the most important greenhouse gas due to amount that is produced. Which is prevailing? Cooling or heating? Is global warming occurring? Yes, the planet is warming up. Modeling of climate (temperature) change is done with natural factors, anthropogenic factors, and a combination of the two. Both types of factors are called forcing factors and the combination gives the best “fit” graphs of what we see happening to the climate. CO2 data and projections: Carbon dioxide is the most important greenhouse gas. Models of the past and present show the best scenario for the next 100 years is 550 ppm, 35% higher than they are now. Temperature models show the same problems through time.
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Methane is worst than CO2 for “trapping” heat, but we less methane than CO2 in the atmosphere. This situation could change, as glaciers melt and release methane. Temperature Data and Projections: Average temperature increase of 4.5 C (8.1 F) degrees Effects of Global Warming 1. CO2 levels will increase and with this increase hurricanes will be fewer, but greater intensity 2. By 2050 if usage of energy and production of greenhouse gases remains the same – we will see deforestation in S. America and Africa, decrease crop production in Africa, intensification of storms in the Gulf of Mexico, and increasing disease in Siberia and Africa due to increase in insect populations and movement of insects, water conflicts around the world 3. Artic Ice mass is decreasing, but rise in sea level is due mainly to the expansion of water due to higher temperatures. Ice masses were created at a time when methane was more abundant, it is now trapped in the ice, if the ice masses melt this methane will be released. World Response to Climate Change
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RNR Notes for Exam 2 - 124 Sept 07 Monday Beginning of...

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