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Bio171-F08-Lec+5 - Biology 171 Friday Lecture 5:Biosphere...

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Lecture 5: Biosphere & Biomes Biology 171 Friday September 12, 2008 Today’s Topics: Announcements This Week in Discussion: Synthetic Life Next Week: Global Climate Change Text Reading: Lecture 5: 2 nd ed: Chapter 50 (1146-1163) 3 rd ed: Chapter 50 (1127-1146) Lecture 6: 2 nd ed: Chapter 54 (1243-1258) 3 rd ed: Chapter 54 (1222-1237) Ecology: Abiotic Factors Planetary Heat Input & Distribution Seasonality & Climate Change Regional Modifications Major Terrestrial Biomes Oceanic Environments
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Ecology is the study of how organisms interact with their environment. One of ecology’s central goals is to understand the distribution and abundance of organisms. An organism’s environment consists of both abiotic , or physical, factors and biotic factors, meaning other organisms.
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Abiotic Components On land, environments are defined by climate—specifically, both the average value and annual variation in temperature and in moisture. In aquatic habitats, environments are largely defined by physical structure—particularly water depth.
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The Earth’s Climatic Range ultimately reflects its location in our Solar System’s Habitable Zone
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Why are the Tropics Warm and the Poles Cold? Areas of the world are warm if they receive a large amount of sunlight per unit area; they are cold if they receive a small amount of sunlight per unit area.
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Earth's shape dictates that regions at or near the equator receive more sunlight per unit area than regions that are closer to the poles ( Figure 50.23 ).
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Areas along the equator receive the most moisture; locations at about 30ºN and 30ºS latitude are among the driest on Earth. A major cycle in global air circulation, called a Hadley cell , is responsible for this pattern ( Figure 50.24 ). Differential Heating Forms Giant Convection Cells in the Atmosphere that Profoundly Influence Regional Precipitation Patterns
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Most of the world’s major deserts are at approx. 30˚ North & South Latitudes
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The Earth’s Rotation Imposes Directionality (and Predictability) On Hadley Cell-Derived Wind Systems Why should this be important? What about the Oceans?
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Giant subtropical gyres ( light red circular surface currents ) move vast amounts of heat from equatorial latitudes to high latitudes in the world’s oceans: clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, counter-clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
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Subtropical Gyres Greatly influence surface temperatures on much of the planet’s surface, e.g. , see how much warmer the Western Pacific is.
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Lecture 5: Biosphere & Biomes Biology 171 Friday September 12, 2008 Today’s Topics: Announcements This Week in Discussion: Synthetic Life Next Week: Global Climate Change Text Reading: Lecture 5: 2 nd ed: Chapter 50 (1146-1163) 3 rd ed: Chapter 50 (1127-1146) Lecture 6: 2 nd ed: Chapter 54 (1243-1258) 3 rd ed: Chapter 54 (1222-1237) Ecology: Abiotic Factors Planetary Heat Input & Distribution Seasonality & Climate Change Regional Modifications Major Terrestrial Biomes Oceanic Environments
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What Causes Seasonality in Weather?
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