ESS+21+Study+Guide+for+Midterm+1 - Study Guide for ESS 21...

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Study Guide for ESS 21 Midterm 1 Your primary source of information is the lecture slides, quizzes, homework with the readings used to provide additional background information and to help you review anything you do not understand. You should have received links to recordings of all of the lectures except 1 and 4. If a term or topic is in the reading but we did not mention it at all in the lectures then you do not need to know it for the exam. I do not want you to memorize formulae or constants. If I would like you to use a formula I will give it to you. There will not be complicated maths so you will not need a calculator. I also do not want you to memorize facts such as the exact percentages of how much snow has decreased per decade etc, but I would like you to know that snow cover is decreasing and have a rough idea of how much things have changed and will change in the future and the consequences. Below is a list of the important topics we have covered so far – concentrate on understanding rather than memorizing. I will give you formulae and I will not ask you to write out definitions (although they may come up in multiple choice questions). From Lecture 1 – Introduction - What is Earth System Science - What are the 4 major reservoirs and which contains the cryosphere - What is the cryosphere - How quickly do parts of the cryosphere respond to change - Where are different parts of the cryosphere found on Earth - A very rough idea of how parts of the cryosphere have been changing and how this affects the earth system and humans From Lecture 2 – Systems and Feedbacks - What is a system? What is the difference between closed and open systems? Be able to say whether something is an open or closed system and identify implications of this. - Be able to identify reservoirs, fluxes and calculate response times for simple systems - Be able to identify, draw and explain positive and negative feedbacks From Lecture 3 – What controls a planet’s temperature (Earth’s energy balance) - Definitions of energy and power - Electromagnetic spectrum - Solar spectrum (blackbody) - Stefan-Boltzman Law and Wien’s Law and how to use them - Solar flux density - Five factors that control Earth’s energy balance o Sun’s luminosity o Distance from Sun o Earth’s atmosphere and albedo (what happens to incoming solar radiation - reflection, absorption and resulting spectrum at sea level, and albedo) o Energy emitted from the Earth (infra-red)
o Greenhouse Effect (examples of greenhouse gases, how does the effect work) - Be able to understand how these factors change on different timescales on Earth and how we can apply the same ideas to different times in Earth history or different planets. E.g. Snowball Earth, modern climate change, Venus -

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