L01_04_Sept_2013_Intro

C sp rxn called homo sapiens earth system science is a

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Unformatted text preview: th as a giant chemical system (?) Earth is an exceedingly large, complex, and long- lived chemical- physical system It is powered primarily by the sun other (very minor) energy inputs: •  heat from decay of radioac0ve elements, driving plate tectonics (we will later see that this is cri0cal!) •  heat released from Earth’s ever- slowing rota0on (this one is really insignificant) Earth as a giant chemical system (?) Earth is an exceedingly large, complex, and long- lived chemical- physical system It is so complex that it gives rise to unexpected and strange phenomena Consider the following fields of study: Mathema0cs Physics Chemistry - - these are not necessarily ‘planet- related’, and not the strange phenomena I refer to… Fields of study devoted to ‘strange phenomena’ that develop when you mix 1024 kg of all 92 elements and allow it to react for 4.6 billion years: Geology: the study of the long- term chemical, physical, and biological history of planetary bodies Biology: the study of exceedingly complex, self- perpetua0ng chemical reac0ons that develop on some planetary bodies Ecology: the study of how these exceedingly complex, self- perpetua0ng chemical reac0ons inter- relate and depend on one another Evolu0on: The study of how these e.c.& s.p. rxns. slowly change over 0me through selec0on for aspects of the reac0ons that make their self- propaga0on more likely Sociology: The study of interrela0onships among one single type of e.c. & s.p. rxn called Homo sapiens Earth system science is a field t...
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This document was uploaded on 03/26/2014 for the course GEC AS.270.103 at Johns Hopkins.

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