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Earth System Science. Our dynamic planet features several interconnected subsystems that profoundly influence one another. Geosphere. Atmosphere. Hydrosphere. Biosphere. 4.6 Billion Years of Interaction. Geosphere. Hydrosphere. Biosphere. Atmosphere. Major Themes.

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Earth System Science

  • Our dynamic planet features several interconnected

  • subsystems that profoundly influence one another.

Geosphere

Atmosphere

Hydrosphere

Biosphere


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4.6 Billion Years of Interaction

Geosphere

Hydrosphere

Biosphere

Atmosphere


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Major Themes

ScaleProcesses in the Earth system act on length

scales of microns to thousands of kilometers, and

on time scales of milliseconds to millions of years.

EnergyThe Earth system is powered by one external source (the Sun) and two internal ones: radioactive decay, and gravitational energy (heat still being lost from planetary formation).

CyclesMaterial in the Earth system is continually recycled in numerous overlapping cycles.


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The

Carbon

Cycle


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The

Rock

Cycle



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The Biosphere

Includes all life.

Concentrated near the geosphere surface, from the ocean floor to

the lowermost level of the atmosphere.


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The Hydrosphere

World Ocean

~71% of Earth's surface, ____% of Earth’s water

Fresh Water

Lakes & Streams Atmosphere Groundwater Glaciers

____% ____% ____% ____%

The Hydrologic Cycle

Precipitation, Evaporation, Runoff, Infiltration, etc...


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The Atmosphere

>50% of all air molecules are within 6 km of surface.

Air consists mostly of N (78%) and O (21%).

Origin: volcanic eruptions, comets, life

Predicted surface T of Earth: -18°C (0°F)

Actual surface T of Earth: 15°C (60°F)

Thank you, greenhouse effect. Thank you, atmosphere.


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What is climate?

How does climate differ from weather?

TIME

Weather: Hours to weeks

Climate: Months to millenia


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What characteristics does a climate have?

Air temperature

Humidity

Precipitation (type & amount)

Wind (speed & direction)


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Atmospheric Heating

Heat is transferred from warmer to cooler hosts.

Conduction via molecular activity.

Convection via mass vertical movements of a substance.

Electromagnetic radiation (300,000 km/sec in a vacuum)


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What Affects Air Temperature?(at climatic time scales)

Unequal amounts of solar radiation

(axial tilt, seasons, etc.)

Unequal heating of land & water

Altitude (cooler at higher elevations)

Geography (esp. regarding winds)


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Land vs. Water

Land has a lower specific heat than water.

(Specific heat: Energy to raise 1 gram of a substance 1°C)

Therefore,

heats faster than

gets hotter than

cools faster than

Land

Water


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Elevation

Effects


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Geographic effects:

Cascade Range

blocks moderating

coastal winds