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Chapter 16: Global Climate Change
Terms in this set (28)
A general description of the average temperature and rainfall conditions fo a region over the course of a year.
Measureable records, like tree rings, ice cores, and marine sediments, that can provide extensions back in time of climatic factors such as temperatures and greenhouse gases.
The day-to-day variations in temperature, air pressure, wind, humidity, and precipitation mediated by the atmosphere in a give region.
Gases that absorb infrared radiation from the Earth's surfaces.
Energy that travels downward, warming the atmosphere and the planet's surface
Global climate change
Changes in the Earth's climate, involving aspects such as temperature, precipitation and storm frequency and intensity.
Variations in the Earth's rotation, tilt and orbit around the sun that result in slight changes in the relative amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth's surface.
Conditions triggered when winds at the equator weaken and allow warm water from the western Pacific Ocean to move eastward.
An increase in the average temperature of the Earth's surfaces
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Carbon dioxide odorless greenhouse gas formed from burning fossil fuels, organic compounds and respiration. Most prevalent GHG.
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas emitted through natural and human induced processes including wetland bacterial activity,digestive processes from cattle and other livestock, and coal mining.
Water Vapor (H2O)
Water vapor is a naturally present green house gas - the gaseous phase of water. Water vapor can be produced from the evaporation or boiling of liquid water or from the sublimation of ice.
Nitrous Oxide (NO2)
Nitrous oxide is naturally greenhouse gas present in the atmosphere as part of the Earth's nitrogen cycle, and has a variety of natural sources. However, human activities such as agriculture, fossil fuel combustion, wastewater management, and industrial processes are increasing the amount of N2O in the atmosphere.
Programs that combine what is known about the atmosphere and the oceans to simulate climate processes.
A measure of how much of the Sun's energy is reflected off an object back out to space compared to how much is trapped in Earth's atmosphere
Human-induced changes on the natural environment
An increase in Earth's average surface temperature. Global warming is just one aspect of climate change.
10 Signs of a Warming World
Please make sure you are familiar with these signs of a warming planet
Sea ice is salt water that has frozen. Sea ice does not contribute to rising sea level, but is a lose of habitat for animals such as polar bears.
Glaciers are frozen land ice, which is fresh water. When glaciers melt, the water will eventually run off into the ocean and attribute to rising sea level.
This is the amount of water vapor in the air. More water vapor traps more heat (as a GHG).
Snow cover not only keeps the average surface temperature lower, it provides the albedo effect to reflect the Sun's radiation.
Ocean Heat Content
The oceans absorb 100x the heat as the atmosphere does. The oceans are warming 20x faster than the atmosphere.
Temperature Over Land
While warming is not uniform, the overall trend is that the land is warming due to increased green house effect.
When seawater becomes warmer, its volume increases, making sea levels rise.
Air Temperature Near Surface
Measurements from satellites show that the lowest layer of the atmosphere (the troposphere) is warming as GHG increase, trapping heat radiated from the Earth.
Air Temperature Over Ocean
Measurements show that the air near the surface of the ocean is getting warmer. This increases the air's ability to evaporate water, which in turn creates heavier precipitation and flooding over land.
Sea Surface Temperature
Temperature at the surface of the oceans in warming. This can lead to increased hurricanes and tropical cyclones.
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