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BC Science 10 Chapter 11
Terms in this set (35)
Average conditions in the atmosphere in a large region over 30 years or more. Includes clouds and precipitation, average temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, solar radiation, and wind.
Region with a certain type of plant life, soil, geography, climate. BC has 14.
People who study past climates. Look at long term patterns to help describe Earth's climate. May study fossils of plants, rings in tree trunks, layers of sediments.
Cylinders of ice drilled from thick glaciers. Scientists study them to determine what types and amounts of gases existed in the atmosphere when the ice formed.
Factors that may cause dramatic climate change
Composition of Earth's atmosphere, Earth's tilt, rotation, and orbit around the sun, the water cycle, ocean currents, carbon cycle, catastrophic events.
Natural Greenhouse Effect
Absorption of thermal energy by atmosphere. Keeps Earth's temperature within a certain range.
Absorb and emit radiation (from Sun) as thermal energy. Without these, earth's average temperature would be 34 degrees lower than it is today.
Season's are determined by this. If this phenonmenon did not occur, there would be no/little seasonal change. Has been between 22.1 and 24.5 in the past 41,000 years.
As the top of the Earth spins, axis of rotation traces out a circle. Currently, Earth's north pole points to Polaris, but in 12,000 years, the north star will be Vega. This affects the angle of incidence of the Sun's rays. Over a cycle of 100,000 years, the Earth's orbit changes (more or less circular), causing it to be different distances from the Sun.
System of water circulation on, above, and below Earth's surface. Water's state changes throughout. High temperatures increase evaporation and capacity to hold water vapour. As surface temperature rises, more water vapour is in atmosphere.
Convection currents in the oceans transport heat around world. Sinking/rising of deep ocean currents creates big convection currents which transport water and thermal energy around Earth. Deep ocean currents are driven by differences in density of water (affected by temperature and salinity). The density of cold water is more than the density of warm water, and salt water is more dense than fresh water. Evaporation of warm surface waters leaves salt in water, making the water more salty. Precipitation adds water, diluting salty water. When ice forms, salt is left behind in water, but as it melts, it dilutes the water. Surface currents exchange heat with atmosphere, currents affect weather/climate. Wind drags surface waters in same way what winds push boats sails. Rotation produces Coriolis effect, deflecting path of moving air/water/objects to right (NH) or left (SH). Shape of the continents also influences surface current path.
Transition zone that separates cold, deep ocean water from sun-warmed surface water. Water temperatures drop rapidly. The two waters mix.
When deep water rises above thermocline to surface.
An unusually warm ocean current that develops periodically off coast of Peru and Ecuador, often producing unusually mild weather along coasts of Canada.
Cooler-than-normal water coming to the surface in the Eastern Pacific Ocean due to upwelling; as a result, winter temperatures are unusually warm in SE NA and cold in NW NA.
El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)
System of ocean and atmosphere changes in the tropical Pacific Region, including El Niño/La Niña events.
Maintains balance of CO2 in atmosphere. Bio/geological processes keep balance.
Body/process that removes CO2 from atmosphere and absorbs it.
Gradual process (physical/chemical) that breaks rock into smaller pieces.
Body/process that releases CO2 into the atmosphere.
Large scale disasters.
Volcanoes block out sunlight, release water vapour, sulphur dioxide (forming sulphuric acid), droplets reflected back into space.
Meteors hit at 10,000m/s. Vaporize rock and dust, debris, gases are hurled into atmosphere. Block out sunlight, surface below cools/atmosphere cools, photosynthetic organisms are affected affects food chains.
Changes in long-term weather patterns in certain regions. Changes affect redistribution of thermal energy around Earth.
Increase in global average temperature.
Average Global Temperature
Combined average temperature of ocean surface waters and air over land and oceans. Increased by 0.74 degrees Celsius from 1906-2005. In next 100 years, could increase by 6 degrees.
Enhanced Greenhouse Effect
Increased capacity of the atmosphere to absorb/emit thermal energy because of an increase in greenhouse gases.
Global Warming Potential (GWP)
Ability of a substance to warm the atmosphere by absorbing and emitting thermal energy.
Before Industrial Revolution levels were constant. Combustion of fossil fuel is greatest human source. Deforestations convert carbon sinks into carbon sources.
Forms when the remains of ancient organisms are compressed (coal, oil, gas)
Less abundant that CO2 and water vapour (25+ more powerful). Sources: decomposing garbage in landfills, animal digestion, extracting burning, producing fossil fuels. Solutions? collect/burn CH4 for fuel (although it releases CO2).
(N2O/dinitrogen oxide). Small amounts, but 3rd biggest contributor to EGF. Formation: Biological processes of bacteria (ocean, soil, manure). Use of nitrogen-rich chemical fertilizers. Improper disposal of human/animal waste, automobiles.
Increase in this near surface recently. Chemical reaction between sunlight and pollution from fossil fuel burning. More hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides means more surface ozone.
Human-made greenhouse gases with powerful global warming potential. Made of chlorine, fluorine, carbon. Main use is coolants for fridges and air conditioners. Main cause of depletion of ozone layer. Break apart O3 in atmosphere. Responsible for hole in ozone layer over Antarctica. Montreal Protocol = agreement to ban CFCs.
General Circulation Models (GCMs)
Computer models designed to study climate. Take into account changes in greenhouse gases concentrations, albedo, ocean currents, winds, surface temperature. Used in weather forecasting, climate, analysis, climate change predictions. Factor in properties of fluids, chemical reactions, how organisms affect their environment. Goal is to better understand complex nature of climate and effects of human activity.
Climate Change in Canada
Surface temperatures have increased by 0.5 - 1.5 degrees. Permafrost is melting. Plants bloom sooner, longer. Heavier spring rains, longer heat waves. Quantity/Quality of water will be affected. Changes in currents, water quality, and temperatures of ocean/lake waters will affect fish. More CO2 will increase tree growth, but fires will harm them. Pollution will be worse. Warm winters will bring disease carrying bugs in. Storms will damage power supplies and roads. 30cm sea rise in BC over next century. Glaciers are shrinking.
Principle that a lack of scientific certainty should not be used as a reason to postpone cost-effective measures to prevent serious environmental damage.
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