Our Changing Planet

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  • Our Changing Planet
    • How do tectonic plates move? What happens at their boundaries?
      • Convection currents due to radioactive decay drag plates, at boundaries there are volcanoes and earthquakes.
    • What was Wegener's Theory? Why didn't people accept it? What did people think before this?
      • Wegener suggested continental drift, due to fossils and rock formations being similar on different continents.
      • Wasn't accepted because he couldn't explain how, instead people thought that mountains were formed as the earth cooled down and shriveled.
    • What was the early atmosphere like? Why?
      • Carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane and ammonia, because it all came from volcanoes on the surface.
    • How were oceans formed?
      • As the earth cooled down the water in the atmosphere condensed and fell as rain to form oceans.
    • How did oxygen get into the atmosphere?
      • Once plants were around, they photosynthesized: COv2+Hv2O-(Sunlight)->glucose+Oxygen. and produced oxygen.
    • What are the layers of the Earth called? What is the core made of?
      • Inner core, outer core, mantle, crust, atmosphere. Core is made of nickle and iron.
    • What are the molecules that make up living things? How are they made up?
      • Proteins are made of amino acids, which are made up of water, ammonia (NHv3), methane (CHv4), and hydrogen (Hv2).
    • What is the experiment that simulates the making of organic compounds? How does it work?
      • The Miller-Urey Experiment, Ocean water is heated, gasses rise, lightening spark, condensed, sampled to find amino acids.
    • Why do some people disagree with the Miller-Urey theory? What is another theory?
      • Biological material cannot be made from non-biological material, God made life, oxygen would have been present so it wouldn't work.
      • That amino acids came to earth via meteorite, or life its self came from a meteorite.
    • What has happened to all of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere?
      • It got locked up in carbon-sinks. E.g. The ocean, new plant material, animal tissues, sedimentary rocks (limestone) and fossil fuels.
    • What happened to the methane and ammonia?
      • They reacted with they oxygen formed by the plants, increasing the hydrogen levels in the atmosphere: 4NHv3 + 3Ov2 --> 2Nv2 + 6Hv2O, and CHv4 + 2Ov2 --> COv2 + 2Hv2O.
    • What is the atmosphere like today?
      • 78% Nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 1% other gases (carbon dioxide and nitrogen)
    • How are the gases in the air separated? Explain the process:
      • Cooled down to liquids below -200, by compressing down to 150 times atmospheric pressure and releasing, then it is heated slowly and the gases are collected one at a time at the top of a fractioning column.
      • Gases boiling points: Nitrogen -196, Argon -186, Oxygen -183.
    • Explain how the carbon cycle regulates the carbon dioxide:
      • Carbon moves between the oceans, living things, and rocks, regulating the amount in the atmosphere.
    • Why is the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increasing?
      • We are burning fossil fuels and unlocking locked up carbon dioxide faster than it is being locked up again.


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