CLIMATE: L1 Understanding earth's climate system

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  • Created by: Elena
  • Created on: 01-04-14 20:01
What is climate
Average weather conditions over a wide area - 30yrs or more. INTERCONNECTED SYSTEM (driven by heat distribution at earths surface with heat transfer from low to high latitudes.
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what components of the earths climate system help balance the radiation budget
i) lithosphere ii) atmosphere iii)hydrosphere iv) cryosphere v) biosphere
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What is the greenhouse effect?
ability of atmosphere to retain or absorb energy (radiation) and re-radiate it (CO2, water vapour)
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Solar radiation reaching the earth depends on what 2 things?
1) angle of suns rays at surface 2) travel distance of rays through atmosphere
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Oceanic and atmospheric circulation - modified by what 3 things?
Coriolis force, distrib of oceans, continents and topography (Long term crustal movements may also modify circulation patterns, leading to climate change)
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Can divide globe into (4) zones of pressure...
Equatorial trough -low, subtropical belt - high, sub antarctic belt - low, polar high
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Draw diagram of hadley, ferrel and polar cells (atmos. pressure) - slide 6
#draw them ... they also control latitudinal wind belts
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Global surface wind patterns - Slide 7
#know them
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5 things to remember about ocean circulation .... slide 8
Ocean currents driven by prevailing winds, glob and regional influence eg gulf stream, topographic deflection, subtropical gyres, circumpolar currents.
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What is El Nino southern oscillation? (Annual es drive surfarmvariability of ocean-atmosphere)
(related to changes ind the Indo Pacific equatorial current every 3-6 yrs.) Normal state - SE trades drive water W toward indonesian low. but EL NINO = SE trades weaken, and westerlies bring warm water and precip east.
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What is NAO?
fluctuations in pressure between icelandic low and azores high. associated with change in strength of oceanic surface westerlies. strong press - strong high, deep low = WINTER STORMS
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Deep oceanic circulation is driven by what?
density changes (temp and salinity = thermohaline circulation) = THERMOHALINE CIRCULATION
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Climate change triggers: What are diff between external and internal forcing mechanisms?
external = solar output, orbital patterns, internal = feedback by earth's elements eg albedo, ocean currents etc
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What is the quaternary?
present geological period of last 2Ma. glacial + interglacial states and shorter periods of change when radiation balance is out of equilib.
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What is a forcing function?
mechanism that causes system to change from its equilibrium state. driven by deviations in earth-atmosphere system.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

what components of the earths climate system help balance the radiation budget

Back

i) lithosphere ii) atmosphere iii)hydrosphere iv) cryosphere v) biosphere

Card 3

Front

What is the greenhouse effect?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Solar radiation reaching the earth depends on what 2 things?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Oceanic and atmospheric circulation - modified by what 3 things?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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