Earth's life support systems

reasons why water critical for life
as a habitat for organisms, as a reagent in bio-chemical reactions, for transport in organisms, as a coolant in organisms, to maintain a constant temperature in organisms, as a chemical solvent
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why is carbon critical so life on earth
it is the building blocks of all organic chemicals such as carbohydrates, lipids and proteins
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what are carbons two non-biological functions
raising earth's temperature- without GHG's temperature would be about 29°C lower. a fuel source with high energy density- organic matter can undergo maturation and coalification to form fossil fuels with high energy density and main source of fuel
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how much water is there on earth
1.4 billion km³
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what are the stores within the water cycle
oceans (97%), ice caps and glaciers (2%), subsoil and rocks, rivers and lakers, top soil, atmosphere (0.001%), living organisms (0.00004%)
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what does ablation mean
snow and ice melts and vaporises releasing water
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what does evaporation mean
energy from the sun turns liquid water into a gas
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what does transpiration mean
plants take water from the soil and give it off through their leaves
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what does condensation mean
water vapour turns into droplets of liquid water
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what does transport mean
water vapour and clouds are moved by wind
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what is precipitation
water falls from the atmosphere to the surface of the earth
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what is surface run off
water runs across the surface of the ground into rivers and lakes
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what is an aquifer
sub-soil or rock that is permeable and holds groundwater
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how much carbon is there in on Earth including and not including sedimentary rocks
including- over 100,000,000Gt. not including- 48,500Gt
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where is the majority of carbon found
earth's curst hold 99.95% of the carbon with other carbon reservoirs holding the remaining 0.05%
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what are the carbon stores not including the earths crust
oceans (78%), fossil fuels (10%), living organisms (4%), soil, atmosphere, sea floor sediments (0.3%)
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what does photo synthesis mean
plants take in CO2 and convert it to carbohydrates in their tissues
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how is volcanic activity part of the carbon cycle
CO2 is emitted from volcanoes
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what is sedimentation
dead organic matter from the oceans biomass forms carbonate sediments
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what is decomposition
dead organic matter is broken down releasing CO2
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what is respiration
animals break down carbohydrates for energy releasing CO2
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what is diffusion
CO2 dissolves into the upper oceans and is released from solution
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what is uplift
Ocean sediments are raised up by tectonic processes
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what is denudation
chemical weathering and erosion remove CO2 from the atmosphere
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what is residence time
the amount of time that either water or carbon remains in one of the stores
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what is waters residence time in sub-soil and rocks, oceans, biomass and atmosphere
sub-soil and rocks: 5,100 years, oceans: 3,271 years, biomass: 17 days, atmosphere: 9 days
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what is carbons residence time in sub-soil and rocks, oceans, biomass and atmosphere
sub-soil and rocks: 16,667,500 years, oceans: 433 years, biomass: 33 years, atmosphere: 5 years
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what are similarities between the carbon and water cycle
most stores are the same- oceans, atmosphere, living organisms, soil and rock. plants play a key role in both
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what are differences between the carbon and water cycle
difference in amount of it, some differences in stores- little carbon found in ice caps and glaciers, amount found in each store differ greatly, carbon cycle can be split into fast and slow cycle but water cannot
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what is a drainage basin
an area of land that is drained by a river and its tributaries which interlock so that all the land is drained
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what happens to the water once in the drainage basin
if it isn't evapo-transpired then it will end up in the main river channel of that drainage basin as river-run off and moved to the ocean. a small amount of groundwater may leak through aquifers into the sub-soil
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what are the inputs and outputs in a drainage basin
inputs: precipitation. output: river run-off, evapotranspiration and groundwater leakage
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what are the parts of a drainage basin
watershed, mouth, confluence, source, tributary
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what is the water shed
edge of the drainage basin
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what is the mouth of a river
end point of the river, where it meets the sea. may have mudflats or a delta
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what is confluence
where to tributaries join up, or where it joins the main river
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what is the source of a river
start point of the river
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what is a tributary
a stream that flows into the main river channel
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what are the parts of the drainage basin hydrological cycle
DCP, surface storage, infiltration, soil water storage, percolation, groundwater storage, through flow, groundwater flow, interception, vegetation storage, through flow, channel storage and flow, river run off, groundwater leakage, uptake,water table
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what is DCP
precipitation falling straight into the river channel
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what is surface storage
water stored in puddles on surface
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what is infiltration
water sinking into the soil from surface
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what is soil water storage
water stored in soil pores above the top of water table
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what is percolation
water moving down through the soil from above the water table to below it
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what is groundwater storage
water stored in the soil below the top of the water table
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what is through flow
water moving sideways through the soil, above the top of the water table
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what is base/groundwater flow
water moving sideways through the soil, below the top of the water table
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what is interception
water hitting vegetation
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what is vegetation storage
water stored on plant leaves or in plant tissues and cells
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what is stem flow/through flow
water going down steps or falling off leaves from vegetation to ground
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what is channel storage
water stored in the river channel
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what is channel flow
water moving down the river channel
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what is river run off
water in the river leaving the drainage basin to the ocean n
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what is groundwater leakage
water leaving he drainage basin from aquifers via groundwater flow
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what is uptake
plant roots taking in water from the soil store
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what is the water table
the zone of the soil where all the soil spores are full of water/the ground is saturated
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what are the factors that influence the drainage basin water cycle
slope angle, precipitation amount and intensity, preceding levels of precipitation, geology, type of vegetation, drainage intensity, time of year
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how does slope angle influence the drainage basin water cycle
steep lopes encourage surface runoff and limit infiltration
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how does precipitation amount influence the drainage basin water cycle
more precipitation= more surface run off as top layer of sol will become saturated, so infiltration will stop
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how does precipitation intensity influence the drainage basin water cycle
heavy rainfall will slam into the soil surface, closing the soil pores
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how does preceding levels of precipitation influence the drainage basin water cycle
it there is lots, water table will be high as soil will be mostly saturated
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how does geology influence the drainage basin water cycle
thin soil and impermeable bedrock will lead to little or no infiltration and percolation
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how does type of vegetation influence the drainage basin water cycle
large plants will intercept and transpire more, slowing down movement of water to river =, no plants at all will speed it up
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how does drainage intensity influence the drainage basin water cycle
if basin has lots of tributaries, distance water must flow to get into one is small, so more will get into the river quicker
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how does time of year influence the drainage basin water cycle
in winter, ground will be frozen and impermeable. in summer, hard baked ground and heavy rainfall will limit infiltration
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what is an environmental lapse rate
wat temperature changes as you move up into the troposphere from the earth's surface. -6.5°/km
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what is the dry adiabatic lapse rate
way the temperature of a rising parcel of dry air changes as you move up into the troposphere from the surface. -10°/km
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what is the saturated adiabatic lapse rate
way the temperature of a rising parcel of air when condensation is occurring changes as you move up into the troposphere from the earth's surface. -7°/km
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what is convectional precipitation
caused by air rising in hot places. solar radiation heats earth, heats air above it, warm air is less dense so rises, it then cools and water vapour condenses, clouds then form and so does precipitation
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what is orographic/relief precipitation
caused by mountains forcing air to rise. air can't pass mountains so rises and cools, clouds form and so does precipitation, air falls other side of the mountain wand warms so water evaporates
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what is frontal precipitation
caused by warm air meeting cold air. warm and cold air meet head on, warm air rises over and cools so water vapour condenses causing clouds and precipitation
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how do living organisms affect the carbon cycle
on a short-term basis through processes of photosynthesis and respiration
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what is photosynthesis
CO2 is taken in by plants and phytoplankton via photosynthesis and turned into carbohydrates
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what is respiration
animals consume the plants and respires using up the carbohydrates gained, giving off CO2 in the process. plants respire at night
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what are atmospheric CO2 levels in growing season (northern hemisphere)
as more plants in northern hemisphere, atmospheric CO2 levels reflect the season changes there. during growing season, photosynthesis outweighs respiration so levels fall leading to a minimum in October
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what are the atmospheric CO2 levels in winter
many plants have dropped their leaves and temperatures are colder, so photosynthesis is less and so atmospheric CO2 levels rises as respiration outweighs photosynthesis, CO2 maximum in May
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what are the atmospheric CO2 levels variation in a day
daytime- photosynthesis can take place due to light, this outweighs respiration, so CO2 minimums level at about 3pm. night- no photosynthesis so outweighed by respiration. CO2 max at 3am
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how much carbon is stored in tropical forest biomass
548Gt
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how much carbon is stored in Tundra biomass
155Gt
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what does the amount of carbon stored in biomass depend on
the productivity of the biome and the area of land covered by the biome
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how does decomposition affect carbon amount
removes carbon from the biomass store and return sit to the atmosphere or ocean
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what is the role of decomposers
decomposers (bacteria and fungi) break down dead organic matter producing chelates that causes weathering of rock, and CO2 in aerobic conditions and CH4 in anaerobic conditions, which is released into the atmosphere via the soil
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how does temperature and oxygen availability affect decomposition
warmer the temperature, more rapid the decomposition. lack of oxygen will stop decomposition as decomposers will not be able to respire
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what is produced when oxygen levels are low
Methane- this is what happens in bogs
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how is decomposition affected by water availability
dry areas have fewer decomposers
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what is maturation
a geological process that forms crude oil and natural gas. sea creatures die and fall to the ocean floor. over millions of years they are buried and exposed to increased levels of heat and pressure forming oil and natural gas
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what is coalification
a geological process that forms coal and natural gas. dead organic matter builds up in swamps and bogs. over millions of years, these are buried and exposed to increased levels of heat ad pressure forming coal and natural gas
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what is combustion
the process where a substance containing carbon is burnt and energy along with CO2 is produced. humans cause combustion through the ignition of crude oil or its products, coal and/or natural gas. can occur naturally- lightening causing forest fires
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what is weathering
break up of rock in situ. there are two forms connected to the carbon cycle, chelation and carbonation.
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how is carbonation linked to the carbon cycle
CO2 dissolves in rainwater forming carbonic acid. this dissolves rocks such as limestone and chalk producing calcium bicarbonate which is soluble and making its way into oceans
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how is chelation linked to the carbon cycle
decomposition produces chalets that are organic acids. these react with metal ions in rock producing more soluble organic chemicals that again eventually move to rivers and then the ocean
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what is a biome
an ecosystem that covers large areas of the earths surface. an ecosystem is a community of plants and animals linked to the climate and soil by flows of energy and nutrients
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what is the abiotic component of a tropical rainforest (Congo)
made up of the climate and soil.
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what is the climate in a tropical rainforest
very hot and wet and there is at least 60mm of precipitation every month. mean temperature is over 25°C every month
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what is the soil in a tropical rainforest
type of oxisol called a latosol. latosols have a thin topsoil layer the is rich in demcoposed organic matter and is where all the plant nutrients are situated.
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how do high temperatures and high levels of precipitation affect the soil in a tropical rainforest
cause rapid weathering of bedrock, so the subsoil is a 30m thick. lacks nutrients due to leaching leaving only iron and aluminium oxides
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what is the biotic component of a tropical rainforest
made up of plants and animals
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explain the diversity of a tropical rainforest
they are very biodiverse. dominant species is the tree- most about 30m tall and form a continuous canopy. where gaps are, emergents (50m) break through. few plants in shrub layer due to little light reaching the floor
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plant species layout
emergent tree- Great Maobi tree. canopy species- Limba. about 25% of biomass is comprised of lianas and vines. around 100,000 plant species in the Congo
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animal species layout
more than 60% of Africa's butterfly species, 60% of Africa's bird species and 80% of Africas primate species are found in the Congo rainforest. 400 species of mammals, 216 amphibians, 280 species of reptiles
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stats about the Congo
makes up 18% of the world tropical rainforest. 2nd largest continuous rainforest. 2/3 of the Congo rainforest is in DRC and 57% of DRC is rainforest. second largest river and basin in the world.
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precipitation in the Congo
high amounts all year, average is 1553mm a year. 2 wetter seasons peaking in April and October. precipitation amount is due to Congo lying under low pressure inter tropical convergence zone where convectional rainfall happens every day
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evapotranspiration in the Congo
interception rates are high so most evaporation is from leaf surface. water is quickly cycled from soils back into atmosphere by transpiration. high temperatures increase ET rates. 55% of precipitation is recycled water from ET
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runoff in the Congo
annual discharge has two peaks, May and December, following two slightly wetter seasons that occur each year
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runoff in the Congo
annual discharge has two peaks, May and December, following two slightly wetter seasons that occur each year
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soil storage in the Congo
latosols are loose and deep so through flow and groundwater flow is faster than in many other soils taking water to the nearest tributary relatively quickly
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geology in the Congo
most of the Congo basin is underlain by thick layers of unconsolidated alluvial Quaternary sedimentary rocks. these rocks allow a large amount of infiltration and percolation to occur
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relief in the Congo
the Congo basin is mostly flat with an altitude of between 300m and 1000m. the areas to the south and east of the basin are undergoing uplift due to tectonic processes
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why are tropical rainforests so proactive
sunlight is plentiful and precipitation and temperature rates are high, so photosynthesis rates are high
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how is ecosystem productivity measured
NPP- net primary productivity. a proxy measure of the amount of energy stored in plants per year and is expressed as the mass of new growth produced each year. trpocail rainforest has the most, deserts have the least
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how do humans impact the rainforest water and Caron cycles
deforestation and farming
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how is GIS used to calculate deforestation rates
satellite images from different dates are compared to examine changes in canopy coverage. it enables you to visualise deforestation data at a range of scales and detect patterns.
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what are reasons for deforestation in the Congo
civil unrest/war, increase in demand of agricultural land, mining, logging
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how has civil unrest caused deforestation
civil war has occurred twice in the last 3 decades in DRC. caused civilians to flee into the rainforest
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how has increase in demand of agricultural land caused deforestation
as population rises, there is more demand to clear the forest to provide land for subsistence agriculture via slash and burn techniques
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how has mining caused deforestation
gold, diamonds, cobalt, copper and oil are mined. most mines are small scale but associated roads and settlements also cause deforestation
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how does logging cause deforestation
30% of the area of the Congo is covered by industrial logging concessions, some of which are sustainable selective logging. however illegal logging is prevalent in DRC
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in summary, how will deforestation affect the water cycle in the Congo
there will be less interception, less transpiration so evaporation rates will fall. as a consequence, there will be more surface run off and river discharge levels will rise
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how will deforestation affect precipitation
rates would fall due to transpiration and evaporation rates falling in the absence of th trees and precipitation is 55% recycled water from the Basin itself
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how will deforestation affect evaporation
rates would fall because there would be reduced interception and increased infiltration rates, so water would quickly sink into the soil so not be available for evaporation
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how will deforestation affect transpiration
rates would fall because there would not be trees to carry out the large amount of transpiration that previously took place
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how will deforestation affect river run off
rates would increase despite the reduction in precipitation because ET rates will ave declined rapidly. surface runoff will increase as less interception.
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Where can Tundra be found
Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia and Siberia
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what is the abiotic component of the Tundra
climate and soil
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what is the Climate in the Tundra
cold and dry. less than 40mm of precipitation each month. summer temp= less than 20°C. winter temp= less than -30°C. high winds
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what is the soil in the Tundra
gelisols- have permafrost within 2 metres of the soil surface
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what is permafrost
water in soil or rock remains frozen for a period of 2 years or more. above permafrost is active year where water freezes and melts annually- creates ephemeral rivers, streams and ponds
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what is cryoturbation
when different lanes of the soil are mixed up in swirling patterns due to repeated freezing and thawing of water in the soil
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what are whistle soil
soil is predominantly dead organic matter with permafrost beneath and turtle soils were cryoturbation is the dominant process
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what is the biotic component in the Tundra
plants and animals
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what types of plants grow in the Tundra
low levels of biomass as too cold, windy and dry for species. typical plants are low-growing cold and drought resistant species like mosses. small shrubs can also survive in sheltered areas
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what animals live in the Tundra
reindeer, arctic fox, lemming and snow goose. in summer lots of mosquitos and midges. number of species migrate and hibernate to survive
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what are the flows and stores of the Water cycle in the Tundra
precipitation, evapotranspiration, run off and soil storage, geology, relief
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how does precipitation impact the water cycle in the Tundra
low level as closer to polar high than low pressure, slightly higher in June, July and August
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how does evapotranspiration impact the water cycle in the Tundra
very low due to sparse and small vegetation. low temp= low rates of ET, when temp rises energy is used to melt snow not evaporate water
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how does runoff and soil storage impact the water cycle in the Tundra
little surface runoff, infiltration, through flow, percolation and groundwater flow as permafrost creates impermeable barrier. most water stored in permafrost so immobile
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how does geology impact the water cycle in the Tundra
it doesn't as determining factor is permafrost
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how does relief impact the water cycle in the Tundra
large areas of flat plains, doesn't encourage flow when snow melts. causes ponds and lakes in summer
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how productive is the Tundra ecosystem
low productivity because precipitation and temperature rates are low, so photosynthesis rates are low- therefore, relatively little biomass
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how is productivity measured
NPP- proxy measure of amount of energy stored in plants per year- mass of new growth each year
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what is the productivity of the Tundra
140g/m²/yr- third lowest
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where is Carbon stored in the Tundra in the
most carbon is stored in the soil with only around 320Gt in the biomass- different to other seasons
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what happens to productivity in the winter
there is no photosynthesis and decomposition. due to active layer being frozen an snow covers the little vegetation- no carbon exchanged between the atmosphere, biomass and stores
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what happens in the three months in summer- June, July, August
small amount of photosynthesis and decomposition. however it is in balance so zero net effect on atmosphere store
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how is the Tundra Carbon cycle and climate change linked
global warming will increase soil carbon stores in the Tundra in the short term and then deplete them rapidly
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what is an example of a negative feedback in the Tundra
temperature rises, permafrost melts, more photosynthesis and decomposition, less carbon in the atmosphere, more in tundra soils
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what is an example of a positive feedback in the Tundra
temperature rises, permafrost melts, more photosynthesis and decomposition, more carbon in the atmosphere, less in tundra soils, temperature rises
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what state was the carbon and water cycle in the Holocene
dynamic equilibrium
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how do humans impact the water cycle
urbanisation, agriculture, forestry
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what is urbanisation
building of town and cities. it can impact the water cycle in terms of type of speed of flows and amount of water in stores
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what are the three impacts of urbanisation
removal of natural vegetation, construction of buildings and roads, loss of floodplains ad wetlands
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how does removal of natural vegetation affect the water cycle
less transpiration as buildings replace vegetation
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how does construction of buildings and roads affect the water cycle
ground surface is made impermeable so less infiltration and more overland flow. urban areas are 'heat islands' due to energy from systems- increases evaporation rates
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how does loss of floodplains and wetlands impact the water cycle
urbanisation may occur on floodplains and drained wetlands. this reduces soil storage capacity and increases river discharge and flood risk
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how does agriculture influence the water cycle
the type of agriculture and the type of agricultural practices used will influence the water cycle greatly
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what are the three impacts of agriculture
vegetation changes, drainage of wetlands, agricultural practices
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how does vegetation changing affect the water cycle
the replacement of natural vegetation with grassland reduces interception and transpiration rates (so there will be more surface runoff and infiltration). therefore there will be more water in the soil and river discharge will increase
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how does the drainage of wetlands affect the water cycle
it will reduce the amount of water stored in the soil and increase river discharge due to drainage ditches. this happens in North America and Europe
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how does agricultural practices affect the water cycle
ploughing breaks up the soil and increases infiltration rates. irrigation removes water from aquifers (reducing groundwater stores) and rivers (reducing river discharge)
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how does forestry influence the water cycle
trees play a big role in the water cycle so their removal or addition can cause changes in the water cycle
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what are the two impacts of forestry
deforestation and afforestation/re-forestation
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how does deforestation impact the water cycle
there will be less interception and less transpiration, so evapotranspiration rates will fall. consequently, there will be more surface runoff and river discharge levels rill rise
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how does afforestation/re-forestation impact the water cycle
more interception and transpiration, so there will be more water vapour in the atmosphere and less in soil, groundwater and river stores. river discharge will be less
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how are groundwater stores/aquifers involved in water extraction
boreholes are drills into the ground above the right geology and aquifers containing water lie below ground, water can then be extracted
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how are surface stores involved in water extraction
water is taken directly from rivers/lakes- alternative is to dam a river and create a reservoir to get water
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how are oceans and seas involved in water extraction
via desalination- industrial processes can remove salt from water- although it is costly and energy intensive
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what is an aquifer
rock that is permeable and often porous so allows water to be stored within
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what does permeable mean
water can enter and exit, usually through joints and bedding planes
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what does porous mean
interconnected spaces- not all porous rocks are permeable
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what are the 4 types of aquifer rocks in the UK
chalk, greensand, limestone and sandstone
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where are aquifers often found
artesian basins- where a syncline affects the pressure of water in the aquifers by confining all or part of the aquifer- tramped between non-permeable rocks called aquitards
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what is an aquitard
an impermeable rock that does not allow water to move through it
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what is a confined aquifer
an aquifer sandwiched between two aquitards in a syncline
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what is an unconfined aquifer
an aquifer that does not have an aquitard lying above it
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what is a perched aquifer
an aquifer that sits on top of a discontinuous aquitard
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what is a recharge zone
the area where water can infiltrate/percolate down to a confined aquifer
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what is a potentiometric surface
water under pressure in a confined aquifer will rise to this level
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what is an artesian well
a well that will spit out water due to natural pressure
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what are the two ways humans impact the carbon cycle
combustion of fossil fuels and sequestration of carbon
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why has the combustion of fossil fuels become so common
since industrialisation, fossil fuels have been our main energy source for agriculture, industry, domestic use and transport. combustion of fossil fuels increases the flow of carbon from he lithosphere to the atmosphere
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how much Carbon water added to the atmosphere between 1900-2010
9128 million tonnes
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how much of CO2 comes from burning of fossil fuels
75%
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what was the ppm in 2017 compared to pre-industrialisation
2017- 409ppm compared to 277ppm pre-industrialisation. should be above 500ppm but ocean surface and biosphere absorb some
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what is carbon sequestration
a mitigation method- agreements to reduce amount of atmospheric CO2 by sequestering it elsewhere
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what are the two types of sequestration
natural and artificial
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what is natural sequestration
trees take in CO2 from atmosphere and convert it into carbohydrates in their tissues. more trees= increase of flow of carbon from atmosphere to biosphere
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what are the advantages and disadvantages of natural sequestration
advantages: cheap, increases eco system, provides habitats, reduces flooding. Disadvantages: if deforestation occurs- CO2 is quickly released
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what is artificial sequestration
carbon capture and storage- industrial process where CO2 is removed after combustion of fossil fuels by passing flue gases through a chemical solvent. CO2 is transported and stored underground in old oil and gas fields
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what are the advantages and disadvantages of artificial sequestration
Advantages: effective at long term storage. Disadvantages: uses lots of energy, expensive, requires specific geological formations to store
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what is a negative feedback loop in the water cycle
increase in precipitation- more low level cloud- more incoming solar radiation reflected back- lower temperatures- less evapotranspiration- less water vapour in atmosphere- precipitation rates fall
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what is a positive feedback loop in water cycle
more water vapour in atmosphere- more out-going long wave radiation absorbed- higher temperatures- more evapotranspiration
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what is a negative feedback loop in carbon cycle
increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere- temperature increase- photosynthesis rate increases- more carbohydrate in plant biomass- Co2 levels in the atmosphere fall
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what is a positive feedback loop in carbon cycle
increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere- temperature increase- decomposition rate increases- carbon released from dead biomass- O2 levels in the atmosphere
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what are changes in the water cycle split up into
short term- days, months, years or decades. long term- over thousands or millions of years
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how does the water cycle change over a 24hr period (diurnally)
in tropics and high latitudes during summer, convectional rainfall occurs always in late afternoon as it takes time for solar radiation to heat the earth
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how does the water cycle change over an annual period
In UK there is always more precipitation and less evapotranspiration in winter and vice -versa in summer. due to the rain of the polar front not being over the UK in summer. in winter it shifts south, over the UK
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what are the two examples of long term changes
Cretaceous thermal maximum and Palaeocene Eocene thermal maximum
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what is the last 2.6 million years of earths history called
the Quaternary
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what is the Quaternary characterised by
a series of intensifying cold periods and warmer periods. the cold periods see the earth's mean temperature fall by 2°C
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what happens during glacial periods to water
amount of water store as ice on land increases. amount in seas decreases. ET rates decrease as plants don't transpire as much when it's cold and evaporation rates will be low due to colder temperatures
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what are the influences of short and long term changes in the carbon cycle
short- plants, decomposers. long- photosynthesis, diffusion, decomposition- all the long term changes are theories as to why atmospheric CO2 levels fall in glacial periods- all play a role in the annual carbon cycle
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what are the influence of plants on annual carbon cycle
phytoplankton bloom when seas warm up, so in the North Atlantic from March to August photosynthesis rises. Boreal forests photosynthesise more in the summer, so from April to September it increases. this causes CO2 levels to fall
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what are the influence of decomposers on annual carbon cycle
in higher latitudes, decomposition is lower in the winter due to cold temperatures and often frozen ground. decomposers have an effect of reducing atmospheric CO2 levels in the winter and increasing them in summer
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what is the influence of photosynthesis on the annual carbon cycle
during glacial periods, atmospheric CO2 levels fall. due to less forests and grasslands and more tundra and deserts, terrestrial photosynthesis would be less than today.
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what is the influence of diffusion on the annual carbon cycle
oceans and seas are colder during glacial periods. colder water dissolves CO2 more readily into it- during glacial periods more CO2 is dissolved in the surface waters of oceans and seas
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what is the influence of decomposition on the annual carbon cycle
due to more ice and snow coverage in glacial periods, Sub-arctic and Tundra biomes increase in area. frozen land will stop decomposition. therefore, during glacial periods decomposition rates decrease greatly. this means more is stored in soil
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what are the three methods of monitoring changes in the water and carbon cycles
direct measurement and remote measurement and GIS
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what does direct measurement involve and example
involves using scientific instruments to measure stores and flows directly. E.g. Co2 levels are measured in Hawaii through infrared absorption and the amount is calculated as a mole fraction in dry air
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what does remote measurement involve
involves satellites to calculate data (thickness of ice sheets, area of deforestation) which can then be linked to direct measurement to work out changes
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what can GIS be used for
can be used to plot monitoring data into maps, which allows spatial variations in the water and carbon cycles to be examined
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what are the four ways in which the water and carbon cycles are linked
atmosphere, oceans, cryosphere, biosphere and soil
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how does the atmosphere link the carbon and water cycles
less CO2 means colder temp and water and vice versa. less transpiration, photosynthesis and decomposition means less atmospheric water and CO2. more transpiration means more clouds which affects temp and in turn affects carbon flows to biosphere
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how does the oceans link the Caron and water cycles
colder waters hold more dissolved CO2. less ice on the land means higher volumes of water in oceans
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how does the cryosphere link the carbon and water cycles
higher temperatures mean less land ice, lower temperatures mean more land ice. more land ice means higher albedo rates, so lower temperatures
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how does the biosphere and soil link the carbon and water cycles
more land ice means less vegetation so less transpiration, less photosynthesis and less decomposition and vice versa. lower temperatures means less photosynthesis and decomposition and vice versa
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what is humans main impact on the carbon cycle
decreasing the store of carbon in the lithosphere and increasing the store of carbon in the atmosphere
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how much has the amount of fossil fuels increased by over the last 200 years
3X
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what are the two ways that humans impact the carbon cycle
burning of fossil fuels and deforestation/re-afforestation
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how CO2 does deforestation give off each year
3 billion tonnes of CO2, which equates to 10% of annual global greenhouse gas emissions
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why are tropical rainforests deforested
to clear land for agriculture, for mining, for urbanisation and infrastructure projects
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according to who, how much of the forest has been lost every year between 1991-2015
the UN FAO (food and agriculture organisation) estimates that 2.5% of forest has been lost every year
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what can severely affect the water cycle on a local scale
deforestation and urbanisation (see photos on notes)
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how long has human activity been impacting the climate and therefore, the carbon and water cycles
200 years
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what did the UNIPCC predict the earth's climate to increase by by 2100
1-4.1°C depending on how GHG emissions change over that period
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what are the impacts of this warming
land ice will melt, sea level will rise, some places will have more precipitation, some places will have less, forests will decrease in area, grassland will increase in area so changing photosynthesis rates, decomposition will increase
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how will decreased forest cover affect the carbon and water cycle
carbon- less photosynthesis so more CO2 in the atmosphere. water- less evapotranspiration, more surface runoff and more ground water storage
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how will melting of land ice and permafrost affect the carbon and water cycle
carbon- more decomposition and so more CO2 in the atmosphere. water- more water in the oceans and less on the land in the cryosphere
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how will increased sea temperatures affect the carbon and water cycle
carbon- less CO2 dissolved in the oceans as the gas is less soluble at higher temperatures. water- more evaporation due to higher water temperature, so transfer of water vapour to atmosphere increases
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how will increased cloud and precipitation rates affect the carbon and water cycle
carbon- will cause changes to ecosystem, which will impact photosynthesis and decomposition rates. water- more surface runoff and more river flow, increased soil water and groundwater stores
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what will follow a tipping point in the earths climate
rapid warming. this will speed up the impact that climate change is having on the water and carbon cycles significantly
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what are the three management strategies to protect the global water cycle
improved forestry techniques, water allocation management and efficient use, drainage basin planning
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how will improved forestry techniques affect the global water cycle
transpiration and interception loss increases precipitation levels and reduces surface runoff and groundwater stores. tree roots make the sol more permeable so increases infiltration, this reduces surface runoff and increases groundwater stores
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how much water is used for agricultural use
69% of global freshwater
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how much water is used for industrial uses
19% of global freshwater
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how much water is used for domestic uses (municipal)
12% of global freshwater
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what legally binding agreement was signed to control the Colorado river water distribution
in 1922, the Colorado river compact was signed. it allocated proportions of the river's annual discharge to different states. 91% over the river's discharge was split between 7 US states and 9% for Mexico. 12 dams were built
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what are water conservation methods
shower don't bath, install a water meter, only use dishwasher once full, install a 'dual-flush' toilet, turn off the tap properly
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Card 5

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