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Chapter 14 Earth’s Climate Lesson 1 What is Climate? Think About It… What is the climate like here in Clemmons? Focus Question… What factors determine the climate of an area? A. Climate Basics… 1. What is climatology? the study of Earth’s climate and the factors that affect it 2. What is climate? long-term weather patterns of an area What are three main factors that climate describes about an area? Temperature Precipitation Wind Weather or Climate? 3. Weather or Climate? a. It’s rainy and warm today. weather b. Clemmons has 4 seasons with a moderate amount of rain and wind. climate Weather – Cloudy with a chance of meatballs! http://www.allmoviephoto.com/takeoverAd.html?http://www.allmoviephoto.com/photo/2009_cloudy_with_a_chance_of_meatballs_013.html Factors That Affect Climate… Latitude http://www.brockmann-consult.de/iavisa-info-web/data-set-generation.html Factors That Affect Climate… Topographical Effects http://www.sonoma.edu/users/f/freidel/global/figure%2002-20.jpg Factors That Affect Climate… Air Masses A tropical island in the Atlantic Ocean has a maritime tropical climate (warm and humid) because it’s climate is controlled by the mT air mass. http://www.atmos.illinois.edu/earths_atmosphere/images/airmasses_fronts/air_masses.gif http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/bahamas-guide/ Ocean Currents Determine Climate… Write notes on Lesson! a. Currents affect climate… i. East coasts have warm currents. (The Gulf Stream causes our climate to be humid subtropical.) ii. West coasts have cold currents. (The California current from the Bering Sea causes California to have a Mediterranean climate that is cool and dry.) Proximity to Oceans… http://earth.usc.edu/~stott/Catalina/images/Oceanography/surface%20currents.jpg Ocean Currents Determine Climate… Write notes on Lesson! b. Coastal climates are more temperate than continental (interior) climates… i. Differential heating of water and land means that oceans take longer than continents to… • cool down after summer (Remember how long hurricane season lasts? Until November 30th!) • warm up after winter ii. Oceans act as air conditioning in summer and heaters in the winter. iii. Our coastal communities – such as the Outer Banks or Wilmington are cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Lesson 2 Climate Classification and Biomes Focus Question… How are Earth’s climates classified? Climate Classification… The Koeppen Classification Scale http://theweatherchannelkids.com/climate-code/be-eco-friendly-for-the-animals/tropical-climate/ Climate Classification… 1. Tropical – Constant high temperatures – Up to 600 cm of rain – Dramatic vegetation and high biodiversity http://accessscience.com/search.aspx?rootID=798501 Climate Classification… 2. Dry (arid or semiarid) – cT air dominates – Low precipitation – Vegetation is scarce http://accessscience.com/search.aspx?rootID=798501 Climate Classification… 3. Humid subtropical – The North Atlantic (Gulf Stream) – Marine West Coast – Mediterranean http://www.solcomhouse.com/gulfstream.htm Climate Classification… 4. Northern – Clashing tropical and polar air masses – Rapid, violent changes in weather – Summer and winter temps can be extreme http://accessscience.com/search.aspx?rootID=798501 Climate Classification… 5. Subarctic and Tundra – Subarctic is a subclass of continental climates – Tundra is a subclass of polar climates http://accessscience.com/search.aspx?rootID=798501 Climate Classification… 6. Greenland and Antarctica – These are constantly cold – Cold air holds less moisture than warm air so precipitation is generally low. http://accessscience.com/search.aspx?rootID=798501 http://www.squidoo.com/machupicchuruins?utm_source=google&utm_medium=imgres&utm_campaign=framebuster Microclimates… 1. What is a microclimate? A localized climate that differs from the main regional climate a. The microclimate of a very high mountain is classified as “high elevation.” b. These microclimates are called uplands and highlands. A Llama in at Machu Picchu in the Andes Mountains Heat Islands… 2. What is a heat island? a place in which the climate is warmer than the area around it – lots of buildings and little vegetation. Where would you expect to find heat islands in the Piedmont? Greensboro, WinstonSalem, Raleigh http://www.weatherquestions.com/What_is_the_urban_heat_island.htm Biomes… Biomes are large geographic regions which have similar climate; and plants and animals with similar adaptations. http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/polar/images/polar_bear_sm.jpg http://sasd.k12.pa.us/uploadedImages/ShalerAreaMS/Staff/GuidishD/tundra.jpg Biomes…Tundra (Polar Zone) • Climate… Average temperature constantly low low precipitation (cold air/ no convection) Very long winters! • Vegetation… grasses (shallow roots) • Animals… Polar bears (big and fat!) • Air Masses – cP and A • Soil – permanently frozen The Tundra Biomes…Taiga • Climate… Avg temperatures - low most of the year Avg precipitation - little – mostly snow! long winters • Vegetation… evergreen trees (needle like leaves conserve water) • Animals… • grizzly bears, elk, moose (hibernate/migrate) • Air Masses – cP and A • Soil – supports trees US! Biomes – Deciduous Forests • Climate… Average temperatures warm, humid summers/ dry, cool winters Average precip – moderate 4 seasons • Vegetation… seasonal forests – drop leaves to conserve water • Animals… black bears, foxes, deer • Air Masses – maritime and continental • Soil – rich and thick http://www.solcomhouse.com/gulfstream.htm Biomes… Deserts • Climate … Average temps usually high/ can be cold at night Average precipitation - • • • • extremely low Semi-arid have rainy seasons Vegetation… cactus - stores water Animals… coyote, javelina, mountain lions – active at night Air Mass – cT Soil – light-colored, salty, thin due to lack of water Monument Valley, Utah http://www.formalaffair.us/static/.2011/gallery/desert_14.jpg Biomes…Grasslands • Climate… Average temperatures Summer and winter temps can be extreme! Average precipitation…low • • • • Tropical Grasslands Savannahs to moderate 4 seasons (temperate) Vegetation… grasses dominate – thrive on fire Animals… bison, wolves, prairie dogs (grazers) Air Masses – mT and cP Soil – temperate grasslands can be very rich (grainbelts) Temperate Grasslands North Dakota in the winter! Biomes…Rainforests • Climate … Average temperatures constantly high Average precipitation high (600 cm/yr) • Vegetation… rain forest – large leaves to capture sunlight • Animals… jaguar, tapirs, primates – many live in trees • Air Mass – mT • Soil – intensely weathered Lesson 3 Climate Changes Think About It… What causes the seasons? Focus Question… What factors can change Earth’s climate? Ice Ages… 1. What is an ice age? periods of extensive glacial coverage a. An interglacial interval is a warm period. b. We are currently in an interglacial period. c. Earth’s climate should warm up during an interglacial period! Ice Ages… Global temperatures were about 5 degrees Celsius lower than normal. http://www.global-greenhouse-warming.com/images/LastIceAgeMap.gif Seasons… 2. What causes the seasons? the tilt of the Earth as it orbits the sun – We are tilted towards the sun during our summer and away from the sun during our winter. http://kennedy-outerspace.wikispaces.com/file/view/seasons.gif/168395377/seasons.gif http://www.galapagosonline.com/Galapagos_Natural_History/Oceanography/Currents.html El Niño 3. What is El Niño? the warming of a current that is usually cold; occurs along the S. American coast every 27 years During El Niño… a. California and the Gulf Coast can experience severe weather due to a southern shift in the jet stream. b. There are fewer hurricanes in the Atlantic. Recent Major El Niño Years – 1982 and 1998 El Niño – Currents Affected… Change Can Be Natural… 1. What type of studies provide evidence of past climatic changes? (Before thermometers, that is!) i. ii. iii. iv. tree rings ice-core samples fossils & pollen samples radio-carbon samples http://titlemn.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/tree-rings1.jpg Dendrochronology is the study of tree rings. Natural Variations in Climate… 2. Five natural variations that can lead to changes in Earth’s climate include… i. ii. iii. iv. v. Solar activity (sunspots) Change in Earth’s orbit (more elliptical) Change in Earth’s Axis Angle (nutation) Earth’s wobble (precession) Volcanic activity We will look at each one separately… Solar Activity… 2a. Fewer sunspots decrease Earth’s temperatures. http://www.global-warming-and-the-climate.com/images/sunspot-lenght-&-teperature.gif Earth’s Orbit… 2b. When Earth’s orbit elongates to become more elliptical, it passes closer to the sun and temperatures rise! http://grendelreport.posterous.com/ipcc-corruption-included-ignoring-facts-and-s http://www.cgrer.uiowa.edu/people/carmichael/atmos_course/ATMOS_PROJ_99/bilskemp/natural_variability.html Earth’s Tilt… 2c. If the angle of the tilt of Earth’s axis increased (nutation) there would be more temperature contrast between summer and winter. Earth’s Wobble (precession)… 2d. If Earth were to wobble towards the star Vega, winters will be colder in the N. hemisphere. http://www.shiftoftheage.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/precession-earth-spintop.jpg Volcanoes… 2e. Large volcanic eruptions tend to… cool the Earth. This cooling is due to volcanic ash and dust blocking out solar radiation. Tambora, 1815 Lesson 4 Climate Change: Manmade or Natural? You Decide! Think About It… What causes climate change? Focus Question… Are people causing climate change? One Major Issue The issue of climate change is probably one of the most important of our day. No scientist questions that we have experienced warming and cooling lately. The question is the cause of the warming – is it caused by people releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere or by natural forces such as the sun and water vapor? There are two main groups of scientists – those who believe that climate change is manmade and those who believe that climate change is natural. Manmade Climate Change … Who’s On This Side? 1. United Nations IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 2. Al Gore (Former Vice President) 3. James Hansen (NASA) Manmade Climate Change… Basic Belief About Cause of Climate Change… People are causing climate change by burning fossil fuels – and it will cause catastrophic changes on Earth – An Inconvenient Truth? Manmade Climate Change … The Role of Carbon Dioxide… Carbon dioxide (usually referred to as “carbon emissions”), released by burning fossil fuels, is warming the atmosphere. Manmade Climate Change… Evidence to Support View? 1. Carbon dioxide studies showing that levels have gone up. 2. Climate studies represented by a discredited graph known as the “hockey-stick” graph 3. Computer models showing extreme warming Manmade Climate Change… What to Do About Climate Change? 1. Reduce our use of fossil fuels or buy carbon credits to offset usage 2. Use alternative sources of energy Natural Climate Change … Who’s On This Side? 1. William Gray (Hurricane Expert from Colorado State University) 2. Willie Soon (Astrophysicist from Harvard) 3. Joe Bastardi (Meteorologist formerly with Accuweather) Natural Climate Change… Basic Belief About Cause of Climate Change… Climate has always changed, it is natural, and caused mostly by changes in the output of the sun’s radiation. Natural Climate Change… The Role of Carbon Dioxide… Carbon dioxide is a trace greenhouse gas and is not the major cause of global warming. vs. A trace greenhouse gas or the Sun? Which is more powerful? Hmmmm… Natural Climate Change Evidence to Support View? 1. Climate studies showing the Medieval Warming and the Little Ice Age 2. Sunspot data showing that global temperatures go up and down with sun spot activity 3. Ice core data that shows that carbon dioxide levels go up AFTER temperatures go up. What to Do About Climate Change? Natural Climate Change 1. Adapt for future changes! 2. Stop scaring people with outlandish climate change scenarios! (Climatologist Timothy Ball’s words) Lesson 5 Biodiversity Think About It… What do you think is the biggest threat to the survival of species? Focus Question… What factors threaten biodiversity and how can people reduce their impact on the biosphere? Biodiversity 1. The biosphere is… …all life on Earth! 2. Biodiversity refers to … the number and variety of species on Earth Genetic biodiversity is the difference in genetic makeup within a species. There are 1.6 million known species on earth. Most of these known species are insects! There are an estimated 11.4 million species yet to be discovered! www.istockphoto.com Biodiversity… a. The biome with the most biodiversity is… … the rainforest b/c it has the most water available for living things b. The biomes with the least biodiversity are… … the desert b/c it has the least water available and the tundra b/c it is very cold and there is little liquid water available. B. Factors That Reduce Biodiversity… 1. Human Population Growth… a. People have the greatest impact on Earth’s natural resources because… … they have an unequaled capacity to modify their environment (See next slide…) b. As our population grows the demand for natural resources… … increases as well A (Very) Modified Environment! Ski resort in the desert of Dubai… http://mytko.org/random/ski.jpg http://static2.businessinsider.com/image/4b10d98d0000000000571a63-400-300/a-ski-resort-in-the-middle-of-the-desert.jpg Factors That Reduce Biodiversity… c. 75% of all species become extinct due to habitat loss. • (Why? If its habitat is destroyed, where will it live? What will it eat?) • A growing population demands more natural resources! tpeblog.wordpress.com 2. Habitat Alteration… a. Ecosystems with a high biodiversity are more stable b/c… … they are able to recover more quickly from harmful events such as disease and drought b. Habitat alteration … … is the changing of a natural habitat (in these examples, human-caused) … includes monoculture, deforestation, and urbanization Habitat Alteration… i. Monoculture can be defined as the planting of just one species in a field. Basically, one crop take the place of many species. This decreases biodiversity! A monoculture can lead to crop failure if a disease wipes out the single plant species. http://www.bio.davidson.edu/people/kabernd/seminar/2004/Grp4/monoculture.html http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Deforestation/Images/slash_and_burn_children.jpg Habitat Alteration… ii. Deforestation is the removal of trees without adequate replanting. … It reduces biodiversity b/c animals are left without homes and food (not to mention, people are also left homeless!) Habitat Alteration… iii. Urban Development: People moving to urban areas can reduce biodiversity when... a. … natural habitats are lost as forests are cleared and wetlands are filled b. … large volumes of solid waste and pollution are produced 3. Invasive Species… a. An invasive species is one that is not native to an area. b. Invasive species reduce biodiversity in one of two ways… – They have no natural enemies so they can take over an ecosystem. (Burmese python) – Native species have no defenses against an exotic species. Invasive species take over! This is kudzu…a local invasive species! Invasive Species of North Carolina… https://www.defenders.org/sites/default/files/ publications/north_carolina.pdf The Emerald Ash Beetle It’s getting close to NC! http://stopthebeetle.info/ 4. Pollution… a. The major source of near-shore pollution … sewage water b. High levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in human wastewater creates... … blooms of cyanobacteria that die and use up the oxygen in the water as they decompose c. Pumping untreated sewage into the ocean creates… … large dead zones on the ocean floor where there are no living organisms 5. Overharvesting… a. Overharvesting is… … excessive fishing of aquatic animals … excessive harvesting of a plant b. Examples of species that might be overharvested here in North Carolina are… … Ramps (wild leeks) …http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/20/dining/20forage.h tml?pagewanted=all&_r=0 c. This leads to a reduction in biodiversity by reducing the population of harvested species. C. Global Impact… 1. The loss of biodiversity affects our survival needs on a global scale! – Food – Water – Air – Shelter – Energy 2. To prevent death, famine, exposure, find cures for diseases, and even prevent wars, we need to preserve biodiversity! BioRanger! What are ways people can reduce their impact on the biosphere?