Climate Change

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Sun's Energy & Climate Change ©Mark Place, 2009-2010 www.LearnEarthScience.com climate notes page 3

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According to the graph below, what wavelength of energy does the Earth receive in the greatest intensity? Sun's Energy & Climate visible light

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Name the primary gas which absorbs ultraviolet (UV) from the sun. Sun's Energy & Climate ozone

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Name the three primary gases which absorb infrared (IR) energy Sun's Energy & Climate methane water vapor

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Why is the ozone layer important? Sun's Energy & Climate It protects the Earth from UV which damages crops and causes cancer in humans.

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Why is it warmer on a cloudy night than on a clear night? Sun's Energy & Climate Clouds (H 2 O vapor) absorb IR energy radiated by the Earth. On a clear night, the IR energy escapes back into space.

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Explain the greenhouse effect. Include a diagram which shows the change in wavelength. Apply It

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Just like a greenhouse, the gases in the atmosphere ---especially CO 2 --- absorb re-radiated infrared energy.

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Climate Change

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Ice Ages

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Ice Ages Ice Ages are cyclic. The last one occurred ~12,000 years ago The exact cause of what triggers an ice age is not known

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El Niño A warming of the Pacific Ocean. Winters: West = Stormy South = Cold, wet Northeast = warmer

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La Niña A cooling of the Pacific Ocean. Dry in southeast. Cool, wet in northwest.

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Global Warming Average global temperatures are increasing. Glaciers are melting. Ocean levels are rising. Warming is natural. Humans are speeding up the process through increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO 2 )

Mountain Glaciers:

Mountain Glaciers

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