Climate Qu-est
Climate Change
a long-term change in the earth’s climate, especially a change due to an increase in the average atmospheric temperature
Global Warming
an increase in the earth’s average atmospheric temperature that causes corresponding changes in climate and that may result from the greenhouse effect.
Climate
The pattern of weather conditions within a region over a long period of time,
Weather
The condition of the atmosphere at a specific place and time
Plate Tectonics
A theory where the structure of the earth’s crust is split into plates explaining phenomena like Earthquakes.
continental drift
the theory that states that continents moved slowly over geological time from Pangaea (single continent) to their current continent positions
inter-glacial period
a geological interval of warmer global average temperature lasting thousands of years that separates consecutive glacial periods within an ice age
Ice cores
Air bubbles from glaciers in order to see contents of air at certain time
Proxy Record
Clues used to determine past climates
Atmosphere
the gases that surround earth

Temperature
Humidity
Precipitation
Wind
Storms

Layers of atmosphere in order and heat pattern
Troposphere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere, Thermosphere
–> down –> up –> down –> up
(pressure decreases with altitude)
Conduction
transfer of thermal energy between neighboring molecules
Convection
transfer of thermal energy by movements of layers within fluids
Radiation
transfer of electromagnetic energy by waves travelling through a medium or empty space.
Albedo
the proportion of the sun’s radiation that is reflected by Earth back to the sun (long wave radiation)
Natural Greenhouse Effect
Radiation from the sun passes through the Earth’s atmosphere and is absorbed by the Earth’s surface.
Becomes thermal energy and the Earth Warms-up
Earth emits lower-energy infrared radiation
Gases in the atmosphere trap radiation
GHGs in atmosphere absorb radiation and some is sent back to Earth surface.
Infrared Radiation
electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths longer than visible light
Ultraviolet Radiation
lectromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light
Thermal Radiation
the thermal motion of charged particles in matter radiated electromagnetically
Greenhouse gas
Water vapor, Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Ozone, Nitrious Oxides

a gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation

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Anthropogenic Greenhouse Effect
The natural greenhouse effect however magnified by the greenhouse gas emissions of humans
Positive Feedback Loop
A closed loop system, that enhances positive loop gain over time.
Net Radiation budget
Solar Energy budget: +70% absorbed, 30 % reflected before earth, -70% radiated back
Fossil Fuels
a natural fuel such as coal or gas, formed in the geological past from the remains of living organisms.
Carbon Source
any activity that emits Carbon Dioxide
Carbon Sink
a forest, ocean, or other natural environment viewed in terms of its ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Climate Forcing
the difference of radiant energy received by the earth and energy radiated back to space
Climate Feedbacks
A process that acts to amplify or reduce direct warming or cooling effects.
Mitigation
an energy imbalance imposed on the climate system either externally or by human activities.
Carbon Offsets
Keep your lifestyle however, you pay a company to offset your carbon usage by doing things (though there is no way to track this)
Emissions Trading (cap & trade)
When a cap of emissions is set in place on countries or organisations, and if one goes under their limit and one goes over they can trade “emissions”
Carbon Tax
a tax on fossil fuels, especially those used by motor vehicles, intended to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide.
Geoengineering
the deliberate large-scale manipulation of an environmental process that affects the earth’s climate, in an attempt to counteract the effects of global warming.
Carbon capture (sequestration)
Taking the carbon emissions and capturing it, turning it into a liquid/solid and pumping it back into the ground where it came from (coal mines etc.) “a natural or artificial process by which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and held in solid or liquid form.”
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