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Geology 1001/1101. Sec 003 Chris Paola Class 12: climate and glaciation. Chapter 10. THE CLIMATE SYSTEM AND GLACIATION. Key ideas about climate & glaciation. Much of Minnesota’s landscape has been sculpted by glaciers

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Geology 1001/1101

Sec 003 Chris Paola

Class 12: climate and glaciation


Chapter 10

THE CLIMATE SYSTEM

AND GLACIATION


Key ideas about climate & glaciation

  • Much of Minnesota’s landscape has been sculpted by glaciers

  • Glacial cycles are controlled by variation in Earth’s orbit on time scales of 10,000 – 100,000 yr

  • Climate  weather; climate is long-term average of weather


Climate: planetary controls

  • Distance from Sun

  • Albedo (reflectivity or “whiteness”)

  • Atmosphere (greenhouse effect)

  • Orbital properties

  • Plate configuration (mainly due to effect on ocean circulation)


Climate: geographic controls

  • Distance from equator

  • Average air flow & pressure

  • Distance to the ocean

  • Prevailing wind relative to mountains & ocean


Cold

Hot

NOT distance to Sun!

92,900,000 miles

3,900 miles


all sunlight that hits Earth’s surface


10% of sunlight spread across 6.5% of sunlit surface

at equator, Earth’s surface is almost perpendicular

to sunlight, so energy is concentrated in small area


10% of sunlight spread across 6.5% of sunlit surface

~ 150% of average intensity

at equator, Earth’s surface is almost perpendicular

to sunlight, so energy is concentrated in small area


10% of sunlight spread across 20.5% of sunlit surface

10% of sunlight spread across 6.5% of sunlit surface

~ 150% of average intensity

at poles, Earth’s surface slopes away from sunlight,

so energy is spread across a greater area


10% of sunlight spread across 20.5% of sunlit surface

< 50% of average intensity

10% of sunlight spread across 6.5% of sunlit surface

~ 150% of average intensity

at poles, Earth’s surface slopes away from sunlight,

so energy is spread across a greater area


Cold

Hot

due to the angle of the Earth’s surface


Global air flow determines large-scale rainfall patterns

Mars: one cell per

hemisphere


dry

wet

dry

Earth: 3 cells per

hemisphere


Energy and power

  • Energy (work)

    • Joules

    • BTUs: 1 BTU = 1055 J

    • Kilowatt-hour: 1 KWH = 3600000 J

    • Calorie (food): 1 Cal = 4187 J

  • Power: energy per time (energy rate)

    • 1 Joule/sec = 1 Watt

    • 1 HP = 746 Watt

  • US energy consumption (power), per capita: 11.4 kW (11,400 Watt)


99% of air mass


Importance of the ocean in climate

  • Heat storage (heat capacity of water >> that of air)

  • Heat and moisture transport


Ocean currents


Importance of the ocean in climate

  • Heat storage (heat capacity of water >> that of air)

  • Heat and moisture transport

now onto the cryosphere…


A side note: Ice and sea level


El Niño

Warm, rising air here  lo pressure 

helps maintain the wind pattern


El Niño movie


Part II: glaciation


Movies


Minnesota in the ice age

Thanks to MN State U


Minnesota in the ice age


Minnesota in the ice age


Minnesota in the ice age


Minnesota in the ice age


Minnesota in the ice age


Minnesota in the ice age


Minnesota in the ice age


Minnesota in the ice age


Minnesota glacial features


Minnesota glacial features

Satellite image


Minnesota glacial features

Thanks to geologyclass.org


Minnesota glacial features

Big Stone Moraine, Traverse Cty

End moraine, Freeborn Cty

Moraine map, S Minnesota


Minnesota glacial features

Superior Lobe till, central MN, thanks to Karen Kleinspehn


Minnesota glacial features

Drumlin


Minnesota* glacial features

*OK, Saskatchewan

Drumlins


Minnesota* glacial features

*OK, Wisconsin

Drumlin field near Green Bay


Minnesota glacial features

Drumlin?


Minnesota* glacial features

*OK, S. Dakota

Esker, Oakwood Lake


Minnesota glacial features

Esker


Minnesota glacial features

Esker, Finlayson MN


Minnesota* glacial features

*OK, Wisconsin

Esker


Speaking of glaciers and volcanoes…

Word of the day: jokulhlaup


Jokulhlaup

Former bridge


Our own version…

Montana/Idaho glacial lakes


Channeled scablands

Eastern WA


Evidence for a similar flood in the English channel

(S. Gupta, Imperial College London)


Longer history and causes of glaciation


favors glaciation

100 kyr


Lower solar intensity in NH

41 kyr


NH summer when Earth farthest from Sun

NH winter when Earth farthest from Sun: favors glaciation

23 kyr


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