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Spaceship Earth: Our oasis in the emptiness of space. PowerPoint Presentation
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Spaceship Earth: Our oasis in the emptiness of space. . *. *. *. o. 15 – 20 C. Our star, the Sun, has a profound influence on the climate on Earth. Here, a solar flare is shown, as well as “granules” on the Sun’s surface.

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Spaceship Earth: Our oasis in the emptiness of space.


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15 – 20 C

slide4

Our star, the Sun, has a profound influence on the climate on Earth.

Here, a solar flare is shown, as well as “granules” on the Sun’s surface

slide5

The solar constant (the amount of radiation that reaches Earth) varies over the 11 year cycle of solar magnetic activity (X-ray view of 1991-1995 solar cycle).

slide6

1645 – 1715: The Maunder Minimum in Sun Spots

Did it affect Earth’s climate?

slide7

Rise in the amount of atmospheric CO2, measured on Mauna Loa.

Summertime lows result from uptake of CO2 by vegetation.

slide8

Temperatures and amounts of atmospheric CO2 and CH4 during the past 4 glacial-interglacial cycles.The present-day levels of CO2 and CH4 (dashed lines) are higher than anytime during the past 150,000 years!

slide11

Probable cause of ozone depletion in the stratosphere

  • Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerant gases were introduced in the early 1930’s by General Motors engineers seeking a replacement for hazardous materials used in refrigeration such as sulfur dioxide and ammonia. The use of CFCs has experienced dramatic growth, for air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, but also in industrial applications, including:
  • Propellant for aerosol cans
  • Blowing agent for insulating foam
  • Foam padding in furniture
  • Halon fire extinguishers
  • Automotive air conditioning
  • Highly evaporative cleaning solvents
  • Inhalers for asthma sufferers.
slide14

More hurricanes?

Hurricane Floyd and North Carolina Flooding

September 7 – 19, 1999

slide16

Replica of a Chinese seismograph from 132 AD.

The original was 1.8 m in diameter.

slide21

Seismic waves from natural or man-made earthquakes can be used to study and decipher the structure of the interior of Earth.

S waves do not travel through liquids, indicating that the outer core of Earth is liquid.

slide22

Relationship between the thermal gradient (i.e., the increase in T with depth) and the melting point of silicates (mantel) and iron (core) as a function of increasing pressure in Earth with depth.

Since the melting point of iron at the pressures between a depth of ~2,900 and ~5,200 km in Earth is below the temperature at these depths, the iron in the outer core must be molten (liquid).