Biogeography climate biomes and terrestrial biodiversity
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Biogeography: Climate, Biomes, and Terrestrial Biodiversity. Benefits of Blowing Wind. Wind connects all life on Earth With no wind, the equator would be unbearably hot and the rest of the planet would freeze

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Benefits of blowing wind
Benefits of Blowing Wind

  • Wind connects all life on Earth

  • With no wind, the equator would be unbearably hot and the rest of the planet would freeze

  • Transports nutrients such as dust rich in phosphates blowing across the Atlantic from the Sahara to help replenish the rainforests in Brazil and build up agricultural soils in the Bahamas

  • Iron rich dust blowing from China’s Gobi Desert falls into the Pacific between Hawaii and Alaska and stimulates growth of phytoplankton

  • Determines the type of animal and plant life found in major biomes and also influences global air circulation patterns

Harmful effects of wind
Harmful Effects of Wind

  • Wind also transports harmful substances such as particles with banned pesticides blowing from Africa’s deserts to Florida and degrading or killing coral reefs

  • Asian industrial pollution degrades air quality along the Washington and Oregon coasts

  • Carries volcanic ash with trace minerals that circle the globe and cools the planet such as the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines

  • Soil is moved from place to place when left unprotected thus hastening soil erosion

What is weather
What is Weather?

  • Set of physical properties in the troposphere

    • Temperature

    • Pressure

    • Humidity

    • Precipitation

    • Sunshine

    • Cloud cover

    • Wind direction and speed

  • Computer models use data from balloons, aircraft, radar, etc. to forecast the weather in each box of a 7-layer grid for the next 12 hours

    • Other models project weather for next several days

    • Calculates the probabilities that air masses and wind will move

Weather changeability
Weather Changeability

  • Weather changes as one air mass replaces or meets another

    • Cold air tends to sink and warm air rises

    • Dramatic weather changes occur along fronts

  • Fronts – boundary between 2 warm air masses

  • Warm front – boundary between a warm air mass and cooler one it’s replacing

    • Rises over cool air

    • Moisture condenses into droplets to form clouds such as high wispy clouds announcing first signs

    • Moist warm fronts can bring days of cloudy skies and drizzle

Biogeography climate biomes and terrestrial biodiversity

  • Cold front – leading edge of an advancing mass of cold air

    • Advancing cold air is dense and stays close to ground

    • Thunderheads are produced

    • As overlying warm air is pushed upward it cools and water vapor condenses to form droplets

  • High – cold air and clear conditions

  • Low – warm air and bad weather

Biogeography climate biomes and terrestrial biodiversity

  • Weather extremes

    • Tornadoes – areas of extreme low pressure and very high winds over land, water spouts over water

    • Tropical cyclones

      • Hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean

      • Typhoons in the Pacific Ocean

      • They can kill and damage property

      • They can have long-term ecological and economic benefits

        • Flushes excess nutrients from land runoff

        • Channels can be cut to let seawater flood bays

        • Reduces brown tide

        • Increases growth of grasses

        • Increases production of commercially vital species

What is climate
What is Climate?

  • A region’s general pattern of atmospheric and weather over 30-1,000,000 years determined by

    • Average precipitation and temperature

    • Influenced by latitude, altitude, ocean currents

    • Affects where people live, how they live, and what they grow

  • Temperature and precipitation is caused primarily by the way air and water circulate on a round planet.

Global air circulation and regional climates
Global Air Circulation and Regional Climates

  • Uneven heating of the Earth’s surface

    • Tropical regions near the equator are hot

    • Polar regions are cold

    • Temperate regions have intermediate temperatures

  • Seasonal changes in temperature and precipitation

    • Earth’s tilted axis is 23 ½o

    • Regions are tipped toward or away

  • Rotation of the Earth on its axis

    • Prevents air currents from moving due north and south

    • Force created by rotation – Coriolis Force which creates 6 huge convection cells (Hadley Cells) of swirling air masses

      • 3 north and 3 south of the equator

      • They transfer heat and water from one area to another

Biogeography climate biomes and terrestrial biodiversity

Ocean currents affecting climates
Ocean Currents Affecting Climates the Earth

  • Water density and previous factors create warm and cold ocean currents

    • Currents driven by winds and Earth’s rotation redistribute heat and thus influence climate and coastal vegetation

    • Gulf Stream warms NW Europe

    • Equatorial currents warm Alaska and northern Japan

    • Currents mix ocean waters and distribute nutrients and dissolved oxygen

  • Upwellingsreplace surface water pushed away from land and by constant trade winds blowing along some steep western coasts

    • Cold, nutrient-rich bottom water

    • Bring plant nutrients from deep to surface

    • Support large populations of plankton, zooplankton, fish and fish-eating seabirds

El nino southern oscillation
El Nino – Southern Oscillation the Earth

  • Prevailing westerly winds weaken or cease and the surface water along South and North American coasts becomes warmer

  • Upwellings are blocked and primary productivity is reduced and a sharp decline in fish populations drops

  • ENSO can trigger extreme weather conditions over 2/3 of the globe, especially the Pacific and Indian Oceans

El nino cont d
El Nino – cont’d the Earth

  • In 1997 and 1998, the world experienced the strongest ENSO

  • Some models project that if Earth’s atmosphere continues to warm, El Nino-like weather will be the norm and cause major ecological and socio-economic problems

  • The 97-98 ENSO caused a mild winter in the North and Mid-West and blocked hurricanes along the Atlantic preventing loss of life and property damage

La nina
La Nina the Earth

  • El Nino is followed by a cooling counterpart called La Nina

    • More Atlantic Ocean hurricanes

    • Colder winters in Canada and the Northeast

    • Warmer and drier winters for the SE and SW and US

    • Wetter winters in the Pacific NW

    • Torrential rains in SE Asia

    • Lower wheat yields in Argentina

    • More wildfires in Florida

    • La Nina is worse than El Nino for the US

    • Evidence shows that US is moving into this pattern for the next 2-3 decades

How chemical makeup of the atmosphere leads to the greenhouse
How chemical makeup of the atmosphere leads to the Greenhouse

  • Greenhouse gases allow light, infrared radiation, and some UV radiation from the sun through

    • H2O vapor

    • CO2

    • O3

    • CH4

    • N2O

    • CFCs

  • Earth absorbs and degrades it to long wavelength infrared radiation (heat) which warms the air (greenhouse effect)

  • The amounts of these gases undergo minor fluctuations over hundreds to thousands of years

  • However mathematical models of Earth’s climate indicate that natural or human induced global warming taking place could be disastrous for all life on this planet