Application Exercises 15th Feb 2017

  1. Understanding the Earth’s energy balance is essential to understanding the issue of global warming. For example, the solar energy striking Earth’s surface averages 168 watts per square meter (W/m2), but the energy leaving Earth’s surface averages 390 W/m2. Why isn’t Earth cooling rapidly?
    Some of the energy emitted from the Earth’s surface goes directly out to the space, while most of it doesn’t. The clouds and gases in the atmosphere reabsorb the emitted energy, causing some of it to be redistributed by convection. Condensation allows more energy to be released into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and water vapour reabsorbed most of the energy. To keep Earth a habitable temperature for survival, greenhouse gases frequently emit Sun’s energy back into the atmosphere. The energy that does not leave Earth’s surface is responsible for global warming. Even though the amount of energy emitted is more than double of the amount received, Earth does not cool rapidly because the atmosphere retains much of the emitted heat energy.
  2. Decided explain where the statement is correct or incorrect. Explain.Incorrect.
    Experiencing winter does not necessarily mean global warming is resolved.
    Moreover, the cartoon suggested a harsh winter instead of a normal winter. The harsh winter may be suggest an increased concern for global warming.This is because, when global warming causes the ocean to heats up and melt the arctic ice. Releasing warm air in the process. Warm air destabilises the polar ice and will send cold blasts into the atmosphere.

    Thus, when global warming increases, it heats the ocean, causing freezing winters to be inevitable.

  3. One of the first radar devices developed during World War 2 used microwave radiation of a specific wave range that triggers the rotation of water molecules. Why was the design not successful? 

    The absorption of microwave radiation by water in the atmosphere interferes with the detection of intended objects.

  4. Now that you have studied air quality (Unit 1), stratospheric ozone depletion (Unit 2), and global warming (Unit 3), which do you believe poses the most serious problem for you in the short run (pick one and explain)? In the long run (pick 1 and explain why)?
    In the short run, air quality (Unit 1) poses the most serious problem. This is because all living things breathed in the air immediately and thus the effects of poor air quality will be felt right away. Air quality can be easily changed in the short run, by implementing different measures.In the long run, global warming (Unit 3) poses the most serious problem. It has more sustained effects in the long run. When measures to target global warming are implemented, the effects will not be shown immediately. It requires a longer time frame to minimise the effects of global warming. Furthermore, global warming cannot be resolved completely.