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Earth as a System.

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Presentation on theme: "Earth as a System."— Presentation transcript:

1 Earth as a System

2 The Water Cycle

3 Advances in technology have allowed scientists to study the Earth in a variety of different ways.
Submersible Satellite Seismometer

4 Satellites and space craft allow us to view, photograph and map Earth from Space.



7 Submersibles and ships allow us to view, photograph and map the ocean floor.


9 Buoys and other monitoring devices provide us with data related to events such as tsunamis and earthquakes.

10 Powerful computer programs called GIS (Geographic Information Systems) help scientists organize, layer and interpret huge amounts of data in order to study how the Earth changes over time.

11 Earth Systems Science studies the flow of matter and energy in and out of the Earth’s open systems, or Spheres.

12 Using data from modern technology, scientists can create complex representations of how the Earth “works”. These representations of Earth processes are called models. Tsunami Modeling Program

13 Tsunami Model

14 What is a System? System: A part of the Universe that can be studied separately. The Solar System

15 Example: Respiratory System

16 Two Types of Systems Closed System: Energy may enter and leave, but matter does not. (examples?) Open System: System and its surroundings freely exchange both matter and energy. (examples?) What is the Earth? Take time to fill out your Venn Diagram and answer this Q.

17 The Earth’s Four Spheres





22 Earth Systems Science studies the flow of matter and energy in and out of the Earth’s open systems, or Spheres.

23 Matter and energy move back and forth between the different Earth spheres, and the different spheres interact every day, all around you.

24 What spheres are interacting here?



27 Earthquakes


29 Tornadoes Tornado path

30 Mining Minerals

31 Oil Exploration






37 Interactions among the Earth’s spheres change the spheres to differing degrees.
These impacts can be single events, temporary changes, or ongoing change.

38 Single event example: meteorite impact that causes massive global extinction

39 Ongoing, steady process (example: Erosion)

40 A Cycle is a series of steps that repeats.
Cycles and the Earth A Cycle is a series of steps that repeats. Some cycles (water cycle) repeat over relatively short periods of time, while others repeat over millions of years (tectonic cycle). On Earth, the water cycle, energy cycle, carbon cycle, tectonic cycle and rock cycle “work” together to maintain a dynamic planet.

41 Cloud diagram. Each group will make a poster showing the TEN different cloud types. Should include a picture (using color) of the cloud, the height the clouds form, and the type of weather involved. Be neat! Be creative! Sloppy work = reduced grade.

42 The Carbon Cycle Biogeochemical cycle- compound is changed and moved throughout the Earth’s spheres Carbon is commonly called the “building block of life” Carbon is not just a solid- it forms gases such as CO2 and Methane

43 The Carbon Cycle

44 Carbon Into the Atmosphere
Living things breathe it out Carbon based things (i.e. trees) burn Diffuses out of oceans Volcanoes erupt– Number 1 source of CO2 into the atmosphere

45 Carbon From the Atmosphere
Oceans dissolve 40% of CO2 in the atmosphere from fossil fuels Wave action dissolves CO2 into ocean Photosynthesis- plants breathe it in, and breathe out oxygen (phytoplankton do this in ocean water)

46 Other ways CO2 is shared…
Carbon stored in plants is passed on to another organism when eaten (food chain) Organisms die and decomposition puts carbon into the ground creating fossil fuels (oil, coal, etc.)

47 The Energy Cycle (Energy Budget)
Water and carbon Cycles are like wheels Energy Cycle is like a balance Energy that comes in must equal the energy that comes out

48 What would happen if the Earth’s energy budget was not balanced?

49 Scenario #1 Too much energy enters the Earth system and not enough leaves…

50 Scenario #2 Too much energy leaves the Earth system and not enough enters…

51 Sources of Earth’s Energy
Solar energy % Geothermal energy % Tidal energy %

52 Solar Energy Comes from nuclear fusion reactions in the sun
Drives wind, ocean currents, waves Source of energy that causes rocks to weather forming soil

53 Geothermal Energy Comes from the Earth as radioactive materials decompose Drives the movement of the continents, powers geysers, earthquakes, and volcanoes

54 Tidal Energy The result of the pull of the moon on the Earth’s oceans
Slows down Earth’s rotation and causes the oceans to bulge

55 Energy Budget (Cycle)

56 Energy Budget (Cycle) about 40% is reflected back into space without being changed the remaining energy is used within the Earth system as it moves through the system, it is changed. With every change, a little is lost to the system.

57 The Effects of Earth’s Surface
Albedo is the percentage of energy that is reflected back into space without being changed Earth’s average albedo: 30% Forest has low albedo: 5-10% Desert has high albedo: 50% Fresh snow: 80-90%

58 How do we impact the Earth?

59 Humans can alter the albedo of an area, which affects the Earth’s energy budget
We can burn fossil fuels which puts CO2 in the air, or plant trees, which takes CO2 out of the air Damming a river lengthens the amount of time it takes water to go through the water cycle

60 Why Study Earth Science?
Resources, Economics Hazards Human sustainability Engineering Military Pure Science and Understanding

61 “Earth Science informs all other sciences”
The Earth Sciences Astronomy Oceanography Geology Physics Biology Meteorology Hydrology Chemistry

62 And, finally, simply to understand the nature of our own back yard.

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