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Chapter 1: Introduction to Earth. Introduction to Earth Physical earth is dynamic and constantly changing – never static –Everything is connected to everything.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 1: Introduction to Earth. Introduction to Earth Physical earth is dynamic and constantly changing – never static –Everything is connected to everything."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 1: Introduction to Earth

2 Introduction to Earth Physical earth is dynamic and constantly changing – never static –Everything is connected to everything else Processes –Fast –Slow –Large –Small –Regular –Irregular

3 Geography as a Field of Learning Greek Meaning - “earth description” –Fundamental questions: “Why is what where?” “So what?” Spatial Distributions What is Physical Geography? –Distribution & explanation of processes & features of natural origin –How/why physical processes have shaped Earth’s surface “Why the earth is the way it is” “Where are the four corners of the earth?”

4 Interrelationships among elements Physical – Examines Earth elements which are natural in origin Cultural (Human) – Looks at elements of human endeavor Elements of Geography

5 Science and Geography The Scientific Method –Observe phenomena –Formulate a hypothesis Design an experiment Predict the outcome of the experiment Conduct the experiment –Draw conclusions Theory Scientific “proof”

6 The Environmental Spheres Physical earth is dynamic & constantly changing Break the real world up into parts to better understand it. –Simplified parts = systems (spheres) Everything is connected to everything else Four primary spheres 1.atmosphere—“air” 2.lithosphere—“stone” 3.hydrosphere—“water” 4.biosphere—“life” Interactions between the spheres

7 The Solar System Formation of the Solar System –Formed billion years ago –8 planets 4 terrestrial planets 4 gas giants Sun –Medium sized star –Makes up over 99% of the solar system’s mass Figure 1-4

8 The Size and Shape of the Earth Earth’s Physical Characteristics Not perfectly round –Oblate spheroid –Equatorial diameter ~ 12,756 km –Polar diameter ~ 12,714 km –Circumference of 40,000 km Figure 1-7

9 The Size and Shape of the Earth Maximum relief –Mt. Everest = 29,035 ft. –Mariana Trench = 36,198 ft. Surface differences –Land = 29% –Oceans = 71% –Northern Hemisphere: “Land Hemisphere” (39% land) –Southern Hemisphere: “Water Hemisphere” (19% land) Figure 1-6

10 The Geographic Grid Location on Earth –Need an accurate location on Earth to describe geographic features –Use Earth’s rotation axis to base location on the surface –North Pole and South Pole –Plane of the Equator Halfway between poles & perpendicular to Earth’s surface –Graticule Figure 1-9

11 The Geographic Grid Great Circles –Cuts the sphere into 2 equal halves (hemispheres) –Must pass through the sphere’s center –Example: Circle of illumination –Small circles Figure 1-10

12 The Geographic Grid Latitudes –0º-90º N/S –Parallels Connects points of equal latitude 69 miles or 111 km apart –Angle north or south of the equator Figure 1-11

13 Latitudes –7 important latitudes: –Tropic of Cancer (23.5° N) –Tropic of Capricorn (23.5° S) –Equator (0°) –North Pole (90° N) –South Pole (90° S) –Arctic (66.5° N) –Antarctic Circles (66.5° S) The Geographic Grid Figure 1-12

14 The Geographic Grid Longitudes –0°-180° E/W –Meridians –Prime Meridian (0° longitude) located at Greenwich, England Longitude is measured E/W of this point –Angle east or west of the Prime Meridian –Converge at the poles Not parallel to one another Figure 1-16

15 Earth-Sun Relations Rotation of the Earth –24 hours for 1 rotation Rotation velocity varies with latitude –At Equator = 1037 mph –At Poles = 0 mph –Rotation is counterclockwise relative to North Pole (West to East) –Rotational influences Diurnal transition from light to darkness (daylight/darkness) Tidal effects from Moon & Sun Coriolis Effect Figure 1-18

16 Earth-Sun Relations Earth’s Revolution around Sun –One revolution takes 365 ¼ days 365 days, 5 hrs, 48 min, & 48 sec ( days) Leap Year –Elliptical orbit –Aphelion –During N. Hemisphere summer (~July 4) –Perihelion –During N. Hemisphere winter (~Jan 3) –Perihelion/Aphelion are NOT important factors in seasonal variations Figure 1-19

17 Earth-Sun Relations Orbital Properties –Plane of the Earth’s orbit is the plane of the ecliptic –Inclination Earth’s axis tilted at 23.5° –Plane of ecliptic is not parallel to equatorial plane Polarity of Earth’s axis –Parallelism North Pole always points toward Polaris (“North Star”) Figure 1-20

18 Circle of Illumination Because Earth is a sphere, only 50% can be illuminated by the sun at once If the axis was perpendicular to the sun’s rays, all points on earth would have 12 hours of daylight/darkness each day Because of Earth’s tilt, most places experience varying amounts of daylight & darkness throughout the year

19 Solar Declination & Solar Altitude Solar Declination: latitude where sun’s rays strike earth at 90° angle –23.5 N to 23.5 S (Tropics) Solar altitude: angle sun’s rays hit Earth at noon –Only 1 pt on earth receives Sun’s direct rays at a time –0 when sun is on horizon –90 when sun is directly overhead –Varies by day/season Omaha: ~25° in Dec; ~72 ° in June Solar altitudes at 50  N (Canadian-US border) 2. Solar altitudes at equator 3. Solar altitudes at South Pole

20 Analemma Figure-8 shaped scale to determine latitude of the vertical rays of noon sun for every day 2 main purposes: –Determine solar altitude (angle of the noon sun above the horizon) –Shows fluctuations in the arrival of the overhead sun

21 Changes in Daylight All locations spend 50% of time in daylight & 50% in darkness Daylight equally distributed every day at equator –Distribution becomes more unequal as you move poleward Period of daylight varies throughout the year –Shortest day about Dec 21 (Winter solstice) –Longest day about June 21 (Summer solstice) –Opposite in Southern Hemisphere Day length & solar angle of sun’s rays determine amount of insolation received at any location

22 The Annual March of the Seasons Three important conditions –Declination of the Sun –Solar altitude –Length of day Two solstices –June solstice –December solstice Two equinoxes –March equinox –September equinox Figure 1-22

23 The Annual March of the Seasons June solstice –Approximately June 22 –Sun is directly overhead at 23.5° N latitude (Tropic of Cancer) –Antarctic Circle (66.5° S) to South Pole (90° S) in 24 hours of darkness –Arctic Circle (66.5° N) to North Pole (90° N) in 24 hours of daylight Figure 1-22

24 The Annual March of the Seasons December solstice –Approximately December 22 –Sun is directly overhead at 23.5° S latitude (Tropic of Capricorn) –Arctic Circle (66.5° N) to North Pole (90° N) in 24 hours of darkness –Antarctic Circle (66.5° S) to South Pole (90° S) in 24 hours of daylight Figure 1-22

25 The Annual March of the Seasons Equinoxes –Approximately March 21 & September 21 –Day length is 12 hours worldwide (“equinox”) –Sun is directly overhead at the equator Figure 1-22

26 The Annual March of the Seasons Day length –Always 12 hours at the equator –In the Northern Hemisphere, day length increases after March equinox –Maximum day length during June solstice in Northern Hemisphere –Opposite for Southern Hemisphere

27 SP NP 0º 40º N 15h n 9h d Circle of illumination (C.i.) 23½ºS 66½º N – Arctic Circle 24h n 23½º S – Tropic of Capricorn 66½º S – Antarctic Circle 24h d 0º - C.i. bisects 12h n 12h d Direct (90º) Rays 66½º N 24h n 66½º S 24 h d – 4 Key Days - Day 1: Dec. 21 – Winter Solstice in N.H.

28 = 90º - (40 +/- 23½) SP NP 0º 40º N 15h n 9h d 23½º S 12h n 12h d + = 90º - 63½ = 26 ½ º 66½º S 24h d LP is Latitude of Place LS is Latitude of Sun ANS = 90º - (Arc b/t LP & LS) 66½º N 24h n Direct (90º) Rays –Dec. 21 (cont.)

29 Direct (90º) Rays SP NP = 90º - (40 - 0) = 90º - 40 = 50º 0º 66½º S 66½º N 40º N 12h d 12h n ANS = 90º - (Arc b/t LP & LS) – Day 2: Mar. 21 – Spring Equinox in NH

30 SP NP 0º Direct (90º) Rays 66½º S 66½º N 40º N 23½º N = 90º - ( ½ ) = 90º - 16½ = 73½ º 15h d 9h n 24h n 24h d ANS = 90º - (Arc b/t LP & LS) 23½º N – T. of Cancer – Day 3: June 21 – Summer Solstice in NH

31 Direct (90º) Rays SP NP 0º 66½º S 66½º N 40º N 40º S ANS = 90º - (Arc b/t LP & LS) = 90º - (40 - 0) = 90º - 40 = 50º 12h d 12h n – Day 4: Sept. 21 – Fall Equinox in NH

32 The Annual March of the Seasons

33 Latitude 23½º N 23½º S 0º Time Dec. 21 Sept. 21 Mar. 21 June 21 Mar. 21 The Annual March of the Seasons –Spread of solar rays over small & large areas –Tropical latitudes consistently warmer –Polar latitudes consistently cooler –Large seasonal variations in temperature in midlatitudes Significance of seasonal patterns

34 Telling Time 3 physical measures of time –Tropical year –Lunar month –Solar day Solar noon –Sun casts the shortest shadow Ante-meridian (AM—“before noon”) Post-meridian (PM—“after noon”) Figure 1-23

35 Telling Time Current time system (24 time zones) –1 Earth day = 24 hours & 1 full Earth rotation = 360° –Time zones are 15° or 1 hour apart Ex: 2 points 1 hour apart = 15° apart Ex: 2 points 15° apart = 1 hour apart Figure 1-24

36 Telling Time Current time system –Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is standard –Prime meridian 0° longitude –Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) –180° meridian = International Date Line –Cross going east, go to preceding day –Cross going west, go to next day Figure 1-24

37 Telling Time Daylight-saving time –Move clocks ahead by an hour during the summer months –Originally done by Germans during WWII; now practiced by many nations –Conserves lighting energy by providing an extra hour of daylight Figure 1-25

38 Summary Geography is the study of the distribution of physical and cultural attributes of Earth Many sciences have branched off of geography The scientific method is important when doing scientific studies Earth has four primary spheres: the atmosphere, the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, and the atmosphere The solar system formed 5 billion years ago and consists of 8 planets Earth is an imperfect sphere A latitude and longitude grid help identify locations on Earth’s surface Earth rotates on its axis in 24 hours Earth revolves around the Sun in 365 ¼ days Tilt of Earth’s axis causes seasons Equinoxes and solstices help identify when a seasonal transition occurs Time zones were established to have a uniform global time system Daylight-saving time was devised to conserve energy by adding an hour of daylight


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