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Fossil fuels consist of a mixture of various hydrocarbons and the specific mix gives fuels their characteristic properties, such as their boiling point and density. Since fossil fuels are formed in natural processes from organic matter, they all contain high percentages of carbon. As it is the case with other organic compounds when burnt oxidizing , the carbon and hydrogen atoms combine with oxygen atoms to produce carbon dioxide and water vapour.

Combustion also releases chemical energy, which is transferred to the surroundings as thermal energy and light. Our energy production system is currently widely based on this mechanism. Today coal, oil and natural gas are the most important non-renewable energy sources. Compared to these, the share of nuclear energy usage is relatively small. Renewable energy technologies are constantly under development around the world, and recently wind and solar power, geothermal energy, and hydroelectricity technologies have improved significantly.

Fossil fuels and industrial energy generation have increased industrial production and improved our wellbeing and living standards.

Cheaper goods and services are being produced rapidly in ever-increasing amounts and transported to consumers over long distances. Consumer goods are affordable to more and more people, and aggressive marketing creates an artificial need to consume more. Subsequently, our lifestyle based on burning fossil fuels has created global problems, such as climate change.

Burning fossil fuels generates greenhouse gases, and non-renewable energy sources will eventually be exhausted. In order to make energy production sustainable, it has to be based on renewable sources. Hydropower requires water evaporating from the oceans and then depositing it on land with wind.

The energy in wind also comes from the Sun. Burning wood, cardboard or biodiesel releases solar energy that plants and other organisms have absorbed in photosynthesis. The only non-solar based renewable energy forms are tidal power and geothermal energy.

The following chapters introduce different energy sources. Their use is being examined in the current context as represented by what is happening in Finland. Find out about the situation in your country.

A Tutorial on the Basic Physics of Climate Change

The principle of hydropower generation is very simple: flowing water rotates turbine blades, which rotate electric generators. Hydropower is a reliable, renewable, clean and local energy source. However, it also has various disadvantages, such as the need to construct dams and spillways which are harmful for some aquatic ecosystems. In addition, hydropower availability varies greatly from year to year. It is dependant on rainfall, and rivers normally have their lowest flow during winter, precisely when energy demand is at its highest.

In Finland, most rivers with hydropower potential already have dams in place and therefore, capacity cannot be increased by much. It can be burned by thermal conversion. This means that forests in Finland provide new business opportunities for bioenergy production. Biofuels are renewable and often carbon neutral. In countries that suffer from an acute shortage of food, a demand for crops for biofuel production could amplify the hunger condition. In Finland, use of field-grown grass and manure as a raw material for biogas reactors could bring many energy, nutrient cycle and climate benefits.

Currently, many biofuels are exported and their generation can be harmful for the environment. With advanced wind power technologies, the interior of the country is also suitable for wind power plants. Wind farms are growing in number around the world. It is estimated that a wind turbine will pay back the energy needed to build, install, maintain and dismantle it within about three to nine months.

Wind power plants are simple, reliable and relatively affordable. Component manufacturing for wind farms, their construction, use and maintenance create new jobs in Finland. Wind power generation is directly linked to weather conditions, but it can be forecasted according to electricity market requirements.

Physics of Radiation and Climate

Well thought out modelling and design helps to minimize the negative impacts on the landscape, ecosystems and species, such as birds. There have been some complaints about wind turbine noise, but studies have not found evidence that wind farms would cause health problems. Solar power is defined as the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity or heat energy. The process of harnessing solar energy normally refers to the use of photovoltaics i. Indirect forms of solar energy are hydropower, wind power, tidal power and bioenergy.

Globally, solar power is the fastest-growing renewable energy source. In Finland, solar power has a great deal of untapped potential, particularly in the areas without access to electricity. Today, many combine intermittent energy sources with solar panels or cells. Energy is captured on the surface through a borehole heat collector after which a heat pump transfers the energy into potable water for use by homes and industries.

A heat pump can be thought of as a heat engine which is operating in reverse; it moves heat from ground pipes at a lower temperature to potable water at a higher temperature. The re-chilled fluid is then sent back into the ground continuing the circle. Geothermal heating is an environmentally friendly heating and cooling system. The major disadvantage of a geothermal heat pump is the high initial cost. Heat pumps are designed to move thermal energy from the ground, water, outside air or outgoing air to water or indoor air.

They perform similar functions to the refrigerator, which absorbs the heat from the freezer and then puts it into the atmosphere, which is at a higher temperature. One of the benefits of ground source heat pumps is that generating energy using it is affordable and helps to reduce energy bills significantly. Nuclear power is an exception among the low-emission energy sources since it is made with uranium, a chemical element found in nature, which is not a renewable source.

Heat is produced from the energy released when splitting atoms in nuclear fission. The fission process releases a great deal of energy, so nuclear fuels produce significantly more energy than other fuels. According to the IPCC, nuclear power is a low-carbon and stabilized energy source, but its share of global electricity generation has been declining due to operational risks and the associated safety concerns, such as unsolved waste management issues and nuclear weapon proliferation concerns.

Physics in Atmosphere, Weather & Climate - Physics - LibGuides at Cape Fear Community College

How many compact fluorescent light bulbs 16 watts can be used until they have consumed an equivalent amount of energy? How many kilometres of driving produces an equivalent amount of emissions to the computer usage mentioned in paragraph 2. If your computer consumes watts and you forget to switch it off for five hours, how many kilowatt-hours of energy does it consume?

How many grams of carbon does it produce? Source of food emissions information: Systematic review of greenhouse gas emissions for different fresh food categories, Clune S. Electricity www. Gotta love that brown haze. The volcano's plumes were captured by NASA satellite imagery and photographs taken by the astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

The Pavlof volcano is located about miles 1, kilometers southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. AKDT local time p. EDT and showed the area of heat from the volcano as well as the ash plume. The ash plume appeared as a dark brown color, blowing in a northerly direction for about 30 miles. At that time the ash cloud was about 20, feet above sea level. On Thursday, May 23 at a. Green is a non-eruptive state.

Yellow means the volcano is exhibiting signs of elevated unrest. According to the AVO website, an Orange aviation code means that the volcano is exhibiting heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption, timeframe uncertain, or, the eruption is underway with no or minor volcanic-ash emissions. Red means and eruption is imminent or underway. Small discrete events, likely indicative of small explosions continue to be detected on seismic and pressure sensor networks over the past 24 hours.

According to the AVO website, imagery and pilot reports from May 23 showed a very weak steam and gas plume with little to no ash issuing from the vent. I'm lucky in getting a clean image from the ship channel. See copyright information and original photos in Flickr gallery. Skip to main content Climate Change and Physics Climate change affects humans and natural environments today and particularly in the future.

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United Nations Photo. Tropospheric Composition I.

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Aerosols And Clouds J. Directorate Science Affiliates. Open Postdoc Positions. Key science questions our group is focused to addressing include: How do small-scale weather processes interact with the large-scale thermodynamic environment? What controls the intensity, distribution and likelihood of convective storms, and how can we use satellite observations to improve modeling and prediction of important weather events?

How well do climate models compare to observations, and how can we use global satellite observations to improve the models? Large-scale motion The planetary boundary layer Atmospheric waves The general circulation Dynamic stability Influence of the ocean Interaction with the stratosphere Customer Reviews Review this book. Media reviews. Advance praise: 'The first edition is a classic. As a textbook it is unequalled in breadth, depth and lucidity. It is the single volume that I recommend to every one of my students in atmospheric science.

The new edition improves over the previous edition, if that is possible at all, in three aspects: beautiful illustrations of global processes e. These changes make the book more useful as a starting point for studying climate change. Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate is a valuable resource for educators and researchers alike, serving both as a textbook for the graduate or advanced undergraduate student with a physics or mathematics background and as an excellent reference and refresher for practitioners. It is a welcome addition to the field.

Toohey, University of Colorado, Boulder 'Salby's book provides an exhaustive survey of the atmospheric and climate sciences. The topics are well-motivated with thorough discussion and are supported with excellent figures. The book is an essential reference for researchers and graduate and advanced undergraduate students who wish to have a rigorous source for a wide range of fundamental atmospheric science topics. The chapters end with an excellent selection of additional references and a challenging set of problems. Atmospheric and climate scientists will find this book to be an essential one for their libraries.

Shirer, Pennsylvania State University 'Salby's book is a graduate textbook on Earth's atmosphere and climate that is well balanced between the physics of the constituent materials and fluid dynamics. I recommend it as a foundation for anyone who wants to do research on the important open questions about aerosols, radiation, biogeochemisty, and ocean-atmosphere coupling.

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