Geophysiology - Course Description
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
KEY WORDS FOR BLOCK BOOK:
25 Mar. Handout of the earth. Bands of Rainforest and Desert. Why? Hadley Cell & ITCZ w. sketch and explanation.
26 Mar. Three factors that influence the warmth-radiation of the sun. (+sketch). Sketch of globe with Chicago’s location in summer and winter relative to the sun. Five factors that influence climate in a specific location.
27 - 28 Mar. Experiment with ball thrown to running students. Drawing of “idealized wind patterns over a uniformly water-covered earth”. Use the Coriolis effect to explain wind patterns. Horse latitudes, trade winds, doldrums.
1 Apr. Drawing of earth zones and winds. Convection through winds that moderate temperature-extremes from poles to equator. Air pressure. Air pressure and winds (w. drawing) – Pressure Gradient Force = pressure difference/distance . Formulas for PGF and for geostrophic winds (Vg). Effects of air density and friction on wind speed.
2 Apr. Three primary forces effecting wind direction. Influences of PFG, Coriolis Effect & friction and how they interact. The flow of winds from H to L, and how this is different at the surface and for geostrophic winds (w. explanatory sketches). Side view of rising and falling air masses relative to Highs & Lows. Handout of air flow into a Low pressure zone.
3 Apr. The clockwise and counterclockwise flow of sinking and rising Highs and Lows. Handouts showing current weather patterns in U.S. Prevailing winds across between 30 & 60 degrees latitude north are….
4 Apr. Commentary to weather pattern handout – 0900 UTC 04 Apr. How to determine where highs and lows are, based on surface and on higher winds. Jet Streams (w. drawings). Example of wind speed increase through use of formulas for PGF and Vg.
15 Apr. Warm layer over cold in oceans prevents vertical circulation as we had in the atmosphere. What creates surface ocean currents? Map of major ocean currents.
16 Apr. The lack of vertical circulation in oceans and the challenge it presents to nutrient cycling. Description of Thermohaline Current (+ map). Upswelling.
17 Apr. ENSO (El Nino – Southern Oscillation) w. drawings, descriptions, and explanation
18 Apr. Warm and cold fronts (w. drawings).
19 Apr. Hurricanes w. handout. A few details to Hurricane Elena. Conditions needed for hurricanes to exist. Hurricane categories.
22 Apr. Diagram of how “vortex tubes” arise in “hurricane alley”. Hurricane data. Fugita Scale
23 Apr. Breathing of the biosphere. Two graphs w. explanations. Terrestrial Carbon Cycle. The Keeling Curve. What does it show? Reading from The Discovery of Global Warming
The focus of this block is on the geophysiology of the earth. From Hadley Cells, the Coriolis Effect and ocean currents, to the pressure gradient force, jet streams and global climate change, we look at many of the complex phenomena that make up the biosphere of this planet.
Faculty: Michael Holdrege, High School Math and Humanities teacher
Class Dates: March 25th-April 26th, 2013
Curriculum Area: Morning Lesson Block
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