Energy Balance and Equilibrium

Energy Balance and Equilibrium

  • Make a sketch (graph) of how the planetary albedo of a water-world could vary with its global mean temperature. Label the axes of the graph.
  • Make a sketch (graph) of how much radiation is absorbed by the planet as a result of it’s changing albedo, as a function of its global mean temperature.
  • Find the relationship between the temperature of any object and how much energy it emits. Sketch this relationship as a graph and label the axes properly.

 

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  • Combining the two graphs of energy absorbed and energy emitted and show the equilibrium points of the system. Label the stable and unstable equilibriums.
  • Referring to the energy in/out graph from (4),
    1. Explain why the ice-house climate state is a stable equilibrium.
    2. Explain why the hot-house climate state is a stable equilibrium.
    3. Explain why the third equilibrium point, located in between the hot-house and ice-house states, is an unstable equilibrium.
  • How would increasing the greenhouse gas concentration of the atmosphere change the above graph? What effect would that change have on the equilibrium points?
  • Explain the meaning of ‘Critical Transitions’.
  • What are two important characteristics of critical transitions in complex systems such as the Earth-system?

 

 

 

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