By: Kenny, Jacob, and Mekiel
Earth Scientist Table of Contents
Ecosystem of Antartica
- composition of Earth's atmosphere
- levels of the atmosphere
- geographical features (mountain ranges,
what is it and relationship to ozone
(should include electromagnetic radiation)
- uva vs. uvb vs. uvc
- graph/chart of uv radiation
Troposphere: This is the lowest atmospheric layer and is about seven miles thick. Most clouds and weather that we see and experience are found in the troposphere. The troposphere is thinner at the poles and thicker at the equator
- The stratosphere is found from about 7 to 30 miles (11-48 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface. In this region of the atmosphere is the ozone layer, which absorbs most of the harmful ultraviolet radiation from the Sun.
- The highest temperature in this region is about 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees Celsius.
- The mesosphere is above the stratosphere. the temperature is about –130 Fahrenheit (-90 Celsius) at the top.
- the thermosphere starts at about 55 kilometers. The temperature is quite hot; . Temperatures in this region may be as high as thousands of degrees.
- The exosphere is the layer beyond the thermosphere.
- The exosphere is the outermost layer of the atmosphere.
- in this region particles of gas can travel for hundreds of kilometers before bumping into any other particles of the atmosphere.
Geographical Features of Antartica
There are two major areas of ice. The east and west antarctic ice sheet
the Transantarctic Mountains extend across antarctica forming a border between East and West ice sheets
- The Transantarctic range contains peaks above 4000m; , Mt Vinson, is part of the Ellsworth Mountains located in the western area of the continent near the Antarctic Peninsula. Mt Vinson reaches 4892m above sea level .
Antarctic ice sheets exist because the cold temperature prevents snow and frost from melting hence the ice sheets have been able to build up from small annual inputs of ice crystals over a very long period of time.
In addition to being the highest continent, Antarctica is also distinctive for being the coldest and the driest.
- The East Antarctic Ice Sheet is both larger and thicker than the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. In the region of the East Antarctic Antarctic Ice Sheet known as Dome A the surface elevation is over 4000M
Composition of Earth’s Atmosphere
Nitrogen - 78% -
Argon - 0.9%
Carbon Dioxide - 0.03%
- Oxygen - 21%
UVA radiation relationship with the Ozone
UVB radiation relationship with the Ozone
UVC radiation relationship with the Ozone
- Electromagnetic energy is a term used to describe all the kinds of energies released into space by stars like the sun.
- Different types are radio waves,Tv waves, Radar waves, Heat, Light, Ultraviolet light, X rays, short waves, Microwaves and Gamma rays.
- travel in waves
- made of tiny particles.
Life Scientist Table of Contents
Living ecological features:
adelie penguin food chain
- producers, decomposers, consumers ( predator/prey relationship)
- position in the food chain
- what does UV do to them
- other problems this could pose for world environment
- state phytoplankton primary habitat
- why is dangerous that they bloom during the Antarctic spring(sep-dec)
- How are they adapted for living in the cold
- What speed do they move in the water
Flora and Fauna category:
- Over view of the Flora and Fauna category
This shows all the consumers and predators
Adelie Penguin food chain
Main food source is phytoplankton
Producers and Decomposers
Seals and killer whales are top predators
- In the food chain it is a main food source (producer)
- UV-B radiation due to the appearance of the ozone hole commonly results in at least a 6-12 percent reduction in photosynthesis by phytoplankton in surface waters.
- Being photosynthetic organisms, phytoplankton are forced to move to, and to stay in, the top layer of the water column illuminated by solar radiation, the “photic zone”.
Penguins stay warm because of:
under the skin there is a layer of fat/blubber .
there feathers are tightly packed and dark color absorbs more heat from sun
- They huddle together
Adelie penguin flora/Fauna
Conditions in the arctic are harsh so not a lot of plants grow there
the land itself doesn’t have many animals except a few midges and mites and some birds and the winter occupation of penguins.
There are 38 colonies of Adélie penguins in Antarctica and over five million in the Ross Sea region.
a vital role Antarctic krill plays for the ecosystem. Krill congregates in large schools and is an important food for many animals including whales, seals, squid, icefish, penguins, albatrosses and other birds.
Physical Scientist Table of Contents
High Altitude Ozone:
- What is it?
- How is it destroyed? – (CFC’s (IMPORTANT) (chemical reactions)
- Methyl Bromide ere are they found?
- Halon’s (effect on ozone.)
- polar stratospheric clouds (earth sci.)
- during which season is ozone depleted most
- when will it peak and the future
- ground ozone (quick)
- graph of levels of the last 5 years (or most recent)
What is High Altitude Ozone?
- layer resides in the stratosphere + surrounds entire Earth
- V-B radiation (280- to 315- nanometer (nm) wavelength)
- amount of UV-B reaching Earth’s surface is greatly reduced. UV-A (315- to 400-nm wavelength) and other solar radiation strongly absorbed by the ozone layer.
What causes reduction in the ozone
- When certain chemicals escape to atmosphere ; broken down by solar radiation and release chlorine and bromine atoms, destroy ozone molecules.
- occurs more frequently than natural ozone replenishment, resulting in a thinning of the ozone layer.
How is it Destroyed?
- spring in stratosphere Antarctica; atmospheric ozone rapidly destroyed by chemical processes.
- winter arrives, a vortex of winds develops around pole and isolates the polar stratosphere
- temperatures drop below -78°C (-109°F), thin clouds form of ice, nitric acid, and sulphuric acid mixtures.
- Chemical reactions surfaces of ice crystals in the clouds release active forms of CFCs. Ozone depletion begins, and the ozone “hole” appears.
What are CFC's
- lass of compounds of carbon, hydrogen, chlorine, and fluorine, typically gases used in refrigerants and aerosol propellants.
- Harmful to ozone layer earth's atmosphere to release of chlorine atoms upon exposure ultraviolet radiation.
During which season is ozone depleted most?
- It is most destroyed in spring
- atmospheric ozone is rapidly destroyed by chemical processes.
- As winter arrives, a vortex of winds develops around the pole and isolates the polar stratosphere. When temperatures drop below -78°C (-109°F), thin clouds form of ice, nitric acid, and sulphuric acid mixtures.
- Chemical reactions on surfaces of ice crystals in clouds release active forms of CFCs. Ozone depletion begins, and the ozone “hole” appears.
- two to three months, approximately 50% of the total column amount of ozone in the atmosphere disappears.
- the losses approach 90%. This has come to be called the Antarctic ozone hole.
- In spring, temperatures begin to rise, the ice evaporates, and the ozone layer starts to recover.
What will the future look like?
- There are a number of unanswered scientific questions concerning the sources of variability in ozone and UV radiation levels in the Arctic. Improved knowledge is needed to quantify the effects of trace gases, dynamics, and temperature on arctic ozone levels. The influence of climate change on both ozone and UV radiation levels needs to be better understood. Understanding the controls on and interactions between various processes will greatly improve projections of future ozone levels. In addition to ozone levels, several other factors, including cloud conditions, aerosol concentrations, and surface albedo, affect surface UV irradiance.
- The interactions between and overall influence of these factors are still the subject of much uncertainty, but future changes in any one parameter – for example, in cloudiness or snow melt timing – could substantially affect UV radiation levels in the Arctic.
- Quantifying these factors across the Arctic will provide opportunities to more realistically assess changes in UV irradiance and their effects.
What is ground Ozone?
- The continuation of ground-based monitoring of ozone levels depends on available funding and is highly uncertain at this time
Clouds affect the strength of radiation reaching the ground in complex ways. Most clouds block some UV radiation, but the degree of protection depends on the type and amount of cloud.
Some clouds can actually increase the UV intensity on the ground by reflecting and refracting the sun's rays.
People can also be caught unawares when a small break in an overcast deck of clouds allows a brief burst of intense radiation to reach the ground.
Cold air can also be deceptive as temperature is not directly related to UV intensity.
Skiers should take particular care as reflective snow on the ground and high altitude raise the UV Index significantly relative to its value at sea level.
The Ozone Hole in the last five years
What are polar stratospheric clouds ?
- Nacreous clouds are wave clouds. They are often found downwind of mountain ranges which induce gravity waves in the lower stratosphere. Their sheet-like forms slowly undulate and stretch as the waves evolve.
- The clouds can also be associated with very high surface winds which may indicate the presence of, or induce, winds and waves in the stratosphere.
- They form at temperatures of around minus 85ºC, colder than average lower stratophere temperatures, and are comprised of ice particles ~10µm across. The clouds must be composed of similar sized crystals to produce the characteristic bright iridescent colors by diffraction and interference.
- PSCs form at very high altitudes, between 15 and 25 km (about 50,000 to 80,000 feet). PSCs only form at very cold temperatures around -78° C(-108° F).
- Sometimes, in winter near the North or South Pole, temperatures in the lower stratosphere get that cold. That's when PSCs can form.
How is the ozone layer threatend?
- Atmospheric measurements reveal that the ozone layer is getting thinner, and that at certain times of the year a hole in the ozone layer appears over Antarctica.
- Some people believe this reduction is due to solar or volcanic activity, but most scientists believe that certain man-made chemicals are major contributors to the problem. These chemicals include the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) found in refrigerators, solvents and blowing agents for foams, and the Halon used for fire fighting.
How Damaging Is Halon to the Ozone Layer?
- A compound's ability to destroy ozone depends on many factors, including the amount of chlorine and/or bromine that it contains. To aid in comparing compounds, scientists have developed a relative scale called the ozone depletion potential (ODP).
- Common refrigerants, like those found in refrigerators and in automobile air conditioners, have been assigned the value 1 as a reference. Halon 1301 has the value between 10 and 16, meaning it has 10-16 times the more potential for destroying the ozone layer.
- Halon use worldwide is significantly less than that of CFCs, so even though it is more damaging to the ozone layer, there is not as much of it released into the atmosphere. In fact, it is estimated that overall Halon accounts for less than 20% of ozone depletion.
Halon's Role in Stratospheric Ozone Depletion
- Subpart H contains chemical element bromine (Br) case of Halon 1211 specifically, chlorine (Cl). Br and Cl both contribute to stratospheric ozone destruction.
- The earth's stratosphere layer of the atmosphere that begins between 5 and 11 miles above the earth's surface and extends up to about 30 miles above the earth's surface.
- Ninety percent of the ozone in the earth's atmosphere is found in the stratosphere. The characteristics of Halon and other human-made chemicals that can deplete ozone (e.g., chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs) enable them to reach the stratosphere, where they break down and the Cl and Br from them can destroy ozone. Halon is a major source of bromine in the stratosphere.
What is Methyl bromide
- Methyl bromide = broad spectrum pesticide used control of pest insects, nematodes, weeds, pathogens, and rodents. In the U.S.,
- methyl bromide has been used in agriculture, primarily for soil fumigation, as well as for commodity and quarantine treatment, and structural fumigation (#EPA).
What is Halon and How Does it Work?
- Halon is a liquefied, compressed gas that stops the spread of fire by chemically disrupting combustion
- Halon 1211 (a liquid streaming agent) and Halon 1301 (a gaseous flooding agent) leave no residue and are remarkably safe for human exposure. Halon is rated for class "B" (flammable liquids) and "C" (electrical fires), but it is also effective on class "A" (common combustibles) fires. Halon 1211 and Halon 1301 are low-toxicity, chemically stable compounds that, as long as they remain contained in cylinders, are easily recyclable.
- Halon is an extraordinarily effective fire extinguishing agent, even at low concentrations
- A key benefit of Halon, as a clean agent, is its ability to extinguish fire without the production of residues that could damage the assets being protected
Does Halon remove oxygen from the air?
- It is a common misconception that Halon, like CO2, "removes oxygen from the air.
- Three things must come together at the same time to start a fire. The first ingredient is fuel (anything that can burn), the second is oxygen and the last is an ignition source. Traditionally, to stop a fire you need to remove one side of the triangle-the ignition, the fuel or the oxygen. Halon adds a fourth dimension to fire fighting-breaking the chain reaction. It stops the fuel, the ignition and the oxygen from working together by chemically reacting with them."
How Damaging Is Halon to the Ozone Layer?
- A compound's ability to destroy ozone depends on many factors, including the amount of chlorine and/or bromine that it contains.
- scientists have developed a relative scale called the ozone depletion potential (ODP). Common refrigerants, like those found in refrigerators and in automobile air conditioners, have been assigned the value 1 as a reference. Halon 1301 has the value between 10 and 16, meaning it has 10-16 times the more potential for destroying the ozone layer.
- Halon use worldwide is significantly less than that of CFCs, so even though it is more damaging to the ozone layer, there is not as much of it released into the atmosphere
- In fact, it is estimated that overall Halon accounts for less than 20% of ozone depletion.
U.V. radiation Table of Contents
- what is it and relationship to ozone (should include electromagnetic radiation)
- uva vs. uvb vs. uvc
- graph/chart of uv radiation
- uv ---> phytoplankton (option of covering it here)
What is U.V radiation
The sun is the energy source that sustains all life on earth. Ultraviolet Radiation(UV) is simply one form of energy coming from the sun.
Even though you may have only just started hearing about UV and the effects it has on you, it is nothing new. In fact, UV is as old as the earth itself. However, research over the years has helped us to better understand how this form of energy from the sun affects us.
uva vs. uvb vs. uvc
UVA Rays - Stand for Ultraviolet A or more easily remembered as "UV Aging rays"- they are the cause of long term skin damage & photo-aging. In other words, they cause premature ageing, wrinkles and sun spots.
UVB Rays - Stand for Ultraviolet B and are often referred to as "UV Burning rays"- they are the cause of sunburn. Unlike UVA, they have different strengths year round. UVB rays are the common cause of most skin cancers.
UVC Rays - Stand for Ultraviolet C. It is the strongest and most deadly of solar rays, however the ozone layer stops these from reaching the Earth.
How does UV affect Phytoplankton
- UV-B radiation due to the appearance of the ozone hole commonly results in reduction in photosynthesis by phytoplankton in surface waters.
How are UV and the ozone similar
The fact that electromagnetic radiation travels in waves lets us measure the different kind by wavelength or how long the waves are. That is one way we can tell the kinds of radiation apart from each other.
Although all kinds of electromagnetic radiation are released from the Sun, our atmosphere stops some kinds from getting to us. For example, the ozone layer stops a lot of harmful ultraviolet radiation from getting to us, and that's why people are so concerned about the hole in it
- increasing the Adelie Penguin Population
- We would choose to breed the Adelie penguin and put it in a secure living space and let it have the essentials for life. After breeding and increasing the population it would get back to normal capacity and we could let some of the penguins back to the arctic where there was stable ice and a stable amount of krill. After we knew that it was safe to put all of the penguins back then we would do so and then they would have a normal life after that.