Your goal is to explain how climate would respond overall

Your goal is to explain how climate would respond overall

Your goal is to explain how climate would respond overall

Feedbacks on EarthThere are 4 main forcing agents for climate on Earth. Perhaps 5 if you include large impacts which are rare now, but were more common early in Earth’s history. There are many feedbacks that control the actual response of Earth’s climate to changes in forcings. Many of the responses are nonlinear, which is what makes modelling climate so challenging.The feedbacks pdf goes through a few very simplified responses to change. I’d like you to work through one of those examples here. A ‘thought experiment’.Mantle convection and the resulting plate tectonics is relatively constant, but there are variations and there are changes in the convection patterns that develop and evolve over time.Scenario (completely fictional, but quite reasonable)Imagine a plate that includes both oceanic and continental lithosphere is moving along, being dragged by the leading portion of oceanic lithosphere which is being subducted beneath some other continental lithosphere. Finally, all of the oceanic lithosphere is subducted so that a continent-continent collision begins! (Very similar to what would have happened leading up to the India-Eurasian continent-continent collision. Or like the seismic section from Assignment 1)Before the collision, there would have been a long-lived continental volcanic arc. Once subduction stopped and the collision began, that volcanic arc would terminate once subduction and water release from the subducting plate stopped.On the other side of the incoming continental lithosphere there is still spreading at the ridgecrest, but that spreading has slowed down. The plate is still moving, crumpling up a big mountain belt – but moving slower and slower…So, in that region of the world, there is now no more subduction volcanism, less volcanism/upwelling of magma at the ridgecrest, and a big collision zone has begun to form high mountains.There are all kinds of different effects this can have on global climate. This is only one region – and for simplicity we will assume that all other processes in all other regions remain constant (probably not true in reality!), but the goal is to think through what effects will be generated by the changes in this region.Questions:1) Your goal is to explain how climate would respond overall (cooling, warming or no change) to these tectonic/magmatic changes. To do this, consider the important feedbacks that would be influenced by these tectonic/magmatic changes. I would suggest that you discuss at least 5 feedbacks. You could come up with many more…For each feedback:* Explain why/how it would respond (positive/negative feedback?). What it would affect and how that would affect climate.* Specify the time scales it would affect climate over. 1 year? 100 million years?[A few sentences for each feedback]2) Do you think the final result would lead to a warmer Earth? A cooler Earth? Can you say?[Just a couple of sentences is fine for this – briefly explain your interpretation and reasoning]3) This question is related, but doesn’t involve the scenario above.Unusual volcanism (e.g. very large hot spot volcanoes like the one that created the Deccan traps) or very large meteorite impacts can have a very important influence on global climate. Compare their effects on climate and the time scales of those effects.[Could use a table… ~ 1, perhaps 2 paragraphs]

 

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