Physical Geography Courses Outline

Steven Sutantro

@StevenSutantro

steven.sutantro@gmail.com

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Prologue-Introduction to Physical Geography

There are five major fields of physical geography. First, climatology is the study of climate in varies space and time. Then, geomorphology is a study of the earth surface and landforms, coastal, marine geography is a study of coast and marine resources utilization, geography of soils is the study of distribution, process, formation of soil types, biogeography is the study of distribution of plants and animals on earth.

Chapter 1-The Earth as Rotating Planet

            The Earth’s rotation has several environmental effects; first, there are changes of daily light that cause day and night so that there are varies of life responses in every organism. Then, the earth’s rotation also impact on varies of water and air temperature, humidity, motion, and flow paths on every place on earth. Finally, it affects the ebb tide movement that is caused by moon gravitational attraction on earth.

 Chapter 2-The Earth’s Global Energy Balance

            The green house effect is an effect of the long wave radiation from atmosphere that returns to the surface of the earth. This effect warms the surface of earth and raises the temperature of atmosphere with more CO2 that cause the global warming.

Chapter 3-Air Temperature

The minimum temperature for the day reached about one-half hour after sunrise because by early morning, the coldest air is found next to the ground with slightly warmer air above. And that happens is that at the early afternoon, a convection stir the air and transfer the cold air to the ground and bring heated air up.

Chapter 4-Atmospheric Moisture and Precipitation

A microburst is a very localized column of sinking air, producing damaging divergent and straight-line winds at the surface that are similar to but distinguishable from tornadoes which generally have convergent damage. A microburst often causes aircraft to crash when they are attempting to land because the plane would then travel through the microburst, and fly into the tailwind, causing a sudden decrease in the amount of air flowing across the wings. The decrease in airflow over the wings of the aircraft causes a decrease in the amount of lift produced. This decrease in lift combined with a strong downward flow of air can cause the thrust required to remain at altitude to exceed what is available.

Chapter 5- Winds and Global Circulation

The process of ocean current reversal that occurs with an El Nino event are first, there will be a rise in surface pressure over the Indian Ocean, Indonesia, and Australia, then fall in air pressure over Tahiti and the rest of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean, next, Trade winds in the south Pacific weaken or head east, warm air rises near Peru, causing rain in the northern Peruvian deserts, warm water spreads from the west Pacific and the Indian Ocean to the east Pacific. It takes the rain with it, causing extensive drought in the western Pacific and rainfall in the normally dry eastern Pacific.

Chapter 6-Weather Systems

General characteristic of tornado appear as a dark and narrow funnel in which air spirals in high level of speed. Tornadoes content completely by rain or dust. A very powerful tornado can sweep a place into total destruction. Tornadoes vary in intensity regardless of shape, size, and location, though strong tornadoes are typically larger than weak tornadoes. The association with track length and duration also varies, although longer track tornadoes tend to be stronger.

Chapter 7-Global Climates

            According to the IPCC 2001 report that the direct climate consequences of recent human activities are an increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes in the climate system. The global average surface temperature has increased over the 20th century by about 0.6 °C; and it makes snow cover decrease day by day. Then, emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols due to human activities continue to alter the atmosphere in ways that are expected to increase the heat of atmosphere.

Resources

Physical Geography: A Landscape Appreciation. Pearson Education

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