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NATS 1840

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ASSIGNMENT 3 (REVISED) BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES


Due: Nov 7, 2013 This assignment consists of 9 questions meant to provide practice with the material that will have been covered by Nov. 5th. You may complete the assignment in the format of your choice (Word, PDF, plain text, scanned text,... ) provided that it is a format suitable for upload to Moodle. If you are unsure about the suitability of a format, then please check with the course director. In your write-up, please clearly indicate which question/sub-question is being answered. For example, Q6, part (b): The article omits the following crucial facts.... . The completed assignment is to be submitted online through Moodle by no later than 11pm on Thursday, November 7th.

1. Indicate what change(s) are needed to balance the following chemical equations. [3 marks] (a) Fe + O2 + H2 O Fe2 O3 (H2 O) (b) 4Fe2+ + O2 4Fe + 2O2 (c) C7 H16 + O2 H2 O + CO2 + heat 2. A one cubic metre volume of water (with a mass of 1000 kg) rests at a height of 10 metres above ground. a) Show that the gravitational potential energy of the water is 100 kJ. [1 mark] b) If the water has a temperature of 15 degrees Celsius, then what is the average kinetic energy of a single molecule of water? (Use k = 1.38 1023 J/K ) [1 mark] c) 1000 kg of water contains roughly 3.3 1028 molecules of water. Estimate the total thermal energy of the cubic metre of water. How does it compare to its gravitational potential energy? [1 mark] d) If the water is dropped, and ignoring any air friction, then what statement can you make with certainty concerning its non-thermal kinetic energy just before it hits the ground? [2 mark] 3. Bored of waiting for Luke Skywalker to grow up, Obi-Wan Kenobi takes to studying planet Tatooines twin suns. He discovers that one of the stars is bluer than the other with a peak electromagnetic wavelength of 0.45 nm, compared to 0.65 nm for the redder star. Which of the two stars is hotter? Explain. [2 marks]

NATS 1840

NAME:

4. You and a classmate listen to a speech given by a young climate change activist who calls for the complete removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere by the year 2100. At this your friend shakes her head in disapproval. Why? [2 marks] 5. In your own words, explain what is meant by the statement that every object in the universe glows. [2 marks] 6. Consider a green tree leaf with a surface area of 50 cm2 (thats 0.005 m2 ). a) Given the Earths 30% albedo and the fact that the atmosphere absorbs roughly 25% of the solar radiation that passes through it, show that the insolation delivered to the leaf (i.e. at the Earths surface) assuming the Sun is directly overhead is roughly 612 W/m2 . (Use an insolation at the top of the atmosphere of 1360 W/m2 .) [1 mark] b) If the leaf itself has an albedo of 20% show that the leaf absorbs a power of 2.4 W. [2 marks] c) If photosynthesis locks away only 2% of the power absorbed by the leaf, then how much total energy does the leaf store in one hour? [1 mark] 7. One tonne of coal, if fully burned, releases 28 GJ of thermal energy. But a modern electrical power plant running on coal produces only 10 GJ of electrical energy for each tonne of coal burned. What is the energy eciency of this power plant? [1 mark] 8. Comment on the role played by living organisms in the global nitrogen cycle (see pages 83 to 85 of the textbook). Would nitrogen circulate through the ecosphere in the absence of living things? If so what processes would be involved? [3 marks] 9. Consider the following organisms or types of organisms: Stick bugs (order phasmatodea ) [2 marks] Auk birds (family alcidae ) [2 marks] Atlantic Goliath Grouper (species Epinephelus itajara ) [2 marks] Stag beetles (family Lucanidae ) [2 marks] For each, identify the trophic level(s) it occupies in its natural habitat. (You can use the taxonomic name to better identify the organism.) You are to make use of scholarly references, as needed, to make these determinations, and you are expected to provide complete references to those sources. Any explanations should be phrased in your own words. (You may use any of the standard citation styles - MLA, APA, AIP, etc.) (The main purpose of this exercise is to have you do a small amount of research in the literature - encyclopedias, textbooks, journals, etc. - to answer a question, and to back up your answer with cited sources. DO NOT LIST WIKIPEDIA AS A SOURCE! )