Study Guides for Astro 7 - Spring '17

    The chapter numbers here correspond to those in the text "The Cosmic Perspective: Solar System". I've gone through our text and my question bank and found the chapter and subsection within the book which contains the relevant material to answer or to reason your way to the answer to that question. There are roughly 12 questions on a typical quiz, so you'll see below for each quiz a list of ~12 section titles, one line for each question. In some cases, the relevant material is in two sections; you'll then see two lines for that question, one of them indented. For most questions, the answer to the question is given explicitly in the section listed. But in some cases, the text doesn't address it well, or at all. In this case, you'll see an "L" out in front. That means consult your notes from my "L"ecture on that material. In some cases, the material spreads through the entire chapter, not a single section within that chapter. In other cases, the section contains all the basic facts, but you'll need to do some reasoning to deduce an answer not given explicitly. In these cases, you may see an "R" (for "reasoning required"). So, like all good exams, there's a mix of easy, hard, factoid, and inductive reasoning questions. There's even a couple of extra credit questions floating around in my test bank. If you get one, there's no mark-off if you get it wrong, and you get a bonus if you get it right.

    For the second half of the course - on Earth's climate past, present and future - there is little material in the text and nearly all of the exam questions are instead drawn from my PowerPoint lectures. Each of these chapters begins with a "K", so don't look for "K32" in your textbook - it's a PowerPoint presentation. For more tips on studying for these exam questions see this additional study guide page (link will update soon) . Also, this page of Key Points may be useful.

Remember that for those sections which are in the textbook, the textbook authors title their subsections as a question - this is NOT the exact question I ask you!

You may bring in a single page of handwritten notes (no computer print outs) of your own making, both sides can be filled with notes. You may have this during your final exam.





Quiz #1                                                                      

L 0.8    Occam's Razor                                                        

    &   3.4a   Can we distinguish science from non-science?                  

  0.3    The Real World                                                      

L 0.9    Importance of attitude: "I just want to know the Truth"             

  0.1    Natural Selection & Development of Mind                             

  0.4    Scientific Method                                                   

  5.4c   How does light tell us temperatures?                                

L 5.3c   How is energy stored in atoms?                                      

  5.5a   How does light tell us the speed of a distant object?               

  5.4c   How does light tell us temperatures?                                

L 5.4b   How does light tell us what things are made of?                     

  29.3   Judgment by the Weight of Evidence                                  

  29.3   Judgment by the Weight of Evidence                                  

  K20.7  Know which heat mechanism works best in solids, fluids, vacuum      

  K20.5  Molecular or atomic absorption of photons slows radiation           


 Quiz #2                                                                      

  10.2d  How does a planet gain or lose atmospheric gases?                    

  10.4b  Why did Mars change?                                                

  10.1b  How does the greenhouse effect warm a planet?                       

  10.5   The Atmospheric History of Venus                                    

  11.1a  Are Jovian planets all alike?                                       

  11.1c  What are Jovian planets like on the inside?                         

  11.2c  What is special about Titan and other moons?                        

  K13.4  Exoplanet atmosphere composition from transit depths                

  K13.3  Metallicity and how it affects solar system formation               

  K13.5  Tidally locked exoplanets have what feature?                        

  K13.7  The definition of the Habitable Zone                                


 Quiz #3                                                                      

  14.1c  What is the Sun's structure?                                        

  14.1  How is solar luminosity changing over the sun's lifetime?           

  14.3c  How does solar activity vary with time?                             

  K31.1  Ice Ages; what causes them                                          

  K31.2  How has CO2 in the atmosphere changed over history of Earth?         

    &   K31.8  History of the amount of Earth's atmosphere                   

  K31.6  Snowball Earth - evidence?                                          

  K31.7  What happened to CO2 in Earth's atmosphere over Earth's history?    

  K32.3  Troposphere: densest, heated from below, convective                 

  K32.7  Coriolis Force: Apparent Force due to Inertia. Which direction?     

  K32.4  Stratosphere: heated from above by solar UV absorption by ozone                

  K32.7  Coriolis Force: Apparent Force due to Inertia. Which direction?     

  K33.2  Volcanic CO2 vs human generated - how much?                    

  K33.1  Fast Carbon Cycle                           


 Quiz #4                                                                       

  K34.1  Global Climate Models: Clouds Most Difficult                        

  K34.7  Streamlining: Embedded Models, Real-World Fitting                   

  K34.10 Change model initial conditions slightly to test for chaos          

  K35.11 Sulfate aerosols mostly bright, reflective, cool climate            

  K35.5  Low Clouds vs Cirrus: Cooling vs Heating                            

  K35.5  Low Clouds vs Cirrus: Cooling vs Heating                             

  K35.10 Temperature at top of cloud mostly determines climate effect        

  K35.2  Saturation Humidity vs. Temperature - +7% per 1C! Very Steep                    

  K36.4  Thermocline; Deep Ocean Time Scale                                  

  K36.7  Higher Ocean Temp = Less Dissolved CO2                           

  K37.1  Know how characteristic time scale varies with mass and forcing     


  These later study guides might get tweeked before the quiz is given; Earth-related climate is a fast changing field! These will stabilize before you have the quiz, most definitely.  


 Quiz #5                                                                      

  K38.2  Global temps flat in 1945-1970 period because PDO cool phase and smog aerosols         

  K38.4  Hansen's 2005 "radiative forcings" slide- methane vs CO2 forcing                             

  K38.9  CO2 contributions: Deforestation is 25% that of fossil fuels       

  K38.7  Arctic Ocean ice trends much worse than IPCC predictions            

  K39.1  Solar activity & luminosity: no rise even slight fall in past 60 years          

  K39.2  Warming troposphere w/cooling stratosphere says: GHG's are cause              

  K39.6  Natural forcings of climate account for net=0% of GW. It's ALL humans!                 

  K40    Brain studies: fear vs understanding complexity: Conservatives vs Liberals                                                  

  K40.5  Graph showing Republican vs Demo & free market vs govt solutions 

  K40.6  Big Oil funded denialsm when own scientists showed their climate catastrophic business model   

  K41.8  Science Process: Motivations of scientists, real and slander    


Quiz #6                                                                     

  K42.1  Climate and Sea level rise; IPCC vs newest projections     
  K42.8  California forecast less rain and much less snow         

  K42.10 Temp keeps rising, even when atmospheric CO2 levels held constant                                                        

  K42.14 Global rainfall forecast: more rain over poles and equatorial ocean, drought over mid-latitudes               

  K43.1  Global energy consumption is proportional to total accumulated wealth        

  K43.3  Generalized Jevon's Paradox: Energy efficiency expands civilization and so expands energy needs   
  K44.1  Game theory, under climate uncertainties, predicts climate negotiations will continue to fail                         

  K44.2  Tax-and-Dividend - the single best policy action  
  K44.3  Strong trade sanctions against countries not adopting Tax/Dividend  
  K45.9  Removing air CO2 via making CaCO3 requires making block as tall as Mt Everest    
  K45.8  "Sun shade" strategies, what do they not solve?
  K45.1  The most cost-effective, abundant non-carbon power source: solar PV         

  K45.11 Area the size of Texas, in solar PV, would power the World          


      Final Exam Study Guide                         



  0.7    General Principles in the Design of a Scientific Test               

    &   3.5b   Does astrology have any scientific validity                   

L 0      Chapter 0: Science and Clear Thinking                               

  5.4c   How does light tell us temperatures?                                

    &   5.5a   How does light tell us the speed of a distant object?         

L 5.4b   How does light tell us what things are made of?                     

  29.2   When the Facts Change                                               

  K20.6  Know what each heat transfer mode means, microscopically            

  K20.7  Know which heat mechanism works best in solids, fluids, vacuum      

  10.2d  How does a planet gain or lose atmospheric gases?                   

  10.4b  Why did Mars change?                                                 

  10.6a  How did Earth's atmosphere end up so different?                     

  10.6c  How is human activity changing our planet?                          

  11.1d  What is the weather like on Jovian planets?                         

  11.2c  What is special about Titan and other moons?                        

  K13.6  How do we measure the temperature of Exo-planets?                   

  K13.8  Orbital considerations leading to long-term stable climate          

  K14.2  How much does solar luminosity change during sunspot cycle?         

  14.2b  How does the energy from fusion get out of the sun?                 

  K31.2  How has CO2 in the atmosphere changed over history of Earth?        

  K31.4  Source of nitrogen in our atmosphere; early ammonia probably                                 

  K31.1  Ice Ages; what causes them                                          

  K31.9  How we measure density of our ancient atmosphere; fossil raindrop imprints!                     

  K32.6  Hadley, Ferrel, Polar Cells and Why they exist                                   

  K32.9  Which Cell is Weakest and Why                                       

  K33.4  Higher Ocean Temp = Less Dissolved Carbon                           

  K33.3  Relative Sizes of Main Carbon Reservoirs on Earth - be able to put them in order, don't need absolute numbers                     

  K34    Climate Modelling                                                   

  K35.8  Volcanic aerosols in stratosphere cause major cooling               

  K35.5  Low Clouds cool climate, Cirrus heats climate, generally                             

  K35.12 Sulfate aerosols are mostly made by fossil fuel burning                 

  K35.14 Know how clouds are changing with climate now, and forward              

  K36.5  Oscillations in Heat Transfer to/from Ocean (e.g. ENSO)             

  K36.2  Changes: Sea Surface Temps vs Global Troposphere Temps              

  K37.4  Human attention spans vs climate time scale                         

  K38.12 Sea level rise rate - contributions from different causes           

  K38.6  Greenland ice trends                                                

  K39.5  CO2 rise is human-caused - know the arguments showing this                  

  K40.1  The 5 general tactical categories in denialist writings             

  K38.1  Solar activity and luminosity trends: past century                  

    &   K41.7  Arguments for/against solar-caused global warming             

  K42.15 Know how long climate change temperatures will last          

  K42.17 West Antarctic Ice Sheet now (2014) in irreversible collapse        

  K42.19 How will hurricanes change with advancing Global Warming?             

  K42.8  California forecast, less rain and much less snow.         

  K43.2  Energy required by Civilization even at zero economic growth                        

  K44.4  Know findings of the Princeton 2014 Gilens&Page study on who determines our laws
  K44.5  Instructor advocates "Occupy Washington DC" as best strategy to get policy moving
  K45.12 Safest GeoEngineering to cool Earth: aerosols into the stratosphere
Only 2 real GeoEngineering categories: (1) "Sun shades" and (2)Enhancing Earth heat loss to space