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Ch 2: Thermodynamics & Climatology

About This Chapter

Review the topic of thermodynamics and how it relates to both climate science and the Earth sciences. Use these lessons and quizzes as a comprehensive study guide as you prepare for an upcoming placement test or examination.

Thermodynamics & Climatology - Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the many uses of electromagnetic radiation will be discussed, along with a definition of the concept. You will learn about Wien's Law and the Stefan-Boltzmann Law and how to use both in calculations. Plate tectonics, the theories surrounding it and what study in the field tells scientists about the Earth will be introduced.

As you progress through the lessons, you'll be presented with the definition of convection and understand how it is going on in the world around us every day. Study of the concept of the global radiation budget and information about greenhouse gases and how they enhance the greenhouse effect is also included. After you have reviewed these lessons, you should be able to:

  • Give examples of electromagnetic radiation
  • Use Wien's Law and the Stefan-Boltzmann Law in calculations
  • Identify what plate tectonics help geologists to explain
  • Name examples of convection going on in the world around us
  • Relate Earth's radiation budget to the greenhouse effect and global warming
  • Detail the five greenhouse gases and their effect on global climate change

Use the chapter tests and lesson quizzes to gauge how prepared you are for a test or where you might need to focus additional study. Our mobile-friendly lessons and videos are available to review 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you'd like to re-watch just a portion of one of the videos, use the video tabs feature in the Timeline to jump to the section that you'd like to review. If you need assistance as you read through the lessons, contact one of our instructors for additional help.

6 Lessons in Chapter 2: Thermodynamics & Climatology
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is Electromagnetic Radiation? - Wavelength, Spectrum & Energy

1. What is Electromagnetic Radiation? - Wavelength, Spectrum & Energy

Light, microwaves, X-rays, and cell phone transmissions are all examples of electromagnetic radiation. Read more about this fascinating, mostly invisible phenomenon that has been harnessed by humans for so many purposes. A quiz is included.

Calculations with Wien's Law & the Stefan-Boltzmann Law

2. Calculations with Wien's Law & the Stefan-Boltzmann Law

This lesson will go over the equations, as well as some calculations, for Wien's law and the Stefan-Boltzmann law. You will learn what factors these laws depend upon and what they reveal.

Plate Tectonics: Theory & Definition

3. Plate Tectonics: Theory & Definition

Plate tectonics describes the internal workings of our planet. Using it allows geologists to explain a wide range of geologic features and processes. You will learn the basics about the theory in this lesson.

What are Convection Currents? - Definition & Examples

4. What are Convection Currents? - Definition & Examples

This lesson will define convection, explain how it works, and describe how convection creates currents. We will also go through some examples of convection in the world around us: campfires, weather systems, and convection in the earth's mantle.

Balancing the Global Radiation Budget

5. Balancing the Global Radiation Budget

After watching this video, you will be able to explain what the Earth's radiation budget is and how this relates to the greenhouse effect and global warming. A short quiz will follow.

Greenhouse Gases and the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect

6. Greenhouse Gases and the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect

In this video lesson, you will learn about the five main greenhouse gases and how their unnaturally high concentrations are leading to the enhanced greenhouse effect and global climate change on Earth.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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