VCE Physics/Unit 1/AoS 1/Applying thermal physics to climate science

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

Text to come.

Relevant Dot Points from the Study Design[edit | edit source]

  • identify regions of the electromagnetic spectrum as radio, microwave, infrared, visible, ultraviolet, x-ray and gamma waves
  • describe electromagnetic radiation emitted from the Sun as mainly ultraviolet, visible and infrared
  • calculate the peak wavelength of the re-radiated electromagnetic radiation from Earth using Wien’s Law: λ_maxT = constant
  • compare the total energy across the electromagnetic spectrum emitted by objects at different temperatures such as the Sun
  • describe power radiated by a body as being dependent on the temperature of the body according to the Stefan-Boltzmann Law, P∝T^4
  • explain the roles of conduction, convection and radiation in moving heat around in Earth’s mantle (tectonic movement) and atmosphere (weather)
  • model the greenhouse effect as the flow and retention of thermal energy from the Sun, Earth’s surface and Earth’s atmosphere
  • explain how greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (including methane, water and carbon dioxide) absorb and re-emit infrared radiation
  • analyse changes in the thermal energy of the surface of Earth and of Earth’s atmosphere
  • analyse the evidence for the influence of human activity in creating an enhanced greenhouse effect, including affecting surface materials and the balance of gases in the atmosphere.