● Greenhouse effect: The greenhouse effect is a process by
which thermal radiation from a planetary surface is absorbed
by atmospheric greenhouse gases
● Cycling Carbon: The carbon cycle is the biogeochemical
cycle by which carbon is exchanged among the biosphere,
pedosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere of
● Climate Zones: Are divisions of the Earth's climates into
general climate zones according to average temperatures
and average rainfall
● Weather Patterns and Storms
● Creating conditions suitable for life
The Structure of the Atmosphere
By: Nicholas Cochrane
The Atmosphere contains a large amount of
Nitrous Oxide (N2O)
0.03x10-6 to 0.3x10-6
0.04 to < 5x10-3; 4x10-6 — strat
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
370x10-6 (date: 2000)
0.02x10 to 10x10
● 8 to 16 kilometers above Earth's surface
● Temperatures decrease by about 6.5°C with
● At the top of the troposphere is the
tropopause, a layer of cold air (about -60°C)
● 50 kilometers above the earths surface
● temperatures increase with altitude
● About 90 percent of the ozone in the
atmosphere is found in the stratosphere.
● one percent of total atmosphere’s water
● slow vertical air motion
● temperatures peak at about -3°C
● 85 kilometers above the earths surface
● Temperatures decrease with altitude
● low of about -93°C
● 1,000 kilometres above the earths surface
● warm with altitude, rising higher than 1700°
Radiative Balance and the Natural
Major Greenhouse Gasses
Natural vs. Human Made
Synthetic Chemicals are emitted because of
human activity. Also, humans increase some of
the natural chemicals, which throws off
Human Made Cont.
Hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbonsAKA F gases.
Vertical Motion in the Atmosphere
• Many start with rising air. This could happen
•Winds running into mountains
•Convergence - air masses running into
each other and pushing upwards, causing
• Can be stable or unstable
• Unstable atmosphere more likely to produce
clouds and storms
• Stable atmosphere more likely to produce
The carbon cycle is based around different stores
● CO2 in the atmosphere.
● Carbonate and carbonic acid in oceans.
● Organic matter on land or underwater.
On average a carbon atom spends
● 5 years in the atmosphere
● 380 years in oceans or sediments
● 10 years in terrestrial vegetation
Carbon in the atmosphere is scrubbed
out by rain into oceans or sediment or
absorbed into plants
Carbon can stay in fossil fuel deposits
for millions of years before it eventually
returns to the atmosphere.
Humans have disrupted the equilibrium of the natural carbon
We have released large amounts of carbon into the
atmosphere from using fossil fuels like oil and coal.
Also deforestation slows the rate at which carbon is absorbed
What Are Feedbacks?
Feedbacks: Interactions between climate
variables such as temperature, precipitation,
and vegetation, also elements such as clouds
and albedo that control the Greenhouse Effect.
Positive Feedbacks amplify
temperature changes by strengthening
the Greenhouse effect or by reducing
Positive Feedbacks Continued
Water Vapor Feedback- The presence of more water
vapor as temperatures increase raises the Greenhouse
Effect and the absorption of solar radiation which heats the
Cloud Feedback on Terrestrial Radiation- Warmer
temperatures increase water vapor amounts, which can
increase cloudiness and can increase the temperature
Ice-Albedo Feedback on Solar Radiation- Rising
temperatures cause polar glaciers and floating ice sheets to
recede, decreasing Earth’s albedo and raising
Negative Feedbacks make the climate
systems less sensitive to the factors
that trigger them.
Negative Feedbacks Continued
Cloud Feedbacks on Solar Radiation- As temperature
and atmospheric water vapor levels rise, cloudiness may
increase. Greater cloudiness raises Earth’s albedo,
reflecting more solar radiation back into space and lowering
Vegetation Feedback on Solar Radiation- Deserts may
expand as temperatures rise, which would increase Earth’s
albedo and lower the temperature.
● Carbon Cycle: The biogeochemical cycle in which carbon is
exchanged among the biosphere, pedosphere, geosphere,
hydrosphere, and atmosphere of the Earth.
● Greenhouse effect: A process in which thermal radiation from a
planetary surface is absorbed by atmospheric greenhouse gases
● Photosynthesis: CO2 + H2O + light → "CH2O" + O2
● Respiration: "CH2O" + O2 → CO2 + H2O + energy
● Climate Zones: Are divisions of the Earth's climates into general
climate zones according to average temperatures and average
● Troposphere: The lowest layer in the atmosphere; it is where weather
● Stratosphere: The second layer of the Earth’s atmosphere; the
temperature raises with altitude
● Mesosphere: The third atmospheric layer; it is the opposite to the
stratosphere in that its temperature lowers with altitude
● Thermosphere: It is the fourth layer in the atmosphere and it contains
ultraviolet radiation and ionization.
● Convergence: air masses running into each other and pushing upwards,
● Angular Momentum: Product= mass X velocity
● Coriolis Force: Force that is caused by Earth’s rotation
● Low Pressure Areas: Circulates counterclockwise
● High Pressure Areas: Circulates clockwise
● Weather Belts: Rings around Earth that have different qualities.
● Radiative Balance: A theory that states that the amount of colar energy
Earth receives is equal to what it gives.
● Feedbacks: Interactions between climate variables that control the
More More Continued
● Positive Feedbacks: Strengthen the Greenhouse Effect and/or
● Negative Feedbacks: Reduce the sensitivity in the climate system.