Atmosphere notes


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Atmosphere notes

  1. 1. The Atmosphere: Structure & Temperature<br />
  2. 2. Atmosphere Characteristics<br />Weather is constantly changing, and it refers to the state of the atmosphere at any given time and place. <br />Climate, however, is based on observations of weather that have been collected over many years.<br />Climate helps describe a place or region.<br />
  3. 3. Atmosphere Characteristics<br />Water vapor is the source of all clouds and precipitation. Like carbon dioxide, water vapor absorbs heat given off by Earth. It also absorbs some solar energy.<br />If ozone did not filter most UV radiation and all of the sun’s UV rays reached the surface of Earth, our planet would be uninhabitable for many living organisms.<br />Ozone is a form of oxygen that combines three oxygen atoms into each molecule (O3).<br />
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  5. 5. Atmosphere Characteristics<br />The atmosphere thins as you travel away from Earth until there are too few gas molecules to detect.<br />The atmosphere can be divided vertically into four layers based on temperature.<br />
  6. 6. Atmosphere Characteristics<br />The bottom layer, where temperature decreases with an increase in altitude, is the troposphere.<br />
  7. 7. Atmosphere Characteristics<br />The stratosphere is the layer of the atmosphere immediately above the troposphere. <br />In the stratosphere, temperature increases with height, due to the concentration of ozone.<br />
  8. 8. Atmosphere Characteristics<br />In the third layer, the mesosphere, temperatures again decrease with height until the outer layer of the mesosphere, the mesopause.<br />
  9. 9. Atmosphere Characteristics<br />The fourth layer is the thermosphere, which extends outward from the mesopause, has no well-defined upper limit, and contains only a tiny fraction of the atmosphere’s mass.<br />
  10. 10. Seasons<br />Seasonal changes ARE NOT caused by changing distances between the Earth and Sun.<br />Seasons occur because Earth is tilted 23.5° and as it revolves <br /> around the Sun, we <br />receive different <br />amounts of <br />sunlight.<br />
  11. 11. On June 21 or 22 the Northern Hemisphere is titled 23.5° degrees toward the sun. This date is known as the summer solstice, or the first “official” day of summer.<br />This is the longest day of the year.<br />The sun is highest in our sky.<br />December 21 or 22 the Northern Hemisphere is tilted 23.5° away from the sun. This date is known as the winter solstice, or the first day of winter.<br />This is the shortest day of the year.<br />The sun is lowest in our sky.<br />
  12. 12. September 22 or 23 is the date of the autumnal equinox, or the first day of fall in the Northern Hemisphere.<br />March 21 or 22 is the date of the spring equinox, of the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.<br />On these days the Earth’s axis is not titled toward or away from the Sun.<br />Every place on Earth receives equal day and equal night.<br />The sun is directly overhead at the Equator.<br />
  13. 13. The Southern Hemisphere is always experiencing the opposite season of the Northern Hemisphere.<br />
  14. 14. 17.2 Heating the Atmosphere<br />Heat is the energy transferred from one object to another because of a difference in their temperatures.<br />Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the individual atoms or molecules in a substance.<br />
  15. 15. Heating the Atmosphere<br />Three mechanisms of energy transfer as heat are conduction, convection, and radiation.<br />
  16. 16. Heating the Atmosphere<br />Conduction is the transfer of heat through matter by molecular activity.<br />
  17. 17. Heating the Atmosphere<br />Convection is the transfer of heat by mass movement or circulation within a substance.<br />
  18. 18. Heating the Atmosphere<br />Radiation is the transfer of heat through space by electromagnetic waves.<br />Electromagnetic energy is classified according to wavelength in the electromagnetic spectrum.<br />
  19. 19. Heating the Atmosphere<br />Unlike conduction and convection, which need material to travel through, radiant energy can travel through the vacuum of space.<br />All objects, at any temperature, emit radiant energy. (Law of radiation #1)<br />Hotter objects radiate more total energy per unit area than colder objects do. (Law of radiation #2)<br />The hottest radiating bodies produce the shortest wavelengths of maximum radiation. (law of radiation #3)<br />
  20. 20. Heating the Atmosphere<br />Objects that are good absorbers of radiation are good emitters as well. (law of radiation #4)<br />When radiation strikes an object, there usually are three different results:<br />
  21. 21. Heating the Atmosphere<br />Some energy is absorbed by the object.<br />2. Substances such as water and air are transparent to certain wavelengths of radiation.<br />3. Some radiation may bounce off the object without being absorbed or transmitted.<br />
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  23. 23. Heating the Atmosphere<br />Reflection occurs when an electromagnetic wave bounces off an object.<br />Scattering occurs when electromagnetic waves <br />bounce off an object, <br />producing a larger <br />number of weaker <br />rays that travel <br />in different directions.<br />
  24. 24. Heating the Atmosphere<br />In the greenhouse effect, Earth’s surface and atmosphere are heated by solar energy that is absorbed and emitted by the atmosphere.<br />
  25. 25. 17.3 Temperature Controls<br />Factors other than latitude that exert a strong influence on temperature include heating of land and water, altitude, geographic position, cloud cover, and ocean currents.<br />
  26. 26. Temperature Controls<br />Land heats more rapidly and to higher temperatures than water. <br />Land also cools more rapidly and to lower temperatures than water.<br />
  27. 27. Temperature Controls<br />Many clouds have a high albedo, and therefore reflect a significant portion of the sunlight that strikes them back to space.<br />
  28. 28. Temperature Controls<br />Albedo is the fraction of total radiation that is reflected by any surface.<br />
  29. 29. Temperature Controls<br />Isotherms are lines on a map that connect points that have the same temperature.<br />