The Atmosphere Structure and Change
Overview <ul><li>Structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compositional structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Temperature structure ...
General <ul><li>Thermopause is considered the outermost boundary of the atmosphere. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>480km, 300 mi ab...
 
 
<ul><li>Atmospheric gases held by Earth’s gravity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Earth’s gravity weakens with altitude </li></ul></...
Composition <ul><li>Homosphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gases evenly mixed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exceptions </li></ul></...
 
Temperature <ul><li>Troposphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>90% of Atmosphere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nearly all of the w...
<ul><li>Stratosphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>18 – 50 km (11 –31 mi) above surface </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ozone layer </l...
<ul><li>Thermosphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>80 – 480 km (50-300 mi) on average </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upper Boundary:  ...
 
Function <ul><li>Classifies atmospheric layers according to how they shield the surface from harmful radiation </li></ul><...
 
<ul><li>Ozonosphere </li></ul><ul><li>Ionosphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Absorbs short-wave radiation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul...
 
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Atmosphere

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Atmosphere

  1. 1. The Atmosphere Structure and Change
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compositional structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Temperature structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Functional structure </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Natural sources of change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Natural influences on pollution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anthropogenic pollution </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. General <ul><li>Thermopause is considered the outermost boundary of the atmosphere. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>480km, 300 mi above surface </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Exosphere extends beyond the thermopause </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rarefied (near vacuum) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sparse Hydrogen and Helium atoms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extends to 20,000 miles (32,000 km) from Earth’s surface </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Density of Atmosphere increases near the surface </li></ul><ul><ul><li>90% of atmospheric mass occurs within 16,000 meters of surface </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Air pressure (sea level): 1013.2 mb; 101.32 kPa; 29.92 in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Air pressure decreases with decreasing density (i.e., altitude) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 6. <ul><li>Atmospheric gases held by Earth’s gravity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Earth’s gravity weakens with altitude </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes density profile </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sorts atmosphere into different layers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Three different ways of looking at atmospheric layering </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Composition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Homosphere </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Heterosphere </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Temperature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Troposphere (Tropopause) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stratosphere (Stratopause) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mesosphere (Mesopause) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Thermosphere (Thermopause) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Function </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ozonosphere </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ionosphere </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 7. Composition <ul><li>Homosphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gases evenly mixed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exceptions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Water vapor (clouds) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ozone layer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Point sources at surfaces </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 99% of Atmosphere </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Heterosphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Uneven mixture of gases, sorted by atomic and molecular weight </li></ul></ul>
  6. 9. Temperature <ul><li>Troposphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>90% of Atmosphere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nearly all of the water vapor and weather </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supports life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upper boundary: Tropopause </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>18 km (11mi) at equator, 12 km (8 mi) mid-latitudes, 8 km (5 mi) at poles </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Varies with temperature (solar heating) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Temperatures decrease with altitude </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Normal Lapse Rate: 6.4 o C/km (3.5 o F/ft) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Environmental Lapse Rate </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Inversions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Crucial for understanding weather </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Heated by the Earth’s surface </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Stratosphere </li></ul><ul><li>Mesosphere </li></ul><ul><li>Thermosphere </li></ul>
  7. 10. <ul><li>Stratosphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>18 – 50 km (11 –31 mi) above surface </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ozone layer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Temperature increases with altitude </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Heating from absorption of ultraviolet light by ozone </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>At lower levels, heated by surface emanations as well </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upper boundary: Stratopause </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mesosphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>50 – 80km (30 – 50 mi) above surface </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Temperature decreases with altitude </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upper boundary: Mesopause </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Coldest region in atmosphere </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Emanations from the stratosphere provide heat source </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 11. <ul><li>Thermosphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>80 – 480 km (50-300 mi) on average </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upper Boundary: Thermopause </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Actual altitude varies between 250 – 550 km (155 – 340 mi) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increases with increased solar activity </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extremely high temperatures but little sensible heat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Heated by direct exposure to incoming solar radiation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Air particles have extremely high kinetic energy (temperature) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Low density of particles means fewer collisions of particles, lower overall capacity to store heat </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 13. Function <ul><li>Classifies atmospheric layers according to how they shield the surface from harmful radiation </li></ul><ul><li>Ozonosphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>O 3 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Absorbs short-wave radiation and reradiates it as long-wave radiation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shields surface from harmful ultraviolet radiation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Various pollutants deplete ozone </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ionosphere </li></ul>
  10. 15. <ul><li>Ozonosphere </li></ul><ul><li>Ionosphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Absorbs short-wave radiation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cosmic rays, Gamma rays, X-rays, shorter UV </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High energy radiation tends to knock electrons off of the atmospheric gas atoms, producing positively charged ions </li></ul></ul>
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