Temperature drops 3 degrees F every _________
1,000 ft of elevation
-Troposphere: 0-7 miles above earth
-Tropopause: 7-13 miles above earth
-Stratosphere: 13-30 miles above earth
-Stratopause: 30-31 miles above earth
-Mesosphere: 31-50 miles above earth
-Mesopause: 50-52 miles above earth
-Thermosphere: 52-300 miles above earth (a.k.a. Ionosphere)
-Exosphere: 300-6,200 miles above earth
-75% of atmosphere's mass (gravity)
-Approx. -76 degrees F at the top (decreases with altitude)
-Most planes travel in the upper portion of this layer
-Surfaces warmed by solar radiation warm the overlying air. The greater the distance from warm surfaces, the cooler the air.
Stable temperatures, & they represent the boundaries between layers
-Contains the ozone layer
-Protects us from UV radiation
-Temperature increases due to absorption of heat by ozone (O3)
-Temperature decreases approx. -130 degrees F at the top
-Coldest of the atmospheric layers due to the very thin atmosphere
-Meteors burn up in this layer = shooting stars (size: grain of salt)
-0.1% of the atmosphere is above the stratopause
-Temperatures increase rapidly, up to 3,000 degrees F
-Temperatures are due to gamma rays, x rays, and UV radiation
-Very few particles, but the ones that are there are very "hot" (high kinetic energy)
-Atmosphere merges into space
Clouds & Formation
Aggregates of suspended water droplets
1. Warm moist air rises, then expands & cools
2. Temperature drops, air can't hold as much water vapor, so humidity increases
3. Humidity approaches 100%, air becomes saturated with water
4. Excess water vapor coalesces, forming tiny droplets called a cloud
Weather & Three methods of heat transfer
Caused by movement & transfer of heat energy
1. Radiation: Solar energy. Flow of EM (electromagnetic) radiation.
2. Conduction: Collisions between molecules.
3. Convection: Primary way. Involves movement of air molecules. Warmer, less dense air rises. Colder, more dense air falls. Happens vertically & horizontally (temperature differences cause pressure differences cause wind)
Factors Which Influence All Climates
-Location of high & low pressure zones
-Proximity & heat exchange between ocean & land air
-Topography, especially mountains (rain shadow: windward vs. leeward sides)
-Large-scale land changes (ex. Urbanization = urban heat island effect, specific gravity, density)
-Albedo (reflectivity of snow vs. dark soil)
Earth is tilted on axis:
-When northern half is tilted toward sun, we have summer and longer days
-When southern half is tilted toward sun, we have winter and shorter days
-At March/September equinoxes, we are roughly equal with the sun, so we have equal days
-At June/December solstices, we are at our most angled aspect to the sun (longest/shortest days of the year)
-Horizontally, wind moves from areas of HIGH pressure to LOW pressure
-Vertically, wind moves from areas of LOW pressure to HIGH pressure
-Wind coming from the west & moving to the east is called a "westerly"
-Wind coming from the east & moving to the west is called an "easterly"
A large body of air that has similar temperature & moisture properties throughout
When two different air masses meet, a front is formed
Approaches & rises over cooler air mass. Generally travel northwest in U.S. and leads to light precipitation over a large area
Approaches warmer air & pushes beneath it (convective lifting). Generally travel south/southeast in U.S., travel faster than warm fronts, & rain & thunderstorms are fairly common.
When boundary between two air masses doesn't move. Winds in both regions blow parallel to each other.
-Restricted air flow
-Specific gravity of concrete, asphalt, and stone (hold heat very well)
-Lower albedo (more dark surfaces)
-Release of pollutants/gases (PM, NOx, SOx)
-Burning of fossil fuels
-Lack of evapotranspiration due to less trees
-Little ability to reduce heat via transpiration/evaporation/evaporative cooling
-Greenhouse Effect: Conversion of incoming light radiation into re-radiated heat radiation by our planet
Warm air constantly transported from equator toward higher latitudes. Cold air goes from poles to equator.
1. Hadley Cell - equator to 30 degrees N & S latitude
2. Ferrel Cell - between 30-60 degrees N & S
3. Polar Cell - above 60 degrees N & S
3. Polar Cell - above 60 degrees N & S
-Warm equatorial air rises
-Travels N in northern hemisphere, S in southern hemisphere.
-Air then descends at approx. 30 degrees N and S latitude
-The cooler, descending air stabilizes that zone causing few clouds, little rain. Many of earth's deserts are in this subtropical zone.
-Equatorial Region: NO WINTER
-Subtropical Region: MILD WINTER
-30 degrees (descending) - 60 degrees (ascending) N & S
-Has defined seasons (summer & winter)
-60 degrees (ascending) to the poles (descending) N & S
-Polar regions are deserts, have minimal snowfall
Areas With Most Rainfall:
-1. Around Equator
-2. Windward Mountain Sides
-3. 60 Degrees N & S Latitude
Areas With Least Rainfall
-1. Mid-Continental Areas
-2. Subtropical Deserts (approx. 30 degrees N & S)
-3. Leeward Mountain Sides
-Light, variable, subsiding winds at 30 degrees N & S latitude
-Ships bringing livestock to the new world were often deprived of wind here, so they had to toss bodies of dead livestock overboard
-Rising air at equator creates "doldrums" where winds may fail for weeks at a time
-Measures amount of water vapor in the air
-Dependent upon temperature: higher temperature = higher possible water vapor
-Amount of water vapor in the air as compared to the maximum amount of water vapor that can be held (at that temperature & pressure)
-Increases as absolute humidity increases
-Actual Vapor Density/Saturation Vapor Density x 100 = ______%
-Can be determined using a sling psychrometer
Temperature at which water vapor condenses into water (aka dew)
-As temperature drops, it approaches the dew point
When the air is holding the maximum water vapor possible at that temperature and pressure.
Temperature at which molecules in air condense to form a liquid (same as dew point)
Mercator Projection (cylindric) Map
Mr. Kremer turned a globe shape into a cylindric shape using some fancy math
Good: Shows true direction, good for navigators (sailors)
Bad: Extreme distortion at high latitudes. Ex. Greenland is 9x its actual size.
Good: Most continents & oceans are accurate.
Bad: Some distortion of both (increases poleward)
Good: Land is the most accurate of the maps.
Bad: Pesky Splits