Meterology Exam 1

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chapters 1-6

Layers in order of the atmosphere, heights

Troposphere < 0 - 15
Stratosphere > 15 - 50
Mesosphere < 50 - 85
Thermosphere > 85 - ... 120

How is the atmosphere warmed? How is heat transferred?

The sun heats the earth by radiation and is absorbed into the earth's surface or oceans, then the earth heats the air above by conduction, convection and radiation and the atmosphere by emitting the heat back from the surface into the atmosphere. Heat is transferred in the atmosphere by convection which is when cool air sinks (compressed and warmed) and hot air rises (expands and cools).

What are the exact composition molecules in the atmosphere? Name 3 non-variable and 3 variable components and their abundance.

3 non variable: 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, 1% Argon
3 variable: Water Vapor, CO2, Ozone

How did the Earth's atmosphere form?

Gasses release during volcanic eruptions, CO2 released from these volcanoes got absorbed into the oceans. Nitrogen didn't absorb into the water and didn't escape out to space so it stayed making it the most abundant gas in the atmosphere. Oxygen was formed by photosynthesis mainly by stromatolites, green places and cyanobacteria. Argon was formed by radioactive decay of bedrock to form 1% of the atmosphere.

How does the atmosphere change with altitude (with respect to temperature and pressure)

Atmospheric temperature and pressure both decreases with altitude.

The water molecule

One negative oxygen, two positive hydrogen on sides, 105 degree between two hydrogen

Name each process involving the phase change of water and know if energy is absorbed/released and if its a warming/cooling process.

Evaporation: Change liquid to gas - cooling - absorbs
Melting: Change Ice to water - cooling - absorbs
Sublimation: Change ice to gas - cooling - absorbs
Condensation: Change gas into liquid - warming - releases
Freezing: Change water to ice - warming - releases
Deposition: Change gas to ice - warming - releases

What happens when a parcel of air rises? Know at the lapse rates of change for dry and moist air.

When a parcel of air rises, the temperature goes down by 6/1000m if its moist and 10/1000m is its dry. A rising parcell also expands and cools.

How do clouds and water vapor (day and night) in the atmosphere affect temperature?

During the day, the clouds will cause the earth to be cooler because the sunlight being radiated from the sun is being reflected away by the clouds not allowing radiation to get in.
During the night, the clouds will cause the earth to actually become warmer because the main heating of the earth is coming from the energy that was absorbed by the earth during the day so that energy gets trapped in between the earth and clouds.

What is insolation?

The total amount of energy or incoming radiation from the sun.

Draw an ellipse and place the Sun at the center and Earth on the ellipse. Explain why summer in the Northern hemisphere occurs when the Earth is farthest from the sun. Be sure to specifically explain how Earth's orbit affects insolation.

Summer occurs when the earth is farthest from the sun because the earth is tilted towards the sun created a more direct ray of sunlight over a smaller area of land. It also has less atmosphere to go through for clouds to absorb some on the radiation. Earth's orbit affects insolation because when we are closer, in the southern hemisphere

Explain why the warmest time of the day is in the afternoon/evening, while the sun's rays are most direct at noon?

During the afternoon, the incoming energy from the sun and the outgoing energy that was absorbed from the earth are equal so that makes the temperature higher. When incoming energy exceeds outgoing energy, the air temperature rises.

If clouds arrive at 2am in the middle of a clear, calm night, it is quite common to see temperatures rise after 2am. How does this happen?

The clouds make it so the energy that was absorbed during the day cannot be releases out into space by rather gets trapped by the clouds, therefore the temperature rises.

If the poles have 24 hours of sunlight during the summer, why is the average summer temperature still below zero?

Not only because the sun's ray are more spread out at the poles, but also because it has more atmosphere to go through.

Understand when and where the greatest daily temperature for a
single location changes occurs.

The daily variation in air temperature is controlled by incoming energy from the sun and outgoing energy from the earth's surface. The greatest temperature variations occurs at sunrise and in the afternoon. It occurs at the surface.
What control it is cloud cover, latitude, land cover, ocean currents and elevation.

Mixing Ratio (how moisture, temperature, pressure and volume change these)

mass of water vapor/mass of dry air
neither measurement changes with volume, must add or subtract wv
remains constant with change temp and pressure

Relative Humidity (how moisture, temperature, pressure and volume change these)

water vapor content/water vapor capacity
RH can be changes by changes in vapor content and change in saturation. decreased temperature causes an increase in relative humidity

Absolute Humidity (how moisture, temperature, pressure and volume change these)

mass of water vapor/volume of air
change pressure, you change volume

Specific Humidity (how moisture, temperature, pressure and volume change these)

mass of water vapor/total mass of air
neither measurement changes with volume, must add or subtract wv
remains constant with change temp and pressure

Dew Point (how moisture, temperature, pressure and volume change these)

the temperature at which saturation occurs
relative humidity indicates how close to saturation, dew point indicates water vapor.

How do clouds form? What is the difference between Fog and Frost?

If the air temperature cools below the dew point, water vapor will condense and form cloud of fog drops.
Fog: If the air temp cools below the dew point ABOVE freezing, water vapor will for dog not frost.
Frost: If the temperature is below freezing, the dew point is called the frost point, and if the surface temp falls below the frost point, the water vapor is deposited directly as ice crystals. (deposition)

Know how clouds are named. Know the types of clouds, where they occur, and what they consist of. Be able to identify the type by both description and picture.

Shapes:
Cirrus - curly and wispy
Status - layered or stratified
Cumulus - lumpy or piled up
Heights:
Cirro - High (above 20,000 ft)
Alto - Middle (7,000-20,000 ft)
Nimbo - producing precipition

C-F-K

C = 5/9 (F - 32)
K = C + 273

Cirrus Clouds

High altitude wispy clouds, thin, hairlike, ICE

Stratus Clouds

Lowest of the low clouds, overcast, but can be scattered, ill defined edges, dog is stratus on the surface

Cumulus Clouds

Puffy, vertical development, isolated of clustered
DARK

Cirrocumulus

High, ice, small roundish white puffs, fish scales

Cirrostratus

thin, sheetlike high clouds, cover entire sky, halo of sun, ice

Altocumulus

Middle, water, gray, puffy often in bands (darker and lighter parts)

Altostratus

Middle ice and water!
dimly visible sun through light gray clouds, halo, no ground shadows

Nimbostratus

Low, water, light to mod rain or snow, gray, bottom is dark

Cumulonimbus

Cumulus clouds with precip, thunderstorm

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