Weather & Climate: Review

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Science: Mr. Bettoncourt - Unit: Weather and Climate - Test: 1.14.11 for A/B/C/D. *NOTE: I added a few extra terms, just incase we need to know them.

Earth's atmosphere

the layer of gases that surrounds our planet

thermometer

an instrument used to measure temperature, consisting of a thin, glass tube with a bulb on one end that contains a liquid (usually mercury or alcohol)

barometer

an instrument that is used to measure changes in air pressure (2 kinds)

troposphere

where Earth's weather occurs (0 to 12 km)

stratosphere

the ozone layer absorbs ultraviolet radiation (12 to 50 km)

mesosphere

-90 degrees C, meteoroids burn up and produce meteor trails (50 to 80 km)

thermosphere

1,800 degrees C, very thin air and has no definite outer limit (above 80 km)

exosphere

the outer layer of the atmosphere, satellites are located here

ionosphere

the aurora borealis occurs here (80 to 550 km)

ozone layer

absorbs most of the ultraviolet radiation in the stratosphere

greenhouse effect

the process by which gases in the atmosphere that trap heat

temperature

the average amount of energy of motion in the molecules of a substance

thermal energy

the total amount of energy of motion in the molecules of a substance

radiation

the direct transfer of energy by electromagnetic waves (heat traveling to your hands from a campfire)

convection

the transfer of heat by movement of a fluid (drying boots over a hot air vent even though the furnace is in another room)

conduction

the direct transfer of heat from one substance to another substance that it is touching (hot sand under cold feet)

wind

the horizontal movement of air from an area of high pressure to an area of lower pressure

local winds

winds that blow over short distance

global winds

winds that blow steadily from specific directions over long distances

sea breeze

the flow of air from an ocean or lake to land

land breeze

the flow of air from land to a body of water

humidity

a measure of the amount of water vapor in the air

relative humidity

percentage of water vapor that is actually in the air compared to the maximum amount of water vapor the air can hold at a particular temperature

how do clouds form

when water vapor in the air condenses to form liquid water or ice crystals

cumulonimbus clouds

form tornadoes and hurricanes when warm air is forced upward at a cold front

cirrus clouds

clouds that form at above about 6 kilometers where temperatures are very low and are therefore made of ice crystals

precipitation

any form of water that falls from clouds and reaches Earth's surface

evaporation

the process by which water molecules in liquid water escape into the air as water vapor

condensation

the process by which molecules of water vapor in the air become liquid water

heating of the troposphere

convection currents happen when cold air is more dense than warm air

anemometer

an instrument used to measure wind speed

Coriolis effect

the way Earth's rotation makes winds in the Northern Hemisphere curve to the right and winds in the Southern Hemisphere curve to the left

polar air mass

cold air mass with low air pressure

tropical air mass

warm air mass with high air pressure

maritime air mass

air mass that forms over the oceans

continental air mass

air mass that forms over the continents

weather associated with low pressure

stormy and cloudy

cold front

when a rapidly moving cold air mass runs into a slowly moving warm air mass, and the denser colder air slides under the lighter warmer air

warm front

when a rapidly moving warm air mass collides with a slowly moving cold air mass, and the lighter warmer air moves over the denser colder air

hurricane

a tropical cyclone that has winds of 119 kilometers per hour or higher

tornado

a rapidly whirling, funnel-shaped cloud that reaches down from a storm cloud to touch Earth's surface

cyclone

a swirling center of low air pressure where winds spiral inwards, counterclockwise

meteorologist

a scientist that studies the causes of weather and tries to predict it

isobars

lines joining places on the map that have the same air pressure

isotherms

lines joining places on the map that have the same temperature

El Niño

an event that occurs every two to seven years in the Pacific Ocean, during which winds shift and push warm surface water toward the coast of South America, and that can cause dramatic climate changes

density

the amount of mass in a given volume of air

two factors that determine weather

precipitation and prevailing winds

winter

the south end of Earth's axis is tilted toward the sun, and the Southern Hemisphere receives more energy from the sun - it's winter in the Northern Hemisphere

fall

neither end of Earth's axis is tilted toward the sun, so both hemispheres receive the same amount of energy

spring

neither end of Earth's axis is tilted toward the sun, so both hemispheres receive the same amount of energy

summer

the north end of Earth's axis is tilted toward the sun, and the Northern Hemisphere receives more energy from the sun - it's summer in the Northern Hemisphere

seasons

the results of Earth's tilted axis - they change as the amount of energy each hemisphere receives from the sun changes

four factors that determine climate

latitude, altitude, distance from bodies of water, and ocean currents

Global warming

a gradual increase in the temperature of Earth's atmosphere

What are causes for different temperatures in different areas?

Latitude, altitude, distance from bodies of water and ocean currents affect the different temperature in different climates, and prevailing winds and the presence of mountains affect the precipitation in different climates.

Explain winds.

Winds are the horizontal movement of air from an area of high pressure to an area of lower pressure. There are two types of winds: local winds (blow over a small area) and global winds (blow over a larger area).

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