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Words for Chapter 17 Earth Science


the layer closest to Earth, where almost all weather occurs


the layer of the atmosphere that contains the ozone layer


the layer of the atmosphere between the stratosphere and the thermosphere and in which temperature decreases as altitude increases


The uppermost layer of the atmosphere, in which temperature increases as altitude increases


layer of electrically charged particles in the thermosphere that absorbs AM radio waves during the day and reflects them back at night


a form of oxygen that has three oxygen atoms in each molecule instead of two. protects us from dangerous ultraviolet radiation from the sun

Greenhouse Effect

natural situation in which heat is retained in Earth's atmosphere by carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, and other gases


energy that is radiated or transmitted in the form of rays or waves or particles


the direct transfer of heat from one substance to another substance that it is touching


the transfer of heat through a fluid (liquid or gas) caused by molecular motion


line on a map connecting points equal temperature values


a line drawn to connect points of equal atmospheric pressure

Summer Solstice

Day with the most hours of sunlight and the fewest hours of darkness

Winter Solstice

Day with the fewest hours of sunlight

Autumnal Equinox

The day of the year that marks the beginning of fall in the Northern hemisphere

Spring Equinox

the Earth's tilt is sideways toward the Sun and the hours of daylight are the same in both

Relative Humidity

the percentage of water vapor in the air compared to the maximum amount the air could hold

Dew Point

the temperature at which condensation begins

Condensation Level

the atmospheric level at which condensation occurs


measuring instrument for measuring the relative humidity of the atmosphere

Air Pressure

The measure of the force with which air molecules push on a surface

Jet Stream

narrow belt of strong winds that blows near the top of the troposphere

Trade Winds

prevailing winds that blow from east to west from 30 degrees latitude to the equator in both hemispheres


a strong wind that blows across east Asia at certain times of the year


a gauge for recording the speed and direction of wind

Air Mass

a large body of air with uniform characteristics horizontally


the atmospheric phenomenon created at the boundary between two different air masses

Cold Front

the front of an advancing mass of colder air

Warm Front

the front of an advancing mass of warmer air

Occluded Front

a composite front when colder air surrounds a mass of warm air and forces it aloft

Stationary Front

when a warm air mass and a cold air mass meet and no movement occurs


a tropical cyclone occurring in the western Pacific or Indian oceans


tropical storm with violent wind and heavy rain

Saffir-Simpson Scale

Classifies hurricanes according to wind speed, air pressure in the center, and potential for property damage


the earth science dealing with phenomena of the atmosphere

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