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the movements of the atmosphere are sufficient to keep large quantity of solid and liquid particles suspended within it
- collectively these tiny solid & liquid articles are called aerosols


2 gases : nitrogen and oxygen make up 99% of the volume of clean , dry air


the fraction of the total radiation that is reflected by a surface is called its albedo

autumnal equinox

equinoxes occur midway between the solstices
- September 22 or 23 is the date of the autumnal equinox

circle of illumination

the line separating the dark half of earth from the lighted half


based on observations that have been accumulated over many years
- the average weather


is the transfer of heat through matter by molecular activity


total energy that radiates from the sun, they are only part of a large array of energy called electromagnetic radiation

element(of weather and climate)

1) air temperature
3) type and amount of cloudiness
4) type and amount of precipitation
5) air pressure
6) speed and direction of wind

environmental lapse rate

the temperature decrease in the troposphere is called the environmental lapse rate

greenhouse effect

not the same thing as global warming
- gases get trapped in our atmosphere


id defined as the total kinetic energy of all atoms or molecules that make up a substance

inclination of the axis

earth's axis is not perpendicular
- instead it's tilted
-if it weren't tilted there would be no season changes


longer wave length
- can not be seen but which we can detect as heat


temperatures again decrease with height until, at the mesopause , more than 50 miles above the surface the temperature reaches -90 Celsius


important component of the atmosphere
- crucial to people on earth
- absorbs harmful (UV) rays from the sun


radiates fro the sun, large array of energy
- or electromagnetic radiation


is the process whereby light bounces back from an object at the same angle at which it encounters a surface with the same intensity


refers to the movement of earth in its orbit around the sun


is the spinning of earth on its axis


produces a larger # of weaker rays that travel in different directions

spring equinox

- march 21 or 22 is the date of the spring equinox


- beyond the tropopause
- the temp remains constant to height of 12 miles , and begins to gradually increase until the statopause

summer solstice

- june 21 or 22
- the official date summer starts


is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the individual atoms or molecules in a substance


- the fourth layer extends outward from the mesopause and as no well defined upper limit
- a layer that contains only a tiny fraction of the atmosphere's mass

tropic of cancer

vertical rays of the sun strike north of the equator

tropic of Capricorn

the suns vertical rays strike 23 1/2 south latitude
- this parall is known as the tropic of Capricorn


the bottom layer in which we live, where temperatures decrease with an increase in altitude

(UV) ultraviolet

the closest invisible waves to violet
- dangerous to humans

visible light

is the only portion of the spectrum we can see


- is constantly changing, sometimes from hour to hour and at times from day to day
- it is a term that refers to the state of the atmosphere at a given time and place

winter solstice

- December 21 or 22
- the first day of winter

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