Chapter 1 (1.3)
Terms in this set (27)
What is the atmosphere?
An envelope of gases that surrounds the earth and includes the air you breathe.
What are the four layers of the atmosphere?
In order from above se level upward:
No one can say where the Earth's atmosphere ends. The gases simply get less dense...
...farther from the surface.
What is the atmosphere made up of?
1% water vapor, dust particles, and small amounts of other gases
What percent of the air is made up of carbon dioxide?
a mere 0.04 %
Why is Carbon dioxide a gas that is very important to life on Earth?
Carbon dioxide is one of the ingredients used by plants to make food. In this process plants ADD OXYGEN to the atmosphere.
How do MOST organisms obtain energy from food?
Most organisms use oxygen and give off carbon dioxide.
How else is carbon dioxide released into the air (beside by organisms)?
By volcanic eruptions and whenever fuels such as wood, coal and gasoline are burned.
What is the "greenhouse effect?"
Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases absorb, and thus trap, some of the thermal energy given off after Earth's surface is heated by sunlight.
What is the Troposphere?
-The layer of the atmosphere that touches the surface of Earth.
-Most of the gas molecules in the atmosphere are in the troposphere.
- extends to a height of about 8 to 18 km above Earth's surface
-contains most of the water vapor in the atmosphere
- The layer in which the weather occurs
What is an important factor in the climate of an area?
The winds that carry the weather across Earth.
What are prevailing winds caused by?
The rotation of Earth and by temperature differences.
Describe the Stratosphere including how far does it sits above Earth?
- Above the Troposphere, reaching a height of 50km above Earth, is the Stratosphere.
- Weather disturbances that are common in the Troposphere DO NOT occur in the Stratosphere.
-The upper Stratosphere contains a layer of gas called the ozone.
What is the ozone?
a form of oxygen gas containing 3 oxygen atoms per molecule.
The oxygen you breathe in the Troposphere contains only _______ oxygen atoms in each molecule?
Why is the ozone layer very important to living things?
- Because it filter out most of the ultraviolet, or UV radiation given off by the sun.
-Without the filtering action of the ozone layer, the sun's UV radiation would destroy much of the life on Earth.
Describe the Mesosphere including how far it is above Earth's surface?
- Above the Stratosphere is the Mesosphere
- It extends up to 85 km above Earth's surface
- it is the COLDEST layer of the atmosphere with temperatures as low as -100ºC
What is the outermost layer of the atmosphere?
How high do temperatures get in the Thermosphere?
*although air pressure is less ten one ten-thousandth of that on Earth's surface
What is one layer of the Thermosphere called and why?
- the ionosphere
-gas molecules in one layer of the thermosphere are bombarded with rays from the sun
- these rays cause the gas molecules to lose electrons and they become ions
- because of these ions, THIS LAYER of the Thermosphere is called the ionosphere
What is an "aurora" and why/where does it occur?
- When gas molecules interact with free electrons, light is given off resulting in a display called a "aurora."
-This occurs most often near the Earth's poles
What occurs in the thermosphere of the Northern Hemisphere?
An aurora borealis
What occurs in the thermosphere of the Southern Hemisphere?
An aurora australis
Which layer of the atmosphere contains the ionosphere? Why does this layer have this name?
The thermosphere. It has this name because gas molecules in one layer of the thermosphere are bombarded with rays from the sun. These rays cause the gas molecules to lose electrons and they become ions. Because of these ions it is called the ionosphere.
Why is the ozone layer important to living things?
Because it filters out most of the UV radiation given off by the sun. Without the filtering action of the ozone layer, the sun's UV radiation would destroy much of life on earth.
APPLY: People who live at sea level often have trouble breathing at the tops of high mountains. Why do you think this is true?
The gases get less dense the farther from the Earth's surface. This is why they have trouble breathing.
What happens in photosynthesis?
- Plants, algae and certain bacteria make sugars by combining carbon dioxide, water and energy from the sun.
- Animals and other organisms, including plants break down these sugars releasing CO2 (carbon dioxide), water and energy.
- In humans most of the energy is used to maintain body heat.
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