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the condition of Earth's atmosphere at a particular time and place


Overall weather in an area over a long period of time


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


chemical substance, found mainly in liquid coolants, that damages the earth's protective ozone layer

carbon dioxide

a chemical compound made from one atom of the element carbon and two atoms of the element oxygen.

fossil fuels

Combustible materials such as oil, coal and natural gas that are composed of the remains of formerly living material.

Sun Protection Factor

a number that refers to how much longer skin protected by a sunscreen can be exposed to the sun before becoming red(conpared to unprotected skin)


areas on the sun's surface that are cooler and less bright than surrounding areas, are caused by the sun's magnetic field, and occur in cycles

convection currents

the upward movement of warm air and the downward movement of cool air

global wind patterns

Air circulation at surface creates wind patterns (Earth's shape and rotation causes variable latitudinal wind deflections.)

greenhouse effect

process by which atmospheric gases trap heat close to Earth's surface and prevent it from escaping into space

global warming

An increase in the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere (especially a sustained increase that causes climatic changes)


mass per unit volume

barometric pressure

Pressure caused by the weight of the atmosphere. It decreases with increasing altitude.

relative humidity

The ratio of the amount of water in the air at a give temperature to the maximum amount it could hold at that temperature


measure of salt in water

UV radiation

damaging wave of light emitted by the sun - eads to cataracts in eyes, interferes with photosynthesis, kills phytoplankton, wakens the immune system

radiant energy

energy that travels in waves (includes solar energy, light energy)

El Nino

the name given to the periodic warming of the ocean that occurs in the central and eastern Pacific

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.


the reflective property of a non-luminous object

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