GPH 111 FINAL
Terms in this set (49)
List the four layers of the atmosphere defined by temperature. What does the temperature profile look like in each of these layers?
Troposhere: temperature/pressure drop as you go up
Stratosphere: gets warmer as you go up, because ozone
What is the composition of the air around you?
Nitrogen - 78% by weight - Inert Oxygen - 21% argon-.9%
What is ozone, and what is its importance? How has humankind affected ozone in the stratosphere?
ozone: gas containing 3 oxygen atoms; absorbs UV radiation from the sun protecting the inhabitants of Earth, located in stratosphere mostly at altitudes below 48 km
Understand how photochemical smog is produced? What damaging pollutants are in smog.
Photochemical smog is formed when primary pollutants react with ultraviolet light to create a variety of toxic and reactive compounds.
How do temperature inversions form, and how do they affect air pollution?
Temperatures decrease with increasing altitude. When this normal cycle is present, it is considered an unstable air mass and air constantly flows between the warm and cool areas. The air is able to mix around and spread around pollutants.
What are transmission, scattering, and refraction?
transmission: passage of energy through atmosphere or water
scattering: changing direction of lights movement without altering its wavelengths
refraction: change in speed and direction of light
What is albedo, and why is it important to the radiation balance?
reflectivity important to solar radiation if albedo is high will go right back out to space if earth was made of material that looked perfectly white earth would be colder means if you get rid of white glaciers earth will get hotter
albedo is Reflective Property of a Surface or Body. Reflects Solar Radiation. Light Colors have higher Albedo and Dark Colors have lower Albedo. (think white cools fast reflects easier, black soaks in heat reflects harder)
Why is the sky blue and sunsets red? How are rainbows formed?
sunlight is scattered by air molecules→ air molecules are much smaller than wavelengths→ shorter wavelengths scatter more effectively→ color we see is dominated by short visible wavelengths blue dominates over violet because our eyes are more sensitive to blue light
we see red at sunset because in a clean atmosphere scattering by gases removes short visible wavelengths, sun appears red more scattering occurs and only long wavelengths make it through particle concentrations are high
What happens to incoming shortwave radiation from the sun and outgoing longwave radiation from the earth's surface?
SW rad can be absorbed by the atmosphere, reflected by clouds, particles, air molecules, it can be transmitted to surface and reflect back to space LW Rad Escapes through atmosphere to space and cools planet, Absorbed by gases and clouds in the atmosphere
What is "Net R"? If Net R is positive where does this energy go (three types)?
Net Incoming Radiation → balance at the surface of earth all the radiation
input: can have short wave which is solar radiation or longwave radiation in cloud or atmosphere itself
output: reflection shortwave out
if positive (almost every spot on earth) energy is building up and going to heat ground, air, or evaporate
high net R → not likely evaporation
sensible heat when it heats the air
Understand how radiation budgets are different at a desert surface versus a highly vegetated or agricultural land surface.
high albedo→ desert
low albedo→ rainforest/lots of vegetation / urban area
The radiation budget is the balance between the incoming energy from the sun and the outgoing energy from the Earth. Highly vegetated surfaces are able to absorb more energy and reflect less, because the plants use that energy to grow.
Explain the atmospheric greenhouse effect.
Atmosphere absorbs heat energy
A real greenhouse traps heat inside
Atmosphere delays transfer of heat
from Earth into space
How do clouds affect shortwave and longwave radiation? How do they affect nighttime and daytime temperatures?
Low clouds have a high albedo so they reflect short waves thus cooling the temperatures during the day but trap longwave radiation at night making warmer nights.
Understand the different means by which heat can be transported: conduction, convection, advection, radiation, latent energy?
1: conduction: molecule to molecule transfer (very slow)
2: convection: energy transferred by movement (efficient)
3: advection: horizontally dominant movement
4: radiation: energy traveling through air and space
5: latent: the heat released or absorbed by a body during a change of state without change of temperature. (water to steam)
What is an urban heat island, and what causes it?
we live in a urban heat island
Skyscrapers, asphalt, and the removal of natural environment with higher Albedo. The urban area absorbs and traps heat, leading to a more constant temperature. During the night, Phoenix retains more of its heat, making it a heat island.
What's the difference between temperature and heat?
Heat vs Tempe:
temperature: the average kinetic energy of individual atoms and molecules
heat: is the total kinetic energy of the molecules or atoms composing a substance
Why are temperatures cooler at greater latitudes and elevations?
Greater latitudes get less direct sunlight; greater elevations have less air, so less heat can be held
Explain the differences between heating of land versus water? Transparency, specific heat, evaporation, mobility.
What are the differences between marine and continental climates, and what explains these differences?
water high heat capacity → have to add a lot of energy to heat
hydrogen bonding hard to raise temperature, transparent, distributed over large volume, evaporation
continental temperatures have big variability
What is the thermal equator, and where is it in January and July?
January: thermal equator movement is southward July: thermal equator movement is northward Thermal equator very similar to where the ITCZ is. Where intense radiation is hitting the Earth
Where are seasonal temperature ranges the greatest, and why?
inside the continents, away from oceans. Siberia, Northern Canada Because there isn't any water to regulate the temperature
What is the purpose of wind chill and the heat index
Wind chill: correlates cold and wind speed
Heat index: correlates heat and humidity
What is a barometer
an instrument measuring atmospheric pressure, used especially in forecasting the weather and determining altitude.
What is a pressure gradient and how does it force air to move?
is a physical quantity that describes which direction and at what rate the pressure changes the most rapidly around a particular location
How is the Coriolis force produced? Which direction is it in the northern and southern hemispheres?
The main cause of the Coriolis effect is the earth's rotation. As the earth spins in a counter-clockwise direction on its axis anything flying or flowing over a long distance above its surface is deflected
As latitude increases and the speed of earths rotation decreases, Coriolis effect increase
Northern Hemisphere, objects deflect to the right while in the Southern Hemisphere they deflect to the left
What is the geostrophic balance? What is the pattern of geostrophic winds?
Geostrophic balance- when pressure gradient (intial cause of all air movement) force is balanced by Coriolis
Geostrophic winds only work in middle latitudes. not at equator or poles
When you add frictional force near earths surface, how is the pattern of geostrophic winds changed? So what does a cyclone and anticyclone look like in the northern and southern hemispheres?
What are the equatorial low pressure trough (ITCZ), subtropical high-pressure cells, subpolar low-pressure cells, and polar high-pressure cells? What is the pattern of winds and rain produced by these high and low pressure areas (e.g. Trade Winds, westerlies, etc.)?
What are Rossby waves and jet streams?
oscillations (zero at equator gets larger as it gets away) termed robby waves periodically develop cold polar air pushes into the lower latitudes forming troughs of low pressure surface weather is most influences under these conditions
Jet streams are fast flowing, narrow air currents found in the atmospheres. Rossby waves are waves within the jetstream caused by the Coriolis effect
Explain the daily pattern of land-sea breezes and mountain winds?
sea breeze: is a cool breeze that develops over land near coasts. It is formed by increasing temperature differences between the land and water; these create a pressure minimum over the land due to its relative warmth, and force higher pressure, cooler air from the sea to move inland. Generally, air temperature gets cooler relative to nearby locations as one moves closer to a large body of water
land breeze: temperature differences between a body of water and neighboring land produce a cool wind that blows offshore.most common during the fall and winter seasons when water temperatures are still fairly warm and nights are cool
mountain winds: Day time- warm air rises
night time- cool air drops
What drives the sea surface gyres. What is westward intensification and how does it produce the Gulf Stream and Kuroshio currents?
western intensification → piling up of water along west side, western downward currents in the world
Subtropical high drives sea surface gyres. Westward intensification pushes warm water from the equator.
What drives thermohaline circulation and how is it related to the solubility pump?
What are the solubility pump and the biological pump and how are they related to atmospheric CO2?
solubility pump: is a physico-chemical process that transports carbon (as dissolved inorganic carbon) from the ocean's surface to its interior. biological pump:is the ocean's biologically driven sequestration of carbon from the atmosphere to the deep sea
What is hydrogen bonding and what unique properties does it impart to water?
is the electromagnetic attractive interaction between polar molecules, in which hydrogen (H) is bound to a highly electronegative atom, such as nitrogen (N), oxygen (O) or fluorine (F). it is responsible for boiling water
What is relative humidity and what does 100% relative humidity mean? Dew point?
how filled is the air with water vapor ; at 100% when the air is completely saturated with water vapor; when at 100% it has reached dew point (decreasing air temperature)
How does relative humidity change during a day?
decreasing air temperature
What is adiabatic heating and cooling, and how does adiabatic cooling lead to cloud formation?
, adiabatic cooling is often associated with elevation. As seen with cloud formations, an air mass that is heated expands and becomes less dense. Being less dense, it is lighter and rises above a higher-pressure air mass. Having reached areas with less dense air, it further expands, losing energy that was gained, and cooling as it does so. When the cooling air crosses the dew point, moisture in the air accumulates as clouds. With enough moisture and cooling comes precipitation. The principles of adiabatic cooling are also applied to increase humidity in facilities.
What is atmospheric stability and how is it related to the dry, moist, and environmental lapse rates?
When the atmosphere is stable, a parcel of air will want to return to its original position after being raised or lowered.
The atmosphere is absolutely stable when the environmental lapse rate is less than the moist adiabatic lapse rate. (cool)
ENVIRONMENTAL LAPSE RATE <<<< MOIST
An unstable layer would have a lapse rate greater than the dry adiabatic lapse rate. (warm)
LAPSE RATE >>>>> DRY
In conditionally unstable layer, the environmental lapse rate is between the moist adiabatic and the dry adiabatic lapse rates.
MOIST LAPSE DRY
Be able to describe the main cloud types: cumulus, stratus, cirrus, and the meaning of the following prefixes and suffixes: (alto-, -nimbus-, cirro-)
cumulus: Cumulus clouds are a genus-type of low-level cloud that can have noticeable vertical development and clearly defined edges
Stratus: More specifically, the term stratus is used to describe flat, hazy, featureless clouds of low altitude varying in color from dark gray to nearly white
cirrus: Cirrus is a genus of atmospheric cloud generally characterized by thin, wispy strands
alto-middle level clouds
nimbus- a precipitating cloud
cirro- "high cloud"
Understand how advection fog, radiation fog, evaporation fog and valley fog are formed.
Advection Fog- Moist warm air is chilled to dew point as it moves into colder area
Radiation Fog- wet ground at night is cooled by longwave radiation from earth surface- wet air near ground is chilled to below dew point
Valley fog- cold air drains down from mountains into valley
What is virga?
a mass of streaks of rain appearing to hang under a cloud and evaporating before reaching the ground.
A streak of precipitation that falls from a cloud but evaporates before hitting the ground.
Understand the four most common atmospheric lifting mechanism and what effect they have on cloud formation and precipitation
convergent: low pressure area
convectional lifting : local surfaces(warm air)
frontal: cold front
What are air masses?
Air mass- a large body of air that has similar temperature and moisture properties
Air masses are high pressure centers and require stagnant air over a homogeneous
(land or water) surface for an extended period of time.
Understand the air mass naming convention, and the six general air masses that affect North America
first lettter: m=Medetarrian, moist c=continetal dry ; second letter P=polar(cold) T=tropical(warm) A=arctic E=Equatoria
1. mP ; 2. cA ; 3. cP; 4. mT ;
Be able to explain what cold and warm fronts are, and understand the general pattern of clouds, atmospheric pressure, precipitation, and temperature associated with passage of these fronts.
Cold front- leading edge of a cold air mass.
Boundaries between cP and mT. cP is advancing.
Warm front- leading edge of a warm air mass. Boundaries between mT and cP.mT is advancing. When cold front is on the ways its warm and sunny, when it is there its raining, and when its gone its cold and sunny
What is a midlatidude cyclone? Be able to show the development of a midlatidude cyclone as well as the pattern of winds and temperature.
weather systems that occur in the middle latitudes of the Earth not having tropical characteristics, and are connected with fronts and horizontal gradients in temperature and dew point otherwise known as "baroclinic zones".
middle latitudes (30-55 N/S)
How is hail formed?
Hail is formed when very strong thunderstorm updrafts meet supercooled water droplets. Supercooled water droplets are liquid water drops that are surrounded by air that is below freezing, and they're a common occurrence in thunderstorms
How does a tornado form? What is the Fujita scale?
When warm air goes up at a rapid pace and cool air remains at the earth's surface, a tornado can form depending on winds coming from two different directions. Tornadoes start in the air and are most dangerous when the touch ground.
Fujita: a scale of tornado severity with numbers from 0 to 6, based on the degree of observed damage.
How does a hurricane generate large amounts of energy?
The energy produced is measured by the amount of water produced by the hurricane and its subsequent condensation — the measurement is called the "latent heat of condensation."
What factors produce storm surge, and why is storm surge strongest to the east of the eyewall in hurricanes?
storm surge is the flooding created by high waves and rise in sea level those two things are created by strong winds.
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