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chapter 1 meteorology
Terms in this set (80)
the study of the atmosphere and the processes that produce weather and climate
Conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time and is constantly changing
Is the average weather at a given place over a long period of time.
• Hypothesis (tentative or untested explanation)
• Theory (tested and confirmed hypothesis)
• Paradigm (a theory that explains a large number of interrelated aspects of the natural world)
• Scientific method
• Gather facts through observation
• Formulate hypotheses and theories
atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, biosphere
The geosphere consists of the solid Earth. It extends from the surface to the center, which is approximately 6400 km. By far the LARGEST of the spheres.
Thin tenuous blanket of gases. 99% of the atmosphere is within 30 km of Earth's surface. Why? It protects the Earth. Weather occurs in the atmosphere.
Oceans make up 71% the Earth's surface. About 97% of Earth's water. Additional parts of the hydrosphere: Lakes, rivers, streams, glaciers, underground water
The biosphere includes all life on Earth. Concentrated near the surface in a zone that extends from the ocean floor upward for several kilometers into the atmosphere. On the ocean floor, in boiling hot springs, in air currents in the lower atmosphere
Composition of the atmosphere:
Air is a mixture of discrete gases. Major components of clean, dry air •Nitrogen (N2 ) - 78%
• Oxygen (O2 ) - 21%]
• Argon and other gases
• Carbon dioxide (CO2 ) - 0.0391% - absorbs heat energy from Earth
• The composition varies from time to time
Variable components of air
water vapor, aerosols, ozone
Water in the form of gas. Up to about 4% of the air's volume. Forms clouds and precipitation. Absorbs heat energy from Earth.
Tiny solid and liquid particles. Water vapor can condense on solids. Reflect sunlight. Help color sunrise and sunset.
Three atoms of oxygen (O3). Distribution not uniform • There is much less ozone in the lower atmosphere. Concentrated between 10 to 50 kilometers above the surface. Absorbs harmful solar UV radiation. There is much less ozone in the lower atmosphere. At higher altitudes (10-50 km), ozone absorbs UV radiation. Human activity is depleting ozone by adding pollutants.
CFCs break down ozone in the upper atmosphere. CFCs are common in refrigerants and aerosol products.
Importance of ozone:
It causes more UV radiation to reach the surface. UV radiation is known to cause cancer. It impacts the human immune system. UV radiation can also promote cataracts.
Its the weight of the air above. Average sea level pressure. Slightly more than 1,000 millibars. About 14.7 pounds per square inch. Pressure decreases with altitude. One-half of the atmosphere is below 3.5 miles (5.6 km). Ninety percent of the atmosphere is below 10 miles (16 km)
Layers of the atmosphere:
Heterosphere, homosphere, ionosphere, troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere. A further region at about 500 km above the Earth's surface is called the exosphere.
The upper layer of earth's atmosphere, which exists higher than roughly 80 kilometers (50 miles) above sea level
The lower layer of earth's atmosphere, which exists from ground level to roughly 80 kilometers (50 miles) above sea level
Layer of electrically charged particles in the thermosphere that absorbs AM radio waves during the day and reflects them back at night.
The lowest/bottom layer of the atmosphere. 0-17 km above Earth's surface, site of weather, organisms, contains most atmospheric water vapor. (temperature decreases with increasing altitude, pressure decreases). Contains nearly all weather and clouds
t The second-lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere. 12 to 50 km, Ozone is held here, it absorbs UV radiation. Outer boundary is named the stratosphere.
Third layer of the atmosphere. The strong, lower part of the mantle between the asthenosphere and the outer core. 50 km to 80 km. Temperature decreases. Outer boundary is named mesospause.
The region of the atmosphere above the mesosphere and below the height at which the atmosphere ceases to have the properties of a continuous medium. The thermosphere is characterized throughout by an increase in temperature with height.
Environmental lapse rate
The temperature decrease in the troposphere. The rate of cooling with increasing altitude in the troposphere. Unique to all locations. 6.5 C per kilometer, 3.5 F per 1000 feet.
Reason for temperature changes in each atmospheric layer:
Decrease in the Troposphere: caused by abrupt pressure decrease (environmental lapse rate), and greenhouse gasses near the surface absorbing infrared terrestrial radiation
• Increase in Stratosphere: cause by the Ozone Layer absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation
• Decrease in Mesosphere: caused by decrease in pressure
• Increase in Thermosphere: due to this layer being the first to interact with solar radiation, and N2 and O2 absorb any infrared solar radiation.
Auroras (the northern and southern lights):
Aurora borealis (northern hemisphere)
• Aurora australis (southern hemisphere)
• Occur in the ionosphere
• Earth's magnetic field deflects solar winds towards poles.
• Auroras emit light.
A testable prediction, often implied by a theory
A hypothesis that has been tested with a significant amount of data
a model or example
The best definition of the term climate is:
A comprehensive statistical analysis of aggregate weather conditions for a specific region
The basic elements of weather and climate include all of the following EXCEPT:
The chemical composition of the air
Measuring weather elements:
Weather and climate are expressed in the same elements. • Air temperature
• Air humidity
• Type and amount of clouds
• Type and amount of precipitation
• Air pressure
• Speed and direction of wind
In the process of scientific inquiry, a theory is best defined as:
A hypothesis that has been extensively tested and is generally accepted by the scientific community
Most of all water on Earth is located in the:
1.5 Most freshwater on Earth is stored in:
What percentage of all water on Earth is freshwater?
What is the most abundant gas in Earth's atmosphere?
Which of the following gases is NOT a variable (trace) gas?
Scientists believe that a growing amount of this gas in the atmosphere will probably bring about a warming of the lower atmosphere.
Water vapor represents what percentage of the air in the troposphere?
Less than 4 percent
Which of the following is the most important atmospheric gas with regard to Earth's weather?
Are generated by both anthropogenic (human activities) and natural processes.
May play a role in cloud formation.
May influence air temperature.
Include sea-salt crystals.
Which one of the following atmospheric gases in the stratosphere is most important for absorbing ultraviolet radiation?
Atmospheric pressure is caused by:
the weight of the air above
With an increase in altitude, air pressure:
decreases at a decreasing rate
1.16 The rate at which temperature decreases with increasing altitude in the troposphereis known as the:
Environmental lapse rate
The troposphere is most likely to be thickest:
Over the equator
The "weather sphere" of the atmosphere is the:
1.19 As we increase in elevation through the troposphere, stratosphere, and mesosphere, in general terms, the temperature should change with elevation in the following order:
Decrease, increase, decrease
The aurora borealis:
Emits light as electrons move from higher orbits around the nucleus to lower ones
3 Atoms of oxygen bonded together.
Amount of this gas can vary from 4% to less than 1% of the gases in the atmosphere.
Absorbs ultraviolet radiation
By product of the burning of fossil fuels.
On the average, this gas makes up 78% of the gases in the atmosphere (by volume).
Along with carbon dioxide, this gas helps heat the near surface atmosphere.
97% of this gas is concentrated in the stratosphere.
The most abundant gas in the stratosphere.
Which layer has the greatest concentration of ozone?
Which layer has the greatest concentration of water vapor?
Which layer has the warmest temperature?
Which layer has the coldest temperature?
Which layer has the greatest drop in pressure with increasing altitude.
Which layer has the thinnest air (greatest distance between molecules).
Which layer is the aurora in?
Which layer is the ionosphere in?
Which layer is the heterosphere in?
Which layer has the greatest concentration of carbon dioxide.
Calculate the temperature with altitude
6.5 C per 1 km and 3.5 F per 1000ft
Why is the ozone layer so important for life on Earth?
Ozone absorb harmful ultraviolet radiation
Which layer of Earth's atmosphere contains nearly all weather components (IE clouds, precipitation, winds, etc.)?
In which specific layer of Earth's atmosphere do the auroras occur?
What term is used in the scientific method for a tentative or untested explanation otherwise known as an educated guess or possible answer to a question?
The solid portion of Earth (Rock and Mineral)
Liquid portion of Earth
Gaseous portion of Earth
Living portion of Earth
What is the main cause for the decrease in temperature with increasing altitude in the troposphere (environmental lapse rate)?
Atmosphereic pressure is decreasing rapidly with increasing altitude
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