20 terms

Layers of the Atmosphere

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Atmosphere
Mixture of gases that surrounds Earth
- provides the oxygen that organisms need to live
-protects the earth from harmful UV radiation from the sun
Nitrogen
Makes-up 78% of the atmospheric gases
- Most common and abundant atmospheric gas
- is released when dead plants and dead animals break down and when volcanoes erupt
Oxygen
21% of atmospheric gases
-the second most common atmospheric gas
-is made by phytoplankton and plants- released when plants go through Photosynthesis
Carbon Dioxide and Water Vapor
greenhouse gases found in the atmosphere
Troposphere
-gases mix continuously in this layer
- the layer in which weather occurs
- contains 90% of the atmosphere's mass
-densest atmospheric layer
-lowest layer of the Earth's atmosphere
Stratosphere
home of the ozone layer
Ozone layers protects us from the sun's harmful UV ray
gases do not mix in this layer
Mesosphere
Coldest layer
Meteors burn up in this layer
Thermosphere
This layer has very high temperatures, but doesn't feel hot
-Divided into two layer (exosphere and ionosphere)
-Lowest air pressure-air very thin
-Energy from the sun strikes this layer first
Gravity
the force that holds the Earth's atmosphere around Earth
Air pressure
-Measure of the force with which air molecules push on a Earth, caused by Earth's gravitational pull
-Air pressure is greatest (strongest) at the Earth's surface (sea-level)
Altitude
Height, elevation, or distance above Earth's surface
Decreasing air pressure
air pressure Decreases with altitude ( the farther you go upward from Earth's surface the air pressure decreases)
Increasing air pressure
Air pressure Increases the closer you are to the Earth's surface
Greenhouse Effect
the warming of the surface and lower atmosphere of Earth that occur when water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other gases absorb and reradiate thermal energy (heat)
Global Warming
Gradual increase in average global temperature, due to an increase in greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere
-Burning of fossil fuels and deforestation may cause an increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere
Ionosphere
Lower level of the thermosphere, upper layer of the mesosphere
-contains electrically charged particles called ions
-radio waves bounce off the ions back to Earth in this layer
-Aurora borealis (Northern lights) occur in this layer
Exosphere
Outermost layer of the Earth-Outer layer of the thermosphere
-Communication satellites orbit in this layer
Meteorology
The study of the Earth's atmosphere
Weather
The condition of the Earth's atmosphere at a particular time and place (temperature, precipitation air pressure, wind speed, cloud coverage etc. )
Climate
The average, year-after-year conditions of temperature, precipitation, winds, and clouds in an area (tropical, polar, dry etc. )