Chapter 11 - Atmosphere

Meteorology Unit
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Terms in this set (...)

Atmosphere
The blanket of gases surrounding earth that contains about 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% other gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, and argon.
Ozone
Absorbs ultraviolet radiation emitted from the Sun. It is made up of three oxygen atoms (O3) that exist in the stratosphere, the second layer in the atmosphere.
Troposphere
The layer of the atmosphere that is closest to Earth's surface. This is where most of the mass of the atmosphere is found, where most weather takes place, and where the majority of air pollution collects.
Stratosphere
The layer of the Earth's atmosphere that is made up primarily of concentrated ozone and is located directly above the tropopause.
Tropopause
The small region of transition between the Troposphere, atmospheric layer closest to Earth, and the Stratosphere; the second closest layer of the atmosphere.
Stratopause
The small region of transition between the Stratosphere, the second closest atmospheric layer, and the Mesosphere; the third closest layer of the atmosphere.
Convection
The transfer of energy by the flow of a heated substance (occurs with liquids and/or gases).
Conduction
The energy transfer that occurs when molecules collide with each other; takes place only when substances are in contact with each other.
Radiation
The energy transfer through space by visible light, ultraviolet radiation, and other forms of electromagnetic waves (occurs with gases only).
Heat
The energy transfer that occurs because of a difference in temperature between substances. This energy flow moves from the object with a higher temperature to a object with a lower temperature.
Temperature
The measurement of how quickly or how slowly molecules move around. This is typically measure in degrees Celsius or Kelvin.
Temperature Inversion
When temperature increases with height in atmospheric level which is the opposite of normal conditions: this can worsen pollution problems.
Dew Point
The temperature at which condensation can occur because the air is cooled at a constant pressure and has reached saturation.
Condensation
The process by which a cooling gas changes into a liquid and releases thermal energy.
Humidity
The amount of water vapor in air.
Relative Humidity
The ratio of water vapor contained in a specific volume of air compared with how much water vapor the air can actually hold.
Saturation
The point at which air is holding as much water vapor as it possibly can. AKA 100% relative humidity.
Lifted Condensation Level (LCL)
Altitude where air is cooled to the dew point temperature causing condensation and clouds to form. It is level with the bottom of the clouds.
Condensation Nuclei
Small particles in the air, either dust or water droplets, around which cloud droplets can form.
Orographic Lifting
The process by which air is lifted over mountains until it cools and reaches saturation. At this point, condensation can occur.
Frontal Wedging
When two fronts collide and the warm air is forced over the colder air because it is less dense. This forced rising of air can produce rain.
Latent Heat
The stored amount of energy in water vapor that is released to warm the atmosphere until condensation takes place.
Cirrus
Clouds that are thin, wispy, and feathery
Cumulus
Puffy/ Cotton Ball Clouds
Stratus
Clouds that appear flat and cover the entire sky/horizon.
Cumulonimbus
Storm clouds
Collision Coalescence
The process when cloud droplets collide to form a larger droplet that will eventually become to heavy to be held up and will fall to the ground.
Precipitation
All solid and liquid forms of water, snow, rain, hail, sleet, that fall from clouds.
Evaporation
The change of a substance from a liquid to a gas.
Water Cycle
The continual movement of water between Earth's surface and the atmosphere through evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.
Strato
Low level clouds below 2000 meters
Alto
Mid Level Clouds. Found 2,000-6,000 meters
Cirro
Very high clouds. Bases start above 6,000 meters
Stable Atmosphere
An air mass that does not rise.
Unstable Atmosphere
An air mass that rises.
Wind
One method by which heat flows between air masses of different temperatures.
Mesosphere
The layer of Earth's atmosphere directly above the Stratopause and Stratosphere.
Thermosphere
The layer of Earth's atmosphere that is located above the Mesopause and only contains a very small portion of the mass of the atmosphere.
Mesopause
The small region of transition between the Mesosphere, the third atmospheric layer, and the Thermosphere the furthest out layer of the atmosphere.
Exosphere
The boundary line between the atmosphere and space.
Thermopause
Another name for the exosphere: Boundary between our atmosphere and space
Evapotranspiration
A combination of evaporation and water loss from plants entering the atmosphere.