Chapter15

Chapter15 - Air, Weather, and Climate After studying Ch15,...

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Air, Weather, and Climate After studying Ch15, you should understand Composition and structure of Earth’s atmosphere Climate El Niño, Greenhouse Effect, Coriolis force Weather Convection currents, Winds, Jet Streams, Cyclonic Storms Human actions that modify climate Pollutants, Global Climate Change
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Weather - physical conditions of the atmosphere Climate - long-term weather pattern in an area ± Weather and climate are primary determinants of biomes and ecosystem distribution Earliest atmosphere was made up of H and He ± Volcanic emissions have added C, N, S ± Most O 2 was accumulated from photosynthesis Air: Earth’s Atmosphere Inhale Exhale 78% N 2 75% N 2 21 % O 2 16 % O 2 0.97% inert gases (e.g., Ar) 0.97% inert gases 0.03 % CO 2 4 % CO 2 ~4% H 2 O vapor 4% H 2 O vapor numerous pollutants few pollutants
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1600 Earth’s Atmosphere
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A Layered Envelope Troposphere - 12.5 km at equator to 8.0 km at poles ± all weather occurs in troposphere ± Air temp drops rapidly with increasing altitude Stratosphere - relatively calm ± Extends to ~ 45 km ± Air temp stable or increasing with altitude ± H 2 O vapor is 1000x less and O 3 is 1000x more than in the troposphere Mesosphere – v. low temp (- 80 o C) Thermosphere – outermost, extends to ~ 1,600 km ± Ionized gases and high temperatures ± Ionosphere – in lower Thermosphere ² Aurora borealis (northern lights)
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Solar E drives Earth’s climate and weather
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Hot air rising Hot air rising Cool air sinking Cool air sinking … combined w/ rotation causes winds … combined w/ rotation causes winds c o n v e t i l s “prevailing winds” “prevailing winds”
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Climate = atmospheric conditions at a place or places on Earth. Climate in a very small local area such as a city, is the Microclimate . Local short term conditions are the Weather . Climatic factors include: Pressure - force per unit area. Pressure is Low at 60 o N/S latitude & equator; pressure is hi at 30 o latitude Temperature - relative hotness or coldness of air, water, soil, etc . Warmest near equator and coldest at poles and hi altitudes Relative Humidity - measure of how close the air is to being saturated w/ water vapor Earth's Rotation - combined w/ Pressure and T o helps create winds that in turn move clouds and cause climatic changes
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Convection Currents and Latent Heat Lighter (warmer) air rises
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This note was uploaded on 04/22/2008 for the course BIOL 103 taught by Professor Brown during the Spring '08 term at VCU.

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Chapter15 - Air, Weather, and Climate After studying Ch15,...

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