Lesson 5 - Key Terms and Concepts A note The following terms and concepts are introduced in this lesson You are responsible for understanding these

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Key Terms and Concepts A note : The following terms and concepts are introduced in this lesson. You are responsible for understanding these terms and concepts as they will provide you with a foundation for future discussions. While you may not specifically see some of these terms or concepts on the upcoming exam, you will see them again in future lessons and exams. It is up to you to know them. This list is provided as a tool for studying and by no means does it address everything that you may be asked on the upcoming exam. - Constant gases - Variable gases - Ozone - Impurities - Layers of the atmosphere - Atmospheric pressure - Low and high pressure systems - Cyclones, anticyclones - Coriolis force - Equatorial low-pressure trough - ITCZ - Subtropical high - Polar front - Polar high - Seasonal migration of pressure systems - Local wind systems - Ocean circulation - Global climate regions A follow-up: You'll be able to test your understanding with the lesson's Self-assessment . Tip: If you need help developing effective studying strategies for this course, take a look at the "Tips for doing well in this course" page (in the Getting Started folder). Remember : Take notes! And, talk to people (your Instructor, classmates, friends, family, etc.) about what you've learned -- it will help your understanding of the material to explain it to others. Composition of the Atmosphere In this lesson, we will continue to explore the physical environment so that we can begin to understand how people interact with it. An adequate understanding of the physical environment requires comprehension of the overall character of the atmosphere.
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The Earth's atmosphere is unique in our solar system because it gives Earth the ability to support life, providing oxygen and carbon dioxide for animal and plant respiration, respectively. In addition, the atmosphere serves as a buffer that shields the Earth from the negative effects of solar radiation. Although the atmosphere is generally invisible, it behaves as a fluid in much the same manner as water, with currents and eddies that affect day-to-day weather. However, before you can begin to learn about the behavior of the atmosphere, it is essential to grasp the atmosphere's overall composition. "From space, Earth's atmosphere looks like a thin blue veil. ...This fragile, nearly transparent envelope of gases supplies the air that we breathe each day. It also regulates the global temperature and filters out dangerous levels of solar radiation." Image source: " The Thin Blue Veil " ACDISC-NASA. [December 2008] The atmosphere contains a variety of elements that can be subdivided into:
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(1) constant gases ; (2) variable gases ; and (3) impurities . Constant gases
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This note was uploaded on 12/13/2010 for the course ISS 215 taught by Professor Lang during the Spring '06 term at Michigan State University.

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Lesson 5 - Key Terms and Concepts A note The following terms and concepts are introduced in this lesson You are responsible for understanding these

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