iss test 2 - Lesson 5 Our atmosphere and Global Climate...

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Lesson 5 Our atmosphere and Global Climate Regions - Constant gases - maintain the same proportion on a constant basis. May have changed over long periods of time but are relatively the same over recent history. Nitrogen 78%, Oxygen 21%. - Variable gases –vary in proportion over time CO2 -plants absorb it and release oxygen for us to breathe. CO2 acts like a blanket over the Earth trapping heat transferred to the atmosphere by the Earth's surface. Fluctuations in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are thought to be a primary component of major climate change. When carbon dioxide levels are low, more heat escapes into space and the Earth cools. When carbon dioxide levels are high, in contrast, more heat is trapped and the Earth warms. Water vapor - water vapor is vital because it absorbs heat from the Sun. As vapor is moved around the planet by the currents within the atmosphere, the effect is to moderate temperature making life possible. The amount of water vapor in the air at any specific location depends upon many variables, but perhaps the most important is temperature. Warm air can hold more water vapor than cold air. Ozone – found in smaller percentage than water vapor. Made of 3 oxygen atoms when a oxygen combines with oxygen molecule. Ozone layer is important it keeps 95 – 99% of UV radiation away from earth. The largest-ever observed ozone depletion hole was seen in September 2006, and measured 10.6 million square miles. Depletion of the ozone layer has been linked to chlorofluorocarbons Particulates - pollutants, dust, volcanic ash released during volcanic eruptions. These reflect solar radiation and help form raindrops. They can affect our visibility. Primary air pollutants are carbon dioxide and water vapor (greenhouse gases), hydrocarbons (acid rain), carbon monoxide (poisonous to humans) , nitrogen oxide (ground level ozone and acid rain formation), sulfur oxides ( form acid rain). These are considered status symbol pollutants because in industrial areas. Major primary solid pollutants – iron, lead , copper, manganese, titanium, nickel, suspended wood - Impurities Layers of the atmosphere- atmosphere extends to 1000km = 600 mi above sea level Troposphere – lowest to earth, zone of the biosphere and active weather, containing almost all of the water vapor in the atmosphere. Earth's surface to between 8 and 18 km (~ 5 to 11 mi.) above sea level. It is warmed by longwave radiation that is emitted from Earth. The elevation of the upper limit of the troposphere, the tropopause, depends upon surface temperatures and pressures and so varies with season and latitude. The troposphere is thicker at the equator than at the poles and also thicker in summer than winter. Temperature decreases as altitude increases in the troposphere. Change in temp = lapse rate . As
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elevation increases in the atmosphere, the temperature drops 3.5° F per 1000 feet (positive lapse rate). At the tropopause, the temperature stops decreasing and begins to increase. Stratosphere
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This note was uploaded on 04/06/2011 for the course ISS 310 online taught by Professor Arbogast during the Spring '08 term at Michigan State University.

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iss test 2 - Lesson 5 Our atmosphere and Global Climate...

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