The Atmosphere - Reading: Chap 1.1, 1.2, 1.4 The Atmosphere...

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08/06/09 1 The Atmosphere Characterized by Chemical composition – Major components: N 2 , O 2 , Ar Trace gases Aerosols Physical phenomena Solar radiation, terrestrial thermal radiation and energy balance Atmospheric zones Atmospheric density Atmospheric pressure Reading: Chap 1.1, 1.2, 1.4
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08/06/09 2 Chemical Composition Atmosphere is a mixture of gases and particulate-phase substances Most abundant Nitrogen (78 %) Oxygen (21 %) Trace gases and aerosols make up approximately 1 % (Table 1.1) Some are present in “constant” concentrations – N 2 , O 2 and noble gases
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08/06/09 3 Chemical Composition Others vary temporally and spatially: – Water vapor (H 2 O) – Carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), Carbon monoxide (CO) – Ozone (O 3 ) – Methane (CH 4 ) – Nitrogen oxides (nitrous oxide (N 2 O); nitric oxide (NO); nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 )) – Ammonia (NH 3 ) Formaldehyde (HCHO) – Sulfur dioxide (SO 2 ) – Reduced sulfur compounds (H 2 S, COS, CS 2 , (CH 3 )2 S ) – Odd hydrogen species (OH,HO 2 ,H 2 O 2 ) Particulate-phase species – Nitrate (NO 3 - ), Ammonium (NH 4 + ), Sulfate (SO 4 2+ ) Why do they vary? How do they vary?
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08/06/09 4 Nitrogen (N 2 ) Most abundant atmospheric gas Limited direct role in atmospheric and life processes Precursor for the formation of nitrate used by plants to synthesize proteins Results from atmospheric and symbiotic biological processes – Nitrous oxide (N 2 O) Nitric oxide (NO) – Nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ) – Dintrogen pentoxide (N 2 O 5 ) – Nitrate radical (NO 3 · ) What are these atmospheric and biological processes?
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08/06/09 5 Oxygen (O 2 ) Essential for metabolism; Required for the evolution of life Precursor for the production of stratospheric O 3 ; formation of the O 3 layer made life possible • O 3 : background surface levels (~ 20 ppbv); peak levels (8- 10 ppmv) occur in middle stratosphere Absorbs UV and thermal energy Figure 1.1
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08/06/09 6 Stratospheric O 3 Varies seasonally and latitudinally Highest concentrations at poles Significant transport Why? Figure 1.2 Total column O 3 (vertical sum)
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08/06/09 7 Carbon Dioxide (CO 2 ) Atmospheric concentration of 0.037% (370 ppmv) Raw material for photosynthesis Thermal absorber and major greenhouse gas Noble Gases (Ar, Ne, He, Kr, Xe) Ar concentration of 0.934% Not participating in atmospheric reactions
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08/06/09 8 Water (H 2 O) Present as a solid, liquid and gas; phase changes are a major factor in weather phenomenon
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This note was uploaded on 09/11/2011 for the course ENV 4101 taught by Professor Wu during the Spring '08 term at University of Florida.

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The Atmosphere - Reading: Chap 1.1, 1.2, 1.4 The Atmosphere...

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