2 Composition and Structure of the Atmosphere

2 Composition and Structure of the Atmosphere - Composition...

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Composition and structure of the atmosphere GEOG345 Sep 5 2006 Textbook: chapter 1 (1 st half)
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The atmosphere at·mos·phere [ atmosphaera Gr atmos , vapor + sphaira , sphere] vapor: the gaseous form of any substance floating particles sphere: the place, range or extent other “spheres” biosphere cryosphere hydrosphere lithosphere etc. Climate is a result of processes within and interaction between various “spheres”. The dominant “sphere” in the context of climate is the atmosphere.
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Fig. 1-CO air (gas) cloud droplets (liquid water) forming on solid particles (aerosols)
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Our atmosphere Tasteless, odorless, often invisible… Absolutely critical role in shaping our planet. controls temperature variation between sunlit and dark sides keeps temperature at favorable levels sustains and protects life
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The big picture (2/1) Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) Hubble Space Telescope, NASA and ESA http://hubblesite.org Barred Spiral Milky Way R. Hurt (SSC), JPL-Caltech, NASA http://apod.gsfc.nasa.gov Sun’s orbit (app.) ~250 million years
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Fig. 1-1, p. 2 The big picture (2/2) ~150 million km (~8 light-minutes) Our Sun is an average star of the Milky Way galaxy. Sun’s radiation is the primary source of energy within the Solar System. Ours is not the only atmosphere in the Solar System. The Earth is not the only planet with a tilted axis of rotation.
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Lakes on Titan? Cassini RADAR team, NASA/JPL (most probably liquid methane)
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Fig. 1-2, p. 3 The Earth radius: ~ 6370 km 99% of the atmosphere within 30 km (no definite upper limit) ~0.05% - very thin layer
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Table 1-1, p. 3 Composition of the atmosphere Dynamic balances: destruction vs. production. Oxygen: decay of organic matter, etc., breathing vs. photosynthesis.
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surface Dynamic balance between production and removal Nitrogen source: decay of living organisms removal: bacteria, planktons etc. Oxygen
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course GEOG 345 taught by Professor Csiszar during the Fall '06 term at Maryland.

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2 Composition and Structure of the Atmosphere - Composition...

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