Atmosphere Flashcards

Terms Definitions
greenhouse effect
high energy layer
Heat transfer by fluids
air surrounding the earth
Low Temp:
Fewer molecules slow molecules
Temperatures are extremely______ in the thermosphere
the amount per unit size
coldest layer of the atmosphere
the transmission of heat or electricity or sound
what layer is the ionosphere in
The second-lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere; the ozone layer is located in the stratosphere
An organism of microscopic or submicroscopic size, especially a bacterium or protozoan.
global winds located between 40 degrees and 60 degrees latitude that flow from the southwest in the Northern Hemisphere and from the northwest in the Southern Hemisphere
water vapor (gas)changes to a liquid
*the condition of the Earth's atmosphere at a particular time and place
Temperature decreases with elevation or altitude in the Troposphere. This is because Earth's surface ________ most of the solar energy and gets heated up. It then radiates it back into the atmosphere as Infrared radiation. This radiation is absorbed in th
...absorbs most
lowest layer of earth's atmosphere, characterized by decreasing temperature with altitude
protective layer in earth's atmosphere (stratosphere) that protects us from the sun's ultraviolet rays
Weather Factors
Properties of air that affect weather.
Most meteors burn up in this layer
steam fog
condensation of water vapor that results when cool air moves over warm water
1st layer around the earth, weather, clouds and smog.
resistance to change in speed or direction
water vapor
water in the form of gas
extreme heating causes the air to expand explosively initiating a shock wave that becomes a booming sound wave that travels outward in all directions
Acid Rain
rain containing high amounts of chemical pollutants
the fraction of solar radiation that is reflected off the surface of an object.
reflects the water vapor content in the air and that water vapor influences the natural cooling mechanism of our bodies
process of liquid water becoming water vapor
wispy, feathery clouds made mostly of ice crystals that form high in the atmosphere
incoming solar radiation; that part of the Sun's radiation that is received at Earth's surface
Chloroflorocarbons (CFCs)
a group of chemical compounds that destrpy the ozone.
energy that is transferred in the form of rays or waves
Photochemical Smog
Air pollution that comes from the interaction of pollutants and sunlight.
What is the lifted air
parcel's temperature with respect to the free atmosphere in this
30 degress ??
the height of an object above the Earth's surface
Gulf Stream
a powerful WARM ocean current that flows from the Gulf of Mexico north along the eastern coast before turning east toward Europe making Europe warmer than Canada at the same latitudinal line
the force pushing on an area or surface
relative humidity
percentage of water vapor that is actually in the air compared to the maxiumum amount of water the air can hold
Condensation is a
releases heat back into the atmosphere
nitrogen & oxygen
two most common gases, found throughout all the layers
Greenhouse Gases
gases that absorb thermal energy in atmosphere
Lag Effect
delay in cooling in fall, and warming in spring
-it takes some time for the earth to warm up after winter or cool down after summer.
continental rise
base of the continental slope made up of large piles of sediment
latent heat
the heat energy that is absorbed or released by a substance during a phase change
Solar Energy
Energy from the sun that is converted into thermal or electrical energy.
5th layer up, (313 miles up - outer space), Space shuttle orbits here.
jet stream
a narrow belt of strong winds that blow in the upper troposphere
Thermal conduction
- The transfer of energy as heat through a material.
collision theory
have to have enough energy to react and have to collide in proper orientation
air pressure
the pressure caused by the weight of a column of air
As altitude INCREASES, what happens to the air pressure?
The air pressure DECREASES
Atmospheric Pressure
ratio of the force of the air to the area of the surface on which it presses
subpolar low
a belt of low air pressure at about 60 degrees north and 60 degrees south latitude
How does the atmosphere recieve most of it's heat energy?
conduction, absorbtion of insolation as it passes through atmosphere, and reradiation from earth
What are three threats to the atmosphere?
1. Greenhouse effect causing global warming (increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the air)
2. a hole in the ozone layer due to emissions of CFCs
3. emission of carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and various hydrocarbons and this causes acid rain
carbon dioxide & greenhouse gasses
two things people put into the air to cause global warming
Why does the coriolis effect exist?
If earth did not rotate on axis, we would only have air rising at equator and sinking at poles.
subsurface heat
heat bursts
sudden warm downbursts
maximum wavelength-function of temperature
instrument that measures atmospheric pressure
shooting stars
we see meteoroids as
air moving (sometimes with considerable force) from an area of high pressure to an area of low pressure
layer of electrically charged particles in the thermosphere that absorbs AM radio waves during the day and reflects them back at night
does the temperature increase or decrease as you move up in the thermosphere
featureless sheets; smooth, gray. May cause light rain,drizzle, or fog.
Ultraviolet radiation
Short wave, high frequency radiation
jet streams
bands of high-speed, high-altitude westerly winds
Define Thermosphere
Where meteoroids enter Earth's atmosphere,
Extremely hot
Because of the heat and friction with molecules in the atmosphere, most meteoroids burn up.
____ of the insolation is reflected/scattered back into space
A scientist that studies weather and uses information from Doppler radar, weather satellites, computers, and other instruments to make weather maps and provide forecasts.
The rest
Argon, hydrogen, carbon doxide, water vapor, and more.
cirrus cloud
feathery cloud composed of ice crystals that has the highest altitude of any cloud in the sky
the outermost least dense layer of earths atmosphere
What protects the earth's surface from intense ultraviolet rays?
mature stage
appearance of downdraft, anvil shapes develops at top (it is during this stage that the thunderstorm is most intense)
a storm often accompanied by heavy precipitation and frequent thunder and lightning
tiny solid particles that can be volcanic dust, ash from fires, microscopic organism, or mineral particles lifted from soil by winds.Pollen from plants and particles from meteors that have vaporized are also this.
upper boundary of the troposphere in which the temperature remains almost constant
the constant outpouring of gases from the hot interior
Layers of the air are classified according to _____.
The higher spacific heat of a substance, the ____ the amount of heat needed to raise its temperature.
radiation (surface) inversion
inversion that typically forms during the night and early morning hours when the sky is clear and winds are light
polar easterlies
Prevailing winds that blow from east to west between 60degrees-90degrees latitude in both hemisphere.
Atmospheric Composition
78% Nitrogen 21% Oxygen and Other gases
Sum total of kinetic energy of all particles
what atmosphere is farthest from us?
it's far away.
molar concentration ;molarity (M)
moles of solute/L of soln.
prevailing westerlies
Which type of wind generally moves from southwest to the northeast in the northern hemisphere?
Coriolis effect
The shifting of winds and surface currents caused by Earth's rotation that turns currents north of the equator clockwise and south of the equator counterclockwise.
Earth's Axial Tilt
23½° away from true vertical, causes seasons
nonrenewable resource
a resource that cannot be reused or replaced easily (ex. gems, iron, copper, fossil fuels)
Winds blow
from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure
How high does the atmosphere extend from the earth?
500-600 km high
Valley Breeze
During the day, the air along the mountain slopes heats up rapidly; this warm air rises up the mountain
a soln. of weak acid and its conjugate base or a weak base and its conjugate acid
Regions with Calm Winds
Low Pressure Doldrums at Equator and High Pressure Horse Latitudes
blocks meteors and keeps us warm
examples of protection from Earth's atmosphere
What else is required at the surface for a mid-latitude cyclone to form?
mid-latitude cyclones form
in response to instabilities along polar front
• Polar-front cyclone model was the first
systematic attempt to physically explain the life
cycles of mid-latitude cyclones
Compared To Mars & Venus
Earth has FAR less Carbon Dioxide, more Oxygen, and more Nitrogen. Makes the others uninhabitable.
3 global factors affecting insolation
1. Long Tern: height above sea level, altitiude of the sun, land and sea, prevailing winds, ocean currents
2. short term: seasonal changes, length of day and night
3. Local: aspect, cloud cover, urbanization
Name particles that can be found in the air?
Dust, smoke, salt, and other chemicals.
Know the definition for pressure and air pressure. Explain what factors effects air pressure and how it affects air pressure.
Pressure: force pushing on an area or surface. Air pressure: the result of the weight of a column if air pushing down on an area. Air pressure, however, doesn't crush you because the air pressure isn't only pushing down on you, but in every direction. Density: more density more pressure. Altitude: higher you less pressure.
energy balance
Fourth layer of Atmosphere?
newspaper club is wat?
the best!!!
process that occurs when cloud droplets collide and form larger droplets
long term statistical properties of the atmosphere for an area-climatology
Cumulonimbus Cloud
Large cloud that produces thunderstorms
Energy transfer that involves movement of fluids
pollutants that mix with oxygen and other chemicals in the presence of sunlight
Acid Precipitation
precipitation that contains acids from air pollution.
measure of how much space something takes up
4 compositions of air
nitrogen, oxygen, argon, CO2
large, long-lasting severe storm as a result of strong wind shears creating a horizontal spin
tropical storm with violent wind and heavy rain
A suspension in the atmosphere of solids such as dust, salt, and pollen, and liquid droplets such as acids.
What are particles of carbon that enter the air when wood or coal are burned?
dew point
the temperature at which condensation begins
What is solar energy?
energy form the sun
land breeze
A convection current that causes wind to blow from the land to the sea at night because the land cools more rapidly than the sea - it is the reverse of a sea breeze
Standard atmospheric pressure
the atmospheric pressure measured at sea level; 760 mm of mercury
country breeze
light breeze that blows from the countryside into the city
Nitrogen Cycle
process in which nitrogen moves from the air to the soil to animals and there back to the air
The lowest layer of the atmoshere, in which temerature decreases at a constant rate as altitude increases
what are the 4 layers of the troposphere
carbon cycle
the movement of carbon through the major carbon resevoirs
85 km
How far does the mesosphere extend above Earth's surface?
2 days when earths axis is not tilted toward or away from the sun, sun is overhead the equator (spring march 21, fall nov 21)
renewable resource
any natural resource (as wood or solar energy) that can be replenished naturally with the passage of time
the falling to earth of any form of water (rain or snow or hail or sleet or mist)
mobile sources of pollution
cars, trucks, lawn mowers, airplanes, and anything else that moves and pollutes the air
light + CO2 + H20= C6 H12 O6 +O2
What is conduction?
Transfer of heat when molecules bump into each other
absolute zero
all movement of molecules stop if you achieve it
The Stratosphere
Airplanes fly in this layer. It is also the Ozone Layer. Absorbs dangerous light from the sun and converts it to heat. It is the second layer.
why doesn't the thermosphere feel hot
because temperature is measured differently in the atmosphere than on Earth
Temperature Inversion
When the air above is warmer than the air below
examples of air pollutants
dust, sea salt, volcanic acids, smoke, pollen, swamp gas
Where is ascent (clouds & precipitation) typically the greatest with a cold front?
Ascent typically stronger with fast-moving cold fronts than with slow-moving cold fronts
• This ascent may be strong enough to release conditional instability (if present)
cold front
A cold front is defined as the leading edge of a cooler and mass of air, replacing (at ground level) a warmer mass of air
air mass
a large body of air that has about the same temperature and moisture as the area over which it formed
Which of the following statements best explains the temperature inversion in the STRATOSPHERE?
The absorption of ultraviolet radiation by the OZONE Layer.
Solar Radiation (at Low Latitudes)
closer to the sun; high angled sun, small area, and less radiation is reflected
What is meridional heat transfer and why does it occur?
Heat transfer from latitude to latitude, usually by oceanic waves and atmosphere
Whay are carbon dioxide and methane known as greenhouse gases?
They trap heat close to the surface.
It would be hotter near the Earth's equator and colder near Earth's poles.
What would happen to temperatures on Earth if the Sun's heat were not distributed throughout the atmosphere?
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