Atmosphere 2 Flashcards

Terms Definitions
radiation balance
edge of space
What cold are does
located in the stratosphere
-Taken directly from the air
all gases make up the
Infrared Radiation
electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths longer than visible light but shorter than radio waves
uppermost layer of the atmosphere
meant highin the air in greek
energy transfered by rays or waves
The lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere; where weather occurs.
As altitude in the atmosphere increases, pressure does this
percent of solar radiation reflected by a surface
energy transferred by flow of materials
Amount of Nitrogen in Earth's atmosphere at sea level
The amount of matter an object has.
Water vapor
source for clouds, rain, and snow.
coldest layer of the atmosphere that extends upward from the stratosphere to an altitude of about 80 km
wind spirals around a low pressure area, and rotate clockwise
aneroid barometer
measures changing in air pressures without
stepped leader
initial discharge of electrons that proceeds intermittently toward the ground in a series of steps in a cloud-to-ground lightning strike
Weather Balloon
carry radio transmitters that send measurements to stations on the ground.
Land and ocean plants produce large quantities of oxygen during this process; plants use sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to produce their food and they release oxygen as a byproduct.
Measures the average kinetic energy of a substance's atoms or molecules.
Temperature Inversion
Atmospheric condition on which warm air traps cooler air near the Earth's surface
an instrument used to measure relative humidity, consisting of a wet-bulb thermometer and a dry-bulb thermometer
the force pushing on an area or surface
Coriolis effect
the rotation of Earth causes moving air and water to appear to turn to the right north of the equator and to the left south of the equator
gaes that make up Earth's atmosphere
nitrogen and oxygen
Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
colorless gas that comes primarily from the burning of sulfur-containing fossil feuls (coal and oil)
global warming
Theory that the Earth is gradually warming as a result of an enhanced greenhouse effect in the Earth's atmosphere caused by ever-increasing amounts of carbon dioxide produced by various human activities.
the horizontal movement of air from an area of high pressure to an area of lower pressure
Air Pressure
the weight of the atmosphere pressing down on earth
measure of the amount of water vapor in the air
Plants consume or absorb ________ to produce starch which is stored in the roots, branches and leaves during _____________
CO2, Photosynthesis
acid rain
any form of precipitation less that 5.6
Convection Current
circular movement of warm air rising and cool air sinking
The total kinetic energy of all the particles of a substance.
The state of the atmosphere at a given place and time> what weather is actually happening
ozone layer
layer of the stratosphere with a high concentration of ozone; absorbs most of the Sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation
stratus clouds
Are low level clouds that form flat, gray sheets, rain or snow may fall from these clouds.
Chemical Reaction
A process that changes one set of chemicals into another set of chemicals.
acid precipitation
rain, sleet, or snow that contains a high concentration of acids
-Is a device that is used to remove some pollutants before they are releases by smokestacks.
Mountain Breeze
At night, the air along the mountain slopes cools; this cool air moves down the slopes into the valley
base units
a SI unit that expresses a fundamental physical quantity (temperature, length, or mass)
the amount of mass of a substance in a given volume
Layers of the Atmosphere
1. Troposphere -- closest to earth -- up to 12K
2. Stratosphere 12K-50K above earth
3. Mesosphere -- 50K-80K above earth
4. Thermosphere -- 80 K and above(no outer limit)
Made up of Ionosphere and Exosphere
air mass
a body of air that has about the same temperature and moisture throughout
what is vapor pressure?
when the pressure exerted by only the water vapor in the air is measured.
What happens when air is heated?
It rises and this creates pressure differences and stimulates the global cycle of movement
Explain what happens to the molecules in the atmosphere and the resulting air pressure as you increase altitude.
The molecules become more and more spread apart and there become less and less air molecules as altitude increases. As a result air pressure decreases.
Name the two sub-layers of the thermosphere and explain how each layer is unique.
Ionosphere: It starts at 80km and ends at 400km. Here, energy from the Sun causes gas molecules to become electrically charged particles called ions. Contains northern lights and radio waves bounce around. Exosphere: the outermost layer. Has no outer boundary, just blends in with space. Contains satellites.
molecule to molecule
over land & dry
Gas ions get electrically charged.
a tiny piece of anything
suction vortices
smaller whirls withing multi-vortex tornadoes
shimmering lights in the ionsphere caused by ions that absorb solar energy and then radiate the energy as light
gentle winds that extend over distances of less than 100 km.
Weather Factors
The properties of temperature, humidity, pressure, and wind
greenhouse gases
atmospheric substances that absorb IR
coldest layer of the atmosphere that extends upward from the stratosphere to an altitude of about 80 kilometers
Production of Ozone
Molecular oxygen involves the absorption of high energy UV radiation (UVA) in the upper atmosphere.
Clean Air Act
Gives the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) the authority to regulate vehicle emissions in the US
Layers of atmsphere are seperated by differences in what?
layer of the atmosphere that extends upward from the troposphere to an altitude of 50 km; contains most atmospheric ozone
Electromagnetic radiation
radiation consisting of waves of energy associated with electric and magnetic fields resulting from the acceleration of an electric charge
trade winds
global winds flowing toward the equator between 30 degrees and 0 degrees latitude
To estimate or calculate in advance; predict or seek to predict.
Which is more predictable- weather or climate?
The weather patterns and sequences in a given environment
Buys Ballot's Law
relationship between wind direction and pressure distribution p. 182
occluded front
What does the weather symbol in picture "I" stand for?
Proximity to Water
Large water bodies regulate and overall warm nearby land. This is why continental land on the same latitude as maritime is colder.
greenhouse effect
process by which the atmosphere traps infrared rays over the earth's surface
process by which plants lose water out of their leaves
Air pollution
the contamination of the atmosphere by the introduction of pollutants from human and natural sources
Standard Atmospheric Pressure
The atmospheric pressure measured at sea level; 760 mm of mercury
the part of the water cycle where liquid water changes into water vapor.
Venus' Rotation
• the only planet that rotates clockwise
• rotates in the opposite direction of its orbital rotation!
The "thermometer in a bag" lab modeled what condition in our Earth?
global warming
Causes of Global warming
Human activites, burning coal, natural gas, and oil aids, carbon dixode to the lower atmosphere
Common pollutants in the air
sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, suspended particulate matter, carbon monoxide, mercury
green house effect
outgoing lw radiation trapped and re radiated
warm front
the front of an advancing mass of warmer air
jet streams
narrow belts of strong winds that blos near the top of the troposphere
orographic storm
as air is forced upward over the mountains, it cools, causing water vapor to condense and rain out.
electromagnetic waves
a form of energy that can move through the vacuum of space
photochemical smog
A brownish haze that is a mixture of ozone and other chemicals, formed when nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and other pollutants react with each other in the presence of sunlight.
Cold Front
Type of front that forms when a mass of cold air meets and replaces a mass of warm air
Earth's surface absorbs _____ _____ and emits _________ _________
Visible light , Infrared radiation
A pause
What is the area between the layers of the atmosphere called
projected impacts of global warming
high temps; fewer cold days, frost days, cold waves; more intense precip in certain regions; enhanced droughts in some regions, increased hurricane peak winds; increased mid-latitude storm intensities; increased floods in some regions
cirrus (ice crystals) Ci
a wispy white cloud (usually of fine ice crystals) at a high altitude (4 to 8 miles), no precipitation
Is hail the same as sleet?
Sleet requires a layer of above freezing temperatures
followed bya deep layer of belowfreezing temperatures. This layer allows the rain
to refreeze into ice pellets
What gases can be found in the atmosphere?
Nitrogen 78%
Oxygen 21%
1% Other gases, ozone, Water vapor, and Carbon Dioxide
What is a rain shadow desert?
Air is lifted up a mountain, for example, condenses and rain falls on that side. by the time the air reaches the other side of the mountain, it has lost its moisture and starts to heat at the dry adiabatic rate. less rain and higher temps
What are the two types of fog formedby evaporating (adding) water vapor
into air?
1)Steam & Arctic Steam Fog: Produced byevaporation from a warm water surface into the cool air above. Occurs in earlywinter over lakes and rivers; occurs
throughout winter near arctic shores
2)Frontal(Precipitation) Fog:formed when rain evaporates as it falls through a lower layer of cooler air beneath
to pollute
cooler towards poles
Cumulus cloud
Puffy and white
(k), SI unit of temperature
*most abundant gas in atmosphere.
*takes up little more than 3/4 of the air we breath
*living orginisms need this to grow and repair body cells
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; concluded that average temp. of earth increased 0.5 to 1 deg F over the last 100 yrs. Strong correlation btw temp increase and amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Human activity greatly increases amounts of greenhouse gases in atmosphere.
longwave radiation
Heat energy, infrared radiation, terrestrial radiation
Middle clouds include __________ and altocumulus.
What meterological instrument provides real time information on the distribution and intensity of precipitation as well as the velocity of that precipitation?
Doppler radar
Air is a ___________ of gases.
solid to gas = dry ice
air pollution that forms when smoke produced by burning fossil fuels combines with fog
Is the transfer of energy thourgh space by visible light, UV radiation, and othr electromagnetic waves.
2. Stratosphere
second layer; contains ozone layer [refer to 1]; from top of troposhpere - 50km above Earth's surface; lower = -60C, Ozone is warmer
When you travel up through the troposphere the air gets __________.
Direct transfer of heat energy from one substance to another (direct contact)
the twinkling sensation cause by a star's light passing through regions of differing air density in the atmosphere thus changing the apparent position of the star
lower region of the thermosphere, at an altitude of 80 to 550 km
What is radiation?
Transferred energy (heat) through waves or rays
Heat transfer that travels in waves and does not any medium (or matter to travel). Sun's radiation reaches Earth by this type of heat transfer
polar zones
climate zones that receive sloar radiation at a low angle, extend from 66.5°N and S latitude to the poles, and are never warm
temperature, humidity, cloudiness, precipitation, air pressure, wind speed and direction
most important elements of weather...
tiny solid and liquid bits of dust, smoke, salt, etc.
What is not a green house gas?
Water Vapor
Polar easterlies
prevailing winds that blow from east to west between 60 degrees and 90 degrees latitude in both hemispheres
A measure of the force of gravity on an object.
A mass of air that develops over the __________ near the equator is going to be warm and moist.
aurora borealis
A colorful, glowing display in the sky caused when particles from the sun strike oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the ionsophere; also called the Northern Lights.
mettre les gens au travail
to put people to work
Sea Breeze
A local wind blowing from the sea during the afternoon in coastal areas.
horse latitudes are located where
30 degrees north and south latitude
Ultraviolet Radiation
A type of energy that comes to the earth from the sun; can damage the skin and cause cancer
What are windward and leeward coasts?** Why does
the southern hemisphere generally have lower temperature ranges and
east-to-west (zonal) isotherms?
-windward coast(wind from ocean): are moderated by ocean
-leeward coasts(winds from land):influence by extreme land conditions
-due to lack of continents the SH has a lower temp. range
Why do meteors burn up in the mesosphere?
Gases burn them up
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 is the important quality in the ionosphere?
Radio waves that bounce back
What is the atmosphere made up of?
mostly nitrogen (78%), 21% oxygen, and 1% other stuff (dust, volcanic ash, sea salt, dirt, smoke)
Underneath what area of the jet stream does a surface anti-cyclone form?
Analogous arguments can be used for anti-cyclogenesis, which is favored between an upper-level ridge and trough along the jet stream
Why do our ears pop when we go on an airplane or drive in the mountains?
this happens b/c when you go up pressure decreases so your actually at such a low pressure that your ears pop.
- high pressure in ears
-low pressure outside
- air moves high to low
/ 140

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