35.1 THE AMOSPHERE TERM SCIENTIFIC DEFINITION Atmosphere The thin envelope of gases surrounding our planet Climate The general weather pattern that occurs over time 1. What are the two primary gases that make up the atmosphere, and what are their percentages? Oxygen, 21% and Nitrogen, 78% 2. TRUE or FALSE; Earth’s atmosphere is a mixture of gases and tiny particles called aerosols that included dust, ash, and air pollution. 3. What re the six factors in the atmosphere that can change? Cloudiness, atmospheric pressure, wind, precipitation, humidity and temperature Physics: Atmospheric Pressure 4. What causes air pressure? The weight of air molecules pressing down on the earth 5. Why don’t we feel this pressure? The pressure inside our bodies is equal to the pressure being exerted on it. 6. Why does the density of the air decrease as altitude increases? Air is a compressed gas. As altitude increases there is less gravity acting on the molecules and they spread out, making the air less dense. 7. What are the three common units of measurement for atmospheric pressure and what are their values at sea level? Millibars: 1013.25, mmHg: 760, psi: 14.7 35.2 The structure of the atmosphere TOPIC MAIN IDEA The structure of the Atmosphere Four, distinct layers, Troposphere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere, Thermosphere 8. TRUE OR FALSE: The Troposphere contains about 70% of the atmosphere’s total mass and has an average thickness of about 6km 9. The is a layer where weather occurs 10. A molecule made up of three oxygen atoms, accumulates in the stratosphere and absorbs solar energy 11. Match the zone to the temperature range a Mesosphere c 20’C to-50’C b Stratosphere b -60’C to 0’C c Troposphere a 0c to -90’C d Thermosphere d 500’C to 1500’C 12. What causes the Aurora borealis? Charged particles in the ionosphere that are excited by solar radiation 13. Match the atmospheric zones to their location a Mesosphere d 1 to 12 km above Earth’s surface b Ionosphere c 12 to 50 km above Earth’s surface c Stratosphere a 50 to 80 km above Earth’s surface d Troposphere e 80 km and higher above Earth’s surface e Thermosphere b Includes the upper mesosphere and lower thermosphere 14. What is solar radiation? Electromagnetic energy given off by the Sun 15. TRUE or FALSE: Energy and wavelength are related proportionately 16. Almost all the solar radiation that is directed toward earth is high energy, short wave length radiation that passes through the atmosphere. How is the atmosphere heated? By the heat given off by the Earth’s surface 17. How is energy returned to space? Long wave radiation given off by the Earth’s surface 18. ____________ radiation is the source of most of the atmosphere’s Terrestrial heat. 19. How do Greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere? By absorbing the long-wavelength radiation instead of reflecting it 20. List 3 greenhouse gases? Water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane 21. If there where no greenhouse gases in the upper atmosphere, causing the greenhouse effect, what would be the Earth’s temperature? -18’C 22. Why is it called the green house effect? Because it acts just like a floral Greenhouse. Visible energy is allowed in But the infra-red heating energy waves Are trapped inside and reflected back to The surface 35.3 TEMPERATURE DEPENDS UPON LATITUDE TOPIC MAIN IDEA Temperature and Latitude Latitude affects temperature as the Sun strikes these different latitudes at different angles which affects the solar intensity 23. How do the lines of longitude run? They circle the Earth running North to South 24. The Prime Meridian is the line of longitude that runs through Greenwich England and, by international agreement is 0’ longitude 25. The equator is an imaginary line that circles Earth dividing it into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres Greenwich, England 26. How are the lines of latitude drawn? Parallel to the equator 27. TRUE OR FALSE: Lines of latitude Are drawn perpendicular to the lines of longitude 28. If you where to draw a line from the center of the Earth so that it would intersect one of the lines of latitude, what angle would make it with the Equator? An angle equal to the latitude it intersected 29. Climate zones are defined based on their average sea level temperatures. What are these five zones? North Polar, North Temperate, Tropical South Temperate, South Polar 30. Why is high noon over the equatorial areas warmer than high noon over higher latitudes? The light at noon is most perpendicular to the equatorial area and therefore more concentrated. The light striking at an angle would be spread out over a larger area so it would be less concentrated making the area cooler 35.4 WHY ARE THERE SEASONS? Idaho Winter 31. How does the tilt of the Earth’s axis affect the seasons? When the Northern Hemisphere is tilted towards the sun those rays are more concentrated, which warms that area more than the Southern Hemisphere that is tilted away from the Sun 32. What does equinox mean? What language is it? Equal Night, from the Latin language 33. Match the term with its definition Idaho Summer a Summer Solstice b Shortest day of the year b Winter Solstice a Longest day of the year TERM SCIENTIFIC DEFINITION WIND Air flowing horizontally from a region of high pressure to a region of lower pressure 34. What causes wind? Differences in air pressure. The larger the difference the stronger the winds 35. How are winds named? According to their strength and their direction 36. TRUE OR FALSE: Warm air that transfers away from our bodies is held in place by our hair and clothes. 37. Extreme cold and bring on frostbit and Hypothermia 38. Death from freezing occurs when the body does not have enough heat to perform Chemical reactions that sustain life 35.6 SOME WINDS ARE LOCAL - OTHERS ARE GLOBAL Vocabulary Term After Your Reading Trade Winds Global winds between 0’ and 30’ latitude Westerlies Winds that travel west to east between 30’ and 60’ latitude Easterlies Winds that travel from east to west at the polar latitudes between 60’ and 90’ 39. Match each type of wind with its description a Local Winds b Produced by planet scale pressure differences b Global Winds a Produced by geographical temperature differences 40. Regarding local winds, why is it that during the day the wind usually blows from the ocean over the land? The land has a lower specific heat capacity so the air over the land heats up faster, rises and creates a low pressure area. The ocean air has a higher pressure and so moves towards the lower pressure, the land 41. Why is it that during the night the local winds usually blow from the mountains to the valleys? The air at higher elevations quickly cools, at night, and becomes heavier so it flows downhill into the valleys 42. All winds are caused by air flowing from the area of higher pressure to an area of lower pressure. What causes Global winds? The uneven heating of the equatorial regions compared to the polar regions 43. At equatorial latitudes, what happens to the air when the Sun heats it? The air rises and flows towards the cooler regions 44. The six circulating wind belts are called Convection cells 45. Where are the wind belts located? Two are between 0’ and 30’ Two are between 30’ and 60’ Two are between 60’ and 90’ 46. What are the doldrums? Areas of little or no wind near the equator 47. Where are the Horse latitudes? At the 30’ north and south latitudes 48. What are the Jet Streams? High Speed, high altitude winds that can effect weather patterns PHYSICS: THE CORIOLIS EFFECT It is better to communicate good information than to offer misinformation in the name of good communication. Why do teachers claim that a draining sink reflects the rotation of the Earth? A surprisingly large number of undergraduate students tell their college instructors that their high-school teachers told them that sinks drain in opposite directions in the two hemispheres owing to the rotation of the Earth. Why would a teacher offer such nonsense to students when it is so easy to check. A trip to the school washroom (let alone the ones at home) will reveal drainage in both directions (which would certainly require the equator to assume a tortuous track through the countryside). “Is knowledge just a bunch of abstractions to be memorized with no recourse to the relevance of everyday experience? Sigh... I don’t know why teachers do this. I can but assume that those who do so just never feel any need to wash their hands --- or their minds.” Alistar B. Fraiser, Physics Department Penn State University So what should teachers tell their students? The direction of rotation in draining sinks and toilets is NOT determined by the rotation of the Earth, but by rotation that was introduced earlier when it was being filled or subsequently being disturbed (say by washing). The rotation of the Earth does influence the direction of rotation of large weather systems and large vortices in the oceans, for these are very long-lived phenomena and so allow the very weak Coriolis force to produce a significant effect, with time. The fact that the Coriolis force is zero at the equator and very weak near the equator explains why tropical cyclones such as hurricanes and typhoons won't form on the equator, nor will they cross the equator. As they approach the equator they lose their energy. Tropical storms develop in their hemisphere and stay in their hemisphere The Coriolis force is noticeable only for large-scale motions such as winds and the affect those winds have on other, large bodies. 49. What is the Coriolis Effect? The tendency of large moving bodies not attached to the Earth (such as air) to move to clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere due to the Earth’s rotation 35.7 Ocean Currents Vocabulary Term After You Read Currents Streams of water that move relative to the larger ocean Cyres Surface water currents in that form giant circular flow patterns caused by the Coriolis Effect as well as other factors 50. What causes surface currents? Global winds pushing water in the same direction as the wind 51. How do surface currents redistribute heat? By carrying warm waters to cooler areas where warm those waters 52. Where does the Gulf Stream flow, and what area is warmed by it? Up the eastern coast of North America, across the North Atlantic to Great Britain and Norway and then warming Europe 38.8 WATER IN THE ATMOSHPERE Cirrus Clouds Cumulus Clouds Stratus Clouds Differences Thin and wispy in Puffy with flat Flat smooth layers appearance bottoms that cover the sky Formed above 25,000ft Forms at 14,000ft Forms below 6500ft and made of ice crystals Indicate that snow Produces May produce or rain is coming thunderstorms drizzles Similarities All are visible collections of billions of tiny water droplets or ice crystals. All form as warm, moist air rises and then cools to the dew point which is when water condenses 53. What is meant by the term relative humidity? The ratio of water vapor actually in the air to the maximum saturation point 54. The dew point is temperature at which the air becomes saturated 55. How do clouds form? Moist, warm air rises, cools to the dew point & water vapor condenses 56. What is precipitation? Water in liquid form that returns to Earth from the atmosphere 57. List the three kinds of precipitation Rain, Snow and Hail 35.9 CHANGING WEATHER – AIR MASSES, FRONTS AND CYCLONES Vocabulary After You Read Cyclone A System of low pressure that is associated with severe weather Anticyclone An Area of high pressure that produces clear skies and no precipitation 58. An air mass is a large pool of air that has similar temperature and moisture characteristics throughout. 59. How do air masses form? A large body of air stays in one place long enough to take on the properties of the region 60. In North America, air masses are classified by the weather service according to two characteristics. What are they? Their Latitude and if they form over water or land 61. According to this classification, what does cP mean? Continental Polar 62. What is it called when two air masses collide? A Weather Front 63. When a cold air mass and a warm air mass collide, what happens to the warm air mass. It always rises above the cold air mass 64. When a warm air mass is moving and displaces cold air the front is called a warm front 65. What is the front called when the two colliding air masses are not moving? A Stationary Front 66. When a cold air mass moves in underneath a moist, warm air mass it is called a cold front. What is the developing weather like? Moist air rises, cools, clouds form and it becomes windy and rains 67. When cirrus clouds become thicker and turn the sky into an overcast gray, what is happening? A warm front is approaching the area 68. Air masses belong to gigantic weather systems organized around what kind of center? A center of high pressure or a center of low pressure 69. In the Northern Hemisphere, which way does the air move around a low? Counterclockwise 70. Meteorologists use the letters H and L to denote high and low pressure systems, and they use lines to show the positions of the cold and warm fronts. What do the triangles and semicircles on the lines of the fronts mean? The semicircles indicate the warm air extending into the cooler air. The triangles indicate the cold air extending into the warmer air.
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