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Chapter 1 Atmosphere

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Chapter 1 Atmosphere Powered By Docstoc
					Chapter 1 Atmosphere

   1.   The atmosphere is a layer of gases that surround the planet
   2.   Weather is the condition of the atmosphere at a particular time and place
   3.   The atmosphere makes conditions on earth suitable for living things
   4.   It contains gasses necessary for living things: Nitrogen, Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide, Water
            a. The most common gasses are:
            b. Nitrogen (78%)
            c. Oxygen (21%)
            d. Various other gasses (1%)
   5.   The atmosphere also contains water vapor, but it is not listed as a percentage because it
        varies from place to place and over time
            a. Water vapor is very important to weather
   6.   The atmosphere also contains particles, both liquid and solid:
            a. Dust
            b. Smoke
            c. Soot
            d. Salt
            e. Chemicals
   7.   Air pollution is harmful substances in the air
   8.   Natural sources of air pollution:
            a. Forest fires
            b. Volcanoes
            c. Dust storms
            d. Pollen
            e. Mold
   9.   Most air pollution comes from burning fossil fuels
            a. About half of that is from cars and trucks
            b. “London Smog” is soot from burning coal which mixes with water (fog)
            c. Photochemical Smog is caused by the action of sunlight on chemicals in the air
            d. Nitrogen compounds and sulfur compounds from burning fossil fuels combine in
                the air to make nitric acid and sulfuric acid
            e. Acid rain is rain containing these acids
                     i. Acid rain may fall many miles from the original source of the pollution
                    ii. Acid rain can destroy forests
                   iii. Acid rain can kill organisms in lakes and ponds
10. Air has mass, so it has density and pressure
11. Density = Mass/Volume
12. Altitude (elevation) is the distance above sea level
13. Air pressure is the pressure of the air above pressing down
        a. Air pressure decreases as you go to higher elevations
        b. Air becomes less dense as you go to higher elevations
        c. Air pressure is measured with a barometer
        d. There are two kinds of barometer (See pages 26, 27)
                 i. Mercury barometer
                ii. Aneroid barometer
        e. There are two units of air pressure
                 i. Inches of mercury
                ii. Millibars
        f. Typical air pressure at sea level is about 30 inches of mercury or about 1016
        g. Air pressure on a very high mountain (6 kilometers altitude) is less than half the
            air pressure at sea level
                 i. At that altitude the air is much less dense
                ii. Because it is less dense, there are less molecules of oxygen in each breath
14. The atmosphere has several different layers
15. These layers are distinguished by temperature changes
16. Starting from the ground up the layers are:
17. Troposphere (turning or changing)
        a. This is where weather occurs
        b. It gets its heat from solar energy which is absorbed by Earth and radiated as heat
        c. The temperature of the troposphere drops as you go higher away from the Earth
        d. The top of the troposphere is about -60 Celsius
        e. Water there forms thin ice clouds
18. Stratosphere (stratum or spreading out layer)
        a. The stratosphere extends up to about 50 kilometers
        b. The stratosphere gets warmer as you go higher
        c. This is because a layer of ozone (O3) high in the stratosphere absorbs solar energy
            and radiates it as heat
19. Mesosphere (middle layer)
        a. Extends from 50 Km to 80 Km high
        b. The top of the mesosphere is the coldest part of the atmosphere, about -90 Celsius
        c. This is where most meteors burn up
        d. They burn up here because they are travelling very fast and the mesosphere is the
            layer where the atmosphere begins to be dense enough to cause high friction and
20. Thermosphere (heat layer)
        a. Outermost layer
        b. 80 kilometers high up to space (exosphere)
        c. Only about 0.001% as dense as sea level
        d. Thins out to nothing in space
        e. Low orbiting satellites are in the upper thermosphere
f. Hot (up to 1800 Celsius) because solar energy hits this layer first
g. However, the density is so low that a thermometer would read way below zero
   (see page XXXXXXXXXXX for explanation)
h. The lower part of the thermosphere is called the ionosphere
        i. Solar energy breaks up many molecules creating ions.
       ii. Radio waves are reflected by the ionosphere
      iii. Auroras occur in the ionosphere
               1. Since the Earth is a magnet, charged solar particles are deflected
                   toward Earth’s magnetic poles
               2. These solar particles strike the Nitrogen and Oxygen molecules in
                   the ionosphere and make them glow
i. The upper part of the thermosphere is called the exosphere (outer layer)
        i. 550 kilometers and above
       ii. This is the vacuum of space
      iii. Satellites orbit in this region

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