physical science

  1. weather vs climate
    • weather is over a short period of time
    • - constantly changing

    • climate is over long period of time
    • - generalized, composite of weather
  2. 6 elements of weather and climate that are measured regularly




    -air pressure

    -winds speeds and direction
  3. Albedo
    amount of sunlight it reflects
  4. permanent gases
    -makes most of our atmosphere

    - Nitrogen: 78%, Oxygen: 21%, and Argon;other gases: <1%
  5. variable gases
    -make up small percent of our atmosphere

    - it can affect our physical comfort.

    - water vapor, carbon dioxide, ozone, and methane
  6. density of atmosphere
    -its more denser the nearer one is to sea level. it gets thinner as you go higher
  7. Structure of atmosphere by function
    Ozonesphere and Ionosphere
  8. (atmosphere by function) Ozonesphere
    blocks UV radiation
  9. (atmosphere by function) Ionosphere
    -blocks ions (solar wind)

    -source of Aurora
  10. structure of atmosphere by temperature
    - troposphere



  11. (structure of atmosphere by temperature) troposphere
    -bottom layer

    -temperature decreases by altitude

    - called the enviromental lapse rate

    • -6.5 C/ 1000 m
    • 3.5 F/1000 feet

    -outer layer tropopause
  12. (structure of atmosphere by temperature) Stratosphere
    -about 12 km to 50 km

    - temperature increases at top

    -absorption of UV radiation

    -outer layer stratopause
  13. (structure of atmosphere by temperature)
    - about 50 km to 80 km

    - temperature decreases

    - outer boundary is named mesopause

    - absorption of solar radiation near the base of it, provides the heat layer
  14. (structure of atmosphere by temperature) Thermosphere
    - no well-defined upper limit

    - fraction of amosphere's mass

    -gases move at high speeds
  15. Original atmosphere
    -believed to have formed same time as planet

    -Hydrogen and Helium

    -earth was too small to keep lighter, smaller gases

    - may have been blown by collisions
  16. secondary atmosphere main gases
    Main gases: H2O and CO2

    small amounts: SO2, N2
  17. changes to secondary atmosphere...
    volcanic eruptions and comet collsions: made H20 and CO2 become inferior gases opposed to be main ones.
  18. Humidity
    the amount of water vapor in the air.

    Relative humidity: amount of water vapor present relative to the maximum water vapor that can be held (saturation)
  19. Temperature controls
    -geographic position

    -cloud cover and albedo

    -clouds absorb heat at night
  20. (Temperature controls) Geographic position
    • - influence of mountains
    • - act as a barriers

    - can cut inland areas off from warming ocean winds
  21. (Temperature controls) Cloud cover and Albedo
    - clouds reflect incoming solar radiation during the day

    -albedo is high then temps are cool
  22. (Temperature controls) Clouds absorb surface radiation at night
    - heat radiated back to surface, warming effect
  23. Global winds
    -these are driven by the temperature difference between the equatorial regions and the poles.

    -wind is used a way to balance temperature in Earth
  24. 3-cell model of global winds
    -it is the model that we are currently using to describe global circulation
  25. (3-cell model) Hadley cell
    is a single wind system in each hemisphere.

    -warm air rises near the equator, cools as it travels poeward at high altitude, sinks as cold air, and warms as it travels equatorward
  26. Coriolis effect
    -in northern hem. objects reflect right

    -in southern hem. they deflect left.

    objects are deflected acordingly depending on their location. It does this because of Earth's rotation
  27. (3-cell model) horse lattitudes
    - winds are generally weak and varied near the center of this zone of descending air
  28. (3-cell model) Trade winds
    -blowing from subtropical highs or horse latitudes

    - In northern hemisphere they blow northeast and southern hemisphere they blow southeast
  29. (3-cell model) Doldrums
    -region in which trade winds from both hemispheres get together.

    -low-weak pressure gradient
  30. (3-cell model) Prevailing westerlies
    -winds that blow around 30 thru 50 degree latitude on both hemispheres.

    - wind blows from west to east
  31. (3-cell model) Polar easterlies
    - cold winds that blow through both hemispheres westward direction.
  32. (3-cell model) Polar front
    - region where the flow of warm air clashes with cold air.
  33. local winds...what drives them
    pressure differences
Card Set
physical science
composition and structure of the atmosphere