Which characteristics of the atmosphere make it especially conducive to life?
Contains Oxygen and water in all forms
What is the current composition of the Earth’s atmosphere? What has caused the changes in the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 3.5 billion years?
Composition: 78 % Nitrogren, 21% Oxygen, 0.9% Argon
4. What are the layers of the Earth’s atmosphere? Approximately how high do the troposphere and stratosphere extend? What is the tropopause?
- * Troposphere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere.
- * ThermosphereTroposphere (0-10 km), Stratosphere (17-48km)
- * Tropopause-The troposphere is the lowest portion of Earth's atmosphere. It contains approximately 80% of theatmosphere's mass and 99% of its water vapor and aerosols.
What are atmospheric conditions like in the troposphere and stratosphere?
- Troposphere: unstable, there is constant mixing
- Stratosphere: similar but less dense, low humidity, less turbulence
Describe each of the key properties of the atmosphere that influence weather and climate:
- air pressure: less dense air temperature: decreases with height, highers our temp. and can hold more pressure
- humidity: low, relative humidity= % of saturation with water vapor
What causes global air circulation and wind patterns?
Surface heating & the Earths rotation
What is the prevailing wind in the continental US?
What is weather?
short term (daily, weekly) atmospheric conditions
What is climate?
Average long term weather conditions
What are the types of climate by latitude?
- Horse Latitude- 30 degrees
- Doldrums- 0 degrees
What is the significance of climate type for biogeography?
modified by land topography, proximity to oceans
What is a microclimate?
very localized conditions
List and describe the 4 ways that climate in midlatitude cities differs from the surrounding rural areas.
Urban microclimate: Cities are warmer, less humid, have more dust particles, fog and precipitation than surrounding areas
How do we know the global climate changed over time?
we can tell due to the weather and climate changes that have happened over the following years due to data that scientist have provided
What is global warming?
Natural or human caused change in average global temperature
Which greenhouse gases are naturally occurring?
- 98% water vapor
- carbon dioxide
- nitrous oxide
Which greenhouse gases are anthropogenic? For each, describe the sources, rate of increase, and relative contribution to the anthropogenic greenhouse effect:
- carbon dioxide (CO2): 50-60% - from fossil fuel combustion, deforestation.
- methane (CH4): 12-20% -from rice cultivation, cattle.
- chlorofluorcarbons (CFCs) : 15- 35% - from refrigerants ( close to the atmospheric window).
- nitrous oxide (N2O): 5% - from fertilizers and fossil duel combustion.
What is the atmospheric window and what is its significance in global warming?
wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum that can betransmitted through the earth's atmosphere. Atmosphericwindows occur in the visible, infrared, and radio regions of the spectrum (CFCs close window).
What is El Nino?
An abnormal warming of surface ocean waters in the eastern tropical Pacific caused by surface pressure changes
What are some of the effects of an El Nino?
Water becomes much warmer and global weather patterns shift.
How long does El Nino occur?
About every 2-7 years for 6 months to 2 years.
What are some of the potential effects of global climate change?
- shifts in temperature & precipitation patterns
- more severe hurricanes
- melting of ice land
- shifts in ranges of wilife agriculture
- life on earth
What is being done to address global warming?
reduce the GHG emissions, plant forests, and stop deforestation
What was the goal of the Kyoto Protocol?
international agreement ro reduce GHG
What is happening in Durban, South Africa right now?
A conference about the GHG and Global warming that’s going on now
What is Albedo?
A measure of how much light is reflected from a surface
What are CFCs?
anthropagenic GHGs that close the atmospheric window
What is the Coriolis effect?
Due to Earth’s rotation, deflect right in N hemisphere and left in S hemisphere
what is Ice-albedo feedback?
build up of ice reflects solar radiation and leads to more ice buildup, change is amplified
What does insolation mean?
incomming solar radiation
What is the Mauna Loa Observatory and what reaserch is done there?
volcano in Hawaii, site of CO2 measurements showing seasonal change in concentration and increase in concentration.
What created the Ocean conveyer belt?
differences in temperature and density cause sinking and upwelling of ocean water, current redistribute heat energy
What secondary pollutaints can Sulfur dioxide cause?
It can cause acid and smog rain due to the sulfur content.
What is the biggest layer of Earth's atmosphere?
What happens to the temperature from the troposphere to the stratosphere?
The temperature decreases in altitude because the troposphere is closer to the ground which is where the heat source is.
What type of radiation is absorbed by GHGs?
What are Alveoli and what does it do?
They are sacs in the respitory system that create surface area for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide
What is Synergy?
Two or more things that work together and multiply
What is a catalytic converter?
A device that cleans up carbon minoxide
What is the breakdown of the gasses in Earth's atmosphere?
- 78% Nitrogen
- 21% Oxygen
- 0.03% Carbon Dioxide
What was the composition of Earth's early atmosphere?
- 80% water vapor.
- 10% carbon dioxide.
- 5 to 7% hydrogen-sulfur(don't have to know).
What is it called when oxygen is carried from the alveoli to the blood stream?
What is the function of the respitory system?
To exchange oxygen into the blood while emitting carbon dioxide out of the body.
What does the Epiglottis do?
Slab of skin that closes your tranchea when eating
What is sick building syndrome?
A condition associated with the environment that seems to be unhealthy.
What are the 5 most common indoor air pollutants followed by human health effects and ways to control them?
- Asbestos- used as fire retardent insulation; lung cancer; banned from US.
- Carbon monoxide- incomplete burning of fossil fuels; combines with hemoglobin and affects respitory system; electric appliances.
- Formaldehyde- Furniture and drapes; irritation of eyes,nose,throat, lung cancer; ventilation.
- Radon- uranium decay from rocks and soil; lung cancer; ventilation.
- Tobacco Smoke- cigaretts, pipes; asthema,lung cancer; outlaw in public places.
What does HVAC mean?
Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning
When did air pollution become an environmental issue?...Examples?
In the 1960's and the 1970's. Oil spills and air pollution.
What are point, fugitive, area, and mobile sources?
Identifiable local places that cause pollution, Gasses due to leaks, emit radiation, automobiles.
What is the difference between primary and secondary pollution?
- Primary- directly into the environment(nitrogen and sulfur oxides)
- Secondary- indirect and caused by primary(acid rain or smog)
What are air toxics?
unknown pollutants whuich may affect humans
What does the NAAQS do?
Monitors the air quality in the US and makes rules based on ways to take care of the atmosphere.
Name the 6 outdoor air pollutants followed by human health effects and ways to control them?
- Carbon monoxide- incomplete burning of fossil fuels; combines with hemoglobin reducing oxygen in lungs; catalytic converters.
- Lead- from leaded gasoline; damge to brain and learning system; outlawed in US.
- Nitrogen Oxide- Burning fossil fuels at high temperatures; irritates eyes, nose, infection; catalytic converters.
- Particulate Matter- Burning wood, disel fuel, construction; toxins damages lungs; electrostatic precipitators, filters, vegitation.
- Ozone- NO and VOC's; asthema,permanent respitory damage; control sources of NO.
- Sulur Oxides- Burning coal; forms smog and damages respitory system; Burn low sulfur coal.