2 Chapter 17 The Atmosphere: Structure and Temperature
3 17.1 Atmosphere Characteristics Composition of the Atmosphere Weather is constantly changing, and it refers to the state of the atmosphere at any given time and place. Climate, however, is based on observations of weather that have been collected over many years. Climate helps describe a place or region. Weather is constantly changing, and it refers to the state of the atmosphere at a given time and place.
4 17.1 Atmosphere Characteristics Composition of the Atmosphere The most important measurable properties of weather and climate are: air temperature, humidity, type and amount of precipitation, air pressure, and the speed and direction of wind.
5 17.1 Atmosphere Characteristics Composition of the Atmosphere Major Components Air is a mixture of different gases and particles, each with its own physical properties. Know the major components, and their percentages. Nitrogen=78%, Oxygen=21%, Argon=.93% Carbon Dioxide=.039%...but VERY Important! Ozone=very small %...but VERY Important!
6 Volume of Clean, Dry Air
7 17.1 Atmosphere Characteristics Composition of the Atmosphere Variable Components Water vapor is the source of all clouds and precipitation. Like carbon dioxide, water vapor absorbs heat given off by Earth. It also absorbs some solar energy. Ozone is a form of oxygen that combines three oxygen atoms into each molecule (O 3 ). If ozone did not filter most UV radiation and all of the sun s UV rays reached the surface of Earth, our planet would be uninhabitable for many living organisms.
8 17.1 Atmosphere Characteristics Composition of the Atmosphere Human Influence Emissions from transportation vehicles account for nearly half the primary pollutants by weight. Where do the other pollutants come from?
9 Primary Pollutants
10 17.1 Atmosphere Characteristics Height and Structure of the Atmosphere The atmosphere rapidly thins as you travel away from Earth until there are too few gas molecules to detect. Pressure Changes Atmospheric pressure is simply the weight of the air above.
11 Atmospheric Pressure vs. Altitude
12 17.1 Atmosphere Characteristics Height and Structure of the Atmosphere Temperature Changes The atmosphere can be divided vertically into four layers based on temperature. The troposphere is the bottom layer of the atmosphere where temperature decreases with an increase in altitude. The stratosphere is the layer of the atmosphere where temperature remains constant to a height of about 20 kilometers. It then begins a gradual increase until the stratopause.
13 Snowy Mountaintops Contrast with Warmer Snow-Free Lowlands
14 17.1 Atmosphere Characteristics Height and Structure of the Atmosphere Temperature Changes The mesosphere is the layer of the atmosphere immediately above the stratosphere and is characterized by decreasing temperatures with height. The thermosphere is the region of the atmosphere immediately above the mesosphere and is characterized by increasing temperatures due to the absorption of very short-wave solar energy by oxygen.
15 Thermal Structure of the Atmosphere
16 17.1 Atmosphere Characteristics Earth-Sun Relationships Earth s Motions Earth has two principal motions rotation and revolution. Earth s Orientation Seasonal changes occur because Earth s position relative to the sun continually changes as it travels along its orbit.
17 Tilt of Earth s Axis
18 17.1 Atmosphere Characteristics Earth-Sun Relationships Solstices and Equinoxes The summer solstice is the solstice that occurs on June 21 or 22 in the Northern Hemisphere and is the official first day of summer. The winter solstice is the solstice that occurs on December 21 or 22 in the Northern Hemisphere and is the official first day of winter.
19 17.1 Atmosphere Characteristics Earth-Sun Relationships Solstices and Equinoxes The autumnal equinox is the equinox that occurs on September 22 or 23 in the Northern Hemisphere. The spring equinox is the equinox that occurs on March 21 or 22 in the Northern Hemisphere.
20 17.1 Atmosphere Characteristics Length of Daylight The length of daylight compared to the length of darkness also is determined by Earth s position in orbit.
21 Solstices and Equinoxes
22 17.2 Heating the Atmosphere Energy Transfer as Heat Heat is the energy transferred from one object to another because of a difference in the objects temperature. Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the individual atoms or molecules in a substance.
23 17.2 Heating the Atmosphere Energy Transfer as Heat Three mechanisms of energy transfer as heat are conduction, convection, and radiation. Conduction Conduction is the transfer of heat through matter by molecular activity. One object is touching another object. For the atmosphere, conduction is the least important method of heat transfer.
24 17.2 Heating the Atmosphere Energy Transfer as Heat Convection Convection is the transfer of heat by mass movement or circulation within a substance. Takes place mostly in fluids like air or water Can happen in solids that act like fluids (ex: earth s mantle)
25 Energy Transfer as Heat
26 17.2 Heating the Atmosphere Energy Transfer as Heat Radiation Before we discuss radiation, lets look at the electromagnetic spectrum.
27 17.2 Heating the Atmosphere Energy Transfer as Heat Electromagnetic Waves The sun emits light and heat as well as the ultraviolet rays that cause a suntan. These forms of energy are only part of a large array of energy emitted by the sun, called the electromagnetic spectrum.
28 Electromagnetic Spectrum
29 Visible Light Consists of an Array of Colors
30 17.2 Heating the Atmosphere Energy Transfer as Heat Radiation Radiation is the transfer of energy (heat) through space by electromagnetic waves that travel out in all directions. Unlike conduction and convection, which need material to travel through, radiant energy can travel through the vacuum of space.
31 17.2 Heating the Atmosphere Energy Transfer as Heat Radiation All objects, at any temperature, emit radiant energy. Hotter objects radiate more total energy per unit area than colder objects do. The hottest radiating bodies produce the shortest wavelengths of maximum radiation. Objects that are good absorbers of radiation are good emitters as well.
32 17.2 Heating the Atmosphere What Happens to Solar Radiation? When radiation strikes an object, there usually are three different results. 1. Some energy is absorbed by the object. 2. Substances such as water and air are transparent to certain wavelengths of radiation. (In other words, it goes right through the object). 3. Some radiation may bounce off the object without being absorbed or transmitted.
33 Solar Radiation
34 17.2 Heating the Atmosphere What Happens to Solar Radiation? Reflection and Scattering Reflection occurs when light bounces off an object. Reflection radiation has the same intensity as incident radiation (the first rays of the radiation). Scattering produces a larger number of weaker rays that travel in different directions. Small dust particles and gas molecules in the atmosphere scatter some incoming radiation in all directions (this is why there is still light in the shade, and why the sky is blue).
35 17.2 Heating the Atmosphere What Happens to Solar Radiation? Absorption About 50 percent of the solar energy that strikes the top of the atmosphere reaches Earth s surface and is absorbed. The greenhouse effect is the heating of Earth s surface and atmosphere from solar radiation being absorbed and emitted by the atmosphere, mainly by water vapor and carbon dioxide.
36 17.3 Why Temperatures Vary Controls Factors other than latitude that exert a strong influence on temperature include heating of land and water, altitude, geographic position, cloud cover, and ocean currents.
37 17.3 Temperature Controls Why Temperatures Vary Land and Water Land heats more rapidly and to higher temperatures than water. Land also cools more rapidly and to lower temperatures than water.
38 Mean Monthly Temperatures for Vancouver and Winnipeg
39 17.3 Temperature Controls Why Temperatures Vary Geographic Position The geographic setting can greatly influence temperatures experienced at a specific location. For example, a mountain range can have a huge influence on the temperature.
40 Mean Monthly Temperatures for Eureka and New York City
41 Mean Monthly Temperatures for Seattle and Spokane
42 17.3 Temperature Controls Why Temperatures Vary Altitude The altitude can greatly influence temperatures experienced at a specific location.
43 Mean Monthly Temperatures for Guayaquil and Quito
44 17.3 Temperature Controls Why Temperatures Vary Cloud Cover and Albedo Albedo is the fraction of total radiation that is reflected by any surface. Many clouds have a high albedo and therefore reflect back to space a significant portion of the sunlight that strikes them.
45 Clouds Reflect and Absorb Radiation
46 17.3 Temperature Controls World Distribution of Temperature Isotherms are lines on a weather map that connect points where the temperature is the same. Isotherms generally trend east and west and show a decrease in temperatures from the tropics toward the poles. Figure 20 on page 493
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