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Earth's Dynamic Atmosphere
Transcript of Earth's Dynamic Atmosphere
Atmosphere of EARTH
The atmosphere of Earth is a layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth that is retained by Earth's gravity. The atmosphere becomes thinner and thinner with increasing altitude, with no definite boundary between the atmosphere and outer space.
The atmosphere protects life on Earth by:
absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation
warming the surface through heat retention
reducing temperature extremes between day and night
(the diurnal temperature variation)
The Kármán line, at 100 km (62 mi), or 1.57% of Earth's radius, is often used as the border between the atmosphere and outer space.
The study of Earth's atmosphere and its processes is called atmospheric science or aerology. Early pioneers in the field include
Léon Teisserenc de Bort
Used by all living things.
Essential for respiration.
It is necessary for combustion or burning.
- Used in light bulbs.
Plants use it to make oxygen.
Acts as a blanket and prevents the escape of heat into outer space.
Scientists are afraid that the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil are adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
- gases found only in very small amounts. They include
Dilutes oxygen and prevents rapid burning at the earth's surface.
Living things need it to make proteins.
Nitrogen cannot be used directly from the air.
The Nitrogen Cycle is nature's way of supplying the needed nitrogen for living things.
A. Water Vapor
Water vapor is the gaseous phase of water.
It is one state of water within the hydrosphere.
Water vapor can be produced from the evaporation or boiling of liquid water or from the sublimation of ice.
Under typical atmospheric conditions, water vapor is continuously generated by evaporation and removed by condensation.
It is lighter than air and triggers convection currents that can lead to clouds.
An aerosol is a colloid of fine solid particles or liquid droplets, in air or another gas.
Examples of aerosols include haze, dust, particulate air pollutants and smoke.
Aerosols contribute to an optical phenomenon we have all observed-
the varied hues of red and orange at sunrise and sunset
A form of oxygen that combines three oxyen atoms (O3).
Ozone is created when a single atom of oxygen(O) reacts and a molecule of oxygen(O2) collide.
This must happen in the presence of a third, neutral molecule that acts as a catalyst by allowing reaction to take place without itself being consumed in the process. Ozone absorbs the potentially harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Atmospheric pressure is simply the weight of the air above.
One-half of the atmosphere lies below an altitude of 5.6 km. At about 16 km, 90% of the atmosphere has been traversed and above 100 km , only 0.00003 % of all the gases of the atmosphere remains.
Atmospheric pressure variation with altitude. The rate of pressure decrease with an increase in altitude is not constant. Rather, pressure decreases rapidly near Earth’s surface and more gradually at greater heights.
The atmosphere is divided into five layers on the basis of temperature:
The temperature decrease in the troposphere is called the environmental laps rate. Its average value is 6.5C per kilometer.
To determine the actual environmental lapse rate as well as gather information about vertical changes in pressure, wind, humidity, radiosondes are used.
The troposphere is the layer of the atmosphere nearest to earth.
The troposphere goes from 0km to 16km.
All weather happens in the troposphere.
More than half the air in the total atmosphere is in this layer.
The temperature drops as the altitude increases.
is an instrument package attached to a balloon and transmits data by radio as it ascends through the atmosphere.
It goes from 16km to 50 km.
The temperature goes up with altitude.
The protective ozone is at the top of the atmosphere (It protects us from the ultraviolet radiation of the sun.)
Rivers of air, called Jet Streams, can be found at the base of this layer.
The Mesosphere goes from 50km to 90km.
In the mesosphere, the temperature drops with altitude.
The mesosphere is the coldest layer of the atmosphere.
Meteors burn up in this layer.
Radio waves are reflected back to earth in the mesosphere.
The thermosphere goes from 90km to 300km.
In the thermosphere the temperature goes up with altitude.
The thermosphere is the hottest layer of the atmosphere.(up to 100'C)
Curtains of light called auroras occur in this layer.
The Ionosphere is found in the thermosphere. This is the component of the thermosphere that makes the auroras.
The exosphere is the outermost layer of the atmosphere.
The temperature in the exosphere goes up with altitude.
Satellites orbit earth in the exosphere.
Precipitation is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity.The main forms of precipitation include drizzle, rain, sleet, snow, graupel and hail.
Precipitation occurs when a portion of the atmosphere becomes saturated with water vapor, so that the water condenses and "precipitates"
FORMS OF PRECIPITATION
Droplets large enough to be felt on the face when air is moving 1 meter /second.
Associated with stratus clouds.
Less than 0.5 mm
Small uniform drops that fall from stratus clouds, generally for several hours.
0.5 to 5mm
Generally produced by nimbostratus or cumulonimbus clouds.
When heavy, it can show high variability from one place to another.
Small, spherical to lumpy ice particles that form when raindrops freeze while falling through a layer of subfreezing air.
Because the ice particles are small, damage, if any, is generally minor. Sleet can travel hazardous.
Layers 1mm to 2 cm thick
Produced when supercooled raindrops freeze on contact with solid objects. Glaze can form a thick coating of ice having sufficient weight to seriously damage trees and power lines.
Deposits usually consisting of ice feathers that point into the wind. This delicate, frostlike accumulations form as supercooled cloud or fog droplets encounter objects and freeze on contact.
1mm to 2 cm
The crystalline nature of snow allows it to assume many shapes including six-sided crystal, plates, and needles. Produced in supercooled clouds where water vapor is deposited as ice crystal that remain frozen during their descent.
5mm to 10cm
Precipitation in the form of hard, rounded pellets or irregular lumps of ice . produced in large convective cumulonimbus clouds, where frozen ice particles and supercooled water coexist.
2 to 5 mm
Sometimes called soft hail, graupel forms when rimes collect on snow crystal to produce irregular masses of "soft’’ ice. Because these particles are softer than hailstone, they normally flatten out upon impact.
Sunlight causes water to evaporate into the atmosphere. This air containing the water vapor is heated at the surface of the earth and rises. As the air rises, it cools and the water vapor condenses on some form of particulate matter such as dust, ash, or smoke to form
. The particulate matter are called
So, what is a cloud?
~ It is a thick mass of suspended water drops or ice crystals.
What do clouds tell us?
~ The presence of clouds in the sky is one type of signal to meteorologists that there will be changes in the weather. Predicting the weather requires the understanding of the different types of clouds
To better communicate and understand the many cloud forms in the sky, meteorologists identify clouds based on five basic cloud characteristics:
1. The altitude at which they occur
5. Degree of cover
Stratus clouds are thin, sheet-like clouds.
They are layered with some rippling, and cover large portions of the sky.
They are frequently gray and thick.
Stratus clouds are formed when air is forced up slowly.
Cirrus clouds are thin, white clouds with a feathery appearance.
They are the highest of all clouds forming at heights of 30,000 feet or more above the earth's surface.
Cirrus clouds are formed by ice crystals.
They generally occur in fair weather and point in the direction of air movement at their elevation. Cirrus clouds are usually the first sign of an approaching storm.
Cumulus clouds are flat-based, billowing clouds with vertical doming. Often the top of cumulus clouds have a "cauliflower-like" appearance. Cumulus clouds are most prominent during the summer months.
Cumulus or fluffy clouds form when air is forced up rapidly and therefore rises higher.
: any cloud that rains
taller, towering versions of cumulus clouds. Their height can be from two to five miles. These clouds often form thunderstorms.
low, flat clouds that are often associated with steady precipitation and occur in thick, continuous layers and are often dark gray in color.
High clouds: 7-18km
less than 25oC & made up of ice crystals
: high, wispy clouds. They give the sky a milky white appearance.
delicate clouds appearing in bands or ripples across the sky. They are one of the least common of the cloud types.
Low level clouds:
0 - 4 km
Greater than 5'C & composed of water.
: Dense, uniform dark gray layers.
groups of dense, puffy
clouds that cover the sky in dark heavy
masses, long and gray. The often form in
bands across the sky.
These clouds usually form from the gradual lifting of air in advance of a cold front.
Middle level clouds: 2-7 km
0-25oC & composed of both water and ice crystals
The presence of altocumulus clouds on a warm and humid summer morning is commonly followed by thunderstorms later in the day.
thin, layered clouds that are blue-gray or whitish in color and often cover large portions of the sky. They are thinner if formed at higher altitudes but are heavier and more dense if closer to the ground.
oval or eliptical in shape, and can have gray undersides. They often have a "cottonball-like" appearance.
It is defined as cloud with its base at or very near the ground.
TYPES OF FOG
Frontal or Precipitation Fog