ESS205H1 Lecture 3: 3 - Atmosphere and Hydrosphere

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Published on 13 Sep 2016
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Lecture 3
- Atmosphere
oMore dense near the surface
- Importance of the atmosphere
oBuffers out some of the bad solar radiation
oOzone is good because it filters out UV radiation
- Layers of the atmosphere (bottom to top)
oTroposphere
oStratosphere
oMesosphere
oThermosphere – air is very thin
Structure
- Black line represents temperature (changes between hot and cold)
- Temperature goes down in the troposphere
- Temperature in the thermosphere gets really hot
- Why do we have the temperature rising in some of the layers and decreasing in others?
oTroposphere – why would it be hotter in the troposphere? Closer to the earth
itself which is emitting a lot of heat but as you go up to the top it gets colder
oStratosphere – cold at the bottom but warmer towards the top because the
ozone layer (top of the stratosphere) pulls in/traps a lot of heat energy and
warms the top of stratosphere
oMesosphere – warmer at the bottom, because of the stratosphere below it and
then colder at the top
oThermosphere – cold at the bottom but gets hotter as it goes towards space
because of all of the radiation that is hitting it (it is absorbing a lot of gamma rays
and x rays)
Composition
- Most of our atmosphere today is made up mostly of nitrogen and oxygen
oEverything else is minor in the atmosphere
oGreenhouse gases are minor constituents
oAtmosphere is vastly different from what it was like when the Earth was formed
oEven ozone although there is a tiny percentage in the atmosphere is very
beneficial
Processes in the troposphere
- Weather – everyday what’s happening (short term)
oWind speed, pressure,
- Climate – average of weather over a long period of time (long term)
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- Convection occurs because of differential heating (solar energy not evenly distributed
around the Earth)
- Convection currents
- Three convection cells in the northern hemisphere and three in the south because of
the Coriolis effect
- Because of the rotation we have these convection cells
oPolar cell
oFerrel cell
oHadley cell
- Cold air moving and warm air moving
- Winds are generated
- Why are the winds going in different directions?
oN hemisphere – all are moving clockwise
oS hemisphere – counter clockwise
- Blue arrows – cold air, red arrows – hot air
- Air gets heated (heated air can hold more water)
- As air rises in the troposphere it cools and it can’t hold the moisture anymore so it rains
a lot because the area that was so hot down at the surface is rising through the
troposphere and cant hold the moisture and rains a lot for days
- Then the air moves away and then sinks as really dry air and comes down at a place like
30 degrees (there would not be much rain, places like deserts)
- 60 degrees is same as the equator situation hot and humid
- POLE dry like deserts
- Arrow are moving away from the high and toward the low???
Weather and erosion
- Geologic forces have changed the atmosphere over time
Hydrosphere
- totality of water on earth
water reservoirs
- water that arrives in the ocean can stay there for a very long time (residence time)
- glacier water, second in the world, also has a long residence time
- get the idea that things like glaciers and the ocean have a much longer residence time
than groundwater and surface water
- water in the atmosphere, in the form of water vapor, only last a few days
- biosphere can be one day up to many years
hydrologic cycle
- it shows how little of the world’s water is freshwater
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