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2013 Gy 101Fall Class Notes

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University of Alabama
GY 101
Douglass Sherman

Gy 101  Physical Geography o Holistic Environmental Science o Environmental as resource and hazard  Atmosphere o It is in the Ocean o It impacts our lives  What we need o E-text o Practice Exams o Flash Cards  Weather Vs. Climate o Weather  Time/place specific state of the atmosphere  Temp, pressure, moisture, wind o Climate  Statistical properties of the atmosphere  Averages of weather  Climate ‘norms’  Processes o Atmospheric physics o Energy and material states and flows o Moisture conditions and dynamics  Patterns o Result from processes o Spatial manifestations of weather and climate o Weather maps, satellite images, climate classification  Radon (Rn) – The Quiet Killer o Radon gas produced by radioactive decay of uranium 238 o Chemically inert, but emits Alpha/Beta radiation and gamma rays o It is a dense, colorless, odorless, gas o Its everywhere in air and water o Class A carcinogen  Lung cancer from air  Stomach cancer from water o 8,000-45,000 Deaths/Year  21,000 Deaths/Year best estimate o Settles and concentrates in low areas like basements with little circulation o Fixed through ventilation  Inter tropical convergence zone o The seam where the two hemispherical weather patterns meet o Will always be visible on infrared maps near the equator showing intense precipitation o The ITCZ moves north and south and the seasons change but it always near the equator  3 mains things we looks for o Air temp o Barometric pressure o Precipitation  Basic instrumentation o Thermometers o Rain gauges o Barometer o Anemometers and wind vanes o Hygrographs o Solar Radiometer  Thermometer o Units of temperature  Degrees (C or F), or Kelvin  Infrared Thermometer o Measures intensity of infrared radiation  Barometer o Mercury Barometer (1644) o Aneroid Barometer (1843) o Units of measure  Inches or millimeters of mercury  PSI, Pa, Bar (millibar)  Standard Atmosphere (14.7 psi)  Anemometer o Measure wind speed  Cups that spins  Ultrasonic anemometer  Sling Psychrometer o Measures Relative humidity  Dry bulb measures air temp  The minimum temp found from the wet bulb is the Dew point temp  Dew point temp o The temp at which condensation would occur if you cool the air off that much  The Atmosphere o Etymology  Atmos: vapor  Sphere: sphere o Definition  Layer of gasses around the planet  Held in place by gravity  Modulates surface environments o First Atmosphere  Earth formed 4.6 billion years ago  Mainly H2 and He o Second Atmosphere  Formed by ‘outgassing’  Really introduced oxygen with other elements into the earth o Modern Atmosphere  Loss of oxygen compounds  Increase in O2  2 main components of earths atmosphere o Hydrogen and Helium  2 lightest and most abundant gasses  Composition of lower atmosphere o Nitrogen (78%) about 80% o Oxygen (21%) about 20%  Two most abundant parts o Argon (1%) o Carbon dioxide (0.04%) o Water (080km  Temperatures increase again  The atmosphere is so thin, the atoms in the air absorb energy and increase their speed and expansion  Homosphere:
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