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Environmental Science
Jurek Kolasa

10 out of 12 definitions; each worth 1 mark: taken from entire course Atmosphere- Redistributes heat and moisture Hydrosphere- liquid water Lithosphere- solid layer of earth, layer of soil nutrients Biosphere- Living organisms Weather- State of the atmosphere at a particular place and time Weather system-Recurring atmospheric circulation patterns, associated weather changes Front-Boundary between air masses Tropical cyclone-moist air moving from high pressure to a zone of low pressure, develops over warm tropical waters Thunderstorm- Intense convection Tornado- Destructive winds, small vortexes of spiral winds, form as a biproduct from thunderstorms Climate- Average conditions of atmosphere in a region Seasons: Cyclical changes based on sun angle El Nino- Major pattern of circulation of the southern pacifics, changes between strength and direction of the wind Global warming- Last 100 years of rising temperatures Ice Age- Very slow cooling then slow warming Temperature- Measure of molecular energy within a substance Aerosols- tiny airborne liquid or solid particles Ozone- Absorbs ultraviolet radiation, protecting the earth Environmental Lapse rate (ELR)- Rate of decrease of temperature with elevation in the atmosphere. Also knows as atmosphere lapse rate Tree line- Maximum extent where we have trees Troposphere- Lowest atmospheric layer, where weather events occur, thick at the equator, thinner near poles. As high as 16km or as low as 8km Stratosphere- ~12-50km altitude , ozone layer intercepts UV rays, little mixing with air in troposphere Mesosphere- layer above stratopause, temperature starts to decrease Thermosphere- Very thin atmosphere, temperature decreases Ionsphere- Contains electrically charged atoms and molecules:ions, creates global electrical and magnetic fields, also can cause communication disruptions Atmospheric pressure- Force exerted by air molecules per unit area Ideal gas law- relation between temperature, density and pressure of gas Air density- Mass of air molecules within a fixed volume of air Global Energy balance- Process by which energy received is converted into other forms Electromagnetic radiation- Energy constantly emitted from every surface, a series of waves Blackbody- body that is perfectly efficient at emitting radiation Insolation- Incoming solar radiation Net radiation- Incoming radiation minus outgoing radiation Poleward Heat Transport- Moves towards poles (deficit regions), is a driving force of climate Sensible heat- indicates kinetic energy of molecular motion, heat transferred by conduction from molecule to molecule Conduction- If the earths surface is warmer then the air, the extra energy gained by the air molecules will cause them to move faster, thereby raising their temperature Convection- Vertical circulation carry the warmer surface air aloft, warming the air away from the surface. These circulations also bring cool air from aloft down to the surface, cooling the surface air and underlying ground Latent heat- cannot be felt or measured. Stored as molecular motion when water changes phases Albedo- Proportion of solar radiation reflected upward from a surface. Insolation that is not absorbed Counterradiation- Heat absorbed by atmosphere reflected down to surface Perihelion-Corresponds to January 4 , when were closest to the sun th Aphelion- Furthest away from the sun (july 4 ) Plane of Ecliptic- Earths orbital plane Solstices-Sun reaches its highest position in the sky as seen from the North or South Pole. Equinoxes-No tilt toward or away from sun. Happens in march and September Heat Capacity-Measure of the ability of a material to absorb heat Continentality- Effect of an inland location that favours greater temperature extremes. Isotherm- Line on a map connecting all points with same temperature Wind-chill index- feel of temperature Heat Index-Feel of temperature on hot days Humidity- Amount of water vapour in the air Absolute humidity- mass of water vapour per volume of air Specific Humidity – Actual quanitity of water vapour in air Vapour pressure- The pressure exerted by water vapour molecules in an air parcel Saturation vapour pressure- The vapour pressure at which an air parcel will be saturated Saturation Specific humidity- Maximum amount of water vapour that an air parcel can contain at any given time Dew Point- Temperature at which air, when cooled, becomes saturated Relative Humidity- H2O in air compared to max H2O at that temperature Adiabatic process- The rate of cooling as air is rising Dry Adiabatic lapse rate- Rate of temperature decreases with an altitude for a parcel of dry or unsaturated air as it rises: 10 degrees celcius/1000m Moist adiabatic lapse rate- Rate of temperature decreases with an altitude for a parcel of air saturated with water vapour as it rises 4-9 degrees Celsius/1000 m Lifting condensation level- Height at which saturation occurs, this is where you start the formation of a cloud (where the cloud base will be created) Atmospheric stability- Occurs when parcel of air is at the equilibrium with its surroundings Stability- Air parcel resists upward displacement Instability- Air parcel keeps rising (warmer than surrounding air). Keeps rising until it reaches the same temperature as the surrounding air Absolutely Stable Air- When the ELR is lower than the DALR Conditionally stable air- When the ELR is lower than the DALR, but higher than the MALR Clouds- Made up of water droplets or ice particles Orographic Uplift- Has an ELR of 8 degrees Celsius per 1000m -MALR=6 degrees Celsius per 1000m -As you reach 100m this is the dew point which is where the LCL is. -When you reach the top of the mountain all the moisture has cooled down -Rain on the left side, no rain on the right side. -Air descending on other side descends on the DALR. There will be wind on the windward side, and there will be little rain on the leeward side. Stratiform- Blanket like Cumuliform- Veritcally developed Nimbus- Rainfall or snowfall in the winter Cumulonimbus- Thunderstorm cloud. Can reach 12km altitude. Thousands of air parcels rising very fast Cirrus: High, thing, mostly made up of ice crystals Fog- When saturation reaches condensation Radiation fog- Happens at night when air temperature reaches dew point just above surface Advection fog- Moist warm air carries from mild water to cold coastal areas. Big temperature difference. Dew point reached just above water surface Precipitation- Any form of water that falls from a cloud and reaches the ground Cold clouds- Whole cloud is below 0 celcius freezing point Cool clouds- Top of cloud is warmer, part of the cloud is near 0 degrees Celsius or slightly above Bergeron Process- -Because of large difference in vapour pressure, there will be a net transfer of water that has coalesced on the droplets of supercooled water to the ice crystals -Maximum growth of ice crystals will occur at the top of the cool clouds. -At the top of the cloud, the transfer has almost completely taken place Accretion- Tiny ice crystals that collect super cold water Aggregation- snowflakes Hail- Ice crystals held aloft by strong updrafts Graupel- Supercooled water
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