ENVS Exam 3 Comprehensive Notes

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Environmental Sciences
ENVS 1126
All Professors

Weather and Atmospheric PollutionAtmospherethe layers of gases separating earth from space Tropospherethe lowest layer of the atmosphere 5 to 10 miles thick gets colder and you go higher in altitude site and source of weather water vapor and clouds its gases are responsible for energy transfer to earth and for biogeochemical cycling capped by tropopause Substances entering may be washed back to earthStratospheretemperature increases with altitude contains ozone O3 absorbs highenergy radiation from the sun and capped by stratopause 1040 miles above earths surface substances entering remain unless attacked by sunlight or other chemicalsAltitudes Typical 747 jet 12000 metersConcorde jet18300 meters Remember altitude is how high you are from earths surface while latitude is where you are on earths surfaceRain is cleansing for the troposphere but pollutants in the stratosphere are resistant to cleansingAir pollutantsubstances in the atmosphere gases and aerosols that have harmful effects3 factors determining level of air pollutionAmount of pollutant enteringAmount of space Mechanisms that remove the pollutantsClimateaverage temperature and rainfall conditions of a region over the course of a yearA function of its rainfall and temperatureMeteorologythe study of both weather and climateBiomea large area of earths surface with similar plants and climate Weatherthe daytoday variations in temperature air pressure wind humidity and precipitation in a regionHow does energy from the sun solar energy control the weatherSolar Energycomes from the sun and it reaches the earthIt includes o UV light visible light and infrared lighto Only half of this energy makes it to earths surface 30 is reflected and 20 is absorbed by the atmosphere o The 20 of solar energy absorber by the atmosphere cause air masses at Earths surface to warm expand and become lighter o Rising warm air creates high pressure in the atmosphere leaving lowpressure regions closer to the Earths surfaceWeather a convection cellOn a smaller scale convection currents cause changes in weather patterns as they move from west to east Earths rotation if you hovered directly over the north pole and looked down at the Earths rotation it would be counterclockwiseHighpressure air masses at higher elevations in the atmosphere lose some heat by radiating heat to space and by condensation which generates rain then they flow horizontally to regions of lower pressure cooler regions lower elevationsThen it heats up againThe differences in air pressure cause airflows windWind generally flows from high pressure to lowpressure regions
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