Chapter1 Notes for GEOG 4013

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Louisiana State University
GEOG 4013

Meteorology4013Chapter 1 The Earth and Its AtmosphereEarths AtmosphereThe atmosphere is a very thin life giving blanket of air surrounding the earth Applethe skin on the apple Protects usRadiant energy from the sun energizes the atmospheredriving day to day weather Allows the earth to maintain an average surface temperature of 15 CAtmospheric Composition Compositions99 of the atmosphere is within 30km of the Earths surface Nitrogen 78 Oxygen 21The percentages are constant amounts of gas but cycles of destruction output and production input are constantly maintaining this amountCertain plants are nitrogen fixatingTABLE 11 Composition of the Atmosphere near the Earths SurfaceWater Vapor varies more than any other gas depending on when you are locatedfrom place to place and over timeFollows the hydrologic cycleWater vapor the least at the poles most at the tropics Carbon dioxide has risen in recent years and is an important greenhouse gas ICE CORESOther greenhouse gasses that exist beyond carbon dioxideTraps heat To some degree we like greenhouse gasses because we need to keep a constant surface temperature Combustion releases carbon dioxidecombust fuel volcanoes when plants do photosynthesis We dissolve CO2 into the ocean Chlorofluorocarbons CFCsOzone o3Majority 97 found in upper atmosphere stratospheric ozoneAerosolsTiny solid or liquid suspended particlesPollutantsHumanmade impurities that pose health hazardsAcid RainSulfuric acid in the atmosphere The Early Atmosphere 46 Billion Years Ago1Composed mostly of hydrogen and helium2The atmosphere evolved due to outgassingaPours gasses into our atmosphere3Lakes and oceans acted as a sink absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere 4Suns rays split up H2Ophotodissociation5Plants evolved producing oxygen to form out current atmosphere several 100 million ybp years before presentVertical Structure of the AtmosphereAir Pressure and Air Density WeightmassgravityDensitymassvolumePressureforceareaMb millibarshPa2At the Earths surface the pressure of the atmosphere is 147 lbsin101325 mbaverage pressure at sea level Atmospheric pressure or air pressure decreases with an increase in height Lessens as you go up in altitude because gravity is less of a factor UNITSForceNewton Nmetric Pounds lbs English22AreaSquare meter m metric Square inch in 21Nm1 Pascal PaDenver COThe Mile High City Air Density 15 less then sea level As air density decreases the drag force on a baseball decreases90 of your atmosphere exists below 10 miles high 30 miles above999Vertical StructureAir TemperatureLapse Rate Change in temperature with a change in height65C 1000m LayersWarmer in the stratospherethe ozone layer is here Thermosphere d Mesosphere i Stratosphere d Troposphere iIsothermal Environmentno change in temperature with heightInversion layerchange in the sign of the lapse rateObservationRadiosondeWeather balloonInstrument and transmitterAir temperature humidity pressureThe IonosphereNot a true layer but an electrified region Ionsmolecule with an additional or minus an electron
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