GEO 110 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Pressure-Gradient Force, Coriolis Force, Thermal Wind

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25 Jul 2016
Department
Course
Lecture 2 -April 25th
Structure of the Atmosphere
Troposphere
-Most dynamic and vibrant part of the atmosphere, the temperature reduces with altitude at a
rate of -6.4 degrees Celsius, it is also the zone that is characterized by dynamic weather
patterns,
-As you move up the troposphere, pressure reduces with altitude
-Temperature reduce with altitude
-In the zone thermal conditions stabilizes because it is a transition zone to the next layer
Stratosphere
-Categorized by temperature inversion, temperature increases with altitude, high accumulation
of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, methane, mercury, etc
-As you move by the stratosphere, you have a transition zone called stratopause, and
temperatures become stable
Mesosphere
-Air is exceedingly light, and there is high amount of ice crystals
-Temperature reduces with altitude, and pressure also reduces with altitude
Thermosphere
-Greater degree of ionization due to large amount of gamma race
-As you go higher, you are entering space
*****Test Question: Why is it that when you are entering outer space it feels cold???
Wind Systems
-Differential heating and cooling in earths surface
High Pressure systems: Mass of cool dry air that generally brings fair weather and light winds
Low Pressure Systems: Mass of warm air that generally brings stormy weather with strong
winds
-Air moves from a high pressure zone to a low pressure zone,and it is the movement of air we
describe as wind
Mercury Barometer/ Aneroid Barometer: A way to measure pressure
Wind Vane: Used to measure wind direction
Wind Patten Development Animation
Pressure Gradient Force: Occurs where low and high pressure systems exist in the
atmosphere due to differential heating and cooling of the air
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