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CA (168,340)
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EESA01H3 (82)
Chapter 13

CHAPTER 13 DETAILED NOTES FOR 4.0

15 Pages
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Department
Environmental Science
Course Code
EESA01H3
Professor
Carl Mitchell

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The Atmosphere and Weather
Atmosphere is the thin layer of gases that surrounds the earth.
oProvides us with oxygen, absorbs hazardous solar radiation, burns up
incoming meteors, transports and recycles water and nutrients, and
moderates climates
oConsists of
78% nitrogen gas
21% oxygen gas
1% argon gas
oSome of which are permanent gases (remain at stable
concentrations) or variable gases (vary in concentration
from time to time)
Atmosphere chemical composition has changed over time.
Human activity is altering the quantities of some atmospheric gases
oCarbon Dioxide
oMethane
oOzone
The Atmosphere is Layered
Is a thin coating about 1/100 of earths diameter, like the fuzzy skin of a peach.
Coating consists of four layers
oTrophosphere
Bottommost layer
Blankets earth surface
Provides with air we need to live
Air within troposphere responsible for the planets weather
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Contains ¾ of the atmospheres mass, as air is denser near earths
surface
Troposphereic air temperature declines 6C for each km in altitude.
At the top of the troposphere, temperatures decline with altitude,
marking a boundary called tropopause (upper boundary of
trophosphere, limits mixing between troposphere and the stratosphere
oStratosphere
extends from 11km and 50km above sea level
1000 times as dry and less dense then troposphere
Gases experience little vertical mixing, so when pollutants enter they
stay for a long time
Attains a max temperature of -3C at its highest altitude, is colder in
its lower reaches
Because the ozone and oxygen absorb and scatter the suns
ultraviolet radiation so that much of the UV radiation
penetrating the upper stratosphere fails to reach the lower
stratosphere
Ozone layer contains most of the atmospheres minute amount of
ozone from 17km to 30km above sea level
Reduces the amount of UV radiation that reaches the earths
surface
UV light can damage living tissue and induce mutations in
DNA
Its protective effects are vital for life on earth
oMesosphere
Extends from 50km to 80km above sea level
Air pressure is low
Temperatures decrease with altitude, reaching their lowest point at
the top of the mesosphere.
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oThermosphere is the top layer and extends upward to an altitude of 500km
Atmospheric properties include temperature, pressure, and humidity
Differences in air masses allow movement in the lower atmosphere
oThese properites include pressure, density, relative humidity and
temperature
Gravity pulls down gas molecules toward earths surface
oAir is therefore more dense at the surface and less as altitude increases.
Atmospheric pressure is the force per unit area produced by a column of air, and
also decreases with altitude because at higher altitudes, fewer molecules are pulled
down by gravety.
relative humidity is the ratio of water vapour a given volume of air contains to the
maximum amount it could contain at a given temperature.
oIf relative humidity in June in Arizona is only 31%, this means the air
contains less than a third of the water vapour it possibly can at its
temperature
oWhen humidity is high, the air is holding nearly as much water vapour as it
can so sweat evaporates slowly and the body cannot cool itelf efficiently.
Why humidity makes it feel hotter than it really is
Temperature on earth surface varies because sunrs rays strike some areas more
directly than others.
oThe side of a hill that is sheltered from wind or direct sunlight can have a
totally different weather pattern, or microclimate, from the side facing into
the wind or sunlight.
Solar Energy heats the atmosphere, helps create seasons, and causes air to
circulate
(Title explains most of the paragraph)
Of all the solar energy that bombards the upper atmosphere, 70% is absorbed by the
atmosphere and planetary surface while the rest is reflected back into space.
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Description
The Atmosphere and Weather Atmosphere is the thin layer of gases that surrounds the earth. o Provides us with oxygen, absorbs hazardous solar radiation, burns up incoming meteors, transports and recycles water and nutrients, and moderates climates o Consists of 78% nitrogen gas 21% oxygen gas 1% argon gas o Some of which are permanent gases (remain at stable concentrations) or variable gases (vary in concentration from time to time) Atmosphere chemical composition has changed over time. Human activity is altering the quantities of some atmospheric gases o Carbon Dioxide o Methane o Ozone The Atmosphere is Layered Is a thin coating about 1100 of earths diameter, like the fuzzy skin of a peach. Coating consists of four layers o Trophosphere Bottommost layer Blankets earth surface Provides with air we need to live Air within troposphere responsible for the planets weather www.notesolution.com Contains of the atmospheres mass, as air is denser near earths surface Troposphereic air temperature declines 6C for each km in altitude. At the top of the troposphere, temperatures decline with altitude, marking a boundary called tropopause (upper boundary of trophosphere, limits mixing between troposphere and the stratosphere o Stratosphere extends from 11km and 50km above sea level 1000 times as dry and less dense then troposphere Gases experience little vertical mixing, so when pollutants enter they stay for a long time Attains a max temperature of -3C at its highest altitude, is colder in its lower reaches Because the ozone and oxygen absorb and scatter the suns ultraviolet radiation so that much of the UV radiation penetrating the upper stratosphere fails to reach the lower stratosphere Ozone layer contains most of the atmospheres minute amount of ozone from 17km to 30km above sea level Reduces the amount of UV radiation that reaches the earths surface UV light can damage living tissue and induce mutations in DNA Its protective effects are vital for life on earth o Mesosphere Extends from 50km to 80km above sea level Air pressure is low Temperatures decrease with altitude, reaching their lowest point at the top of the mesosphere. www.notesolution.com
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