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29 Cards in this Set

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atmosphere
the layer of gases surrounding earth
characteristics of the mesosphere
1. middle layer
2. extends up 50-80 km
3. temperatures drop to their lowest here
composition of the atmosphere
21% oxygen
78% nitrogen
1% other
aerosols
characteristics of the thermosphere
1. extends 85-500 km above earth's surface
2. temperatures increase rapidly
3. filters out x rays and gamma rays from the sun
characteristics of the ionosphere
1. actually a portion of both thermosphere and mesosphere
2. can reflect radio waves
3. makes long distance communication possible
layers of the atmosphere
1. troposphere
2. stratosphere
3. mesosphere
4. thermosphere
5. ionosphere
6. exosphere
characteristics of the exosphere
1. outermost layer
2. extends out toward space
3. contains few atoms
4. no clear boundary separates exosphere from space
characteristics of the troposphere
1. layer closest to the earth
2. extends up to 10 km
3. makes up 3/4 of all layers
4. clouds and weather happen here
5. starts out with warm air and gets cooler as you travel up
characteristics of the stratosphere
1. next layer after the troposphere
2. extends 10-50 km up
3. most of the ozone is located here
4. warms up as you move through it
5. absorbs most of the uv rays
the water cycle
1. rains runs off into streams, etc.
2. water evaporates
3. clouds are formed
4. water drops inside clouds form bigger drops
5. when drops get too heavy, they fall to the ground
weather
describes the current condition of the atmosphere
conduction
transfer of energy when molecules collide
factors of weather
1. temperature
2. cloud cover
3. wind speed
4. wind direction
5. humidity
6. air pressure
convection
the process of warm air rising and cool air sinking
humidity
the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere
air pressure
1. the weight of air
2. develops because gases, liquids, and solids have mass and are pulled toward the earth's surface (gravity)
relative humidity
the amount of water vapor that is present compared to the amount that could be held at a specific temperature
how is heat distributed on earth
1. conduction
2. convection
3. radiation
types of clouds
1. low clouds-cumulus and stratus
2. middle clouds-alto
3. high-cirrus
precipitation
when drops of water or ice crystals become too large and heavy to stay up in the clouds
how is hail formed
1. strong winds toss ice crystals up and down in the clouds
2. as the crystals move up and down, drops of water freeze around them
3. keep going up and down and getting bigger
4. when they get too heavy they fall to the ground
types of wind
1. general air circulation
2. surface winds
3. westerly winds
4. eaterly winds
5. jet streams
coriolis effect
1. warm air flows toward the poles
2. cold air flows toward the equator
3. as earth rotates, moving air is DEFLECTED to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left south of the equator
why are temperatures warmer at the equator
the sun's rays strike more directly near the equator than at the poles
characteristics of jet streams
1. bands of strong winds
2. develop at higher altitudes
3. like giant rivers of air
characteristics of easterly winds
1. near the poles, cold air sinks and flows away
2. replaced by warmer air flowing in
3. turns by the coriolis effect
4. blows from the east
characteristics of westerly winds
1. blows from the west
2. called prevailing winds
3. form the boundary between cold air from the poles and warm air from the equator
4. major weather systems usually form along this boundary
characteristics of surface winds
1. air sinks and flows to the equator
2. coriolis effect turns them
3. called tradewinds or tropical easterlies
4. generally blow east to west
doldrums
quiet area near the equator where the winds don't blow for long periods of time