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62 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Which characteristics of the atmosphere make it especially conducive to life?
has Oxygen and water vapor
What was the composition of the Earth’s early atmosphere?
Hydrogen and Helium
What is the current composition of the Earth’s atmosphere?
78%N, 21%O, .9%argon
What has caused the changes in the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 3.5 billion years?
Volcanic activity and cooling.
What are the layers of the Earth’s atmosphere?
Troposphere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere, Thermosphere
Approximately how high do the troposphere and stratosphere extend?
0-10 km, 17-48 km
What is the tropopause?
Top of troposphere
What are atmospheric conditions like in the troposphere and stratosphere?
low humididity
Describe each of these key properties of the atmosphere that influence weather and climate:
air pressure:
air temperature:
humidity
air pressure: weight of the atmosphere
air temperature: heat of the air
humidity: water vapor in air
What causes global air circulation and wind patterns?
Uneven surface haeating and the earth's rotation
What is the prevailing wind in the continental US?
Westerly
What is weather?
short term atmospheric conditions
What is climate?
average long term weather conditions
What are the types of climate by latitude?
x
What is the significance of climate type for biogeography?
x
What is a microclimate?
very localized conditions
List and describe the 4 ways that climate in midlatitude cities differs from the surrounding rural areas.
warmer, less humid, more dust, more fog and precip
How has the global climate changed over time?
Heated and cooled periodically
How do we know that it has changed?
x
What changes have occurred since the 1850’s?
heating
What is significant about the last 2 decades of the 20th century?
x
What is global warming?
x
What factors affect the temperature at or near the Earth’s surface?
x
Why does the sun radiate energy of shorter wavelengths and higher energy than the Earth does?
x
What is the greenhouse effect?
x
Which greenhouse gases are naturally occurring?
x
Which greenhouse gases are anthropogenic?
x
For each, describe the sources, rate of increase, and relative contribution to the anthropogenic greenhouse effect:
carbon dioxide (CO2)
x
methane (CH4)
x
chlorofluorcarbons (CFCs)
x
nitrous oxide (N2O)
x
What is the atmospheric window and what is its significance in global warming?
x
In terms of global climate change, what is meant by forcing?
x
What are some of the scenarios and models of global warming that have been developed?
x
Describe the 8 feedback cycles discussed and shown in the figure in your text.
x
Describe how these forces can affect global climate:
solar activity
x
aerosols and volcanoes
x
methane
x
human activities

What is El Nino? What are some of the effects of an El Nino? How often does El Nino occur?
x
What are some of the potential effects of global climate change?
x
What are some adjustments we will have to make?
x
What is being done to address global warming?
x
What are the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol? What are the reasons that the US has not signed on?
x
Aerosol
x
Albedo
x
Albedo
x
CFCs (halocarbons)
x
Coriolis effect
An apparent deflection of a moving object in a rotating frame of reference. deflection right in N hemisphere, left in S
El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO)
x
Goldilock’s Principle
x
Ice-albedo feedback
x
insolation
x
IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel and Climate Change)
x
Infrared radiation, long wave radiation
x
Mauna Loa Observatory
x
Methane
x
Milankovitch cycles
x
Nitrous oxide
x
Ocean conveyer belt
x
Solar radiation, electromagnetic radiation
x
Sulfur dioxide
x
Water vapor feedback
x