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40 Cards in this Set

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IONOSPHERE
lower region of the thermosphere, at an altitude of 80 to 550 km.
STRATOSPHERE
layer of the atmosphere that extends upward from the troposphere to an altitude of 50 km; contains most atmospheric ozone.
MESOSPHERE
coldest layer of the atmosphere that extends upward from the stratosphere to an altitude of about 80 km.
THERMOSPHERE
the atmospheric layer above the mesophere.
TROPOSPHERE
atmospheric layer closest top the earth's surface where nearly all weather occurs.
AIR POLLUTION
any substance in the atmosphere that is harmful to people, animals, plants, or property.
RADIATION
all forms of energy that travel through space as waves.
GREENHOUSE EFFECT
process by which the atmosphere traps infrared rays over the earth's surface.
ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE
ratio of the weight of the air to the area of the surface on which it presses.
CORIOLOS EFFECT
deflection of wind and ocean currents caused by the earth's rotation.
WATER VAPOR
a tasteless, odorless, and invisible gas in the atmosphere.
DEW POINT
Temperature to which air must be cooled to become saturated.
ADVECTIVE COOLING
Decrease in the temperature of a mass of air that results as it moves over a cold surface.
CONDENSATION NUCLEI
Millions of suspended particles of ice, salt, dust, and other solid matter in the troposphere.
PRECIPITATION
Process by which water falls from clouds to the earth as rain, snow, sleet, and hail.
CONVECTIVE COOLING
The lowering of the temperature of a mass of air due to its rising and expanding.
OZONE LAYER
A layer in the upper atmosphere that protects the earth from the harmful rays of the sun. Ozone is a form of oxygen.
ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION
One of the wavelengths shorter than those of visible light. The small amount that does reach the earth's surface causes sunburn on skin that is exposed to direct sunlight too long.
LIGHT SCATTERING
Scattering means that water droplets and dust suspended in the atmosphere reflect and bend the rays. This bending sends rays out in all directions, without changing their wavelengths.
INFRARED RAYS
Longer wavelengths- Most incoming infrared radiation is absorbed by carbon dioxide, water vapor, and other complex molecules in the troposphere.
CARBON DIOXIDE
One of the most abundant compounds in the air. It is used by plants during photosynthesis to make food.
CONDUCTION
Type of energy transfer in which vibrating molecules pass heat along to other vibrating molecules by direct contact.
DOLDRUMS
Narrow zone of low air pressure at the equator characterized by weak and undependable winds.
PSYCHROMETER
Instrument used to measure relative humidity.
RELATIVE HUMIDITY
Ratio of the amount of water vapor in the air to the amount of water vapor the air can hold when saturated.
CUMULUS CLOUD
Thick, billowy cloud that forms above stratus clouds and below cirrus clouds.
STRATUS CLOUD
Cloud with a sheetlike or layered form that is the lowest cloud in the skyl.
CIRRUS CLOUD
Feathery cloud composed of ice crystals that has the highest altitude of any cloud in the sky.
CUMULONIMBUS CLOUD
Thunderheads- high, dark storm clouds that are accompanied by rain, lightning, and thunder.
NIMBUS CLOUD
Rain cloud
COALESCENCE
Combination of different-sized cloud droplets to form larger droplets.
SUBLIMATION
Process in which a solid changes directly into a vapor.
RADIATION FOG
Ground fog; It forms when the layer of air in contact with the earth becomes chilled below its dew point. It usually forms on calm, clear nights and is thickest in valleys and low places.
BAROMETER
An instrument that measures atmospheric pressure.
MERCURIAL BAROMETER
An instrument containing mercury that is used to measure atmospheric pressure.
RAIN GAUGE
An instrument for measuring the amount of rainfall.
ADVECTION FOG
Forms when warm, moist air moves across a cold surface.
UPSLOPE FOG
Forms inland; it is formed by the lifting and adiabatic cooling of air as it rises along land slopes.
STEAM FOG
This type ususally forms over inland rivers and lakes. It is a shallow layer of fog formed when cool air moves over a warm body of water.
ADIABATIC
Describing a change in temperature resulting from the expansion or compression of air.