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27 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Thickness of the atmosphere
99.9997% of the atmosphere is contained below 60 miles
atmosphere is...
an aggregate of gases suspended particles, and liquid/solid water
Steady State is...
constant gas concentration when input (gas moving from ground to atmosphere) = output (gas from atmosphere to ground)
Weather is...
the state of the atmosphere at a specific time and with respect to its effect on life and human activities. It is the short term variations of the atmosphere, as opposed to the long term, or climatic, changes.... " a picture of the state of the atmosphere"
Meteorology is...
the study of the atmosphere and the processes (such as cloud formation , lightning, and wind movement) that cause waht we refer to as the weather.
Residence time is...
the average length of time individual molecules remain in the atmosphere
Permanent gases are...
those gases that form a constant proportion of atmospheric mass
Variable gases are...
those whose distribution in the atmosphere varies in both time and space
Permanent gases account for what?
the largest part of atmospheric mass (99.999%)
homosphere is...
lowest 50 miles of Earth's surface....chemical homogenity
heterosphere is...
(above homosphere) lighter gases predominate (hydrogen, helium)

> composition varies with altitude
> no permanent gases
> Very small atmospheric mass
homosphere composed mostly of...
nitrogen and oxygen
Variable gases are...
Water Vapor
Carbon Dioxide
Water Vapor...
is the most abundant of the variable gases
Hydrologic cycle....
(often called the water cycle), it is the vetical and horizontal transport of water in all its states between the earth, the atmosphere, and the seas. (water planet 3/4)
Carbon Dioxide...
accounts for 0.037% of the atmosphere (330 ppm)
~in recent decades the rate of carbon dioxide input to the atmosphere has exceeded the rate of removal
~Concentrations greatest in early spring and lowest in late summer
Kyoto Protocal is...
fossil fuel combustion- lower CO2 emissions

US has not yet signed
Ozone is...
Traitomic oxygen- 3 atoms form a single molecule
~atomic oxygen (O) collides with molecular oxygen(O2)
~upper atmosphere- essential to life on earth *blocks UV rays*
Rowland and Moline...
1972- atmospheric chemists- believed that CFC's were dangerous
~CFCs reach atmosphere intact, cause atmosphere to release chlorine, which can destroy O3 molecules

VERY DAMAGING_ stay for 100 years
Aerosols are...
small solid particles and liquid droplets suspended in the atmosphere(excluding cloud droplets and precipitation)
~created by humans
Vertical Structure of the Atmosphere...
higher density near surface

lower density aloft

amount of mass of the substance (in kilograms) contained in a unit of volume

*atmosphere is compressible*
The layers of the atmosphere are based on what?? and what are they?
~based on temparture

*chemistry is fairly consistent*
~greek tropos- means "overturning" (ie vertical mixing)

~vast majority of weather events occur here
~shallowest- but contains most mass-*compressibility*
Tropopause-transition between troposphere and stratosphere
from latin stratus- layer or spread out

~little weather occurs here-except for tops of strong thunderstorms

contains 20% of atmospheric mass

ozone resides here
upper mesosphere into thermosphere

High Ion Concentration- allows for easy transmission of AM radio waves
Aurora Borealis
in ionosphere

subatomic particles from the sun captured by Earth's magnetic field-energy causes gas to become excited

electrons jump from their nuclei to greater orbital distances~ then fall back to lower orbits therefore emitting radiation