Flash Cards

Ch. 1 Atmosphere

Term Definition
Atmosphere The envelope of gases surrounding the earth or another planet.
Stratosphere The layer of the earths atmosphere above the troposphere, extending to about 32 mies above the earths surface (the lower boundary of the mesosphere)
Troposphere The lowest region of the atmosphere, extending from the earths surface to a height of about 3.7-6.2 miles which is the lower boundary of the stratosphere.
Thermosphere The region of the atmosphere above the mesosphere and below the height at which the atmosphere ceases to have the properties of a continuos medium. The thermosphere is characterized throughout by an increase with temperature with height.
Air pressure Air pressure is the force exerted on you by the weight of tiny particles of air.
Radiation The emission of energy as electromagnetic waves or as moving subatomic particles, esp. high energy particles that cause ionization.
*the energy transmitted in this way, as heat, light, electricity, etc.
Thermal conduction The transfer of internal energy by microscopic diffusion and collisions of particles or quasi-particles within a body due to a temperature gradient. The microscopically diffusing and colliding objects include molecules, electrons, atoms, and phonons.
Convection The movement caused within a fluid by the tendency of hotter and therefore less dense material to rise, and colder, denser material to sink under the influence of gravity, which consequently results in transfer of heat.
Global warming A gradual increase in the overall temperature in the earths atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, and other pollutants
Greenhouse effect The trapping of the sun's warmth in a planet's lower atmosphere due to the greater transparency of the atmosphere to visible radiation from the sun than to infrared radiation emitted from the planets surface.
Wind The perceptible natural movement of the air, in the from of a current of air blowing from a particular direction.
Coriolis effect An effect whereby a mass moving in a rotating system experiences a force (Coriolis force). On the earth, the effect tends to deflect moving objects to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere.
Westerlies The belt of prevailing westerly winds in the mid-latitudes of the northern and southern hemispheres.
Trade winds A wind blowing steadily toward the equator from the northern hemisphere or the southeast in the southern hemisphere, especially at sea.
Polar easterlies The dry, cold prevailing winds that blow from he high-pressure areas of the the polar highs at the north and south poles towards low-pressure areas within the Westerlies at high latitudes.
Jet stream A narrow, variable band of very strong, predominantly westerly air currents encircling the globe several miles above the earth. there are typically two or three jet streams in each of the northern and southern hemispheres.
Air pollution The presence in or introduction into the air of a substance which has harmful or poisonous effects.
Acid precipitation A popular term referring to the deposition of wet and dry acidic components. Distilled water, once carbon dioxide is removed, has a neutral pH of 7.


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