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Bad 323

In: Business and Management

Submitted By zzeddy
Words 2015
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Air, Weather, and Climate
Chapter 15 ENS 201

• • • • • •

Weather vs. Climate Composition of the Atmosphere Structure of the Atmosphere Greenhouse Effect & Greenhouse Gases Current Evidence of Climate Change Climate Change: Winners and losers


Weather vs. Climate
• Weather- A description of the short-term physical conditions of the atmosphere (moisture, temperature, pressure & wind).

• Climate- A description of the long-term weather pattern in a particular area. Weather & climate are primary determinants of biomes & ecosystem distribution.

Past & Present Composition of the Atmosphere
• Many geochemists believe the earth’s earliest atmosphere was made up mainly of hydrogen & helium. • Volcanic emissions have added carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, & sulfur to the atmosphere. • Virtually all oxygen gas was produced by photosynthesis.


Structure of the Atmosphere: A Layered Envelope

Structure of the Atmosphere: A Layered Envelope

• Troposphere
– Ranges in depth from 12.5 km over the equator to 8.0 km over the poles. – All weather occurs here. – Contains about 75% of the total mass of the atmosphere. – Composition is relatively uniform over the entire planet: N2 (78% by volume), O2 (21%), CO2 (0.036%), H2O, & trace amounts of several other gases.


Structure of the Atmosphere: A Layered Envelope

• Troposphere
– Strongly stirred by winds. – Air temperature drops rapidly with increasing altitude, reaching about -60°C at the top. –Tropopause - Transition boundary that limits mixing between the troposphere & upper zones.

Structure of the Atmosphere: A Layered Envelope

• Stratosphere
– Extends from tropopause to about 45 km. – Contains the ozone layer (17-26 km):
• Blocks more than 99% of the solar UV radiation from reaching the earth’s surface.

– Composition is very similar to that of troposphere except for:

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