Chico GEOS 342 - Introduction to the Atmosphere (120 pages)

Previewing pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120 of 120 page document View the full content.
View Full Document

Introduction to the Atmosphere



Previewing pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120 of actual document.

View the full content.
View Full Document
View Full Document

Introduction to the Atmosphere

87 views

Lecture Notes


Pages:
120
School:
California State University, Chico
Course:
Geos 342 - Concepts in Earth and Space Sciences

Unformatted text preview:

Introduction to the Atmosphere 2008 Ann Bykerk Kauffman Dept of Geological and Environmental Sciences California State University Chico Composition of the Atmosphere The atmosphere is a mixture of gases Take a deep breath Quick name the gases you have just inhaled Most people think of oxygen and carbon dioxide Now study Figure 16 4 on p 450 of the textbook Surprise The air is over 78 nitrogen N2 We don t hear much about nitrogen because it has no direct importance to our lives1 but every time we take a breath more than 3 4 of the air molecules we inhale are nitrogen molecules Oxygen O2 essential for all human and animal life makes up almost 21 of the air not as much as most people think but still a reasonably large percentage The next most common gas in our atmosphere is argon A Argon makes up almost 1 of the atmosphere 0 93 to be exact If you ve never heard of argon before you re not alone Argon is a noble gas which means that it doesn t react with anything and therefore it just floats around in the air doing nothing but taking up space Carbon dioxide CO2 by contrast is very important to life on Earth Green plants use it to make sugar which they in turn use to make fat protein and other important nutrients Carbon dioxide also plays a crucial role in regulating the temperature of the atmosphere as we shall see later in this chapter Yet carbon dioxide makes up an incredibly tiny proportion of the air only 0 035 Nitrogen oxygen argon and carbon dioxide are mixed together very thoroughly in the atmosphere Any outdoor air sample you might take anywhere in the world at any altitude would have the same proportions of nitrogen oxygen argon and carbon dioxide By contrast water vapor the gaseous state of water is poorly mixed in the atmosphere Air at low altitudes has a much higher proportion of water vapor than does air at high altitudes In addition the water vapor content of the air varies considerably from place to place depending on the proximity to a water source the



View Full Document

Access the best Study Guides, Lecture Notes and Practice Exams

Loading Unlocking...
Login

Join to view Introduction to the Atmosphere and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

or
We will never post anything without your permission.
Don't have an account?
Sign Up

Join to view Introduction to the Atmosphere and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

or

By creating an account you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use

Already a member?