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OU GEOG 1114 - Introduction to the Atmosphere

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GEOG 1114 1st Edition Lecture 6Outline of Last Lecture Introduction to Maps: The tools of Geography Maps Continued:-Map Distortion -Three Major Types of Map Projections -Isolines-Map Design Elements Geotechniques-provide effective data a. Cartographyb. Remote Sensingc. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Outline of Current LectureIntroduction to the Atmosphere -Roles and Characteristics of the Atmosphere-Characteristics- Composition Atmospheric Particulates/Aerosols Vertical Structure/Pressure/Composition of the AtmosphereAtmospheric Pressure/Air Pressure Current Lecture Roles and Characteristics of the Atmosphere- earth’s unique atmosphere has several roles:These notes represent a detailed interpretation of the professor’s lecture. GradeBuddy is best used as a supplement to your own notes, not as a substitute.-It supplies oxygen-Supplies carbon dioxide for plants-Helps maintain earths weather supply-Insulates Earth against temperature extremes -Shields the Earth from too many ultraviolet rays -Has a major effect on weather and climate -Important transmitter of energy Characteristics: The Atmosphere uniformly surrounds Earth, is held down by Earth’s gravity, and Interacts with all components of the environment What is the Atmosphere made from? Composition:It has TWO permanent gases: Oxygen (21%) and Nitrogen (78%)Nitrogen- Added by: volcanic eruptions, plants, burning of fossil fuels, decay and burningorganic material. *Plants give us nitrogen, which they get from nitrogen fixing bacteria What happens if you get too much nitrogen? Cancer, disease, reproductive issues and moreOxygen- Added by: plants. We inhale oxygen and exhale CO2 Argon (another but less significant permanent gas) 0.934% We use argon in between panes of glass to insulate and use it for cooling *Permanent meaning it is constant throughout the atmosphere All other gases are a Trace: water vapor, carbon dioxide, and ozone More permanent gasses: Neon, helium, krypton, and hydrogenVariable Gasses Green House Gases Water vapor (H2O) 0-4%A. Amount present determines humidity and how much moisture you have available forrain. B. Varies by geographic location C. Has significant effect on weather and climate Carbon dioxide (CO2) A. Found uniformly in lower levels of atmosphereB. Has significant impact on weather and climateC. Can absorb IR radiation- Helps warm the lower atmosphereD. Increasing levels- causing global climate change Carbon Monoxide (CO) (Trace) A. Forms by photochemical reactions in atmosphereB. Also by volcanoes, forest fires; burning fossil fuels- coal; auto concentrationsC. Toxic to humans in high concentrations Methane (CH4) .000178%A. Natural emission of methane gas include bacteria, wetlands, bogs, plants, animals B. Anthropogenic emissions include feedlots, agriculture, landfills, waste treatment Landfills are piled up, covered in soil, sometimes snow, and are used in recreation or for further development. Ozone (O3)A. Minor but importantB. Composed of 3 oxygen moleculesC. Found in ozone layer between 15 & 48 km above the earthD. Absorbs UV light and filters these rays to protect lifeE. Breakdown of ozone layer with CFC’s has created a hole and increased UV light on earth – they thought CFC’s were safe, when Freon travels up to the ozone it breaks it apart creating free radicals allowing too much UV to hit the earth causing disease, cancer, etc. F. Montreal protocol- international treaty to help slow it down Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)A. Poisonous gasB. Released by volcanic eruptions; industrial processes, oil and coal combustionC. Responsible for acid rainNitrogen Dioxide (NO2)A. Reddish-brown toxic dust B. Prominent air pollutant Atmospheric Particulates/Aerosols 1. Non-gaseous particles, which exist in the atmosphere2.Largest are liquid water and ice-form clouds3. Dust large enough to be seen 4. Human- induced and natural types- volcanic ash, windblown soil, meteor debris, smoke, salt spray, pollution (it is needed for rain to fall)Vertical Structure/Pressure/Composition of the AtmosphereFive Major Thermal Layers1. Troposphere decreasing temp lowest 10-15km of atmosphere: most weather occurs here2. Stratosphere Increasing 18-50 km; stagnant air. The ozone layer is here holding in energy3. Mesosphere Decreasing 52-80 km. No more ozone and it cools down 4.Thermosphere Increasing 100-225 km 5.Exosphere Increasing; > 225 km; transitions into interplanetary space *All affect thermodynamic energy on the planet The top of each of the three layers (transition zones) is called the: Tropopause, Stratopause, and MesopauseAtmospheric Pressure Air Pressure:-Air pressure is greatest at sea level. Air pressure impacts things as simple as baking cookies.- -Refers to the weight of overlying air – measured with a barometer.-The taller the column of air above an object, the greater the air pressure-Because air is highly compressible, the lower levels of air are compressed by those above, thus increased pressure and higher density air in lower levels of atmosphere- Pressure is it’s highest at sea level.-Atmospheric Pressure decreases rapidly with increasing


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