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UNCW GGY 130 - Introduction to Atmosphere

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GGY 130 1st Edition Lecture 3Current LectureChapter 3: Introduction to the Atmosphere Atmosphere Provides oxygen and carbon dioxide Helps maintain water supplies Protects Earth from harmful radiation Size of Earth’s Atmosphere  Goes outward more than 10,000 kilometers from the Earth’s surface More than 50% of the total mass of Earth’s atmosphere is within 6 kilometers of Earth’s surface Also extends downwards (ie caves) Composition of Atmosphere  Two primary gas types: Permanent:- Nitrogen, Oxygen, and Argon- Traces others including Neon, Helium, Methane, and Hydrogen- Don’t affect weather Variable:- Water vapor, Carbon dioxide, and Ozone - Does affect weather  Particulates: nongaseous particulates in the atmosphere 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. Some are human-induced and others are naturally occurring  Many are hygroscopic which means they can absorb water and, therefore, form clouds Some reflect sunlight or absorb sunlight Affect the weather A LOT! Vertical Structure of the Atmosphere Thermal Layers: Troposphere: lowest 8-18 kilometers - Temperature decreases with height - Where weather occurs- Depth of layer is not uniform; this layer is dynamically unstable- “Heated from below” – warmth from the Earth’s surface is this layer’s heat source Stratosphere: 18-48 kilometers - “Stagnant air”; this layer is stable- Temperature increases with height- Airliners like to cruise in the lower stratosphere to avoid bad weather and turbulence- The heat source of this layer is the Ozone layer  Mesosphere: 48-80 kilometers - Temperature decreases with height - Meteorites are seen  Thermosphere: 80+ kilometers - Temperature increases with height - Space shuttles orbit the Earth in this layer- HOT! – can reach temperatures of up to 1500*C - Auroras are seen in this layer*Auroras are the collision of charged particles moved by the Earth’s


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