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ISU MTEOR 206 - Exam 1 Study Guide

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MTEOR 206 1st EditionExam # 1 Study Guide Lectures: 1 – 101. Atmospheric Constituents a. The atmosphere is a delicate life-giving blanket of air that surrounds the Earthb. 99% of atmospheric mass lies within 20 miles from the surfacec. 4 most commonly occurring gases in atmospherei. Nitrogen (78%)ii. Oxygen (21%)iii. Water vapor (0-4%)iv. Carbon dioxided. Water is the only substance in the atmosphere existing in all 3 forms2. Climate vs. Weather a. Climate is what you expect, weather is what you getb. Climate represents the accumulation of daily and seasonal weather events (the average range of weather) over a long period of time3. Temperature Scales a. F = [(9/5) x C] + 32b. C = (5/9) x (F – 32)c. K = C + 273.15d. For every 5 degree Celsius change, 9 degree Fahrenheit changee.4. Layers of the Atmospherea.5. Standard Station model a.6. Radiative coolinga. The process by which long-wave radiation is emitted to balance the absorption of short-wave radiation from the sunb. Experienced on cloudless nights, when heat is radiated into space from the surface of the Earthc. Factors for optimal radiational cooling:i. Clear skiesii. Light windsiii. Low humidity 7. Atmospheric Pressure a. The meteorology definition of pressure is the weight of the column of air above youb. Atmospheric pressure decreases with heightc. The heavier parts of the atmosphere are packed tight to the surface8. Station pressure vs. Sea-Level pressure a. Station pressure: the actual pressure recorded by a barometer at a given locationb. Sea-level pressure: the pressure the barometer would read at a given location if the barometer were lowered to a given reference point, or sea level9. Basics about winds a. Wind is the atmosphere in motionb. 2 parts of wind: speed and directionc. Read as “coming from” (i.e. Winds are coming from the Southwest) d. Tend to blow from high to low pressuree. Surface winds in the Northern Hemisphere are typically clockwise and outward10. Season and the causes for the seasons a. Primary cause of seasons: the tilt of the Earth’s axisb. Seasons are regulated by the amount of solar energy receivedi. The amount of solar energy received is determined by the angle at which sunlight strikes the surfacec. Vernal equinox: March 20thd. Summer solstice: June 21ste. Autumnal equinox: September 22ndf. Winter solstice: December 21st g. The amount of energy that reaches Earth’s surface is influenced by:i. Solar angleii. Length of daylightiii. Distance from the sun 11. Energy and heat a. Energy is the capacity to do work (work = force x displacement)b. Potential energy: ability to do workc. Kinetic energy: energy of motion (any moving substance possesses energy of motion)d. Heat energy: atoms and molecules that comprise all matters have kinetic energy due to their motione. Radiant energy: the most important form of energy in terms of weather and climate is the energy we receive from the sun12. Methods of heat transfer a. Conduction: transfer of heat from molecule to molecule within a substancei. The object does not move, only the molecules doii. Flows from warmer to colderiii. Air is a poor conductor of heatb. Convection: transfer of heat by the mass movement of a fluid (i.e. water or air)i. Convection circulation: warm air expands and rises, then cools and sinksc. Radiation13. Radiation (Waves, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Wien’s law, Stefan-Boltzmann’s law) a. Waves: made up of crests and troughsi. Wavelength: distance between any two adjacent crests or troughsii. Amplitude (A): distance from the undisturbed position to the top of a crest or bottom of a troughiii. Frequency (f): how many complete waves pass over a given interval, usually one secondiv. If a wave has a long (short) wavelength, it has a low (high) frequencyb. Electromagnetic energy: Energy from the sun travels in the form of waves (radiation)c. Wien’s Law: the higher the object’s temperature, the shorter the wavelengths of emitted radiationi. ����= ��������/�d. Stefan- Boltzmann Law: objects that have a high temperature emit radiation at a greater rate or intensity than objects with a lower temperaturei. �= � � �414. Advection a. Advection: horizontal transport of something by the wind (in this case, temperature)b. Warm air advection (WAA): Winds blow from warm region to a cool regionc. Cold air advection (CAA): Winds blow from cool region to a warm region15. Details about longwave and shortwave radiation and our atmosphere a. Sun temperature ~ 6000 K vs. Earth’s temperature ~ 280 Kb. Shortwave radiation (high energy) from the Sunc. Longwave radiation (low energy) from the Earth (~ 280 K)d. The atmosphere is a “window” to shortwave radiation i. Nearly all of the shortwave radiation from the sun is allowed to pass through the atmosphere to the surfacee. The atmosphere acts as a “shade” to longwave radiation (also called infrared radiation)i. Nearly all of the longwave radiation emitted by the Earth is absorbed by the atmosphere; very little escapes to spaceii. Water, in all its forms, is a strong absorber of infrared radiation16. Daily temperature variation and budgets a. Daytime temperaturesi.b. Nighttime temperaturesi. As the sun lowers, the angle causes the radiation to be spread across a larger areaii. Radiational cooling occurs as infrared energy is emitted by the earth’s surfaceiii. Inversion: air near the ground is much cooler than the air abovec. High winds will decrease daytime high temperatures and increase nighttime low temperaturesd. Diurinal range: difference between the daily high and daily low temperaturese. Largest diurnal range of temperature occurs on high desertsi. Dry air, cloud-free, little water vaporf. Clouds can have a large affect on the daily range in temperatureg. Cities near large bodies of water typically have smaller diurnal temperature range17. Regional temperature variations a. 4 factors in regional temperature variations:i. Elevation: the higher you are, the cooler you’ll beii. Latitude (distance from equator): solar angle and day lengthiii. Land and water: specific heat (water takes longer to heat up)iv. Ocean currents: warm vs. cold


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