Chapter 9 Introduction to Meteorology

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What is the name of the envelope of gases surrounding the earth?
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atmosphere
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What are some functions of the atmosphere?
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-contains needed gases -protection from the sun -maintain temperature
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Which 2 men discovered oxygen?
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Joseph Priestley Karl Scheele
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Who discovered nitrogen?
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Daniel Rutherford
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What percentage of the atmosphere is oxygen? nitrogen? How is each important to life on earth?
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78% nitrogen–dilutes oxygen to support life 21% oxygen–supports burning, respiration, and oxidation (rusting)
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What are the names of the two layers of the atmosphere, based on its composition? Why are these names used?
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Homosphere (homogeneous mixture that is thoroughly mixed together) and Heterosphere (layers of gases separated by their density)
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T/F The higher the layer of gas, the less the density of the gas?
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True–which is why hydrogen forms the highest layer in the atmosphere.
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What atmospheric properties characterize the troposphere? What is another name for the troposphere?
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variations in temperature and other factors that affect weather. Another name for the troposphere is the Whether Layer
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What is the amount of temperature drop in the troposhere per kilometer increase in altitude? What is another name for this temperature drop?
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6.4* temperature drop for every kilometer increase in altitude…this is known as lapse rate.
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What is the name of the layer of the atmosphere in which jet streams may be found? What are some advantages and disadvantages of these winds?
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Stratosphere; Jet streams can help pilots increase their speed and save fuel, but they can bring in colder air from higher altitudes.
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Which layers in the atmosphere contain the hottest temperatures? What event can significantly increase the temperature of these layers?
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Thermosphere; Solar activity like a sun spot
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Which layer of the atmosphere contains the coldest temperature in the atmosphere? What unusual phenomenon occurs at the top of this layer?
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Mesosphere; Noctilucent clouds
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Name the 3 special layers of the atmosphere. (OIM)
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ozone ionosphere magnetosphere
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Which of the 3 special layers is important to short wave radio operators?
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ionosphere
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What traps the energetic particles in the Van Allen belts? What visible effects may these particles have?
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The energetic particles are trapped by the Van Allen belts. The visual results are the Aurora Borealis and the Aurora Australis
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T/F An astronaut would be \”cooked\” by the 700*C temperature of the exosphere, even in the shadow of the ISS.
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False, because the molecules are spread so far apart.
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What is the maximum percentage of the sun’s energy that the atmosphere can absorb or reflect before it reaches the earth’s surface?
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Up to half (50%)
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How does the atmosphere protect us from sunburn?
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The ozone filters out most of the ultraviolet rays that cause sunburn
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What kind of radiation does the earth’s surface emit as it is warmed by the rays of the sun?
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infrared radiation
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Describe how soil and water are directly warmed
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land and water absorb the radiation that reaches them
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Describe the greenhouse effect.
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-Earth’s surface absorbs radiation -Earth becomes warmer and emits more infrared radiation -This infrared radiation is absorbed by the air -The Earth warms the air after being warmed by the sun
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What are 2 principal, naturally occurring gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect?
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Water Vapor Carbon Dioxide
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T/F In the wintertime, cloudy nights are often warmer than clear nights because of the greenhouse effect?
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True
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What is the study of the atmosphere called?
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Meteorology
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List the 5 features of the atmosphere used to describe weather.
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Temperature Atmospheric Pressure Humidity Wind Speed and Direction Precipitation
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On which of the above features does the weight of atmospheric gases have a direct effect?
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Atmospheric Pressure
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What 2 things happen to air when it cools?
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It contracts and becomes denser, which increases the weight of the air over an area
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What 2 things happen to air when it warms?
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It expands and becomes less dense, which decreases the weight of the air over an area
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Compare absolute humidity and relative humidity.
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Absolute humidity–total amount of water vapor a certain volume of air holds Relative humidity–The ratio of the amount of water the air DOES hold compared to the amount of water it CAN hold at a temperature For example, if the relative humidity is 67% then the air holds 67% of the moisture that it could hold. If the humidity is 100%, then the air can hold no more water under normal conditions.
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How is your sense of temperature help you tell whether the air is very dry?
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If relative humidity is low, the air is dry and readily absorbs moisture. Perspiration on your skin evaporates, causing you to feel cooler. But, when the relative humidity is high, the air is already holding about as much moisture as it can hold, and perspiration does not evaporate quickly, causing you to feel hot and sticky.
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What is the most common form of precipitation and then name 3 other kinds.
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Rain (most common) Snow Hail Sleet
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Define precipitation
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Any form of water that falls to the earth’s surface from the sky
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T/F When a weather forecaster says that there is a low-pressure system moving through your area, you can expect the temperature to drop.
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FALSE–Low pressure is typical of a warm, moist air mass and results in warm, cloudy weather.
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What weather is typical of a high pressure system?
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Produces cool, clear weather due to cooler, drier air

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