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Chapter 22.1 Characteristics of the Atmosphere. What is the Atmosphere? Atmosphere – the layer of gases that surrounds the Earth. Atmosphere – the layer.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 22.1 Characteristics of the Atmosphere. What is the Atmosphere? Atmosphere – the layer of gases that surrounds the Earth. Atmosphere – the layer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 22.1 Characteristics of the Atmosphere

2 What is the Atmosphere? Atmosphere – the layer of gases that surrounds the Earth. Atmosphere – the layer of gases that surrounds the Earth. The Two Functions of Our Atmosphere: 1.To protect the Earth s surface from the Sun s radiation. 2.To regulate the temperature of the Earth s surface.

3 Chemical Composition of the Atmosphere Abundant Elements Nitrogen (78%) Nitrogen (78%) Oxygen (21%) Oxygen (21%) Argon (0.9%) Argon (0.9%) Abundant Compounds Carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) Carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) Water Vapor (H 2 O) Water Vapor (H 2 O)

4 Water Vapor in the Atmosphere The Two Process That Put Water Vapor Into Air Are: 1. Evaporation 2. Transpiration (from plants) The Two Process That Take Water Vapor Out of Air Are: 1.Condensation 2.Precipitation Based on the time of day, location, and season, water vapor in the atmosphere can vary from as low as 1% to as much as 4%.

5 Ozone (O 3 ) is a form of oxygen found in the stratosphere (The stratosphere is the layer ABOVE the layer we live in which is called the troposhere.). Ozone is created when ultraviolet radiation (UV rays) from the Sun strikes and splits oxygen molecules (O 2 ) to atomic oxygen (O). The atomic oxygen (O) quickly combines with further oxygen molecules to form ozone (O 3 ): Ozone It should be noted that ground level (troposphere) ozone, which is produced by hydrocarbons that react with sunlight, is a pollutant itself!!! Ground level ozone causes SERIOUS lung irritation!!!

6 Ozone Before Earth had an ozone layer, all life lived under the oceans … NONE could live above them! Ozone absorbs harmful ultraviolet radiation (UV rays) coming from the sun. Ultraviolet radiation can cause severe burns, cancers, mutations, and even death!). Ozone can be destroyed by: CFC propellants in old aerosol spray cans, Freon coolant from refrigerants in old refrigerators and air conditioners, and nitrogen oxide exhaust gases from burning supersonic jet fuel.

7 Dust In The Wind… Sources of Atmospheric Particulates: Dust from volcanic eruptions Dust from volcanic eruptions Ash from fires Ash from fires Microscopic organisms Microscopic organisms Minerals lifted from soil by winds Minerals lifted from soil by winds Pollen from plants Pollen from plants Particles from meteorite impacts Particles from meteorite impacts Salt from sea spray Salt from sea spray Particulates – tiny solid particles in the air. The tinier the particle, the longer it can stay suspended in the air.

8 What is Atmospheric Pressure? Atmospheric pressure – the force per unit area that is exerted on a surface by the weight of the atmosphere. Atmospheric pressure – the force per unit area that is exerted on a surface by the weight of the atmosphere. 99% of the total mass of the atmosphere is located within 32 km (20 miles) of the Earth s surface. The general trend between atmospheric pressure and altitude is that, the higher up in the atmosphere one goes, the less atmospheric pressure there will be. altitude pressure A you go up in the atmosphere, the air gets thinner and therefore there is less pressure. That is why ears pop when ascending and descending in an airplane!

9 Measuring Atmospheric Pressure Measuring atmospheric pressure: Barometer – a device used to measure atmospheric pressure. Barometer – a device used to measure atmospheric pressure. There are two types of barometers: Mercury Barometer – a barometer that works when air pushes down on a pan of mercury forcing the mercury to rise up a calibrated, inverted tube. Mercury Barometer – a barometer that works when air pushes down on a pan of mercury forcing the mercury to rise up a calibrated, inverted tube. Aneroid Barometer – a barometer that works when air pressure squeezes on the sides of a can moving an attached pointer. Aneroid Barometer – a barometer that works when air pressure squeezes on the sides of a can moving an attached pointer. Three values for Standard Pressure (at sea level): 1 atmosphere 760 mm Hg 1000 mb.

10 Did you know… Mount Everest, the highest elevation above sea level, is only about 8.8 km high, keeping it in the bottom layer of the atmosphere. Layers of the Atmosphere 1 The Earth's atmosphere is composed of several layers: We live in the Troposphere where almost all weather occurs (ex. wind, clouds, fog, rain, hail, sleet, snow and storms). Above the Troposphere is the Stratosphere, which contains the Ozone Layer, which blocks out harmful UV rays. Commercial airliners (ex. a 747) usually fly in the troposphere, whereas supersonic jet airliners (ex. the Concorde) fly in the lower stratosphere.

11 Layers of the Atmosphere 2 Troposphere All weather change occurs here. All weather change occurs here. Temperature within this layer decreases as altitude increases because there is an increase in distance from the warming effect of sunlight absorbed by the Earth s surface. Temperature within this layer decreases as altitude increases because there is an increase in distance from the warming effect of sunlight absorbed by the Earth s surface. Stratosphere The Ozone Layer absorbs harmful UV Rays here, explaining the unexpected increase in temperature. The Ozone Layer absorbs harmful UV Rays here, explaining the unexpected increase in temperature. Mesosphere Coldest layer of the atmosphere Coldest layer of the atmosphere. Temperature within this layer decreases as altitude increases. Temperature within this layer decreases as altitude increases. Thermosphere Lower region called ionosphere. Lower region called ionosphere. Upper region called exosphere. Upper region called exosphere. Nitrogen and oxygen atoms absorb deadly gamma and X rays here, explaining the unexpected increase in temperature. Nitrogen and oxygen atoms absorb deadly gamma and X rays here, explaining the unexpected increase in temperature.

12 Air Pollution The greatest source of air pollution today is from the burning of fossil fuels which releases pollutants such as sulfur dioxide gas (SO 2 ), hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides (NO), carbon monoxide (CO), and lead (Pb) into the air. These pollutants can cause irritating smog which can make breathing difficult, especially for people with asthma, allergies, and lung disease … OR cause …

13 Acid Rain!!! All rain is somewhat naturally acidic!! But when chemicals from car and factory exhaust (CO, CO 2, NO, NO 2, SO, SO 2 ) combine with rainwater, they can produce HIGHLY acidic rains that damage buildings and monuments and kill plants and fish.

14 The End!... Up Next … Light and the Electromagnetic Spectrum …


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