Presentation on theme: "Stacking up the Atmosphere ELF Activity: Atmosphere 5A."— Presentation transcript:
Stacking up the Atmosphere ELF Activity: Atmosphere 5A
Atmosphere Mixture of nitrogen (N 2 ), oxygen (O 2 ) and trace gases that include water vapor (H 2 O), carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and others Has different properties at different elevations Protects our Earth from harmful radiation both from the Sun and outer space
Atmosphere Composition The lower atmosphere, (troposphere, stratosphere and mesosphere), is made of these gases. Image: The “Others” In the dry atmosphere: Ar =.93% CO2 =.035% Ne =.002% Trace gases H2, He, Kr, CH4
These are some of the vehicles scientists use to carry instruments into the atmosphere Satellite Aircraft Balloons Rockets
Images: Troposphere Large anvil-shaped clouds flatten as they reach the stratosphere where the air becomes colder and the rising stops.
Troposphere most of the weather takes place here Images: Hurricanes Tornadoes Thunderstorms with lightning Snow storms
Jet Streams steer currents of air masses around the globe and serve as boundaries for differences in temperature. In the northern latitudes, the Mid- Latitude Jet Stream is usually responsible for weather in the US. There are similar jet streams in the southern latitudes.
The Ozone (O 3 ) layer protects us from UV radiation Chloroflurocarbons (CFCs) are know to harm the ozone molecules Thinning of ozone layer over Antarctica, October 2009 Ozone Layer
Image: photolibrary.usap.gov Stratosphere Nacreous Clouds These high elevation clouds are formed in very cold polar regions Nacreous clouds in the stratosphere over Antarctica
Blue Jets Image: Red sprites Mesosphere These remarkable events are associated with thunderstorms but are rarely seen.
Image: In this image, the label ‘Ionosphere’ represents a region that includes the upper mesosphere, the thermosphere, and the exosphere A diagram of where blue jets, red sprites and ELVES occur Ionosphere
Image: Composite view of one night in Georgia, 09/11/2010 When meteors enter our atmosphere, they burn up displaying a tail of light. Many people call them “shooting stars,” but they are bits of rock from outer space. Mesosphere
The Sun has an activity cycle of about 11 years. During periods of low activity, less radiation reaches Earth When the Sun is active, more radiation is given off which hits the Earth influencing the atmosphere in many ways Active areas of our Sun, 05/19/2011 Solar Activity
Thermosphere The auroras are formed near the polar regions when ionized particles in the atmosphere interact with the Earth’s magnetic poles Aurora as seen from the ground In the image below you can see the ring of auroras around the south magnetic pole. Similar rings are found around the north magnetic pole
Polar orbiting satellites Exosphere Many satellites orbit in this layer of the atmosphere There are very few particles present in this layer so satellites orbit without the drag or friction found in the lower layers
RADIO TRANSMISSION RADIO RECEIVER Long range radio waves (blue and red waves) bounce off the ionosphere to reach the receiver. Without this bounce the radio raves would leave the atmosphere (green waves) or follow in a straight line along the ground (purple) and never reach the receiver. Radio Waves in the Atmosphere
Image: Each layer of the atmosphere is defined by a change in the temperature. Temperature in the Atmospheric Layers
This material is based on work supported by an Environmental Literacy Grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Education (NA09SEC ) and prior work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants ANT and ESI Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or the National Science Foundation.