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Chapter 1 Introduction Elements of Weather & Climate Composition of the Atmosphere Thermal Structure of the Atmosphere.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 1 Introduction Elements of Weather & Climate Composition of the Atmosphere Thermal Structure of the Atmosphere."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 1 Introduction Elements of Weather & Climate Composition of the Atmosphere Thermal Structure of the Atmosphere

2 Basic Elements of Weather & Climate Temperature Humidity Clouds Precipitation Air Pressure Wind

3 Hypothetical Winter Weather

4 What’s portrayed: Temperature Precipitation Cloud cover Air pressure (crudely only) Also important: Wind Humidity Weather is important atmospheric conditions at a point in time

5 Salt Lake City Temperatures Dec 07 Observed, Normals, Records Temp. at one place over time (temp- erature “time series”)

6 Salt Lake City Temperatures 2007 – Observed, Normals, Records

7 Temperature Measurement Thermometer

8 Anemometers

9 Barometer Thermometer

10 Tipping Bucket Rain Gauge

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12 Thickness, Composition & Thermal Structure of the Atmosphere Thickness = pressure and density of air decrease with elevation Chemical composition = elements (gasses) that make up air and remain nearly constant (so ignoring water, aerosols [very fine dust], pollution) Thermal Structure = How temperature changes with elevation in the atmosphere

13 Atmosphere Thickness and Pressure Pressure is caused by weight of air above, so pressure decreases with altitude Pressure compresses air, so air becomes less dense or ‘thinner’ with altitude Atmosphere has no distinct top; it just becomes less and less dense until for practical purposes there is no air, above ~ 100 km Note: 1 km = 0.62 miles

14 Atmosphere Thickness and Pressure Where is the air? 50% below 6km altitude 90% below about 18km % above 100km Sealevel Pressure = 14.7 lb/in 2 or 1013 mb or 29.9 inches (of mercury) Orem Pressure = 12.5 lb/in 2 or 855 mb

15 Composition of the Atmosphere Below ~ 80 km altitude; Ionosphere exists higher Nitrogen gas = N 2 Oxygen gas = O 2 = CO 2

16 Gasses in Dry Air N 2 (‘Nitrogen’) – 78% O 2 (‘Oxygen’) – 21% Ar (Argon)– 1% CO 2 (Carbon dioxide) – 0.37% Ne (Neon), He (Helium), CH 4 (Methane), Kr (Krypton), H 2 (Hydrogen) – < 0.002%

17 Other, Variable Components of Air Water Vapor (H20) – 0 to 4% Aerosols (dust) Ozone (0 3 ) All are important!

18 Water on Earth

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20 Examples include dust and air pollution Aerosols are variable in concentration and location Aerosols

21 Ionosphere Exists above ~ 80 km Radiation from Sun knocks electrons off gas molecules & atoms, ionizing them Ionosphere protects lower atmosphere from radiation by absorbing the energy (meaning we need it!)

22 Thermal Structure of the Atmosphere Temperature changes with altitude create 4 distinct layers to the atmosphere: Thermosphere – Above stratos.; T increase w/ height Mesosphere – Above stratosphere to ~ 90 km; T decreases w/ height Stratosphere – Above troposphere to ~ 50 km; T increases w/ height Troposphere – Ground to 10 – 15 km altitude; T decreases w/ height. Weather happens in this layer!

23 Troposphere Stratosphere Temperature in Troposphere and lower Stratosphere

24 The Atmosphere Interacts With the Whole Earth

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28 Weather affects many of our activities Weather events can be very expensive (droughts!) Weather can be deadly (droughts!)

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30 Earth’s Four Spheres Lithosphere Atmosphere Hydrosphere Biosphere

31 The Earth System Earth

32 Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

33 Modern Atmospheric Greenhouse Gas Concentrations and Temperature CH 4 CO 2 Temperature


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