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Earth’s Changing Atmosphere. Main Topics Definition and Characteristics of the Atmosphere Changes to the Atmosphere composition Layers of the Atmosphere.

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Presentation on theme: "Earth’s Changing Atmosphere. Main Topics Definition and Characteristics of the Atmosphere Changes to the Atmosphere composition Layers of the Atmosphere."— Presentation transcript:

1 Earth’s Changing Atmosphere

2 Main Topics Definition and Characteristics of the Atmosphere Changes to the Atmosphere composition Layers of the Atmosphere Characteristics How the Earth gets its energy / heat 3 Types of Heat Transfer – Radiation, Conduction, Convection Forms of Radiation Ozone Layer Greenhouse Effect

3 The Atmosphere makes life on Earth possible Atmosphere – The whole layer of air that surrounds Earth – A mixture of gasses – Keeps Earth warm – Protects life

4 The atmosphere protects life by: Absorbing harmful radiation Maintaining Earth’s temperature Providing elements essential for life

5 Characteristics of the Atmosphere Altitude - the distance above sea level Density - the amount of mass in a given volume – The density of the atmosphere decreases with altitude – Most of the mass of the atmosphere is close to Earth’s surface

6 Materials in the Atmosphere GasPercent Nitrogen (N 2 ) 78.08 Oxygen (O 2 ) 20.94 Argon (Ar) 0.98 Carbon Dioxide (CO 2 ) 0.04 Other Elements 0.01 Water Vapor (H 2 O) 0-1

7 Gases of Earth's Atmosphere

8 Natural Processes modify the atmosphere The exact amounts of some gases in the air (atmosphere) change depending on: – Location – Time of day – Season – Other factors

9 Sudden Changes Dramatic events may cause a change in the atmosphere It may take a long time for the atmosphere to restore balance Examples – Volcanic Eruptions – Forest Fires – Dust Storms

10 The atmosphere has temperature layers Density changes with altitude Temperature changes with altitude Pattern of temperature changes defines different layers

11 Layers of the atmosphere Troposphere Stratosphere Mesosphere Thermosphere Exosphere

12 The Layers

13 Troposphere Lowest layer Decreases in Temperature Includes weather, birds, clouds

14 Stratosphere 2 nd Layer The lower end of it is extremely cold – Temperature increases Ozone, weather balloon, and planes are found here

15 Mesosphere 3 rd layer Temperature decreases Very strong winds Very little information about layer Contains meteors Notice the temperatures

16 Thermosphere 4 th Layer Temperature increases Very thin Contains the Aurora Borealis, space crafts

17 Exosphere Last Layer – Not always considered a layer…still debated Gradually fades into the vacuum that is space……… Contains satellites

18 How does the Earth get heated? Energy transfer from the sun

19 Energy The ability to do work or cause change Temperature – The average amount of energy of motion of each molecule (the measure of how hot or cold something is) Gas – Moving particles, the hotter they get the faster they move

20 The atmosphere moves energy Energy moves by heat transfer There are 3 types of heat transfer – Radiation – Conduction – Convection

21 Radiation The transfer of the Sun’s energy to the Earth’s surface Solar radiation heats both the surface and the air – Includes visible light Earth’s surface gives off a type of invisible radiation called Infrared radiation

22 Earth’s absorption of Radiation 30% of incoming solar energy is reflected by clouds 70% is absorbed and becomes different forms of energy – Absorbed by oceans, landforms, and living things (photosynthesis and respiration) This absorbed energy heats the Earth’s surface

23 Conduction The transfer of heat energy from one substance to another through DIRECT contact The Earth’s surface heats the air (gas) molecules directing above it Molecules of air gain energy when they collide with the molecules in grains of hot sand.

24 Convection Transfer of energy from place to place by the motion of gas or liquid (fluids) Up and down movement of molecules not the side to side movement

25 Density and Convection The atmosphere gets less dense at higher altitudes Warm air is less dense than cold air – Warm air has more energy, so molecules move faster than cold ones – This makes them collide more, then they spread out – More space between molecules = less dense

26 Transfer of Energy

27 Gases Absorb and Give Off Radiation The Atmosphere affects light in 4 ways. 1.Absorbs Light 2.Reflects Light 3.Lets Light Pass Through 4.Emits (Gives Off) Light On sunny days more visible light gets to the earths surface. On cloudy days clouds reflect and absorb most of the sunlight

28 Forms of Radiation We Cant See Ultraviolet Radiation – More energy than the light you can see – Can cause sunburns and other damage Infrared Radiation – Less energy than the light you can see – Warms the materials that absorb it

29 Ozone Layer Protects Life Ozone - O 3 – Ozone in stratosphere is called the ozone layer – Protects life on Earth – Absorbs harmful ultraviolet radiation from sun Too much can cause sunburn, skin cancer, and can harm crops, plastic or paint – Lets other types of radiation like visible light through


31 Greenhouse Effect Keeps Earth Warm Slow the movement of energy away from the Earth’s surface Greenhouse gases – Includes carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, and nitrous oxide – Gases mix with gases in the air like nitrogen and oxygen. Not its own layer – Found in the troposphere – Absorbs and emits infrared radiation Animation



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