Glossary of Earth Science 8: Meteorology: Vocabulary

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lapse rate formula
6.5 degrees C/km
(3.5 degrees F/1000 ft.)
outer part of earth's atmosphere, extending from 80 km (50 mi.) to 400 km (250 mi.)
warming of the atmosphere's lower layers by infrared radiation given off from the earth after it has been heated by the sun
greenhouse effect
path of high-speed wind in the stratosphere
jet stream
gas layers above the homosphere, consisting of oxygen, helium, and hydrogen and located several hundred miles above the earth's surface
exerted by the weight of the gases in the atmosphere
atmospheric pressure
bands of light which appear in the northern hemisphere sky when charged particles escape from the magnetosphere into the lower atmosphere
aurora borealis (the northern lights)
the streamers of light which appear in the southern hemisphere sky when charged particles escape from the magnetosphere into the lower atmosphere
aurora australis (the southern lights)
extends up to 11 km (6.8 mi.)
apparent temperature drop due to wind
wind-chill factor
the layers of air surrounding the earth
lowest layer of the atmosphere where continual changes occur in temperature, pressure, wind, humidity, and precipitation
condition of the atmosphere at any given time
the amount of water a certain volume of air holds
absolute humidity
intensity of heat in a mass
layer of atmosphere just above the mesosphere
uppermost layer of Earth's atmosphere where temperature rises rapidly with altitude
region of the atmosphere between the troposphere and mesosphere
percentage of water the air is holding compared to the amount that it could hold at a given temperature
relative humidity
rate that temperature drops as altitude increases in the troposphere
lapse rate
layer located 20 to 50 km (12 to 31 mi.) above the earth's surface
ozone layer
colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that forms approximately 21% of the air by volume
a zone that protects living things from cosmic radiation
layer of the atmosphere nearest the earth's surface which consists of a homogeneous mixture of gases
part of earth's atmosphere consisting of layers of electrically charged atoms of gas
colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that forms approximately 78% of the air by volume
shields the earth from harmful ultraviolet light
ozone layer
a zone that encircles the earth and consists of electrons and protons from the sun which are trapped in the earth's magnetic field
science of the atmosphere
layer of the atmosphere above the stratosphere where temperature steadily decreases with increasing altitude

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