Glossary of The Atmosphere

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a mixture of gases that surrounds a planet, such as Earth
air pressure
the measure of the force with which air molecules push on a surface
the height of an object above the Earth's surface
the lowest layer of the atmosphere
the atmospheric layer above the troposphere
the coldest layer of the atmosphere
the uppermost layer of the atmosphere
a gas molecule that is made up of three oxygen atoms and that absorbs ultraviolet radiation from the sun
the transfer of energy as electromagnetic waves, such as visible light or infrared waves
the transfer of thermal energy from one material to another by direct contact; conduction can also occur within a substance
the transfer of thermal energy by the circulation or movement of a liquid or a gas
greenhouse effect
the natural heating process of a planet, such as the Earth, by which gases in the atmosphere trap thermal energy
global warming
a rise in average global temperatures
moving air
Coriolis effect
the curving of moving objects from a straight path due to the Earth's rotation
trade winds
the winds that blow from 30 degrees latitude to the equator
wind belts found in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres between 30 degrees and 60 degrees latitude
polar easterlies
wind belts that extend from the poles to 60 degrees latitude in both hemispheres
jet streams
narrow belts of high-speed winds that blow in the upper troposphere and the lower stratosphere
the name of the windless zone that lies between the trade winds
primary pollutants
pollutants that are put directly into the air by human or natural activity
secondary pollutants
pollutants that form from chemical reactions that occur when primary pollutants come in contact with other primary pollutants or with naturally occurring substances, such as water vapor
acid precipitation
precipitation that contains acids from air pollution
What are the two most abundant atmospheric gases?
Nitrogen and Oxygen
If you were to travel throughout the atmosphere what changes would you find?
Changes in air pressure, temperature, and gases
What layer of the atmosphere has all the "weather"?
What layer contains the ozone layer?
The stratosphere
Which layer of the atmosphere is the coldest?
The mesophere
How does the Earth receive energy from the sun?
What happens to the energy that reaches the earth's surface?
The energy is absorbed or reflected.
Name a source of human-caused pollution.
factories, cars, and homes
What health problems can increase with air pollution?
allergies, lung problems and heart problems
Give an example of secondary pollutants
smog and ozone
What happens to air pressure as you increase altitude?
Air pressure decreases.
What is the lowest and densest layer of the atmosphere?

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