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Earth Science Vocab

Created to study for the Earth Science quiz (Jan. 17)

Terms

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adiabatic cooling
cooling resulting from expansion
is Oxygen inert, and what does it mean to be inert?
no, it is not inert. Nitrogen in the air makes the air less inert, meaning it reacts less easily
orographic lift
when an air mass is forced from a low elevation to a higher elevation as it moves over rising terrain. As the air mass gains altitude it expands and cools adiabatically. This cooler air cannot hold the moisture as well as warm air can, which effectively raises the relative humidity to 100%, creating clouds and frequent precipitation.When air is confronted by mountains, it cannot simply go through them, As the air ascends the mountain, the air cools as it rises and if it cools to its saturation point, the water vapor condenses and a cloud forms.
describe the relationship (direct, or inverse) between latitude and temp
inverse, latitude up, temp goes down
hail
precipitation falls, lifts, coalesces (droplets merge) and gets bigger
describe the relationship (direct, or inverse) between pressure difference and wind
direct, the greater the difference in air pressure between two areas, the greater the wind will be.
sublimation
gas becomes solid or solid becomes a gas (skips the liquid stage)
condensation nuclei
tiny suspended particles, either solid or liquid, upon which water vapour condenses and forms precipitation
frost
frozen dew
front
boundary of air mass
source region
where a region comes from
how does nitrogen contribute to the air?
It dilutes oxygen and it makes air light.
polar easterlies
The polar easterlies are the prevailing winds that blow from the high-pressure areas of the polar highs at the north and south poles towards the low-pressure areas of the polar fronts at around 60 degrees latitude (north and south). Cold air subsides at the pole creating the high pressure, forcing a southerly (northward in the southern hemisphere) outflow of air towards the equator; that outflow is then deflected eastward by the Coriolis effect. Unlike the westerlies in the middle latitudes, the polar easterlies are often weak and irregular. These prevailing winds blow from the east to the west.
condensation
gas becomes liquid
atmosphere
the envelope of gases that surrounds the earth
specific heat
measure of the difficulty of raising the temperature or lowering the temperature of a substance
oxygen
gas necessary for breathing, relatively heavy, diatomic mass 32
doldrums
a belt of no wind and light baffling winds north of the equator or 0 degrees; between the northern and southern trade winds in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, near the equator
describe the relationship (direct, or inverse) between altitude and temp
Inverse, as altitude goes up, temp goes down
monsoon
A wind from the southwest or south (travels over the Indian ocean) that brings very heavy rainfall to southern Asia in the summer.
jet streams
Strong air currents 11 kilometers high. There are usually four distinct jet streams, two each in the Northern and Southern hemisphere. They are caused by significant differences in the temperatures of adjacent air masses. These differences occur where cold, polar air meets warmer, equatorial air, especially in the latitudes of the westerlies.
air mass
glob of air
describe the relationship (direct, or inverse) between humidity and pressure
inverse, greater the humidity, the lesser the pressure (water vapor is like the cheerleader vs. air molecules are like football players).
acid rain
precipitation containing relatively high concentrations of acid-forming chemicals (sulfur dioxide) resulting from pollutants that have been released into the atmosphere and combined with water vapor: harmful to the environment.
coalescence
the merging of two things (two droplets become one)
name the steps in convection
liquid or gas (such as air) is heated, expands, rises, cooler air sinks, heats, expands, rises, etc.
dew point
when humidity is 100%
ozone layer
in stratosphere, absorbs UV rays 99%, protects us from radiation
magnetosphere
causes solar winds and northern and southern lights light happens when atoms are stimulated
greenhouse effect
The greenhouse effect is the rise in temperature that the Earth experiences because certain gases in the atmosphere (water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane, for example) trap energy from the sun. Without these gases, heat would escape back into space and Earth's average temperature would be about 60ºF colder. Because of how they warm our world, these gases are referred to as greenhouse gases.
polar low
low pressure system creating a cyclone in the polar region, with arctic winds
lapse rate
the negative of the rate of change in an atmospheric variable, usually temperature, with height observed while moving upwards through an atmosphere.
trade winds
Winds that blow steadily from east to west and toward the equator. The trade winds are caused by hot air rising at the equator, with cool air moving in to take its place from the north and from the south. The winds are deflected westward because of the Earth's west-to-east rotation.
nitrogen
78% of the earth's atmosphere
stratosphere
layer above troposphere 31 miles from end of troposphere, gets warmer with greater altitude, has jet streams
sea breeze
A cool breeze blowing from the cooler sea toward the warmer land.
frontal wedging
The lifting of air resulting when cool air acts as When warm and cold air collide at the surface, we call it a front, or frontal zone. Since the warmer air is less dense, it rises over the cold air. The rising warm air is capable of holding lots of water vapor, which fuels buoyancy and triggers stormy weather. Cloudy, stormy weather is common along a front. Frontal wedging is common in our winter, when cold air from the polar zones sweeps down to lower latitudes. When warm and cold air collide at the surface, we call it a front, or frontal zone. Since the warmer air is less dense, it rises over the cold air. The rising warm air is capable of holding lots of water vapor, which fuels buoyancy and triggers stormy weather. Cloudy, stormy weather is common along a front. Frontal wedging is common in our winter, when cold air from the polar zones sweeps down to lower latitudes. a barrier over which warmer, lighter air will rise.
troposphere
weather layer, contains moisture, 5-8 miles high
subpolar low-pressure belt
around 60 degrees latitude near the poles

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