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GPH 212, Week 2 Notes

by: Sheridan Smede

GPH 212, Week 2 Notes GPH 212

Sheridan Smede
GPA 3.78

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About this Document

These notes cover the Monday and Wednesday lecture from the second week of class.
Introduction to Meteorology
Matei Georgescu
Class Notes
Meteorology, Meteorology notes, Intro to Meteorology, gph212, gph214, gph213, Climatology
25 ?




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sheridan Smede on Wednesday August 31, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to GPH 212 at Arizona State University taught by Matei Georgescu in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 23 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Meteorology in Physical Geography at Arizona State University.


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Date Created: 08/31/16
Extra Credit Opportunity  ● Weather forecasting  ● Get information from the professionals  ●  ○ Shows current temperature  ○ Shows dew point  ■ Relative humidity (moisture index) is a different metric to use for  moisture  ■ Dew point means saturation will occur when current temperature  drops to [dew point temperature]  ■ Higher the dew point, more moisture in the atmosphere  ■ Lower the dew point, the drier it is  ■ You should look at maximum and minimum recorded values for  certain days  ○ Click on city, get detailed notes on weather for given region  ■ Detailed pin­point current conditions and forecast  ■ City map (by Google)  ■ Radar and satellite imagery  ■ Hourly forecast  ■ Site description (latitude and longitude)  ■ Probability of precipitation  ● Weather forecasts are not always correct and can change based on many factors  (microclimatic changes)  Weather Jargon  ● First Order Weather Stations  ○ K(3 letters) such as “KFAT”  ○ KFAT = weather station at Fresno  ● Normals  ○ Temperature based on 30­year average  ● Records  ○ Highest and lowest temperature for any given day  ● Radar  ○ Shows movement of winds and weather and their progression of  movement over time  ● Weather graphs (hourly) will show:  ○ Temperature:   ○ Dew point  ○ Gusts (mph)  ○ Winds (mph)  ○ Wind direction (wind bars)  ○ Relative humidity  ○ Precipitation potential  ○ Sky cover  Forecasting Contest (EC)  ● ASU vs. NAU (​Sat. Sep. 3rd​)  ● Line 1: Last name, first name  ● Line 2: Daytime max temperature forecast  ● Line 3: Daytime min temperature forecast  ● Score​: (to be eligible, must hand in pink sheet on Wednesday)  ○ Within 4 degrees F of actual max and min at Phoenix, AZ (Sky Harbor  International Airport: KPHX)  ■ .25 points each for two correct answers  ■ Within a 24 hour period (midnight to midnight)  Bonus Forecast  ● Rutgers vs. Washington  ● September 3rd  ● Min and max at Seattle, WA (KSEA)  Composition of the Atmosphere  ● Unlike CO2, water vapor is not transferred homogeneously  ● Water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas  ● Variable gas ­ water vapor  ○ Most abundant variable gas  ○ Added and removed from atmosphere through hydrologic cycle  ○ Concentrations exist from nearly 0% over desert and polar region to nearly  4% near tropics  ■ Never truly 0%, there is always at least a miniscule amount  ○ Water vapor is a contributor to earth’s energy balance and atmospheric  processes  ○ Different types of precipitation  ■ Snow, rain, sleet, etc.  ○ During these cycles (water changing from one state to another), energy is  either required or used for the process  ■ Redistribution of energy  ● Looking at water vapor?  ○ Use satellite imagery  ○ Visible light spectrum (ROYGBIV)  ■ To see clouds during daytime  ■ Not as useful during the night  ● At this point, use Infrared (different part of light spectrum)  ● Carbon Dioxide  ○ Trace gas accounting for 0.04% of the atmosphere’s volume (400 ppm)  ○ Much less in atmosphere compared to water vapor  ○ Important to earth’s energy balance  ○ Added through biologic respiration, volcanic activity, decay, and natural  and human­related combustion  ■ Incomplete combustion of fossil fuels  ○ Removed through ​photosynthesis  ■ Process whereby plants convert light energy to chemical energy  ■ Needed​: light, water, carbon dioxide  ○ On our planet: steady increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere  ■ Longest record of this is kept in Hawaii  ■ In this graph, we see ​seasonal cycle  ● In winter: upward trend  ● In summer: downward trend  ○ Plants are using CO2  ○ Redistributing it into their root system  08.31.2016  Daily Quiz  ● Nearly all of the atmosphere lies below an altitude of 100km. As a  percentage of earth size, how thick is this layer?  ○ About 2%  ○ Radius of earth is approximately 6400 km (4000 miles)  ■ Divide this by 100 km (altitude of atmosphere)  ● Why are horizontal motions stronger than vertical motions within our  atmosphere?  ○ Atmosphere has much more surface area than height  ○ Storms, rain, and snow are due to vertical motions  ○ Compare atmosphere to skin of an apple  ● What is the difference between meteorology and climatology?  ○ Climatology is long­term effects, meteorology is short­term  Carbon Dioxide  ● Presence in atmosphere has slowly increased over time (though it does decrease  in the summer time)  ● Half is absorbed, half stays in atmosphere  ● Carbon monoxide ­ harmful to plants, animals, and humans  ● Urban areas typically have higher concentration of CO2  ● Ozone precursors​: O and O2 ­ once you add sunlight you get ozone  Ozone  ● The triatomic form of oxygen and is essential to life on Earth (O3)  ● Near the surface (~.15­.2 ppm) is a pollutant  ● In the stratosphere (~15­20 ppm) it is an essential absorber of UV radiation  ○ Ultraviolet radiation is harmful to living organisms  ● Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), specifically atoms of chlorine, react with ozone in  stratosphere and destroys the ozone  ○ Created the ozone hole above Antarctica  ■ Because extremely cold temperatures are required to create CFCs  ■ The temperature creates unique clouds that interact with chlorine  and eventually break up the ozone  ■ One chlorine molecule can destroy thousands on ozone molecules  ■ The ozone hole is getting smaller  ○ 80% over both poles is human generated  ● Ozone is the earth’s “sunscreen”, protecting the earth from UV radiation  ● Ozone is measured in Dobson units  ● Ingredients for Ozone hole  ○ Large concentration of Cl  ○ Cold temperatures (required for formation of “polar stratospheric clouds”  which promotes Cl production in a form where it is ready to destroy  ozone)  ○ Sunlight (to drive chemical reactions)  Methane  ● A variable gas in small but (recently) increasing concentrations  ● Released to the atmosphere through fossil fuel activities, livestock digestion, and  agriculture cultivation (especially rice)  ● Works as an effective absorber of terrestrial radiation and plays an active role in  near surface warming  ● In essence, “the greenhouse effect”  Aerosols  ● Any solid or liquid particle (other than water) which exists in the atmosphere  ○ Also called particulate  ● Both natural (sea spray, dust, combustion, volcanic activity) and human  (combustion) produced products  ● Due to small size, remains suspended for long periods of time  ● Contribute to precipitation processes as condensation nuclei  ● Without these, we wouldn’t have rain  ● Serves as host for cloud formation   


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