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Geography 101 - Chapter 2 Notes

by: Peyton Paul

Geography 101 - Chapter 2 Notes GY 101

Marketplace > University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa > GY 101 > Geography 101 Chapter 2 Notes
Peyton Paul
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About this Document

These notes cover material from Chapter 2 in the textbook, form the homework, and class lectures.
Atmospheric proc & patterns
Jason Senkbeil
Class Notes
geography, Atmosphere, Energy, heat




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Peyton Paul on Sunday September 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to GY 101 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Jason Senkbeil in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 72 views.


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Date Created: 09/18/16
Chapter 2 Notes – Energy & Matter in the Atmosphere  What is the Atmosphere? o Atmosphere: thin layer of gas that completely surrounds earth’s surface & protects it from high-energy rays that come from space; contains oxygen & water vapor & other important gases, therefore it’s essential to life; source of weather & climate o Extends more than 100 km above the earth’s surface (some characteristics of it go even further) o Has six different layers with different air pressures, temps, & gases (amount and composition) o The name of every layer ends in “sphere” because that is its shape, since it is wrapped around the earth which is a sphere  Composition of the Atmosphere o Held in place by gravity & buoyancy force  Gravity keeps gases close to earth’s surface, pulls them downward  Buoyancy force is what makes things float in space; it pulls things toward the ‘vacuum’ of outer space o Near the surface, molecules are tightly packed; the further away from the surface you get, the less molecules there are o Dominant gases: 78% nitrogen & 21% oxygen  Also includes water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, & ozone o Contains aerosols- various solids & liquids including dust, industrial pollutants, & tiny liquid droplets from volcanic eruptions  These form clouds/precipitation & are an important factor in earth’s energy balance  Ways the Atmosphere Interacts w/ the Sun’s Energy o Energy- the capability of an object to do work  Expressed at an atomic level by motions of atoms & molecules  Temperature is just a measure of the amount of energy in an object  Kinetic energy- type of energy where molecules of all objects on Earth are moving (regardless of temp, some more than others) o Energy content determines an object’s state of matter!!!  Solid state- low energy level, molecules & atoms are bonded together  Liquid state- medium energy level, bonds begin to break  Gaseous state- high energy level, most bonds are broken o Warming & Cooling  Energy must be transferred for warming & cooling to occur  Warming happens when an object GAINS energy from its surroundings  Cooling happens when an object LOSES energy to its surroundings o 4 main ways it interacts w atmosphere  Transmission  Absorption  Reflection  Scattering  Energy Transfer o Heat- thermal energy transferred from high temp to low temp objects o Heat transfer (a.k.a heat flux or heat flow)- results when two masses that are side by side have different temperatures o 4 mechanisms of heat transfer: conduction, radiation, convection, & advection  Conduction: transfers thermal energy from a warm object to a cooler object (object w more energy to object w less energy) ex. Pot full of water on a stove, heat is transferred from the eye of the stove to the pot  Radiation (a.k.a radiant heat transfer): transmits energy through electrical & magnetic fields. ex. The burner on a stove can heat your hands from a distance.  Convection: vertical heat transfer through the flow of a gas, liquid, or weak solid ex. The heated bottom of the pot begins to heat the water in the pot  Advection: energy transfer by the horizontal movement of an object ex. The pot is moved sideways off the burner & the water immediately stops boiling  What are Heat & Temperature? o Temperature- measure of an object’s internal kinetic energy contained within molecules that are heating o Heat- thermal energy transferred from one object to another o Sensible heat- heat we can “sense” that changes the temperature of two objects through exchange o Temperature is measured by the amount of sensible heat transferred to whatever type of measuring device o Freezing point: 32 degrees Fahrenheit, Boiling point: 212 degrees Fahrenheit o To convert Fahrenheit to Celsius: C=5/9 x (F-32F=(C x 9/5) + 32  What is electromagnetic radiation? o Fundamental force of nature o Ex. microwaves, heat you feel from a heat lamp, sun rays that burn your skin o Made up of energy radiated from charged particles & manifested as interacting electrical & magnetic fields o Series of waves moving from left to right o Generated by changes in charged atoms & molecules produced by vibrations within particles, changes in energy level of electrons, & fusion of particles o Stefan-Boltzmann Law: relates an objects temp to the amount of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) it releases  What controls wavelengths of radiation? o Amounts of energy & wavelength in an object differ because all molecules in an object vibrate at different speeds o Electromagnetic spectrum- arrangement of different wavelengths & frequencies of electromagnetic radiation o Radio waves- longest wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation  What causes changes in Insolation? o Insolation (incoming solar radiation) - the energy transmitted from the Sun to the Earth o Solar constant- amount of energy transmitted consistently from the sun to the earth; 1,366 watts per square meter o ^^^ not everywhere on Earth receives this much energy though, it depends on the amount of sunlight the Earth’s surface receives at that point o Perihelion- occurs in early January; date where the Earth is closest to the Sun o Total solar irradiance- Sun’s total output of energy o Sunspots- places on the Sun that are slightly cooler than the rest o Zenith angle- angle made by two lines, one being drawn from an observer to the Sun & the other directly over the observer’s head  Why Do We Have Seasons? o The earth’s axis of rotation (orbital plane that it spins around) is tilted relative to its orbital plane (the plane in which the planet rotates the Sun)  What controls when & where the Sun rises & sets? o Circle of illumination- cuts straight through the earth down the middle, north to south. On one side of it, that part of the earth is experiencing daytime & the other half is experiencing nighttime.  What is ozone & why is it so important? o Ozone protects life on Earth from deadly amounts of ultraviolet radiation from the Sun o Located in the stratosphere  How much insolation reaches the Earth’s surface? o NOT ALL OF IT!! A lot of it is absorbed, scattered, or reflected by the atmosphere o Different surfaces of earth’s topography reflect & absorb different amounts of insolation and heat. o Most energy is absorbed by water, land & vegetation  What happens to Insolation that reaches the Surface? o HALF of insolation is transmitted to earth’s surface o Greenhouse effect: a.k.a. global warming; longwave radiation is emitted into the atmosphere (sometimes all the way down to Earth’s surface) and trapped there by greenhouse gases, causing a warming effect in the climate  How does Earth maintain energy balance? o 69% of insolation outside Earth’s atmosphere is can possible be used in sensible, ground, and latent heating. o To maintain balance between incoming & outgoing radiation, all of that energy has to be returned to space in the form of longwave radiation  Why do temperatures vary between oceans and continents? o Water has different thermal properties than land; explains major patterns of global temperature & climate o Heat capacity- thermal property that expresses the amount of heat needed to change a volume’s temperature by one Kelvin


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