Reasons to Study Weather and Climate

Topics: Ozone depletion, Atmosphere, Ozone Pages: 5 (711 words) Published: September 29, 2012
Why study weather and climate:
Influences our daily activities
Influences agriculture, energy use, weather resources, transportation, and industry Understand and predict severe weather
Understand, predict, and mitigate long term changes
Hurricane Irene: one of the top 10 hurricanes since 1980.
Meteorology: The scientific study of the atmosphere
* Weather:
Climate: Long term trend (average, high and low extremes), temperature, wind, humidity, rainfall, etc. Basic components:
Goal of science- uncover patterns, make predictions on the natural world Observations/ measurements
Hypothesis/model- explanation
Multiple competing hypotheses
Hypothesis corroborated or rejected
Publication in peer-reviewed journals
Scientific Theories
Not “just a theory”
Rigorously and extensively tested
Comprehensive explanation of phenomena
Making observations
ASOS (Automated Surface Observing System)
High-altitude Observations
Radiosondes- measure temp., pressure, humidity; radio transmitters send back data 2x daily Aircrafts study hurricanes
Radar- distribution and intensity of precipitation
Satellite Imaging- Storms, clouds, etc. over oceans and areas with little/ no observations Earth’s Spheres
Geosphere- Solid earth
Atmosphere- Sky (thinner as you get higher till it merges with space) 99%
Hydrosphere- Water areas + ice
Oceans: ~71% Earth’s surface, avg. depth of 4 km
Streams, lakes, clouds, glaciers, underground
Volume of water
Oceans: 97.2%, Glaciers: 2.15%, Ground water: 0.62%
Shorelines- Interface between Land and Water (where it connects) Biosphere- Living organisms
Primarily near Earth’s surface
Microbes, plants, animals
All parts are linked
System- Group of interacting parts forming a complex whole
Closed vs. Open- Most natural systems; energy and matter can flow in and out Positive feedback
Change one component more changes initial changes enhanced E.g: Increase in temperature will cause other changes and in return temperature will increase even more Negative feedback
Change one component more changes back to original state of initial component Example – what kind of feedback?
Increase temperature
Greater Evaporationmore water vapor in atmosphereincrease in cloud coverMore sunlight reflected… decrease in temperature Negative feedback
Increase temperature
Greater melting of glaciers and sea icewhite ice surfaces replaced bydarker oceans, soil, rock, vegetationmore sunlight absorbedincrease temperature Positive feedback
The Carbon Cycle (Pg-18)
The Hydrologic Cycle
Running water weathers rock; sediment transport; sediment grains may cement What are negative and positive feedbacks? Examples.

Composition of the Atmosphere
Major Components
Oxygen: 21%
Nitrogen: 78%
Carbon Dioxide
Evolution of Earth’s Atmosphere
Volcanic outgassing
Lacked oxygen
Oceans formed
Evolution of Photosynthesis
6CO2+ 12H2OC6H12O6+6H2O+6O2
Variable Components
Water Vapor
Water Vapor
Absorbs heat
Heat transfer (latent heat)- gains/loses heat during state changes Aerosols
Tiny solid & liquid particles
Absorb/reflect incoming solar radiation
Surfaces for cloud formation
Natural and anthropogenic sources
Causes red sunsets
Stratosphere- 10-50km (6-31 miles)
Continually created and destroyed
Filters out damaging UV radiation
“Good ozone”
Formation of Stratospheric Ozone
Continually breaking down and forming
(steps on Page 25)
Depletion by CFC’s (Chlorofluoro carbons) (Chlorine is a catalyst) CFCs
Low toxicity, not flammable
Coolant for refrigerators, air conditioners
Other CFCs- aerosol propellants
Br instead of Cl
Mario Molin, Paul Crutzen, & F. Sherwood Rowland hypothesized CFCs would lead to O3 depletion; 1995 Nobel Prize

* No Equations on exams
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