Atmosphere Web quest 1. What are the four main layers of the atmosphere? • • • • Troposphere Stratosphere Mesosphere Thermosphere – Ionosphere – Exsosphere 2. Which layer is closest to space? • Exosphere (upper layer of the thermosphere) 3. Which layer is the hottest layer? • Thermosphere (reaching temperatures of 1200 C) 4. Which layer is the coldest layer? • Mesosphere 5. What and where are the ionosphere and exosphere? • Thermosphere • Ionosphere: is the lower layer of the thermosphere. This is where earth’s communication is located along with the aurora borealis. • Exosphere: is the upper layer of the thermosphere. Satellites are found in this layer. 6. Draw a picture of the atmosphere…….write or draw a picture of one important fact about each sphere. (make sure you pay attention to the spacing of each sphere……one sphere is the smallest…….two are about the same in size……and one is the largest). 7. Why is the atmosphere important? • The atmosphere is an important part of what makes Earth livable. It blocks some of the Sun's dangerous rays from reaching Earth. It traps heat, making Earth a comfortable temperature. 8. What gases are most common in Earth’s atmosphere? Give the percentages. • nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), and other gases (1%) 9. What is the greenhouse effect (describe how it works)? • Energy from the Sun that makes its way to the Earth’s surface can have trouble finding its way back out to space. This is because of a natural process called the greenhouse effect. Without the greenhouse effect, Earth’s temperature would be below freezing. 10. What are the main greenhouse gases? • • • • Carbon Dioxide Water Vapor Nitrous oxide Methane 11. Describe how each of the gases contribute to the greenhouse effect and how do they get into our atmosphere? • Carbon Dioxide: • it helps trap heat coming from the Sun in our atmosphere through the greenhouse effect. Without carbon dioxide in our air, the Earth would be very cold . • Humans, animals, burning things, engines of cars and trucks. Methane • Methane is a greenhouse gas. That means it helps make Earth warm. But if there was too much methane, that could make our planet too warm. • Cow burps, Farming rice, garbage dumps, Termites, and Swamps Nitrous Oxide • Nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) Nitrogen dioxide and nitric oxide molecules form during combustion in car engines, power plants, and factories. They can contribute to smog when combined with oxygen molecules and the fumes from paint and gasoline (called Volatile Organic Compounds). They can also contribute to acid rain if mixed with water vapor turning into nitric acid. Nitrogen dioxide will break apart in sunlight and the free oxygen atoms latch onto oxygen molecules forming dangerous ground-level ozone. 12. What is air pollution? • solid particles and chemicals in the air 13. Describe 2 types of air pollution found in out atmosphere? • Primary and Secondary • Primary pollution is put directly to the air, such as smoke and car exhausts. Secondary pollution forms in the air when chemical reactions changes primary pollutants. The formation of tropospheric ozone is an example of secondary air pollution. 14. When did air pollution begin? (Is this just a recent development?) • Air pollution is not new. As far back as the 13 th century, people started complaining about coal dust and soot in the air over London, England. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the late 1700s, we have been changing the Earth’s atmosphere and its chemistry. As industry spread across the globe, so did air pollution. 15. What is primary and secondary air pollution? • Primary pollution is put directly to the air, such as smoke and car exhausts. Secondary pollution forms in the air when chemical reactions changes primary pollutants. The formation of tropospheric ozone is an example of secondary air pollution. Troposphereic Ozone……… **What two places is ozone found? • Troposphere and stratosphere **What causes troposphereic ozone? • In the troposphere, ozone is NOT wanted! It can actually do a lot of damage. • Ozone that increases because of certain human activities does become a problem at ground level and this is what we think of as 'bad' ozone. With increasing populations, more automobiles, and more industry (power plants and refineries in particular), there's more ozone in the lower atmosphere. Since 1900, the amount of ozone near the Earth's surface has more than doubled. **Is the ozone found in the troposphere bad for us (explain)? • Smog can damage lung tissues, impair an athlete's performance, create more frequent attacks for individuals with asthma, cause eye irritation, chest pain, coughing, nausea, headaches and chest congestion. It can even worsen heart disease, bronchitis, and emphysema. **What’s the common name for troposphereic ozone? • SMOG 17. What are the global effects of air pollution? Explain why the two are a concern. • Climate Change • Warm near the equator and cold at the poles, our planet is able to support a variety of living things because of its diverse regional climates. The average of all these regions makes up Earth's global climate. Climate has cooled and warmed throughout Earth history for various reasons. Rapid warming like we see today is unusual in the history of our planet. The scientific consensus is that climate is warming as a result of the addition of heattrapping greenhouse gases which are increasing dramatically in the atmosphere as a result of human activities. Human Health • People have no choice but to breathe the air around them. When it is polluted, they breathe in ozone, particles and harmful gases that can hurt their lungs, heart, and overall health. Air pollution can cause coughing, burning eyes, and breathing problems. Fortunately, people usually start to feel better as soon as the air quality improves, but not always. • Increase breathing problems in individuals with asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema. Ozone Hole… Explain why this is a concern. • Ozone in the stratosphere protects us from ultraviolet radiation in sunlight. The ozone layer is sort of like sunscreen for planet Earth. It absorbs most of the incoming UV "light" before it reaches the ground. • This is causing health problems: cancer • Warming the Earth What is causing the hole? • Various chemicals that humans release into the atmosphere help cause the hole When did scientist discover the ozone hole? • 1970 • Hole was found over the poles (in the winter) 19. What is Global Warming? • Warming of the Earth’s climate. 20. What is the effect of global warming? • Earth’s climate is warming. During the 20th Century Earth’s average temperature rose 0.6° Celsius (1.1°F). Scientists are finding that the change in temperature has been causing other aspects of our planet to change 21. How has earth’s temperature changed over the last century? • During the 20th Century Earth’s average temperature rose 0.6° Celsius (1.1°F). 22. List the effects of climate change due to global warming (that we are seeing now). • • • • • • • • • • • Sea Level Rising Arctic sea ice is melting Glacier and permafrost is melting Sea surface temperature are warming Heavier rainfall causing flooding in many regions Extreme drought Ecosystems are changing Hurricanes more frequent and strength More frequent heat waves Warmer temperatures are affecting human health Seawater is becoming more acidic 23. What do they predict will happen in the future due to global warming and climate change? • There will be more global warming is in our future according to the results of computer models summarized by the IPCC. For the next two decades warming of about 0.2° Celsius is projected. If we continue to emit as many, or more, greenhouse gases, this will cause more warming during the 21st Century than we saw in the 20th Century. During the 21st Century, various computer models predict that Earth’s average temperature will rise between 1.8° and 4.0° Celsius (3.2° and 7.2° F) depending largely on how humans change the ways they live on the planet. 24. What is acid rain, and explain the effect it has on our environment. • Acid rain is a general term used to describe different kinds of acidic air pollution. Although some acidic air pollutants return directly back to Earth, a lot of it returns in rain, snow, sleet, hail, mist or fog, which is why we call it acid rain • Acid rain can have harmful impacts on the ecosystems in the environment. It acidifies the soil and water where it falls, damaging or killing plants and animals. Surface water acidification can lead to a decline in, and loss of, fish populations and other aquatic species including frogs, snails and crayfish. Acid rain affects trees, usually by weakening them through damage to their leaves.