Temperature
By Sharon Fabian
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------1 On a cool autumn day, it's nice to play outside or go for a walk in the mountains.
A hot summer day is a good time to go to a water park. Sometimes in the cold winter
months you can enjoy ice skating or having a snowball fight, but you won't know for
sure what kind of a day it is until you check the temperature.
2 Temperature is a measurement of how much heat is in the air. Since the heat in
the air comes from the sun, you could also say that it is a measure of solar energy.
Temperature is measured with a thermometer in either degrees Fahrenheit or degrees
Celsius. On the Fahrenheit scale, 32 degrees is the freezing point for water, and 212
degrees is the boiling point. On the Celsius scale, 0 degrees is freezing, and 100
degrees is boiling.
3 There are other, less scientific, ways to measure the temperature too. Some
people say that a cricket is a good thermometer! In the evening, when the crickets are
chirping, count how many times one cricket chirps in 14 seconds; this number should
tell you the temperature. Some people also think that the wooly caterpillar can predict
the temperature of the coming winter. If the brown stripe on the wooly caterpillar is
wider that the black, it is a sign of a long, cold winter to come.
4 However you measure temperature, you should know that temperature can be
affected by many different factors. The season of the year is just one of the factors.
Latitude is another one. People who live in far northern latitudes, like northern
Canada, can expect colder temperatures than people who live in tropical latitudes, like
Central America. Altitude also affects temperature. If you climb to the top of a
mountain, you will be much colder than you were at the bottom of the mountain.
Some mountains in warm countries even have ice at the top all year around. Ocean
currents affect the temperature for people who live near the sea. Industries and farms
have also caused changes that affect the earth's temperatures.
5 Once you start to pay attention to temperature measurements, you will notice
some of these types of changes in temperatures. You will see that temperatures can
vary a lot from place to place and even in the same place. For example, in Alabama
the highest temperature ever recorded was 112 degrees Fahrenheit, in 1925. The
lowest temperature there was -27 degrees, recorded in 1966. One of the highest
temperatures in the world was recorded in Libya. There, in 1922, the temperature
reached 139.5 degrees. A low temperature of -128.6 degrees was recorded in
Antarctica in 1983.
6 Benjamin Franklin was one person who thought is was important to pay attention
to the weather. In his Poor Richard's Almanack, he said "Some are weatherwise, some
are otherwise."
7 If you are one of the people who are "weatherwise," you might want to
investigate two more weather topics, the heat index and the wind chill index.
1
8 The heat index combines information about temperature and humidity to tell us
how hot it really feels. When the heat index is high, it is time to use some precautions
to avoid heat-related accidents like sunstroke or heat exhaustion. Some common sense
things people can do to beat the heat include slowing down their activity level or
moving inside, wearing clothes that are both light in weight and light in color, and
drinking plenty of water.
9 The wind chill index is a combination of temperature and wind speed. It tells us
how cold it feels outside. When the wind chill index is high, people should wear
layers of clothes to hold in their body heat.
10 Being "weatherwise" is an all-around good idea. It can help keep us safe, and
can also help us plan that day at the beach or on the ski slopes.
Copyright © 2007 edHelper
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Name _____________________________
Date ___________________
Temperature
1. The main idea of this article is
Benjamin Franklin
High and low temperature records
How to measure temperature
Information about temperature
2. The two scales used to measure temperature are Fahrenheit and _____.
Wind chill index
Heat index
Temperature
Celsius
3. The word that tells how far north or south of the equator a place is located is
_____.
Latitude
Tropical
Altitude
Season
4. This word tells how high a mountain is.
Latitude
Season
Tropical
Altitude
2
5. Using a cricket to measure temperature could best be described as _____.
A lie
Proven data
Folklore
Scientific fact
6. The heat index combines temperature and _____ to tell how hot it feels outside.
Humidity
Air pressure
Wind speed
Precipitation
Name _____________________________
Date ___________________
Temperature
7. The wind chill index combines temperature and _____ to tell how cold it feels
outside.
Air pressure
Humidity
Precipitation
Wind speed
8. Wind chill affects how cold people feel, but it doesn't affect things like how much
antifreeze your car will need on a cold day, or whether the pipes in your house will
freeze. Can you explain why?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Temperature - Answer Key
1
2
3
4
5
6
Information about temperature
Celsius
Latitude
Altitude
Folklore
Humidity
3
7 Wind speed
8 Wind chill only changed how cold it feels, not how cold it actually is.
Storms
By Sharon Fabian
Dorothy had a bit of a problem. A tornado had lifted
up Dorothy and her little dog Toto and carried them to
the strange land of Oz. Tornadoes are like that; they
cause problems wherever they go. So do other types of
storms, like thunderstorms and blizzards.
1
One way to categorize storms is into two groups, summer storms and
winter storms. Summer storms include several types of thunderstorms and
tornadoes. Winter storms include blizzards, ice storms, lake effect storms,
and the fierce nor'easters.
2
There are three main types of thunderstorms: single cells, multicell
clusters, and multicell lines called squall lines. Single cell thunderstorms
are the common everyday kind. They usually last from 20 to 30 minutes,
and include downpours of rain, possible hail, thunder, and lightning. They
are not the most dangerous type, but one danger from single cell storms is
the possibility of a microburst. A microburst is a sudden burst of high
wind that is especially dangerous to airplane pilots. Multicell clusters and
squall lines are bigger storms that are more dangerous because they are
larger and can last longer. One danger from any type of thunderstorm is
the lightning. Lightning causes hundreds of deaths and millions of dollars
in property damage each year. Another danger is the possibility of flash
flooding. Flash floods are weather's biggest killer.
3
A super cell is a special kind of thunderstorm. It is one with winds
that spin and spiral. Weather watchers keep a close eye on supercells
because a supercell can develop into a tornado.
4
Tornadoes are powerful storms that can flatten even a sturdily built
house. Tornadoes, like the fictional one in The Wizard of Oz, consist of a
huge cloud with a tail that touches down on the ground. Tornadoes'
spiraling winds make them especially hazardous. If you are in an area
where a tornado is spotted, you should take cover in the basement or an
inside room of your house, or in a low area such as a ditch if you are
outside.
5
6
Blizzards are common winter storms. In a blizzard, the temperature
4
falls below 20 degrees, and there are high winds and snow. The winds
and blowing snow in a blizzard make it difficult to see. Visibility in a
blizzard is usually 1/4 mile or less.
Ice storms don't happen very often, and when they do, they are
usually a big surprise because ice storms occur in the southeastern states
where winter storms are not common. Ice storms may include freezing
rain, sleet, and snow.
7
Lake effect storms happen in the cold states around the Great Lakes
where winter weather is expected. These storms happen when cool air
moves over the warmer water of the lakes, causing precipitation to fall.
8
A nor'easter is one of the most ferocious winter storms. A nor'easter
travels up the east coast until it gets to the New England states, or
Canada, where it becomes a severe storm when it meets the cold air there.
9
With modern scientific advances, storms are more predictable today
than they once were. Even so, storms still have immense power, and will
always be a force to be reckoned with. It's no wonder that many authors,
just like Mr. Baum who wrote The Wizard of Oz, chose to put a storm in
their stories.
10
Copyright © 2007 edHelper
Name
_____________________________
Date
___________________
Storms
1. Single cell storms, multicell
clusters, and multicell lines are
three types of _____.
Blizzards
Thunderstorms
Rain
Tornadoes
3. The Wizard of Oz was _____.
A non-fiction article
A famous weather man
A weather report
A fiction story
2. Tornadoes develop from _____.
Blizzards
Ice storms
Supercells
Squall lines
4. A good way to organize types of
storms is in two groups, _____
and _____.
Spring storms and summer
storms
Winter storms and summer
storms
Thunderstorms and ice
5
storms
Tornadoes and
thunderstorms
5. An ice storm would be likely to
happen in the state of _____.
Hawaii
Texas
Alabama
California
7. All of these storms involve
_____.
Rain and ice
Precipitation and wind
Rain and wind
Spiraling winds and snow
6. It is dangerous to drive in a
blizzard because of _____.
The snow on the roads
The spiraling winds
The poor visibility
Both a and c
8. This article is mainly about
_____.
Snow storms
The Wizard of Oz
Thunderstorms
Types of storms
6
Storms - Answer Key
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Thunderstorms
Supercells
A fiction story
Winter storms and summer storms
Alabama
Both a and c
Precipitation and wind
Types of storms
Air - The Atmosphere
By Sharon Fabian
When you get chilly, you might wrap up in a nice warm blanket. The
earth has a blanket too, called the atmosphere. We call it air for short.
The blanket of air that surrounds the earth keeps us comfortable. We
wouldn't be able to live on Earth without an atmosphere.
1
Earth isn't the only planet with an atmosphere. Some planets have an
atmosphere made up of toxic chemicals. Some big planets, like Jupiter,
are all atmosphere. Earth, however, is the only planet that we know of, so
far, that has an atmosphere that makes life possible.
2
Earth's atmosphere is made up of many different chemicals, most of
them in very small amounts. The main chemicals in air are oxygen at
21%, nitrogen at 78%, and argon at less than 1%. Some other chemicals
that are there in very small amounts are important too. There is carbon
dioxide, water vapor, ozone, and man-made gasses including
chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's).
3
The atmosphere is arranged in layers around the earth. The layer
closest to the earth is the troposphere. It is a thin layer, only about seven
to eight miles thick. The troposphere is where the clouds are. It's where
thunderstorms, and all the rest of the weather happens. It's the part that
recycles our water for us. It's where most of the airplanes fly. The next
layer is the stratosphere. It's where the Concorde flew, and where some
supersonic military planes fly. The stratosphere is where the ozone layer
is. The mesosphere, the ionosphere, and the exosphere are beyond the
stratosphere. The atmosphere in these three layers gradually gets thinner
4
7
and thinner until there is no atmosphere left. Beyond that is outer space.
Think of all of the protective gear an astronaut must wear. The gear
protects him or her from deadly hazards like extreme cold, and lack of
oxygen. The rest of us are protected from these same hazards every day
by the atmosphere. The atmosphere provides the oxygen that we breathe.
It regulates the earth's temperature. It filters out dangerous solar radiation.
It also recycles our water.
5
If you research to find information about the atmosphere, one of the
first things that you will probably find is information about problems with
the atmosphere, especially problems with the part called the ozone layer.
The ozone layer is the lower part of the stratosphere, about twelve to
fifteen miles above sea level. The ozone layer acts like a giant shield that
protects the earth from the dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun.
6
Scientists have found that the ozone layer is being worn away in spots
by interactions with man-made chemicals, particularly CFC's. CFC's were
once used a lot in products like spray cans and cooling systems. They
seemed like very useful chemicals at the time; however the scientists later
learned that CFC's collect in the stratosphere where they attack the ozone
layer. A large hole has been discovered in the ozone layer over
Antarctica. NASA scientists have an aircraft called NASA-ER2 that goes
out to gather information about the ozone layer. The information is
brought back to labs where scientists can study them and make
hypotheses about what is happening in our atmosphere. Besides the hole
over the Antarctic, they are also studying a smaller hole over the Arctic
and other spots where the ozone layer is getting thinner. They are
studying how volcanic eruptions affect the ozone layer, and how airplane
exhaust contributes to the problem.
7
Scientists are gathering and studying more and more data all the time,
but one thing that they have learned for sure is that the atmosphere is a
thin, fragile blanket of air. It's done a beautiful job of protecting us so far,
but everything that people do affects the atmosphere in one way or
another. If we like our air just the way it is, we'll all have to do our part to
keep it in good shape.
8
Copyright © 2007 edHelper
Name
_____________________________
Date
___________________
Air - The Atmosphere
8
1. Atmosphere is another word for 2. The layer of the atmosphere
_____.
Air
Troposphere
Stratosphere
Ozone
3. The ozone layer is part of the
_____ layer.
Troposphere
Stratosphere
Ionosphere
Mesosphere
5. CFC's _____.
Are short for
chlorofluorocarbons
Are man-made chemicals
Attack the ozone layer
All of the above
7. The NASA-ER2 mainly does
which step of the scientific
method?
Make hypotheses
Analyze data
Gather information
Draw conclusion
where thunderstorms happen is
the _____.
Mesosphere
Stratosphere
Troposphere
Ionosphere
4. The _____ is farthest away from
the earth.
Troposphere
Mesosphere
Stratosphere
Ionosphere
6. Here on earth, we don't have to
wear protective gear like the
astronauts do, because _____.
We stay indoors most of
the time
It is cooler here
Outer space has a
poisonous atmosphere
The atmosphere protects us
here
8. Our atmosphere contains _____.
A balanced amount of
many different chemicals that
makes life on earth possible
Only oxygen, nitrogen,
argon, ozone, water vapor, and
CFC's
A toxic mix of chemicals
like many other planets in the
solar system
Only oxygen
9
Air - The Atmosphere - Answer
Key
1
Air
2
Troposphere
3
Stratosphere
4
Ionosphere
5
All of the above
6
The atmosphere protects us here
7
Gather information
8
A balanced amount of many different chemicals that makes life on earth
possible
Global Warming
By Patti Hutchison
You know that the sun is the source of all
energy on earth. But sometimes we get a double
dose of that energy. Solar radiation reaches the
earth. The earth soaks up some of it and reflects
some back to the atmosphere. The reflected
radiation is absorbed by the gases in the
atmosphere. The gases act like the glass walls
of a greenhouse. They trap the warm air in and reflect it back to earth
again. Scientists call this the greenhouse effect.
1
You may have heard that the greenhouse effect is a bad thing. But the
truth is life could not exist on earth without it. Our planet would be cold.
However, an increase in the greenhouse effect would make earth too hot.
Many scientists think that this is happening now. There is an increase in
carbon dioxide. This is causing an increase in the greenhouse effect. The
earth is warming up.
2
Temperatures around the earth have steadily gone up over the past
200 years. The past twenty years have seen the biggest increase. If this
continues, it could have a shocking effect on the earth. People's lives
could be changed in a negative way.
3
Most scientists agree that global warming is happening. What they
disagree on, though, is what is causing it. The greenhouse effect happens
4
10
naturally. There is proof that the climate of the earth has warmed up and
cooled down in the past. But data show that the population is growing. So
is the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. Are people causing global
warming? If so, what effects will this have on the earth?
Many scientists think that global warming is caused by human
activities. Every time we drive a car, we put carbon dioxide in the air. We
burn a lot of fossil fuels such as coal and oil. This gives off a lot of
carbon dioxide. Cutting of the rainforests is also causing more carbon
dioxide in the atmosphere. Plants take in carbon dioxide during
photosynthesis. If there are fewer plants, this will not happen.
5
Climatic changes happen very slowly. It will take a long time to see
the effects of global warming. There are two different theories. Some
scientists think that the warming will cause the polar ice caps to melt.
This will cause the oceans to rise. Coastal cities could be flooded. Other
scientists have a different idea. If the air over Antarctica warms up, it can
hold more moisture. This would mean more snow. The ice caps might get
larger. We might even have another ice age.
6
There are other changes in our weather due to global warming. Sea
level has risen over four inches in the past 100 years. More water can be
evaporated. This is causing more precipitation. There have been strong
rain storms in parts of the U.S. This has caused massive mud slides and
flooding. There has been an increase in violent storms such as tornadoes
and hurricanes. They have caused a lot of injury and property damage.
7
What can be done about global warming? Can one person make a
difference? The answer is YES! If we conserve energy we will use less
fossil fuel. Turn off appliances and lights when you're not using them.
Wear a sweater instead of turning up the thermostat in the winter. Open
the windows instead of using the air conditioner in the summer. Ride
your bike instead of driving short distances. Always recycle everything
you can. If we all work together to conserve, the earth will be a lot better
off.
8
Copyright © 2007 edHelper
Name
_____________________________
Date
___________________
Global Warming
1. What is the source of all energy
on earth?
2. Gases in the atmosphere act
like:
11
Fossil fuels
The sun
The greenhouse effect
Violent storms
Polar ice caps
Walls of a greenhouse
3. The greenhouse effect is always 4. Name two effects global
bad for the earth.
False
True
5. Name two activities that put
more carbon dioxide in the air.
warming is having on our
weather.
6. What has happened to the level
of the ocean over the past 100
years?
It has increased.
It has stayed the same.
It has decreased.
12
Global Warming - Answer Key
1
The sun
2
Walls of a greenhouse
3
False
4 More precipitation; increase in tornadoes and hurricanes
5 Driving a car; burning fossil fuels; cutting the rainforests (any two)
6
It has increased.
What Is the Atmosphere?
By Patti Hutchison
Earth, air, water, and fire. The ancient Greeks
thought these were the basic elements. They
believed these could not be broken down into
parts. Today, we know more about the air around
us. It is made up of many gases. Together these
gases make up the atmosphere. This is a layer of
air above the earth. It extends into outer space.
1
What are the gases that make up the atmosphere? Ninety-nine percent
of air is nitrogen and oxygen. The other one percent is a mixture of water
vapor, argon, carbon dioxide, and other gases. Without the atmosphere,
there would be no life on our planet.
2
It is important that the amounts of nitrogen and oxygen in the
atmosphere never change. If either changed very much, life could not
survive. But the amounts of the other gases do change a little. These
changes do not harm us.
3
The amount of water vapor in the air is always changing. It is always
different over different parts of the world. It may change over a certain
place within a period of a day or even a few hours. Water vapor may
make up as much as four percent of the atmosphere. What causes this
variation?
4
The percentage of water vapor changes with the seasons. You know
that warmer air can hold more moisture than cooler air. So it makes sense
that there is more water vapor in the air in spring and summer. Likewise,
5
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cooler air in fall and winter is dryer. It doesn't contain as much water
vapor.
The amount of water vapor also varies over different surfaces. Air is
dryer over the desert than over the ocean. The air on the windward side of
a mountain is moister than air on the leeward side.
6
Our weather changes because of differences in the amounts of water
vapor in the air. Clouds, rain, and snow come from water vapor. Water is
the only substance that comes in three states. It can be frozen (solid),
liquid, or gas. When it changes from one state to the other, heat is soaked
up or given off. This makes atmospheric motions that create weather.
7
There are solid particles in the atmosphere. Dust and salt are left
behind during evaporation. These help clouds to form. This also affects
our weather. Ice is another solid found in the air. This usually comes in
the form of hail or sleet.
8
The atmosphere is made up of several layers. The layer closest to the
earth is called the troposphere. This is where most of the water vapor is.
Most weather takes place in this layer. The air temperature decreases as
you go from the bottom to the top of the troposphere.
9
The next layer is called the stratosphere. Ozone is found here. This is
a layer of special oxygen molecules high above the earth. It absorbs
harmful rays of the sun. If there were no ozone, the sun would badly
damage our skin. The stratosphere is warm because it absorbs much of
the radiation from the sun. The top of the stratosphere is about 50 km
above the earth's surface.
10
Above the stratosphere is the mesosphere. This layer is the coldest
layer because there is no ozone here. Beyond the mesosphere is the
thermosphere. The temperature in this layer is more than 1000 degrees
Celsius. This layer is very thin. The molecules are spread out. So it
wouldn't feel that hot to you if you were to go through it.
11
Next comes the ionosphere. This is actually part of the thermosphere.
It is made of layers of very light gases. The last layer is the exosphere.
Hydrogen and helium are found here. Beyond this layer is outer space.
But you won't "bump into" outer space. There is no ceiling at the end of
the atmosphere. The molecules are just spaced farther apart until they
don't exist anymore.
12
Animals need air to breathe. Plant life needs gases in the air for
photosynthesis. Life on earth could not exist without the atmosphere.
13
Copyright © 2007 edHelper
14
Name
_____________________________
Date
___________________
What Is the Atmosphere?
1. Which two gases make up most
of the atmosphere?
Carbon dioxide and water
vapor
Nitrogen and oxygen
Helium and hydrogen
3. Name three kinds of solid
particles in the air.
2. A change in the amount of water
vapor in the atmosphere will
cause a change in what?
Temperature
Nitrogen
Weather
4. A layer of special oxygen
molecules high above the earth
is called:
Ozone
Clouds
Ionosphere
5. The layer of the atmosphere that 6. Why is the stratosphere warmer
is closest to the earth is called:
The troposphere
The stratosphere
The exosphere
than the upper troposphere?
15
What Is the Atmosphere? - Answer
Key
1
Nitrogen and oxygen
2
Weather
3 Ice, dust, and salt
4
Ozone
5
The troposphere
6 because the ozone absorbs much of the radiation from the sun.
16