Chapter 15 - Atmosphere Study Guide

Chapter 15 - Atmosphere Study Guide
Layers of the atmosphere (the thin layer of gases that surrounds the
Earth) in order- what is found in each? (refer to drawing)
 Troposphere – lowest layer of the Earth’s atmosphere, where
weather occurs
 Stratosphere – the layer above the troposphere (has ozone) &
 Mesosphere – asteroids
 Thermosphere – the top layer of the atmosphere
 Composition of the atmosphere (gases): the air you breathe
21% oxygen 78% nitrogen 1% other gases
 What is relative humidity?
Ratio comparing the amount of H2O vapor the air contains to the
maximum amount air can hold at that temperature
 Convection vs. Conduction vs. Radiation
All are heat transfer methods
Convection = warm air rise, cold air fall/ conduction =transfer through
touch / radiation = energy move through air
 What is air pressure? – the force exerted by air on the area
below it
 What is air pressure measured by? How does air pressure change
as altitude increases?
-air pressure goes (down) as altitude goes (up)
 How does temperature change as you increase in altitude?
-temperature (up) or (down) depending on layer
 What are some natural sources of air pollution? (Releasing of
damaging materials into the atmosphere)
-fires, dust storms, volcanic ash
 What is the main source of human air pollution?
-burning (combustion) of fossil fuels
 Smoke & fog combining = smog
 What is the difference between primary and secondary air
Primary – released directly into air ex. soot secondary – reacts to
create a product that is a pollutant ex. sulfuric acid
 Explain how air pollution can affect health?
-irritate respiratory system & make people cough, develop bronchitis
and asthma
-carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin & interferes with the bodies
ability to deliver oxygen to cells
-exhaust from cars & trucks contain benzene, linked to cancer
 What is a temperature inversion? Why are they more likely to be
around cities?
When cold air is stuck under warm air. This holds pollutants close to
-cities produce more pollution, hence the yellowish haze appearance
 How does the ozone layer help life on Earth?
Keeps UV rays from reaching Earth
 What is the source of energy that drives weather and climate?
 What are CFC’s?
Chlorofluorocarbons – responsible for O3 hole
-were found in refrigerants & aerosol spray cans
 What is acid deposition? Examples? What are the effects of acid
-precipitation that deposits acid
-dust, snow, rain
-animal reproduction rates go down, kills vegetation, etc.
 What was the goal of the Clean Air Act? (passed in 1963)
-protect & improve air quality to safeguard human health and
-limits motor vehicle emissions (substances released into the air such
as carbon dioxide)
A provision of the Act was to set aside funds for research into
pollution control.
 How do catalytic converters and scrubbers help stop air
Catalytic converters = reduces some air pollution from car emissions
Scrubbers = stop some pollution from leaving factory smoke stacks
 What was the goal of the Montreal Protocol?
Called for major cuts in CFC manufacture
 Understand the pH scale- What is considered an acidic pH?
*below 5.6 = acid deposition acid rain could have a pH of 4.6
acidic = anything below 7
 Where is the ozone hole located?
Over Antarctica hint* wind does not have boundaries – it goes with
the flow
Other vocab:
Front – the boundary between air masses that differ in temperature
and moisture
Climate – average weather conditions over a longer period of time
Weather – daily changes in temperature, pressure, etc.
Emission – particulate matter ex: soot & smog
Gases ex: carbon monoxide
Fossil Fuel – coal, oil, natural gas