Radiation and the Earth’s Atmosphere http://telstar.ote.cmu.edu/environ/m3/s2/index.shtml
Ask not what your atmosphere can do for you….. • The atmosphere maintains the long-term climate, the short-term weather, and the temperature conditions on Earth. • Several factors involved… • Energy (from the sun produces the movements or currents) • Earth's movement relative to the sun • components of the atmosphere • components of Earth's surface
The atmosphere can change • In the last century especially, this system--which evolved over billions of years--has been subject to rapid changes due to industrial activities increasing at unprecedented rates.
Structure of the Atmosphere • An ocean of air • Temperature changes • Stable layers
The Thermosphere dilemna How can 1,ooo degress feel cool?? • What is heat? What is temperature?
Heat and Temperaure • Heat is the thermal energy that is transferred from a warmer object to a cooler object. • Temperature a number that is related to the average kinetic energy of the molecules • Thermosphere: Very few molecules, Moving very fast. They have high temperature (I.e. KE), but not enough of them to transfer much heat (I.e warm up something)
Sun’s emission spectrum • The range of wavelengths that fall on top of the Earth's atmosphere Minor amounts of X-ray. Measured as 1370-1380 watts/m2
The Energy Lab • Problem: How much energy arrives in our school yard from Sun? • What to do: Compare our ground level measurement with the 1370 W/m2 at the top of the atmosphere.
Measuring Energy from the Sun • Lab: • http://csc.gallaudet.edu/soarhigh/SHMA330.HTM • Photos: http://sci.gallaudet.edu/Mary/classpics01/elab20014th.html