Chapter 7 Climate Interactions Lesson 2 Energy and the Atmosphere
Energy in the Atmosphere The atmosphere is the layer or sphere of Earth’s system that includes all gases. Weather occurs in the lower part of the atmosphere called the troposphere. Energy is moved in the atmosphere by: • Conduction • Convection • Radiation
How does Energy travel in Atmosphere? Energy travels in electromagnetic waves from the sun toward Earth. Most of energy from the sun travels to Earth in the form of visible light and infrared radiation. Smaller amounts arrive as ultraviolet radiation. These are all electromagnetic waves that are transferred from the sun through radiation.
Energy in the Atmosphere Visible light is all the colors seen to humans. These visible lights are harmless to humans and the different colors seen by us is actually the different wave lengths of each visible light (color)
Nonvisible Radiation Nonvisible light or radiation are wavelengths that cannot be seen by human eyes. Infrared radiation are longer wavelengths of red light that cannot be seen by human eyes but can be felt as heat. Ultraviolet light radiation is an invisible form of energy with wavelengths that are too short to be seen by human eyes. These ultraviolet can be harmful and cause sunburns.
Sun’s Energy and the Atmosphere The atmosphere has various layers. As energy travels through space from the sun it reaches Earth in electromagnetic waves of various lengths. This energy is either absorbed or reflected by the atmosphere or passes through to the Earth’s surface.
Upper Atmosphere and Energy Different wavelengths of energy are absorbed by different parts of the atmosphere. This protects us down in the surface from harmful wavelengths and energy. Some ultraviolet light is absorbed by the Ozone layer.
Troposphere and Energy The troposphere is the layer of the atmosphere closest to the ground. Clouds, water vapor and various gases and particles are found there. These allow for energy from the sun to either be absorbed by them or reflected by them. Clouds can bounce energy from the sun back into space and water vapor molecules can absorb infrared wavelengths.
Scattering in the Troposphere Scattering is the process in which dust size particles and gases in the atmosphere disperse light in all directions. This allows for visible light and nonvisible light wavelengths to be spread all around the atmosphere.
Earth’s Energy Budget Earth’s surface can absorb or reflect energy from the sun. Some energy bounces off objects and radiates back into the atmosphere as infrared radiation. Humans cannot see infrared but feel it as heat energy.
Greenhouse Effect The infrared energy that bounces of the surfaces doesn’t immediately travel back out to space. Instead it can be absorbed by water vapor molecules, clouds, and other gases in the atmosphere.
Greenhouse effect The gases and molecules that absorb the energy in the atmosphere begin to heat up. This causes an effect known as the Greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is a natural process. It is necessary to keep Earth’s atmosphere at the right temperature for life.
Greenhouse effect and Human activity The greenhouse effect is being affected by human activity. The greenhouse effect is needed to keep life on Earth alive. However pollution and human activity that release harmful gases leads to overheating of the atmosphere and can cause global effects.
Greenhouse Effect The reason the greenhouse effect can be harmful to humans is when too much pollution heats up the atmosphere. The hotter it becomes the more damage that can occur to different parts of the Earth’s environment and life.
Wind patterns and Energy Energy provided by the sun influences global winds and creates temperature differences among Earth’s air, water and land. Like local winds, global winds are created by unequal heating of the atmosphere.
Coriolis Effect The way the Earth’s rotation makes winds curve on Earth is called the Coriolis Effect. This makes global winds in the Northern hemisphere turn to the right and in the Southern hemisphere curve to the left.