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15.1 The Atmosphere

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15.1 The Atmosphere

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15.1 The Atmosphere

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  1. 15.1 The Atmosphere The Water Cycle Continues

  2. Learning Targets • Describe the importance of the atmosphere to our planet and its life • Outline the role of the atmosphere in the water cycle • List the major components of the atmosphere and know their functions • Describe how atmospheric pressure changes with altitude

  3. Significance of the Atmosphere #1 • Provides the gases needed for life • Moves water • Clouds and water vapor • Absorbs solar energy • Ozone layer • Regulates temperatures • Greenhouse effect • Transmits energy • Allows for sound

  4. Photosynthesis • Plants turn CO2 and H2O into sugar and O2 • Plant sugars are the basis for all food chains • Put nearly ALL OXYGEN into the atmosphere

  5. Respiration • All plants and animals need oxygen • Organisms turn O2 and sugar into energy, CO2, and water • Releases energy stored during photosynthesis

  6. Significance of the Atmosphere #2 • Provides the gases needed for life • Moves water • Clouds and water vapor • Absorbs solar energy • Ozone layer • Regulates temperatures • Greenhouse effect • Transmits energy • Allows for sound

  7. Significance of the Atmosphere #2 • Water spends about 9 days in the atmosphere as water vapor. • ALL weather takes place in the atmosphere • Weather – describes what the atmosphere is like at a specific time and place • Includes – temperature, wind, precipitation • Climate – long-term average of weather in a particular location

  8. Significance of the Atmosphere #3 • Provides the gases needed for life • Moves water • Clouds and water vapor • Absorbs solar energy • Ozone layer • Regulates temperatures • Greenhouse effect • Transmits energy • Allows for sound

  9. Significance of the Atmosphere #3 • Ozone – molecule composed of three oxygen atoms - O3 • Absorbs Ultraviolet (UV) radiation • Protects life

  10. Significance of the Atmosphere #4 • Provides the gases needed for life • Moves water • Clouds and water vapor • Absorbs solar energy • Ozone layer • Regulates temperatures • Greenhouse effect • Transmits energy • Allows for sound

  11. Significance of the Atmosphere #4 • Keeps Earth within an acceptable temperature range • Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere to help moderate global temperatures • Carbon Dioxide • Methane • Water vapor • Ozone

  12. Significance of the Atmosphere #5 • Provides the gases needed for life • Moves water • Clouds and water vapor • Absorbs solar energy • Ozone layer • Regulates temperatures • Greenhouse effect • Transmits energy • Allows for sound

  13. Significance of the Atmosphere #5 • Gases in the atmosphere takes up space and provides collisions to occur • Without an atmosphere: • No sound – Why? • No collisions of molecules • Airplanes cannot fly – Why? • No atmosphere to hold it up

  14. Composition of Air • Major gas components • Nitrogen: 78% • Oxygen: 21% • Argon: 0.9% • Other: 0.1% • Also contains particles that allow water vapor to condensate on: • Water, soil, smoke – Condensation nuclei

  15. Composition of Air • Humidity – amount of water vapor in the air • Humidity varies around the world • Higher humidity at equatorial regions • Warm air holds more moisture than cooler air. • Lower humidity at polar regions – lower temperatures

  16. Components of the Atmosphere • Altitude – atmosphere has different properties at different elevations • Density – number of molecules in a given volume

  17. Components of the Atmosphere • Air density decrease with altitude – Why? • Gravity pulls gas molecules towards Earth’s center • Air is denser at sea level where gravitational pull is greater • Air piles up close to the earth’s surface

  18. Components of the Atmosphere • Air (atmospheric) pressure – force of air weighing down over a unit of area

  19. Components of the Atmosphere • What about the composition of air as altitude increases? • Major gas components • Nitrogen: 78% • Oxygen: 21% • Argon: 0.9% • Other: 0.1% • Composition stays the same with one exception – at 20- 40 km above the surface, there is a greater concentration of ozone molecules

  20. Movement of Air • Hot air takes up more space • Less dense  rises • Hot means moving faster • What is the most important way heat moves around in the atmosphere? Convection!