Atmospheric Science 8/31
Chapter 1 : Composition & Structure of the Atmosphere
* Weather vs. Climate
* General characteristics of the atmosphere
* Composition of the Atmosphere
* Vertical Structure of the atmosphere
What is Meteorology?
* The study of the atmosphere and the processes that cause what we commonly call weather.
What is Weather?
* Weather is the condition of the atmosphere at some place and time.
* Defined by temperature, pressure, wind, clouds, etc.
Examples : Current temperature in Lubbock is 72 ...view middle of the document...
General Characteristics of the Atmosphere
* A 3-dimensional fluid
* Both horizontal and vertical
* Horizontal motions are much stronger than vertical motions (with some exceptions).
* No defined top
* Very shallow depth (relative sense)
* Has mass therefore weight due to gravity
* Gravity - downward directed force
* Mainly composed of...
* Invisible gases
* Two categories
* Permanent Gases - distribution remains constant
* Variable Gases - Distribution varies in space and time
* Nitrogen (N2) - 78%
* Not important in atmospheric processes
* Oxygen (O2) - 21%
* Water Vapor (H2O)
* Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
* Ozone (O3)
* An invisible gas
* If you can see it it's not water vapor!!!
* Gaseous phase of water
* Three States of Matter
* Solid (ice), liquid, and gas (water vapor)
* Most abundant variable gas
* Greatest concentration in lower atmosphere (close to Earth's surface).
* Concentration normally decreases with height
How does water vapor get into the atmosphere?
* Liquid to gas (Change of phase)
Sources of Water Vapor
* Large bodies of water (Oceans, Gulf, etc.)
* Water Vapor = Moisture