Guided Notes about the Earth’s Atmosphere Chapter 11, Section 1

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Guided Notes about the
Earth’s Atmosphere
Chapter 11, Section 1
1. About 99 percent of the earth’s
atmosphere is composed of nitrogen
and oxygen. The percentages of
these components are critical to life
on earth.
2. The amount of atmospheric water
vapor on Earth is constantly changing.
It can range from as much as 4
percent to as little as zero.
3. The level of both carbon dioxide and
water vapor are critical because they
regulate the amount of energy that the
atmosphere absorbs.
4. When water changes from one state
to another, heat is either absorbed or
released, and this greatly affects
atmospheric motions that create
weather and climate.
5. Ozone is a gas formed by the addition of a
third oxygen atom to an oxygen molecule.
It is important in the upper atmosphere
because it absorbs ultraviolet radiation
from the sun. Without an ozone layer, our
skin could not tolerate exposure to the
Sun.
6. The troposphere contains most of the
mass of the atmosphere, including the
water vapor. This is the layer in which
most weather takes place, and it is
characterized by a decrease in
temperature from bottom to top.
7. The stratosphere is made up
mainly of concentrated ozone,
and it increases in temperature to
the top of the layer.
8. The Sun is shining on and warming
some portion of the Earth’s surface at
all times through the method of
energy transfer called radiation.
9. While the Earth is absorbing solar
radiation, it is also continuously
sending energy back into space. Only
about 50% of incoming solar radiation
is absorbed by the Earth’s surface.
10. Over the course of a year, Earth sends
back into space just about as much energy
as it receives from the Sun. If the Earth
sent back too much, it would gradually cool
off. If it sent back too little, it would warm
up to potentially dangerous levels.
11.The energy radiated by Earth’s
surface is absorbed by the
atmosphere and warms air through
the processes of conduction and
convection.
State how conduction affects the
atmosphere:
 Energy is transferred from the particles of air
near the earth’s surface to the particles of
air in the lowest layer of the atmosphere
 Conduction only affects a very thin
atmospheric layer near the earth’s surface
13.Convection is the transfer of energy by the
flow of heated matter. As warm air rises, it
expands and starts to cool. When it cools
enough, it begins to sink because it
increases in density.

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