The composition, structure, and properties of Earth's atmosphere form the basis of Earth's weather and climate.
MAUWJdSa Energy is transferred throughout Earth's atmosphere.
• Earth's atmosphere is composed of several gases, primarily nitrogen and oxygen, and also contains small particles.
• Earth's atmosphere consists of five layers that differ in their compositions and temperatures.
• Solar energy reaches Earth's surface in the form of visible light and infrared waves.
• Solar energy absorbed by Earth's surface is transferred as thermal energy throughout the atmosphere.
Properties of the Atmosphere dew point (p. 295) humidity (p. 294) latent heat (p. 295) relative humidity (p. 294) saturation (p. 294) temperature inversion (p. 292)
IMMN4ÏÏBB Atmospheric properties, such as temperature, air pressure, and humidity describe weather conditions.
• At the same pressure, warmer air is less dense than cooler air.
• Air moves from regions of high pressure to regions of low pressure.
• The dew point of air depends on the amount of water vapor the air contains.
• Latent heat is released when water vapor condenses and when water freezes.
Clouds and Precipitation cirrus (p. 301) coalescence (p. 302) condensation nucleus (p. 297) cumulus (p. 301) orographic lifting (p. 299) precipitation (p. 302) stratus (p. 301)
MAHEES Clouds vary in shape, size, height of formation, and type of precipitation.
• Clouds are formed as warm, moist air is forced upward, expands, and cools.
• An air mass is stable if it tends to return to its original height after it starts rising.
• Cloud droplets form when water vapor is cooled to the dew point and condenses on condensation nuclei.
• Clouds are classified by their shapes and the altitudes at which they form.
• Cloud droplets collide and coalesce into larger droplets that can fall to Earth as rain, snow, sleet, or hail.
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