Vocabulary Review

Term Definition
Atmosphere A mixture of gases that surrounds a planet or moon.
Air Pressure The measure of the force with which air molecules push on a surface.
Troposphere The lowest layer of the atmosphere in which temperature decreases at a constant rate as altitude increases.
Stratosphere The layer of the atmosphere that is above the troposphere and in which temperature increases as altitude increases.
Mesosphere The layer of the atmosphere between the stratosphere and the thermosphere and in which temperature decreases as altitude increases.
Thermosphere The uppermost layer of the atmosphere in which temperature increases as altitude increases.
Ions Electrically charged particles.
Ionosphere As thermosphere temp rises gas particles become charged (ions). This part of the Thermosphere is the ionosphere.
Auroras In polar regions, these ions radiate energy as shimmering light.
Radiation Is the transfer of energy as electromagnetic waves.
Thermal Conduction Is the transfer of energy as heat through a material.
Convection Is the movement of matter due to the differences in density; transfer of energy due to the movement of matter.
Convection Currents Is the cycle of warm air rising and cool air sinking causing circular movements of air.
Global Warming Is a gradual increase in average global temperature.
Green House Effect Is the warming of the surface and lower atmosphere of Earth that occurs when water vapor , carbon dioxide, and other gases absorb and reradiate thermal energy.
Ozone or Ozone Layer Protects life on Earth by absorbing harmful ultraviolet radiation.
Radiation Balance The balance between incoming energy and outgoing energy. The amount of energy received from the sun and amount of energy returned to space must be approximately the same.
Wind The movement of air caused by differences in air pressure.
Convection Cells Air travels in many large, circular patterns.
Pressure Belts Bands of high pressure and low pressure found about every 30 degrees of latitude.
Coriolis Effect The apparent curving of the path of a moving object from an otherwise straight path due to the Earth's rotation.
Global winds The combination of convection cells found at every 30 degrees latitude and the Coriolis effect produces patterns of air circulation called this.
Polar Easterlies Prevailing winds that blow from east to west between 60 degrees and 90 degrees latitude in both hemispheres
Westerlies Prevailing winds that blow from west to east between 30 degrees and 60 degrees latitude in both hemispheres
Trade Winds Prevailing winds that blow northeast from 30 degrees north latitude to the equator and that blow southeast from 30 degrees south latitude to the equator.
Doldrums The trade winds of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres that meet in an area around the equator.
Horse Latitudes At about 30 degrees north and 30 degrees south latitudes sinking air creates an area of high pressure. Winds in this area are weak.
Jet Stream A narrow belt of strong winds that blow in the upper troposphere.

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