Environmental Science

I. The Atmosphere and Climate Change [Chapter 15]
-Describe the composition of the atmosphere including the relative proportions of major gasses.
-Explain the role of dust/ash, H2O and CO2 in the atmosphere, and their role in weather.
-Explain how temperature and pressure change with height in the atmosphere.
-Describe the main characteristics of both the troposphere and the stratosphere.
-Explain what controls the seasons and define the solstices and equinoxes.
-Describe the geometry of the earth in relation to the sun at the solstices and equinoxes (draw a labeled diagram and/or interpret a diagram showing the earth and sun during the solstices).
-Describe what happens to solar radiation that interacts with the Earth’s surface, the atmosphere, and clouds in terms of absorption and reflection. What happens to radiation absorbed by the earth?
-Briefly describe the Earth’s major wind patterns including areas of uplifting and descending air masses and east-west flow (the 3-cell Hadley model). Use this model to predict where wet and arid areas should generally be.
-Describe the internal and external controls that influence global climate.
-Define a “greenhouse gas” and explain how these gases help increase the temperature of the atmosphere.
-Give examples of common greenhouse gases.
-Describe at least three different methods for obtaining climate data from Earth’s past.
-Explain what a positive feedback loop is and give examples of positive feedback loops related to global climate change.
-Describe the main sources of greenhouse gasses, and give practical suggestions on how to reduce the amount of these gasses in our atmosphere.
-Describe the major consequences of global warming.

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