Atmospheric Structure and Moisture
Terms to Learn are in BOLD in the outline below.
- Composition – gases present
Vertical structure of atmosphere
- Five principal thermal layers
- Troposphere (tropopause)
- Stratosphere (stratopause)
- Mesosphere (mesopause)
Thermodynamics of Water
- Changes of state
- Temperature versus Heat
- Transitions of state: ** In order to achieve transitions of state, water must overcome
both Van der Waals forces and hydrogen bonds.
- melting (solid to liquid) = freezing (liquid to solid)
- vaporization (liquid to gas) = condensation (gas to liquid)
- latent heat
- melting (fusion)
- vaporization (condensation)
- Mixing Ratio / Specific humidity
- Relative humidity
- Dry adiabatic lapse rate
- Lifting condensation level
- Saturated (wet) adiabatic lapse rate
Rising air – types of lifting:
When you are finished with this topic, you should be able to answer the following
- What two gases are the most abundant in the atmosphere?
- What is the vertical structure of the atmosphere and what are the primary characteristics
of each layer?
- What is the difference between temperature and heat?
- What is latent heat?
- How do the latent heats of melting, vaporization, and evaporation differ from each
other and why?
- What is the difference between specific and relative humidity?
- What is the difference between the dry and wet adiabatic lapse rate and why?
- What is the lifting condensation level?
- Describe the different types of atmospheric lifting.