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Flashcards in Chapter 1- The Atmosphere Deck (18):

42.2.2 Define: tropopause

The boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere.


42.2.2 Define: troposphere

The bottom most layer of the atmosphere. It is characterised by considerable turbulence, and usually a decrease in temperature with an increase in height.


42.2.2 Define: stratopause

The boundary between the stratosphere and the mesosphere.


42.2.2 Define: stratosphere

The zone of the atmosphere above the troposphere. It is characterised initially by isothermal conditions and then followed by a gradual rise the temperature. Most of the atmospheric ozone is located here.


42.2.2 Define: insolation

Insolation is a measure of 'solar radiation energy' received on a given surface, at a given time.


42.2.4 Interpret a graph of temperature versus altitude from the earth’s surface to the stratopause, and explain why the shape of the curve is different in the troposphere compared to the stratosphere.

In the troposphere temperature drops of at a constant rate of 1.98*C per 1000ft. (Up to 36,090ft, aka the tropopause). Above this is the stratosphere. The temperature is isothermal up to 60,000ft. Above that temperature turns into a inversion up to around 140,000ft.


42.2.8 Explain the importance of the various elements in the atmosphere.

Elements are very important. Water vapour, more vapour generally means warmer temperatures, and it also means more chance of weather (clouds +rain). Carbon Dioxide (CO2), absorbs terrestrial radiation and is absorbed by oceans and plants. Greenhouse effect involves a warming of the Earth. Ozone (O3), found in the upper levels of the stratosphere and the lower part of the mesosphere. Absorbs 60% of ultra-violent light from the sun. Ozone particles essentially fill up, and sink to lower levels of the stratosphere. Holes in Ozone like over NZ believed to be caused by man.


42.2.10 With respect to the tropopause: describe the idealised global tropopause detailing approximate altitudes and the position of jet streams



42.2.12 Describe the relationship between the temperature of the tropopause and the temperature of the lower stratosphere.



42.2.14 Explain the relationship between angle of insolation, atmospheric temperature and tropopause height.

The height of the tropopause is influenced by the air density of the troposhare. The surface temperature is determined by the


42.2.16 Explain why the stratosphere is generally devoid of cloud and turbulence.



42.2.6 Describe the following features of the troposphere; approximate vertical extent at low, middle and high latitudes; general weather and turbulence expected within the troposphere.


42.2.10 With respect to the tropopause: explain why the altitude of the tropopause varies with latitude;

The tropopause is highest over the equator where its temperature is coldest. The tropopause is lowest over the poles where the temperature is warmest. The tropopause height varies in mid latitudes, its temperature is warmer then over the equator but colder than the poles.


42.2.10 With respect to the tropopause: explain how the tropopause pattern responds to the seasons in the northern and southern hemisphere.



What is an isothermal layer?

An isothermal layer is when temperature remains constant with gain in height.


What is an inversion?

An inversion is when temperature increases with height gained.


What is the percentages of Gases in the atmosphere?

Nitrogen = 78% Oxygen = 21% Argon, Carbon Dioxide, Neon, Helium, Hydrogen, Ozone, Other = 1%


How much of the Atmosphere molecular mass is located within the Troposphere?