Air and Atmosphere



(Above Photograph)
"Astronauts photographed this stunning view of the full moon rising above the Earth's limb. In the foreground, towering clouds of condensing water vapor mark the extent of the troposphere, the lowest layer of the planet's life-sustaining atmosphere. Strongly scattering blue sunlight, the upper atmospheric layer, the stratosphere, fades dramatically to the black background of space.  Moon and clouds are strong visual elements of many well known portraits of Planet Earth." http://www.astronet.ru/

Introduction to the Atmosphere

Below you will be given several web site links and some video clips to view. After reading and completing each section, write out your answers to the questions found on your worksheet.  If you have any trouble navigating through the sites raise your hand and ask for help immediately. You will use the back button to restore the WebQuest page. 

 Day 1 

Like most people, many want to know what the weather is going to be for the day. But what does that mean? What is the difference between weather and climate? The teacher will play this video for you and then answer the questions on your worksheet. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUiwtVSkUwQ


  • http://www.geography4kids.com/files/atm_intro.html
  • http://www.srh.noaa.gov/srh/jetstream/atmos/atmos_intro.htm

    Layers of Atmosphere

  • http://www.ucar.edu/learn/1_1_1.htm
  • http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/earth/Atmosphere/layers.html
  • http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/earth/atmosphere.html

    Composition of Atmosphere

  • http://www.rcn27.dial.pipex.com/cloudsrus/atmosphere.html
  • http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/earthguide/diagrams/atmosphere/index.html

    Cool Video about the atmosphere - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YAOT92wuD8&feature=related

    Day 2 

    Effects of Clouds

  • http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gl)/guides/mtr/fcst/tmps/cld.rxml
  • http://42explore.com/clouds.htm
  • http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/role.html
  • Cloud Formation

  • http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/wonders-of-weather-extreme-weather.html
  • http://www.buzzle.com/articles/how-do-clouds-form.html
  • http://news.discovery.com/videos/why-tell-me-why-night-shining-clouds.html
  • http://science.discovery.com/videos/cosmos-before-and-after-clouds-of-gas-and-dust.html 

    Day 3 

    Patterns of Atmospheric Movement

  • http://www.indiana.edu/~geol105/1425chap4.htm 

    Heat Transfer

  • http://www.reachoutmichigan.org/funexperiments/agesubject/lessons/caps/htransfer.html
  • http://www.ucar.edu/learn/1_1_2_5t.htm

    Global Climate Change (Video) http://www.ted.com/talks/al_gore_s_new_thinking_on_the_climate_crisis.html

    Read about the Green house effect. The writer states that measuring humanity’s effect on the concentration of greenhouse gases is key in understanding global climate changes. Read: Home tab, Atmosphere tab, hydrosphere tab, and Global effects


    What do you think could be done to gain a better understanding on climate change?


    Direction: Read the following article. Look at your worksheet packet and compete written assignment.

    Global Warming

    The world’s leading scientists agree that the planet is warming and that human activities—especially the burning of fossil fuels and the clearing of forests—are a big part of the cause.

    In a 2007 report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the international group of scientists charged with reviewing, validating and summarizing the latest research concluded that the warming of the climate system is unequivocal. They stated that it is 90 percent certain that human-generated greenhouse gases account for most of the warming in the past 50 years.

    Many published scientific reports have documented the actual observed impacts of a warming planet—including dramatic melting of the Arctic ice cap, shifting wildlife habitats, increased evidence of wildfires, heat waves and more intense storms. Americans are now seeing the impacts of global warming in their backyards. The warming trend poses serious risks to the economy and the environment.

    Pew uses two approaches to address climate change: science and policy analysis and advocacy campaigns.

  • The Pew Center on Global Climate Change is a leading policy and research institute. It advances debate through analysis, public education and a cooperative approach with business. The center launched in 1998.
  • The Pew Campaign on Global Warming is aimed at adoption of a national policy to reduce emissions throughout the economy, and the Pew Campaign for Fuel Efficiency seeks more stringent fuel efficiency standards for the nation’s cars and trucks.
  • Achieving the large-scale reductions in emissions needed to address climate change will require a major shift in the way the world produces and uses energy. Yet it can be done. While this change will not be easy, deploying currently available technologies could sufficiently reduce emissions over the next 50 years to avoid the most dangerous threats from global warming.

    The urgency of addressing climate change is prompting policy makers throughout the world to take action to reduce global warming pollution. In the United States, cities, states and the private sector are leading the way and, after years of inaction, even Congress is beginning to make global warming a priority.
    No global strategy to address climate change can succeed without substantial, permanent and mandated reductions in U.S. emissions. Leadership by the United States—still the world’s largest per capita emitter of global warming pollution—is vital to solving the most significant environmental challenge of our time.
    An immediate step needed is the establishment of mandatory emission limits, coupled with a market-based system that allows reductions to be achieved as cost-effectively as possible. Complementary energy policies must also be enacted quickly, including more stringent fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, a national renewable energy standard, energy efficiency measures, and other short- and long-term strategies to speed the transition to low- and zero-emission technologies.
    Resources Cited:http://www.pewtrusts.org/our_work_category.aspx?id=112&WT.srch&source=google&gclid=CNWi9MvA_KACFQtM5wodMV4fvw

    How Does Global Warming Affect You?http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/ipy07.sci.ess.watcyc.saobclimate/


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