Meteorologists study and educate people about the Earth’s atmosphere and weather. Many weather forecasters on television news programs are meteorologists, although others work in universities or in the private sector.Continue Reading
Most meteorologists belong to the American Meteorological Society. Meteorologists study atmospheric conditions such as temperature, humidity, wind speed and air pressure to learn about the weather and make predictions. Meteorologists may work for a variety of industries, including those associated with travel, military operations, science or communications. Most meteorologists have advanced science degrees.
Meteorology is an ancient science, though humans can still only predict the weather a few days in advance with any degree of certainty. Even under relatively stable conditions, the intricacies of the Earth’s atmosphere can change the weather quickly and in unpredictable ways. For example, snow can quickly become freezing rain if the temperature climbs a few degrees.
Modern meteorologists make use of worldwide data and complex computer models to predict the upcoming weather. Usually, predictions are presented as probabilities. For example, a meteorologist cannot be sure that it will rain later in the week, but the computer models show that under similar conditions, rain occurs 10 percent of the time. Accordingly, the meteorologist would state that there is a 10 percent chance of rain.Learn more about Careers
Earth’s atmosphere protects life on the surface by filtering deadly ultraviolet radiation, destroying most meteors that pass through it and retaining heat. The atmosphere also provides oxygen to humans and carbon dioxide to plants.Full Answer >
The ionosphere is a layer of the Earth’s atmosphere that is useful to man because it makes certain communication technologies possible. This layer is ionized by glare from the sun and cosmic radiation, and this ionization facilitates radio signal propagation to satellites and distant locations on Earth. The zone works in harmony with the ground to guide the transmission of very low frequency waves monitored from space weather stations.Full Answer >
One of the greatest and most dangerous effects of pollution on the ozone layer is that it creates holes in the atmosphere, which allow powerful ultraviolet rays from the sun to reach the Earth’s surface. Many varieties of atmospheric pollutants — toxic chemicals, synthetic substances, such as DDT, and manmade chemicals — enter the atmosphere. They may remain intact and linger for decades, even up to a century, which gives them time to create considerable damage to the atmosphere.Full Answer >
Vegetation affects climate because it influences the reflection of solar energy from the Earth’s surface and the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. In addition, plants use carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, reducing its concentration in the atmosphere and reversing global warming.Full Answer >