Atmosphere

A:

When hot and cold air meet, the warm air rises above the cool air, creating a low pressure zone. Warm air tends to cool as it reaches higher elevations, with the liquid in it condensing and forming clouds and rain. Cool air rushes in to fill the low pressure zone, pushing more warm air up and creating a cycle that can result in high winds and storms.

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  • Why is the coolest time of day just before sunrise?

    Q: Why is the coolest time of day just before sunrise?

    A: According to USA Today, the coldest time of the day comes just before sunrise because the earth has had all night to expel the heat from the previous day into the atmosphere. As soon as the sun begins to rise, the earth will immediately begin to heat up once again.
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  • What can we do to prevent ozone depletion?

    Q: What can we do to prevent ozone depletion?

    A: According to Green Diary, ozone depletion can be prevented by limiting the use of private vehicles, making use of eco-friendly cleaning products for the home, avoiding the use of pesticides and banning the use of nitrous oxide. The main cause of ozone depletion is the use of man-made halocarbon refrigerants including freons, halons and CFCs.
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  • What atmospheric layer contains the most ozone?

    Q: What atmospheric layer contains the most ozone?

    A: The ozone layer contains about 90 percent of Earth's ozone. It is part of Earth's stratosphere and lies between 6 and 30 miles above the planet's surface, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The highest concentration of ozone is found between 12 and 19 miles above the surface, notes Wikipedia.
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  • How does the atmosphere support life on Earth?

    Q: How does the atmosphere support life on Earth?

    A: The atmosphere supports life on Earth by protecting it from dangerous electromagnetic radiation, by creating and controlling weather and climate and by providing the gases that plants and animals need to breathe. The atmosphere is composed of the troposphere, the tropopause, the stratosphere, the mesosphere and the ionosphere.
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  • Why is the ozone layer important?

    Q: Why is the ozone layer important?

    A: The ozone layer is important because it filters harmful ultraviolet radiation as it travels from the sun to the surface of the Earth. These ultraviolet rays can harm both plant and animal life. After observation of a depletion of the ozone layer from the addition of chlorofluorocarbons and other man-made chemicals, the Montreal Protocol was enacted on Jan. 1, 1989 as an attempt to eradicate these chemicals from the atmosphere.
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  • How do hurricanes occur?

    Q: How do hurricanes occur?

    A: A hurricane is a severe kind of tropical cyclone, which is a low-pressure system with defined wind circulation that occurs over the tropics. During a hurricane, sustained winds reach speeds of 74 mph or higher, while air pressure in the center of the cyclone drops, and the Coriolis force causes these winds to spiral counterclockwise.
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  • What does a tornado do?

    Q: What does a tornado do?

    A: A tornado is a violently swirling column of air that forms at the base of a thunderstorm. When the tornado is visible, it's because the air gathered up water droplets, dust particles and debris. It is a destructive force of nature, with winds that can exceed 300 miles per hour, and it can damage areas as large as a mile wide and 50 miles long.
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  • Why does the atmosphere become less dense as altitude increases?

    Q: Why does the atmosphere become less dense as altitude increases?

    A: The atmosphere becomes less dense as altitude increases because there is less weight on the air molecules, making them less compressed. The air at lower altitudes is denser because it is pressed down by the weight of all the air molecules above. Also, the further away air molecules are from the Earth, the less weight they have because of a lower gravitational pull.
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  • When is an air parcel considered unstable?

    Q: When is an air parcel considered unstable?

    A: An air parcel is unstable if its temperature is and remains higher than the temperature of its surrounding environment as it rises above the ground. When this occurs, the parcel continues to rise. This is known as moist convection.
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  • What are the three major wind belts?

    Q: What are the three major wind belts?

    A: The three major wind belts, also known as circulations, are the Hadley cell, the Ferrel cell and the Polar cell. The circulation of these winds is caused by the rotation of the earth and the energy of the sun.
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  • Where do thunderstorms form?

    Q: Where do thunderstorms form?

    A: Thunderstorms originate in cumulonimbus clouds. Warm, humid air rises then cools, creating moisture to form the cloud. Thunderstorms produce heavy rain, strong winds and sometimes hail.
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  • How does the ozone layer work?

    Q: How does the ozone layer work?

    A: According to How Stuff Works, the ozone layer works by ultraviolet light breaking apart oxygen molecules and then reforming them as ozone. Ozone converts the dangerous ultraviolet rays into harmless heat. With an adequate supply of ozone and oxygen, the ozone layer will absorb approximately 98 percent of incoming ultraviolet rays.
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  • Why is air important?

    Q: Why is air important?

    A: Air is important for the planet because it contains the gases necessary to support plants, animals and other organisms. Additionally, the presence of an atmosphere keeps the Earth at a habitable temperature.
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  • What is the function of the atmosphere?

    Q: What is the function of the atmosphere?

    A: The atmosphere works as a place to contain the oxygen that is necessary for life, works as a blanket to shield the earth from radiation and helps to create the different types of weather that are felt on the Earth. The atmosphere also contains small amounts of carbon dioxide that is necessary for plants to be able to live.
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  • What happens when hot air meets cold air?

    Q: What happens when hot air meets cold air?

    A: When hot and cold air meet, the warm air rises above the cool air, creating a low pressure zone. Warm air tends to cool as it reaches higher elevations, with the liquid in it condensing and forming clouds and rain. Cool air rushes in to fill the low pressure zone, pushing more warm air up and creating a cycle that can result in high winds and storms.
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  • Where is the ozone layer located?

    Q: Where is the ozone layer located?

    A: The ozone layer is located in the stratosphere, a region of the atmosphere that is about 10 to 50 kilometers above the Earth. The stratosphere consists of approximately 90 percent ozone. Ozone has the chemical formula O3.
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  • What are three greenhouse gases?

    Q: What are three greenhouse gases?

    A: Three greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Greenhouse gases rise up into the atmosphere and envelop the Earth, causing the planet to warm up. The increase in average temperatures around the world is called global warming.
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  • What is the color spectrum?

    Q: What is the color spectrum?

    A: The color spectrum is the entire range of light wavelengths visible to the human eye. These range from approximately 400 nanometers per wavelength, at the violet end of the spectrum, to 700 nanometers per wavelength, at the red end of the spectrum.
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  • What are some examples of atmospheres?

    Q: What are some examples of atmospheres?

    A: Earth's atmosphere is primarily composed of nitrogen and oxygen with water vapor comprising 0.25 percent of the atmosphere by mass. It has five layers: troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere.
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  • Which types of gases did the early atmosphere primarily contain?

    Q: Which types of gases did the early atmosphere primarily contain?

    A: Earth's atmosphere has gone through multiple distinct phases throughout its life, from a hydrogen-rich early period to the modern oxidizing chemistry. The first atmosphere Earth had was chemically very similar to the composition of the primordial dust and gas cloud from which the solar system formed. This chemistry can be seen in some asteroids, and it is a combination of hydrogen, helium and complex organic molecules.
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  • Who discovered the greenhouse effect?

    Q: Who discovered the greenhouse effect?

    A: In 1824, Joseph Fourier was the first to argue for the existence of the greenhouse effect. Svante Arrhenius fully quantified the greenhouse effect in 1896.
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