meteorology, weather, climate. so, what’s meteorology?

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  • Meteorology, Weather, Climate
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  • So, whats meteorology?
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  • No, its not the study of objects from space that strike Earth.
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  • Meteorology The study of the atmosphere and the phenomena usually referred to as weather. One of the Earth sciences Sciences that seek to understand our planet In the study of meteorology, these sciences often overlap and include aspects of Astronomy Biology Chemistry Physics
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  • Why is the study of the atmosphere called meteorology? The origin of the word "meteorology" dates back to ancient Greece. In 340 B.C., Aristotle, a philosopher of the day, wrote a treatise called "Meteorologica" about meteors, then defined as any object in the sky. These airborne items included clouds, snow, and rain-- aspects of the atmosphere that fascinated him. Add ology for study of and you get meteorology.
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  • What is the difference between climate and weather?
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  • Climate Climate A composite of a regions average conditions
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  • Climate Applies to long-term changes Measured in terms of: Temperature Precipitation Snow and ice cover Winds Can refer to The entire planet Specific regions (continents or oceans)
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  • What is Weather?
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  • Weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere at a given time and place. Shorter fluctuations atmospheric conditions lasting Hours Days Weeks
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  • Typical Newspaper Weather Map
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  • Synoptic Weather Map
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  • Studying the Atmosphere The Scientific Method Hypothesis An informal idea that has not been widely tested by the scientific community Most are discarded. Theory When a hypothesis is capable of explaining a wide array of observations. Additional observations support the theory New techniques for data analysis Devise models
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  • Theories can be discarded Ongoing work may disprove the predictions of a current theory
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  • An Historical Example... The Geocentric Model of the Solar System Devised by Ptolemy (Claudius Ptolemaeus) in the second century AD Accepted until 1543
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  • The Heliocentric Model replaced the Geocentric Model Pluto is no longer considered a planet!
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  • Plutos Been Demoted! On August 24, 2006 the International Astronomical Union redefined the definition of a planet as: a celestial body that is in orbit around the sun has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.
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  • Pluto is now considered a Dwarf Planet Pluto lost its status as a planet because its highly eccentric orbit crosses over the orbit of Neptune. As such it hasnt cleared the neighborhood around its orbit. A dwarf planet like Pluto is Any other round object that Has not cleared the neighborhood around its orbit Is not a satellite
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  • A Law or Unifying Theory If a theory has survived the test of time Years or decades Its the closest approximation to the truth as possible. Its impossible to prove a theory as being true. We can only prove its untrue.
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  • A View of Earth Earth is a water planet. The most conspicuous features seen from space are Oceans Clouds
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  • A closer view shows... The three major parts of Earths physical environment The solid Earth (land) The water portion Atmosphere
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  • Interfaces Our environment is highly integrated Its not dominated by land, water, or air alone. Its characterized by continuous interactions as Air comes in contact with rock Rock comes in contact with water Water comes in contact with air.
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  • Earths Four Spheres Earth is divided into four independent parts Each loosely occupies a shell around Earth This why theyre called spheres
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  • The Geosphere The solid Earth The largest sphere Extends from the surface to the center of the planet Three principle regions based on compositional differences Crust Mantle Core
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  • The Atmosphere A very shallow layer of gases 99% is within 30 km (20 mi) of Earths surface An integral part of our planet Provides the air we breath Protects us from harmful short-wave solar radiation Energy exchanges between Earths surface and the atmosphere and space produce weather.
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  • The Hydrosphere The collective mass of water found on, under, and above Earths surface The hydrosphere includes...
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  • Oceans Cover nearly 71% of Earths surface Average depth is 3,800 meters (12,500 ft.) Accounts for 97% of Earths water
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  • Streams
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  • Lakes
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  • Glaciers
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  • Ground Water
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  • Clouds
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  • Volume Comparisons Volume of the Entire Hydrosphere Volume of the Entire Atmosphere
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  • The Biosphere Includes all life on Earth Most is concentrated near Earths surface
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  • Distribution of Earths Water
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  • Earth System Science The four spheres can be studied separately However... The parts are not isolated. Each is related in some way to the others A complex and interacting whole results that is called The Earth System
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  • An Interdisciplinary Approach to Studying Earth The way in which individual components of land, water, air, and life forms are connected must be understood. A system is Any size group of interacting parts that form a complex whole to serve a function Most natural systems are driven by sources of energy that move mater and/or energy from one place to another.
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  • Open Systems In most natural systems energy flows into and out of the system. Weather systems are open systems. In storms the amount of water vapor available changes, flow of air into and out changes, etc.
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  • Course Outcomes Understand how various types of energy transfer affect the atmosphere and weather
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  • Course Outcomes Understand weather variables Temperature Air pressure Wind Moisture In terms of Causes How theyre measured and recorded Patterns associated with various types of weather How theyre used in weather prediction
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  • Course Outcomes Understand how the interaction of air masses produces a storm Cyclogenesis Types of fronts The role of upper air conditions
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  • Course Outcomes Plot and interpret weather maps Surface maps Upper air maps Surface Synoptic Map Upper air map
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  • Course Outcomes Identify Types of Severe Weather Know what precautions to take...
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  • Course Outcomes Forecast weather using Synoptic maps Weather data trends Numerical Data


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