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Introduction to the

Atmosphere
Answer Sheet
Read the pre-assignment PDF file 'Introduction to the Atmosphere'
before attempting this assignment. Type your Response. After
completion, save this WORD file as a PDF and upload using Blackboard by
the due date.

Getting Started with the Metric System


There are three temperature scales in use today, Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvin.
Conversion from one temperature scale to another can be accomplished using
either an equation or a graphic comparison scale.
To convert Celsius degrees to Fahrenheit degrees, use this equation: F = (1.8)* C
+ 32.
Example: To convert 25OC into OF, multiply 25 by 1.8 and add 32
To convert Fahrenheit degrees to Celsius degrees, use this equation: oC = (F 32)/1.8.
Example: To convert 82OF into OC, first subtract 32 from 82 and then divide by 1.8
To convert Kelvin to Celsius degrees, use this equation: C = K-273.
Example: To convert 288 K into OC, subtract 273 from 288
Convert the following temperatures to their equivalents.
a. On a cold day, it was 8F = 13.3333oC.
b. Room temperature is 72F = -22.2222oC.
c. A hot summer day was 35C = 95F.
d. Normal body temperature is 98.6F = -37oC.

3. Earth avg. temp is 288 K=

-15C.

Answer in Yes or No
The thermometer reads 28C. Will you need your winter coat.
If your body temperature is 40C, do you have a fever?

No.

Yes.

The temperature of a cup of cocoa is 90C. Will it burn your tongue? Yes.
Your bath water is 15C. Will you have a scalding, warm bath? No.
The thermostat in your home reads 37oC. Are you shivering? No.
Q1. Examine the figure below and type your response to the following
questions.
A. What is the approximate height (km) and temperature ( oC) of the Tropopause,
Stratopause, and Mesopause (Note: horizontal dashed lines on the figure
mark their heights).

Tropopause:
Stratopause:

11km
49km

Mesopause: 85km

19oC
-59oC
60oC

B. What is the average change in temperature per km from the Earth's


surface to the Tropopause? (Note: to find average change in
temperature per km, divide the total change in temperature (i.e.,
between the surface and the tropopause) by total change in height).
-31oC/km

C. If average air temperature at sea level is 18oC, what should be the air
temperature at 2.8 km above the sea level? (Hint: make use of your
answer from question 1B) -60oC.
D. What is the average change in temperature per km from the
Tropopause to the Stratopause? -30oC 30km
Examine the figure on right and answer the following questions:
E.

Determine the average change in pressure per km between the Earth's


surface and the top of the Mount Everest (~ 8km above the sea level)
500mb/km
F. Determine the average change in pressure per km between the top of
the Mount Everest (~ 8km above the sea level) and 16 km elevation.
400mb/km
G. At approximate what height, does the atmospheric pressure is about
200 mb? 16km

H. Explain why air temperature, pressure, and density decreases with


increasing height in the atmosphere? Because the air gets thinner with
increasing the altitude.

Q2.The following questions require you to plot air temperature (C) versus elevation
(m) data as shown in the tables 1 and 2 on the graph 1 and 2, respectively (see
below). Connect each data point (using a ruler) with straight lines.
NOTE: You do not need to submit the graphs with this assignment (unless,
you have a scanner and you are willing to go that extra step).
Table 1
Elevation
(m)

Temperature
(C)

(0)

20.0

100

19.5

200

18.7

300

18.0

400

17.5

500

16.9

600

16.0

700

15.5

Table 2
Elevation
(m)

Temperature
(C)

(0)

20.0

100

19.3

200

18.8

300

18.0

400

19.0

500

19.5

600

17.4

700

15.8

Graph 1

Graph 2
1. In graph 1, does the temperature increase or decrease as altitude
increases? Decreases
2. In Graph 1, how many meters of elevation does it take for the
temperature to change by 1C? 100 meters

3. Describe the pattern of change in temperature above 300 meters in

Graph 2. How does it differ from Graph 1? The pattern of change in


temperature in Graph 2 is that it slightly changes to the right side of
the graph but goes back upwards towards the left by 500 meters.
Graph 1 starts at 20 degrees Celsius and from there goes slanted
upwards to 700 meters.
If you plotted temperature correctly, the Graph 2 presents a pattern that is
quite not what you expected. In other words, notice that temperature in
graph 2 initially decreased with height and then increased before continuing
to decrease again. The portion of the graph 2 between 300 and 500 meters,
where temperatures are higher than temperatures below and above, is what
meteorologists call a thermal inversion layer. The inversion layer can
occur due to a variety of meteorological phenomenon. Inversion layers are a
significant factor in the formation of smog in Los Angeles because they
create stable atmospheric conditions. Inversions act to prevent mixing in the
lower regions of the troposphere, so pollutants become trapped quite easily
and contribute to the formation of smog.

The picture and graphic above show a typical scenario in Los Angeles where
polluted air is trapped close to the Earth's surface. In this picture, the brown
hazy layer is cooler than the air above it. This is caused by thermal inversion.
Explain what is preventing the polluted air to rise above? (Hint: think in
terms of how atmospheric temperature and density are related related).
I think what is preventing the polluted air to rise above is the weather
temperature and the density of it. Perhaps, if the weather was much cooler,
then the brown hazy layer wouldnt be cooler than the air above it.