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Mrs. Bligen
After copying notes, students will identify and
classify the 5 layers of the earth’s atmosphere by
using illustrations, captions and analyzing
written and oral text to 80% accuracy.
NJCSS: 5.4F CPI 01 Identify patterns in data collected from basic weather instruments.
CCSS: RI 4 3, RI 4.4, RI 4.5, WA 4.2b, WA 4.2d
Essential Question:
What do you need to
know to study weather?
Meteorology (me·te·or·ol·o·gy)
is the study of the atmosphere
and weather. A planet’s
atmosphere is the layer of gases
that surrounds the planet.
Earth’s Atmosphere
Earth’s atmosphere is the blanket of
air that surrounds Earth. It is
approximately 1,000 kilometers (600
miles) thick and is made up of several
layers. It is comprised mostly of
nitrogen and oxygen, along with
carbon dioxide, water vapor, and other
Earth’s Atmosphere
Earth has five (5) layers in
its atmosphere. They are:
Troposphere (tro·po·sphere)
Stratosphere (strat·o·sphere)
Mesosphere (mes·o·sphere)
Thermosphere (ther·mo·sphere)
Exosphere (ex·o·sphere)
The Troposphere
The troposphere (tro·po·sphere) is the
lowest and densest of the atmospheric
layers. It is between 10-20 kilometers (612 miles) thick and contains about 95% of
all the air in the atmosphere. Weather
occurs in the troposphere.
Weather is the condition of the atmosphere
at a particular time and place. It is the
condition of the air over a brief period of
time. It can change from day to day, even
from hour to hour. It also changes markedly
from season to season and from place to
Condition of the air
A short time
Weather is different from climate. Climate is
the average weather over a long period of time.
It generally stays the same from year to year.
Climate is described in terms of the average
temperature of a region or the average amount
of rain or snow a region receives.
Average Weather
A long time
Temperature is the numerical measure of
hot and cold. The 2 scales typically used to
measure temperature are Celsius and
The Celsius Scale
The Celsius scale (°C) is used for common
temperature measurements in most of the
world. The measurement term associated with
this scale is degrees Celsius. At standard air
pressure, the Celsius scale sets the freezing
point of water at 0 degrees Celsius (0°C) and the
boiling point of water at 100 degrees Celsius
(100°C). It is divide into equal increments of
temperature based on the metric system.
The Fahrenheit Scale
The United States commonly uses the
Fahrenheit scale (°F). The measurement
term associated with this scale is degrees
Fahrenheit. On the Fahrenheit scale,
water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit
(32°F) and boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit
(212°F) at sea-level atmospheric pressure.
The First Thermometers
The first thermometers were basically
tubes filled with water. As the air outside
became warmer or colder during the day,
so did the water in the thermometer.
These thermometers were of limited use
for the study of weather, since the water
would freeze whenever the temperature
dropped below 32°F or 0°C.
Old Thermometers
Scientist later realized that mercury would
be a better substance to use in weather
thermometers. Mercury is the only metal
that is liquid at standard conditions for
temperature and pressure. It freezes at
approximately -39°C and boils at
approximately 357°C.
New Thermometers
Concerns about mercury’s toxicity
have led to the use of the element
in thermometers being largely
phased out in favor of alcohol or
spirit-filled thermometers.
Thermometers that show both
Celsius and Fahrenheit scales are
called dual-scale thermometers.
Using Thermometers
Thermometers provide accurate readings only
under the proper conditions. Most importantly,
if the thermometer is in direct sunlight, it will
absorb heat from the sun and produce an
artificially high reading. Thus, outdoor air
temperature readings should always be taken in
the shade.
Bing dictionary
Delta Science-Weather Instruments