Atmosphere & Weather
1. The composition of Earth’s ____________ has changed over
2. Earth’s atmosphere is unique in the solar system in that it contains
3. The early atmosphere contained little _________________ and
more _______________________than the modern atmosphere.
(oxygen; carbon dioxide)
4. Increasing amounts of carbon dioxide, which is a _______________
gas, are being blamed for the increase in temperatures globally.
Global warming is said to be caused by greenhouse gases.
Burning fossil fuels, such as petroleum, is being blamed for
Early photosynthetic life such as _________________
(blue-green algae) consumed carbon dioxide and
6. It was only after early photosynthetic life generated
_________that animal life became possible.
7. As the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere increased,
animals were able to move from the oceans to ______.
8. Earth’s atmosphere is _______ percent oxygen,
________ percent nitrogen, and trace gases.
9. Gases in the atmosphere have _______.
10. The masses of the gases pushing down
11. Atmospheric pressure ______ as you
move out toward space; it _____ as you
go below sea level.
Cold air is more ____________ than warm air. This means the
molecules are packed more tightly together.
13. Warm air has more space to hold _________.
14. When warm air _______, it cannot hold as much water vapor. It
condenses and forms _________. ______ takes place.
(cools; clouds; precipitation)
15. For a cloud to form, air should be at or below _______.
16. ________ is the temperature at which water condenses.
17. Evaporation adds water vapor to the __________.
18. The atmosphere of Venus is mostly ________ and very dense.
19. The atmosphere of Mars is very thin and mostly ___________.
20. The composition of the _________ can change due to human,
biologic, and geologic activity.
21. Human activities have increased the ________ content of the
22. Man-made chemicals have decreased the ________
concentration in the upper atmosphere.
23. Volcanic activity and meteorite impacts can inject large quantities
of _______ and gases into the atmosphere.
24. The ability of Earth’s atmosphere to absorb and retain heat is
affected by the presence of gases like water vapor and
25. Winds are affected by the ______________.
26. The ___________________ are responsible for the weather in
most of the United States.
27. The ________________ allows planes flying west to east to use
less fuel and takes less time.
28. Weather and _______ are different. _______ is the
current conditions of the atmosphere, whereas ______
is the average weather of an area over many years.
(climate; weather; climate)
29. Earth’s surface is much more efficiently heated by the
sun than is the ___________.
30. The amount of energy reaching any given point on
Earth’s surface is controlled by the ________of
sunlight striking the surface and varies with the
_______ are created by uneven heat distribution at Earth’s surface and
modified by the rotation of the Earth.
32. Energy transfer between Earth’s surface and the atmosphere creates the
33. Both weather and climate are measurable and, to a certain extent,
34. _____________ is the major mechanism of energy transfer in the
oceans, atmosphere, and Earth’s interior.
35. __________________ in the atmosphere is a major cause of weather.
36. ___________________ describes day-to-day changes in atmospheric
37. _______describes the typical weather patterns for a
given location over a period of many years.
38. Areas near the _______receive more of the sun’s
energy per unit area than areas nearer the poles.
39. The conditions necessary for cloud formation are air at
or below ________ and presence of condensation
nuclei. Cloud droplets can join together to form
40. The four major factors affecting climate are ________,
elevation, proximity to bodies of ______, and position
relative to ________.
(latitude; water; mountains)
41. The __________ causes deflections of the
atmosphere due to the rotation of Earth. Global wind
patterns result from the uneven heating of Earth by the
sun and are influenced by the Coriolis effect.
42. Earth’s major climatic zones are the polar,
_________________, and tropical zones.
43. A ___________ is a narrow, violent funnel-shaped
column of spiral winds that extends downward from the
cloud base toward Earth.
44. A _________ is a tropical cyclone (counterclockwise
movement of air) characterized by sustained winds of
120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour) or greater.
45. Hurricanes begin over ___________ oceans.
46. Hurricanes lose their energy when they move onto
47. Tell what the following instruments are used to
– barometer _______________________________
– psychrometer ____________________________
– thermometer _____________________________
( atmospheric pressure; humidity; temperature)
48. ________ pressure indicates cloudy weather
and _______pressure indicates sunny, clear
( low; high)
49. Draw the symbol for
each type of front:
• a) cold
• c) stationary
50. The symbols point in the_________the front is moving.
51. High pressure systems are indicated with a capital _________ and
low pressure systems are indicated with a capital __________.
52. On a weather map, _________ are lines (similar to contour lines)
that connect points of equal pressure.
53. The closer isobars are, the greater the pressure and the greater the
54. The farther apart the ___________, the lower the pressure and the
more gentle the wind speed.
55. A __________is used to indicate the weather.
56. The wind symbol shows the __________ the wind is
coming from and has feather like marks that indicate
the _________of the wind.
57. _______ is created by air moving from an area of high
pressure to an area of ________.
(wind; low pressure)
58. ______ pressure and ________ pressure systems are
indicated by a capitol H and L on a weather map.