Earth Science 11th Edition Vocabulary Chapter 16

By Megan Andrews  (GLY 1001 Student North Campus Fall 2006)


Meteorology-the scientific study of the atmosphere and atmosphere phenomena; the study of weather and climate.


aerosols- tiny liquid particles suspended in the atmosphere.


air- a mixture of many discrete gases of which nitrogen and oxygen are most abundant. In which varying quantities of tiny solid and liquid particles are suspended.


albedo- the reflectivity of a substance usually expressed as a percentage of the incident radiation reflected.


autumnal equinox- equinox occurs at the September 21-23 in the Northern Hemisphere and on March 21-22 in the Southern Hemisphere.


circle of illumination- The great circle that separates daylight from darkness.


climate- a description of aggregate weather conditions, the sum of all statistical weather information that describes a place or region.


cold – the absence of heat


conduction- the transfer of heat through matter by molecular activity. Energy is transferred through collisions from one molecule to another.


convection- the transfer of heat by the movement of a mass or substance. It can take place only in fluids (liquids or gases).


diffused light- solar energy scattered and reflected in the atmosphere that reaches earth's surface in the form of diffuse blue light from sky.


electromagnetic radiation- transfer of energy through space by electromagnetic waves


element- a substance that cant be decomposed into simple substances by ordinary chemical or physical means.


environmental lapse rate- the rate which temperature decrease with increasing height in the troposphere.


greenhouse effect- the transmission of short wave solar radiation by the atmosphere,  coupled with selective absorption of longer wave length terrestrial radiation.


Heat- kinetic energy of random molecular motion.


inclination of axis- the tilt of the earth's axis from the perpendicular  plane of earth's axis.


infrared- radiation with a wavelength   from 7.0 to 200 micrometers.


isotherm- Lines connecting points to equal temperature.




ozone- a molecule of oxygen containing 3 oxygen atoms.


radiation- transfer of energy through space by electromagnetic waves.


reflection- the process whereby light bounces back from an object at the same angle at which it encounters a surface and with the same intensity.


revolution- the motion of one body about another as the earth rotates about the sun.


rotation- spinning of a body such as earth about its axis.


scattering- the redirecting of light by small particles and gas molecules in the atmosphere. The result =diffused light.


spring equinox- equinox in March 21-22 in the northern hemisphere and September 21-22 in southern hemisphere.


stratosphere- layer immediately above troposphere characterized by increasing temperature with height, owing to the concentration of ozone.


summer solstice- solstice that occurs on June 21-22 in the Northern Hemisphere and December 21-22 in the Southern Hemisphere.


temperature- a measure of degree of hotness or coldness of a substance. The measure of the average kinetic energy of individual atoms or molecules in a substance.


thermosphere- region of atmosphere immediately above the mesosphere and characterized by increasing temperatures.


Tropic of Cancer- the parallel of latitude, 23½ degrees North latitude, marking the northern limit of Sun’s vertical rays.


Tropic of Capricorn- the parallel of latitude 23½ degrees south latitude marking the southern limit of Sun’s vertical rays.


troposphere- the loser most layer of decrease in temperature within the atmosphere.


ultraviolet- radiation with a wavelength from .2-.4 micrometers.


visible light- radiation with a wavelength from .4-.7 micrometers.


weather- the state of the atmosphere at any given time.


winter solstice- the solstice that occurs on December 21-22 for the Northern Hemisphere and June 21-22 for Southern Hemisphere.





Words from Apendix B page 704


39. latitude – the distance, measured in degrees, north and south of the equator.


40. longitude - the distance, measured in degrees, east and west of the zero or prime meridian.


41. great circle – the largest possible circle that may be drawn on a globe


42. Equator – The great circle of the Earth that is 0o latitude.


43. Meridian – the North-South lines of the earths grid system.


44. Parallel – the East-West lines of the earths grid system


45. Prime Meridian – The 0o degree meridian, which is the meridian which passes through Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England.


46. Hemisphere – half of the earth when sliced in half at any great circle


47. Arctic Circle - the parallel of latitude, 66½ degrees North latitude, where north of this parallel it is possible to have 24 hours of daylight and 24 hours of darkness at various times of the year. It is also know as the land of the Midnight Sun.


48. Antarctic Circle - the parallel of latitude, 66½ degrees South latitude, where south of this parallel it is possible to have 24 hours of daylight and 24 hours of darkness at various times of the year.





Chapter 16 The Atmosphere: Composition, Structure, and Temperature Word List




Autumnal Equinox

Circle of Illumination





Diffused Light

Electromagnetic Radiation

Element (of weather and climate)

Environmental lapse rate

Greenhouse effect


Inclination of the axis

Infrared (radiation)










Spring Equinox (vernal)


Summer solstice



Tropic of Cancer

Tropic of Capricorn


Ultraviolet (radiation)

Visible Light


Winter solstice


                                     Appendix B Earth’s Grid System Word List





Great Circles



Prime Meridian

Artic Circle

Antarctic Circle