12: The Atmosphere - A Holistic View
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By the end of this chapter, you should be able to:
- explain the physical and chemical phenomena that are responsible for an observation of the atmosphere
- demonstrate your mastery of the course learning objectives
This text has been compartmentalized into eleven chapters to aid your learning and to grow your analytical skills. But in the atmosphere, the fundamentals of atmospheric science work together to create the atmosphere that we observe. In this lesson, you will work to draw on your understanding of the atmosphere to explain an atmospheric observation that you have chosen. In addition, you will demonstrate your understanding of the lessons by taking a final exam that is made up of questions and problems from the eleven lessons. You will have worked some of the problems and answered some of the questions, but not all.
- 12.1: An Integrated View of the Atmosphere
- The atmosphere's constituents are essential for life. The atmosphere transports energy and atmospheric constituents—in days it mixes air through the troposphere; in weeks it circumnavigates the globe; in months it transports air from the equator to the poles; in a year it shifts air from one hemisphere to another. The atmosphere and the water it contains shape the land with wind and water erosion, move the ocean currents, and determine where and when life can thrive or die.
- 12.2: The Final Project
- The final project will test your ability to make an observation of the atmosphere and to provide an integrated analysis of that observation using the knowledge and quantitative analysis skills that you have learned in this course.
Thumbnail: "The Blue Marble" photograph of Earth, taken by the Apollo 17 mission. The Arabian peninsula, Africa and Madagascar lie in the upper half of the disc, whereas Antarctica is at the bottom. (Public Domain; NASA)