Ocean We Live In
consists of four great regions of air --
troposphere, stratosphere, ionosphere, and
exosphere; all life on earth is squeezed into the
lowest 20 miles of that ocean.
Composition of Earth's Atmosphere
includes, believe it or not, only 21% oxygen,
with the remainder being nitrogen, water vapor,
and other gases.
When the boundary zone
between two contrasting air masses is sharply
defined, it is called a frontal zone, and the
edge of the frontal zone that is next to the
warmer air is called the front.
is a flash of light in the sky caused by an
electrical current that may flow between parts of
the same cloud, between different clouds, or
between clouds and the earth.
is defined as a violently rotating column of air
extending from a thunderstorm to the ground, and
can generate wind speeds of 250 mph or more.
is an instrument for
measuring atmospheric pressure. The atmosphere
exerts a pressure because air has weight and is
being pulled to the earth by the force of
gravity. For this reason atmospheric pressure
depends on the height of air above the point at
which it is being measured and is lower on top of
a mountain than it is at sea level.
Launched on April 1, 1960, the
Television and InfraRed Observation Satellite was
NASA's (and the world's) first test of the
feasibility of using satellites to monitor and
predict weather patterns. Although it ceased to
function in June 1960, it proved that
satellites could be used to improve the science
of weather forecasting.