Questions for thought (please read pages 20-32)
  • Why the earth has seasons?
  • Why does the southern hemisphere receive slightly more solar radiation than the northern hemisphere?
  • Explain differences in the tilt of the Earth, the degree of eccentricity of the Earth's orbit about the sun, and the time of the year that the Earth is closest to the sun. The orbital images shown in the lecture can be viewed here.
  • Composition of the atmosphere. Selective absorbers.
  • What are two most abundant gases in the atmosphere?
  • What are trace gases?
  • What are the greenhouse gases?
  • What is the most important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere?
  • Where is most of ozone located?
  • Which gases do not occur naturally and are anthropogenic compounds that were virtually non-existent before 1950?
  • Greenhouse effect -- The composition of the atmosphere has positive enhancement effects on the heating of the Earth's surface and keeping the earth's mean surface temperature higher than it otherwise would be. This effect is called the planetary "greenhouse" effect or atmospheric greenhouse effect. Note that the Earth's atmosphere is different from the glass of a florist's greenhouse in terms of their roles in keeping the air warm.
  • Absorption, scattering and reflectance (albedo). What do they mean?
  • Radiation budget.
Additional Readings
Last updated on 01/25/10 01:28 PM