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Key words Atmosphere
Ozone triatomic oxygen
Chemoautotroph an organism that gains its metabolic energy using energy from chemical
reactions e.g. nitrifying bacteria in the nitrogen cycle.
Stratosphere the later of the atmosphere that absorbs UV and contains the ozone layer. It is
above the troposphere at an altitude of approximately 10 to 50km.
Dynamic equilibrium a combination of active processes that cancel out each other's effects so
that there is no overall change.
Ultraviolet light (UV) high energy electromagnetic radiation including the short wavelength
radiation emitted by the sun. Its energy can cause chemical reactions to take place, such as in
the ozone layer or sunburn and DNA damage.
Troposphere the later of the atmosphere below the stratosphere from ground level to about
Infrared (IR) radiation long wavelength electromagnetic radiation emitted from warm
Nuclear fusion the release of energy during the joining of the nuclei of small atoms.
Electromagnetic radiation energy in the form of energy waves with a range of frequencies.
Global climate change the various changes to the climate caused by increased energy being
retained in the atmosphere as a result of human activities.
Greenhouse effect the natural processes by which atmospheric gases allow visible light to
pass through but absorb infrared energy, causing heating.
Enhanced greenhouse effect an alternative name for global climate change.
Tropospheric ozone ozone in the troposphere, largely produced by human activities.
El Nino the name given to the reversal of the equatorial Pacific Ocean current that normally
La Nina the name given to the strengthening of the westward flowing equatorial Pacific Ocean
Positive feedback mechanisms a situation where an initial change causes a reaction that
increases the original change.
Albedo a measure of the reflectivity of a surface. More reflective surfaces have higher albedos.
Negative feedback mechanisms a situation where an initial change causes a reaction that
reduces the original change.
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Kyoto Protocol the international agreement intended to control emissions of greenhouse
HFCs hydrofluorocarbons are a group of chemicals used to replace CFCs.
HCFCs hydrochlorofluorocarbons are a group of chemical used to replace CFCs.
MEDCs more economically developed countries.
LEDCs less economically developed countries.
Anthropogenic something made or caused by human activities.
CFCs chlorofluorocarbons are pollutants that cause ozone depletion and contribute to global
climate change.…read more