Chapter 4

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What is weather?
Weather is used to describe the state of the atmosphere in a particular place at a particular time. It includes temperature, rainfall, wind and humidity.
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What is climate?
the climate describes the general patterns in the atmosphere over longer timescales.
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What is the atmosphere made of?
The atmosphere is made of mainly oxygen and nitrogen. It also contains water vapour, traces of greenhouse gases and tiny particles of matterwhich can form aerosols. Some are from natural processes such as volcanic eruptions and others from industry.
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oceans cover 70% of he Earth's surface and contain 95% of the water on the planet. Ocean currents transfer the energy of the sun around the globe. Oceans heat the land and air during the winter and cool then during the summer.
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The cryosphere is made up of larger ice sheets, smaller ice sheets, glaciers and sea ice. They are nearly white so that they can reflect radiation from the sun back into space.
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What is the lithosphere?
The lithospere is the chemical weathering of rocks. It is part of the natural cycle of elements. Soil moisture is an important store of water.
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The biospere is land plants and marine plankton. They move chemical elements between the earths spheres, respiration and photosynthesis. Microorganisms that live in the soil release gases into the air as they break down organic matter from dead plant
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What is Anthropogenic?
Anthropogenic describes something tat origniates from, or relates to human activity. When relating to greenhouse gases it means gases that have been emitted by human activities such as generating electricity, transport and the chemical industry.
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Water vapour
Water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas. Where the earth is warmer the level of water vapour in the air is larger.
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Radiation and clouds
Clouds reflect incoming solar radiation back to space so cause cooling at the Earth's surface. Clouds can also trap re-emitted infrared radiation and contribute to warming.
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What is meant by the term climate forcing ?
Climate forcing refers to any factor that leads to a change in the overall balance of radiation entering or leaving the lower atomosphere. Positive forcing tends to warm the atmosphere. Negative forcing tends to cool the atmosphere.
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What is the global warming potential?
The global warming potential of a green house gas measure the extent to which it absorbs infrared radiation and warms the atmosphere over a specified length of time compared with the effect of emitting the same amount of carbon dioxide.
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What is climate change?
Climate change describes any significant shift over time in the mean value of a climatic variable, such as temperature or rainfall.
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What is precipitation?
Precipitation is water that condenses from the atmosphere and falls to the ground as rain, snow, hail, fog or sleet.
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What is climat sensitivity?
Climate sensitivity is the average change in the mean surface temperature of the Earth resulting form a doubling of the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from it's preindustrail level.
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What is a prediction?
A prediction is a statement of what we think will happen in the future. A weather forecast is an example of a prediction.
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What is a projection?
A projection is a statement of what could happen in the future based on a set of assumptions about possible changes to variables such as the level of greenhous gases.
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What is IPCC?
IPCC stands for the Intergovernmantal Panel on Climate Change. They research climate change and the work is funded by the government.
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What is climate?


the climate describes the general patterns in the atmosphere over longer timescales.

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What is the atmosphere made of?


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