About This Chapter
Evolution of the Atmosphere - Chapter Summary
This collection of Earth science lessons covers key concepts related to the evolution of the Earth's atmosphere and changes in climate. Through bite-sized and engaging lessons, the chapter examines the structure of the Earth's atmosphere, its natural climate cycles and anthropogenic climate change. You'll also review the natural and human factors that have contributed to changes in the Earth's climate. After studying the lessons in this chapter, you should be able to:
- Understand how the Earth's atmosphere has evolved over time
- Outline the structure and layers of the Earth's atmosphere
- Differentiate between climate and weather
- Determine how global warming has affected climate change
- Know what causes natural climate cycles on Earth
- Define anthropogenic climate change
- Identify natural, historical and human factors that can change/have changed the Earth's climate
Our expert instructors break down these Earth science topics by using memorable examples, concise definitions and an engaging teaching style. This way, you can enjoy the learning process and retain the information you study. We've included plenty of practice quizzes to help you check your understanding of the material. Lesson transcripts are also available to supplement your studying experience. You can study whenever you have free time and wherever you happen to be, whether it's at school, in the library, at work or on-the-go.
1. The Atmosphere on Earth
This lesson describes the evolution of the Earth's atmosphere, from its ancient past to the present day to how it's being changed by humans today. You'll learn about how outgassing, photosynthesis, and oceans all played a role in its formation, what air is composed of, and the real effect of human pollution on our changing atmosphere.
2. The Structure of the Atmosphere
If you've ever climbed a mountain or been to the beach, you know that the atmosphere is different at different levels. This lesson explains how the structure of the atmosphere is really like a layer cake.
3. What is a Climate? - Definition & Examples
Learn what climate is, and how not to confuse it with weather. Once you understand what a climate is, figure out what type of climate you live in by going over examples of Earth's different climate types.
4. Global Warming: Atmospheric Causes and Effect on Climate
Global warming is a multifaceted, complex issue. It involves both natural and human causes that can increase the amount of greenhouse gases. This lesson looks at some of the facts about global warming and how they could contribute to climate change.
5. Causes of Repeating Climate Change Patterns
Learn about Earth's natural climate cycles, and what causes them, including orbital geometry, solar activity and El Nino. See what you know by taking a quiz.
6. Anthropogenic Climate Change: Definition & Factors
The earth's climate has always been changeable, but this time humans might be partly to blame. Here you will learn what affects the climate and how we might be contributing to the changes scientists are noticing.
7. Factors Involved in Climate Change
Our Earth's climate has changed many times in her 4.5 billion year lifetime. Discover the multiple factors that influence these changes and test your understanding with a short quiz.
8. Natural Causes of Climate Change
Climate change is a complex occurrence with many possible causes. Here we will discuss the natural factors that affect climate change. At the end, you can test your knowledge with a brief quiz.
9. Historical Factors of Climate Change
Earth's climate has begun to drastically change during our lifetimes. This lesson delves into some of the causes and science of this recent climatic shift.
10. Evidence of Human-Induced Climate Change
What is climate change, and why is it happening? Learn about the science behind global warming, and the evidence that humans are the primary cause of climate change.
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Other chapters within the Virginia SOL - Earth Science: Test Prep & Practice course
- Measurements in Earth Science
- Conducting Earth Science Experiments
- Scientific Reasoning & Logic
- Characteristics of Earth & the Solar System
- Space Exploration
- Earth's Natural Resources
- Intro to Rocks, Minerals & Soil
- Basics of Plate Tectonics
- Earth's Freshwater Resources
- Fossils & Geologic Time
- Ocean & Coastal Processes
- Climate, Weather & Energy Transferring
- Origin & Evolution of the Universe
- Virginia SOL - Earth Science Flashcards