About This Chapter
Understanding the Earth's Atmosphere - Chapter Summary
In this chapter, we've provided short lessons on understanding the Earth's atmosphere for you to review at your convenience. Here you'll study greenhouse gases, mechanisms of heat transfer and global wind patterns, among other related topics. Once you complete this chapter, you should be ready to:
- Outline the components and structure of the Earth's atmosphere
- Detail the seven major regions of the electromagnetic spectrum
- Discuss greenhouses gases and the enhanced greenhouse effect
- Define conduction, radiation and convection as mechanisms of heat transfer
- Identify the global wind patterns of the three wind belts
- Provide the definition and impact of insolation
- Explain weather fronts and air masses
- Differentiate between the carbon cycle and the nitrogen cycle
Feel free to work at your own pace and review these lessons as many times as needed to feel comfortable with this material. Testing your knowledge is easy using the quizzes provided with the lessons and the comprehensive test at the end of the chapter. Any questions that come up along the way can be submitted to one of our instructors through the Dashboard.
1. Earth's Atmosphere: Components & Structure
After completing this lesson, you will be able to describe the layers of Earth's atmosphere, what they contain, and the components (gases) that make up the atmosphere. A short quiz will follow.
2. The 7 Major Regions of the Electromagnetic Spectrum
This lesson will walk you through each of the major regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Explore the unique characteristics of X-rays, microwaves, radio waves, UV rays, infrared, gamma rays, and of course, visible light.
3. Greenhouse Gases and the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect
In this video lesson, you will learn about the five main greenhouse gases and how their unnaturally high concentrations are leading to the enhanced greenhouse effect and global climate change on Earth.
4. Mechanisms of Heat Transfer: Conduction, Convection & Radiation
There are three main ways that heat is transferred between substances or objects. In this video lesson you'll learn about each one, and identify the differences between them.
5. The Global Wind Patterns of the Three Wind Belts
You are familiar with wind, but did you know there are different wind belts depending on where you are on the earth? This lesson will examine the three main wind belts: polar easterlies, tropical easterlies and prevailing westerlies.
6. Insolation: Definition, Global Wind Patterns & Impact
Insolation is the amount of incoming solar energy over an area per unit of time, which is unevenly distributed on the Earth. In this lesson, we will explore how insolation creates global wind patterns and affects the climate in a particular region.
7. Air Masses and Weather Fronts
After completing this lesson, you will be able to explain what an air mass is and how the movement of weather fronts leads to weather patterns you see every day.
8. Cycles of Matter: The Nitrogen Cycle and the Carbon Cycle
Matter is constantly cycled between living and nonliving parts of the environment. Processes like photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation allow the carbon and nitrogen cycles to regenerate needed substances by recycling Earth's atoms.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the MTEL Earth Science (14): Test Prep & Study Guide course
- Fundamentals of Scientific Inquiry & Processes
- Working with Scientific Data
- Scientific Tools & Safety Practices
- How Science, Technology & Society Are Related
- Rocks, Minerals & Geologic Energy Resources
- Structure & Internal Dynamics of the Earth
- Weathering, Erosion & Deposition in Massachusetts
- Geologic Time & Dating in New England
- Hydrologic Cycle & Freshwater Systems
- Ocean Water, Currents, Tides & Waves
- Ocean Basins, Layers & Continental Shelves
- Climatic Regions & Conditions
- Atmospheric Conditions & Types of Weather
- Weather, Climate & Society
- Understanding the Earth, Moon & Sun
- Solar System Organization & Components
- The Evolution of Stars
- Origin, Observation & Evolution of the Universe
- MTEL Earth Science Flashcards