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Science Vocabulary


Atmosphere A mixture of gasses that surrounds a planet or moon.
Stratosphere The layer of the atmosphere that is above the troposphere and in which temperature increase as altitude increases.
Troposphere The lowest layer of the atmosphere, in which temperature decreases at a constant rate as altitude increases.
Thermosphere The uppermost layer of the atmosphere, in which temperature increases as altitude increases.
Air Pressure The me sure of the force with which air molecules push on a surface.
Radiation The transfer of energy as electromagnet waves.
Thermal Conduction The transfer of energy as heat through a material.
Convection The transfer of thermal energy by the circulation or movement of a liquid or gas.
Global Warming A gradual increase in average global temperature.
Greenhouse Effect The warming of the surface and lower atmosphere of earth that occurs when water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other gases absorb and reradiate thermal energy.
Wind The movement of air caused by differences in air pressure.
Coriolis Effect The apparent curving of a path of a moving object from an otherwise straight path due to the Earth's rotation.
Westerlies Prevailing winds that blow from west to east between 30* and 60* latitude in both hemispheres.
Trade Winds Prevailing winds that blow northeast from 30* north latitude to the equator and that blows southeast from 30*south latitude to the equator.
Polar Easterlies Prevailing winds that blow from east to west between 60* and 90* latitude in both hemispheres.
Jet Stream A narrow belt of strong winds that blow in the upper troposphere.
Air Pollution The contamination of the atmosphere by the introduction of pollutants from human and natural sources.
Acid Precipitation rain, sleet, or snow that contains a high concentration of acids