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Atmospheric Circulation Lesson

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Composition and Properties of the Atmosphere

We humans are designed to live in the conditions we do. As a result we tend not to notice the air we breathe and walk through on a daily basis.

Earth's atmosphere today is composed primarily of:

Our atmosphere also has mass. A one sq. cm column of air extending from sea level up to the top of the atmosphere weighs 1.04 kg (2.3 pounds). However, a one sq. ft column of the same height weights more than 1 ton. We don't notice this weight as we are adapted to it.

Air also moves vertically depending upon it's temperature and elevation.

This rising and falling of air due to temperature is called adiabatic heating/cooling