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Atmosphere

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List of topics

Weather fronts

Moisture Clouds and Precipitation

Heating the atmosphere: conduction, convection, and radiation.

Atmosphere characteristics, air pressure (needs to be reorganized)

Nor’easters (A type of cyclone appearing near New England)

Regional wind systems, El Nino and La Nina

Hurricanes

Tornadoes

Coriolis effect and cyclones

 

Special topics

Contrails and Chemtrails: Analyzing conspiracy theories.

 

Human impact on the environment

Greenhouse gases and global warming

How CFCs affect the ozone layer

Air pollution, smog and acid rain

 

Learning Standards

2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework

8.MS-ESS2-5. Interpret basic weather data to identify patterns in air mass interactions and the relationship of those patterns to local weather.

HS-ESS2-6. Use a model to describe cycling of carbon through the ocean, atmosphere, soil, and biosphere and how increases in carbon dioxide concentrations due to human activity have resulted in atmospheric and climate changes.

ESS2.D Weather and climate: Complex interactions determine local weather patterns and influence climate, including the role of the ocean. Human activities affect global warming. ALSO The role of radiation from the Sun and its interactions with the atmosphere, ocean, and land are the foundation for the global climate system.
College Board Standards for College Success: Science

Objective ES.1.4 Weather Processes. Students understand that weather is the result of short-term interactions (days) among the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere.

ESH-PE.1.4.2 Describe, in terms of temperature, pressure and moisture conditions, the formation of severe weather conditions such as tornadoes, hurricanes and thunderstorms.

ESH-PE.1.4.2a Construct an illustration of a mature thunderstorm that shows how air movement inside the storm leads to the formation of hail and tornadoes.
ESH-PE.1.4.2b Describe how, within storm systems, thermal energy is converted into both mechanical energy (wind) and electrical energy, and link these phenomena to the law of conservation of energy.

ESM-PE.2.1.1 Construct representations, using a data set displaying temperature changes resulting from changing altitude, of physical characteristics of the troposphere (adiabatic lapse rate). Construct representations that demonstrate the relative scale of the
atmosphere in relation to the size of Earth.
ESM-PE.2.1.2 Make a claim, using representations and models of incoming solar radiation (insolation) and the greenhouse effect, how changes in the atmosphere (i.e., atmospheric composition, cloud coverage) and in Earth’s surface (i.e., glacial coverage) will affect the energy budget.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy, AAAS

Transfer of thermal energy between the atmosphere and the land or oceans produces temperature gradients in the atmosphere and the oceans. Regions at different temperatures rise or sink or mix, resulting in winds and ocean currents. These winds and ocean currents, which are also affected by the earth’s rotation and the shape of the land, carry thermal energy from warm to cool areas. 4B/H2*

Climatic conditions result from latitude, altitude, and from the position of mountain ranges, oceans, and lakes. Dynamic processes such as cloud formation, ocean currents, and atmospheric circulation patterns influence climates as well. 4B/H5** (NSES)

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