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SMT 416

Introduction to the
Answer Sheet

Read the pre-assignment PDF file 'Introduction to the Atmosphere' before attempting this
assignment. Type your Response. After completion, save this WORD file as a PDF and upload using
Blackboard by the due date.

Getting Started with the Metric System

There are three temperature scales in use today, Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvin. Conversion from one
temperature scale to another can be accomplished using either an equation or a graphic comparison
To convert Celsius degrees to Fahrenheit degrees, use this equation: F = (1.8)* C + 32.
Example: To convert 25OC into OF, multiply 25 by 1.8 and add 32
To convert Fahrenheit degrees to Celsius degrees, use this equation: oC = (F - 32)/1.8.
Example: To convert 82OF into OC, first subtract 32 from 82 and then divide by 1.8
To convert Kelvin to Celsius degrees, use this equation: C = K-273.
Example: To convert 288 K into OC, subtract 273 from 288

Convert the following temperatures to their equivalents.

a. On a cold day, it was 8F =

-13 oC.

b. Room temperature is 72F =


c. A hot summer day was 35C =


d. Normal body temperature is 98.6F =


3. Earth avg. temp is 288 K=


Answer in Yes or No
The thermometer reads 28C. Will you need your winter coat. No
If your body temperature is 40C, do you have a fever? Yes
The temperature of a cup of cocoa is 90C. Will it burn your tongue? Yes
Your bath water is 15C. Will you have a scalding, warm bath? Yes
The thermostat in your home reads 37oC. Are you shivering? No

Q1. Examine the figure below and type your response to the following questions.
A. What is the approximate height (km) and temperature (oC) of the Tropopause, Stratopause,
and Mesopause (Note: horizontal dashed lines on the figure mark their heights).

Tropopause: 11 km


Stratopause: 48 km


Mesopause: 85 km


B. What is the average change in temperature per km from the Earth's surface to the
Tropopause? (Note: to find average change in temperature per km, divide the total
change in temperature by total change in height).
6.9 oC/km

C. If average air temperature at sea level is 18oC, what should be the air temperature at
2.8 km above the sea level? (Hint: make use of your answer from question 1B)
D. What is the average change in temperature per km from the Tropopause to the

Examine the figure on right and answer the following questions:

E. Determine the average
change in pressure per km
between the Earth's surface
and the top of the Mount
Everest (~ 8km above the sea

F. Determine the average

change in pressure per km
between the top of the Mount
Everest (~ 8km above the sea
level) and 16 km elevation.

G. At approximate what height,

does the atmospheric
pressure is about 200 mb?
15 km

H. Explain why air temperature,

pressure, and density decreases with increasing height in the atmosphere?
-Air pressure changes with the weather and decreases with altitude.
-The pressure decreases as you go higher in the atmosphere, because it decreases
with altitude, due to the reduction of the mass of overlying air with height.
-Air density, like air pressure, decreases with increasing altitude.

Q2.The following questions require you to plot air temperature (C) versus elevation (m) data as shown
in the tables 1 and 2 on the graph 1 and 2, respectively (see below). Connect each data point (using a
ruler) with straight lines.
NOTE: You do not need to submit the graphs with this assignment (unless, you have a scanner
and you are willing to go that extra step).

Table 1
Elevation (m)

Temperature (C)

Table 2
Elevation (m)

Temperature (C)

1. In graph 1, does the temperature increase or decrease as altitude increases?

2. In Graph 1, how many meters of elevation does it take for the temperature to change
by 1C?
-140 meters

3. Describe the pattern of change in temperature above 300 meters in Graph 2. How
does it differ from Graph 1?
-Between 300 meters and 500 meters the temperature increases. From 500 meters to
700 meters the temperature dramatically decreases.

If you plotted temperature correctly, the Graph 2 presents a pattern that is quite not what you
expected. In other words, notice that temperature in graph 2 initially decreased with height
and then increased before continuing to decrease again. The portion of the graph 2 between
300 and 500 meters, where temperatures are higher than temperatures below and above, is
what meteorologists call a thermal inversion layer. The inversion layer can occur due to a
variety of meteorological phenomenon. Inversion layers are a significant factor in the
formation of smog in Los Angeles because they create stable atmospheric
conditions. Inversions act to prevent mixing in the lower regions of the troposphere, so
pollutants become trapped quite easily and contribute to the formation of smog.

The picture and graphic above show a typical scenario in Los Angeles where polluted air is
trapped close to the Earth's surface. In this picture, the brown hazy layer is cooler than the air
above it. This is caused by thermal inversion. Explain what is preventing the polluted air to
rise above? (Hint: atmospheric temperature and density are inversely related).
- In this photo, we are seeing pollutants being trapped below a lid of warm air. This is
because, air temperature, plays a different role when air movement is influenced by density.
-Warm air is light - higher temperature leads to faster motion, expansion, and decreased
-Cold air is heavy - low temperature causes slower motion, contraction, and increased density.
-The cold dense air that is close to the ground doesnt easily circulate. Which makes,
pollutants become trapped below this lid of warm air. The quantity of pollution tends to
increase until the lid is lifted or a wind occurs.