Standard 4: The Physical Setting
Key Idea 2: Many of the phenomena that we observe on Earth involve interactions among components of air, water, and land.
Performance Indicator: Explain how the atmosphere(air), hydrosphere(water), and lithosphere(land) interact, evolve, and change.
2.1a Nearly all the atmosphere is confined to a thin shell surrounding Earth. The atmosphere is a mixture of gases, including nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%) with small amounts of water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other trace gases. The atmosphere has layers with distinct properties. Nearly all weather occurs in the lowest layer of the atmosphere called the troposphere.
2.1b As altitude increases, air pressure decreases.
2.1j Water circulates through the atmosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere in what is known as the water cycle.
2.2i Weather describes the conditions of the atmosphere at a given location for a short period of time.
2.2j Climate is the characteristic weather that prevails from season to season and year to year.
2.2k The uneven heating of Earth's surface is the cause of weather.
2.2l Air masses form when air remains nearly stationary over a large section of the Earth's surface and takes on the conditions of temperature and humidity from that location. Weather conditions at a location are determined primarily by temperature, humidity, and pressure of air masses over that location.
2.2m Most local weather condition changes are caused by movement of air masses.
2.2n The movement of air masses is determined by prevailing winds and upper air currents.
2.2o Fronts are boundaries between air masses. Precipitation is likely to occur at these boundaries.
2.2p High-pressure systems tend to bring fair weather. Low-pressure systems usually bring cloudy, unstable conditions. The general movement of highs and lows is from west to east across the United States.
2.2q Hazardous weather conditions include thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, ice storms, and blizzards. Humans can prepare for and respond to these conditions if given sufficient warning.
2.2r Substances enter the atmosphere naturally and from human activity. Some of these substances include dust from volcanic eruptions and greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor. These substances can affect weather, climate, and living things.
Weekly Objectives: May 20-24
Use thermometers to measure the temperature of materials
Design and conduct experiments to observe heat transfer by conduction through solids and liquids
Explain how radiant energy from the Sun heats solid and liquid materials
Describe heat transfer through multiple materials in terms of molecular activity
Describe how the atmosphere is heated
Weekly Objectives: May 28-31
Conduct Specific Heat Lab
Experiment with conduction
Use thermometers to find the temperature of different substances
Investigate types of clouds and how they are formed
Make a cloud in a bottle
Investigate air pressure and wind