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Weather

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THE EARTH’S CLIMATES.

VOCABULARY

NOUNS: Atmosphere, element, climate, layer, oxygen, nitrogen, altitude, latitude, pressure, wind, centigrade, current, hail, water vapour, droplet, humidity, isobar, storm, soil, damage, drought, environment, flooding, forest fire, hurricane.

VERBS: drop, occur, rise, surround, affect, exert, vary, increase, adapt, combat, migrate, protect, provide, survive, destroy.

ADJECTIVES: harmful, atmospheric, average, climatic, calm, close, high, humid, low, mild, opposite, (un)stable, alpine, abundant, annual, continental, dry, equatorial, hot, maritime, moderate, polar, rare, scarce, temperate, torrential, wet, organic, physical, rich, poor, intense.

– What ́s the weather like today? Is it typical of the climate in this region?

– What are the characteristic features of the climate where you live?

– Do any of your normal activities depend on the weather? Why?

– Which people are especially interested in the weather forecast? Why?

1-THE ATMOSPHERE

– The atmosphere is the layer of gases that surrounds the Earth. It is composed of nitrogen

(78%), oxygen (21%) and other gases (1%).

– The atmosphere is divided into layers according to the temperature variations.

– Troposphere is up to 10 km altitude. It is where rain, snow and other weather phenomena occur.

– Stratosphere is at an altitude of 10-50 km. It contains the ozone layer, which prevents harmful ultraviolet radiation from the Sun from reaching the Earth ́s surface.

– Mesosphere is at an altitude of 50-80 km.

– Thermosphere is 80-500 km altitude. In this layer, temperatures can rise 1000º C.

– Exosphere is the outer limit of the atmosphere.

2-WEATHER AND CLIMATE

Weather is the atmospheric conditions in a certain place at a specific moment.

Climate is the average atmospheric conditions in a certain place over a long period of time. For example, if we say it is hot or raining on a particular place always has hot summers or rainy winters, we are talking about its climate.

ACTIVITIES

Read and listen to the text. Then write the answers.

Observing the weather

Meteorological observatories measure temperature, humidity, etc.

These measurements are combined with information and images obtained from artificial satellites such as the Meteosat, which provides information on cloud cover, wind speed, temperature, etc.

This data is then processed in order to forecast the weather over the coming days.

All these sentences contain mistakes. Write the correct sentences in your exercise book.

– The atmosphere is composed mainly of nitrogen and hydrogen.

– Climate is the state of the atmosphere in a particular place at a specific time.

– The troposphere starts at an altitude of 500 km. It is the outer limit of the atmosphere.

– Climate consists of temperature, precipitation, atmospheric pressure and wind.

3-THE ELEMENTS OF CLIMATE.

Temperature.

– Temperature is the amount of heat in the air. We measure it with a thermometer.

– Temperature varies across the planet depending on altitude, latitude, proximity to the sea and ocean currents.

Altitude: for every 1000 m of altitude the temperature drops by 6º C.

Latitude: temperatures decrease from the Equator towards the poles.

Proximity to the sea: the sea heats up and cools down more slowly than the land.

Ocean currents: warm ocean currents produce higher temperatures in nearby coastal

regions. Cool ocean currents have the opposite effect.

– Our planet is divided into different climate zones.

Tropical zone situated between the two tropics. The insolation is maximum.

Temperate zones, one in each hemisphere, located between the tropics and the polar

circles.

Cold zones, one in each hemisphere, located in the polar circles.

Precipitation.

– Precipitation is water from the atmosphere that falls onto the Earth ́s surface in the form

of rain, snow, sleet (a mixture of water and snow) or hail.

– The atmosphere contains water vapour. The amount of water vapour in the air is called humidity. When humid air rises, it cools and produces condensation, forming small droplets of water, which form clouds. When the droplets become bigger and heavier fall onto the Earth ́s surface.

Pressure.

– Air has weight. Atmospheric pressure is the pressure that the atmosphere ́s weight

exerts on the Earth ́s surface.

– We measure pressure with a barometer in millibars (mbar).We show pressure on maps

using lines called isobars. Normal pressure at sea level (0 m altitude) is 1013 mbar.

– High pressure areas or anticyclones are areas where pressure is more than 1013 mbar. Anticyclones produce stable weather conditions. The air is also dry, so there is no precipitation.

– Low pressure areas or depressions are areas where pressure is below 1013 mbar.

Depressions produce unstable weather conditions, with a lot of cloud and precipitation.

Wind.

Wind is air that moves from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure to balance

differences in atmospheric pressure across the planet.

ACTIVITIES

Find the cities of Vigo and Guadalajara on a map of the Iberian Peninsula. Then answer the following questions in your exercise book.

– Which city is located on the coast and which inland?

– Explain why the mean temperature for the coldest month in winter (January) was 10.2ºC in Vigo, but only 4.6ºC in Guadalajara.

Complete the explanation of how precipitation is produced, with these words: droplets, surface, rises, heavier, clouds, vapour.

Humid air …….., it cools and changes from……………to liquid, forming small…………..of water, which form……………..The droplets become bigger and …………………., and fall onto the Earth ́s………………