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Circulation of the Wind Upon Earth - 14220_300
The Atmosphere Composition The  atmosphere  (air)  is  a  mixture  of  independent  gases.  Near  the surface  of  Earth,  the  percentages  by  volume  of  the  various  constituents are  approximately  78%  nitrogen,  21%  oxygen,  1%  argon,  and  traces  of other  gases  such  as  carbon  dioxide,  hydrogen,  neon,  and  helium.  Water vapor,  which  has  been  omitted  from  the  foregoing  list,  is  found  in relatively  small  but  widely  varying  amounts;  1%  of  the  total  atmosphere may  be  taken  as  the  average  figure.  The  quantity  of  water  vapor  present is  much  greater  in  equatorial  regions  than  it  is  in  polar  regions  and greater  over  the  ocean  than  over  land.  The  atmosphere  has  definite weight,  called  atmospheric  pressure,  and  is  measured  by  an  instrument called  a  barometer. Changes in the Large-scale  changes  in  temperature,  pressure,  and  water  vapor  content  of Weather the  atmosphere  cause  changes  in  the  weather.  Warm  air  is  lighter  in weight  and  can  hold  more  water  vapor  then  cold  air.  Moist  air  with  a temperature  of  50°F  is  lighter  than  drier  air  of  the  same  temperature because  water  vapor  is  lighter  than  air.  Cold  or  heavy  air  has  a tendency  to  flow  toward  and  take  the  place  of  warm  or  lighter  air;  and, as  the  air  begins  to  move,  other  forces  come  in  to  play,  making  the movement  of  air  masses  and  weather  rather  complex.  You  can  readily see  that  temperature,  humidity,  and  atmospheric  pressure  are  all  factors in  considering  the  weather. 10-3

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