Earth's atmosphere is a dynamic system that is changing continuously while undergoing complex physical and chemical processes. After reading this chapter, you should understand:
- What are the basic composition and structure of the atmosphere.
- How the processes of atmospheric circulation, climate, and microclimate work.
- What are the four major processes that remove materials from the atmosphere.
- How the climate has changed during the last million years.
- What is the science behind human-induced global warming.
- How human activity has resulted in increased emissions of greenhouse gases.
- How positive - and negative - feedback cycles in the atmosphere might affect global temperature change.
- What effects global warming might have, and how we can adjust to those changes.