Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Earth’s atmosphere

The atmosphere is a band of gases—mostly nitrogen, oxygen, and argon—held around Earth by gravity. Air masses, each defined by fairly uniform temperature and humidity, move around the atmosphere. The interaction of air masses creates all the conditions that make up the weather—from clear, sunny skies to hurricanes and torrential rain. The pattern of weather over time in a particular region is called the climate. In some parts of the world, extreme weather conditions are part of the climate. In other places, the climate is less extreme, so people are totally unprepared when a weather disaster strikes.

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