Comparing Earth's Atmosphere with other planets
Measure Nearby Planets
Many scientists and governments express concern over how the composition of the atmosphere will affect global temperature and weather patterns. For example, if the average temperature increases by 10° F globally, how will that affect agriculture and the food supply? What about changes in weather patterns? Too much water = flooding, and too little water = drought. Do humans contribute to this problem? Sure! Any increase in greenhouse gases will increase the effectiveness of the atmosphere at trapping heat, and industrial nations that burn fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas) emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in HUGE quantities every year. If the temperature on Earth continues to rise, is there a possibility that we could be making Earth too hot to like on? Is there any way we could “cool off” the Earth, or make the increase in temperature more gradual and slow?
Perhaps if we look at how the Earth’s atmosphere compares with the atmospheres of Venus and Mars, you will come up with some ideas about how atmosphere and temperature can be brought into better control. Let’s check it out.
Let's go back to the activity where we measured the temperature, pressure, and ozone of the atmosphere, only this time we'll send a probe to other planets.
We learned about how Earth's atmosphere is heated, let's
see what it's like on other planets.
Now answer these review questions.