Micro-Tutorial #2 – Introduction to Meteorology

What is Air?

The good news is that scientists have asked the question “what is air?” for centuries now. We will skip ahead to the answer. According to the American Meteorological Society’s Glossary of Meteorology, air is defined as:

“Mixture of gases forming Earth’s atmosphere, consisting of nitrogen (∼78%), oxygen (∼21%), water vapor, and other trace gases such as carbon dioxide, helium, argon, ozone, or various pollutants.”

Programming Exercise

Difficulty Level: Easy

Roll up your sleeves and get ready to execute some code! Rather than me show you a pie chart illustrating the proportion of gases in Earth’s atmosphere, you will create one with Python code. This first exercise is simple. The next tutorials will require an increasing amount of thought and effort.

Open the notebook by clicking on the ‘Open in Colab’ icon at the top of the Gist (the section of code below). Then, follow the instructions in the notebook. .

The Scientific Method

It is difficult to know something without 1) conducting some type of experiment or 2) depending on a reliable source for knowledge. Scientists conduct experiments to test hypotheses (hint: a hypothesis is an educated guess). Scientists test many hypotheses and slowly build an understanding of the physical world that they are studying. In this micro-tutorial series, we will use the scientific method, first principles of meteorology, and up-to-date computing and data practices to study the atmosphere.


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