Atmospheric Circulation

Atmospheric Circulation - flow poleward • At the poles...

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Atmospheric Circulation SUMMARY OF CORIOLIS EFFECT Northern hemisphere: Moving bodies deflected to the right of the direction of travel. Southern hemisphere: Moving bodies deflected to the left of the direction of travel. Coriolis Effect affects all freely-moving objects o Air masses o Airplanes o Ocean current o Missles WIND STRESS CAUSES SURFACE WATER MOVEMENT A wind blowing for 10 hours across the ocean will cause the surface waters to flow at about 2% of the wind speed. o Stronger winds cause stronger currents BASIS OF ATMOSPHERIC CIRCULATION Air cools aloft by expansion: o “Aidiabatic Decompression” o Cooled air is denser sinks Sinking air is cooled by depression Solar energy heats the Earth’s surface: warmed air rises WIND PATTERNS ON EARTH If Earth did not rotate: Air warmed at the equator would rise…diverge aloft…and
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Unformatted text preview: flow poleward. • At the poles, convergent air would descend…diverge at the surface, and flow toward the equator. RESULTANT WIND PATTERNS Surface winds and windless zones • Winds are named according to wind direction. o From equator, moist air rises towards both poles o 30° N and S, dry air sinking o 60° N and S, moist air rises towards both poles o 90° N and S, dry air sinking NANSEN’S DISCOVERIES • No arctic continent • Continuous trans-Arctic current • Early evidence for thermohaline circulation: water with Atlantic Ocean FRANKLIN’S 1786 MAP OF THE GULF STREAM • Based on ship’s logs: travel times between America and Europe....
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This note was uploaded on 04/16/2008 for the course GEOS 104 taught by Professor Cox during the Spring '08 term at Williams.

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Atmospheric Circulation - flow poleward • At the poles...

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