ch_01_sum_erth_rot

Introducing Physical Geography (Wse)

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Chapter 1 The Earth as a Rotating Planet This chapter deals with the way solar radiation drives energy and matter flows in the atmosphere and oceans and how these flows are linked to weather and climate. This chapter introduces you to some basic ideas about the Earth, its rotation, and revolution. The Earth is shaped as an oblate ellipsoid because the Earth's rotation causes it to bulge slightly at the equator. The Earth rotates on its axis in an eastward (retrograde) direction and revolves (counterclockwise) around the sun . The Earth's rotation has three important environmental effects : 1. It imposes a daily, or diurnal , cycle of daylight, air temperature, air humidity, and air motion. 2. It produces the Coriolis effect which deflects the flow of fluids (air and water) to the right or left of their original path in the northern or southern hemisphere’s, respectively. 3. As the Earth rotates, the combined effects of both the moon’s and suns’ gravitational pull on different sides of the Earth creates a rise and fall of ocean water known as tides . The
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This document was uploaded on 04/17/2008.

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ch_01_sum_erth_rot - Chapter 1 The Earth as a Rotating...

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