Chapter 7

Chapter 7 - Ch. 7: Air-Sea Interactions Suns energy is more...

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Ch. 7: Air-Sea Interactions
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Sun’s energy is more intense at low-latitudes because: 1) Sunlight strikes high-latitudes at a low angles (low angle of incidence), which spreads that energy over a larger area of land 2) Sunlight must pass through more atmosphere at higher latitudes, because on the low angle of incidence 3) The amount of energy reflected (“albedo”) in high-latitudes is greater than in low latitudes, because ice reflects more than soil and vegetation 4) The oceans reflect more light at high- latitudes because of low angle of incidence of sun’s rays (2% reflected at equator w/ sun directly overhead; 40% reflected at the poles, with sun 5º above the horizon) 5) Each pole receives no sunlight for half the year because the Earth rotates on a tilted axis
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Day and nights occur because Earth rotates on its axis. Seasons exist because this rotational axis is tilted at about 23.5 degrees and because Earth revolves around the Sun. Therefore, as Earth revolves around Sun, the northern hemisphere will receive more direct sunlight than the southern hemisphere for half the year , i.e., northern summer, southern winter, and vice versa.
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Because of increased solar reflection in the higher latitudes, net heat loss occurs from the oceans here, with net heat gain occurring in the low latitude oceans. High and low latitude temperatures do not continue to diverge because wind and water circulation patterns redistribute heat, maintaining temperature in a relatively steady state. Also, heat lost = heat gained, thus keeping avg. temperature of Earth relatively constant.
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Troposphere = lowermost portion of atmosphere where all weather occurs (0-12 km). Temperature decreases with increasing altitude through the troposphere, then increases with increasing altitude through the
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Warm air is less dense than cold air because molecules in warm air move more quickly and take up more volume, for the same amount of mass ( density = mass/volume). Thus, warm air rises over cold air. Warm air also can hold more water vapor than cold air because warm air molecules move more quickly and thus come into contact
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Chapter 7 - Ch. 7: Air-Sea Interactions Suns energy is more...

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