General Circulation of the Earth

General Circulation of the Earth - General Circulation of...

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General Circulation of the Earth’s Atmosphere MET3102 The Earth’s Atmosphere is a complex and dynamic structure. The Ocean Circulation is apart of and contributes to the Atmospheric Circulation. The General Circulation can be defined as the large scale movement of air that is generated by the uneven heat distribution of the Earth’s surface area from the Sun. Earth’s Atmospheric motions are driven by the effects of mean winds, temperature and humidity, the variability of these quantities, and the covariance between wind components and other variables that are associated with large scale weather systems (Hartmann). In this summary I will discuss the Three Cell Model and Meridional Transport of Energy. Additionally, I will explain the differences between the Tropics and Middle Latitudes during the summer and winter hemispheres. I will compare and contrast the roles of ocean currents and winds in the Meridional Heat Transport and break down the Energy Budget. First, we know that the Earth gains heat over Tropics and it loses heat at the Poles. To balance these gains and losses the Atmospheric and Oceanic Circulation work together to transport heat from low latitudes to high latitudes. This North and South transport is called the Meridionl Transport. An example of the Meridional Transport in action, is the 1
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heat absorbed by the ocean in the Tropics. In the Tropics, most of the heat absorbed by the ocean is released as water vapor. This transport of heat warms the atmosphere when the water vapor condenses into rain. One of the primary drivers of the Atmospheric Circulation is this example of heat being released by rain. However, we can not forget about the Three Celled Model. The Three Celled Model consist of the Hadley Cell, Polar Cell, and Ferrel Cell. These series of circulation cells for the tropics, polar regions and
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This note was uploaded on 07/04/2008 for the course MET 3102 taught by Professor Dr.willoughby during the Spring '08 term at University of Miami.

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General Circulation of the Earth - General Circulation of...

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