Chap 3 - Chapter 3: Temperature For the Record: Air...

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Chapter 3: Temperature For the Record: Air Temperature Data Air temperature is measured at thousands of locations worldwide using a variety of thermometers. - Daily Mean: (Tmax + Tmin)/2 - Daily Range: Tmax-Tmin - Monthly Mean: Mean of 30(31) days - Annual Mean: Mean of 12 months - Annual Range: change between coldest, warmest month In order to examine the distribution of temp. on maps, we use: Isotherms lines indicating equal ( iso ) temperature ( therms ) (Fig 3.2). Why Temperatures Vary: The Controls of Temperature Latitude (which determines the amount of solar radiation received) is the major controller of temperature (as seen in Figure 2.9). There are however other controls: - Differential heating of land and water - Ocean Currents - Altitude - Geographic Position - Cloud Cover
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Land and Water Land surfaces heat more rapidly and to a higher temperature (daytime) and cool more rapidly and to a lower temp. (nighttime) than do water surfaces (Fig. 3.3), because: 1) Water is mobile, land is not 2) Water is transparent, land is not 3) The Specific Heat [def: as t he amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of a substance 1 o C ] of water is 3 times greater that the specific heat of land; as a result: Land heats up 3 times as much as water for a given amount of solar radiation striking the surface. Figs 3.4, 3.5;Table 3.1 illustrate that: Oceans act as regulators of temperature : keeping coastal areas: on seasonal basis as well as diurnal - cooler during the day (summer) - warmer during the night (winter) when compared to mid-continent locations.
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Ocean Currents Greatly influence temps. because of their ability to transport warm water towards the poles and cold water towards the equator. (Figs. 3.7, 3.8) Examples: The Gulf Stream , with temp. between 75-85 o keeps:North flow The Atlantic Coast States warm in winter (Fig. 3.6) The California Current , with temp. between 45 o –55 o keeps:South flow The Pacific Coast States cool in summer (Fig 3.3) Altitude
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Chap 3 - Chapter 3: Temperature For the Record: Air...

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