Chapt 6-AirSea and Chapter 16 - 2014.doc

Chapt 6-AirSea and Chapter 16 - 2014.doc - OCE 2001 –Exam...

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OCE 2001 –Exam 2 Notes 1 Chapter 6 – Air and Sea Interactions & Chapter 16 - Climate Change - 16.1-16.4 (pgs 513- top of 538) Solar energy heats the earth - radiation from the sun provides the energy required to heat Earth and fuel weather systems (and ultimately ocean currents) . Not all of it is utilized : Some reflects off the atmosphere Some reflects off of clouds Only about half the sun's energy reaches the Earth's surface. Some is reflected back off the earth’s surface Radiated back as infrared. Some is trapped by gasses (mostly carbon dioxide, CO 2 ) Some is lost back to space Differential absorption of sunlight energy - Seasonal changes and day/night produce unequal solar heating of Earth’s surface Caused by angle of incidence of solar rays per given area Equatorial regions more heat per square area Polar regions less heat per square area Thickness of atmosphere – absorbs or reflects energy Seasons – Caused because Earth’s axis of rotation is tilted 23½ O with respect to ecliptic Earth’s elliptical orbit about the sun does NOT result in seasonal changes but does intensify them in the Southern Hemisphere Tilt responsible for seasons Vernal (spring) equinox (3/21) Sun overhead at equator Equal time of day/night hours Summer solstice (6/21) Sun overhead at Tropic of Cancer (23.5 O N) Longest day of the year in Northern hemisphere Autumnal (fall) equinox (9/23) Sun overhead at equator Equal day/night periods Winter solstice (12/22) Sun overhead at Tropic of Capricorn (23.5 O S ) Shortest day of the year in Northern hemisphere Uneven solar heating creates seasons at the poles Arctic circle (66.5 O N) Latitude receives direct sunlight all day on summer solstice No direct sunlight during winter solstice Antarctic circle (66.5 O S) reverse of above Uneven solar heating also results from :
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OCE 2001 –Exam 2 Notes 2 Albedo – differences in reflection of sunlight by various surfaces. Creates differences in absorption. Example – Ice reflects sunlight while water absorbs it. High latitudes - more heat lost than gained Due to albedo of ice and high angle of incidence of solar rays Low latitudes - more heat gained than lost Oceanic heat flow Depending on latitude, there is a net heat gain (closer to equator) or net heat loss (closer to poles) Due to albedo of ice and high incidence of solar rays (discussed above) Exchange of heat between equatorial and polar regions via ocean and atmospheric circulation Physical properties of atmosphere Atmospheric composition - comprised of gases and dust Mostly nitrogen (N 2 ) – 78% Oxygen (O 2 ) – 21% CO 2 , water vapor, ozone (O 3 ) - variable but small components Atmospheric stratification – air layers Troposphere - Up to 11 km Weather occurs here - layer with lots of mixing Gets cooler with increasing elevation (decreasing air pressure allows expanding/cooling of air) Stratosphere - From 11 - 45 km
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