Lecture+9-8-08_Global+Systems

Lecture+9-8-08_Global+Systems - Global systems: Oceans,...

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Unformatted text preview: Global systems: Oceans, Atmosphere, Climate, and Hydrologic Cycle The Greenhouse Effect: makes earth habitable, but too much of a good thing? The greenhouse effect : solar energy passes through the atmosphere (short-wave radiation). Earth re-radiates energy in forms that do not pass through the atmosphere (long-wave radiation, latent heat) Near the equator (0 degrees latitude), Earth receives more energy from the sun than it re-radiates as long-wave radiation. At latitudes greater than 38 o , Earth loses more energy than it receives If Earth did not rotate, our global circulation pattern would be something like this: Excess heat at equator redistributed northward in giant convective cells But of course Earth does rotate, and the rotation introduces an apparent ‘force’ – the Coriolis Force (or effect): In northern hemisphere, currents are deflected to the right. In southern hemisphere, they are deflected to the left The result: complex currents, driven by convective circulations from equator poleward, Earth’s rotation, and interactions with oceans and continents These winds ‘drag’ over oceans, creating oceanic currents, which are also strongly affected by continents Recall: Where is the freshwater? Recall from the global water cycle: net transfer of moisture from oceans to continents via the atmosphere There is more open water from which to evaporate in the oceans.oceans....
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Lecture+9-8-08_Global+Systems - Global systems: Oceans,...

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