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GilbertK Lab 6 - University of Denver Dr Keables Lab...

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University of Denver NATS 1201 Dr. Keables Environmental Systems Lab Exercise 6 Atmospheric Stability Create a Word document for your answers and save it under the filename LastnameFirstinitial_Lab.doc. Be sure to answer all of the questions in your answer document; please cut and paste the questions from this document to your answer document. The concept of stability is an important component of understanding how clouds are formed. The vertical temperature structure of the atmosphere determines the amount of vertical motion that can occur; and, as we have seen, vertical motion is an important factor for cloud development. A comparison of temperatures within a given air parcel and the temperature of the surrounding air allows us to predict the vertical motion of the air parcel. There are three stability conditions which you will work with in today's lab: absolute stability, absolute instability, and conditional stability. Recall the definitions from lecture for these conditions in terms of ELR, DALR and SALR. Absolute Instability. A layer of the atmosphere is absolutely unstable when air parcels that are forced to rise within the layer continue to rise spontaneously after the lifting force is removed. The data in Table 1 correspond to the temperature of the environmental (ambient) air at different heights above the ground as measured by a temperature sensor attached to a weather balloon. Using the data in Table 1, plot air temperature on the x-axis and height on the y-axis. Table 1. Vertical Temperature Sounding Altitude (m) Temperature ( o C) 0 28 200 25 400 22 600 19 800 16 1000 13 1200 10 Format the axes as follows: X-axis – minumum 0, maximum 30, major unit 5, minor unit 1 Y-axis – minimum 0, maximum 1300, major unit 100, minor unit 50
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Display the graph with both major and minor gridlines, title the chart “Absolute Instability,” and label the axes, and call the series “ELR” for Environmental Lapse Rate. 1. The temperature change with height of the environmental air is the Environmental Lapse Rate (ELR) and is usually expressed as the temperature change per 100 meters of altitude. What is the ELR for the atmospheric condition depicted in Table 1?
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