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Study Guide #1 - Weather and Atmosphere STUDY GUIDE 6:08:00...

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Weather and Atmosphere 05/02/2007 20:08:00 STUDY GUIDE Latent Heat Energy – the amount of energy in the form of heat that is required for material to undergo a change of phase – the earth has an imbalance of energy which is fixed through latent heat exchange Sensible Heat Energy – heat that results in a temperature change is said to be “sensible” Forcings – long term ability to change climate Perturbations – short term ability to change climate Thermal Divisions of the Atmosphere – based on thermal structure, provides a more detailed and, in many respects, more useful scheme for the division of the atmosphere into distinct layers. The temperature decreases rapidly above the surface of the Earth to an altitude of about 17 km. the air is relatively unstable, a consequence of the decrease of temperature Systems – “an entity composed of diverse but inter-related parts that function as a complex whole” Unstable – when the system moves away form the equilibrium after small disturbances (ex: is when the ball is on top of the hill and can either fall backwards or forwards) Stable – when a system always returns to what it used to be after small disturbances; (ex: is when the ball is located inside the hill therefore not being able to possibly move backwards or forwards) Equilibrium States – if a system is in equilibrium, it does not change unless the system is disturbed Divergence – bad weather because of the air rising Convergence – good weather because of high pressure Equations : Speed of an Electromagnetic Wave: Energy: Wien’s Law: Stefan-Boltzmann: Density: Ideal Gas Law: The Ideal Gas Law and Density: Geostrophic Wind – is defined as the wind resulting from what is called geostrophic balance between the Coriolis force and the pressure gradient force acting on a parcel of air, causing the wind to blow parallel to isobars of pressure in the earth’s atmosphere
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