Moisture - Atmospheric Humidity Why is moisture important?...

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Atmospheric Humidity
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Why is moisture important? • Source of atmospheric energy • Cloud formation • Redistribution of water • Atmospheric stability • Greenhouse effect • Impact on biosphere processes (transpiration, photosynthesis, vegetation distribution) • Influences surface temperature (on Thursday)
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The Hydrologic Cycle
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Hydrologic Cycle • Precipitation - water particles (liquid or solid) that fall from the atmosphere to the ground • Evaporation - process by which a liquid changes to a gas • Takes energy = cools environment • Condensation - process by which a gas changes to a liquid • Releases energy = warms environment
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Hydrologic Cycle • Deposition – process by which a gas changes to a solid Releases energy = warms environment • Sublimation - process by which a solid changes to a gas • Takes energy = cools environment
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Atmospheric Humidity Energy Absorbed Sensible Heat Evaporation Condensation Atmospheric humidity changes Precipitation
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Phase changes redistribute energy… • Latent Heat - the heat released or absorbed by a unit of mass when it undergoes a change of state (e.g. evaporation, condensation, etc.) • Latent Heat of Vaporization - the energy required to evaporate/condense 1 kg of water L v = 2.5 x 10 6 J kg -1
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Water Balance and Energy Balance of the Planet are Linked Precipitation - Runoff - Evaporation - Infiltration = 0 Latent Heat = net radiation - sensible heat - ground heat flux Q E = R n Q H Q g Latent Heat = Evaporation (can be estimated from the amount of energy used to cause the phase change)
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Question Does Sahara Desert air have higher humidity than Minnesota air?
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Moisture - Atmospheric Humidity Why is moisture important?...

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