L02-Introduction

L02-Introduction - Natural Environments The Atmosphere GE...

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Natural Environments: The Atmosphere GE 101 – Spring 2011 Boston University Myneni Lecture 02: Introduction Jan-24-11 (1 of 15) Outline - Weather and Climate - Scales in Physical Geography - Systems in Physical Geography - The Four Great Realms Further Reading: Chapters 01 and 02 of the text book
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Natural Environments: The Atmosphere GE 101 – Spring 2011 Boston University Myneni Lecture 02: Introduction Jan-24-11 (2 of 15) What is Weather? Large scale fluctuations in the atmosphere from hour-to-hour or day-to-day Weather systems arise mainly due to atmospheric instabilities, the evolution of which is governed by non-linear chaotic dynamics. Hurricane Gustav (Aug-31-08)
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Natural Environments: The Atmosphere GE 101 – Spring 2011 Boston University Myneni Lecture 02: Introduction Jan-24-11 (3 of 15) What is Climate? Climate is defined as averaged weather, typically defined in terms of mean and other statistical quantities (higher order moments), that measure variability over a period of time and over a geographical region (space). Climate = What you expect Weather = What you get.
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Natural Environments: The Atmosphere GE 101 – Spring 2011 Boston University Myneni Lecture 02: Introduction Jan-24-11 (4 of 15) Scales in Physical Geography: The processes of the life layer and the four great realms operate on various scales . These scales range from global to individual scales. Global scale - The sun is the power source that powers most of the phenomena that occurs within the life layer. At this scale, Earth-sun relationships are very important. Continental scale - The sun s energy is not evenly absorbed by the Earth s land and water surface. Unequal solar heating produces currents of air and water and constitute the global atmospheric and oceanic circulation system. Regional scale - This smaller scale observes the cloud patterns of weather systems, and their regular movements over time. These movements, along with solar control of surface temperature, form the basis of the climates of the world. Local scale - Factors at this scale are important in determining the exact patterns of vegetation and soils. Individual scale
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L02-Introduction - Natural Environments The Atmosphere GE...

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