Climate and Currents

Climate and Currents - Climate and Currents I. Climate. A....

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Climate and Currents I. Climate. A. Global variation in climate depends on the position of the sun relative to the surface of the earth. B. In polar areas the sun's ras strike the Earth in an olique manner and deliver less energy than at tropical locations for two reasons 1. The energy is spread over a larger surface nearer to the poles. 2. The energy passes through a thicker layer of absorbing, scattering and reflecting atmosphere. 1. Earth's inclined axis of rotation (23.5 degrees) causes increasing seasonal variation in temperture and day length with increasing latitude. 2. When perpendicular to tropic of cancer, it is the summer solstice in Northern hemisphere. Perpendicular to tropic of capricorn when summer in Southern hemisphere (our winter solstice). D. Global temperature differentials create winds and drive atmospheric circulation. 1. George Hadley in 1735 proposed that solar energy drove winds which in turn
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contrast between the very cold poles and the hot equator would create a thermal circulation. The warmth at the equator caused the surface equatorial air to become buoyant and rise vertically into the atmosphere. As it rose away from its source of heat, it cooled (gas expands due to lower pressure) and became less buoyant but was unable to sink back to the surface because of the warm air behind it. Instead, it spreads north and south away from the equator, eventually returning to the surface at the poles. From there, it flowed back toward the equator to close the circulation loop. Hadley suggested that on a nonrotating Earth this air movement would take the form of one large convection cell in each hemisphere. . 2. Two modern additions to Hadley's model.
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This note was uploaded on 05/12/2011 for the course TED 403 taught by Professor Espisito during the Spring '11 term at CSU Dominguez Hills.

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Climate and Currents - Climate and Currents I. Climate. A....

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