7-OcFA11-AtmosphWEB - Atmosphere: Intro. Earth has 2...

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Atmosphere: Intro. Surface ocean circulation, global and local climate are directly impacted by atmospheric circulation (and vise versa) Both in constant motion due to energy from Sun and force of gravity COMPOSITION 78% N 2 , 21% O 2 , <1% Ar , 0.03% CO 2 -These molecules have a weight = atmospheric pressure -At sea level a column of air exerts a pressure on earth of: =2116 pounds/ square foot = 760 mm mercury = 1 atm = 1 bar -Does not crush us because there is the same amount of pressure inside us pushing out. Higher pressure = more weight above you= greater density of molecules If air is warmed = less dense = rises = lower pressure If air is cooler = more dense = sinks = higher pressure Atmosphere adjust to become density stratified * most dense air on bottom * less dense air at greatest height Air that sinks , compresses and thus warms , can hold more H 2 O vapor (creates a dry climate)
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Atmosphere: Unevenly heated Less solar energy (heating) at high latitudes (polar regions) because: 1) Has a larger “footprint” (dispersed energy) due to tilt 2) More energy reflected (higher albedo) b/c ice 3) Passes through more atmosphere (absorbed at high altitude) due to tilt Seasonality due to tilt of the earth (23.5 degrees from vertical) Northern and Southern Hemispheres are alternately tilted toward and away from the Sun longer days, more intense solar radiation during summer (tilt toward sun)
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This note was uploaded on 12/04/2011 for the course OCE 1001 taught by Professor Smith during the Fall '08 term at University of Florida.

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7-OcFA11-AtmosphWEB - Atmosphere: Intro. Earth has 2...

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