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Earth systems Chapter 6 - Chapter 6 Atmospheric Oceanic...

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Chapter 6: Atmospheric & Oceanic circulations Recall Equatorial area net radiation surplus Polar region net radiation deficit The atmospheric & ocean circulations even out the imbalance in earth’s radiation budget I. Wind essentials A. Air pressure & its measurement Weight of the atmosphere Barometer measures air pressure -units: Force/area -typical surface air pressure 1013.2 mbar Isobars = lines connecting equal pressure values (common way of showing pressure maps) When isobars are close together= strong winds When isobars are far apart= light winds B. Wind: Description & Measurement Wind is measured with an anemometer -cup anemometer -sonic Units: length/time Ex: m/s & mph Wind direction is determined in degrees from north Also, a wind blow from west is called a westerly wind Beaufort scale: estimates wind strength visually II. Driving Forces within the atmosphere A. Pressure gradient force Created by uneven heating of earth’s surface Results to direction of wind Characterized by winds moving from high pressure(high density) to low pressure(low density) Winds blow at right angles to isobars B. Coriolis force Turns wind to the right in the northern hemisphere, left in southern hemisphere Only affects wind direction, not speed, though faster winds turn more Arises because earth is rotating Zero at the equator & increases towards the poles Its also increases with the speed of the moving object/mass Has insignificant impact on small objects, moving short distances over short times C. Friction Wind is slowed by earth’s surface due to friction, does not affect upper level winds Depends on surface texture Rough surface causes more friction
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III. Atmospheric Patterns of Motion Thermal
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