7-IOc4-Atmosphere - Atmospheric Circulation and Air-Sea...

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Atmospheric Circulation and Air-Sea Interaction
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Atmosphere: Background Earth has 2 oceans Water Air Both in constant motion due to energy from: Sun Gravity Surface ocean circulation, global and local climate are directly impacted by atmospheric circulation (and vise versa)
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Atmosphere: Background 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 ton
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Atmosphere: Background Pressure Higher pressure = more weight above you = greater density of molecules If air is warmer = less dense = lower pressure If air is cooler = more dense = higher pressure fast=hot =less dense slow=cool =more dense
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LESS DENSE MORE DENSE Atmosphere: Background Atmosphere is density stratified * most dense air on bottom * less dense air at greatest height * If heated or cooled, air packet will adjust to re- establish density stratification.
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Atmosphere: Background Air that sinks , compresses and thus warms , can hold more H 2 O vapor (dry climate) Air that rises , expands and thus cools , can hold less H 2 O vapor (wet, rainy climate) DRY RAIN
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Atmosphere: Unevenly heated All movement of atmosphere (wind) due to uneven heating by sun. Where incoming solar radiation arrives directly overhead (perpendicular to Earth’s surface) it is more concentrated) Fig 7-2a, p.124
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Atmosphere: Unevenly heated Less solar energy (heating) at high latitudes (polar regions) because: Has a larger “footprint” (dispersed energy) More energy reflected (higher albedo ) b/c ice and high angle Passes through more atmosphere (absorbed at high altitude)
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Atmosphere: Unevenly heated This is the reason for the seasons Earth’s rotational axis is tilted 23½º from vertical Northern and Southern Hemispheres are alternately tilted toward and away from the Sun Causes longer days and more intense solar radiation during summer (this is also why the sun appears higher in the sky during summer) SUN
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Atmosphere: Unevenly heated Seasonality Due to tilt of the earth (23.5 degrees) Equator- little variation in seasonality or length of day Poles extreme variation
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False. It is largely due to the tilt of the Earth’s Axis W. W. Norton Fig. 20.10
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Table 18-1, p.439 Seasons and the heating of the Earth The orientaqtion of the Earths axis relative to the Suun is the reason why the hours of daylight change throughout the year and why the sun appears higher
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7-IOc4-Atmosphere - Atmospheric Circulation and Air-Sea...

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