Weather, Climate, Climate Change
GEOG100 @ BSU Review
Terms in this set (76)
How do tornadoes form?
A combination of contrasting air masses along a cold front and winds aloft that encourage rotation
What drives our weather and how?
Solar energy: some solar directly heats the Earth but most goes into Earth's surface, and in turn, heats the air, creating pressure differences that generate wind and ocean currents
What does insolation (the amount of solar energy intercepted by a particular area of Earth) depends on?
Two factors: the intensity of solar radiation (the amount arriving per unit of time) and the number of hours during the day that the solar radiation is striking
What does the intensity of solar radiation depend on?
The angle at which the Sun's rays hit that place
What are daily and seasonal differences in intensity caused by?
The variations in the angle of incidence, the angle at which solar radiation strikes at a particular place at any point in time
What does the number of daylight hours depend on?
The number of hours during which the Sun's energy strikes the place, as well as the intensity with which it strikes
What happens at noon on the Northern Hemisphere's vernal (spring) equinox (March 20/21) and autumnal equinox (September 22/23)?
The perpendicular rays of the Sun strike the equator, and the Sun is directly overhead at the equator
How many hours of sunlight does the equator get?
at least 12 hours
What is Earth's axis angle?
Where is the sun directly overhead at noon on the summer solstice (June 20/21)?
Tropic of Cancer (vice versa on the winter solstice)
What is the most important process of heat transfer between the atmosphere and the Earth?
Radiation (radiant energy): energy transmitted by electromagnetic waves, including radio, TV, light, and heat
energy transmitted by electromagnetic waves, including radio, TV, light, and heat
Radiation (radiant energy)
What is another important mechanism of moving energy?
Latent heat exchange, the transfer of tremendous amounts of energy from low latitudes to high latitudes, also a key component of precipitation processes
the transfer of tremendous amounts of energy from low latitudes to high latitudes, also a key component of precipitation processes
latent heat exchange
What are the two types of heat?
sensible and latent
Heat detectable by your sense of touch, heat you can feel, from sunshine or a hot pan, and you can measure it with a thermometer
"in storage" in water and water vapor, you cannot feel it, but when it is released, it has a powerful effect on its immediate environment, INFLUENCES PRECIPITATION THE MOST
The distance between successive waves, like waves on a pond
What are the two ranges of wavelengths?
Shortwave energy (most insolation- b/w .2 and 5 microns) and longwave energy (most goes out into space, most energy reradiated by Earth - b/w 5-30 microns)
The heating of the atmosphere, similar to the way glass allows solar energy to enter a greenhouse but limits the loss of heat, causing the temperature inside to rise
What gases cause the greenhouse effect?
Greenhouse gases (water vapor (H2O) (60%), carbon dioxide (CO2) (26%), and methane (CH4) (6%), ozone (O3) (8%),
What greenhouse gas contributes most to global warming?
What is the chief cause of global warming?
Human activities increasing the amount of CO2 and methane in the atmosphere
energy transferred through molecular contact
Heat transfer, Movement in any fluid, caused when part of the fluid (whether gas or liquid) is heated. The heated portion expands and becomes less dense, rising up through the cooler portion, contracts when cools, becomes more dense
The conversion of water from vapor to liquid
Maximum water vapor that air can hold, precipitation begins when the saturation amount falls below the level of moisture in the air
saturation vapor pressure
What plays a major role in reflecting energy back into space?
wind, movement of air horizontally
Tells us how wet air is
What are the four ways the movement of air causes precipitation?
Convection, orographic uplift, frontal uplift, convergent
In which air warmer than its surroundings rises, expands, and cools by this expansion
In which wind forces air up and over mountains, moist rising air goes over mountain and becomes dry descending air
In which air is forced up a boundary (front) between cold and warm air masses
large areas of low pressure, rising air causes precipitation
The decrease in temperature that results from expansion of rising air
When the horizontal winds move air against mountain ranges, forcing air to rise as it passes over the mountains
A boundary between two air masses
When a cold air mass advances against a warmer one
When a warm air mass advances against cooler air
What is atmospheric pressure measured with?
What is the difference in pressure between two places?
a pressure gradient
The deflection of wind (and any other object moving above Earth's rotating surface) result of Earth's rotation on it's axis, air is already moving, effect pushes a little more
High pressure clockwise, deflects right
coriolis effect in northern hemisphere
high pressure counterclockwise, deflects left
coriolis effect in southern hemisphere
What are the four zones of surface pressure?
Intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), subtropical high-pressure zones (STH), mid-latitude low-pressure zones, polar high-pressure zones
In the tropics, dependable year-round inputs of solar energy heat the air, causing low pressure and convectional lifting. Afternoon thunderstorms are common. It's the zone between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn where surface winds converge.
intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ)
areas of dry air, bright sunshine, little precipitation, arid climate because uplift is needed for condensation (most major desert regions), descending air, high pressure is generally strongest in eastern oceans, leading to aridity that extends over continent
subtropical high-pressure zones (STH)
circulation is toward the poles, winds deflected by Coriolis effect so prevailing winds are from the SW in the N. Hemisphere and from the NW in the S. Hemisphere
experience convergence of warm air blowing from subtropical latitudes and cold air blowing from polar regions. The warm and cold air masses collide in swirling low-pressure cells that move along the boundary between the two air masses (polar front), storms move west to east
mid-latitude low-pressure zones
easterly winds on the poleward side of the midlatitude low, strongest, most consistent in S. Hemisphere, because of large landmass (Antartica)
intense cold caused by meager insolation creates dense air and high pressure, air is so cold it contains very little moisture, convection and precipitation limited
polar high-pressure zones
What factors impact ocean currents?
Different salinity,temperature change, density of water, wind changes
circulation change, cool water flows from S.A. westward, warm water moving from central pacific to the east, change in water current pattern
colder water flow
Winter winds from the Asian interior produce extremely dry winters in most of south and east Asia, while summer winds result in wet summers
wind-driven circular oceanic flows, mirror the movement of prevailing winds
large low-pressure areas in which winds converge in a counterclockwise swirl in the N. Hemisphere and clockwise in the S. Hemisphere
intense, rotating convectional systems that develop over warm ocean areas in the tropics and subtropics, primarily during the warm season. Storms over 74 miles per hour are otherwise called hurricanes or typhoons
centers of low pressure that develop along the polar front , much less intense than tropical cyclones, but more common (ex. Tornadoes)
an area of elevated sea level in the center of the storm that may be several meters high, caused by intense winds and extremely low pressure
plants take up water through their roots and evaporate it through their leaves, releasing it into the atmosphere as water vapor
How do we measure climate?
air temperature, precipitation, vegetation, water availability
amount of water that could evaporate in ideal environment
lie mostly within 10-20N and S of the equator, under the rainy ITCZ, includes tropical rainforests, warm, humid, the air can hold a large amount of moisture because of the high temperatures and precipitation is usually heavy
humid tropical climates
places in which they have a heavy rainfall period and a dry period (ex. The Philippines)
seasonally humid tropical climates
most extensive region of warm, dry climate, 35% of Earth, north and south of tropical climates
climate with enough moisture to support some vegetation (grasslands)
relatively warm but have at least occasional freezing temperatures during the winter
humid subtropical climates
mild climates with small temperature variations and plentiful moisture year round (ex. PNW)
marine west coast climates
precipitation occurs in winter, dry summers
hot summers, cold winters (Chicago, mid-west, east America)
humid continental climates
winter is super cold, growing season is super short, not much temperature change (Canada)
low temperatures all year
cold cold cold
ice cap climates
What is this period in time known as to geologists?
The Quaternary Period, a time of greater climatic variability than occurred over most of the preceding 200 million years
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