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General Atmospheric Circulation V1003 - Science and Society.

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Presentation on theme: "General Atmospheric Circulation V1003 - Science and Society."— Presentation transcript:

1 General Atmospheric Circulation V1003 - Science and Society

2 Take away concepts and ideas The Earth is heated unevenly. Why there are seasons. Global-scale wind patterns. Geostrophic flow: Balance of forces that act on atmospheric flow (Pressure gradients & gravity balanced by Coriolis force) Wind belts and climate zones. Monsoonal climate.

3 1.As a sphere, the Earth is unevenly heated, equator to poles

4 2. As a tilted sphere, the Earth has seasons

5 Seasonal changes in solar energy winter summer winter summer winter summer

6 The equation of state (air) Atmospheric Pressure is a function of temperature and density Ideal Gas Law: P =  R T if pressure is constant, then what happens to  as T increases?

7 Concept of horizontal motion: Sea Breeze

8 Pressure imbalance = flow 1. Pressure imbalance is a FORCE (F = m x a) 2. Law of mass continuity (empty spaces not tolerated in fluids)

9 Earth’s uneven radiation 1.Earth is a sphere (uneven radiation) 2.Tilted (there are seasons) Sphere means equator gets more radiation than poles. Tilt mean the amount of radiation at one location changes with time (seasons).

10 Incoming (and outgoing) radiation

11 Heating imbalance (∆T) = Pressure imbalance (∆P) = Winds

12 Q1: Knowing uneven heating and P =  R T a)Poles have low density, equator has high density? b) Equator has low density, poles have high density?

13 BUT - The Earth rotates Apparent (inertial) forces control the flow of air in response to these pressure gradients. Centripedal force is the force acting on body by string Centrifugal force is the opposite force acted on by the ball (by its own inertia)

14 Imagine a satellite in orbit Centripetal force = Gravity Centrifugal force = mass and acceleration of satellite Exact balance sets the angular velocity of the satellite

15 The Coriolis Force Artifact of Earth’s rotation An apparent force which acts on motion on the earth’s surface Conservation of angular momentum F coriolis = 0 on equator, increases poleward

16 Coriolis Force Cons. of Angular Momentum

17 Geostrophic Balance … the pressure gradient force (∆P) is balanced by Coriolis force. Applies to atmosphere and ocean circulation where friction can be ignored.

18 Geostrophic balance Balance between pressure and coriolis forces

19 Geostrophic Balance NORTHERN HEMISPHERE

20 Geostrophic flow in the Northern Hemisphere Counter-clockwise around low pressure cells Clockwise around high pressure cells

21 Opposite Coriolis deflection for opposite hemispheres

22 An example of Geostrophic flow Low High

23 Q2: What direction is the wind coming FROM in Chicago, IL today? a)North b)Northwest c)West d)Southwest e)Northeast Chicago

24 Application to Earth Geostrophic flow gives rise to banded circulation zones

25 Trade Winds and the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) ITCZ

26 Hadley Cell Tropical convection cells Trade winds Hadley Cell westerlies Trade winds

27 Global vegetation patterns Rising limb of Hadley Cell (ITCZ) = Rainforest Descending limb of Hadley Cell = Deserts

28 Global Vegetation

29 Incoming (and outgoing) radiation

30 A note on the mid-term Rough guide: A/A+ >85 B/B+ 73 C/C+ 61

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