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Convection, Wind, and the Coriolis Effect How uneven heating and the Earth’s rotation drive Earth’s climate.

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Presentation on theme: "Convection, Wind, and the Coriolis Effect How uneven heating and the Earth’s rotation drive Earth’s climate."— Presentation transcript:

1 Convection, Wind, and the Coriolis Effect How uneven heating and the Earth’s rotation drive Earth’s climate

2 Core Case Study Blowing in the Wind: A Story of Connections  Wind connects most life on earth. –Keeps tropics from being unbearably hot. –Prevents rest of world from freezing. Figure 5-1

3 Weather & Climate  Weather is a local area’s short-term physical conditions such as temperature and precipitation.  Climate is a region’s average weather conditions over a long time. –Latitude and elevation are the major determinants of climate.

4 Earth’s Current Climate Zones Figure 5-2

5 How the Earth Heats  Radiation - transfer of heat energy by electromagnetic wave motion  Conduction – transfer of energy from direct molecule to molecule contact – occurs in solids  Convection – transfer of energy through moving currents – occurs in fluids (liquids & gases) Source: Atmospheric Processes: Radiation Introduction o the Atmosphere. Retrieved on September 30, 2009 from

6 Solar Energy and Global Air Circulation: Distributing Heat  Global air circulation is affected by the uneven heating of the earth’s surface by solar energy, seasonal changes in temperature and precipitation. Figure 5-3

7 What is Radiation?  About 43% of the total radiant energy emitted from the sun is in the visible parts of the spectrum. The bulk of the remainder lies in the near- infrared (49%) and ultraviolet section (7%). Less than 1% of solar radiation is emitted as x-rays, gamma waves, and radio waves. Source: Atmospheric Processes: Radiation Introduction o the Atmosphere. Retrieved on September 30, 2009 from arn/1_1_2_5t.htm arn/1_1_2_5t.htm

8 What is Convection?  Movement that results when heat is transferred in a fluid  First, warmed fluids (like water or air) become less dense and will rise opposite to the force of gravity.  Next, cooler fluid will move to replace the rising warm fluid and it will be warmed itself.  This cycle repeats to mix the fluid.  Convection model  Julius Sumner Miller on Convection - a riot! Julius Sumner Miller on Convection - a riot! Julius Sumner Miller on Convection - a riot!

9 For efficient viewing, fast forward to 0:35 seconds

10 Convection Currents  Global air circulation is affected by the properties of air water, and land. Figure 5-5

11 Topography and Local Climate: Land Matters  Interactions between land and oceans and disruptions of airflows by mountains and cities affect local climates. Figure 5-8

12 Temperature Inversions  Cold, cloudy weather in a valley surrounded by mountains can trap air pollutants (left).  Areas with sunny climate, light winds, mountains on three sides and an ocean on the other (right) are susceptible to inversions. Figure 19-5

13 What on Earth? Descriptions of Earth’s Convection Edmond Halley  reasoned that intense solar radiation heated the air near the Equator and caused it to expand and rise up.  This rising air is replaced by cooler air converging on the Equator from the northern and southern hemispheres.  Circulation of the air is driven by a pressure-gradient force, which causes high-pressure (cooler, more dense) air to move into regions of low-pressure (warmer, less dense) air.  predicted a flow of air from the poles to the Equator where the air masses converge.

14 What on Earth? Descriptions of Earth’s Convection George Hadley  English lawyer and amateur meteorologist  First to describe the reason the equatorial trade winds preferentially blow westward.  Recognized that Earth is a rotating sphere and that sites on its surface travel with different speeds (travel different distances in equal times).  Model of Earth’s convection termed the ‘Hadley cell’ in his honor.

15 Convection Cells  Heat and moisture are distributed over the earth’s surface by vertical currents, which form six giant convection cells at different latitudes. Figure 5-6

16 Prevailing Wind Belts on the Earth

17 A Horizontal View

18 The Coriolis Effect  French mathematician, mechanical engineer, and scientist  Determined simple rules for the direction of moving objects on the surface of a rotating sphere, now known as the Coriolis effect: –The apparent (Coriolis) force is perpendicular to the velocity of the object and the rotation axis. –A balance of forces causes objects traveling in the Northern Hemisphere to curve to the right. –A balance of forces causes objects traveling in the Southern Hemisphere to curve to the left. Gustave Gaspard de Coriolis

19 US1ro The Coriolis Effect

20 Visualizing the Coriolis Effect  Earth rotates at different speeds at different latitudes.  v = d/t –The Coriolis Model The Coriolis ModelThe Coriolis Model A B C

21 Major Wind Belts Prevailing Wind Belts of Earth The earth is encircled by several broad prevailing wind belts, which are separated by narrower regions of either subsidence or ascent. The direction and location of these wind belts are determined by solar radiation and the rotation of the earth. The three primary circulation cells are known as the: Hadley cell; Ferrel cell; and Polar cell.

22 Coriolis Effect Significance of Wind Belts?  Guide weather and storms  Jet Stream –100 mph –Between 30-60º –Above friction zone  Influences Sailing & Navigation  30º Figure 5-4

23 Ocean Currents: Distributing Heat and Nutrients  Ocean currents influence climate by distributing heat from place to place and mixing and distributing nutrients. Figure 5-7


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