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Stable Equilibrium Unstable

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Neutral Equilibrium

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**?_________ ? Equilibrium**

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? ______ ? Equilibrium

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Unsaturated Air Adiabatic cooling Adiabatic warming

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**Saturated Air (on the way up) Adiabatic cooling Adiabatic warming**

18 oC 18 oC Adiabatic warming 24 oC 28 oC 30 oC 38 oC

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**Stable Atmosphere Dry air**

Lifted, unsaturated air at each level is colder and heavier than the air around it. If given the chance the parcel would return to its original position

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Stable Atmosphere Moist air

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Unstable Atmosphere Dry air

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Unstable Atmosphere Moist Air air

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Stable Atmosphere Dry air

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Unstable Atmosphere Moist air

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**Making the air more stable**

Do Both Warm the air above Cool the air below

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**Making the air more unstable**

Do Both cool the air above warm the air below

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Subsidence Inversion (creating a stable environment through sinking air) +4.6 km = + 46 °C +4.2 km = + 42 °C

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More or Less Stable?

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**Convective instability**

(creating an unstable environment through rising air)

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Atmospheric Stability The resistance of the atmosphere to vertical motion. Stable air resists vertical motion Unstable air encourages vertical motion.

Atmospheric Stability The resistance of the atmosphere to vertical motion. Stable air resists vertical motion Unstable air encourages vertical motion.

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