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gy 101

gy 101


School: University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa
Department: Geography
Course: Atmospheric Processes & Patterns
Professor: Eben broadbent
Term: Fall 2016
Cost: 50
Name: GY 101 - Midterm 1 Study Guide
Description: Study Guide for key concepts for September 27th Midterm #1
Uploaded: 09/23/2016
5 Pages 12 Views 16 Unlocks


What is a insolation?

Insolation – incoming solar radiation

Insulation – inverse of conductivity

∙ ALL jet streams flow west to east (can flow backward for short distance, but net direction is west  to east)

∙ Geography is a framework for understanding:

1. Patterns

2. Relationships

3. Processes

4. Conceptualizing

5. Modeling

6. Visualizing

∙ Geography is defined by method, not subject, and is very generalized

Why Geography?

∙ Linking human and natural systems

∙ Global nature of our society

∙ Understand patterns and processes

∙ View earth holistically

∙ Move toward interdisciplinary approaches to solve problems


∙ Spatial: technological advances, techniques

∙ Regional: NGS, long history, area studies

∙ Human-environment: changes in views

∙ Earth sciences: physical geography

What is the meaning of radiation?

Physical Geography: spatial analysis of patterns and the physical, chemical, and biological processes that  create them (plus linking patterns and processes)

Systems Approach:  

∙ Regional v systematic geography

∙ Focus on the physical environment of specific world regions, and on a specific earth  process/feature


∙ Rain gauge: “bucket that collects the rain”

∙ Mercury Barometer: used to measure atmospheric pressure (mercury rises = storm is leaving ∙ Anemometer: measures how fast the wind is blowing

∙ Sling Psychrometer: measures relative humidity (principle: more moisture, harder it is for water  to evaporate)

Atmosphere: layer of gases around a planet held in place by gravity, modulates surface environment  (radiation/heat flow)

∙ First atmosphere: 4.6 billion years ago, mainly H2 and He

What is a coriolis force?

∙ Second atmosphere: formed by “outgassing”, mainly H2O, CO2, SO2, CO, N2 ∙ Modern: loss of oxygen compounds, increase in O2 If you want to learn more check out dollar votes definition economics

∙ Composition

o Main gases – nitrogen, oxygen, argon, CO2, H2O

o Trace gases – methane, CO, ozone, NO2

o Aerosols

Ideal Gas Law: p = P/RT p = density, P = pressure, R = gas constant, T = absolute temp Ceteris Paribus: “everything else equal”

Hydrostatic Pressure Gradient: P = pgh g = gravity, h = height

∙ Almost all natural systems on Earth derive from energy by the sun, but not all of these systems  receive the same amount of sunlight

Conduction: heat transfer by direct contact

Radiation: energy transmission by means of electrical and magnetic fields

Convection: the vertical heat transfer by the vertical movement of a material

Advection: the horizontal heat transfer by the horizontal movement of a material -Radiation near surface: Don't forget about the age old question of crisis intervention practice test

∙ Reflected (albedo)

o Reradiated as shortwave

∙ Absorbed

o Reradiated as longwave

-Rayleigh scattering gives the atmosphere it’s blue color

∙ Black absorbs all colors

∙ White reflects all colors

-Radiation Balance Equation 

∙ Energy neither created nor destroyed Don't forget about the age old question of braun v soldier of fortune magazine

Q* = (K down – K up) + (L down – L up) NOTE: does not have to be memorized

o Q* is net radiation

o K is shortwave (sun)

o L is longwave (earth)

∙ If Q* does NOT equal zero, warming or cooling must be occurring

-Water vapor is extremely efficient at absorbing radiation (considered single most important  greenhouse gas)

Earth’s Energy Budget: NOTE: Does not have to be memorized, understand concept Incoming solar energy – 100%

o Reflected by atmosphere – 6%

o Reflected by clouds – 20%

o Reflected from earth’s surface – 4%

o Absorbed by atmosphere – 16%

o Absorbed by clouds – 3%

o Absorbed by land and oceans – 51%

▪ Radiated to space from clouds and atmosphere – 64%

▪ Radiated directly to space from earth – 6%

▪ Carried to clouds and atmosphere by latent heat in water vapor – 23%

▪ Conduction and rising air – 7%


Thermal properties of Surfaces: NOTE: Numbers/values do not have to be directly memorized

∙ Albedo 

o Snow 75-90%

o Clouds 50-80% We also discuss several other topics like What does the picture tell you about understanding evolutionary biology and understanding the concept of time in evolution?

o Ocean 3-70%

o Dry Sand 35-45%

o Soil 5-35%

o Vegetation 5-35%

∙ Conductivity (W/mk)

o Air: k = 0.025

o Water k = 0.6

o Ice k = 2.0

o Wood k = 0.04-0.4

o Soil k = 1.5

o Rock k = 1.7

o Sand (dry) k = 0.2

o Sand (wet) k = 0.25-2.0

▪ The higher (k) the harder it is to heat up the source (ex. Dry sand is easier to  heat than ice would be)

∙ Specific Heat (J/Gk)

o Air c = 1.0

o Water c = 4.2

o Ice c = 2.1

o Wood c = 2.5

o Soil c = 1.0

o Rock c = 0.8

o Sand (dry) c = 0.8

o Sand (wet) c = 0.8-2.0

▪ (c) = joules

∙ “Mixing” - Degree to which insolation and/or heat is spread vertically

o Water High

o Ice Low

o Soil/sand Low

o Vegetation Medium

Global “Surfaces” 

∙ Water

∙ Sand (relatively high albedo, low specific heat)  

∙ Ice/snow (very high albedo, most radiation reflected, high conductivity, highest specific heat,  most ice: temperatures become relatively stable)  If you want to learn more check out ucins

∙ Vegetation (relatively low albedo, absorbs radiation, intermediate conductivity, moderate  specific heat)  

Thermal Properties of Surfaces: Cause differential heating of the Earth’s surface  

∙ Cause temperature gradients, thus pressure gradients  

o Pressure gradients drive the wind Drive wind systems across a number of scales  Effects of Fluid Density on Flow  

∙ For unconfined air, density changes with temperature (Ideal Gas Law)  

∙ T up, p down  

∙ T down, p up  

∙ Air pressure changes with density  

∙ Temperature has an inverse relationship with density  Don't forget about the age old question of com1000 uf

∙ Air will flow to equalize pressure

o Hot air will rise, cold air will sink (cold air will flow toward location of warmer air,  causing circulation)  

NOTE: When talking about warm and cold, we’re talking about relative differences. Doesn’t necessarily  mean Object A is “warm”, but instead Object A is warm relative to Object B, or vice versa.

Land Breeze: High pressure moves from land to sea (relatively warming the sea)  NOTE: almost always weaker than the sea breeze

Sea Breeze: Low pressure moves from sea to land Pressure gradient ONLY REFERS to horizontal  pressures

The Distribution of Pressure:  

∙ Pressure maps depict isobars, or lines of equal pressure  

∙ Pressure gradients depict the rate of change in pressure, they are apparent on maps by the spacing between the isobars

o Closer: rate of change in pressure is faster  

o Farther: rate of change in pressure is slower

o Winds are driven from H to L  

Coriolis Force – objects in the atmosphere are influenced by Earth’s rotation  

∙ Results in a deflective force that causes two types of motion  

∙ Overall the result is a deflection of moving objects to the right in the northern hemisphere and  to the left in the southern hemisphere (no effect in equator at all)

∙ Increases with latitude (poleward) – meaning maximum effect at the poles

Adiabatic Heating and Cooling  

∙ Temperature changes with constant energy content  

∙ Rising air expands and cools Falling air compresses and warms  

∙ As air cools, relative humidity increases  

∙ As air warms, relative humidity decreases  

∙ Almost all precipitation is a consequence of air rising somehow  

∙ If relative humidity isn’t 100% you cannot get a cloud to form  

∙ Air should be flowing from 60 to 30 degrees in both hemispheres, however that upper level flow  is missing o Flow dominated/controlled by jet streams  

o Determined after pilots could fly higher without worrying about upper level winds in  specific areas  

∙ Troposphere is thicker at the equator than at the poles (due to warmer air expanding and cooler  air condensing)  

∙ Jet streams form over the boundaries between air masses of different temperature

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