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by: Codie Hazen

Testing Testing

Codie Hazen

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Geography Notes covering chapter 1-10
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weather, Atmospheric, pressure, Testing
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This 62 page Class Notes was uploaded by Codie Hazen on Saturday August 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Testing at University of Delaware taught by in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views.


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Date Created: 08/13/16
Ch. 1 – Essentials of Geography 02/03/2014 ▯ The Science of Geography  Earth Systems Science – emerging view of Earth as a complete entity including physical, chemical, and biological systems  Geography – science that studies relationships among natural systems, geographic areas, society, and cultural activities and the interdependence of all this over space  Spatial – nature and character of physical space, its measurement, and the distribution of things within it  Five spatial themes in geographic science o Location o Region o Human-Earth Relationships o Movement o Place  Spatial Analysis – method that synthesizes themes, integrating into a whole-Earth concept  Process- central to geographic analysis – set of actions or mechanisms that operate in a specific order  Physical Geography – spatial analysis of all physical elements and process systems that make up the environment: air, energy, water, weather, climate, landforms, soil, animals, plants, microorganisms, Earth itself  Physical Geography v. Human/Cultural Geography ▯ ▯ Earth System Concepts  System – any ordered, interrelated set of things and their attributes linked by flows of energy and matter distinct from the surrounding environment outside of the system, matter and energy are stored and retrieved  Open systems – not self contained, most natural systems are open in terms of energy (solar enters, heat leaves_  Closed system – self-contained, closed off from surrounding environment, rarely found in nature, but the Earth is one essentially  Scientific Method o Real world o Observations/measurements o Inductive Reasoning o Hypotheses o Predictions o General theory/governing laws  Feedback loop – when a portion of system output is returned as an information input  Negative feedback – discourages change in the system, promotes self-regulation, slows, dampers  Positive feedback – encourages change and response in the system  System is in steady-state equilibrium when rates of inputs and outputs and amounts of energy and matter in storage are constant/equal  Dynamic Equilibrium – A changing trend over time demonstrated by a steady-state equilibrium  Threshold – tipping point where a system can no longer maintain character, new equilibrium is exhibited or achieved  Model – simplified, idealized representation of part of the real world  Abiotic – nonliving systems o Atmosphere o Hydrosphere o Lithosphere  Biotic – living systems o Biosphere  Atmosphere – thin, gaseous veil surrounding Earth  Hydrosphere – formed by waters o Cryosphere – parts of hydrosphere that are frozen : ice sheets, etc.  Lithosphere – formed by crush and portion of upper mantle  Biosphere/Ecosphere – interconnected web that links all organisms with their physical environments (seafloor – 5 mi. in atmosphere)  Geodesy – the science that determines Earth’s shape and size by surveys and mathematical calculations  Geoid – Earth shaped ▯ ▯ Location and Time on Earth  Latitude – angular distance north or south of the equator measured from the center of the Earth  Parallel – line connecting all points along the same latitudinal angle, Tropic of Cancer/Capricorn – 23.5 degrees, Arctic/Antarctic Circle – 66.5 degrees  Longitude – angular distance east/west of a point on Earth’s surface measure from the center of the Earth  Meridian – line connecting all points along the same longitude  Prime meridian – designated at 0 degrees  Longitude degrees further at equator, closer at poles, latitude = constant  Great circle – any circle of Earth’s circumference whose center coincides with the center of Earth (each pair of meridians forms a great circles, but only the equatorial parallel does)  Small circles – have centers that do not coincide with Earth’s center  Global Positioning System (GPS) – Comprises 24 orbiting satellites in 6 orbital planes that transmit navigational signals for Earth-bound use  GMT – Greenwich Mean Time or 0 degrees longitude, bases – Earth revolves every 24 hours (360 degrees) or 15 degrees per hour  International Date Line (IDL) 180 degrees meridian  Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) – legal reference for official time in all countries, replaced GMT in 1972  Daylight saving time – In 70 countries, time set ahead 1 hour in spring, back 1 hour in fall ▯ ▯ Maps, Scales, and Projections  Map – generalized view of an area, seen form above and greatly reduced in size  Cartography – part of geography that involves mapmaking  Scale – the ration of the image on a map to the real world  Globe is a true representation of distance, direction, area, shape, and proximity, flat maps are distorted  Map projection – reduction of spherical Earth to a flat surface  Best projection determined by intended use  Equal area – equivalence  True shape = Conformity o (One scarifies the other, decisions in selecting a map)  Mercator Projection – cylindrical projection – true-shape  Presents false notions of size of midlatitude and poleward landmasses (Greenland looks big)  Rhumb line – Line of constant direction ▯ ▯ Remote Sensing and GIS  Remote Sensing – info acquired from a distance without physical contact with the subject  Photogrammetry – derives accurate measurements from photographs  Geographic Information System (GIS) – tool for gathering, manipulating, analyzing geographic information ▯ ▯  Analemma - a figure-8 shaped chart where you can check the sun’s subsolar point and equation of time for any date ▯ ▯ The Solar System, Sun, and Earth  Milky Way Galaxy – A flattened, disk-shaped mass in the form of a barred-spiral (a spiral with a slightly barred or elongated core of stars)  Nebula – A large, slowly rotating and collapsing cloud of dust and gas  Gravity – The mutual attraction exerted by the mass of an object upon all other objects  Planetsimal Hypothesis (dust cloud hypothesis) – Explains how sun condense from nebular cloud with planetesimals forming in orbits around the central mass [formation process]  Speed of light – 300,000 kmps, 186,000 mps, 9.5 trillion kmpy, 6 trillion miles/year  Perihelion – Closest position to the sun  Aphelion – Farthest position from the sun ▯ ▯ Solar Energy: From Sun to Earth  Fusion – Pairs of hydrogen nuclei are joined together forming helium, releasing large quantities of energy  Solar Wind – Clouds of electrically charged particles emitted form the sun that surges outwards in all directions  Sun Spots – Caused by magnetic storms on the sun, produces flares, prominences, and charged material (coronal mass ejections)  Magnetosphere – Magnetic field surrounding Earth, deflects solar wind towards poles so only a small portion enters the upper atmosphere  Auroras – Caused by the interaction of solar wind and they upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere above 65 degrees latitude  Electromagnetic spectrum  Wavelength – distance between corresponding points on any two successive waves (shorter = hotter)  Thermopause – Outer boundary of Earth’s energy system, region at the top of the atmosphere  Insolation – solar radiation that reaches a horizontal plane at Earth, specifically applies to radiation arriving at Earth’s atmosphere and surface  Solar constant – Average insolation received at the thermopause when Earth is at its average distance from the sun  Subsolar Point – The only point receiving insolation perpendicular to the surface (directly overhead) ▯ ▯ The Seasons  5 components o Revolution o Rotation o Tilt o Axial Parallelism o Sphericity  Altitude – Angle between the horizon and the sun  Seasonality – includes seasonal variation of the sun’s position above the horizon and changing daylengths during the year  Declination - the latitude of the subsolar point  Daylength – duration of exposure to insolation  Revolution – Earth’s oribital travel around the sun -> determines ~365 days in a tropical year  Rotation – Earth turning on its axis -> 24 hours  Axis – imaginary line extending through the planet from the geographic north pole to the south pole  Circle of illumination – the dividing line between day and night  Earth’s axial tilt – plane touching all points of Earth’s orbit, plane of the ecliptic  Axial parallelism – Earth’s axis maintains the same alignment relative to the plane of the ecliptic and to stars  Sunrise – The moment when the disk of the sun totally disappears below the horizon in the west  Dawn/twilight – period of diffused light before sunrise/after sunset ▯ Albedo – The reflective value of a surface ▯ Outputs – reflected light and emitted longwave energy from the atmosphere and surface environment counters ▯ Input – insolation ▯ ▯ Energy Essentials  Presence or absence of clouds can make a 75% difference in the amount of energy that reaches the surface because clouds reflect incoming energy ▯ Energy Pathways and Principles  Transmission – refers to the passage of shortwave and longwave energy through either the atmosphere or water  Shortwave radiation inputs (ultraviolet light, visible light, near- infrared wavelengths)  Longwave radiation outputs (thermal infrared) ▯ Insolation Input  Insolation – single energy input driving the Earth-atmosphere system  Scattering (diffuse radiation) describes a phenomenon and represents 7% of Earth’s reflectivity (albedo) o Insolation encounters increasing density of atmospheric gases as travels towards surface o Atmospheric gases, dust, cloud droplets, water vapor, pollutants physically interact with it o Gas molecules redirect radiation, change direction of the light’s movements without changing wavelengths  The shorter the wavelength, the greater the scattering; the longer the wavelength, the lesser the scattering  Diffuse Radiation – insolation diffused by clouds and atmosphere, transmits to Earth as this, the downward component of scattered light (multidirectional, casts shadowless light)  Refraction – bending different wavelengths to different angles, separating the light into its component colors to display the spectrum  Mirage – an image that appears near the horizon where light waves are refracted by layers of air at different temperatures (and densities)  Reflection process – a portion of arriving energy bounces directly back into space without being absorbed or performing any work  Albedo – the reflective quality, or intrinsic brightness, of a surface o Stated as the percentage of insolation that is reflected (0% is total absorption, 100% is total reflectance)  Earthshine is 4 times brighter than moonlight  Cloud-albedo forcing – refers to an increase in albedo caused by clouds  Cloud-greenhouse forcing – an increase in greenhouse warming caused by clouds  Emissions of sulfur dioxide and subsequent chemical reactions in the atmosphere form sulfate aerosols, which act as an insolation- reflecting haze in clear-sky conditions  Global dimming – an overall term that describes the decline in insolation making it to Earth’s surface, causes an underestimation of the actual amount of warming in determining present temperature increases associated with climate change  Absorption – the assimilation of radiation by molecules of matter and its conversion from one form of energy to another  The hotter the surface, the shorter the wavelengths that are emitted  Conduction – the molecule-to-molecule transfer of heat energy as it diffuses through a substance  Convection – the physical mixing of gases and liquids that transfer energy by movements involving a strong vertical motion  Advection – when horizontal movement dominates ▯ ▯ Energy Balance in the Troposphere ▯ The Greenhouse Effect and Atmospheric Warming  Absorbed energy is radiated as longwave radiation toward the glass, but the glass traps both the longer wavelengths and the warmed air  Glass then acts as a one-way filter, allows the shortwave energy in, but not allowing the longwave energy out except through conduction (in Earth it is just delayed as the radiation is absorbed) ▯ Clouds and Earth’s “Greenhouse”  Cloud-greenhouse forcing caused by high clouds  Cloud-albedo forcing caused by lower, thicker clouds  Jet Contrails (condensation trails_ produce high cirrus clouds stimulated by aircraft exhaust (false cirrus clouds)  Diurnal temperature range (DTR) – the difference between daytime maximum and nighttime minimum temperatures ▯ Earth-Atmosphere Energy Balance  Nonradiative (physical motion) – includes convection, conduction, and latent heat of evaporation (energy that is absorbed and dissipated by water as it evaporates and condenses)  Radiative transfer – by longwave radiation among the surface, the atmosphere, and space  Energy surpluses dominate – more energy gained than lost (between tropics)  Energy deficits prevail – more energy is lost than gained (polar regions)  Balance exists at about 36 degrees latitude  Imbalance of net radiation from the tropical surpluses and polar deficits drives a vast global circulation of energy and mass ▯ ▯ Energy Balance at Earth’s Surface ▯ Daily Radiation Patterns  There is a lag in the relationship between the insolation curve and the air temperature curve  The warmest time of day occurs at the moment when a maximum of insolation is absorbed and emitted to the atmosphere from the ground, not at the moment of maximum insolation ▯ Simplified Surface Energy Balance  Microclimatology – the science of physical conditions at or near Earth’s surface  Net radiation (NET R) – the balance of all radiation at Earth’s surface o Net radiation is the final outcome of the entire energy-balance process  LE (latent heat of evaporation) – energy stored in water vapor as water evaporates, dominant expenditure of Earth’s NET R, especially over water surfaces  H (sensible heat) – the back-and-forth transfer between air and surface in turbulent eddies through convection and conduction within materials  G (ground heating and cooling) – the energy that flows into and out of the ground surface by conduction  Solar collector – any surface that receives light from the sun  Passive solar system – captures heat energy and stores it in a “thermal mass” such as water-filled tanks, adobe, tile, or concrete  Active solar system – involves heating water or air in a collector and then pumping it through a plumbing system to a tank, where it can provide hot water for direct use or for space heating  Photovoltaic Cells (PVs) – light shines upon a semiconductor material and stimulates a flow of electrons (an electrical current) ▯ The Urban Environment  Urban heat island – characteristic of urbanized regions that have maximum and minimum temperatures higher than those of nearby rural settings  Dust dome – every major city produces this from airborne pollution, can be blown from the city in elongated plumes ▯ ▯ Atmospheric Composition, Temperature, and Function  Air – Mixture of gases, odorless, colorless, tasteless, formless  Exosphere – above atmosphere (300-20,000+ miles) less dense, vacuum  Air pressure – weight of atmosphere ▯ Composition  Heterosphere – 80-480km altitude – gases not evenly mixed  Homosphere – Earth’s surface – 80km – blend of gases is uniform (except ozone layer 0-3 19-50km)  Oxygen – 1/5 of atmosphere, form compounds of ½ Earth’s crust  Argon – inert, from radioactive decay, used in lasers, lightbulbs  CO-2 – greenhouse gas ▯ Temperature Zones  Thermosphere – (also heterosphere) 80+ km  Thermopause – upper limit (changes based on activity of the sun)  High temperature (1200 degrees Celsius, but little “heat)  Kinetic energy – the energy of motion, vibrational energy we measure as temperature  Heat – the flow of kinetic energy from one body to another because of a temperature difference between them  Sensible heat – heat we can measure and feel  Mesosphere – 50-80km above surface  Mesopause – outer boundary  Coldest -> -90 degrees C, low pressures  Noctilucent clouds – so high in altitudes that they catch sunlight after sunset, made of bands of ice crystals  Stratosphere – 18-50 km above surface, temperatures increase with altitude  Stratopause – outer boundary, 0 degrees C  Troposhere – home of biosphere (supports life)  90% mass of atmosphere, ~-57 degrees C at tropopause (outer limit)  Acts like a lid, keeps cooler air from mixing with stratosphere  Tropopause at 18/12/8km above surface  Temperatures decrease with altitude at an average of 6.4 degrees C/km (Normal lapse rate)  Environmental lapse rate – actual lapse rate considering local weather conditions ▯ Function  Ionosphere – outer layer, thermosphere – mesosphere  Absorbs comic rays and shorter wavelengths, changes atoms to positively charged ions (auroral lights)  Ozonosphere/Ozone Layer – 0-3 instead of 0-2 absorbs ultraviolet rays, safeguards life on Earth ▯ ▯ Variable Atmospheric Components  CFCs - Chlorofluorocarbons – synthetic molecules of chlorine, fluorine, and carbon (decompose ozone) -> in aerosol sprays, don’t break down in water/dissolve -> inert  PCPs polar stratospheric clouds – thin, important catalysts in the release of chlorine for ozone-depleting reactions  Anthropogenic – human caused (contaminants) ▯ ▯ Natural Factors that Affect Air Pollution  Winds  Arctic haze – concentration of microscopic particles and air pollution that diminishes air clarity – caused by industrialization and wildfires  Local and regional landscapes o Mountains/Hills – barriers, can trap and concentrate o Volcanic – Own natural pollution  Vog – volcanic smog -> acid raid and smog  Temperature inversions – reverse trend where temperature increases with altitude  Pollutants trapped under the inversion layer prevents rise of cooler (denser) air beneath  CO carbon monoxide results from incomplete combustion, or when carbon in fuel does not burn completely -> vehicular emissions  Photochemical smog – results from the interaction of sunlight and combustion products in automobile exhaust  Smog – fog and smoke – but used to describe this pollution  Nitrogen dioxide – problems in concentration in metropolitan regions, produced by high temperatures in automobile engines  Peroxyacetyl Nitrates (PANs) – produce no known health effects in humans, but are dangerous to plants – agricultural crops and forests  Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – include hydro carbons from gasoline, surface coatings, combustion at electric utilities -> important factors in ozone formation  Animate Energy – energy from animal sources such as animal powered farm equipment  Inanimate Energy – Energy from nonliving sources such as coal, steam, and water  Industrial smog – air pollution associated with coal-burning industries  Sulfur Dioxide SO-2 – Reacts with ) to form SO-3, highly reactive + water vapor/water =  Sulfate aerosols – tiny particles, dangerous to health, corrodes metal, deteriorates stone  PM Particulate matter – a diverse mixture of fine particles, solid and aerosol that impact human health  Aerosols – composed of such small particles  Ultrafines – even smaller particles (more potent)  Fibrosis – scarring, abnormal thickening and damage in lung tissue  Anthropogenic atmosphere – tentative label for Earth’s next atmosphere ▯ ▯ Temperature Change Affects St. Kilda’s sheep  Soay sheep shrunk in body size due to miler winters and longer summers  Evolved in isolation on the island, unmanaged  Local factors can cause rapid phenotypic change, can override natural selection and evolution ▯ ▯ Temperature Concepts and Measurement  Heat is a form of energy that flows from one system or object to another because the two are at different temperatures  Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy (motion) of individual molecules in matter  We feel the sensible heat transfer from warmer objects to cooler objects  Heat energy is used to describe energy that is added or removed from a system or substance ▯ Temperature Scales  Atomic and molecular motion in matter completely stops at absolute 0 or 0 degrees absolute temperature (-459.4 degrees F)  Boiling point of water is 212 degrees F  Boiling point at 100 degrees C  Kelvin scale based on actual kinetic energy in a material o Melting point is 273K, boiling point of water is 373K ▯ Measuring Temperature  Mercury thermometer/alcohol thermometer – sealed glass tube that measures outdoor temperatures  Cold climates use alcohol because it freezes at -112 C, while mercury freezes at -39 C  Thermistor – instrument shelter that measures temperature by sensing the electrical resistance of semiconducting material  Daily mean temperature is an average of daily minimum-maximum readings  Monthly mean temperature is total of daily means divided by number of days  Annual temperature range expresses the difference between the lowest and highest monthly mean temperatures for a given year ▯ ▯ Principal Temperature Controls ▯ Latitude  Insolation is the most important influence on temperature variations ▯ Altitude/Elevation  In the troposphere, temperatures decrease with increasing altitude about Earth’s surface  Normal lapse rate of temperature change with altitude is 6.4 degrees C/1000 m  At high elevations, the temperature difference between areas of sunlight and shadows is greater than at sea level  Surfaces gain and lose energy rapidly to thinner atmospheres  Snow line indicates where winter snowfall exceeds summer loss of melting and evaporation ▯ Cloud Cover  About 50% of Earth is cloud covered at any given moment  Clouds act as insolation at night because of high albedo values o Lower daily maximum temperatures and raise nighttime minimum temperatures o Reduce latitudinal and seasonal temperature differences ▯ Land-Water Heating Differences  Land-water heating differences caused by the physical nature of land (rock and soil) and water (oceans, seas, lakes) – land heats and cools faster than water  Land-Water Temperature Controls o Evaporation  84% of all evaporation is from the oceans  Surface water evaporates, absorbs energy from immediate environment, lowering temperatures o Transparency  Light striking a soil surface does not penetrate, but is absorbed  When light reaches a body of water, it penetrates the surface due to transparency  Illuminated zones of the water – photic layer o Specific Heat  Water can hold more heat than soil or rock and therefore has a higher specific heat, the heat capacity of a substance (4x) o Movement  Water is fluid and capable of movement, mixing of cool and warmer waters, spreads available energy over greater volume o Ocean Currents and Sea-Surface Temperature  Gulf stream – moves northward, carrying warm water into North Atlantic, Iceland is warmer than most temperatures expected at that latitude  Warmer air and ocean = more evaporation, which leads to cloud formations  Lower temperatures reduce evaporation and the ability of the air mass to absorb water vapor – a negative feedback mechanism o Marine Effects v. Continental Effects  Marine effect (maritime) – described locations that exhibit the moderating influences of the oceans, usually along the coastlines or on islands  Continental effects – (condition of continentality) – refers to areas less affected by the sea and therefore having a greater range between max and min temperatures both daily and yearly ▯ ▯ Earth’s Temperature Patterns  Isotherms – lines on temperature maps, an isoline – a line along which there is a constant value – that connects points of equal temperature and portrays the temperature pattern, help with spatial analysis of temperatures ▯ January Temperature Maps  Thermal equator – isotherm connecting all points of highest mean temperature, roughly 80 degrees F ▯ July Temperature Maps  Isotherms shift poleward over land  Verkhoyansk region of Siberia is Earth’s most dramatic example of temperature continentality ▯ Air Temperature and the Human Body  Apparent temperature vs. sensible temperature  Wind-chill factor indicates the enhanced rate at which body heat is lost to the air  Heat index indicates the human body’s reaction to air temperature and water vapor  Water vapor in the air is expressed as relative humidity  ▯ Wind Essentials  Atmosphere responsible for redistributing energy from 35 degrees latitude to poles  Ocean currents redistribute more heat near the equator ▯ Levels of Atmospheric Circulation  Primary circulation o General worldwide circulation  Secondary circulation o Migratory high and low pressure systems  Tertiary circulation o Local winds o Temporal weather patterns ▯ Air Pressure and its Movement  Air pressure – exerted on all surfaces in contact with air, created by the motion, size and number by molecules that constitute air (determine temperature and density)  Mercury barometer – measures air pressure  Aneroid barometer – more compact design, uses no liquid  Wind – the horizontal motion of air across Earth’s surface, produced by differences in air pressure (density) between locations o Properties – speed and direction  Anemometer – measures wind speed in kmph, mph, mps, knots  Wind vane – determines wind direction 10m above ground to reduce effects of local topography  Winds named for the direction from which they originate ▯ ▯ Driving Forces Within the Atmosphere  Four forces determine speed and direction o Pressure that Earth’s gravitational force exerts on the atmosphere is basically uniform – causes atmospheric pressure o Pressure gradient force – drives air from areas of higher barometric pressure (more dense air) to places with less, cause of wind o Coriolis force – deflective force, makes wind that travels in a straight path appear to be deflected in relation to the Earth’s rotating surface, causes non-straight paths o Friction force – drags on the wind as it moves across surface, makes winds not move parallel to isobars  Pressure Gradient Force o Surface is unequally heated o Cold dense air at poles, warm less dense near equator o Isobar – an isoline that connects points of equal pressure o Coriolis force is zero at equator, maximum deflection flowing away from the poles  Faster wind, greater apparent deflection  Geostrophic winds – winds that flow around pressure areas, parallel to isobars, upper tropospheric circulation (don’t flow directly from high to low)  In Northern Hemisphere…  Winds spiral out from high pressure area clockwise = anticyclone  Spiral into a low pressure area counterclockwise = cyclone ▯ ▯ Atmospheric Patterns of Motion  Pole-to-equator flow is zonal (latitudinal)  Winds westerly in middle/high latitude  Easterly in low latitudes toward equator Four Broad Pressure Areas o Equatorial low-pressure trough (ITCZ)  Thermal, 10N to 10S warm/wet  Combination of heating and convergence forces forms the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) identitified by bands of clouds along the equator  Trade winds – winds converging on the equatorial low- pressure trough  Hadley cells – denote the circuit completed by winds rising along the ITCZ o Polar-high pressure cells  Thermal, 90N, 90 S, cold/dry o Subtropical high-pressure cells (H)  Dunamic, 20-35N, 20-35S, hot/dry  Westerlies – dominant surface winds from the subtropics to high latitudes, stronger in winter  High pressure areas  Bermuda high (western Atlantic)  Azores high (eastern Atlantic in winter)  Pacific (Hawaiian) high (in July, retreats southward in January)  West sides of continents have most deserts in subtropical regions o Subpolar low-pressure cells (L)  Dynamic, 60N, 60S, cool/moist  Two low-pressure cyclonic cells  Aleutian low (North Pacific)  Icelandic low (North Atlantic)  Dominant in winter  Polar front – formed by the area of contrast between cold air from high latitudes and warm air from lower latitudes  Polar easterlies – weak, variable winds  Antarctic high – stronger polar region Upper Atmospheric Circulation o Constant isobaric surface – 500mb is a pressure reference datum in the upper atmosphere o Constant-height surface – pressure plotted at the fixed elevation of sea level on surface weather maps o Rossby waves – bring tongues of cold air southward, with warmer tropical air moving northward o Jet streams – an irregular, concentrated band of wind occurring at several different locations that influences surface weather systems (strengthen during winter when closer to equator) o Polar jet stream – meanders 30 and 70 degrees N latitude, at the tropopause along the polar front at altitudes between 7600 and 10,700m o Boundary between tropical and midlatitude air – subtropical jet stream Multi-Year Oscillations in Global Circulation o North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) – pressure difference between the Icelandic low and the Azores high in the Atlantic alternate from weak to strong pressure gradient  NAO index in positive phase when Icelandic low- pressure system is lower than normal and Azores high- pressure is higher than normal  Negative phase – weaker pressure gradient o Arctic Oscillation (AO) – produced by variable fluctuations between middle and high-latitude air mass conditions over the Northern Hemisphere o Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) – lasts 20 to 30 years, western pacific and eastern pacific Local Winds o Land and sea breezes – occur on most coastlines, created by different heating characteristics of land and water surfaces o Mountain and valley breezes – result when mountain air cools rapidly at night and valley air gains heat rapidly during the day o Santa Ana winds – result from pressure gradient generated when high pressure builds over the Great Basin of the western United States (bring dust, dryness heat, wildfire conditions) o Katabatic winds – gravity drainage winds, larger regional scale and are stronger, an elevated plateau or highland is essential to formation, such as winds blowing off icesheets, dense air flows downslope o Monsoon – Annual cycle of dryness and wetness, with seasonal shifting winds produced by changing atmospheric pressure systems; affects India, Southeast Asia, northern Australia, and portions of Africa ▯ Ocean Currents  Driving force = frictional drag of winds, linking atmospheric and oceanic systems, as well as the Coriolis force, density differences caused by temperature and salinity, and configuration of continents, ocean floor, and astronomical forces (tides)  Gyres – circulation around subtropical high-pressure cells, appear to be offset towards western side of each ocean basin  Western intensification – The piling up of ocean water along the western margin of each ocean basin, produced by trade winds that drive the oceans westward in a concentrated channel  Upwelling current occurs – where surface water is swept away from a coast, either by surface divergence or offshore winds, usually water is nutrient-wish  Excess water gravitates downward in a downwelling current – deep currents that flow vertically and along the ocean floor and travel the full extent of the ocean basins, carrying heat and salinity  Thermohaline circulation – Deep-ocean currents produced by differences in temperature and salinity with depth; Earth’s deep currents  ▯ Water on Earth  Outgassing – a continuing process by which water and water vapor emerge from layers deep within and below the crust, 25 km or more below the surface  Earth’s hysdrosphere is in a steady-state equilibrium in terms of quantity  Eustasy –describes global sea-level condition, eustatic changes relate to the water volume in the ocean, not changes in overall quantity of planetary water  Glacio-eustatic factors – when the amount of water stored in glaciers and ice sheets varies  Isostasy – refers to actual vertical physical movement in landmasses such as continental uplift or subsidence ▯ Unique Properties of Water  Polarity – hydrogen side of a molecule has a positive charge, oxygen side has a negative charge so they attract (covalent, double bond, also good at dissolving substances)  Hydrogen bonding – the type of bonding between water molecules  Surface tension – created by hydrogen bonding, can float things denser than water, can overflow a glass before it spills  Hydrogen bonding is the cause of capillarity, water molecules pull their neighbors, shown by drying something with a towel  Meniscus – curved surface of the water  Capillary action – important component of soil-moisture processes  For water to change from one state to another, heat energy must be absorbed or liberated (released)  Phase change – a change from one state to another o Sublimation – the direct change of ice to water vapor or water vapor to ice (deposition is when water vapor attaches directly to an ice crystal)  Water is more dense than ice  Latent heat – heat involved in a phase change o Latent heat of freezing and latent heat of melting each involve 80 calories (phase changes), to raise the temperature of water, it changes 1 degree Celsius for each calorie added (no phase change) o Latent heat of vaporization – need 540 calories for each gram from liquid to vapor  When water vapor condenses to a liquid, each gram gives up its hidden 540 calories as the latent heat of condensation o The latent heat of sublimation absorbs 680 calories as a gram of ice transforms into vapor ▯ Humidity  Humidity refers to water vapor in the air, capacity is primarily a function of temperature o Relative humidity – ratio (expressed as a percentage) of the amount of water vapor that is actually in the air compared to the maximum water vapor possible in the air at a given temperature o Relative humidity = (Actual water vapor in the air / Maximum water vapor possible in the air at that temperature) X 100  Saturation – when the air is at 100% relative humidity, when the rate of evaporation and the rate of condensation reach equilibrium, any additional water vapor or decrease in temperature will cause active condensation (clouds, fog, precipitation)  Dew-point temperature – the temperature at which a given mass of air becomes saturated and net condensation begins to form water droplets  The air is saturated when the dew-point temperature and the air temperature are the same  As temperature rises, relative humidity falls  Vapor pressure – the share of air pressure that is made up of water- vapor molecules, expressed in millibars o Saturation vapor pressure – air that contains as much water vapor as possible at a given temperature  Specific humidity – the mass of water vapor (in grams) per mass of air (in kilograms) at any specified temperature (constant) o Maximum specific humidity – the maximum mass of water vapor possible in a kilogram of air at any specific temperature  Hair hygrometer – measures humidity, uses the principle that human hair changes as much as 4% in length between 0% and 100% relative humidity  Sling psychrometer – dry-bulb thermometer records air temperature, we-bulb shows relative saturation (lowers if air is dry), compare bulbs to check relative humidity ▯ Atmospheric Stability  Parcel – description of a body of air that has specific temperature and humidity characteristics  Two opposing forces work on a parcel of air, un upward buoyant force and a downward gravitational force  Stability – refers to the tendency of an air parcel, with its water- vapor cargo, either to remain in place or to change vertical position by ascending or descending o Air particle in stable if it resists displacement upward, or when disturbed returns to its starting place o Air particle is unstable if it continues to rise until it reaches an altitude where the surrounding air has a density and temperature similar to its own  Normal lapse rate is 6.4 degrees C/1000 m  Environmental lapse rate is the actual lapse rate at a particular place and time  Adiabatic – describes the warming and cooling rates for a parcel of expanding of compressing air  Ascending parcel of air tends to cool by expansion, descending air tends to heat by compression  Diabatic means occurring with an exchange of heat, adiabatic means occurring without a loss or gain of heat o Dry adiabatic rate (DAR) – the rate at which dry air cools by expansion or heats by compression, 10 degrees C/1000m o Moist Adiabatic Rate (MAR) – the rate at which an ascending air parcel that is moist or saturated cools by expansion, 6 degrees C/1000m ▯ Atmospheric conditions  Unstable – ELR exceeds DAR  Conditionally unstable – ELR is between DAR and MAR  Stable – ELR is less than DAR and MAR  Saturation forms the lifting condensation level that you see in the sky as the flat bottom of clouds ▯ Clouds and Fog  Cloud – an aggregation of tiny moisture droplets and ice crystals that are suspended in air, great enough in volume and concentration to be visible  Moisture droplet – 20 micrometers in diameter, takes a million or more for an average raindrop  Cloud-condensation nuceli – microscopic particles that are always present in the atmosphere  Two principal processes that account for the majority of the world’s raindrops and snowflakes  The collision-coalescence process (warmer clouds, involves falling coalescing droplets)  The Bergeron ice-crystal process (involves supercooled water droplets, which evaporate and are absorbed by ice crystals that grow in mass and fall)  Clouds are classified by altitude and shape o Stratiform clouds – horizontally developed – flat and layered o Cumuliform clouds – vertically developed – puffy and globular o Cirroform clouds – wispy clouds usually high in altitude and made of ice crystals o Low clouds ranging from surface to 2000m – stratus or cumulus  Stratus clouds – appear dull, gray and featureless, when yield precipitation, they become nimbostratus and showers typically fall as drizzling rain  Cumulus clouds – appear bright and puffy, sometimes stratocumulus fill the sky near the end of the day in patches of lumpy, grayish, low-level clouds, filter sun’s rays at sunset o Alto – denotes middle level clouds, made of water droplets, can be mixed with ice crystals when cold enough  Altocumulus clouds – broad category, can come in patchy rows, wave patterns, or lens-shaped  Ice crystals in thin concentrations compose clouds about 6000m – cirrus – wispy, can indicate oncoming storm especially if thicker and lower o Cirro – such as in cirrostratus and cirrocumulus indicates other high clouds that form a thin veil or puffy appearance, respectively o Cumulonimbus cloud – towering giant, thunderheads (anvil shape)  Fog – a cloud layer on the ground, with visibility restricted to less than 1km, air temperature and dew-point are nearly identical, showing saturated conditions o Advection fog – formed when air in one place migrates to another place where conditions are right for saturation o Evaporation fog / steam fog – may form as water molecules evaporate from the water surface into the cold overlying air, effectively modifying the air to saturation, followed by condensation to form fog, at sea, it is a shipping hazard called sea smoke  Moist air flows to higher elevations along hill or mountain, upslope lifting leads to adiabatic cooling by expansion – results in upslope fog which forms a stratus cloud at the condensation level of saturation o Valley fog – created because cool air is denser than warm air, settles in low-lying areas producing flog near the ground in the valley o Radiation fog – formed when radiative cooling of a surface chills the air layer directly above that surface to the dew-point temperature, creating saturated conditions, occurs over moist ground on clear nights ▯ ▯ Weather Essentials  Weather – the short-term, day-to-day condition of the atmosphere o Temperature o Air pressure o Relative humidity o Wind speed/direction  Climate – the long-term average (over decades) of weather conditions and extremes in a region  Meteorology – the scientific study of atmosphere ▯ Air Masses  Air mass – A distinctive, homogeneous body of air that has taken on the moisture and temperature characteristics of its source region o Classifying air masses  Moisture – m for maritime, c for continental  Temperature (latitude factor) – A for arctic, P for polar, T for tropical, E for equatorial, AA for Antarctic  Continental Polar (cold, stable)  Maritime Polar (moist, unstable)  Maritime Tropical (western US drier, eastern US more humid) Atmospheric Lifting Mechanisms  Four principal lifting mechanisms o Convergent lifting – air flows toward an area of low pressure  Air flowing from different directions into the same low- pressure area is converging displacing air upward in convergent lifting o Convectional lifting – air is stimulated by local surface heating o Orographic lifting – air is forced over a barrier such as a mountain range o Frontal lifting – air is displaced upward along the leading edges of contrasting air masses o Chintook winds – the warm, downslope air flows characteristic of the leeward sides of mountains o Orographic lifting creates wetter windward slopes and drier leeward slopes situation in the rain shadow of the mountain o Conflicting air masses at a font produce a cold or warm front o A zone alone or slightly ahead of the front is a squall line, characterized by turbulent and widely changing wind patterns and intense precipitation Midlatitude Cyclonic Systems  Conflict between contrasting air masses can develop a multialtitude or wave cyclone o Migrating low pressure system o Motion generated by pressure gradient force, Coriolis force, and surface friction o Life cycle is 3-10 days until it dissolves  Cyclogenesis – the atmospheric process in which lower- pressure wave cyclones develop and strengthen, usually begins along the polar front  Other areas associated with wave cyclone development and intensification are the eastern slope of the Rockies, other north-south mountain barriers, the Gulf Coast, and east coasts of North American and Asia  Open stage – to the east of the developing low-pressure center, warm air begins to move northward along an advancing front, while cold air advances southward to the west of the center  Occluded stage – produced when a cold front overtakes the cyclonic warm front, wedging beneath it  Stationary front – result from when a stalemate between cooler and warmer air masses where air flow on either side is almost parallel to the front, although in opposite directions  Dissolving stage – occurs when lifting mechanism is completely cut off from the war air mass, which was the source of energy and moisture, remnants of the cyclonic system dissipate in the atmosphere  Storm tracks – wave cyclones and their attendant air masses move across the continent along these, which shift in latitude with the sun and seasons  Forecasting o Synoptic analysis – the evaluation of weather data collected at a specific time o Numerical (computer-based) weather prediction and development of forecasting models is attributed to building a database of wind, pressure, temperature, and moisture conditions o Weather data necessary for the preparation of a synoptic map and forecast  Barometric pressure (sea level and altimeter setting)  Pressure tendency (steady, rising, falling)  Surface air temperature  Dew-point temperature  Wind speed, direction, and character (gusts, squalls)  Type and movement of clouds  Current weather  State of the sky (current sky conditions)  Visibility; vision obstruction (fog, haze)  Precipitation since last observation Violent Weather  Includes ice storms or sleet (freezing rain, ice glaze, ice pellets), blizzards, and low temperatures o Sleet – caused when precipitation falls through a below- freezing layer of air near the ground  Thunderstorms o Downbursts – classified by size, atmospheric thunderstorms  Macroburst – 4+ km wide and in excess of 210 kmph  Microburst - smaller in size and speed  Causes rapid changes in wind speed and direction as well as the dreaded wind shear o Lightning – refers to flashes of light caused by enormous electrical discharges that briefly superheat the air to temperatures of 15,000-30,000 degrees C o Thunder – the sonic bang caused by the violent expansion of this abruptly heated air that sends shock waves through the atmosphere  Hail – ice pellets of hail generally form within a cumulonimbus cloud, raindrops circulate repeatedly above and below the freezing level in the cloud, adding layers of ice until the circulation in the cloud can no longer support their weight  Derechos – strong linear winds in excess of 58mph, called plow winds in Canada o Can produce groups of downburst clusters from a thunder- storm system  Tornados o Mesocyclone – rotates vertically within a supercell cloud (the parent cloud) to a height of thousands of meters, formed by a spinning, cyclonic, rising column of midtroposhere-level air o Funnel clouds – pulse from the bottom side of the parent cloud o The potential of this stage of development is the lowering of a funnel cloud to earth – a tornado o Waterspout – formed when tornado circulation occurs over water and surface water is drawn 3-5m up into the funnel o EF (Enhanced Fujita Scale) classifies tornados according to wind speed as indicated by related property damage  Tropical Cyclones o A powerful manifestation of the Earth-atmosphere energy budget, originates entirely within tropical air masses o Convert heat energy from the ocean into mechanical energy in the wind o Winds over 74mph = hurricanes (North America), typhoon (Western Pacific – Japan/Philippines), cyclone (Indonesia, India, Bangladesh) o Saffir-Simposon Hurricane Damage Potential Scale – category of hurricane 1-5 o Eye = center, eyewall = swirls around the eye of thunderstorm clouds, area of most intense precipitation o Tornados often embedded in the right-front quadrant o Landfall – when the storm moves ashore, it pushes seawater inland, causing storm surges o ▯ The Hydrologic Cycle  Hydrologic cycle – has operated for billions of years, involves the circulation and transformation of water throughout Earth’s atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere  Transpiration – water moving from soil into plant roots and passing through their leaves  Interception – occurs when precipitation strikes vegetation or other ground water  Stem flow – intercepted water that drains across plant leaves and down their stems to the ground, important moisture route to the ground  Throughfall – precipitation that falls directly to the ground coupled with drips from vegetation (excluding stem flow)  Infiltration – how water soaks into the subsurface, penetration of the soil surface  Percolation – downward movement that further permeates the soil or rock ▯ ▯ Soil-Water-Budget Concept  Soil-water budget – An accounting system for soil moisture using inputs of precipitation and outputs of evapotranspiration and gravitational water o Precipitation = Actual evapotranspiration (potential – deficit) + surplus +/- change in soil-moisture storage o Moisture supply (rain/sleet/snow/hail) = actual moisture demand (moisture demand – moisture shortage) + moisture oversupply +/- moisture savings  Precipitation – the moisture to supply to Earth’s surface o Rain gauge – measures precipitation o Wind shield – above gauge’s opening, reduces error by catching raindrops that arrive at an angle  Evaporation – the net movement of free water molecules away from a wet surface into air that is less saturated  Transpiration – a cooling mechanism in plants  Evapotranspiration – combination, 14% occurs from land and plants  Potential evapotranspiration – the amount of water that would evaporate and transpire under optimum moisture conditions when adequate precipitation and adequate soil-moisture supply are present o Evaporation pan/evaporimeter – A weather instrument consisting of a standardized pan from which evaporation occurs, with water automatically replaced and measured o Lysimeter – A weather instrument for measuring potential and actual evapotranspiration; isolates a portion of a field so that the moisture moving through the plot is measured o Permafrost – frozen soil  Deficit – if the three sources (precip, moisture stored in soil, artificial irrigation) cannot satisfy the potet demand, the location experiences a moisture shortage  Actual evapotranspiration (ACTET) – determined by subtracting DEFIC from POTET  Surplus (SURPL) – if POTET is satisfied and the soil is full of moisture, additional water input becomes surplus  Overland flow combines with precipitation and groundwater flows into river channels to make up the total runoff  Soil-moisture storage (delta STRGE) – the volume of water stored in the soil that is accessible to plant roots, includes both recharge and utilization (use) of soil moisture o Hygroscopic water – inaccessible to plants because it is a molecule-thin layer that is tightly bond to each soil particle o Wilting point – relative to plants, soil reaches this state when all that remains is inaccessible water o Capillary water – generally accessible to plant roots because it is held against the pull of gravity in the soil  Most capillary water that remains in the soil is available water  Field capacity – the amount of available water that remains after some water drains from the larger pore spaces (storage capacity) o Gravitational water – any water surplus in the soil body after soil becomes saturated from a precipitation event becomes this, it percolates from the shallower capillary zone to the deeper groundwater zone o As soil-moisture utilization removes soil water, the plants must exert greater effort to extract moisture, if they are unable to exert enough pressure to do that, the resulting unsatisfied demand is a deficit o Water infiltrates the soil and replenishes available water, the process of soil-moisture recharge (from natural precipitation or artificial irrigation) o Porosity – available pore spaces, dictated by texture and structure of the soil o Permeability – the property of the soil that determines the rate of soil-moisture recharge, depends on particle sizes and the shape and packing of soil grains  Drought o Meteorological drought – defined by the degree of dryness, as compared to a regional average, and the duration of dry conditions (region specific, relates to atmospheric conditions in the specific area) o Agricultural drought – occurs when shortages of precipitation and soil moisture affect crop yields (evolves slowly, gets little media coverage, but costs lots of money) o Hydrological drought – relates to the effects of precipitation shortages (rain and snow) on water supply, such as when streamflow decreases, reservoir levels drop, mountain snowpack declines, groundwater mining increases o Socioeconomic drought – results when reduced water supply causes the demand for goods to exceed the supply, such as when hydroelectric power production declines with reservoir depletion (more comprehensive measure that considers loss of life, water rationing, wildfire events, other widespread impacts of water shortfall)  Deficit abatement – moisture shortages avoided because of Hurricane Camille’s rains  Perennial (constantly flowing/through the year) vs. intermittent ▯ Groundwater Resources  Groundwater – Water beneath the surface that is beyond the soil- root zone; a major source of potable water o Groundwater is not an indepe


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