EOSC 112: THE FLUID EARTH - University of British Columbia

EOSC 112: THE FLUID EARTH - University of British Columbia

EOSC 112: THE FLUID EARTH ATMOSPHERIC STRUCTURE AND DYNAMICS Atm12 Read: Kump et al. Chap.3, p. 44-45; Chap.4, p. 55-61. Objectives: 1.To describe how atmospheric pressure and temperature vary with altitude; 2. To explain why air moves;

3. To describe what sets the global atmosphere in motion; 4. To describe the general pattern of Global Winds on a non-rotating planet. 1. Figures representing P change and T change with height Atmospheric pressure

Pressure = Force per unit area. Pressure decreases exponentially with height. 10 mbar (milliBar) = 1 kPa (kiloPascal) Atmospheric Temperature Troposphere: ground to about 12km (16km in Tropics, 10km in Arctic) Unlike the other layers, it is subjected to

constant vertical mixing (convection). It is this mixing process, through rising thermals and moist convection (followed by release of latent heat), that carries heat energy from the ground to cloud levels where it is radiated to space in the form of infrared radiation. Stratosphere (12km to 50km) is a stratified layer of dry air. It contains most of the ozone.

2. Vertical Movement Topographic uplifting Frontal wedging Convergence

Localized convection Mountain wave clouds & lee wave clouds Lenticular (lense-shaped) clouds (mountain wave clouds) Example: T inversion and Pollution

During night & early morning, clear sky => ground much cooler than air above => radiation (or surface) inversion Inversion has warm air above cool air => very stable. Pollutants cannot disperse upw. Tall chimney goes above inversion layer => effective

dispersion Daytime, ground warms => inversion disappears => pollutants disperse. Example: Inversion in valleys Night time: cool

air drains downhill, settling into valleys. Inversion at valley Pollutants trapped in valley.

3. The driving Force Global Energy Distribution 4. Global winds vertical and horizontal Horizontal movements:

Temp. changes => Pressure changes => Winds H Rad H L

WARM Surface air warms H Horizontal Motions: 7-step development 1. Radiation absorbed by Earths surface Surface warms

2. Air above ground warms by conduction Air expands, density drops 3. Air becomes unstable Convection sets in 4. Air rises Pressure aloft increases 5. Air aloft pushed laterally away from warm surface Surface pressure drops 6. Surface pressure around warm area increases Air converges toward warm area

7. Air subsides around warm surface Complete convection cell established Satellite view of the ITCZ Global winds on a non-rotating planet

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