ERTH 2415 Lecture Notes - Latent Heat

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Lecture 20
Extreme Weather I
Climate
Meteorological elements and phenomena averaged over a long period of time for a
region of the Earth's surface
Meteorological elements:precipitations, temperature, humidity, etc.
Phenomena: hail, frost, fog, etc.
Factors influencing climate:
Long-term trends in heating and cooling of the Earth’s surface
Circulation of the atmosphere and oceans
Energy balance between the Sun and the Earth
Balance must be maintained at a certain point in time
Energy entering the Earth’s atmosphere must equal the energy re-emitted to
space
Otherwise global warming/cooling
Irradiation: incoming solar energy
Albedo: amount of energy reflected back into space
Earth global albedo = 31%
22% of energy reflected by clouds
9% of energy reflected by the Earth’s surface
100 % irradiation
- 31 % reflected back into space
69 % energy absorbed and re-emitted
100 % irradiation
- 31 % reflected back into space
- 20 % energy absorbed and re-emitted by the atmosphere
- 49 % energy absorbed and re-emitted by the Earth’s surface
0 %
Energy absorbed by the Earth’s surface is mostly stored in the oceans
Oceans cover 70% of the Earth’s surface
Irradiation penetrates deep through the water
Energy absorbed by the Earth’s surface is mostly stored in the oceans
Water has an exceptionally high heat capacity
Requires lots of energy to raise its temperature
Releases energy slowly when cooling
Uneven energy distribution
Irridation is distributed unequally
Equatorial regions receive more
Polar regions have a deficit
Cause: stronger albedo
Energy redistribution
Circulation of heat from equator to poles
In an effort to restore thermal equilibrium
Via oceans and atmosphere
Processes of energy redistribution
• Process exchanging the largest quantity of heat:
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