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GEOG 221 Lecture 2.1.docx

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GEOG 221
Nancy Ross

GEOG 221/NRSC 221 – Lecture 2.1 (Jan. 10 , 2013) Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans Hurricane Sandy and New York Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans Superdome in New Orleans: shelter, crammed people that didn’t have anywhere else to go there, awful conditions (inadequate climate, toilets, etc) Social side of the disaster: African Americans that were affected Hurricanes: a latitudinal energy imbalance Between tropics, the sun is directly overhead: more sunlight going in at the equator than at the poles Earth releases longwave radiation (IR, heat): hotter bodies emit more Earth receives more in tropics than it gives out (surplus), gives out more everywhere else than it receives (deficit) because the earth is tilted at 23.5° The region of peak heating migrates from the northern hemisphere in June to the southern hemisphere in December There is a heat transfer: transport of heat from regions of surplus to deficit: from the tropics towards the poles by winds, ocean currents, and weather Hurricanes: solve energy imbalance, brings heat from tropics to northern regions Water: in 3 phases Abundant in the troposphere Able to change state (phase change)  requires energy Solid – liquid – gas  liberates energy Latent heat – heat waiting to be released (stored energy – stored within water vapor molecules) Sensible heat – reappears when condensation occurs (warming process) Latent heat Important source of atmospheric energy Water molecules are carried upwards where they change into liquid and ice clouds Tremendous amount of heat energy is released into the environment 70% of the world is water, a lot of it is tropical (warm) – readily evaporates Hurricanes: organized thunderstorms Provides energy for storms (mid-latitude cyclones, hurricanes, thunderstorms) Water vapor transported from tropics condenses at higher latitudes releasing and relocating energy to solve the latitudinal imbalance Vertical motion: Air rises and sinks in response to temperature/density differences Leads to an exchange of latent and sensible heat Clouds are formed by cooling of rising moist air, and subsequent condensation Descending motion tends to suppress cloud formation Evaporation, saturation… Horizontal motion: in order to reach equilibrium, air moves from areas of high to low pressure (WIND) Cold air sinks: more dense Hot air rises: less dense (buoyancy) Dots: molecules in the air – atmospheric pressure: pressure exerted by everything in the air above you At one point in the cold column, there are less dots above you (less atmospheric pressure) than if you are at the same point in the hot column (higher atmospheric pressure): this therefore creates a movement from high to low pressure: wind Equally happens at the surface General circulation: surface winds At equatorial regions (intertropical convergence zone) air rises as much as it can before it reaches the stratosphere where it is forced to stop (set temperature) so it moves north Surface winds consist of trades and easterlies in the equatorial and polar latitudes an
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