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BIO120H1 Lecture Notes - Intertropical Convergence Zone, Hadley Cell, Northern Hemisphere

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Jon Abbatt

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BIO120 Lecture 1: Distributional aspects of biodiversity
Distribution of solar energy:
Since the equator is tilted 23.5˚ with respect to the path the follows in its orbit
around the sun, therefore:
o At higher latitude, light strikes at a lower angle, and is spread over a
greater area. At the equator, the sun shines almost perpendicular on
earths surface.(Figure 4.1)
o In Northern Hemisphere, seasonal variation in temperature increases
significantly (less ocean to moderate temperature change.
Ex: at 60˚N, the average coldest month is -12˚C and the average
warmest month is 16˚C, differ by 28˚C. (Figure 4.3)
o The tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn are two lines where the
sun is directly overhead at noon on the two solstices.
o Tropic of Cancer: lie at 23.5˚ North of the equator (sun is directly
overhead at June 21)
o Tropic of Capricorn: located 23.5˚ South of the equator( sun is directly
overhead at December 21)
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