Ch4 Variation in the Environment1.pdf

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University College Courses
Spencer Barrett

chapter 4: VARIATION IN THE ENVIRONMENT  the physical environment varies widely over the surface of the earth  due to differences in temperature, light, substratum, moisture, salinity, soil nutrients  climate zones are determined by solar radiation patterns and the redistribution of heat and moisture by wind and water currents  within climate zones, topography and bedrock composition further differentiate the environment  climatic patterns are determined by the intensity of sunlight falling on the earth’s surface, and the different surfaces (which absorb sunlight differently)  this creates different heating and cooling Effect of Solar Radiation  although many variations occur, there are also patterns in climate (due to the intensity of sunlight)  cold and dry at high latitudes  hot and wet near the equator  the sun warms the atmosphere, ocean, and land most when it lies directly overhead  sunlight is spread over a greater area when the sun approaches the horizon (i.e. at higher altitudes)  it also travels through a longer path (where most of its energy is reflected or absorbed)  strikes the earth at a lower angle  at the equator, the sun shines at a higher angle (close to perpendicular) over a small area  directly at
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