Ch4 Variation in the Environment2.pdf

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University College Courses
Spencer Barrett

Water Vapour in the Atmosphere  equilibrium water vapour pressure is the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere when the tendency of liquid water to evaporate and the tendency of water vapour to condense is balanced  increases with temperature  thus, warm air can hold more water vapour than cold  water vapour is measured as how much it contributes to the total pressure of the atmosphere (approx. 100kPa or 10 at sea level)  any air mass can contain less than the EWVP, in which case water will continue to evaporate  if the water vapour pressure exceeds the equilibrium value (ex. when temperature of air decreases rapidly), excess gas will condense and leave the atmosphere as precipitation  this relationship btn temp. and the EWVP controls patterns of evaporation and precipitation  with air currents, they establish the distributions of wet and dry envmts Hadley Circulation  warming air tends to rise  the EWVP increases as air heats up, evaporation quickens (double per 10°C rise)  warming effect of sun in greatest near the equator  air in the tropics begins to rise in an upward-moving convection current  when it reaches the upper layer of the atmosphere (10-15 km), it spreads to higher latitudes north and south  the air is replaced by surface-level air moving in from subtropical latitudes  forms trade winds  the tropical air
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