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Chapter 5

GG101 Chapter 5 Notes.docx

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James Hamilton

GG101 Chapter 5 Notes Global Temperatures Temperature: a measure of the average kinetic energy (motion) of individual molecules in matter  For instance, when you jump into water, you can sense the heat transfer from skin to water as kin energy leaves your body and flows to water; a chill ensues  The temp. at which atomic and molecular motion in matter completely stops is absolute zero; or -273 degrees C  Boiling water is 100 degrees C, melting point of ice at 0  A mercury thermometer or alcohol thermometer is a sealed glass tube that measures outdoor temperatures o Mercury mim-max therms preserve readings of the day`s highs and lows o When fluids are heated, they expand…when cooled, they contract o Thermometers for standardized official readings are placed outdoors in small Instrument Shelters or Stephenson Screen shelters Factors influencing temperature  Latitude o Insolation intensity decreases as one moves away from the subsolar point- a point that migrates annually between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn  Altitude/Elevation o Within the troposphere, temperatures decrease with increasing altitude above Earth’s surface (refer to the normal lapse rate of 6.4 degrees C/Km o At high elevations, nighttime cooling is greater, average air temps are lower, and greater high/low contrast; also, insolation received is far greater because of the reduced mass of atmospheric gases- harder for snow to melt o Low elevations are warmer  Cloud Cover o Clouds moderate temperature, and their effects vary with cloud type, height and density o Their moisture reflects, absorbs and liberates large amounts of energy released upon condensation and cloud formation  Land-Water Heating Differences o Soil vs water o Evaporation consumes energy arriving at ocean’s surface than is expended over a comparable area of land, simple because so much water is available o Transparency: transmission of light; water is transparent therefore energy passes through better; light penetrates water…resulting illuminated zone is called the photic layer  Specific Heat o Water needs far more energy to warm up versus land
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