ELSS L15 - Changes in the water cycle

  • Created by: Hadley023
  • Created on: 08-11-18 10:29
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  • Changes in the water cycle
    • Diurnal
      • Significant changes occur within a 24-hour period in the water cycle.
      • Lower temps at night reduce evaporation and transpiration.
      • Convectional precipitation (dependent on direct heating of the ground surface by the Sun) is a daytime phenomenon often falling in the afternoon when temps reach a maximum.
    • Seasonal
      • Seasons are controlled by variations in the intensity of solar radiation.
      • In the UK, solar radiation intensity peaks in mid-June.
      • These variations are exaggerated the further away from the equator that you are.
      • Transpiration will be highest during the summer months.
      • River flows are at their lowest in the late summer in England.
      • In summer, large trees = increase interception. In winter, decrease interception, increased runoff and increase river flow.
    • Long-term
      • Water cycle undergoes many changes during glacial periods. Most obvious is the net transfer of water from the ocean reservoir to storage in ice sheets, glaciers and permafrost.
      • During glacials, sea level falls 100-300m which exposes the continental shelf. Ice sheets expand to cover a third of the continental land mass.
      • As ice sheets advance towards the equator, they destroy extensive tracts of forest and grassland.
      • Water stored in the biosphere will shrink. Lower temps will lead to lower rates of transpiration.


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