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Introduction to the atmosphere
Vertical structure of the atmosphere:
The heat budget
Horizontal heat transfers
Global factors affecting insolation
The climate of the British Isles
St Jude's storm ­ October 2013
Formation of fogs
Equatorial climates
Tropical revolving storms
Management of tropical revolving storms

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Introduction to the atmosphere

Atmosphere: the gaseous envelope that surrounds a planet or other material body of
sufficient mass. Held in place by gravity.

Composition of the atmosphere:

Main Elements = 99%
Nitrogen (N 2 ) 78%
Oxygen (0 2) 21%
Trace Elements = 1%
Argon (Ar) Ozone (O 3)…

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Vertical structure of the atmosphere:

The atmosphere is divided into 4 layers, each layer is characterised by a
change in temperate, pressure and an altitude. The boundary between
each layer is know as a pause, these are marked by a stable temperature.


Extends from the Earth's surface to about…

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The thermosphere stretches from around 8090km to around 1000km .
Small amounts of oxygen in this layer absorbs UV radiation, therefor temperature
increases with altitude.


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The heat budget

The atmospheric heat budget of the Earth depends on the balance between incoming
shortwave solar radiation and out going longwave radiation.

Energy in the atmosphere:

The sun is the Earth's prime source of energy. The Earth receives energy as incoming
shortwave solar radiation (also referred to as…

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Horizontal heat transfers: 80% wind (including the jet streams, hurricanes and
depressions), 20% ocean currents .
Vertical heat transfers: energy is transferred from the warm surface vertically by
radiation , conduction and convection . Latent heat also helps to transfer energy.
This energy is released when condensation occurs in the…

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Air on the surface is pulled towards the polls. This air the picks up moisture as it
moves over the seas.

The Polar cell

Located between 60 to 90 degrees north and south.
Air in these cells sinks over the highest latitudes and flows out towards the lower
latitudes at…

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How Ocean currents affects the UK:

The Gulf Stream brings warmth to the UK and northwest Europe and is the reason we have
mild winters. Without this steady stream of warmth , the British Isles winters are estimated
to be more than 5°C cooler , bringing the average December temperature…

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Global factors affecting insolation

Long term:

Height above sea level: the troposphere is heated by radiation from the Earth's
surface (distributed by conduction and convection). However as tall mountains have
a smaller surface area than open land they're less effective in heating the
surrounding air.
Altitude of the sun: as…


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