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Weather and Climate
Weather: the state of the atmosphere at a given time and place

Climate: the average weather conditions of a place of an area over a period of 30 years or more

Atmosphere: the mixture of gases, predominantly nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide and
water vapour, that surrounds…

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The Global Energy Budget
The interaction between solar energy, the atmosphere and the earth's surface

Open energy system
Energy input = Energy output on annual and global scales
There are latitudinal and local imbalances which drive the climate system (Quasiequalibrium)

Latitudinal Variation in radiation balance:

Tropics have a constant energy…

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Why don't the Poles get increasingly colder and the equator increasingly hotter?

Heat transfers - Horizontal

80% of heat is transferred away from the equator horizontally by winds (jet streams,
hurricanes and depressions)
20% is transferred by Ocean Currents e.g the North Atlantic Drift

Heat Transfers - Vertical

Heat is…

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Coastal areas are therefore milder than inland areas in winter and cooler than locations at the centre
of the continent in summer. Also, areas close to the sea have a smaller annual temperature range
than areas at the centre of continents. E.g Canada -59°N and West Scotland 57°N

Prevailing winds:…

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Hadley's Cell: shows that warm high pressure air rises into the atmosphere moving through the jet
stream where cool high pressure air will fall over tropical areas.

Inter-tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ): a result of the heating of part of the Earth's surface,
caused by the concentrated insolation from the overhead…

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Convectional rainfall/thunderstorms in cities such as London and Birmingham due to extreme
over heating of the ground, occurs when the air over the ground is warmed, becomes less
dense than surrounding air and rises.
Relief rainfall in most parts of Britain - occurs when moist air has been travelling over…

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d. Tropical Maritime (south-westerly)- very mild and wet during winter with
temperatures of 11°C in Janunary as formed over low latitudes. Often causes heavy
stratus cloud cover giving hill and coastal fog. Poor visibility but no frost is also
common in winter. Warm in summer but not hot at 18°C…

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out from the centre of the high-pressure area. The passages of anti-cyclones tend to be much slower
than with depressions.

Summer Anticyclones

Characterised by clear skies, high temperatures of over 25°C during the day time, however
significant radiation loss by night can lead to short-term temperature inversion and the formation…

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65% of the world's population experience the Monsoon Climate and it is responsible for the highly
successful agricultural system which has lasted 5000 years. 25% of the Earth's surface is affected by
the monsoon climate and it is extremely fragile as a small change in year-to-year climate can be

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3. Hurricanes use energy from the warm ocean water to grow stronger and as long as it has
warm water a hurricane will continue to grow.

Case Study: Hurricane Katrina

Sixth strongest hurricane ever recorded
Started as category 5 but weakened to category 3 when it hit land along the…


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