Weather and Climate Revision notes

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Weather and climate
Structure of the atmosphere
Troposphere: Zone closest to the Earth and is the zone where most weather processes take place. It has the
highest temperature as solar radiation warms the Earth surface which, in turn, warms the air above it.
Temperature drops by 6.4C with every 1000m. Wind speeds increase with increasing altitude as frictional
drag with the surface plays a diminishing role. This is the most unstable later and contains the most water
vapour and particulate matter. The end of the troposphere is marked by the tropopause and isothermal
layer where temperature remains the same with increasing altitude.
Stratosphere: Characterised with a steady increase in temperature as a result of absorption of solar radiation
by the ozone layer. Without this layer absorbing UV the amount that reached Earth would be harmful to
Humans. The atmosphere is noticeably thinner as pressure decreases with height and there is a lack of water
vapour and dust. Wind speeds increase with height towards the stratopause another isothermal layer.
Mesosphere: Temperature declines rapidly to -90C as there is no water vapour or dust to absorb radiation.
It has very strong winds approaching 3000km/h and has another isothermal layer called the mesopause
Thermosphere: Increased temperature resulting from the absorption of UV radiation by the atomic oxygen
found at this altitude.
Atmospheric heat budget
The amount of energy received from the sun is determined by:

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The solar constant: varies slightly and affects longer-term climate rather than shorter term weather
2. The distance from the sun: The eccentric orbit of the Earth around the sun can cause up to 6%
variation in the solar constant
3.…read more

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Planetary surface winds
Wind: The horizontal movement of air on the Earth's surface. It is a result from the difference in air pressure
and always moves an area of high to low pressure. When the air temperature of an area increase the air
expands and rises reducing the air pressure. When the temperature of the air decrease the air contracts and
becomes denser and sinks increasing the air pressure.…read more

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Temperature: The mean temperature of the British isles in summer is below average for its latitude. Although
daily maximum temperatures can reach 30C the monthly averages do not exceed 18C due to cooling
influence of the Atlantic Ocean. In winter, the average temperatures are above freezing a result of the
warming influence from the sea which ensures an all year growing season. The annual range of temperature is
relatively small but increases with distance from the west coast.
Precipitation: Varies with relief.…read more

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1. Where warm tropical maritime air from the south meets with cold polar maritime air from the
North. The warmer, less dense air rises above the cold air and the warm air is removed by the jet
stream in the upper atmosphere winds.
2. This twisting vortex then forms a wave form at sea level in the polar front forming a depression.
3. It usually moves in the north-easterly direction as it is guided by the polar jet stream.
4.…read more

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Origin: The air that descends from the upper
atmosphere is cooler, drier and denser than the air at
ground level. As it descends it warms and can easily
hold on to the moisture it has retained leading to limited
condensation and reduced precipitation. This stable air
can cover several thousands of kilometres and presents
and gentle pressure gradient with weak winds blowing
clockwise out from the centre high-pressure area.…read more

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Climate of tropical region
Temperature: Mean monthly temperature is 26-28C and have little range. The length of day and night is
roughly 12 hours. Night time temperatures rarely fall below 18C and daytime temperatures can reach 35C.
It has high humidity and constant temperatures which can be oppressive.
Precipitation: Rainfall is high at over 2000mm per year and the daily pattern is repetitive and predictable.
The morning is hazy, which then clears, convection currents develop to produce cumulus clouds which build up
during the afternoon.…read more

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MEDC: Hurricane Katrina Death toll: 1,830 Date: 23rd August 2005
Causes: Disturbance in the pressure field of the tropics, the Bahamas provided the warm sea and the minimal wind
shear. Developing as a depression and then rapidly developing into a strong hurricane. It was lifted to the north west
towards Florida by the upper-steering winds.…read more

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Responses: Five coastal were declared disaster zones by the government. Burmese government were reluctant to
allow western aid agencies into the country. They are ruled by military junta with poor human rights and have little
contact with other countries. After international pressure to accept foreign aid however the delay worsened the
situation. They were still reluctant to allow foreign ships or foreign troop in for fear of invasion. There was lack of
information and confusion about most of the aid and rescue organisations.…read more

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Vehicle control in inner urban areas: Athens and area of 2.5km in the centre is traffic free. Promotion
of park and ride. London, congestion charge so vehicles have to pay if they wish to drive into the
centre. Driving restrictions to prevent people driving though the city on one day per week.
More public transport: Bus only lanes and car-sharing schemes.…read more


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