Weather and Climate

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  • Created by: Hannah
  • Created on: 05-06-13 10:12
What % of the atmosphere is nitrogen?
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Name the 4 layers of the atmosphere in order
Troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere and thermosphere
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Explain the temperature changes throughout the atmosphere
Decreases in troposphere, increases in stratosphere, decreases in mesosphere and increases in thermosphere
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Which layer of the atmosphere does all weather occur in?
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What is the Earth's Energy Budget?
The balance bewteen incoming solar radiation and outgoing radiation from the planet. Overall the earth has a net gain of energy in the tropics and loss in the polar regions. There is a transfer of energy between these regions
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What do Cirrus Clouds do to radiation?
Reflect some of incoming shortwave radiation but let most through. They are more efficient at trapping longwave radiation = WARMS TROPOSPHERE
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What do Cumulus Clouds do to radiation?
Reflect a lot of incomng shortwave radiation back into space = COOLS TROPOSPHERE
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Explain the formation of cirrus clouds
Warm air near to the ground rises upwards, carrying water vapour, this reduces amount of low-level cloud that forms, eventually water condenses at high altitude, forming more cirrus clouds
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Explain the formation of cumulus clouds
Greenhouse gases warm lower atmosphere, evaporation and transpiration increase, humidity of lower atmosphere increases and condensation of this mpisture at low level can produce thick cumulus cloud
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What is albedo?
Measure of reflectivity of a surface
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Why are zones around the equator recieve more insolation than the poles?
Incoming solar radiation has further to travel through atmosphere at higher altitudes and larger area of atmosphere to heat up at poles in comparison to Equator
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What are the 3 types of winds (in order up from the equator)?
Trade winds, westerlies and polar easterlies
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Which way do winds circle in in the Northern Hemisphere?
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Name the 3 cells in order from the equator
Hadley Cells, Ferrel Cells and Polar Cells
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Explain the area between the 2 Hadley Cells
Area of low pressure between the 2 cells = ITCZ. As sun is higher in sky, the ground heats rapidlyby day. Heat rises in surface evaporation = low pressure. Rising air cools and condenses = heavy rainfall.
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Explain circulation in a Hadley Cell
At high altitudes the air moves polewards, around 30 degrees North and South the colder air begins to sink. As it descends the moisture evaporates, creating high pressure at the surface. On reaching the ground some of the air returns towards equator
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What are Rossby Waves?
Following a wavy, undulating pattern as they travel around upper atmosphere
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What is a Jet Stream?
Bands of extremely fast moving air (up to 250km/hr). They can be hundred of kms in width but a vertical thickness of only 1000-2000m
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What altitudes are jet streams found at?
10,000m on average
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Where is the Polar Front Jet Stream?
Meeting place of cold polar and warm tropical air (40-60 degrees) = division of ferrel and polar cells
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Where is the Subtropical Jet Stream?
Polewards ends of the Hadley Cell (25-30 degrees)
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What 6 factors affect insolation and heating of the atmosphere?
Altitude of land, altitude of sun, proportion of land and sea, prevailing winds, ocean currents and ocean conveyer belt
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What is the Ocean Conveyer Belt?
Transfer of cold water at depth from polar regions to equator. Water cools at poles where formation of ice leaves remaining water saltier and denser. Denser water starts to sink through water column
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What are the conditions of polar maritime air masses?
Cool conditions throughout the year, warms slightly as it crosses Atlantic, heavy rainfall over Highlands, cumuloform clouds, good visibility and often strong winds
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What are the conditions of tropical maritime air masses?
Very mild and wet in winter with thick cloud cover, often stratus clouds with fog and poor visibility. Warm in the summer but can become unstable to give thundery showers with moderate to fresh winds
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What are the conditions of tropical continental air masses?
Heat wave conditions, very stable in lower layers but upper layers may be unstable with thunderstorms, gentle wunds but may be wet in North-west Scotland
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What are the conditions of polar continental air masses?
Cold temperatures in winter and gives heavy snow in Eastern Britain, often last several days, high wind chill but summer there are more warm and stable conditions
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Explain Britain's summer conditions
Peak in southern regions and decreases towards the north, places further from sea = higher summer temps.,several degrees cooler than places on similar latitudes, altitude makes places cooler,, Eastern England have highest temps.
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Explain Britain's winter conditions
Warmer overall than places of similar latitudes, south-west England is warmest as it benefits from North Atlantic Drift and altitude lower temps
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Explain relief rainfall
Warm wet air is forced to rise over high land, as the air rises it cools and condenses (clouds and rain), the drier air descends and warms, any moisture in the air evaporates
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Explain frontal rainfall
Area of warm air meets area of cold air, warm air is forced over cold air, where warm air meets cold air warm air cools and water vapour condenses, clouds form and precipitation
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Explain convectional rainfall
Sun heats the ground, warm air rises, as air rises it coold, water vapour condenses (clouds), condensation point is reached (cumulonibus clouds), heavy rain storm occurs
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Which wind direction is the most common in Britain?
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What is a depression?
Low pressure systems, they begin to form when a tropical air mass meets a polar air mass to form a vortex of anticlockwise swirling air
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Briefly explain the formation of a depression
Instability on polar front, cold air pushes warm air north, less dense air rises = warm front, cold air undercuts warm air = cold front, cold from moves faster than warm front = occluded front, then the depression dissolves
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What happens to pressure during a depression?
Falls on approach, continues to fall in warm front and sector, rise in pressure on cold front and sector
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What happens to wind speed during a depression?
Slowly increases on approach, strong on warm front, decreases in warm sector, very strong winds on cold front but decreses in cold sector
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What happens to temperature during a depression?
Cool on approach, warms in warm front and sector, decreases in cold front and sector
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What happens to humidity during a depression?
Slowly increases on approach, higher on warm front and sector and cold front, rapidly declines on cold sector
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What happens to precipitation during a depression?
None on approach, continous on warm front, drizzle in warm sector, heavy rain on cold front and sector
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What happens to visibility during a depression?
Good on approach, decreases on warm front, bad on warm sector and cold front, good in cold sector
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What are anticyclones?
A large mass of subsiding air which causes high pressure at the surface
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What are conditions in anticyclones?
Hot, sunny, dry calm days in summer and cold, sharp, crisp days in winter
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What are hazards of anticyclones?
Build up of low-level ozone, health issues caused by sun exposure, drought and forest fires
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What is a monsoon?
A seasonal reversal of wind direction
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What 3 factors help to cause monsoons?
Pressure differences caused by extreme heating and cooling of large land masses and smaller heat changes over nearby sea, northward movement of ITCZ, mountain barrier of Himilayas
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Explain south-west monsoon
ITCZ shifts northwards, intense heating causes area of low pressure, clouds block incoming solar radiation during monsoon, diverted NE by coriolis force, substantial rainfall from convectional uplift of moist air as it approaches Himilayas
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What is released during condensation to create instability?
Latent heat
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Explain north-east monsoon
ITCZ moves southwards, low pressure replaced by high pressure, subsidence surpresses uplift, dry air masses dominate this period, air sinks = warms further
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What are Tropical Revolving Storms?
Slow-moving systems of extreme low pressure
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What factors are needed for the development of a Tropical Revolving Storm?
Ocean temperatures of over 26 degrees, ocean depths of at least 50m, latitudes of betwene 5-20 degrees
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What are hurricanes characterised by?
Uniform temperatures, pressure and humidity
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Explain the formation of a tropical revolving storm
As winds sweep over ocean surface they increase rate of evaporation and latent heat is transferred to rising air, moist air rises will condense to form cloud and rain, also releases latent heat which further drives the storm, eye develops
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What happens once a hurricane reaches land?
Decline in energy as storm loses its source of heat and moisture as well as increased friction slowing it down
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What scale is used to measure hurricanes?
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
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What happens to wind speed in urban areas?
On average they are 5% lower due to roughness of land surface
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What is an 'urban canyon'?
When wind is funnelled down straight streets it produces these urban canyons of wind due to the venturi effect
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How is turbulence created in urban areas?
Created by high-rise buildings disrupting air flow. Highest pressure is experienced in upper part of building with air flowing down front and over the top.
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What happens to the temperature in urban areas?
Warmer than their rural surroundings, on average it is 1-2 degrees warmer
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What are the 5 contributing factors to creating urban heat islands?
Anthropogenic heat, height and arrangement of buildings, nature of building materials, presence of water amd presence of pollutants
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How much more cloud cover is there in urban areas?
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How many days does London have of thunderstorms every year?
100-110 days
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Name the 8 pieces of evidence for climate change
Glacial deposits, fossil landscapes, changes in sea levels, shifts in vegetation belt, tree-ring dating, sea-floor analysis, ice core analysis and coleoptera beetle
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What is the greenhouse effect?
Refers to an increasing temperature of lower atmosphere as a result of the heat-trapping effect of gases
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Name 6 possible effects of global warming
Temperature rise by 1.8-4 degrees by the end of the century, sea levels rise by 28-43cm, artic summer sea likely to dissapear, heatwaves increase, tropical storm intensity increases, ice caps lost
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Name 3 international responses to climate change
Earth Summit (1992 in Rio), Kyoto Protocol (1997) and Copenhagan Conference (2009)
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Name 2 responses in Britain
2006 Climate Change Programmes and the 2008 Climate Change Bill
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Name 2 towns which have introduced electric trams
Sheffield and Nottingham
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Name the 4 layers of the atmosphere in order


Troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere and thermosphere

Card 3


Explain the temperature changes throughout the atmosphere


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Which layer of the atmosphere does all weather occur in?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What is the Earth's Energy Budget?


Preview of the front of card 5
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