Weather and Climate

by Jason Amores Sumpter
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When we talk about whether we're talking about the short term atmospheric conditions in an area, he's gonna be things like rainfall or what temperature it is outside. Now. Climate is really looking at long term weather patterns. Oven area. So with weather, we're wondering if it's raining outside. But with climate were wondering how many inches of rain did we receive here in the past year? Something like that. Now climate can actually be viewed from two different lenses. You can look at macro climate, which is climate on the global, regional and landscape scale. And you can also look at micro climate, which is climate of a small area. And this could be really small. I mean, we could be talking about a puddle, and the thing about micro climates is they usually have a climate that differs from the surrounding macro climate, so they kind of stand out for that reason. Now, climate graphs are just representations of climate data, and we actually have a climate graph right here. This is from NASA, and it's showing global temperature averages for the year 2015. No, everything that is in color on this image, as in all The areas that aren't white are different from the average. And hopefully you can see that the Earth was quite a lot and warmer than normal in 2015. And this is pretty alarming. You know, this is, uh this is a new aberration in average temperatures, and it's actually part of a trend that has been ongoing. The global temperature averages increasing now, atmospheric conditions can lead to some pretty amazing phenomena. Uh, you know, we tend to think about physical processes like, uh, you know, things moving due to differences in temperature, for example, on a small scale. But this kind of stuff is happening on a large scale across the planet at all times. So I want to talk about this particular type of atmospheric circulation called Hadley Cell that happens right around the equator. Now the Hadley cell is basically a circulation of air through the atmosphere. That kind of if we're looking at the surface of the earth here and our atmosphere sits on top, the Hadley cell circulates air not on Lee, up and down latitude on the globe, but also up and down through the atmosphere. So the air in the Hadley cell is circulating north south, but it's also circulating vertically. You know it's moving up and down through the atmosphere is well, so hopefully you can gather that from this image these red arrows air trying to represent the movement of air and Hadley cell. Basically, what's gonna happen is at the equator we get the strongest sunlight, so the air there is going to be hot, and it's gonna be hotter than the air that's further away from the equator. Hopefully, follow me so far. Now this warm air allows it, or this warmth in the air allows that air toe hold more moisture and hot things rise up right, so this air is going to rise up in the atmosphere. So basically around the equator, we get this hot, warm air and it rises up in the atmosphere. Now as it rises, as this air rises, it's going to cool, and as it cools, it's going to lose. Moisture is precipitation, so as this hot, moist air rises up, it's going to cause rainfall right. It's going to lose the moisture it's holding now, this cooling air not on Lee so that the air is rising up in the atmosphere is, it cools. But as the air cools, it also gets pushed toward the poles. Right, So it's going to go up and then also start to move either north or south. I'm showing an example. Going north could just as easily be working in this band down here showing the opposite direction. Like you can see here. However, I'm just going to keep working. Uh, in this, uh, northern particular band. Now, the cold air as it's moving towards the pole, it will start to sink right. Cold things sink hot things rise up, thermodynamics. So as it moves towards the pole, it's going to sink down in the atmosphere. So hopefully you can see how these arrows air, showing the movement of that air, right. The hot air rises up, cools moves towards the poles once it gets around this, uh, you know, mid latitude here around 30 degrees and against either be north or South, you'll have them in both both areas. You know, right when it gets around there, it's gonna get cold enough that it's gonna sink back down. Now, what's so cool about the Hadley cell is something we can literally see, right here on this map. Notice how af in the continent of Africa, there's almost like a line right here. It's actually called the Suhel Band case. You're curious, and basically it's going to separate this Junglee area, right this green area from the desert up here. Now why is there such a stark division there? The answer is in part because of Hadley cells, because the rainfall distribution is much higher around the equator and it's quite low in the peripheral areas. So these areas around the equator get all the rainfall and look, this area of desert exists right in essentially the part where the Hadley cell has or rather, the air moving has given off all its moisture. It's going to be dry right, and it's gonna be dry air that's moving over this area this desert. So the point being that these atmospheric circulations and there's more than just the Hadley cell. This is just one to illustrate a point. You know, there's more than just this, but these atmospheric circulations have a major impact on the ecosystems of our planet, and you know you can't really make it any more apparent. Then, right here, this line through the continent. So with that, let's go ahead and flip the page