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15 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Why it is hotter at the equator than the poles:
1.The sun heats the Earth unevenly
2.Hot air rises at the equator
3.And begins to flow toward poles
4.Deflection due to Earth’s rotation
5.Winds push/drive the ocean currents
= Heat is redistributed
The major driving force of atmospheric circulation:
Atmospheric circulation is driven by convection, which is driven by the sun’s radiation and coriolis effect.
• Heat rises to Equator and cooling sinks to Poles
Tropics - Energy dispersed over smaller area
- Large amount of energy absorbed
- Small amount of energy reflected
Poles - Energy dispersed over wider area
-Smaller amount of energy absorbed
- Larger amount of energy reflected
coriolis effect:
Coriolis Effect – “apparent” deflection of moving objects due to the rotation of the Earth (since the Earth is a rotating sphere, moving objects (as viewed from Earth) are deflected either to the right or left)
• Deflects to the right in northern hemisphere
• Deflects to the left in southern hemisphere
•Coriolis is strongest at the poles
•Works in all directions
• Counter-clockwise rotation = displacement to the right
• Clockwise rotation = displacement to the left
At what latitudes winds converge and at what latitudes winds diverge:
Divergence zone – when the sinking air reaches low elevation, it divides, some moving back toward the equator near the surface and some moving north near the surface. A place where sinking air separates into two flows moving in opposite directions

Convergence zone – the air must rise, because there is nowhere for the extra air to go but up. A place where two surface air flows meet so that air has to rise

Intertropical convergence zone – the equatorial convergence zone in the atmosphere
What distinguishes western boundary currents from eastern boundary currents:
Western boundary: fast, deep, warm, strong

slow, shallow, cold, weak
The three major wind belts and the average wind direction of each belt:
Polar Easterlies = arrows at the top pointing to the right
Westerlies = arrows in the middle pointing to the left
NE Trade Winds – arrows at the bottom pointing to the right
– surface currents in the ocean that trace out large circular flow patterns
Ferrel cell
mid-latitude cells
Hadley cell
low-latitude cells extending from the equator to a latitude of about 30 degrees
Polar cell
high-latitude cells
Northeast trade winds
– surface winds that come out of the northeast and occur in the region between the equator and 30 degrees North
Southeast trade winds
tradewinds in the Southern Hemisphere, which start flowing northward, deflect to the west, and end up flowing from southeast to northwest
Jet stream
a fast-moving current of air that flows at high elevations