Climate - Research Article from Environmental Encyclopedia

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 6 pages of information about Climate.
This section contains 1,685 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
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Solar Energy and Climate

Solar energy is the driving force in the earth's climate. Incoming radiation from the sun warms the atmosphere and raises air temperatures, warms the earth's surface, and evaporates water, which then becomes humidity, rain, and snow. The earth's surface reflects or re-emits energy back into the atmosphere, further warming the air. Warming air expands and rises, creating convection patterns in the atmosphere that reach over several degrees of latitude. In these convection cells, low pressure zones develop under rising air, and high pressure zones develop where that air returns downward toward the earth's surface. Such differences in atmospheric pressure force air masses to move, from high to low pressure regions. Movement of air masses creates wind on the earth's surface. When these air masses carry evaporated water, they may create precipitation when they move to cooler regions.

The sun's energy comes to the earth in...

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This section contains 1,685 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Climate Encyclopedia Article
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Climate from Environmental Encyclopedia. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.