Global Air Circulation Patterns We Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

These jet streams, found over both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, redistribute and influence weather patterns. They have created currents and trade winds which people have used as oceanic trade routes for centuries.

At the other extreme of the spectrum is the Polar Cell, located in the much cooler areas of the Earth. It is located in the most remote regions of the Earth, starting at around the 60th parallel. The Polar Cells are dominated by cold air caused by "Strong radiational cooling near the poles causes polar air to become cold and dense, which in turn causes it to sink," (Washington & Parkinson 2005:17). Cold air becomes extremely heavy and falls back towards the Earth's surface. The cell itself is extremely weak "although it remains detectable in times of averages of the air circulation," (Washington & Parkinson 2005:17). Like the Hadley Cell, the Polar Cell is driven by heating and cooling patterns. It helps balance the warmer air found in the tropical regions.

Unlike the direct Hadley and Polar Cells, the Ferrel Cell is an indirect cell which acts as a buffer between the two other cells. According to research, "The Ferrel Cell is an indirect meridional overturning circulation in mid-latitudes," (Vallis 2006:480). It is located in the mid-zones between the two extremes. The Ferrel Cells are present in both hemispheres within the middle and high latitudes. The flow moves towards the poles closer to the ground and it is and towards the equator in the middle; "cool air apparently rises in high latitudes, moves equatorwards and sinks in the subtropics," (Vallis 2006:480). Moving towards the equator it helps distribute colder air from the Polar Cells. It is also regulated by a friction which helps it keep moderate and controlled, creating a low pressure zone; it "is responsible for bringing mid-latitude eddy momentum flux convergence to the surface where it ay be balanced by friction," (Vallis 2006:481).

It creates low pressure zones when the warm air from the equator rises then moves towards the poles and becomes cooler and sinks. The Ferrel Cell is directly dependent on the functioning of the other two cells, making it an indirect atmospheric pattern.

So have been the atmospheric patterns for thousands of years. Yet these cells are not completely static. They fluctuate annually, which helps explain the variations of weather within given time periods. Another reason for change -- global warming. As our presence here on Earth makes a negative appearance in the climate of the planet, these atmospheric patterns are reacting, and changing. Global warming is threatening the balance of the current atmospheric patterns. Some research has noted that the warming of the earth's conditions due to climate change will eventually decrease the strength of the average Hadley Cell circulation in the atmosphere (Vecchi et al. 2006). With these changes come new challenges and conditions for the planet. As we try to curb our impact, no one knows the extent of the damage already done.

References

Manahan, Stanley E. (2006). Environmental Science and Technology: A Sustainable Approach to Green. CRC Press.

Vallis, Geoffry, K. (2006). Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics: Fundamentals and Large-Scale Circulation. Cambridge University Press.

Vecchi, Gabriel a.; Soden, Brian J.; Wittenberg, Andrew T.; Held, Isaac M.; Leetmaa, Ants; & Harrison, Matthew. (2006). Weakening of tropical Pacific atmospheric circulation due to anthropogenic forcing. Nature. No. 441:73-76.

Washington, Warren M. &…

Sources Used in Document:

References

Manahan, Stanley E. (2006). Environmental Science and Technology: A Sustainable Approach to Green. CRC Press.

Vallis, Geoffry, K. (2006). Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics: Fundamentals and Large-Scale Circulation. Cambridge University Press.

Vecchi, Gabriel a.; Soden, Brian J.; Wittenberg, Andrew T.; Held, Isaac M.; Leetmaa, Ants; & Harrison, Matthew. (2006). Weakening of tropical Pacific atmospheric circulation due to anthropogenic forcing. Nature. No. 441:73-76.

Washington, Warren M. & Parkinson, Claire L. (2005). An Introduction to Three Dimensional Climate Modeling. University Science Books.

Cite This Thesis:

"Global Air Circulation Patterns We" (2009, August 26) Retrieved September 17, 2019, from
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/global-air-circulation-patterns-we-19778

"Global Air Circulation Patterns We" 26 August 2009. Web.17 September. 2019. <
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/global-air-circulation-patterns-we-19778>

"Global Air Circulation Patterns We", 26 August 2009, Accessed.17 September. 2019,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/global-air-circulation-patterns-we-19778