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10. 3 Distributing the Heat p. 388 -396 Energy from the sun radiates to the Earth and is absorbed unequally on the planet.
Why do some areas absorb more radiation than others? • Earth’s tilt on axis
Albedo effect Ice, snow, clouds reflect Darker land absorbs
How Oceans Effect Distribution of Heat Large Reservoirs of Heat 1. Water has high specific heat capacity 2. Water has low albedo, high absorption (90% of incoming solar radiation is absorbed
Large Reservoirs of Heat • 3. High heats of fusion and vaporization • 4. Water is a fluid and heat can be distributed
Ocean Currents • Large effect on weather in coastal communities • Influence worldwide climate
Gulf Stream • Surface current: starts in Caribbean and flows up the Eastern coastline of US and Canada up to British Isles. Also called North Atlantic Drift.
El Nino • Wind Direction over the South Pacific reverses and winds flow eastward • Heavy rains on west coast of S. America, drought in SE Asia and N Australia
How does El Nino effect N America? • While most of effects of El Nino are (-) (floods, drought, famine) it does cause warming in western N. America in winter months and a decrease in intensity of Atlantic hurricanes and tornadoes in Canada and US
What is La Nina? • Increase strength of westward winds = cooling of surface waters of eastern equatorial Pacific • Warmer air to S Asia, Australia
Effects of La Nina in N. America • Cold air from Alaska moves S across western Canada and US (1996 LONG winter!) • East becomes warmer and drier
4 main prevailing winds