Regularities of Earth’s climate formation. What determines the climate?
Man has long been interested in the peculiarities of climatic conditions and weather, trying to provide for dangerous natural phenomena and avoid them. It is known that the main causes on which the climate of a certain region depends – climate-forming factors – is the amount of solar radiation, the circulation of the atmosphere and the underlying earth’s surface.
The most important of these is the radiation of the Sun, which enters the earth’s surface in the form of heat and light. It is solar energy, or solar radiation that is the source for a variety of processes and phenomena occurring on Earth.
The amount of solar radiation depends on the angle of incidence of rays on the Earth’s surface, that is, from the height of the Sun above the horizon, and the height of the Sun above the horizon depends on the geographical latitude of the terrain. Most of the solar heat arrives at the equator, since the angle of incidence of the sun’s rays
The general regularity of the change in the temperature regime is a decrease in the temperature values from the equator to the poles. This can be traced through the climate map of the world. It uses special lines to represent the air temperature – isotherms that connect the points of the earth’s surface with the same temperature.
With the help of isotherms show the average temperatures of the warmest and coldest months of the year. Isotherms do not always coincide with parallels. They change direction, moving from the mainland to the ocean and vice versa. Only in the moderate latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere, where there is almost no land, the direction of the isotherms approaches the direction of the parallels.
The heating of the Earth’s surface also depends on the nature of the heated surface, that is, the underlying surface. Everyone knows that a bright surface reflects the sun’s rays, and
As the earth’s surface is heated unevenly, some of its areas receive more heat, others less. Over areas that are less heated, the air is cooler and, therefore, its pressure is higher than over areas that heat up well. The difference in atmospheric pressure over different parts of the Earth’s surface causes the movement of air. The system of horizontal and vertical air currents in the troposphere is called the circulation of the atmosphere. The main manifestation of the circulation of the atmosphere are constant and variable winds, which are the reason for the movement of air masses – significant volumes of air with uniform properties: temperature, pressure, humidity, transparency, etc.
Air masses can be warm or cold, wet or dry. Depending on which thermal zones they form, four main types of air masses are distinguished: equatorial; tropical; moderate; Arctic and Antarctic. It is the air mass dominating a certain territory that determines the nature of its weather. Remember how often we witness a sudden change in the weather. For example, in winter, after a long thaw, severe frosts may occur or after a hot and dry weather in summer there is a sharp cooling and cold rains fall out. All these changes are the result of the movement of air masses.
Depending on the location of atmospheric pressure regions, atmospheric precipitation also depends. Where low pressure belts are formed, there are always a lot of precipitation, and where high pressure prevails, the amount of precipitation is negligible. For example, low pressure prevails over the equatorial latitudes. Here the warm and steam-saturated air, rising, quickly cools. As a result, cumulonimbus clouds are formed, from which a lot of precipitation falls – over 2000 mm per year. Therefore, the equatorial latitudes are considered to be the wettest on the earth’s surface.
And in the high-pressure belts, cold air, falling, is compressed and heated, so it becomes drier. That is why in the areas of high pressure over the tropics and near the poles there is not enough precipitation, and they rarely fall out.
The distribution of precipitation also depends on the geographical latitude: the less the amount of solar radiation, the less precipitation.