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Atmospright here - Energy and Latitude

This is Antarctica. What seaboy is this? Which is night and also which is day?

The sun is constantly up, also in the middle of the night in Antarctica throughout the summer. The photo on the left is Antarctica throughout the night in the summer. The photo on the right is Antarctica in the time of the day in summer. Similarly, in the winter Antarctica is largely dark all day.

Different parts of Earth’s surface obtain different quantities of sunlight. The sun’s rays strike Earth’s surconfront the majority of straight at the equator. This concentrates the rays on a little area. Because the rays hit even more straight, the location is heated even more. You have the right to view this in the figure below. Notice that the Planet is tilted on its axis. Since of the Earth’s tilt the sun’s rays strike the surconfront at a slant at the poles; they are less focused. This spreads the rays over a vast location. Because the sun’s rays hit at a slant, the location is heated less. The more focused the rays are, the even more energy an area receives and also the warmer it is; the much less concentrated the rays are, the less power an area receives and the cooler it is.

The lowest latitudes acquire the many power from the sun. The highest latitudes acquire the leastern.

The tilt of the Earth causes different areas to get various amounts of solar power. The distinction in solar power got at different latitudes drives atmospheric circulation. Places that acquire even more solar energy have even more heat. Places that gain less solar energy have actually less heat. The air above the areas receiving more heat warms up and rises. The air over the locations receiving less warm is cooler and so it sinks. The climbing warmth air and also sinking cool air develop wind which moves air and warmth roughly the earth.

See more: Spray Foam Verses Radiant Barrier Vs Foam Insulation Vs Radiant Barrier

Source:Open Education Group Textpublications - Planet Science

In order to help you understand also this more clearly, refer to the photo. In this photo, a grid of equal dimensions has been put on a projector display screen, superapplied upon a globe. Since of the curvature of the world which represents Earth, the grids are not unidevelop. Notice at the equator, the grids are proportionally smaller than they are at the poles. This represents the solar radiation being scattered over a better distance at the poles. Notice that at the equator, the grids are not distorted, interpretation solar radiation is not scattered close to as a lot. Thus, the air, sea, and Earth"s surface gets heated at the equator more than at the poles.

If we were to compare these two areas, we would certainly find that there is a net loss of solar radiation in the greater latitudes and also a net acquire in the tropics. This distinction in solar radiation creates a activity of air (wind) from the warmer tropical areas towards the cooler northern and also southern regions, the poles. See Figure 2.


This relocating air creates oceanic surchallenge currents that moves the water in the very same direction as the wind, that is, currents from the equator and tropics relocate heat water northward toward better latitudes, and currents from the poles move cooler water southward toward reduced latitudes. Now think around this, carry out winds within the location where you live blow from the north towards the southern or southern toward the north? If you analyze wind patterns wright here you live, you most likely will discern that the winds generally have actually a westerly or an easterly component to the north-south directions, i.e. northwest, southeast, southwest, west southwest, etc. What is the reason for this? Why do not winds blow just north and also south, moving the sea currents north and southern according to Figure 2? Great question. Research will certainly help carry out the answer.


A lot of the solar energy that reaches Earth hits the equator. Much much less solar energy gets to the poles. The difference in the amount of solar energy drives atmospheric circulation.

Practice Use this resource to answer the concerns that follow.

What is latitude? What does latitude suggests to the heating of the Earth? Why carry out high latitudes get less sunlight? What is the angle of incidence?

Answers - Highlight the box listed below to see the answers.

Latitude is the measurement of the distance of a location on the Earth from the equator. The additionally ameans from the equator that a place resides, the much less sunlight that this area receives. It all hregarding execute with the shape of the Planet. Due to the fact that the Earth is round, just the front the majority of portion receives direct sunlight.


The North Pole receives sunlight 24 hours a day in the summer. Why does it get much less solar radiation than the equator? What component of Earth receives the many solar radiation in a year? What renders the setting move the method it does?

Answers - Highlight the box listed below to see the answers.

It receives much less solar radiation than the equator bereason the angle of incidence is a lot smaller. The sun’s rays perform not strike the Earth’s surface as directly at the North Pole; they are much less focused. The equator receives the most solar radiation in a year. The distinction in the amount of solar energy the land also receives causes the setting to relocate the way it does.

Source:Open Education Group Textpublications - Planet Science