Global Atmospheric Circulation Model Flashcards

1️⃣ Familiarise yourself with the flashcards:

  • Look through all the flashcards to see what’s on both sides.
  • Make sure you understand the information on each card. If something’s unclear, click the link to the revision notes at the bottom of the page for more details.

2️⃣ Test yourself:

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  • Check the answer and make a note of any cards you find challenging and need to go over more.

3️⃣ Consistently Review and Practice:

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  • Regularly review all the flashcards to help you better understand and retain the information over time.

Note: We may include questions that have multiple correct answers. It’s useful to remember specific examples to understand these concepts better.

What is the global atmospheric circulation model?

The global atmospheric circulation model explains how air moves around the Earth, distributing heat from the equator to the poles through a system of three cells: Hadley cell, Ferrel cell and Polar cell.

How does wind form?

Wind forms when air moves from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure, driven by differences in air pressure caused by the Sun’s uneven heating of the Earth’s surface.

What is insolation, and how does it affect air movement?

Insolation is the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth’s surface.

It’s greater at the equator and decreases towards the poles, causing hot air to rise at the equator and cool air to sink at the poles. This creates convection currents.

Describe the Hadley Cell.

The Hadley Cell is a large atmospheric circulation system extending from the equator to 30°-40° latitude. It involves trade winds moving towards the equator, creating thunderstorms, and leading to dry, warm climates in subtropical regions.

What is the role of the Ferrel Cell in atmospheric circulation?

The Ferrel Cell lies between the Hadley and Polar cells (30°-60° latitude). It flows in the opposite direction to the other cells, causing air to rise at mid-latitudes and leading to unstable weather patterns, such as those in the UK.

What is the Coriolis Effect, and how does it influence global winds?

The Coriolis Effect is the apparent curving of moving air due to Earth’s rotation, causing winds to deflect to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere. This influences global wind patterns and ocean currents.

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