# heat transfer in the atmosphere

## what drives atmospheric circulation

Different parts of the Earth receive different amounts of solar radiation. Which part of the planet receives the most solar radiation? The Suns rays strike the surface most directly at the Equator. The difference in solar energy received at different latitudes drives atmospheric circulation.

## heat transfer in the atmosphere

Heat moves in the atmosphere the same way it moves through the solid Earth or another medium. What follows is a review of the way heat flows, but applied to the atmosphere. Radiation is the transfer of energy between two objects by electromagnetic waves. Heat radiates from the ground into the lower atmosphere. In conduction, heat moves from areas of more heat to areas of less heat by direct contact. Warmer molecules vibrate rapidly and collide with other nearby molecules, transferring their energy. In the atmosphere, conduction is more effective at lower altitudes, where air density is higher. This transfers heat upward to where the molecules are spread further apart or transfers heat laterally from a warmer to a cooler spot, where the molecules are moving less vigorously. Heat transfer by movement of heated materials is called convection. Heat that radiates from the ground initiates convection cells in the atmosphere (Figure 1.1). Click image to the left or use the URL below. URL:

## instructional diagrams

No diagram descriptions associated with this lesson

## questions

the transfer of energy between two objects by electromagnetic waves.

``````-->  a) radiation

b) conduction

c) convection

d) connection
``````

heat moving from more heat to areas of less heat by direct contact.

``````a) radiation

-->  b) conduction

c) convection

d) connection
``````

conduction is more effective at higher altitudes, where air density is lower.

``````a) true

-->  b) false
``````

solar energy coming through space is transferred by

``````a) conduction

b) convection

c) connection

``````

what drives the water cycle?

``````a) the earths core

b) the moon

-->  c) the sun

d) greenhouse gases
``````

the suns rays strike the surface most directly at the equator.

``````-->  a) true

b) false
``````

a spoon getting warmed by boiling water is an example of this.

``````a) radiation

-->  b) conduction

c) convection

d) connection
``````

when air gets warmer

``````a) it goes upward

b) molecules move faster

-->  d) all of the above
``````

``````-->  a) the suns rays strike obliquely and only during the summer.