Chapter

Energy in the Lower Atmosphere

E. C. Pielou

in The Energy of Nature

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780226668062
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226668055 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226668055.003.0005
Energy in the Lower Atmosphere

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Wherever the wind blows, some of its energy is dissipated — converted to entropy — by the shearing of air against air; this happens at all elevations. However, the losses are far greater in the lower-most layer because of friction with the surface — the drag of moving air as it passes across land or water. Drag also affects the direction of the wind, making atmospheric circulation far more complicated than it is aloft. This chapter discusses the following: surface winds; vertical movements of the air; water vapor and energy transfers; storms; how atmospheric energy is dissipated; and the energy in a rainstorm.

Keywords: friction; drag; atmospheric circulation; surface winds; water vapor; storms; atmospheric energy

Chapter.  4041 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biological Sciences

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