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environment - Energy and Latitude

This is Antarctica. What season is this? which is night and which is day?

The sun is always up, also in the middle of the night in Antarctica during the summer. The photograph on the left is Antarctica during the night in the summer. The photo on the appropriate is Antarctica throughout the day in summer. Similarly, in the winter Antarctica is largely dark every day.

Different components of Earth’s surface get different amounts of sunlight. The sun’s light ray strike Earth’s surface ar most straight at the equator. This focuses the rays on a tiny area. Because the light ray hit much more directly, the area is cook more. You can see this in the figure below. An alert that the planet is tilted top top its axis. The curvature of the Earth causes the palliation in energy concentration. Additionally, the tilt that the earth in some instances (winter in north hemisphere) causes a reduction, and also in other situations (summer in the north hemisphere) actually causes an increase in power concentration.

The lowest latitudes gain the most energy from the sun. The greatest latitudes gain the least.

The tilt the the Earth causes different locations to obtain different amounts of solar energy. The distinction in solar power received at different latitudes drives atmospheric circulation. Locations that get more solar power have much more heat. Areas that acquire less solar power have less heat. The air over the locations receiving an ext heat warms up and rises. The air over the areas receiving less warm is cooler and so that sinks. The rising warmth air and sinking cool air develop wind which move air and also heat about the planet.

Source:Open education and learning Group Textbooks - earth Science

In bespeak to assist you understand this an ext clearly, refer to the photo. In this photo, a net of equal dimensions has actually been placed on a projector screen, superimposed ~ above a globe. Since of the curvature the the globe which represents Earth, the grids are not uniform. Notification at the equator, the grids room proportionally smaller sized than they are at the poles. This represents the solar radiation gift scattered over a better distance in ~ the poles. An alert that at the equator, the grids room not distorted, an interpretation solar radiation is no scattered close to as much. Due to the fact that of this, the air, ocean, and Earth"s surface gets heated in ~ the equator more than at the poles.

If we were to to compare these 2 regions, we would discover that over there is a network loss the solar radiation in the greater latitudes and also a net obtain in the tropics. This distinction in solar radiation create a movement of waiting (wind) from the warmer tropical regions toward the cooler northern and also southern regions, the poles. See number 2.


This moving air creates oceanic surface ar currents the moves the water in the exact same direction as the wind, that is, currents indigenous the equator and also tropics move warm water northward toward greater latitudes, and currents native the poles relocate cooler water southward toward reduced latitudes. Currently think about this, do winds within the area where you live punch from the north toward the southern or southern toward the north? If you analysis wind fads where girlfriend live, you probably will discern that the winds typically have a westerly or an easterly ingredient to the north-south directions, i.e. Northwest, southeast, southwest, west southwest, etc. What is the reason for this? Why don"t winds blow just north and south, relocating the ocean currents north and south follow to number 2? great question. Research study will help carry out the answer.


A the majority of the solar power that reaches planet hits the equator. Much much less solar energy gets to the poles. The distinction in the quantity of solar power drives atmospheric circulation.

Practice usage this resource to answer the questions that follow.

What is latitude? What go latitude way to the heating of the Earth? Why execute high latitudes receive less sunlight? What is the angle of incidence?

Answers - to mark the box below to see the answers.

See more: Width Of A Human Hair In Inches, Diameter Of Human Hair

Latitude is the measure up of the distance of a place on the earth from the equator. The further away indigenous the equator that a ar resides, the less sunlight that this place receives. that all needs to do v the shape of the Earth. Because the planet is round, only the prior most part receives straight sunlight.


The phibìc Pole receives sunshine 24 hrs a work in the summer. Why does that receive less solar radiation than the equator? What part of earth receives the most solar radiation in a year? What renders the environment move the way it does?

Answers - to mark the box listed below to check out the answers.

the receives less solar radiation 보다 the equator due to the fact that the angle of incidence is lot smaller. The sun’s rays execute not win the Earth’s surface ar as straight at the phibìc Pole; castle are much less focused. The equator receives the many solar radiation in a year. The difference in the quantity of solar energy the floor receives reasons the atmosphere to relocate the way it does.

Source:Open education and learning Group Textbooks - planet Science