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Objective: meteorology. To understand the role of atmospheric temperature in

Desired Learning Outcomes:1. 2. 3. 4. Understand difference between temperature and heat Determine various methods of heat transfer Analyze the heating process in the atmosphere Assess the factors affecting surface temperature

1. Introduction. Atmospheric temperature is the factor which is responsible for all the weather activities in the world. This chapter will teach you that how do different parts acquire different temperatures, although the heating source is same for the whole earth. Difference in temperature causes difference in pressure, which is the main reason for relative motion of air in horizontal and vertical direction. Air in horizontal motion gives us winds and air in vertical motion gives us clouds and precipitation. To understand the role of atmospheric temperatures in weather, you must understand following facts. 2. Temperature. Temperature in a body is because of the motion of its molecules. Overall temperature of a body is the average K. E of molecules in that body. As long as there is any motion in the molecules, the body will have some temp, may it be below zero. 273C is known as absolute zero because at this temperature motion of molecules in all the bodies seizes. 3. Heat. It is the total K. E of all the molecules in a body. Amount of heat present in a body depends upon both the temperature and the mass of that body e.g. Tarbela Lake may have much higher temperatures than Arabian Sea, but later has more heat stored in it because of its bigger mass. Heat = T x M Temperature Measurement 4. Temperature can be measured by following methods:(a) The expansive effect of heat. Liquids like mercury are used in glass tubes and their expansion is measured to give temperature. (b) With change in temperature pressure also increases at constant volume. The change in pressure can be measured to give temperature. (c) The resistance of conductors changes with change in temperature. The resistance and/or current can be measured to give temperature. 10 RESTRICTED where T= Temp of the body M= Mass of body

RESTRICTED CHAPTER 3 (d) All bodies emit radiations depending upon their temperature. If we measure the wavelength of the radiations we can tell the temperature of body. Normally used for very high temperatures. Measurement of Air Temperature 5. Air temperature is measured with the help of thermometer, which uses the expansive quality of liquids to measure temperature. There are a number of thermometers (dry bulb, wet bulb, maximum and minimum thermometers) mounted in a shelter. The shelter is sometimes called as a Stevenson Screen. The requirements of a shelter are:(a) A standard height, which is kept at 4 feet. Standard height is required because the temperature varies with height so a constant height will give same standard to all stations. (b) Type of surface. The screen should be mounted at 3 on a grassy field to eliminate the effect of variable ground heating. (c) (d) Scales 6. There are three scales of temperature in general use:(a) Fahrenheit. This scale has limited usage. In this scale melting point of ice is 32 deg. F and the boiling point of water is 212 deg. F. (b) Centigrade (Celsius). This is the scale mostly used in meteorology and in this scale 0 deg. C is the melting point of ice and 100 deg. C is the boiling point of water. (c) Kelvin (Absolute). The unit of this scale is similar to centigrade scale but its zero is at -273 deg C. It is commonly used in calculations. The zero of this scale is called as absolute zero, which is a theoretical value. If a gas is cooled to absolute zero, its pressure would drop to zero, provided the gas does not change its state. It is also said that at this temperature all motion seizes. Conversion F = (9/5 x C) + 32 C = 5/9 x (F - 32) K = C 273 C = K + 273 Freedom from local heating sources. Ventilated.


RESTRICTED CHAPTER 3 Stefan- Boltzman Law Intensity of radiation = Sigma x (Temp)4 Wien's Law Wavelengths = constant x 1/temp. i.e. Higher the temperature, lesser the wavelength. Heating process in the Atmosphere 7. Following facts explains how heat energy is being radiated, absorbed and reflected in the atmospheres. (a) All bodies, (if not at absolute zero temp) radiate energy, with amount and wavelength dependent on their temperature. At high temperature, higher intensity but shorter wavelength radiations will be emitted. That is why sun emits short W/L high temperature radiations as compared to earths longer W/L low temperature radiations. (b) All bodies absorb different amounts of energy depending upon their mass, colour and texture. Different substances absorb different wave length more easily than others e.g. O2 only absorbs short wave solar radiation whereas CO2 and water vapours absorbs long wave length earths radiations more easily. (c) All bodies reflect different amount of radiations depending upon their texture and color e.g. Snow reflects max and absorb very less where as land would absorb max and reflect very less. GOOD ABSORBERS ARE POOR REFLECTORS AND VICE VERSA Transfer of heat energy in atmosphere 8. Sun is the only source of heat energy for earth and its atmosphere. It radiates a range of very short wave radiations all the time (Fig 3.1). Earth and its atmosphere only intercept 1 / 2,000,000,000 of total sun energy. Following are three methods with which solar energy is distributed in the atmosphere. (a) Radiations. It is the method of transfer of energy where no medium is required, or we can say that transfer of heat through Electro Magnetic waves from one material to another with out heating intervening space. Solar radiations travel millions of miles and are only absorbed by earth surface with out affecting the space or atmosphere much. Here only exception is of few
Fig 3.1

Opaque earth is heated by absorption of electromagnetic waves


RESTRICTED CHAPTER 3 short wave lengths being absorbed by O2 in ionosphere and stratosphere but they have no effect on the temperature of lower atmosphere. Refer to Fig 3.1 (b) Conduction. It is the intermolecular heat transfer through a body, or the process by which heat is transferred from area of high temp to area of low temp with out any physical transfer of atmospheric constituents. After the earth surface has been heated up through radiations, it heats up the layer of air in contact with it (3-4 feet deep) through conduction as in Fig 3.2 above. (c) Convection. It is the process by which heat is carried from one place to another by physical transfer of the air (Fig 3.3). Due to conduction process layer of air in contact with earth gets heated so its density reduces as a result it starts to rise up and sets up vertical currents (convection) which spreads the heat energy from lower layers to upper layers of atmosphere by physical transfer of the air.
Fig 3.2

A shallow layer of air is heated by direct contact with the warm surface

Fig 3.3


Distribution of Insolations (In-Coming-Solar- Radiations)

Fig 3.4


RESTRICTED CHAPTER 3 9. Now we will see what role insolations play as they enter the earths atmosphere. (a) A small amount of very short W/L radiations (about 20%) are being absorbed by O2 in ionosphere and stratosphere. (b) A substantial amount of about 35% is being reflected back towards space by clouds. (c) Remaining 45% reaches earths surface, out of which only 1/3rd is being absorbed by earths surface, 1/3rd is consumed in evaporation from water surfaces and last 1/3rd is again reflected back. 10. Here it should be noted that insolations will only affect the temperature of earths surface and not of the lower air because after entering the troposphere they have only been absorbed by the earth surface and not by the lower air. Refer to Fig 3.5.

20% absorbed ionization + Ozone

35% reflected by clouds

Fig 3.5

Distribution of Terrestrial Radiations 11. After earths surface is sufficiently heated up by insolations it, in return, emits low temperature/long wavelength radiations, which play the following role: (a) Some amount is readily absorbed by CO2 and vapors thus increasing the temperature of the lower atmosphere. (b) A substantial amount is being absorbed by clouds which again has a warming effect on the lower atmosphere. Clouds again re-radiate some energy back towards earth. (c) Remaining terrestrial radiations escape back to space. 14 RESTRICTED

RESTRICTED CHAPTER 3 12. After studying all the above mentioned facts, we reach to this very important fact that lower atmosphere is indirectly heated by terrestrial radiation and not directly by suns radiations. This fact is of great importance in meteorology. Factors Controlling Amount of Heating of a Land Surface 13. Now we would like to understand that in the presence of one heat source why different places acquire different temperatures. For simplicity we will assume that atmosphere is clear of clouds and each part of earth has unhindered supply of insolations. Now the differential heating of earth would depend on following factors: 14. Angle of Elevation or Incidence. In Fig 3.6 the same amount of radiation reaches the earth's surface on each occasion. At point A where the angle of elevation is large, the rays are concentrated onto a small, almost circular patch of the earth's surface; but where the angle of elevation is small i.e. point B the same amount of rays are spread out over a large ellipse, and the radiant energy per unit area is less. Moreover at smaller angles more reflection and less absorption takes place due to which temperature rise per unit area is again less.


In summary we can say that: (a) Small angles of solar elevations will tend to produce small rise in temperature of the earth's surface.

Fig 3.6

(b) Large angles of solar elevation will tend to produce large rise in the temperature of the earth's surface. 16. Duration of Insolation. Any portion of the earth's surface will only receive incoming solar radiation when it faces the sun, therefore, as the earth rotates on its axis, only a portion of the earth is receiving the sun's radiant energy at any given time. Also during the year, as the earth travels along its orbit around the sun, the length of daylight varies from place to place. 17. The angle of elevation of the sun rays at a particular place varies throughout the day from sunrise to sunset, and the maximum angle of incidence and the duration of daylight which that place is going to get alters with the seasons. Variations in the angle of incidence and the duration of the insolations are therefore related directly to the two basic movements of the earth in the solar system: (a) (b) The rotation of the earth about its axis. The revolution of the earth around the sun.

18. Topography. Topography is another factor that must be taken into account. The relationship of the slopes of land surfaces to the incoming solar radiation, i.e. 15 RESTRICTED

RESTRICTED CHAPTER 3 the angle affects the amount of radiations received per unit area. Fig 3.7 illustrates the effects of varying slopes on the amount of insolations available to heat the surface of the earth.

Fig 3.7

19. Reflective Power. The amount of insolations reflected by a surface also depends on the nature of the surface. A Land area presents a variety of reflecting surfaces; the following percentages indicate nature of some typical land surfaces: Land Surface Snow Rock Grass Forest Sand City areas % Insulations Reflected 70-90 10-15 15-30 10-20 15-20 10

20. Surfaces which are good reflectors are bad absorbers; therefore, only small amount of insolations will be absorbed with a consequent slow rise in temperature. Remember, the atmosphere is heated; not directly from the sun but indirectly from the heated earth; only the energy absorbed by the earth is available to heat the atmosphere. The atmosphere over snow covered surface is going to have lower temperatures, where as over desert it will have higher temperatures due to their respective reflective powers. The Effect of Clouds over Surface Heating 21. The following pictures explain the behavior of earths heating and cooling characteristics with or without clouds. It should be noted that because of clouds, day time maximum temperatures are going to decrease, where as night time minimum temperatures are going to increase. So clouds not only reduce day time heating but also night time cooling.



Fig 3.8

Fig 3.9

Large net gain, large increase in surface temperature, strong vertical currents

Large net loss, intense surface cooling. Surface layers of air cooled by conduction

Fig 3.10

Fig 3.11

Small net gain; small increase in surface temperature, vertical currents weak or non-existent

Small net loss; with thick cloud the loss is negligible

Different Heating Characteristics of land and water surfaces 22. In the above paragraphs we have learnt the reasons for differential heating of land surfaces. But over the surface of earth greatest contrast between types of surfaces is found between land and water areas. They both have exactly opposite heating and cooling characteristics and this fact is responsible for many weather phenomena. Following factors will explain the reasons for their different heating characteristics: (a) Reflection. At low angles of incidence reflects more radiation than the comparatively when the sun's rays reach the water surface at 2% of the radiation is reflected; at an angle of 75% of insulation is reflected. the smooth surface of water irregular land surfaces. E.g. about 45 deg, approximately 5 deg elevation as much as

(b) Specific Heat. When heat is absorbed by a substance the increase of temperature is dependent on its thermal capacity (i.e. the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of the substance by 1 deg. C). By taking the thermal capacity of water as unity, we may express that of any other substance as the ratio of its thermal capacity to that of water; this ratio is known as the specific heat. The specific heat of water is higher than that of dry earth; consequently, in the same radiation conditions, water surfaces heat and cool more slowly than do land surfaces. 17 RESTRICTED

RESTRICTED CHAPTER 3 (c) Latent Heat of Evaporation. When a liquid changes into a gas the process is called evaporation. In the case of water it changes to an invisible gas called water vapor. For this change to take place, heat energy is required to excite the molecules. This heat is referred to as latent heat (hidden heat) because it does not raise the temperature but just changes the state. When heat is supplied equally to earth and water, the process of evaporation uses up much of the heat supplied to the water and so less is available to heat it. The subject of latent heat is covered in more detail in chapter 5. (d) Conductivity. Another factor is the amount of material which shares the loss or gain of heat by conduction. Water and air are poor conductors because of the loose nature of their molecular structure; therefore, the heat will spread relatively slowly. However, the conductivity of solids varies a great deal. Although land materials are usually better conductors than water, even in this case changes in ground temperature during 24 hours affect only the first few inches, and even seasonal changes affect only a few feet. Snow is a very poor conductor because it contains a large proportion of trapped air pockets. (e) Opacity. Water is transparent and some of the incoming radiations penetrate to a considerable depth before being entirely absorbed so that the whole of this layer shares the radiant heat. Consequently the resulting temperature changes are quite small. As stated above the opaque nature of land surfaces lead to a rapid heating of a layer, a few inches deep. (f) Convective Movement of Liquids. The free movement and convection which takes place in water tends to spread any temperature changes through a considerable depth. By dispersing heat energy, or sharing heat loss through a larger volume, change of surface temperature in the oceans is small. Land and Water Heating and Cooling Characteristics 23. Heating and cooling characteristics of land and water may be summarized as follows:(a) With the same amount of solar energy falling on each surface, a land surface will reach a higher temperature more quickly than a water surface. Conversely, when the supply of solar energy is removed during night time, a land surface will cool more rapidly. (b) Land, or continental areas, will be characterized by large diurnal (through 24 hrs) and seasonal ranges of temperature. (c) Water, or maritime areas, will be characterized by very small diurnal and seasonal ranges of temperature.


RESTRICTED CHAPTER 3 Fig. 3.12 to 3.15 illustrates differential heating over land and water, by day and night.
Fig 3.12 Fig 3.13

Large gain of heat in a shallow layer=High temp.

Large loss of heat in a shallow layer=Low temp.

Fig 3.14

Fig 3.15

Moderate gain of heat=Small (almost negligible) in a deep layer rise in temp.

Moderate loss of heat=Small (almost negligible) in a deep layer drop in temp.

Diurnal (in 24 hrs) Variation of Surface Air Temperature 24. In meteorological terms the surface air temperature refers to the temperature of free air recorded in the shade and at a height of 4 ft (1.25 meters). 25. The daily cyclic change of surface air temperature is called the diurnal variation of temperature. Because the air is heated indirectly, the cycle lags a little behind the elevation of the sun as shown in Fig 3.16.

Fig 3.16


The amplitude of the diurnal curve will be influenced by: (a) Cloud Cover. Overcast conditions results in lower maximum and 19 RESTRICTED

RESTRICTED CHAPTER 3 higher minimum surface air temperature. (Fig 3.16) (b) Wind. In general, the diurnal variation is greatest when the wind is calm. Wind causes the surface air to mix with the air above so that the gain of heat by day and the loss of heat by night are spread through a layer of air which may be 2,000 ft thick. In windy conditions the daytime maximum temperature will be lower and the night time minimum temperature higher than the equivalent temperatures experienced in calm conditions. (c) Maritime or Continental Location. The contrasts in the properties of land and water have already been summarized. Over the sea the diurnal variation of surface air temperature is negligible. In coastal regions the variation is small; however, there will be a large diurnal variation in surface air temperature inland. 27. Any factor that depends on surface heating, e.g. convection, turbulence etc., will also show a diurnal variation and the variation will be greater over land than over sea. 28. It is worth noting that in clear skies overnight, with calm conditions, the ground temperature may be as much as 5 deg centigrade below the air temperature. For example air minimum + 02, ground minimum - 02 deg centigrade, will give 'ground frost' and possibly icy runways, taxi ways etc (Ch-11). Vertical Distribution of Temperature 29. Environmental Lapse Rate (ELR) As the air is indirectly heated by the earth surface, so as you go away from it air is going to cool down progressively (just like the temperature reduction taking place as one move away from a fire place) this is known as Environmental lapse rate. In troposphere the average value of ELR is 1.98 deg C/1000 ft. This is just an average value, supposed in the standard atmosphere of ISA (International Standard Atmosphere). In actual case ELR varies a great deal from this value and it can be well above or below this figure. Whenever temperature drops with increase in height it is known as the positive lapse rate and if it increases with height then it is known as negative lapse rate or an inversion layer. (a) Inversion Layer. It is a common observation in troposphere that some times temperature starts to increase with increase in height. The reasons for inversion will be discussed later in the book. It is important to note that from surface till tropopause atmosphere can have more then one inversion layers. (b) Isothermal Layer. The layer in which temperature remains constant is known as Isothermal layer. These layers can also be found in troposphere at any height. Tropopause is also an isothermal layer. 30. In Fig 3.17 line ABCDEF represents typical readings of a thermometer lifted vertically through the atmosphere. Line AB shows a decrease in temperature with height, this is positive lapse rate. The line BC shows an increase of temperature, this is an inversion layer (negative lapse rate). Along line DE the temperature remains 20 RESTRICTED

RESTRICTED CHAPTER 3 the same through a considerable vertical layer; such a layer is called an Isothermal layer.

Fig 3.17

Questions for Study & Discussion

DLO 1 DLO 2 DLO 3 DLO 4 How do the heating and cooling characteristics of earth vary with clouds? Why earth heats up and cools earlier than water? Why is the surface air temperature minimum just before sunrise and maximum in the afternoon? How are insolations and terrestrial radiations distributed? Why different places acquire different temperatures despite one heat source? Does all type of heat transfer require a medium? Why is temperature and heat the same thing?