You are on page 1of 43

Unit IV

Concept of Agrometeorology : Introduction to Meteorology and Agricultural Meteorology, Concept of weather and climate, Scope and importance of Agricultural Meteorology Classification and instruments used in agrometeorology : Agrimet observatory its classification and layout, Instruments for measuring the different weather parameters, Units of measurements

Unit V
Role of atmospheric temperature and pressure : Thermal structure of atmosphere factors affecting surface air temperature, Atmospheric pressure and its variation with height, Spatial and temporal variations in surface air temperature, Soil temperature and its variations

Unit VI
Weather forecasting and remote sensing : Atmospheric humidity, Rainfall and its mechanisms, Importance of weather forecasting, Cloud classification and measurements, Cloud seeding, Agricultural seasons, Crop weather diagrams and calendars, Remote Sensing

The Atmosphere

Introduction to the Atmosphere

Earths Spheres
Earth's four spheres include:
the atmosphere (gaseous envelope),

the lithosphere (solid Earth),

the hydrosphere (water portion), and the biosphere (life).

Each sphere is composed of many interrelated parts and is intertwined with all other spheres. The energy exchanges that continually occur between the atmosphere and Earth's surface, and between the atmosphere and space, produce the effects we call weather.

A system is a group of interacting or interdependent parts that form a complex whole. The Earth System involves the intricate and continuous interaction between the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. The two primary sources of the energy that power this system are: (1) Solar energy that drives the external processes that occur at, or above, Earth's surface, and (2) Earth's interior, heat remaining from when the planet formed and heat that is continuously generated by radioactive decay.

Composition of the atmosphere

Permanent gasses

Variable gasses

Permanent Gasses Table 1-2

Variable Gasses

Nitrogen: Main component of nitrogen cycles involving fixation by micro organisms for plant use and return to atmosphere as free gas, cause photochemical reactions Oxygen: Essential for sustaining life, involved in photochemical reactions to produce ozone Caron dioxide: Required for Photosnthesis and respiration in plants, absorbs heat and works as insulating blanket to regulate air temperature Ozone: Conc. Low in lower atmosphere, most efficient absorber of deadly UV rays and makes life possible Water Vapour: Conc. with in 6km above surface, controls temp. of atmosphere, control evaporation, transpiration and crop water requrements Solids: Hygroscopic dust particles help to form clouds and rain, different colour due to selective scattering of solar spectrum by gas and dust particles.

Ozone, a form of oxygen that combines three oxygen atoms into each molecule (O3), is an important gas concentrated in the 10 to 50 kilometer height in the atmosphere that absorbs the potentially harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the Sun. Over the past half century, people have placed Earth's ozone layer in jeopardy by polluting the atmosphere with chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which remove some of the gas. Ozone concentrations take an especially sharp drop over Antarctica during the Southern Hemisphere spring (September and October).

Structure of the Atmosphere

Structure of the atmosphere

Layers of the atmosphere

All info based on moving upward through the atmosphere

Layers of Our Atmosphere

Atmospheric temperature drops with increasing height above Earth's surface. Using temperature as the basis, the atmosphere is divided into four layers: The temperature decrease in the Troposphere, the bottom layer in which we live, is called the environmental lapse rate. Its average value is 6.5C per kilometer, a figure known as the normal lapse rate. The environmental lapse rate is not a constant and must be regularly measured using radiosondes. Some times there could be abrupt rize in temp. known as temperature inversion

The Troposphere
Location of all weather
Pressure decreases Temperature decreases Wind increase
Clouds variable then decrease . Little water vapor by the tropopause

Great instability, much vertical mixing

The Stratosphere
Beyond the Troposphere lies the Stratosphere; The boundary between the troposphere and stratosphere is known as the Tropopause. In the stratosphere, the temperature at first remains constant to a height of about 20 kilometers (12 miles) before it begins a sharp increase due to the absorption of ultraviolet radiation from the Sun by ozone.

The Stratosphere
Pressure decreases Temperature increases Very stable air, little vertical mixing Location of the Ozone layer

UV light produces and destroys O3

O2 UV O + O O2 + O + M = O3 O3 UV O2 +O

The Mesosphere
Pressure decreases

Temperature decreases
Where meteors begin to burn

Mesosphere and Thermosphere

The temperatures continue to increase until the stratopause is encountered at a height of about 50 kilometers (30 miles), maximum chemical activities take place here also called Chemosphere. In the mesosphere, the third layer, temperatures again decrease with height until the mesopause, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) above the surface, contains ions which reflect radio waves to surface and cauce wireless communication. The fourth layer, the thermosphere, with no well-defined upper limit, consists of extremely rarefied air that extends outward from the mesopause, very sharp increase in temp. with height due to absorption of UV rays (1000C at 350 km).

The Thermosphere
Pressure decreases Particles of the atmosphere begin to escape to space Temperature increases But, very few molecules Ionosphere (partly in the mesosphere) Ions can cause auroras


The Auroras

Aurora Australis

NASA Images from Space

Just how does it work?

It is the weight exerted by the air column, which lies vertically above a unit surface area. Isobar: Any line joining the places of equal atmospheric pressure on the weather map is known as isobar. Pressure gradient: The rate of change of atmospheric pressure per unit horizontal distance between two points at the same elevation is known as pressure gradient or isobaric slope.

Air Pressure

Qu i ckTi me an d a GIF d e co mpre ss or a re ne ed ed to se e thi s p i cture .

Things that effect Air Pressure

Temperature Altitude Water Vapour Rotation of Earth Seasonal Variation


Qu i ckTi me an d a GIF d e co mpre ss or a re ne ed ed to se e thi s p i cture .

As the temperature goes up, the air pressure goes down. (hot molecules are further apart- less pressure). As the temperature goes down, the air pressure goes up. ( cold air is more dense than warm air). Hot air expands exerts less pressure, cold air contracts exerts high pressure

Qu i ckTi me an d a GIF d e co mpre ss or a re ne ed ed to se e thi s p i cture .

The higher the altitude, the lower the air pressure. The lower the altitude, the higher the air pressure.

Water Vapour
Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air. Water vapor weighs less than air molecules. As the air becomes more humid, the air pressure goes down (moist air weighs less than dry air). Drier air has higher pressure because dry air weighs more than moist air, therefore it has greater pressure.

Rotation of the Earth

Due to rotation of the earth pressure at 6070N and S becomes low. Near sub polar belts, the earths rotation makes the air to escape from these belts, which move towards the horse latitude (30-35N and S). These latitudes absorb the air from sub-polar belts making thr pressure high

Variation in Atmospheric Pressure:

1) Variation with height or vertical variation: It is observed that the density of air decreases with increase in height so the pressure also decreases with increase in eight. The pressure at sea level is 1013.25 mb at 50 km height it becomes 0.93 mb and 80 km it is only 0.03 mb 2) Horizontal variation of pressure: The horizontal variation of atmospheric pressure depends on temperature, extent of water vapor, latitude and land and water relationship. i)The equatorial low pressure belt : Along the equator lies a belt of low pressure known as the equatorial low or doldrums or calm. This low pressure belt lies between 50 North and 50 South latitudes. ii) Sub tropical high pressure belt: The high pressure belt are found between 24 300C latitudes in both the hemispheres

iii) Polar high pressure belts: The temperature is extremely low in the Polar Regions. The air being cold and heavy throughout the year a high pressure belt is created in both Polar Regions

3. Diurnal variation: At a given station the pressure show the two high and two lows. On normal pressure day two maxima i.e. one at 10 a.m. and another at 10 p.m. and two minimas i.e. one at 4 a.m. and another at 4 p.m. are observed. Thus there is double oscillation caused by alternate heating and cooling of atmosphere.

Atmospheric Temperature:
The degree of hotness is known as temperature increases. Air of atmosphere receives the heat energy from the sun and its temperature increases. The variation in air temperature basically results into air motion, so as to equalize the energy content of the different regions of the earth. Thus temperature of air can be regarded as the basic cause for weather changes

Quantification of Atmospheric Temperature:

Atmospheric temperature is continuously changing; it is never steady or constant for a long time

1. Maximum temperature: It is the highest temperature attained by the atmosphere in diurnal variation. 2. Minimum temperature: It is the lowest temperature attained by the at by the atmosphere in diurnal variation. 3. Average temperature: It represents the average temperature condition of the atmosphere during 24 hours of the day.

Temperature Variation
A) Periodic Temperature Variation: The temperature continuously changes during a day, week, month, year or any period and this change is called periodic temperature variation. Periodic temperature variations are 1. Annual temperature variation or Annual temperature cycle: The annual temperature Variation gives rise to seasons i.e. summer and winter. The annual temperature range varies greatly from place to place. It reflects the daily increase in insulation. The difference between the highest and lowest temperature for a given period is known as temperature range. The smaller range occurs near equator and largest in high latitudes 2. Diurnal Temperature Variation or Daily Temperature Cycle. The Diurnal Temperature Variation give rise to daily Maximum and Minimum temperatures From the sun-rise, sun energy continuously supplied and the Temperature continuously rises, recording maximum at about 2.00 to 4.00.P. m. though the maximum amount of solar radiation is received at the solar None (i.e. 12.00 hrs). This delay in occurrence of maximum temperature is Caused by gradual heating of the air by convective heat transfer from the Ground which is known as thermal lag or thermal inertia

B. Horizontal Temperature Variation: The rate of change of change of temperature with a horizontal distance is known as Temperature Gradient. Maximum solar energy is received in equatorial region and therefore and Therefore highest temperatures are observed in equatorial region. As the latitude Increases the solar energy received on the earth correspondingly decreases and so also temperature decreases with increase in latitude being lowest on the pole. C. Vertical Temperature Variation: Vertical temperature variation does not show uniform behaviour : 1. Troposphere - Temperature decreases from 15C at earth surface up to 60 C at 11 km height. 2. Stratosphere - Temperature increases from -60C to 0C at 50km Height 3. Mesosphere - Temperature fall and reaches about -90C at 80 km Height. 4. Thermosphere- Temp increases. Due to absorption of solar radiation by Atomic oxygen, up to 950C at 350 km height and 1700C at undefined upper Limit.

Factors Affecting The Air Temperature

1. Latitude: Highest temperatures are generally at the equator and the lowest at the poles. The temperature decreases with the increase of latitude. 2. Altitude: Temperature decreases with height in troposphere. 3. Season: Coldest temperatures are in winter and highest temperatures are in summer seasons. 4. Distribution of land and water: Water bodies are great moderators of temperature. Because of high Specific heat of water, so on the oceans, the regularity in temperature is more as compared to continents. 5. Topography: Mountain ranges affect the temperature by acting as obstacles to the Flow of cold air cold air near the surface and they often set

6. Ocean currents: Hot and cold ocean currents affect temperature e.g. Gulag Stream (Warm) in North Atlantic, Benguela current (cold) along West coast of South Africa, Peru Current (cold) along West Coast of South America.
7. Winds: Various types of wind affect temperature. 8. Clouds and rains: Clouds by obstructing the heat from the Sun and rains by cooling the Atmosphere, affect the temperature. 9. Color of the soil: Black color of soils absorb more radiations and other types reflect them. 10. Slope of the soil: Black color of soils absorbs more radiations and other types reflect them.

11. Forest and vegetation: Due to Evapo-transpiration and interception of sun rays, temperatures are moderated.

Soil Temperature
The Soil mantle of the earth is indispensable for the maintenance of plant life, affording mechanical support and supplying nutrients and water. Soil constitutes a major storage for heat acting as a sink of energy during the day and source to the surface at night. In annual terms the soil stores energy during the warm season and releases it to air during the cold portions of the year.

Importance of Soil Temperature:

1. In affects plant growth directly, that is all crops practically slow down their growth below the soil temperature of about 9C and above the soil temperature of above 50C. 2. For germination of different seeds requires different ranges of soil temperature e.g. maize begins to germinate at soil temp of 7 to 10C. 3. Most of the soil organisms function best at an optimum soil temperature of 25 to 35C 4. The optimum soil temperature for nitrification is about 32C. 5. It also influences soil moisture content, aeration and availability of plant nutrients

Variations of Soil Temperature

1. Daily variation of Soil Temperature: There variations occur at the surface of the soil. At 5 cm depth the change exceeds 10C At 20 cm the change is less and at 80 cm diurnal changes are practically nil. The rate of penetration of heat wave within the soil takes around 3 hours to reach 10 cm depth. Undesirable daily temperature variations can be minimized by scheduling irrigation.

2. Seasonal variations of Soil Temperature: Seasonal variations occur much deeper into the soil. When the plant canopy is fully developed the seasonal variations are smaller. In winter, the depth to which the soil freezes depends on the duration and severances of the winter

Factors Affecting The Soil Temperature

1. Solar radiation: The amount of heat from the Sun that reaches the earth is 2.0 cal/ cm2/ min the amount of radiation received by the soil depends on angles with which the soil faces the Sun.
2. Condensation: Whenever water vapour from soil depths or atmosphere condenses in the soil, its heat increases noticeably. 3. Evaporation: The greater the rate of evaporation, the more the soil is cooled. 4. Rainfall: Rainfall cools down the soil. 5. Vegetation: A bare soil quickly absorbs heat and becomes very hot during the summer and become very cold during the winter. Vegetation acts as a insulating agent. It does not allow the soil to become either too hot during the summer and two cold during the winter. 6. Colour of the soil: Black colored soils absorbs more heat than light closured soils Hence black color soils are warmer than light colored soils. 7. Moisture content: A soil with higher moisture content is cooler than dry soil.

8. Tillage: The cultivated soil has greater temperature amplitude as compared to the uncultivated soil. 9. Soil texture: Soil textures affect the thermal conductivity of soil. Thermal conductivity decreases with reduction in particle size. 10. Organic matter content: Organic matter reduces the heat capacity and thermal conductivity of soil, increases its water holding capacity and has a dark color, which increases its heat absorbability. 11. Slope of land: Solar radiation that reaches the land surface at an angle is scattered over a wider area than the same amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the land at right angles. Therefore, the amount of solar radiation reaching per unit area of the land surface decreases as the slope of the land is increases. Soil temperature can be controlled by:
1. Regulating soil moisture. 2. Proper soil management practices so a to have good drainage. 3. Application /use of mulching. 4. Sufficient addition of organic matter.

Have a nice day!