Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536



Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536
Textbook Problem

What processes transfer heat from Earth’s surface to the atmosphere? Why is water so important in energy exchange?

To determine

The processes that transfer heat from the Earth’s surface to the atmosphere and the reason for the importance of water in energy exchange.


There involves different processes of energy transfer between the Earth and Sun such as radiation, conduction, convection, and advection. Radiation is the process by which electromagnetic energy gets transferred from the Sun to the Earth. Every objects possessing a temperature above absolute zero emit electromagnetic energy. More energy will be given off by a warmer object. The shortwave energy radiations received by the Earth’s surface get reradiated into the atmosphere as longwave radiations.

The heated air parcels near the surface will get expanded in volume, due to which its density decreases relative to the surrounding air and hence, it rises to the atmosphere. This vertical heat transfer is termed as convection. As the heat air rises up, the cold air from above descends down. Such circular movement of air is called a convection current. Convection is responsible for much of the vertical heat transfer within the atmosphere...

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