Chapter 4 - Atmospheric Influences

Chapter 4 Contents

4.6 Important Concepts

  1. Sunlight is the primary energy source driving the atmosphere and oceans.

  2. There is a boundary layer at the bottom of the atmosphere where wind speed decreases with height, and in which fluxes of heat and momentum are constant in the lower 10m - 20m.

  3. Wind is measured many different ways. The most common are from observations made at sea of the Beaufort force of the wind. Wind is measured from space using scatterometers and microwave radiometers. The output from atmospheric circulation models is perhaps the most useful source of global wind velocity.

  4. The flux of momentum from the atmosphere to the ocean, the wind stress, is calculated from wind speed using a drag coefficient.

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