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Weather and Climate

Page history last edited by Gillian westerman 3 years, 10 months ago

Get to grips with the basics on BBC bitesize. And use this SITE to check your understanding of the processes studied in class.


Climatic controls - use this to help you explain the major climatic controls on the earth's climate.

Cool Geography section on Weather and climate is a great place to start 

Find out about the structure of the atmosphere  and learn the details of the layers


The General Atmospheric circulation system - see this animation and watch the movie here and video of basic principles here. The pattern of winds is complicated by the coriolis force  and the global circulation by jet streams. Jet streams are complex but watch this from the Met office  and this rough guide will help you to understand their formation and influence


Ocean Currents - an extract from NASA (arth-science/oceanography/physical-ocean/salinity/) Watch this from 1 .08

'The Global Conveyer Belt' represents in a simple way how currents move beneath the wind-driven upper ocean. This move begins by focusing on the North Atlantic east of Greenland, where cold surface waters get saltier due to evaporation and/or sea ice formation. In this region, surface waters can becomes dense enough to sink to the ocean depths. This pumping of surface water into the deep ocean forces the deep water to move horizontally until it can find areas where it can rise back to the surface. This very large, slow current -- estimated to be on the order of 1000 years to complete a full circuit -- is called the thermohaline circulation because it is caused by temperature (thermo) and salinity (haline) variations. Credit: NASA/GSFC



The Met office has a range of videos and information sheets on British weather and climate and climate change. The British Geographer site is also very good as a course summary. 


Tropical Climate

To understand the monsoonal climate watch the animations here.  What effects will climate change have on a monsoonal climate - read this story from Bangladesh.  What can be done to combat the effects of climate change in Bangladesh, there are suggestions of climate resistant agricultural techniques  Is the world helping the people of Bangladesh to adapt?  Watch this news focus report.


Report in the Guardian 2008:

Rahman, one of the world's most respected development thinkers, and a lead author with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, warns: "We expect the severity of extreme events to increase. Their frequency will also increase. At least 20% of the country will be inundated with salt water, so our food system will collapse. Some 20 million people will be displaced over time. When the next cyclone comes, it will penetrate further and it will kill more people. The refugees have started. People are moving already. The tides are getting higher. All this translates into catastrophe.

"Rich countries do not have the right to inundate us. Governments plans five years ahead, but climate change needs 20 to 30 years. For the victims, they plan one day ahead. It is one of the greatest intellectual challenges ever faced."


Climate change could have serious impacts on health in Bangladesh as well as geographical changes including rising sea level and increases in extreme weather events. Increases in water bourne disease, malnutrition, incidents of drowning and heat stress are likely.


Revolving Tropical Storms.


Typhoon Haiyan  - BBC pagesNov 2013 =  the 25th tropical storm to enter Philippine territory this year and reports suggest there have been sustained winds of some 320 km/h (199mph) with gusts of up to 378 km/h (235mph).

Use this site for an in depth case study of Hurricane Katrina. Consider not only the causes, immediate and longer term impacts and long and short term responses but also the vulnerability of the population and it's capacity to cope. 

BBC animated guide to hurricanes and the Met office guide to Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina 2005 - animation , a timeline, lots of links to impacts and here

Cyclone Nargis 2008 - an in depth guide by the BBC provides a good starting point - follow the links in this article. Compare the impacts and responses of Nargis to Katrina. Photo gallery of the effects of Nargis and a BBC documentary


Cyclone Yasi hits Australia  - keep track of the news and collect relevant articles for your unit 3 work. La Nina to blame?


 Cyclone Phailin, India October 2013. How did India prepare. Follow the BBC links


BBC science has some interesting clips and information about hurricanes and features Bangladesh.


Let it snow!  watch this...



and this from the BBC


British climate .

For an explanation of British climate start with this video on air masses.

For a comprehensive summary read the Met office fact sheet on air masses, fronts and depressions. Also go to Geo factsheet 146 (depressions) and 106 (anticyclones). Find out about the Heatwave of 2003 and the Great storm of 1987 and October 2013



What causes anticyclones - find out and make notes on this

Contrast winter and summer anticyclones - what are the weather conditions like and why? See the link above and Geo factsheet 106

What causes advection and radiation fogs? Can you turn this text into diagrams?

Radiation Fog

This type of fog forms at night under clear skies with calm winds when heat absorbed by the earth’s surface during the day is radiated into space. As the earth’s surface continues to cool, provided a deep enough layer of moist air is present near the ground, the humidity will reach 100% and fog will form. Radiation fog varies in depth from 3 feet to about 1,000 feet and is always found at ground level and usually remains stationary. This type of fog can reduce visibility to near zero at times and make driving very hazardous.

Advection Fog

Advection fog often looks like radiation fog and is also the result of condensation. However, the condensation in this case is caused not by a reduction in surface temperature, but rather by the horizontal movement of warm moist air over a cold surface. This means that advection fog can sometimes be distinguished from radiation fog by its horizontal motion along the ground.  Advection fog may also form when moist maritime, or ocean, air drifts over a cold inland area. This usually happens at night when the temperature of the land drops due to radiational cooling.


Why does LA suffer from petrochemical smog?


Climate on a local scale: urban climates

The source of many of the lessons resources is Met office fact sheet 14 it makes a very good read but focus on the urban regions, the rest is a useful extension.

Urban thunderstorms are likely to increase with climate change

London has been critised over air pollution controls;

The 17 cities were judged on the action they had taken to reduce soot in the air between 2005 and 2010 when new European limits for particulate matter (PM10) came into force.

London was ranked low because of the "backward steps" it has taken to address air pollution since 2005. It has tightened its low emission zone for heavy goods vehicles and promoted some cycling and walking, but it has halved the size of its congestion charging zone, scaled back plans for new hybrid buses and sharply increased public transport fares. Nine criteria including traffic management, the shift to sustainable public transport and public information were taken into account. Guardian 2011

Pollution reduces in LA - why? 


Smog in China - how bad is it?

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