Global Patterns of Heating and Circulation
Atmospheric circulation is a very large scale movement of air in which thermal energy is distributed on the surface of the earth. The atmospheric circulation changes from year to year because of several factors. Some of the factors are mid-latitude depressions, tropical cells, and other random pressure systems. Global Atmospheric Circulation is a result of the Earth being heated from energy produced from the Sun, however, this heat is unevenly distributed across the Earth's surface. Equatorial and tropical regions receive much more solar energy than the mid latitudes and the Polar Regions. The tropics receive more heat radiation than ...view middle of the document...
2 The third cell associated with atmospheric heating and circulation is the Polar Cell. With this cell, heat rises and then spreads out and travels towards the poles. When the air is circulating over the poles the air then sinks and forms a polar high. At the surface, the air spreads out from the polar high and the surface winds in the polar cells are easterly. 3
The tropical dry forest and the tropical savanna biomes are located at the tropical and subtropical latitudes. These areas receive as much as several hundred centimeters of rain per a year. Savannas are the tropical version of the temperate grasslands. Most of the savannas are caused by climate patters where there is a strong dry season for a significant portion of the year. Large tracks of savanna are also found in South America, India, and in Australia. The annual rainfall in a savanna is between 50.8 to 127 cm of rain per a year and is concentrated in one season of the year. 4 The reason that the rainy season in these biomes comes during the warmer months of the year is due to the position of the sun and the hot humid air. During the warmer months, the humid air rises off of the ground and then collides with the cooler air from above and then turns into rain. The warm air of the warmer months is needed for this process to occur and create the rain.
Everglades of South Florida
The Everglades of South Florida are a natural region of subtropical wetlands. This is located in the southern portion of the state of Florida. It is a very large area that actually comprises a southern half of a large watershed. The system begins near Orlando with the Kissimmee River. The reason is that the Kissimmee River discharges into Lake Okeechobee.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas described the area of the Florida Everglades as, "A River of Grass", in 1947. 1 This is a complex system of interdependent ecosystems. Before drainage, it was a web of marshes and prairies about 4,000 sqyare miles in size. The systems within the everglades ecosystem shift, grow and shrink,...