In the atmosphere, convection currents occur due to the heating of the Earth's surface by radiant energy from the sun. As the air near the ground warms, it becomes less dense and rises. Colder, dense air falls to the surface where the earth heats it, creating a cycle.Know More
Convection currents play an important role in Earth's weather patterns. They are responsible for winds and precipitation. The warm air from the surface of the Earth carries water vapor up into the atmosphere. As the air cools, its capacity to hold water decreases, so the vapor forms clouds. In the ocean, convection heating is responsible for the ocean currents, which also affect the weather patterns.
Convection currents occur in the magma of the Earth. These currents drive plate tectonics. Radioactive decay in the core of the Earth produces enough heat to melt the rocks that form magma. The heating causes the liquid to rise toward the surface and break up the continental and oceanic crust into over 12 rigid plates. The convection currents cause the plates to spread, and the cooling magma forms new rocks. At the opposite ends of the plates, at the convergent zones, the movement pushes the edges of the plates underground where they melt and recycle to form more magma.Learn more about Thermodynamics
Monsoons are formed when the sun heats the atmosphere and causes variations in temperature between the oceans and land masses. At certain times of year, land heats faster than water in the oceans, and warmer air rises. Monsoons are a seasonal reversing of wind direction that result from the atmosphere attempting to balance cool and warm air.Full Answer >
Auroras are formed when charged particles that are emitted from the sun hit the Earth's magnetic field and the atoms in the atmosphere. This interaction causes the gases in the atmosphere to give out photons of different energies, which can be seen from Earth as light.Full Answer >
In addition to providing the oxygen and carbon dioxide necessary to support life on Earth, the atmosphere also blocks harmful radiation from the sun and traps heat to make the surface of the planet habitable. Without the atmosphere, the Earth's environment would resemble that of the moon.Full Answer >
The oceans transfer heat by their currents, which take hot water from the equator up to higher latitudes and cold water back down toward the equator. Due to this transfer of heat, climate near large bodies of water is often extreme and at times, unpredictable.Full Answer >