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By Toby N. Carlson

Publication for an introductory direction in Sinoptic Meteorology

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11) feedbacks (p. 15) positive feedbacks (p. 15) negative feedbacks (p. 15) feedback factor (p. 16) Review Questions 1. How does climate differ from weather? 2. In what ways does climate science differ from traditional sciences such as chemistry and biology? 3. How does climate forcing differ from climate response? 4. In the example in which the Bunsen burner is lit and the beaker of water at first warms quickly and then more slowly, how does the response time of the water change through time? 5.

Today climate scientists use aircraft, ships, satellites, sophisticated new biological and chemical lab techniques, and high-powered computers, among other methods, to carry out their studies. Studies of climate are incredibly wide-ranging. They vary according to the part of the climate system being studied, such as changes in air, water, vegetation, land surfaces, and ice. They also vary by the techniques used, including physical and chemical measurements of the properties of air, water, and ice and of life-forms fossilized in rocks; biological or botanical measurements of endless kinds of life-forms; and computer simulations to model the behavior of air, water, and vegetation.

Each part of the climate system has its own characteristic response time (Table 1-1), ranging from hours or days up to thousands of years. The atmosphere has a very fast response time, and significant changes can occur in just hours (daily cycles of heating and cooling). The land surface reacts more slowly, but it still shows large heating and cooling changes on time scales of hours to days to weeks. Beach sand can become too hot to walk on during just a single summer afternoon, but it takes longer to chill the upper layer of soil in winter to the point where it freezes.

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Mid Latitude Weather Systems by Toby N. Carlson

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