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2009 Year 4 Geography Term 3 Week 3 Assignment

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2009 Year 4 Geography - Term 3 Week 3 Assignment QUESTION: State and explain the factors affecting temperature Temperature is the measure of hotness of coldness of an object or the environment. There are many factors that affect temperature and they are the latitude, altitude, the distance from sea, ocean currents, aspect, humidity and cloud cover, type of surface and the place itself. Firstly, latitude is important in determining the temperature of the location. As the latitude decreases, temperature increases. At lower latitudes, the midday sun is always high up in the sky. The angle of incidence where the sun's rays reach earth is at 90 degrees. Due to the sun's rays falling over a small area, the heat is more concentrated, thus the temperature is higher. Another reason is because the earth is a spherical planet. Because of this shape, the distance the sun's rays that reach the places with lower latitudes will be short. Thus, less radiation is lost via reflection, scattering and absorption. An example of this place with low latitudes would be in the equator, Singapore. At higher latitudes, the sun is lower down in the sky and the angle of incidence where the sun's rays reach the surface is smaller. ...read more.


In tropical areas, such as in the equator, the midday sun is always high up in the sky and the angle of incidence is 90 degrees, thus the factor of aspect does not work in places like these, however, it does work in temperate areas as the angle of incidence is lower and there is an obvious change made by aspect. For example, in the Northern Hemisphere, the southern facing slopes have a relatively higher temperature as compared to the northern facing slope. This is because the southern facing slope is directly facing the Sun and is also sheltered from the cold winds of the North. The reverse happens in the Southern Hemisphere. The sixth factor that affects temperature is humidity and cloud cover. Humidity is the state of the atmosphere in respect to the amount of water vapour. In high humidity areas, there is formation of more clouds as clouds are formed from condensation of water vapour into water droplets. A thick cloud cover is able to reflect incoming solar radiation so as to prevent excessive heating during the day. In the night, the thick cloud cover prevents the excessive cooling of earth by absorbing the outgoing terrestrial radiation, thus preventing them from escaping. ...read more.


Sensible heat is heat that can be felt. In cities, there is presence of drains and sewers and they generally remove surface water. This result in a less demand of latent heat to evaporate thus the surplus of heat is converted to sensible heat that is used to warm up the atmosphere. Thus, urban areas are warm due to the absence of surface waters. The presence of pollutants is the next point in determining the urban heat island. Smoke and dust in cities reduce the amount of sunlight entering the city. The build up of carbon dioxide and ozone which are green house gases warms up the atmosphere and the pollutant dome which was already warmed by insolation in the first place. Thus, the pollutant dome re-radiates the heat back to the urban surface, prevents the escape of heat and adding on to the heat of the urban area. Through all these points, each and every detail results in the variation of the temperature throughout earth. Some of the temperature difference is caused based on geographical locations while others occur naturally, some are also caused by human actions and pollutants released in the air. All these factors result in the ultimate change of temperature in the atmosphere. Prepared by a High School Student ...read more.

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