Physical nature of Air

Hot waiting expands, and also rises; cooled air contracts – gets denser – and also sinks; and also the ability of the wait to host water depends on that temperature. A given volume of air at 20°C (68°F) deserve to hold double the lot of water vapor than at 10°C (50°F). The relationship of exactly how much water a offered mass of air actually holds compared to the quantity it can hold is its loved one humidity.

You are watching: Air holding all the moisture it can at a particular temperature

When air holds as lot water vapor together it have the right to for a offered temperature (100% relative humidity), that is said to it is in saturated. If saturated air is warmed, it deserve to hold much more water (relative humidity drops), which is why warmth air is supplied to dried objects--it absorbs moisture. Top top the other hand, cooling saturated air (said to be in ~ its dew point) pressures water the end (condensation). This is why a container that a cold beverage sweats: it cools the air alongside it and also moisture indigenous the air condenses on the external of the can.

Air warmed by ocean currents choose up a lot of moisture. Together the heated waiting rises, the expands, i m sorry is measured at the surface as low air pressure. Expanding air cools, which pressures it to shed its moisture together rain or snow. Opposing is true for sinking air. Together air compresses and also warms. In a zone the high pressure choose this, humidity is soaked up by the wait from that surroundings.


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This picture represents the full precipitable water vapor for may 2009 as observed through gaianation.net's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder ~ above NASA's Aqua satellite. This picture represents the complete precipitable water vapor for may 2009 as observed by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA's Aqua satellite. It shows the complete amount of water vapor current in the atmospheric column over each point of Earth's surface. If all the water vapor in the shaft were forced to loss as rain, the depth that the resulting pond on the surface ar at that allude is equal to the value shown on the map. Fifty millimeter is about 2 inches.

Physical properties of Water

Water is an enormously reliable heat-sink. Solar heat absorbed by body of water throughout the day, or in the summer, is released at night, or in winter. Sites on islands or coasts benefit from the moderating result of the ocean and have "maritime" climates (like san Francisco). Sites away from the coast lack this temperature buffering and have too much "continental" climates (like Wichita).

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Like the heated wait in a hot-air balloon, boil water expands. Solar heat absorbed at the equator causes water to expand. Such heated water raises the regular level that the sea surface, and such readjusted ocean topography deserve to be measured. The warmth in the water is carried to greater latitudes by s currents whereby it is released into the atmosphere. Water chill by cooler temperatures at high latitudes contract (thus gets denser), sinks, (lowers the regional topography) and also returns to the equator via the an international ocean water circulation conveyor belt to finish the cycle.