You are watching: What causes convection in the atmosphere
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Convection currents depend on the constant cyclical motion of air, water and also other building material to distribution heat. As heated waiting rises, for example, it traction cooler air right into its ar -- wherein it deserve to be heated, rise, and also pull in an ext cool air.
Convection currents type because a heated fluid expands, ending up being less dense. The less-dense heated fluid rises away from the warm source. As it rises, it pulls cooler fluid down to replace it. This fluid in rotate is heated, rises and also pulls down an ext cool fluid. This cycle develops a circular existing that stops only when heat is evenly spread throughout the fluid. Because that instance, a hot radiator heats the air immediately approximately it. The air rises toward the ceiling, pulling cooler air under from the ceiling into the radiator to be heated. This process repeats until the waiting in the room is same heated.
Convection drives the Gulf Stream and also other currents that revolve over and also mix increase the waters in the world’s oceans. Cold polar water is drawn down from greater latitudes and sinks come the s bottom, traction down toward the equator together lighter, warmer water rises come the ocean’s surface. The warmer water is pulled northward to change the cold water that’s been pulled southward. This procedure distributes heat and soluble nutrients around the world.
Convection drives the circulation of waiting in the earth’s atmosphere. The sun heats the air near the earth equator, i beg your pardon becomes much less dense and rises upward. As it rises, the cools and becomes less thick than the air around it, dispersing out and also descending toward the equator again. This constantly relocating cells that warm and also cold air, recognized as Hadley Cells, drive the continuous circulation that air at the earth’s surface that we call wind. Atmospheric convection currents are additionally what store clouds aloft.
Geologists believe the molten rock deep in ~ the planet circulates by convection currents. The rock is in a semi-liquid state and should behave like any kind of other fluid, climbing up from the bottom the the mantle after coming to be hotter and less thick from the heat of the earth core. As the absent loses heat into the earth’s crust, the becomes fairly cooler and much more dense, sinking earlier down to the core. These constantly circulating cells of hotter and cooler molten rock space thought to assist heat the surface. Part geologists think convection currents within the earth are a contributing cause of volcanoes, earthquakes and continental drift.
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Herb Kirchhoff has an ext than three years of hand-operated experience as an avid garden hobbyist and also home handyman. Due to the fact that retiring native the news company in 2008, Kirchhoff takes care of a 12-acre landscape Michigan lakefront property and applies his suffer to his vegetable and also flower gardens and also home repair and also renovation projects.