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Local Temperature Variations


    1.    Identifying the factors that cause the intensity of insolation to vary from place to place.

    2.    Describe how the characteristics of a material affect its rate of solar absorption.

    3.    Analyze a temperature map.

Key Terms:


Notes: (17.3)

Local Temperature Variations

Everybody knows that the temperature varies with geographical position.  The reason for these different temperatures is based solely on the amount of insolation received in these regions.  The following factors are influential in the determining the amount of insolation.

time of day
time of the year
humidity and cloud cover
concrete reflection - creation of heat island

Solar radiation and the seasons


Heating of Water and Land

If you have ever been on the beach and burned your feet while running to cool off in the water you may have indirectly noticed that different objects absorb and distribute heat differently even though receiving the same amount of insolation.  Differential heating of substances is responsible for the different temperatures of soils and liquids on the surface of the Earth.

Insolation spreads more evenly through water than through land
In water evaporation aids in the dissipation of heat energy
Water has a higher specific heat (amount of heat energy needed to raise 1 gram of a substance 1 degree Celsius) than most solids




Last modified: March 13, 2003