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What are the primary factors driving heat transfer from the ground to the lower levels of the atmosphere?

  • A

    Conduction and radiation.

  • B

    Convection and radiation.

  • C

    Radiation and turbulence.

  • D

    Conduction and turbulence.

Refer to figure.
The question focuses on the primary method of heat transfer from the ground to the LOWER levels of the atmosphere.

Conduction involves the transfer of heat through molecular contact and influences the temperature of the air directly in contact with the Earth's surface. However, its impact diminishes with altitude due to air's poor conductivity.

Convection occurs as the surface heats the air above, causing it to rise due to decreased density. This vertical movement is a key mechanism for transferring heat upwards, leading to cloud formation and further warming through latent heat release.

Turbulent mixing aids in horizontal air mass movement and heat distribution within the atmosphere, but its role in vertical heat transfer is less significant compared to convection.

Radiation is crucial, with the Earth's surface absorbing solar radiation and emitting it as longwave radiation, warming the air above.

  • In summary, convection and radiation are the dominant processes that transfer heat from the Earth's surface to the higher levels of the troposphere. While conduction's impact is limited vertically, and turbulent mixing primarily affects horizontal heat transfer. Therefore, conduction and turbulence predominantly contribute to heat transfer to the lower levels of the atmosphere.

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