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Coriolis Effect The CoriolisEffect has a major influence on

    Coriolis Effect The CoriolisEffect has a major influence on wind direction. In this exercise you will view videos, play a game, read and answerquestions to help in visualizing the Coriolis Effect.  You will also find the rotational speed ofthe earth near Indianapolis!Begin by watching thesevideos: 1) (notranscript needed)Now, try this game!: (no transcript needed)Read the following webpages and watch the animation at the end of the second page, ‘Moving AirParcel’, which shows how the Coriolis Effect creates geostrophic wind: (See Transcript 2 for animation).Read the following explanationsof the Coriolis Effect:An intuitive explanation (usingNorthern hemisphere examples):Moving from the north pole toward theequator:  This is the easiest direction to visualizeand one you have seen in the above videos. Imagine a plane leaving the north pole and aiming directly for a certainlocation.  The entire time it is flying southtoward its destination, the earth’s surface is moving out from underneath it,toward the east.  The plane will end upwest of (or from the plane’s point of view, to the right of) its intendeddestination.  Moving from the equator toward thenorth pole:  This requires a little background information. An object at the north pole would not move, other than turning, as theearth revolves around the pole once in 24 hours.  As you go further south, the earth is wider andwider, and the distance to be travelled in 24 hours is literally further, soobjects at the surface of the earth are moving faster.  Although we do not sense this type ofmovement, an object at the equator is actually travelling a dizzying 1,018 mphto the east in order to rotate around the earth’s axis every day.  To visualizethe Coriolis Effect when traveling from south to north in the northernhemisphere, we must consider the fast starting speed of the airplane.  Before it even takes off, an airplane leavingthe equator and going to a city at 30 degrees north is moving to the east 136mph faster than is its destination.   As the plane flies northward, it also retainsthis eastward velocity, and continues to move toward the east faster than itsdestination is moving east.  The plane willbe east of its intended destination when it arrives at 30 degrees north.  This is also a deflection to the right, fromthe plane’s point of view.A theoretical explanation:Another wayof explaining the Coriolis Effect is by conservation of angular momentum.  The following video explains that: Angular Momentum = Mass x Velocity (i.e.,rotational speed) x Radius.It alsoindicates that angular momentum must stay the same for a given system, so ifone of the values in the equation gets larger, another value must get smallerto keep angular momentum the same.  View thevideo: 3)The video showsan example of a ball spinning on a string and as the string gets shorter (i.e.,the radius gets smaller), the velocity gets larger to compensate.  This keeps the value for angular momentum thesame.  However, on earth, as the radiusgets smaller going toward the poles, the rotational speed also getssmaller.  The mass can’t change, so theonly thing that can increase in the equation is rotational speed.  The deflection of the Coriolis Effect is away of increasing rotational speed.Rotational Velocity at the Surface ofthe EarthThe CoriolisEffect is greatest near the poles, and least near the equator.  Why is this? To find out, you will compute the rotational speed of the earth atvarious latitudes.Thefollowing chart shows the circumference of the earth at various latitudes.  Fill out the chart by converting kilometersto miles, then finding miles per hour. Then answer the questions.Toconvert kilometers to miles, multiply kilometers by 0.62137To find miles per hour, divide the circumference in miles by 24 hours.LatitudeCircumference kilometersCircumference milesMiles/hour9008069827013747602000850258104030742303473520376731039470  539924  04007540 degreesnorth runs along 146th street on the north side ofIndianapolis.  What is the rotationalvelocity of the surface of the earth at 40 degrees north?  ________________________________What is thedifference in velocity between 0 and 10 degrees north?  ________________________What is thedifference in velocity between 80 and 90 degrees north?________________________How do theseresults explain the fact that the Coriolis Effect is stronger near the polesthan the equator?______________________________________________________________________________­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­______________________________________________________________________________Hurricanes do not develop within about 5 degrees of the equator because theCoriolis Effect is too weak to cause the rotation.  What is the difference in velocity between 0and 5 degrees north? _________________________What is NOT caused by the CoriolisEffect?  A popularmisconception is that water goes down the drain in different directions in thenorthern and southern hemispheres and that this is due to the CoriolisEffect.  Actually water may circle downthe drain in either direction in either hemisphere, and the direction is theresult of plumbing differences, not the Coriolis Effect.  Although the Coriolis has a major effect overlong distances, it is not strong enough to create this kind of rotation over avery small distance.

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