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Heavenly border


Heavenly border

In this photo, taken from the side of a passenger plane at an altitude of about 10 km above the Kaliningrad region, 3𣛩25 are visible. cumulus clouds vertical development - curly "lamb" and two large clouds with a flat top. 揝heeps appear at different heights and extend upward due to the vertical movement of the fog in the air. Large clouds rise above others, their top becomes flat, making the cloud look like a blacksmith's anvil. Anvil clouds (3𣛩27. Cumulonimbus incus 3𣛩220.: 333229. Cumulus 3𣛩230 in Latin - cumulus, 3𣛩229. Nimbus 333230. 枛 rain, 3𣛩229. Incus 3𣛩330. tropopause - a transition layer between troposphere and stratosphere .

To understand what tropopause is, let's take a broader look at atmosphere generally. It begins on the surface of the Earth, which, when heated by solar heat, abundantly saturates the atmosphere with it, at the same time filling it with aerosols and water vapor, which absorb and accumulate heat. Therefore, the surface atmosphere is full of thermal energy. Heated air has a low density and floats up, drawn by Archimedean force . The diversity of the nature of the earth's surface, the difference in latitudes, continuously changing lighting during the day and its absence at night lead to an uneven distribution of heat in the atmosphere.

This unevenness is combined with a high density thermal energy makes the atmosphere dynamic to fury. Powerful convective vertical flows mix the air mass, 3𣛩53. monsoons and trade winds create long seasonal latitudinal flows, 3𣛩57. cyclones 3-3-33220. and hurricanes huge air masses are twisted and moved in the horizontal and vertical directions. Per diem 3-3r361. breezes and chaotic pre-thunderstorms 3𣛩63. squalls of and tornado add local drilling to the grandiose general circulation. Therefore, the ever-changing lower atmosphere was called the troposphere, from the ancient Greek ?????? - 搕urn, change, like a turning, direction-changing path. The height of the troposphere is also variable and lies within 818 km.

Climbing this volatile vertical path, the air expands and therefore cools. Air temperature decreases with increasing altitude, reaching at an altitude of 10 km frosty 56 degrees below zero. The Archimedean force of the pop-up flows disappears even earlier due to cooling and consumption of the heat received below. But due to the resulting vertical movement, the air flows rise higher, spending the remaining kinetic energy, into which part of the thermal energy has passed.

Above this dynamic picture is another kingdom of the atmosphere. It is very different from the bottom, goes up three times further, up to 50 km. There are almost no clouds and weather phenomena, almost no vertical currents. The vertical movement of air there is only diffusive, very gradual, the generated flows are always horizontal and do not lead to mixing of the lower and upper layers of air. This kingdom of layers is called the stratosphere, from the Latin stratum - 搇ayer. The stable stratosphere differs from the variable troposphere in temperature behavior: the first 15 kilometers of the stratosphere have a constant temperature minus 56.5 C.

Only occasionally, locally, only in high-latitude regions (beyond latitude 6570 ) do clouds nevertheless arise in the stratosphere. Tropospheric streams flowing over the ridges of mountains of high latitudes (for example, the highest point of the island 3-3-377. Svalbard 3-3-33220., Lying at 79 N, mountain 3-3-3379. Newton 3-3-33220. - has a height of 1713 m), are thrown up like a springboard; at the same time, in this zone of the stratosphere, the temperature locally drops to minus 80 C. A complex chain of phenomena arises, leading to the appearance of the rarest and possibly most beautiful clouds of the Earth - pearlescent , unique stratosphere clouds.

In the second third of the stratosphere, from an altitude of about 25 km, the temperature, oddly enough, begins to rise. And it grows to the very top, up to 50 km, reaching zero degrees Celsius. Atmospheric temperature rises due to absorption by 3𣛩85 molecules. ozone ultraviolet radiation of the Sun in the wavelength range of 240280 nanometers. In the upper layers of the stratosphere, this range is not yet attenuated by absorption and is completely present. Therefore, the absorption there is most complete, and the temperature of the upper layers of the stratosphere is the highest. Only the remnants of radiation of this range that are not absorbed by the upper layers pass into the middle layers of the stratosphere; therefore, the temperature of the middle layers is lower than the top.

Such a structure of the stratosphere the same cold in the lower third and the gradual heating of the upper with increasing height leads to the stability of its 搒tructure and state. The air below is cold, heated above; accordingly, there is no reason for vertical thermal convection. The stratosphere is as stable as a pyramid. And with her cold layers she presses on the troposphere, resting on it.

Between two so different kingdoms, separating them, lies a border strip - the tropopause. It separates the vertical riot of the troposphere from the layered stratosphere. The vertical air movements decay here, and the tropospheric temperature drop sharply, three times, decreases with height, disappearing completely at the top of the tropopause. The vertical streams that have cooled down at the top of the troposphere and have lost Archimedean force get here by inertia, almost losing their range of motion in front of this border. They exhale on the troposphere both in the thermal and in the kinetic sense. And they stop at it, no longer having a moving principle here for introduction into the cold layered stratosphere.


Heavenly border

This photo shows the formation of the 揳nvil in a calm state of the troposphere. In the troposphere there is calm and many clouds obscuring the earth. The influx of solar heat into the lower troposphere is weak. As a result, a large cloud receives a small supply of energy and a very slow vertical movement. This is evidenced by the thick rounded edges of the 揳nvil, slowly twisting downward, and the wavy structure of the top, showing the absence of a rapid radial flow from the center of the 揳nvil. These are signs of a low vertical speed in the cloud, a slow vertical drift of fog. Photo Nikolay Tsygikalo, Kaliningrad Region


The borders of the tropopause are not the same and vary depending on latitude, season, and other factors. Thickness is from several hundred meters to three kilometers. The height of the tropopause above the poles of the Earth is the lowest, 810 km, in the middle latitudes it rises to 1213 km and reaches 1618 km in the zone 3𣛩115. equator . This is understandable, because the tropopause is lifted up by vertical flows of the frantic troposphere, and its fury depends on the level of heat received, the minimum at the poles and the maximum at the equator. In the middle latitudes and closer to the poles, the cold seasons have a stronger effect, reducing the influx of solar heat into these zones of the Earth. During these periods, the tropopause falls there by 12 km, and rises again in the warm seasons. At the same time, the tropopause temperature also changes: the higher, the greater the degree of expansion of air and the more it cools. Therefore, the high equatorial tropopause is always colder than the warmer (but still pretty frosty) polar, and much more - by several tens of degrees.


Heavenly border

The tropopause above the equator is the highest on Earth. The tropopause plane lies much higher than the horizon, and therefore, above the plane, which flies at an altitude of 12 km. If the top of the anvil was at the same height as the plane, it would lie exactly on the horizon. By removing the 揳nvil (about 30 km) from the aircraft, you can determine that they rise above it for several kilometers, that is, are located at an altitude of 16-18 km. Photo Nikolai Tsygikalo, an airplane flies over the equator in the central part of the Pacific Ocean, February 222008


Tied to local large atmospheric formations, reclining on the shoulders of local tropospheric atlantes, the tropopause falls over the low pressure of cyclones and weak shoulders of cold air masses and rises燼nticyclone pressure and warm air masses. Sometimes 3𣛩141 arise at the boundary of the troposphere. inkjet currents , in the southern latitudes reaching tremendous strength and speed, more than 100 m /s. Such currents can destroy, erode the tropopause, create its gap, which is gradually delayed with the cessation of the jet flow.

But even more interesting situations may arise. When a large, cold air mass, with a low tropopause on the shoulders, invades far south, it can push its tropopause under a higher and colder tropical tropopause. Then in the invasion zone two tropopause coexist simultaneously, one above the other, separated by several kilometers of height. The double structure with warm lower tropopause is unstable, and soon the upper tropopause breaks up, and the lower one rises with heating of the invading cold mass.

The tropopause is transparent, but thanks to the anvil clouds, we can observe its position. The inertia of the vertical upward motion in a large cloud pumps up cloud fog close to the tropopause. Slowly, almost at zero speed, the fog spreads horizontally along the tropopause, making this border visible and forming on its lower surface an anvil of cloud material that is moving apart to the sides. Therefore, the anvils located nearby are always at the same height - the height of the local tropopause.


Heavenly border

Visualization of the tropopause over a large extent. Anvil clouds are visible across the horizon, indicating the position of the tropopause. Photo from Instagram Boris Tyutchev


How absolute is the crystal edge of the tropopause? Are there clouds capable of breaking through this impregnable firmament of heaven? Yes, the only question is the amount of energy. To break through the tropopause, a very high concentration of thermal energy in the cloud is required, significantly exceeding the energy density in ordinary weather clouds. And such clouds exist. The energy in them is not pumped by atmospheric processes - these are clouds from powerful volcanic eruptions, in which the heat density can be orders of magnitude higher than that of weather clouds. It arises from the huge temperature (many hundreds of degrees) of gases and ash masses. With very powerful eruptions, the energy density of the ash cloud will allow it not only to overcome the tropopause, but also rise into the stratosphere, sometimes very high, to the middle and upper stratosphere.


Heavenly border

The eruption of the volcano of the island Raikoke in the northern part of the Kuril Islands. Photo taken by NASA astronauts from the ISS on June 222019. This is an example of a shallow penetration of a volcanic cloud into the stratosphere. According to radiosondes, the height of the tropopause here is about 11 km, while the flat top of the cloud reaches 13 km. The energy density in the ash cloud turned out to be sufficient to overcome the tropopause, but was small to rise high into the stratosphere. Therefore, having overcome the tropopause and hitting the lowest layers of the stratosphere, the cloud spreads there with a flat top. Cooling and slightly settling, the ash mass is carried away in a plume by a horizontal flow. Photo from the site nasa.gov


Two more types of clouds can receive the same 損enetration ability. The first is a cloud from the fall and explosion of an asteroid, when the released energy evaporates the matter of the cosmic body and the surrounding rocks, creating a cloud of vaporized products with a sufficient density of thermal energy. And the second type is mushroom cloud nuclear explosion. To create a cloud that overcomes the tropopause, not enough underground, 3-3-3197. camouflage explosion (that is, it doesn抰 go out in manifestations), and the explosion power should be a couple of orders higher than the level of tactical 20 kilotons. Such a cloud will create ground or air thermonuclear explosion with TNT equivalent 3-3-33220. several megatons and higher.


Heavenly border

Cloud from the explosion of a thermonuclear device conducted by the United States on November 11952 on the atoll Envetok in the Pacific Ocean (test 3-3-33219. Ivy Mike 3-3-33220.). The capacity amounted to 10-12 megatons of TNT equivalent. The cloud rose to a height of 37 kilometers, rising to the upper stratosphere. In this image, the upper part of the cloud is already in the stratosphere. From the turbulent turbulence emerging on the surface of the cloud, it can be seen that the energy density is still very high and far from the equilibrium state with the layers of the stratosphere; the energy reserve in the cloud will ensure its further rise high into the stratosphere. Photo from the site ru.wikipedia.org


Photo Nikolai Tsygikalo, Kaliningrad Region, June 262013.

Nikolay Tsygikalo

22 爨 2020 /
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