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Adiabatic Processes Temperature Profile

Please assist in understanding these problems:

1a) If the temperature on the surface over land is 310 K, and the temperature at 0.5 km is 305 K, what is the ambient atmospheric lapse rate? If a parcel of air starts to rise at the dry adiabatic lapse rate, what would be the temperature of the parcel at 0.5 km? Is this ambient temperature profile an example of a stable, unstable, or neutral situation? Explain.

b) Now consider a rising wet parcel of air. What would be the temperature of this parcel at 0.5 km? Relative to this parcel, is the ambient atmospheric temperature profile described above stable, unstable or neutral? Explain.

c) Over the ocean, the temperature at the surface is 306 K, but the temperature at 0.5 km is the same as over land (305 K). Is this temperature profile stable, unstable or neutral with respect to a dry parcel of air? A wet parcel of air?

d) At night, the surface temperature over land drops by 10 K (to 300 K), the surface temperature over the ocean remains the same (306 K), and the temperature at 0.5 km over both land and ocean drops by 5 K (to 300 K for both). Discuss the stability of the resulting atmospheric temperature profiles.

Solution Preview

I shall use web page http://www.answers.com/topic/lapse-rate-1 as reference.
Note also the diagram there showing variation of dry and moist adiabats with pressure and temperature.

From this reference we take that at the temperatures and pressures involved in the questions of this assignment, the Dry Adiabatic Lapse Rate (DALR) is

DALR = 9.78°K/km (1)

(recall that °K = °C) and the Moist Adiabatic Lapse Rate (MALR) is

MALR = 4.9°K/km. (2)

If the temperature on the surface over land ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides a temperature profile for adiabatic processes.