I wonder why…

I wonder why the tropics are hot.
They get the sun quite a lot
But 12 hours of night should put heat to flight
I wonder what else they have got. …


So what makes equatorial regions hot?

There is not that much land there. Heated water washes away quickly and anyway runs deep. A layer of water absorbs light (heat) to a depth of hundreds of feet if it is clear. And tropical seas are usually fairly clear.

Most light is reflected off the surface at early morning and late evening angles and any hitting land has a similar but lesser problem. plus it leaves at night.

Desert areas such as the semitropical Sahara can leave you dead from exposure if you go clad only for daytime temperatures. Even with such albedo problems deserts in places like Lybia can be deadly hot. And it tends to lose that heat slowly, I admit.
But there are thousands of miles of such desert.

How do the tropics heat up? They are known to have high humidity. But doesn't that mean an high albedo too?

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6 thoughts on “I wonder why…

  1. Those deserts are also freezing cold at night. I think they have the biggest swelling of temperature on the planet.It may have to do with the fact that they are situated close to the "neutral zone" of the magnetic fields or poles, more or less in the middle of them and thus escaping from the bigger influence.I'm not sure, but I think their skies are usually cloudless, too.Also water loses temperature faster than land. Lack of water is lack of a good cooler. ;)Nice post and interesting pondering.About the tropics, I am not sure about their temperature.The high humidity makes it hard for the human body to cool down though, for as you know, we cool down by sweating, but the high humidity in those areas prevent this way of coolng our body.

  2. I saw an episode of Tribe or something where an explorer visits remote places and lives with them for a few weeks. He said living in a natural forest in the tropics is not unpleasant. It's when they log it out the problems arise.Anyway, the fact is that you can find very little land in the tropics on the globe south of North Africa. Then again I don't actually know how hot the tropics are. I just assumed they are hot regions.Maybe I aught to do my pondering after I have done my homework.

  3. Tropical ClimateMuch of the equatorial belt within the tropical climate zone experiences hot and humid weather. There is abundant rainfall due to the active vertical uplift or convection of air that takes place there, and during certain periods, thunderstorms can occur every day.Nevertheless, this belt still receives considerable sunshine, and with the excessive rainfall, provides ideal growing conditions for luxuriant vegetation. The principal regions with a tropical climate are the Amazon Basin in Brazil, the Congo Basin in West Africa and Indonesia.Because a substantial part of the Sun’s heat is used up in evaporation and rain formation, temperatures in the tropics rarely exceed 35°C; a daytime maximum of 32°C is more common.At night the abundant cloud cover restricts heat loss, and minimum temperatures fall no lower than about 22°C. This high level of temperature is maintained with little variation throughout the year.The seasons, so far as they do exist, are distinguished not as warm and cold periods but by variation of rainfall and cloudiness. Greatest rainfall occurs when the Sun at midday is overhead. On the equator this occurs twice a year in March and September, and consequently there are two wet and two dry seasons.Further away from the equator, the two rainy seasons merge into one, and the climate becomes more monsoonal, with one wet season and one dry season. In the Northern Hemisphere, the wet season occurs from May to July, in the Southern Hemisphere from November to February.http://www.ace.mmu.ac.uk/eae/climate/Older/Tropical_Climate.html

  4. Hi.People with dark skin are more immune to mosquito borne diseases. We have regions of Britain that had their own marsh borne problems The Fenns.But regions of the tropics and subtropics are very pleasant places to live. Colombia if not for the gangsters and the USA interference that caused it, would be one such. Coimbatore in Tamil India would be nice too.The Seychelles and the Bahamas and most of the islands in the Caribbean apparently.I've never been to any though.Albedo is the amount of reflection of light a planet gives off. With snow and cloud even sea it is high. However the warmest radiation changes to convected heat inside clouds and air. UV light is converted to visible and etc, so it has an opposing effect on the so called greenhouse.It plays havoc with weather models climate science wants to use. The more storms the more albedo, so global warming is self curing.Water and ice absorb light and convert it into direct heat -conduction and convection that is. In the Himalayas they can grow barley under snow. It's the only rainfall they get so they must use that method.At a sharp angle though, a lot of the light goes back up. It's why it gets hotter near noon at the tropics than at the poles. It's always low on the horizon on the poles.In Britain in high summer it is fairly light late and early in the day with about 4 hours of darkness. You can sit out in the garden at midnight, reading a newspaper in Scotland, for example.At noon in the north of Scotland, the sun reaches some 38 degrees south of there. Something like the angle it makes in Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City for example when the sun is over head on the tropic of Capricorn) at Mid Winter.Funny thing though, in Canada, Siberia and Scotland too, the midges are a plague in summer. But there is no malaria or anything worse than anaemia with them.I have heard tales the blood loss can be life threatening there in swamplands. Maybe that's a tall tale? Wolves and bears manage though it drives deer and such on massive rambles north.Maybe they have their own inscrutable desires?

  5. Malaria should be extinct but it seems to have come back from DDT and the like. The problem is that you can't keep spraying a place and anyway the destitute can't afford bread, so how can they afford DDT?I don't believe in global warming. I think the problems of natural disasters is most acute in areas that have been stripped of their trees.Knock down the trees and the rest of the ecology goes. And it doesn't bounce back in the few decades it takes to renew a forest it takes the life cycles of a number of trees to do that as with the first replant the balance of bugs and the rest of the food chain is still out of whack.Furthermore I believe a run of similar phases of the moon is more likely to be the reason behind huge storms or large magnitude earthquakes.Not that having lots of trees wouldn't help, maybe.When you look at the way a clump of naturally grown trees meets the sky in a wave, from bushes to trees to large trees to trees and then bushes again. All designed to blend the power of the winds into a water pumping action rather than a branch ripping one.And how mangrove swamps, in areas where tourism had not had them removed, stopped a lot of the damage after that Band Atjeh quake a few years back.

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