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By Michael Allaby

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Sample text

Consequently, even if the rising air becomes saturated, it will nevertheless remain stable. If the ELR is greater than both the DALR and SALR, the opposite will happen, and the air will be unstable. At any height above the surface, rising air will be warmer and therefore less dense than the surrounding air. It will continue to rise. The diagram shows the two situations as a graph. These are known as absolute stability and instability. There is also a second type of instability, called conditional instability.

As the amount of water vapor in the air increases, so does the vapor pressure, but there is a limit, known as the saturation vapor pressure, to the amount of water vapor air can hold. It is the vapor pressure at which molecules begin to link by hydrogen bonding—in other words, to condense. Saturation vapor pressure varies according to the temperature. The warmer the air, the more water it can hold. 5 mb. The temperature at which water vapor condenses and evaporates is known as the dewpoint temperature.

If more molecules leave the liquid than enter it, obviously the volume of liquid will decrease. It will evaporate. If there are so many molecules in the layer of air immediately above the surface that they are entering the liquid as fast as molecules are leaving it, the water will not evaporate, and the layer above the surface is saturated. The pressure it exerts on the surface is the saturation vapor pressure. Latent heat Heat is a form of energy. It is not the same thing as temperature. When atoms or molecules absorb heat energy they move faster, or, if they are locked together as a solid, they vibrate more vigorously.

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