DMPQ-Explain the process of origin of Air masses. Also mention it’s impact on Global Climate.

Air mass is a large body of air having little horizontal variation in temperature and moisture.The air masses have a relatively uniform distribution of vertical gradients in their physical properties like temperature, pressure, and humidity.

Air masses are formed in very particular surface and atmospheric conditions which are found only in a few areas of the world. These preconditions are:

  • Physiographic homogeneity – surface should be either an oceanic surface or a plane on a continental surface.
  • Atmospheric conditions must be stable for the origin of air masses. There should not be any major movement in the air. This is important for air to maintain contact with uniform surface area for a long duration of time.
  • The air should rest on the given surface for 2 to 3 days to absorb the properties of the given surface.

Effect on global climate

These have a deep impact on their areas of influence. For example, the Western European type of climate is fully developed by subtropical Marine Air masses. The origin of temperate cyclones is dependent on the convergence of two contrasting air mass that are continental polar and Maritime tropical air mass. The monsoon which is the backbone of Indian agriculture is also an example of tropical Marine Air mass.

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