Water Vapour

Topics: Gas, Precipitation, Atmosphere Pages: 3 (594 words) Published: June 23, 2013
6/23/13

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Water vapour is one of the most variable gases in the atmosphere, which is present in small amounts, but is nonetheless very important. Water vapour is always present in some proportion in the lower atmosphere. The water vapour content of air may vary from .02 percent by volume in a cold dry climate to nearly 4 percent in the humid tropics. The variations in this percentage over time and place are very important considerations climatically. The significance of atmospheric moisture to all forms of life is a wellknown fact and hardly needs any elaboration. Like carbon dioxide, water vapour plays a significant role in the insulating action of the atmosphere. In addition, it absorbs not only the long wave terrestrial radiation, but also a part of the incoming solar radiation. Thus, it is an important control in regulating the energy transfer through the atmosphere. Water vapour is the source of all clouds and precipitation. Through the condensation of water vapour, vast amount of energy is released into the atmosphere in the form of latent heat of condensation, the...
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