How does solar heating make the tropics warmer than the polar regions?

How does solar heating make the tropics warmer than the polar regions?

A 2.4-degree C rise by 2020? Probably not
Climate change is happening faster than scientists’ predicted. Meltdowns in Greenland and Antarctica are well ahead of climate science projections and overall warming continues to accelerate –we have just endured the hottest year and hottest decade on record. About the only thing that isn’t happening faster than expected is increasing concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the …
How does solar heating make the tropics warmer than the polar regions?

If air currents keep moving to the colder regions, why are the trophics still warmer?

The reason higher latitudes (Away from the tropics) have lower temperatures is mainly because at higher latitudes the sun rays are less perpendicular to the surface of the earth, thus the Earth receives less heat from the sun.

Imagine you are holding a flashlight above a table. Hold it so the beam goes straight down. You will see a nice circle of light on the table.

Now hold the flashlight at the same height, but at an angle over the table. Notice that now the same amount of light is spread over a larger, oval area.

The same amount of energy has to shine on a larger area, thus you have less energy per unit of area. In the same way, the sun rays are more askew to the Earth’s surface near the poles, so the Earth receives less heat, thus you have lower temperatures.

Another component is the angle of inclination of the Earth’s axis. In the winter, days are a lot shorter thus the sun shines less over the land. This is why it gets colder in the winter.

Now to answer your question: Air currents form the polar regions, which are indeed cold, travel south towards the tropics and vice-versa. However, there is heat exchange along the way, usually manifested in the form of storms and weather fronts. (Storm fronts, tornadoes, etc, are caused by cold air meeting warm air). This heat exchange helps keep the tropics warm and the polar regions cold.

Hope this helps.

Biology 1B – Lecture 9: Ecosystem Ecology 2

Heating For Home