In this chapter we became familiar with the processes that determine the humidity of the air, the process of formation and reasons for the geographical pattern of precipitation. The presence of moisture in the atmosphere and the geography of precipitation are dependent on the earth's energy balance, temperature, atmospheric pressure, and air circulation. This dependency reflects the interaction between the various spheres that comprise the earth system.
Chapters 4 through 7 deal with elements of weather and climate. They set the stage for chapter 8 "Weather Systems". In "Weather Systems" we'll focus on how the day-to-day changes in the atmosphere. Chapter 8 integrates the weather elements to explain the daily changes in atmospheric conditions. It will also examine the processes that create, and geographical patterns of, powerful storm systems like tornadoes and hurricanes.
Weather and climate are elements of physical geography that impact all of our lives. That's why an understanding of the potential effects of climate change is important to all of us. If we stay on our present course, geoscientists predict that storm systems in some parts of the world will become more severe. The patterns of both weather systems, and climates could radically shift, causing significant changes in natural habitats, agricultural systems, population distribution, and the economic stability. Geographers will be at the forefront of understanding how these changes will take place, where they will happen, and how we might address them.
Before proceeding to the Chapter 8, take some time to review chapter 7. You may wish to review chapter 5 "Air Temperature", and Chapter 6, as the contents of these chapters along with Chapter 7 comprise the components of weather systems.