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Earth Science

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Question 1

1a

For Hot Air Balloons to fly, there must be wind. Moreover, for the balloons to fly safely, the winds must be calm and less than 10 mph (Masters, 2011). The calm winds are experienced in the early hours of the day that is the morning hours. During these hours, the winds are lighter making it easier for the balloon to launch and land.   

1b

Hot Air Balloons are able to continue floating in the air because they move with the wind. The directions of wind are different at varying altitudes (Masters, 2011). However, experienced pilots are able to maneuver the balloon by studying the different patterns of the wind.

1c

The balloons are lifted by the buoyant force (Masters, 2011). When warm air rises, the Hot Air Balloon  rises too. This is because it contains warm air which is hotter than the outside air making it less dense. Meaning  the air trapped in the envelope is lighter than that outside the envelop making it easy for the balloon to fly.

Question 2

El Nino refers to the warming of the water surface of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. El Nino occurs after 4 to 12 years causing a change in the world’s weather patterns. In the Texas Gulf Coast region, El Nino causes a number of effects on the weather patterns. To begin with, it results to unusual amounts of rainfall in the region (Miller, 2010). Secondly, increased rainfall results to cooler weather in the region due to more clouds. Thirdly, El Nino impacts the area with lower winds that are evident in the spring. For instance, South Padre Island has experienced around 20 to 25 days of lower winds in April for the last 10 years. Additionally, El Nino is also responsible for unusual wet winters in the region especially south Texas. Lastly, the cloudier and cooler days lead to fewer concrete days of wind. In essence, this is notable in spring whereby, the solid sea breezes are slow to return as compared to non-El Nino years (Miller, 2010). 

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