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Community and Q&A

How does mother nature reduce atmospheric humidity?

AlanB4 | Posted in General Questions on

I would guess humidity should always be 100% when there are bodies of water within a few hundred kilometers, but since there is not this is a question i have always wondered

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    1. The atmosphere has a large volume, and the temperature of the atmosphere is not uniform. Air at the poles tends to be dry.

    2. There is wind, and wind mixes dry polar air with humid tropical air.

    3. The air temperature drops at night, and radiational cooling of objects near the surface of the earth results in the accumulation of dew.

    4. There is precipitation.

  2. AlanB4 | | #2

    Thanks for the reply Martin, i would guess at the poles the cold temps makes the water settle into the polar caps as its renewed by air coming in (air out means air in), and accumulation of dew would hydrate plants that absorb the water. I would think this means cities stay more humid or lose humidity more slowly because asphalt and buildings probably don't sequester water as well and release it more easily when hit by sunlight (except for sun driven moisture transport in bricks).

    Good point about the precipitation, do clouds evaporate while they are getting bigger (reducing the rate they get bigger at). Perhaps we can invent a new way to reduce indoor humidity, create artificial indoor clouds :P

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