A Natural History of California (California Natural History by Allan A. Schoenherr

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By Allan A. Schoenherr

During this accomplished and abundantly illustrated booklet, Allan Schoenherr describes a nation with a better diversity of landforms, a greater diversity of habitats, and extra sorts of vegetation and animals than any sector of identical measurement in all of North the US. A ordinary historical past of California will familiarize the reader with the weather, rocks, soil, crops and animals in each one specified sector of the nation.

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On the first day of spring, or the first day of autumn, the sun is directly over the equator. Wherever the sun shines straight down, there will be a greater degree of warming than anywhere else. Air will rise at that point. Air on the surface of the earth will move toward the point of rising air from the north and south. As the air rises, it becomes less dense and thus cooler. This is called adiabatic cooling. When the air is cooled, water vapor condenses and falls in the form of rain. As a result, it rains every day, usually in the afternoon, in a belt around the earth between the Tropic of Cancer on the north and the Tropic of Capricorn on the south.

Perhaps even more loosely translated, the second law states that energy can be converted from one form to another, but transformations are never completely efficient. Disorder (entropy) tends to occur during energy transformations; therefore to create order or put things in a precise arrangement, requires more energy than can be reclaimed later. This is the reason that energy transfers in ecosystems (that is, from producers to consumers) are so inefficient. Nature tends to move toward randomness or disorder.

In the Great Central Valley this is known as a tule fog. Episodes of tule fog are famous for causing massive traffic jams and huge chain-reaction collisions. What is unique about these puddles of cold air is that normal temperature relationships seem to be inverted. It is supposed to become gradually cooler as one goes higher in an air mass, but when cold air masses are trapped in a valley, it becomes suddenly warmer at the top. This paradoxical phenomenon is known as a temperature inversion layer.

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