Causes and effects of sea and land breeze

Causes and effects of sea and land breeze

The wind will blow from the higher pressure over the water to lower pressure over the land causing the sea breeze. The sea breeze strength will vary depending on the temperature difference between the land and the ocean. At night, the roles reverse. The air over the ocean is now warmer than the air over the land.As the name clearly suggests these breezes occur along coastal areas or along large lakes and water bodies.

A breeze is a cool and calm wind. There arise as a result of differential heating and cooling between land and adjacent sea areas during the day and at night. The resultant pressure differences produce gentle breezes which affect coastal areas during calm clear anticyclonic conditions.

Sea breeze

It is a breeze blowing toward the land from the sea, especially during the day owing to the relative warmth of the land. The land heats up quickly by conduction and air rises. The air moves towards the sea and falls since it is denser. The air creates an area of high pressure over the sea while the land has low pressure since it is hotter when compared to the ocean’s surface. The sea absorbs heat more slowly during the day and transmits it to greater depth so it remains cool. A cool sea breeze moves from the sea towards the land. The sea breeze is capable of reducing temperatures by as much as 15°C along coastal areas and may produce fogs.

Land breeze

In the other hand is coastal breeze blowing at night from land to sea, caused by the difference in the rate of cooling of their respective surfaces. . At night the reverse happens, Land quickly loses its heat while the ocean cools at a slower rate because water has a higher heat specific capacity. This means air over the water is less dense and begins to rise creating low pressure above the ocean’s surface. Cooler dense air from the land begins to move to the water surface to replace the warm rising air. A cool gentle breeze blows towards the ocean. This is called a land breeze.


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