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Meteorology as a Branch of Earth Science and Its Significance: Critical Essay

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Meteorology as a branch of Earth science has a multitude of categories in which scientists research, but a simplified definition would describe meteorology as the scientific study of the atmosphere that focuses on weather processes and forecasting. According to, use scientific principles to observe, explain, and forecast our weather. Research can vary from climate modeling, remote sensing, air quality, atmospheric physics, and climate change, but the focus is normally on atmospheric research or operational weather forecasting. To research, meteorologists rely heavily on computer models and programmed simulations. Though meteorology is a dense subject with many categories, its most important subjects that meteorologists use to predict weather are the different scales of meteorology and recent weather patterns.

The importance of the different scales of meteorology is simple: they are used to differentiate a meteorologist’s field of study, ranging from small natural occurrences to global catastrophes. There are four major scales, microscale, mesoscale, synoptic scale, and global scale. Microscale meteorology consists of small natural occurrences that range in size from centimeters to kilometers but usually only live for less than a day. An example of what a microscale meteorologist might study is the processes that occur between soil and vegetation, which is a very small scale.

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As for the mesoscale meteorologists, their line of work ranges from natural occurrences larger than microscale but smaller than synoptic scale. Occurrences within the mesoscale usually are the ones that most affect human life, such as thunderstorms, gap winds, downslope windstorms, land-sea breezes, and squall lines (a narrow band of high winds and storms associated with a cold front).

The final two scales, the synoptic and global scales, are the largest and have the widest field of research. Synoptic scale meteorologists’ line of work contains the most amount of information intake and is quite broad, ranging from both hemispheres. To simplify, the synoptic scale features high- and low-pressure systems that affect our planet. These pressure systems, are important meteorological principles that are the basics for large-scale weather outbreaks. When the atmospheric pressure on the surface of the Earth is less than its surrounding environment, this causes low-pressure systems. Wind and moisture from areas with higher pressure seek low-pressure systems. This allows the formation of clouds due to the rising moist air that vaporizes, which is the cause of most major weather systems. Hurricanes are a by-product of low-pressure systems because, through the rising moist air, cyclones (hurricanes that are slower than 119 mph) are formed. This is just one example of the disasters that low-pressure systems bring. High-pressure systems occur where the atmospheric pressure at the surface of the Earth is greater than its surrounding environment. Unlike the low-pressure systems that force moist air upward, the pressure of these systems forces moisture downward, allowing for clear skies. An example of harsh conditions from this system is the arctic snow-covered ground, which was caused by the moist air trapped beneath the surface. Weather predictions can be made very easily once the type of pressure system is determined by the meteorologists. Global-scale meteorologists study weather patterns related to the transport of heat, wind, and moisture from the tropics to the poles, such as global atmospheric circulation (how heat is moved around the globe).

Throughout history, meteorologists have used all different kinds of scientific principles to observe, explain, and forecast our weather, like scales and weather systems. Knowing how these tools perform and are used can benefit both researchers and humans who thrive off knowing the weather. The further researchers go into how weather systems work, the more useful knowledge the weather forecasters can produce from the media to us humans on a daily basis.

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Meteorology as a Branch of Earth Science and Its Significance: Critical Essay. (2023, November 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 30, 2023, from
“Meteorology as a Branch of Earth Science and Its Significance: Critical Essay.” Edubirdie, 15 Nov. 2023,
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