A bit About Adiabatic, (Without the Devil)

Air does basically two things; either it warms and rises , or it sinks and cools. Winds follow the pressure gradients that emerge between these regimes.


Ironically, cold air masses are warming and rising and warm air masses are sinking and cooling, yet we perceive the cooling air mass as warm and the warming air mass as cold.

Such heating and cooling is called adiabatic. It is a wonderful 19th century word that means “without the devil”. So all this warming and cooling occurs from changes in pressure without Mephistopheles being involved.


El Diablo remains very much in the details, of course, and even more so in the public perception that humans have influenced the position of the jet stream.

Mischief from apparent fires within the earth was very real to our forbears, watching volcanoes spew. Intolerable heat, endless repetitive work, cacophony. What better repository for sinners? And now we will raise Hades to earth with our carbonic sins?

But there is nothing diabolical about the jet stream. It is adiabatic.


This entry was posted in Anthropology, Carbon Theology, Climate, Climate Change, Global Warming, History, River and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A bit About Adiabatic, (Without the Devil)

  1. Pingback: Radiation vs the Adiabat | geosciencebigpicture

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.