Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 15 - Think and Explain: 69

Answer

Water has a high specific heat capacity when compared to other common materials, and is slow to warm up and slow to cool down. In other words, water gives off and absorbs large amounts of energy for small drops and rises in its temperature. In the winter, San Francisco is warmed by the winds coming in from the ocean because the ocean water warms up the air, resulting in a milder winter for SF and much of California. If the winter winds instead came from the east, San Francisco would be blasted by inland air from dry, cold Nevada. Goodbye, palm trees! For Washington, D.C. which is on the east coast of the US, if winter winds came from the east, they would be warmed by heat transfer from the Atlantic Ocean and produce a warmer winter. Hello, palm trees!
Update this answer!

You can help us out by revising, improving and updating this answer.

Update this answer

After you claim an answer you’ll have 24 hours to send in a draft. An editor will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback.