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Planetary Climates$
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Andrew P. Ingersoll

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691145044

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691145044.001.0001

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(p.202) 9 Saturn
Planetary Climates

Andrew P. Ingersoll

Princeton University Press

This chapter compares the climate of Saturn with that of Jupiter. Both Jupiter and Saturn have no oceans and no solid surfaces, but they have lightning storms and rain clouds that dwarf the largest thunderstorms on Earth. Saturn's weather is normally very calm, but every 20–30 years a giant storm erupts. These storms last for a few months and then disappear. In contrast, Jupiter's giant storms endure without change for decades or centuries. Saturn's winds are stronger than Jupiter's. The chapter first reviews the variables that might control the planets' climates before discussing how the climates actually differ. It examines Saturn's rotation, giant storms, effective radiating temperature, electrostatic discharges and lightning, enrichment relative to solar composition, helium raindrops, moist convection and conditional instability, and ortho-para instability.

Keywords:   climate, Jupiter, weather, Saturn, giant storms, winds, rotation, lightning, convection, instability

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