When pressures and temperatures become unbalanced in Earth’s atmosphere, it can produce some dramatic effects as the system tries to rebalance itself, or re-equilibrate (reach equilibrium). Many of these changes are things that are witnessed every day on a small scale in the form of weather, such as wind, rain, snow, fog, etc.
Sometimes, however, Earth’s atmosphere experiences very large imbalances which can cause massive and very disruptive change. The extreme weather events of 2011 are good examples of extreme changes in pressure and temperature that required re-balancing (equilibration). Not only did they have environmental impacts, but also disastrous consequences for the hundreds and thousands of people in their wake.
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