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I hear all the arguments one explains to a flat earther as to why the earth is Spherical and not flat. I am not a meteorologist, but I know enough Meteorology for me to fly safely as a pilot. Getting deeper, doesn't Meteorology rely on a spherical model? If yes, then why? I don't think a flat earth could maintain such an incredible, intricate system on a disc anyways.

I point out only disc because we have people who believe in a flat earth. I've never heard anyone explain to a flat earther why or how important meteorlogy relies on a spherical model for weather to work. I, myself, is interested in the nitty-gritty of the very mechanism that runs our weather which happens to involve the shape of our world.

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  • $\begingroup$ Flat Earth is not a meteorological crap, it is a physical and astronomical crap. $\endgroup$ – peterh - Reinstate Monica Aug 21 at 20:33
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    $\begingroup$ Flat earth is not a concept supported by this site, it has no basis in science. $\endgroup$ – Fred Aug 21 at 21:33
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    $\begingroup$ we don't use toroidal, cubic, or pyramidal models either. what purpose would a disk model have? $\endgroup$ – John Aug 22 at 4:57
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    $\begingroup$ it has beeb known that the earth is spherical for more than 2500 years it was even measured how large our planet is with less than 10% margin of error. aps.org/publications/apsnews/200606/history.cfm $\endgroup$ – trond hansen Aug 22 at 5:12
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    $\begingroup$ John, I point out only disc because we have people who believe in a flat earth. I've never heard anyone explain to a flat earther why or how important meteorlogy relies on a spherical model for weather to work. You get me. I, myself, is interested in the very nitty-gritty of the very mechanism that runs our weather which happens to involve the shape of our world. $\endgroup$ – Daniel A Aug 22 at 6:04
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Meteorology relies heavily on a spherical model of the earth. If you consider one of the major "forces," the Coriolis force, it is derivable only from a spherical earth.

Now, there are planar representations, where the earth's curvature has a negligible effect, such as mesoscale meteorology or micrometeorology. A sphere also has modeling advantages for spectral models, since a wave is easily represented on the sphere as a spherical harmonic.

Now for mental models, sometimes it is useful to make an f-plane approximation or even a beta plane approximation. But that only happens for dynamics. Moreover, the change in radiation with latitude is highly dependent on the angle on the face of the earth with respect to the sun.

All of this to say is that the earth is technically an oblate elipsoid, a sphere is a sufficient approximation to reality. So we use what is closer to reality as to be meaningful, but abstract enough that differences from reality are confined to the very nitty gritty. A disk has no 3-D qualities to it- a relic of flat-earthers- and is not representative of reality.

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    $\begingroup$ Strictly speaking, there can be a Coriolis force on a rotating disk. However, a Coriolis force distribution corresponding to a disk would not agree with experimental meteorological observations, such as opposing rotations around a cyclone in South America versus North America. $\endgroup$ – Oscar Lanzi Aug 26 at 13:09

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