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Stability, by Matt Tilghman
Stability
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Mangroves and fossilized reef greet the sunrise on Key Biscayne, Florida.
Key Biscayne
There are many things about this photo that the title 'Stability' could refer to. For instance, the fossilized reef, which has turned a fragile ecosystem into permanent stone. Or the mangroves, anchored by elevated roots to give the trees more resistance to the onslaught of wind and waves. Or the barrier island of Key Biscayne itself, lending stability to the Florida's mainland by protecting it from the Atlantic's deadly hurricanes. But what it actually refers to is the atmosphere. The shallow clouds on the horizon are a tell-tale sign of atmospheric stability. When the atmosphere is heated from below, air wants to rise, which leads to convection, and consequently the towering cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds often seen over tropical waters. But that is during the day, when the water is a significant heat source. During the night, even the Caribbean waters of South Florida can cool down enough that the atmosphere becomes stable. If it the stability hangs around long enough, it can create some interesting sunrises, like the one pictured here.
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