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meteorology chapter 2
Terms in this set (60)
A temperature reading of -273°C, -460°F, or 0K. Theoretically, there is no molecular motion at this temperature.
The horizontal transfer of any atmospheric property by the wind.
A faint glow of light emitted by excited gases in the upper atmosphere. Air glow is much fainter than the aurora.
The percent of radiation returning from a surface compared to that which strikes it.
Atmospheric greenhouse effect
The warming of an atmosphere by its absorbing and emitting infrared radiation while allowing shortwave radiation to pass on through. The gases mainly responsible for the earth's atmospheric greenhouse effect are water vapor and carbon dioxide. Also called the greenhouse effect.
The wavelength range between 8 and 11 μm in which little absorption of infrared radiation takes place.
Any process in which the rate of flow of a beam of energy decreases (mainly due to absorption or scattering) with increasing distance from the energy source.
Glowing light display in the nighttime sky caused by excited gases in the upper atmosphere giving off light. In the Northern Hemisphere it is called the aurora borealis (northern lights); in the Southern Hemisphere, the aurora australis (southern lights).
A hypothetical object that absorbs all of the radiation that strikes it. It also emits radiation at a maximum rate for its given temperature.
A temperature scale where zero is assigned to the temperature where water freezes and 100 to the temperature where water boils (at sea level).
Compounds consisting of methane (CH4) or ethane (C2H6) with some or all of the hydrogen replaced by chlorine or fluorine. Used in fire extinguishers, as refrigerants, as solvents for cleaning electronic microcircuits, and as propellants. CFCs contribute to the atmospheric greenhouse effect and destroy ozone in the stratosphere.
The transfer of heat by molecular activity from one substance to another, or through a substance. Transfer is always from warmer to colder regions.
Motions in a fluid that result in the transport and mixing of the fluid's properties. In meteorology, convection usually refers to atmospheric motions that are predominantly vertical, such as rising air currents due to surface heating. The rising of heated surface air and the sinking of cooler air aloft is often called free convection. (Compare with forced convection.)
See Radiant energy.
The property of a system that generally enables it to do work. Some forms of energy are kinetic, radiant, potential, chemical, electric, and magnetic.
A temperature scale where 32 is assigned to the temperature where water freezes and 212 to the temperature where water boils (at sea level).
See Atmospheric greenhouse effect.
A form of energy transferred between systems by virtue of their temperature differences.
The ratio of the heat absorbed (or released) by a system to the corresponding temperature rise (or fall).
Electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths between about 0.7 and 1000 μm. This radiation is longer than visible radiation but shorter than microwave radiation.
An instrument designed to measure the intensity of infrared radiation emitted by an object. Also called infrared sensor.
A unit of temperature. A Kelvin is denoted by K and 1 K equals 1°C. Zero Kelvin is absolute zero, or 273.15°C.
A temperature scale with zero degrees equal to the theoretical temperature at which all molecular motion ceases. Also called the absolute scale. The units are sometimes called "degrees Kelvin"; however, the correct SI terminology is "Kelvins," abbreviated K.
The energy within a body that is a result of its motion.
A law that states: Good absorbers of a given wavelength of radiation are also good emitters of that wavelength.
The heat that is either released or absorbed by a unit mass of a substance when it undergoes a change of state, such as during evaporation, condensation, or sublimation.
A term most often used to describe the infrared energy emitted by the earth and the atmosphere.
A worldwide disturbance of the earth's magnetic field caused by solar disturbances.
The region around the earth in which the earth's magnetic field plays a dominant part in controlling the physical processes that take place.
A unit of length equal to one-millionth of a meter.
A discrete quantity of energy that can be thought of as a packet of electromagnetic radiation traveling at the speed of light.
The visible surface of the sun from which most of its energy is emitted.
See Solar wind.
The energy that a body possesses by virtue of its position with respect to other bodies in the field of gravity.
See Solar flare.
Radiant energy (radiation)
Energy propagated in the form of electromagnetic waves. These waves do not need molecules to propagate them, and in a vacuum they travel at nearly 300,000 km per sec (186,000 mi per sec).
Radiative equilibrium temperature
The temperature achieved when an object, behaving as a blackbody, is absorbing and emitting radiation at equal rates.
The process whereby a surface turns back a portion of the radiation that strikes it. When the radiation that is turned back (reflected) from the surface is visible light, the radiation is referred to as reflected light.
The process by which small particles in the atmosphere deflect radiation from its path into different directions.
Substances such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, clouds, and snow that absorb radiation only at particular wavelengths.
The heat we can feel and measure with a thermometer.
A term most often used to describe the radiant energy emitted from the sun, in the visible and near ultraviolet wavelengths.
The rate at which solar energy is received on a surface at the outer edge of the atmosphere perpendicular to the sun's rays when the earth is at a mean distance from the sun. The value of the solar constant is about two calories per square centimeter per minute or about 1376 W/m2 in the SI system of measurement.
A rapid eruption from the sun's surface that emits high energy radiation and energized charged particles.
An outflow of charged particles from the sun that escapes the sun's outer atmosphere at high speed.
The ratio of the heat absorbed (or released) by the unit mass of the system to the corresponding temperature rise (or fall).
A law of radiation which states that the amount of radiant energy emitted from a unit surface area of an object (ideally a blackbody) is proportional to the fourth power of the object's absolute temperature.
Relatively cooler areas on the sun's surface. They represent regions of an extremely high magnetic field.
The degree of hotness or coldness of a substance as measured by a thermometer. It is also a measure of the average speed or kinetic energy of the atoms and molecules in a substance.
A small, rising parcel of warm air produced when the earth's surface is heated unevenly.
An instrument for measuring temperature. The most common is liquid-in-glass, which has a sealed glass tube attached to a glass bulb filled with liquid.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation
Electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths longer than X-rays but shorter than visible light.
Visible radiation (light)
Radiation with a wavelength between 0.4 and 0.7 μm. This region of the electromagnetic spectrum is called the visible region.
See Visible radiation.
The unit of power in SI units where 1 watt is equivalent to 1 joule per second.
The distance between successive crests, troughs, or identical parts of a wave.
A law of radiation which states that the wavelength of maximum emitted radiation by an object (ideally a blackbody) is inversely proportional to the object's absolute temperature.
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