Climatology: Chapter 1

Agricultural climatology
The branch of bioclimatology concerned with the impact of atmospheric properties and processes on living things of economic value, including crops and livestock

Applied climatology
The sub-field of climatology concerned with the effects and impacts of the climate on various sectors, such as agriculture, forestry, architecture, health, and transportation

Atmosphere
The thin layer of of gases suspended above the surface of a celestial body

Bioclimatology
The subfield of climatology concerned with the relationship between atmospheric properties and processes and the well being of humans and other life forms

Biosphere
The component of the Earth-ocean-atmosphere containing life, including parts of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithospere

Boundary-layer climatology
The subfield of climatology concerned with the atmospheric properties and exchanges of energy, matter, and momentum in the near-surface atmosphere

Climate
The long term, overall state of the atmosphere at a given place, both at the surface and aloft, including not only the mean conditions but also variability and seasonality of those conditions an factors that cause those conditions

Climatology
The scientific study of climate; the ranch of atmospheric sciences that analyzes the long term state of the atmosphere, explains the causes of those conditions, and forecasts possible changes in those conditions at seasonal time scales and beyond

Cloud seeding
The intentional introduction of substances into the atmosphere in an attempt to cause or enhance precipitation

Cryosphere
The region of the Earth-ocean-atmosphere system comprising frozen water in all its forms (glaciers, sea ice, surface ice, permafrost, and snow) seasonally or “permanently”

Daily mean temperature
The average temperature at a given lace over the course of a day, calculated simply by averaging the maximum and minimum temperature for that day

Dynamic climatology
The physics of broad-scale atmospheric motion at long term scales

Evaporation
The transformation of water molecules from a liquid to a gaseous state directly, without being routed through vegetation in the process

Extreme
An unusually high or low value of a measured atmospheric feature at a given place and time

Frequency
The rate of occurrence of a particular phenomenon at a particular place over a long period of time

Friction
A force caused by one body resisting the forward motion of an adjacent mass

Global hydrologic cycle
The constant cycling of water (in all its forms) throughout the Earth-ocean-atmospheric system

Human bioclimatology
The study of the relationship between people and the atmospheric environment immediately surrounding them and affecting their health comfort and performance

Hydroclimatology
The study of the interaction between the atmosphere and near-surface water at long time scales; the atmospheric component of the global hydrologic cycle

Lithosphere
The uppermost part of the solid Earth, from the surface to approximately 100 km of depth; the solid-Earth component of the Earth-ocean-atmosphere system

Local scale
A spatial scale of analysis between about 0.5 and 5 km (0.3 and 3 mi), including atmospheric phenomena that generally persist from a few minutes to a few hours

Mesoscale
The spatial scale of analysis between 5 and 100 km (3 and 60 mi), including atmospheric phenomena that typically persist from a few hours to a few days

Meterology
The scientific study of weather; the atmospheric science that analyzes the properties and causes of atmospheric conditions at a specific place and time

Microscale
A spatial scale of analysis smaller than about 0.5 km (0.3 mi), including atmospheric phenomena that typically persist from a few seconds to a few hours

Momentum
A property of a body in motion equivalent to the product of mass and velocity

National Weather Service
The present federal agency that oversees government-sponsored weather forecasting in the United States, established in 1970 when the U.S. Weather Bureau was renamed and moved to the Department of Commerce

Normal
The average measurement of an atmospheric feature at a given place and time

Paleoclimatology
The scientific study of climates of the preinstrumental period and the causal mechanisms that produced those climates

Physical climatology
The study of the nature of atmospheric energy and matter at long time scales

Planetary scale
The broadest spatial scale of climatological analysis, including phenomena on the order of 10,000 to 40,000 km (6,000 to 24,000 mi) and persisting from weeks to months

Pressure
Thee amount of force exerted on a given area

Proxy evidence
Indirect clues about past climactic conditions, used when direct measurements are not available; includes geological, biological, geophysical, and historical clues

Regional climatology
A description of the climate of a particular part of Earth’s surface, sometimes including an explanation of the processes generating that climate

Synoptic climatology
The study of the relationship between regional-scale atmospheric circulation and the environmental features at the surface

Synoptic scale
A spatial scale of analysis between about 100 and 10,000 km (60 and 6000 mi), including atmospheric phenomena that typically persists from days to weeks

Urban heat island
An isolated zone of relatively high temperatures in built-up areas; caused by the lack of vegetation, decreased evaporative cooling, waste heat from domestic and industrial processes, and thermal properties of construction materials

Varve
An annual set of layers of silt and clay deposited on the bottoms of lakes and ponds that freeze i the winter and thaw in the summer, thereby giving proxy evidence of the length of the frost-free season

Weather
The overall instantaneous condition of the atmosphere at a certain place and time

Wind
Air in motion; the transfer of atmospheric mass from one location to another

Hydrosphere
The component of the Earth-ocean-atmosphere system consisting of liquid water, including oceans, groundwater, surface streams and lakes, atmospheric water, and soil water

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