Introduction to Meteorology Chapter 2 Heating the Earth's Surface and Atmosphere

  1. Aphelion
    The point in the orbit of a planet that is farthest from the Sun
  2. Perihelion
    The point in the orbit of a planet closest to the Sun
  3. Revolution
    The motion of one body about another, as Earth about the Sun
  4. Plane of the Ecliptic
    The plane of Earth's Orbit around the Sun
  5. Altitude (of the Sun)
    The angle of the Sun above the horizon
  6. Equinox
    The point in time when the vertical rays of the Sun are Striking the equator.  In the Northern Hemisphere, March 20 or 21 is the vernal, or spring, equinox and September 22 or 23 is the autumnal equinox.  Lengths of daylight and darkness are equal at all latitudes at equinox.
  7. Solstice
    The point in time when the vertical rays of the Sun are striking either the Tropic of Cancer(summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere) or the Tropic of Capricorn(winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere).  Solstice represents the longest or shortest day (length of daylight) of the year.
  8. Inclination of the Axis
    The tilt of Earth's axis from the perpendicular to the plane of Earth's orbit (plan of the ecliptic).  Currently, the inclination is about 23 1/2 degrees away from the perpendicular.
  9. Tropic of Cancer
    The parallel of latitude, 23 1/2 degrees north latitude, marking the northern limit of the Sun's vertical rays.
  10. Tropic of Capricorn
    The parallel of latitude, 23 1/2 degrees south latitude, marking the southern limit of the Sun's vertical rays.
  11. Circle of Illumination
    The line(great circle) separating daylight from darkness on Earth.
  12. Potential Energy
    Energy that exists by virtue of a body's position with respect to gravity.
  13. Latent Heat
    The energy absorbed or released during a change of state.
  14. Heat
    The kenetic energy  of random molecular motion.  Energy transferred into or out of an object because of temperature differences between that object and its surroundings.
  15. Kinetic Energy
    Energy associated with an object by virtue of its motion
  16. Temperature
    A measure of the degree of hotness or coldness of a substance.
  17. Latent Heat
    The energy absorbed or released during a change of state.
  18. Sensible Heat
    The heat we can feel and measure with a thermometer
  19. Conduction
    The transfer of heat through matter by molecular activity.  Energy is transferred during collisions among molecules.  Thus, conduction is the transfer of heat through electron and molecular collisions from one molecule to another.
  20. Convection
    The transfer of heat by the movement of a mass or substance.  It can take place only in fluids.
  21. Condensation
    The change of state from a gas to a liquid.
  22. Advection
    Horizontal convective motion, such as wind.
  23. Thermal
    An example of convection that involves the upward movements of warm, less dense air.  In this manner, heat is transported to greater heights.
  24. Radiation
    The wavelike energy emitted by any substance that possesses heat.  This energy travels through space at 300,000 kilometers per second (the speed of light).
  25. Ultraviolet Radiation
    Radiation with a wavelength from 0.2 to 0.4 micrometer.
  26. Wavelength
    The horizontal distance separating successive crest or troughs.
  27. Visibility
    The greatest distance at which prominent objects can be seen and identified by unaided, normal eyes.
  28. Transmission
    Is the process by which shortwave and longwave energy passes through the atmosphere (or any transparent media) without interacting with the gases or other particles in the atmosphere.
  29. Absorptivity
    A measure of the amount of radiant energy absorbed by a substance.
  30. Cloud
    A form of condensation best described as a dense concentration of suspended water droplets or tiny ice crystals.
  31. Albedo
    The reflectivity of a substance, usually expressed as a percentage of the incident radiation reflected.
  32. Reflection
    Is the process whereby light bounces back from an object at the same angle and intensity at which it was received.
  33. Scattering
    Is a general processes in which radiation is forced to deviate from a straight trajectory.
  34. Backscattering
    Scattering disperses light both forward and backward
  35. Diffused Light
    Solar energy is scattered and reflected in the atmosphere and reaches Earth's surface in the form of diffuse blue light from the sky.
  36. Atmospheric Window
    Terrestrial radiation between 8 and 11 micrometers in length to which the troposphere is transparent.
  37. Greenhouse Effect
    The transmission of shortwave solar radiation by the atmosphere coupled with the selective absorption of longer-wavelength terrestrial radiation, especially by water vapor and carbon dioxide, resulting in warming of the atmosphere.
  38. Longwave Radiation
    A reference to radiation emitted by Earth.  Wavelengths of roughly 20 times longer than those emitted by the Sun.
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Introduction to Meteorology Chapter 2 Heating the Earth's Surface and Atmosphere
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Heating the Earth's Surface and Atmosphere
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