Atmospheric science is a broad field of scientific knowledge that includes a number of sub-disciplines that study the phenomena and processes found in the atmosphere of Earth and even other planets. Atmospheric science includes the sub-disciplines of meteorology, climatology, atmospheric chemistry, and atmospheric physics.Atmospheric scientists often study how the phenomena and processes found in other systems, including the lithosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and cryosphere, interact dynamically with the atmosphere.
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ClimateLast Updated on 2014-10-01 10:48:54
Climate is the typical pattern of conditions of the earth’s atmosphere over a given region, as defined by factors such as temperature, air pressure. humidity, precipitation, sunlight, cloudiness, and winds. The World Meteorological Organization defines climate as "the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time," where an appropriate period is typically at least thirty years. Climate can be assessed at different, overlapping geographic regions. For example, Earth is thought to have a climate that is distinct from that of other planets, while different regions of Earth are also thought to have distinct climate types. Climate is often described as the "average" conditions; however, since daily and seasonal variability (including extremes) are critical determinants, using the term... More »
CloudsLast Updated on 2014-09-30 10:52:27A could is a visible aggregate of minute water droplets or ice particles in the atmosphere above the Earth's surface. Clouds are classified according to their height above and appearance (texture) from the ground.
Clouds form when air is cooled to its dewpoint—or the temperature at which, if the air is cooled, it reaches saturation with water. Air can reach saturation in a number of ways. The most common way is through lifting.
As a bubble or parcel of air rises it moves into an area of lower pressure (pressure decreases with height). As this occurs the parcel expands. This requires energy, or work, which takes heat away from the parcel. So as air rises it cools. This is called an adiabatic process.
The rate at which the parcel cools with increasing elevation is called the "lapse rate". The lapse rate of unsaturated air (air with relative humidity <100%)... More »
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United StatesLast Updated on 2014-06-30 19:00:15
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a federal agency within the United States Department of Commerce. As a science-based operational agency tasked with monitoring climate and changes in the environment, NOAA is responsible for the study of the atmosphere and the oceans. The agency issues daily weather forecasts and storm warnings, restores coastline, aids the flow of marine commerce, and manages fisheries. NOAA's activities facilitate weather- and climate-sensitive economic activity that account for roughly one-third of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). The agency also responds to natural and man-made maritime disasters, operates a complex network of oceanographic, meteorological and atmospheric data-collecting products and services, and manages marine mammals, marine endangered... More »
Perspective of Antarctica in 1911Last Updated on 2014-06-25 18:41:34Exploration of the Antarctic - Part7
See also Chronology of Antarctic Exploration.
In 1911, the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration was in full stride and the world's understanding of the nature of Antarctica was being shaped by many new facts. An interesting snapshot of Antarctica at this time, after the Nimrod Expedition, but before the expeditions to the South Pole was the entry on Polar Regions in the 1911 Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica which summarized the view of Antarctica at that time:
In contrast to the Arctic region, the Antarctic is essentially a land area. It is almost certain that the South Pole lies on a great plateau, part of a land that must be larger and loftier than Greenland, and may probably be as large as Australia. This land area may be composed of two main masses, or of one continent and a great archipelago, but it can no longer be... More »
Wetland destruction in the Chesapeake BayLast Updated on 2014-05-21 12:55:14The Chesapeake Bay (38° 32′ 35″ N, 76° 4′ 32″ W) is the largest estuary in the United States.
It lies off the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the states of Maryland and Virginia. The Chesapeake Bay's watershed covers 64,299 square miles (166,534 km2) in the District of Columbia and parts of six states: New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.
More than 150 rivers and streams drain into the bay. Much of the bay is quite shallow: at the point where the Susquehanna River flows into the bay, the average depth is 30 feet (9 m), although this soon diminishes to an average of 10 feet (3 m) from the city of Havre de Grace for about 35 miles (56 km), to just north of Annapolis. On average, the depth of the bay is 21 feet (7 meters), including tributaries; over 24% of the bay is less than 6 ft (2 m) deep. There are... More »
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