Albedo: As the sun shines on the Earth, some of the energy is absorbed and some is reflected back to space. Albedo is the fraction of solar energy (shortwave radiation) reflected from the Earth back into space. Surfaces that are lighter in color have a higher albedo than surfaces that have a darker color. For instance, ice and snow have a very high albedo, but the albedo of ocean water is very low.
Altitude: The height above the earth's surface.
Atmosphere: The mass of air surrounding the earth.
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Biomes: are distinct ecological communities of plants and animals living together in a particular climate. Scientists classify biomes in various ways, but the major biomes include aquatic, deserts, forests, grasslands, and tundra.
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Climate: is the average pattern of weather of a particular area over a long period of time. Climate can be influenced by many things, including latitude, wind patterns, ocean currents, altitude, and topography.
Cloud: A visible mass of water (tiny water droplets) and /or crystals (tyny ice particles) suspended in the atmosphere.
Condensation: The process in which water vapor changes into liquid water.
Condensation Nuclei: Microscopic particle of dust, smoke or salt that allows for condensation of water vapor to water droplets in the atmosphere Nucleus for the formation of a rain drop. Condensation normally occurs on these particles when relative humidity becomes 100%. Some condensation nuclei, like salt, are hygroscopic and water can condense on them at relative humidities lower than 100%
Conductivity: The ability of a material to allow the flow of electrical current. It is the opposite of resistivity .
Convection: The condition of rising currents of warm air separated by more wide-spread areas of slowly sinking air. This is typical of thunder storms during a hot summer.
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Datalogger: If you describe something you see by writing or drawing in a notebook, you are recording data. When you do this at over time, you are keeping a log. A datalogger is an electronic instrument that records measurements such as temperature, relative humidity, voltage, etc. over extended periods of time. Dataloggers usually have a microprocessor, memory for data storage, and sensor(s). Most dataloggers interface with a personal computer and use software to activate the logger and view the data.
Density: Refers to the quantity of mass per unit volume. For gasses, density involves the number of atoms and molecules per unit volume.
Dewpoint: The temperature the air would have to be cooled to in order for it to become saturated, or full, of water vapor. If the dew point is 55, then the air would become “full” of water vapor if it was cooled to 55 degrees.
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Estimate: To calculate approximately the amount, extent, or value of something.
Evaporation: Liquid water droplets being changed into gaseous form.
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Fog: A cloud that is close to the ground. This develops when the air mass cools to the dewpoint temperature; when the air temperature and the dewpoint are the same, cloud develops.
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Global Warming: is the gradual increase of the
temperature of the earth's lower atmosphere as a result of the increase
in greenhouse gases. Sustained increases in atmospheric temperature
may result in climatic change.
Greenhouse gasses : A greenhouse gas is a gas that contributes to the
greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation. Some examples of greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, nitrous oxide, and water vapor.
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Heat index: The temperature the body feels when heat and humidity are combined. For instance a 90 ˚ F day with 70% humidity will feel like 105 ˚ F.
Hygrometer: an instrument used to measure humidity. There are several different kinds of hygrometers, including sling psychrometers and hair hygrometers
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Insulation: something that prevents movement of heat.
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Legend: A list of the data types and the colors of their lines that match each one, such as:
grass ----------
earth ----------
sky -----------
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Meteorologist: A scientist who studies the atmosphere and weather.
Minimum Ice Extent: The area of the sea ice in the Arctic that does not melt during a given year. Sea ice forms during the winter months, but begins melting in June. The minimum sea ice extent is usually the ice that remains in September.
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PAR: Photosynthetically Active Radiation, light usable by plants; it also corresponds very closely with the wavelengths of light that humans can see.
Perennial Ice: Ice that does not completely melt during the summer, but remains year round.
Photons: a unit of electromagnetic energy (light).
Precipitation: Water that falls to the earth as rain, snow, hail or sleet.
Pressure: Force applied uniformly over a surface, measured as force per unit of area.
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Remote Sensing Tools : Tools used to gather information about an object or an area without actually touching it.
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Saturated: The most concentrated solution possible at a given temperature.
Sensor: A device that detects a change in a physical stimulus and turns it into a signal which can be measured or recorded.
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Thermocouple: A metallic strip or wire that produces a voltage (electromagnetic potential) when the two ends (junctions) are at different temperatures. The "cold" junctions of thermopile radiometers are painted white to reflect radiation, and the "hot" junctions are painted black to absorb radiation.
Thermopile: a set of thermocouple junctions connected in series in order to boost the voltage to a meaningful amount (usually measured in millivolts).
Turbulence: A state of disturbance, agitation or disorder.
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Virga: Rain that evaporates before it reaches the ground.
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