Word of the Day
Vocabulary words and their definitions from the Years of Living Dangerously Climate Classroom lessons.
The fraction of solar energy (shortwave radiation) reflected from the Earth back into space. It is a measure of the reflectivity of the earth’s surface. Ice, especially with snow on top of it, has a high albedo: most sunlight hitting the surface bounces back towards space.
Something that deviates or differs from normal or what is expected.
The organic circulation of carbon from the atmosphere into organisms and back again.
Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the atmosphere, produced by vehicles and industrial processes.
The long-term manifestations of weather and other atmospheric conditions in a given area or country, now usually represented by the statistical summary of its weather conditions during a period long enough to ensure that representative values are obtained (generally 30 years).
The process of destroying a forest and replacing it with something else, especially an agricultural system.
A prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall; a shortage of water resulting from this.
A climate pattern that describes the cooling of surface ocean waters along the tropical west coast of South America. La Niña is considered to be the counterpart to El Niño, which is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean.
The study of changes in climate taken on the scale of the entire history of Earth. Paleoclimatology uses a variety of proxy methods from the Earth and life sciences to obtain data previously preserved within (e.g.) rocks, sediments, ice sheets, tree rings, corals, shells and microfossils; it then uses these records to determine the past states of the Earth’s various climate regions and its atmospheric system. Studies of past changes in the environment and biodiversity often reflect on the current situation, and specifically the impact of climate on mass extinctions and biotic recovery.
Weather is what we experience on a daily basis. It helps us decide what we should wear for the day or what to bring on an upcoming getaway in the next week. Weather is a prediction based on a variety of data collected in a variety of ways from ground stations to radars and weather maps are created to help us understand what to expect based on the evidence compiled by meteorologists.