climatology and meteorology

cloud amount

that portion of the sky cover which is attributed to clouds; the unit of measurement is the okta or tenths (meaning one-eighth or one-tenth) of the sky dome as seen by the observer.


like cumulus; generally descriptive of all clouds; vertical development in the form of rising mounds, domes or towers; driven by thermal convection and have vertical velocities greater than 1 meter (3.3 feet) per second.


the transport of energy entirely resulting from the random motions of individual molecules, and not from any concerted group movement; occurs in response to temperature gradients; contrasts with convection, in which energy is transported by molecules moving together in coherent groups.

cold pole

the location that has the lowest annual mean temperature in its hemisphere.


a hydrometeor consisting of a visible aggregate of minute particles of liquid water or ice, or both, suspended in the free air and usually not touching the earth's surface; it may also include larger particles of liquid water or ice (precipitation particles) and non-aqueous liquid or solid particles such as those present in fumes, smoke and dust (aerosols); cloudiness is the same as cloud cover; but usually it is used in a very general sense.


the scientific study of climate; the aspect of meteorology which studies processes of climate formation, distribution of climates over the globe, analysis of the causes of differences of climate (physical climatology), and the application of climatic data to the solution of specific design or operational problems (applied climatology); climatology may be further subdivided according to purpose or point of view: agricultural climatology, air-mass climatology, aviation climatology, bioclimatology, dynamic climatology, medical climatology, macroclimatology, mesoclimatology, microclimatology, paleoclimatology, synoptic climatology, etc..

climatological atlas

atlas composed mainly of climatological charts; it represents especially the monthly and annual distributions of the principal climatic elements of a specific region for a relatively long period.

climate variability

(1) in the most general sense, the term climate variability denotes the inherent characteristic of climate which manifests itself in changes with time; the degree of climate variability can be described by the differences between long-term statistics of meteorological elements calculated for different periods, (in this sense, the measure of climate variability is the same as the measure of climate change) (2) the term climate variability is often used to denote deviations of climate statistics over a given period of time (such as a specific month, season or year) from the long-term climate statistics relating to the corresponding calendar period; (in this sense, climate variability is measured by those deviations, which are usually termed anomalies).

climate model

representation of the climate system based on the mathematical equations governing the behavior of the various components of the system and including treatment of key physical processes and interactions, cast in a form suitable for numerical approximation with computers.


synthesis of weather conditions in a given area, characterized by long-term statistics (mean values, variances, probabilities of extreme values, etc.) of the meteorological elements in that area; polar climate (arctic climate) is generally the climate of a geographical polar region, most commonly taken to be a climate which is too cold to support the growth of trees.


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