climatology and meteorology

atmospheric circulation

the large-scale movement of air, and the means by which heat is distributed on the surface of the Earth; may vary from year to year.


the envelope of air surrounding the earth and bound to it more or less permanently by virtue of the earth's gravitational attraction; the system whose chemical properties, dynamic motions, and physical processes constitute the subject matter of meteorology.

arctic sea smoke

evaporation (steam) fog produced above a surface of open water within arctic ice when the air is stable and relatively cold.

arctic oscillation

an atmospheric circulation pattern in which the atmospheric pressure over the polar regions varies in opposition with that over middle latitudes (about 45 degrees N) on time scales ranging from weeks to decades; the oscillation extends through the depth of the troposphere, and from January to March, it extends upward into the stratosphere where it modulates in the strength of the westerly vortex that encircles the arctic polar cap region; the north atlantic oscillation and arctic oscillation are different ways of describing the same phenomenon.

arctic mist

a mist of ice crystals; a very light ice fog.

arctic high

a weak high which appears over the arctic basin during late spring, summer and early autumn; one of the centers of action in the atmosphere.

arctic haze

haze in arctic regions which reduces horizontal and slant visibility and which may extend to a height of about 10 km; it appears blue-grey when viewed away from the sun, and reddish-brown toward it.

arctic front

(1) the semi-permanent, semi-continuous front between the deep, cold arctic air and the shallower, basically less cold polar air of northern latitudes (2) south boundary of the arctic air mass.

arctic air mass

mass of very cold air in the arctic regions which invades lower latitudes at irregular intervals.


(from Greek arktikos which means northern) northern polar region of the earth which includes almost the whole area of the Arctic Ocean and adjacent areas of Eurasian and North American continents.


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