Weather and climate are intimately related. Changes in the types of
weather a given region experiences will produce changes in the climate of
the region. At the same time, climate-change processes can produce
changes in the type and severity of weather events that affect a given
Scientific visualization tools include photos, drawings, maps, and graphs.
Graphs show the relation between one set of data and another. Often they
present how one set of data changes with time, although any two sets of
data can be plotted with respect to one another. Graphs typically are
presented as continuous lines, which implies that the data vary smoothly
from one point to another. At other times, data are presented as discrete
values, such as with bar graphs.
Maps are used to present data at various locations on the Earth.
Difficulties arise because representations of the curved Earth surface on a
flat map, called map projections, can distort the size or shape of mapped
objects or regions. Data can be presented by showing lines connecting
regions with equal values, called isolines. Alternatively, each location can
be color-coded based on the data value at that location.
In studies of weather and climate, the SI system of metric units is used.
The basic units are meters (length), kilograms (mass), seconds (time), and
Celsius or Kelvin (temperature).
From these basic units, we can derive other physical quantities we will
encounter throughout the text, including velocity, acceleration, force,
pressure, energy and power.
Chapter 2: The Earth’s Atmosphere
- the absorption and re-emission of radiation energy
by water vapor in the atmosphere.
: rain, snow, hail and sleet
: the cycle in which carbon moves as a gas, liquid, and