Encyclopedia Article

Meteorology - Research Article from Environmental Encyclopedia

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 1 page of information about Meteorology.
This section contains 228 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)

Meteorology is derived from the Greek words meteora meaning things in the air or things above, and logy meaning science or discourse. It is a branch of physics concerned with the study and theory of atmospheric phenomena and is frequently equated to atmospheric science. One of the earliest references to this branch of physics is Aristotle's Meteorologica written around 340 B.C.

In the modern context meteorology is founded upon the basic physical principles and laws governing the energy and mass exchanges within the earth's atmosphere and involves the study of short term variations of atmospheric properties (temperature, moisture, wind) and interactions with the earth's surface. The ability to predict and explain short term changes in the atmosphere from observations and numerical models (using the laws of physics) is an important dimension of meteorology as well. Thus the words meteorologist and forecaster are often used interchangeably to describe someone who can predict the weather.

Meteorologists are trained in observations, instrumentation, data processing, and modeling techniques for the purpose of analyzing and predicting trajectories of major weather systems, including their associated temperature, precipitation, wind, and sky conditions. Modern methods include the use of automated surface observation systems, radar, satellites, radiosondes, wind profilers, and high resolution computer models (sometimes called global circulation models) to estimate temporal and spatial variability.

See Also

Acid Rain; Climate; Cloud Chemistry; Hydrologic Cycle; Photochemical Smog

This section contains 228 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Meteorology from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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