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Glossary
ADEOS Advance Earth Orbiting Satellite - Japanese satellite, "Midori"- instrumented with TOMS.
aerosol Suspended solid or liquid particle less than 100 m in diameter.
albedo Percentage of solar radiation reflected back to space by the earth-atmosphere system.
anthropogenic Produced by humans.
anthrosphere The sphere of human activity. Includes the social, political, and economic components of the earth system.
attenuation Reduction of radiation intensity as a result of absorption or scattering as the radiation passes through a medium such as air or water.
chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) Chemical compounds containing chlorine, fluorine, and carbon. The term is sometimes used to include chlorocarbons, fluorocarbons, and hydrochlorofluorocarbons.
Coriolis force Force that arises when air moves with respect to the rotating Earth. It causes the wind to turn to the right in the Northern Hemisphere, and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. There is no Coriolis force at the equator.
CLAES Cryogenic Limb Array Etalon Spectrometer--sensor on UARS that measures concentrations of ozone as well as several other gases and aerosols.
convection A process by which heat is distributed in the troposphere. Rising parcels of warm air, less dense than their colder surroundings, transport heat vertically.
cumulus clouds Puffy, bright-white clouds that form from convection. Clumulus clouds sometimes develop into thunderstorms.
deposition The process by which a substance changes phase from the vapor directly to the solid without first going through the liquid phase.
Dobson unit A measure of total ozone in a vertical column. One Dobson unit is equal to a depth of 0.001 mm at standard temperature and pressure.
halogens Elements from Group VII of the periodic table. Bromine, fluorine and chlorine are halogens. Of these, only fluorine is not important in ozone destruction, because it forms a stable compound, HF, in the stratosphere.
halons Chemicals similar to CFCs, but containing bromine. Used for fire suppresion.
hydrobromofluorocarbons Chemicals similar in structure to HCFCs, but containing bromine atoms in place of the chlorine.
interpolation Process to determine the value of a variable lying between two isopleths.
isopleth Line of constant value for a variable on a chart or map. Ozone concentrations are usually isoplethed every 25 Dobson units.
isothermal Constant temperature. The lower part of the stratosphere is isothermal.
megaton A million tons. This term is used to describe amounts of volcanic debris.
meridional Refers to meridians or lines of longitude.
meridional flow Portion of the atmospheric circulation occurring in the meridional direction.
mixing ratio Ratio of the concentration of one atmospheric constituent to the others, sometimes given in parts per million per volume (ppmv) or parts per billion per volume (ppbv).
nanometer One millionth of a meter. This is the usual unit used in describing wavelengths of ultraviolet radiation.
ozone An allotrope or form of oxygen containing three rather than two oxygen atoms.
Ozone Depleting Potential Relative potential of a substance to deplete ozone. Most CFCs are rated at 1.0, the baseline value.
photolysis Process by which a molecule reacts with light and is broken into smaller components.
phytoplankton Small hydrosphere plant organisms, at the bottom of the oceanic food chain.
polar orbiter A satellite in a low orbit (450 to 600 miles) above Earth's surface which passes close to the poles in its orbit.
sink A long-time repository for a substance. Oceans are sinks for methyl bromide, for example.
specific heat capacity Amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 g of a substance 1C. The value for liquid water is 1.
spectroscopy The study of absorption and emission of gases.
stratopause Top of the stratosphere (~50 km), where temperatures stop increasing with altitude.
stratosphere The layer of the atmosphere immediately above the troposphere. Temperatures initially are isothermal, then increase with altitude.
STP Standard temperature and pressure. In chemistry, STP is a pressure of 1 atm and temperature of 0C.
sublimation The process by which a substance changes phase from the solid directly to the gaseous without first going through the liquid phase. The term is sometimes used to describe the reverse process (deposition).
TOMS Total ozone mapping spectrometer-- a satellite instrument measuring total vertical ozone column concentrations.
TOVS TIROS-N Operational Vertical Sounder. TOVS determines ozone concentrations by measuring radiance.
tropopause Boundary between troposphere and stratosphere. Temperatures stop decreasing with altitude.
troposphere The lowest layer of the atmosphere. Almost all weather occurs in this layer. Its average depth is 11 km.
UARS Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite.
ultraviolet radiation Solar radiation with wavelengths less than that of visible light. The usual range given is 200 to 380 nm.
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.
uva Ultraviolet radiation, usually defined to be in the range from 320 to 380 nm.
uvb Ultraviolet radiation, usually defined to be in the range from 280 to 320 nm.
uvc Ultraviolet radiation, usually defined to be in the range from 200 to 280 nm.
zooplankton Small hydrosphere animal organisms.

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