Clouds

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  • Clouds
definition
  • A visible aggregate of minute water droplets and/or ice crystals in the atmosphere above the Earth's surface. 
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Abstract from DBPedia
    In meteorology, a cloud is an aerosol consisting of a visible mass of minute liquid droplets, frozen crystals, or other particles suspended in the atmosphere of a planetary body or similar space. Water or various other chemicals may compose the droplets and crystals. On Earth, clouds are formed as a result of saturation of the air when it is cooled to its dew point, or when it gains sufficient moisture (usually in the form of water vapor) from an adjacent source to raise the dew point to the ambient temperature. They are seen in the Earth's homosphere, which includes the troposphere, stratosphere, and mesosphere. Nephology is the science of clouds, which is undertaken in the cloud physics branch of meteorology. The two methods of naming clouds in their respective layers of the atmosphere are Latin and common. Genus types in the troposphere, the atmospheric layer closest to Earth's surface, have Latin names due to the universal adoption of Luke Howard's nomenclature. Formally proposed in 1802, it became the basis of a modern international system that divides clouds into five physical forms that appear in any or all of three altitude levels (formerly known as étages). These physical cloud types include stratiform sheets, cirriform wisps and patches, stratocumuliform layers (mainly structured as rolls, ripples, and patches), cumuliform heaps, and very large cumulonimbiform heaps that often show complex structures. The physical forms are divided by altitude levels into 10 basic genus-types. The Latin names for applicable high-level genera in the troposphere carry a cirro- prefix, and an alto- prefix is added to the names of the mid-level genus-types. Clouds with sufficient vertical extent to occupy more than one altitude level are officially classified as low- or mid-level according to the altitude range at which each initially forms. However they are also more informally classified as multi-level or vertical, which along with low level clouds, do not carry any altitude related prefixes. Most of the genera can be subdivided into species and further subdivided into varieties. Very low stratiform clouds that extend down to the Earth's surface are given the common names fog and mist, but have no Latin names. In the stratosphere and mesosphere, clouds have common names for their main types. They may have the appearance of stratiform veils or sheets, cirriform wisps, or stratocumuliform bands or ripples. They are seen infrequently, mostly in the polar regions of Earth. Clouds have been observed in the atmospheres of other planets and moons in the Solar System and beyond. However, due to their different temperature characteristics, they are often composed of other substances such as methane, ammonia, and sulfuric acid, as well as water. Tropospheric clouds can have a direct effect on climate change on Earth. They may reflect incoming rays from the sun which can contribute to a cooling effect where and when these clouds occur, or trap longer wave radiation that reflects back up from the Earth's surface which can cause a warming effect. The altitude, form, and thickness of the clouds are the main factors that affect the local heating or cooling of Earth and the atmosphere. Clouds that form above the troposphere are too scarce and too thin to have any influence on climate change. The tabular overview that follows is very broad in scope. It draws from several methods of cloud classification, both formal and informal, used in different levels of the Earth's homosphere by a number of cited authorities. Despite some differences in methodologies and terminologies, the classification schemes seen in this article can be harmonized by using an informal cross-classification of physical forms and altitude levels to derive the 10 tropospheric genera, the fog and mist that forms at surface level, and several additional major types above the troposphere. The cumulus genus includes four species that indicate vertical size and structure which can affect both forms and levels. This table should not be seen as a strict or singular classification, but as an illustration of how various major cloud types are related to each other and defined through a full range of altitude levels from Earth's surface to the "edge of space".

    雲(くも)は、大気中にかたまって浮かぶ水滴または氷の粒(氷晶)のことを言う。地球に限らず、また高度に限らず、惑星表面の大気中に浮かぶ水滴や氷晶は雲と呼ばれる。雲を作る水滴や氷晶の1つ1つの粒を雲粒と言う。また地上が雲に覆われていると、霧となる。 気象学の中にはという分野も存在する。これは、気象観測の手段が乏しかった20世紀前半ごろまで、気象の解析や予測に雲の形や動きなどの観測情報を多用しており、雲の研究が重要視されたことを背景にしている。気象衛星などの登場によって重要性が薄くなり雲学は衰退してきている。 また、雨や雪などの降水現象の発生源となる現象であり、雲の生成から降水までの物理学的な現象を研究するというものもある。

    (Source: http://dbpedia.org/resource/Cloud)

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