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Energy Transfer

Conduction extended definition

Conduction is the transfer of heat through a solid, liquid or gas by direct contact.

Convection extended definition

Convection is the transfer of heat through the movement of liquids and gases.

Radiation extended definition

Radiation is the transfer of energy through air and space by light waves (visible, ultraviolet and infrared waves).

Latent/Sensible Heat extended definition

Latent and sensible heat are types of energy released or absorbed in the atmosphere.  Latent heat is related to changes in phase between liquids, gases, and solids.  Sensible heat is related to changes in temperature of a gas or object with no change in phase.

Evapotranspiration and Evaporation extended definition

Evapotranspiration is the process of evaporating water from leaves through plant transpiration during photosynthesis.  It varies because of a multitude of factors like wind, temperature, humidity, and water availability.

Longwave & Shortwave Radiation extended definition

Everything that has a temperature gives off electromagnetic radiation (light).  The sun is extremely hot and has a lot of energy to give, so it gives off shortwave radiation because shortwave radiation contains higher amounts of energy  The earth is much cooler, but still emits radiation.  Earth’s radiation is emitted as longwave because longwave radiation contains a smaller amount of energy.

Albedo extended definition

Albedo (al-bee-doh) is a measure of how much light that hits a surface is reflected without being absorbed.  Something that appears white reflects most of the light that hits it and has a high albedo, while something that looks dark absorbs most of the light that hits it, indicating a low albedo.

Earth's Energy Balance extended definition

Earth's Energy balance describes how the incoming energy from the sun is used and returned to space.  If incoming and outgoing energy are in balance, the earth's temperature remains constant.

Last modified date: Friday, August 13, 2010 - 6:00pm