atmo-, atm- +

(Greek: vapor, steam; air, gas; respiration)

atmospheric entry (s) (noun), atmospheric entries (pl)
1. The penetration of any planetary atmosphere by any object from outer space; specifically, the penetration of the earth's atmosphere by a crewed, or uncrewed, capsule or spacecraft.
2. The penetration of human-made or natural objects from a planetary atmosphere by an object approaching from space; especially, of the earth's atmosphere by a re-entering spacecraft.
atmospheric extinction (s) (noun), atmospheric extinctions (pl)
The reduction in intensity of light from an astronomical object by absorption and scattering in the earth's atmosphere.

Extinction increases when the object is closer to the horizon because of the greater thickness of atmosphere through which its light must travel.

atmospheric gas (s) (noun), atmospheric gases (pl)
One of the constituents of air, consisting of a gaseous mixture; primarily of nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, water vapor, ozone, neon, helium, krypton, methane, hydrogen, and nitrous oxide; plus small amounts of other gases.

The atmosphere protects life on earth by absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation, warming the surface through heat retention (greenhouse effect), and reducing temperature extremes between day and night.

atmospheric general circulation (s) (noun), atmospheric general circulations
Any atmospheric flow used to refer to the general circulation of the earth and regional movements of air around areas of high and low pressure.

On average, this circulation corresponds to large-scale wind systems arranged in several east–west belts that encircle the earth.

atmospheric impurity (s) (noun), atmospheric impurities (pl)
Any foreign material that mixes with and contaminates the air in the atmosphere.
atmospheric interference (s) (noun), atmospheric interferences (pl)
1. Electromagnetic radiation, caused by natural electrical disturbances in the atmosphere, which interferes with radio systems; also known as atmospherics or strays.
2. The radio frequency electromagnetic radiation originating, principally, in the irregular surges of charge in thunderstorm lightning discharges.

Atmospherics are heard as a quasi-steady background of crackling noise (static) on certain radio frequencies; such as, those used to broadcast AM radio signals.

Since any acceleration of electric charge leads to emission of electromagnetic radiation, and since the several processes involved in propagation of lightning lead to very large charge accelerations, the lightning channel acts like a huge transmitter, sending out radiation with frequencies of the order of 10 kHz.

atmospheric inversion (s) (noun), atmospheric inversions (pl)
1. An atmospheric condition in which the air temperature rises with increasing altitude, holding surface air down and preventing dispersion of pollutants.
2. A departure from the usual increase or decrease of an atmospheric property with altitude.

It usually refers to an increase in temperature with increasing altitude, which is a departure from the usual decrease of temperature with height.

3. A reversal in the normal temperature lapse rate, the temperature rising with increased elevation instead of falling.

Usually, within the lower atmosphere (the troposphere) the air near the surface of the earth is warmer than the air above it, largely because the atmosphere is heated from below as solar radiation warms the earth's surface, which in turn then warms the layer of the atmosphere directly above it.

atmospheric ionization (s) (noun), atmospheric ionizations (pl)
1. The process by which neutral atmospheric molecules or atoms are rendered electrically charged chiefly by collisions with high-energy particles.
2. The charging of neutral particles in the atmosphere through violent contact with charged particles.
3. The production of ions in the atmosphere by the loss of an electron from a molecule, typically, for example, by cosmic rays or cosmic radiation.

Cosmic rays and radioactive decay are the main sources of atmospheric ionization.

Radioactivity at the surface can also produce ions in the lowest layer of the atmosphere.

atmospheric lapse rate (s) (noun), atmospheric lapse rates (pl)
1. The environmental rate of decrease with height for an atmospheric variable.

The variable involved is temperature unless specified otherwise. The lapse rate is the rate of decrease with height and not simply the rate of change.

While most often applied to the earth's atmosphere, the concept can be extended to any gravitationally supported ball of gas.

2. The rate of decrease of temperature with elevation in the atmosphere.

The environmental lapse rate is determined by the distribution of temperature in the vertical at a given time and place and should be carefully distinguished from the process lapse rate, which applies to an individual air parcel.

atmospheric layer (s) (noun), atmospheric layers (pl)
1. Any one of a number of layers of the atmosphere, most commonly distinguished by temperature distribution: "The atmospheric layer is also known as the atmospheric shell or atmospheric region."
2. One of several strata or layers of the earth's atmosphere.

Temperature distribution is the most common criterion used for denoting the various shells.

atmospheric noise (s) (noun), atmospheric noises (pl)
Loud sounds heard during radio reception interferences in the air.
atmospheric optics (s) (noun) (a plural form used as a singular)
1. A branch of meteorological physics or physical meteorology in which phenomena are seen occurring in the sky and are described and explained.
2. The study of the optical characteristics of the atmosphere or products of atmospheric processes.

The term is usually confined to visible and near visible radiation; however, unlike meteorological optics, it routinely includes temporal and spatial resolutions beyond those discernible with the naked eye.

Meteorological optics is that part of atmospheric optics concerned with the study of patterns observable with the naked eye.

This restriction is often relaxed slightly to allow the use of simple aids; such as, binoculars or a polarizing filter.

Topics included in meteorological optics are sky color, mirages, rainbows, halos, glories, coronas, and shines.

atmospheric physics (s) (noun) (a plural form used as a singular)
A branch of science dealing with the investigation and study of the physical phenomena of the atmosphere.
atmospheric pressure (s) (noun), atmospheric pressures (pl)
1. A unit of barometric pressure that is taken to be the standard pressure of the earth's atmosphere at sea level.
2. The pressure at any point in an atmosphere due solely to the weight of the atmospheric gases above the point concerned.
3. The average atmospheric pressure at sea level is approximately 14.7 pounds per square inch.

With an increasing altitude, the pressure decreases; for example, at 30,000 feet, approximately the height of Mt. Everest, the air pressure is 4.3 pounds per square inch.

atmospheric pressure cure (s) (noun), atmospheric pressure cures (pl)
In petroleum engineering, the preparation of petroleum specimens for testing purposes by aging them at normal atmospheric pressure for a given period of time at particular temperature and humidity.

Cross references of word groups that are related, directly or indirectly, to: "air, wind": aello-; aeolo-; aero-; anemo-; austro-; flat-, flatu-; phys-; pneo-, -pnea; pneumato-; turb-; vent-; zephyro-.