Glossary: C

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  1. Act of comparing an instrument's measuring accuracy to a known standard. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Glossary)
  2. The layer formed naturally by the leaves and branches of trees and plants. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Glossary)
  3. an organic compound present in the cells of all living organisms and a major organic nutrient for human beings; consists of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and makes up sugar, starch, and cellulose. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/...
  4. A minor but very important component of the atmosphere, carbon dioxide traps infrared radiation. Atmospheric CO2 has increased about 25 percent since the early 1800s, with an estimated increase of 10 percent since 1958 (burning fossil fuels is the...
  5. The science of mapmaking. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Glossary)
  6. CCS
    The UK Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS) enhances the UK's ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies.
  7. Temperature scale proposed by Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius in 1742. A mixture of ice and water is zero on the scale; boiling water is designated as 100 degrees. A degree is defined as one hundredth of the difference between the two reference...
  8. A family of compounds of chlorine, fluorine, and carbon, entirely of industrial origin. CFCs include refrigerants, propellants for spray cans (this usage is banned in the U.S., although some other countries permit it) and for blowing plastic-foam...
  9. Chlorophyll is a green compound found in leaves and green stems of plants. The intense green color of chlorophyll is due to its strong absorbencies in the red and blue regions of the spectrum, and because of these absorbencies the light it reflects...
  10. A type of cloud composed of ice crystals and shaped in the form of hairlike filaments. It is formed at an altitude of approximately 29,000 feet. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Glossary)
  11. The outcome or product of the set of activities conducted by an agency or group of agencies with the aim of preventing, mitigating and responding to the effects of disasters on persons, on property and the environment.
  12. The term 'climate change' is sometimes used to refer to all forms of climatic inconsistency, but because the Earth's climate is never static, the term is more properly used to imply a significant change from one climatic condition to another. In...
  13. A quantitative way of representing the interactions of the atmosphere, oceans, land surface, and ice. Models can range from relatively simple to quite comprehensive. Also see General Circulation Model. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/...
  14. The five physical components (atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere) that are responsible for the climate and its variations. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Glossary)
  15. Science dealing with climate and climate phenomena. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Glossary)
  16. Reflectivity that varies from less than 10% to more than 90% of the insolation and depends on drop sizes, liquid water content, water vapor content, thickness of the cloud, and the sun's zenith angle. The smaller the drops and the greater the liquid...
  17. The difference between the radiation budget components for average cloud conditions and cloud-free conditions. Roughly speaking, clouds increase the albedo from 15 to 30%, which results in a reduction of absorbed solar radiation of about 50 W/m^2....
  18. A visible mass of liquid water droplets suspended in the atmosphere above Earth's surface. Clouds form in areas where air rises and cools. The condensing water vapor forms small droplets of water (0.012 mm) that, when combined with billions of other...
  19. IASC-designated groupings of humanitarian organizations (both UN and non-UN) in each of the main sectors of humanitarian action. They operate at both global and country level (although they are not necessarily congruent). At the global level they...
  20. National Centre for Space Studies
  21. China National Space Administration
  22. National Space Activities Commission
  23. Change of a substance to a denser form, such as gas to a liquid. The opposite of evaporation. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Glossary)
  24. The transfer of heat from one substance to another by direct contact. Denser substances are better conductors; the transfer is always from warmer to colder substances. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Glossary)
  25. An evergreen, cone-bearing tree, as a fir or pine. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Glossary)
  26. The rising of warm air and the sinking of cool air. Heat mixes and moves air. When a layer of air receives enough heat from the Earth's surface, it expands and moves upward. Colder, heavier air flows under it which is then warmed, expands, and rises...
  27. Mexico Campus of the Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education for Latin America and the Caribbean
  28. One of the interrelated components of the Earth's system, the cryosphere is frozen water in the form of snow, permanently frozen ground (permafrost), floating ice, and glaciers. Fluctuations in the volume of the cryosphere cause changes in ocean sea...
  29. CSA
    Canadian Space Agency
  30. Clouds forming in the troposphere which are vertically formed with flat bases and fluffy, rounded tops. They have often been described as cauliflower-like in structure. They occur at heights of 500-6000 meters in elevation from the earth and most...
  31. An area of low pressure where winds blow counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. See anticyclone, wind. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Glossary)