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Climate of the Earth
 

Instruments Of Climatology

Here are some examples of equipment used my climatologists on Earth and other planets. Some of you might be asking, "Aren't these the same things that the weatherman uses?" Yes. The big difference between the weatherman's needs and a climatologist's needs is timeliness. Weather forecasters only care about today, tomorrow, and next week. A climatologist uses readings from this equipment and stores the data for years and looks for long-term trends and patterns.

Barometer

Barometers are used to measure the pressure in the atmosphere. It's the device used to determine that the pressure is lower in Denver, Colorado than it is at sea level in Seattle, Washington. It also has helped meteorologists determine when weather changes are going to happen. You already learned that different pressures in the surrounding areas create different types of weather. A changing of pressure in the atmosphere also indicates that storm fronts may be approaching. Climatologists use barometric data over periods of months and years.

Hygrometer

This is a big word for the device that measures the humidity in the local atmosphere. Humidity is the percentage of water vapor in the surrounding air. You might know the difference in humidity on your own. Days with really low humidity sometimes make your lips chap and give you skin dry. High humidity days are often thick and you sweat easily.

Thermometer

Everyone has probably heard of these. Thermometers are used in many places to measure temperature. If you get sick, that's one type of thermometer. Another type is used to measure the temperature in your oven. Another is used in your car's radiator. Climatologists use their own that measures temperatures in a specific range.

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Useful Reference Materials

Encyclopedia.com (Thermometer):
http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/thermometer.aspx
Encyclopedia.com (Hygrometer):
http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/hygrometer.aspx
Encyclopedia.com (Barometer):
http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Barometers.aspx
Wikipedia (Meteorology):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteorology
Encyclopædia Britannica (Weather Forecasting):
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/638321/weather-forecasting


 
RELATED LINKS
- Geography4Kids: Seasons
- Chem4Kids: Gases
- Chem4Kids: Liquids
- Chem4Kids: Evaporation
- Chem4Kids: Environmental Chemistry
- Biology4Kids: Organism Relationships
- Biology4Kids: Animal Systems
- Cosmos4Kids: Earth
- Physics4Kids: Heat
- Physics4Kids: Heat Expansion

- NASA: Kennedy Space Center
- NASA: Goddard Spaceflight Center

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