By Isaac Asimov

Lines the clinical discoveries that resulted in our wisdom of the character and substance of the solar.

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This into the environment. If a cup of water and a cup discovery led Black to the conclusion that water of ice—both at 32˚F (0˚C)—were placed side by possesses hidden or ‘‘latent’’ energy that comes and goes as water changes phases. side, the ice would take much longer to reach room temperature than the water. The reason for FURTHER READING ON LATENT HEAT AND JOSEPH BLACK: WILLIAMS, this is that ice must first absorb enough heat to RI C H A R D . ‘‘ T H E M Y S T ER Y O F D I S A P transform it to water.

Heat leaves Earth’s surface and is absorbed by clouds and water vapor in the air. Clouds absorb large amounts of infrared radiation, which is why cloudy nights tend to be warmer than clear nights, all other things The Earth also radiates heat U X L Encyclopedia of Weather and Natural Disasters: Volume 1 3 Weather: An Introduction being equal. Clouds radiate infrared energy in all directions, throughout the atmosphere, back toward Earth, and out into space. All parts of Earth’s surface are constantly absorbing and emitting heat.

A pressure differential or U X L Encyclopedia of Weather and Natural Disasters: Volume 1 13 Weather: An Introduction pressure gradient is the difference in atmospheric pressure at any two given locations. The movement of air from a high-pressure to a low-pressure area is the atmosphere’s attempt to equalize differences in pressure. When the pressure between the two areas is equalized, the wind stops blowing. Two main factors determine how fast the wind moves: the difference in air pressure and the distance between two areas.

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