Aerology


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aerology

[e′rä·lə·jē]
(meteorology)
Synonym for meteorology, according to official usage in the U.S. Navy until 1957.
The study of the free atmosphere throughout its vertical extent, as distinguished from studies confined to the layer of the atmosphere near the earth's surface.

Aerology

 

the branch of atmospheric physics which studies physical phenomena and processes which occur in the free atmosphere—that is, at the distance above the surface of the earth where the earth’s direct influence is no longer felt.

Aerology studies the composition and structure of the earth’s atmosphere up to great altitudes, the formation of clouds and precipitation as well as methods of regulating their development, radiation heat exchange in the free atmosphere, air currents at various altitudes including turbulent (whirlwind) movements in the atmosphere, the interaction of air masses, and so on. Aerological studies have been stimulated primarily by the problems of improving weather forecasting methods and especially by the development of aviation—for example, high-altitude jet and turbojet airplanes. A great deal of data has been gathered on the microstructure of clouds, condensation processes, sizes of cloud droplets and their concentration in cloud layers, sizes and forms of ice particles in clouds with a temperature of below 0°C, and so on, which, together with data concerning temperature and vapor-forming moisture in clouds, has brought closer the solution of the problem of the artificial regulation of clouds and precipitation. Special attention is being paid to the study of the general atmospheric circulation up to great altitudes; so-called jet stream currents have been discovered in the troposphere and the lower stratosphere.

Research on the upper layers of the atmosphere has been greatly developed. New data have been accumulated on air composition, the temperature system* the distribution of air currents up to great altitudes, and the interconnection between the processes which occur in the troposphere, the stratosphere, and the mesosphere. Broad prospects for the study of the upper layers of the atmosphere were opened up in conjunction with the successful launching in the USSR and subsequently in the USA of artificial earth satellites.

Aerological research is being conducted with the aid of modern electronic equipment by using radar and radio devices and various aviation, rocket, and weather satellite equipment, as well as by the organization of aerological observations from a continuously operating network of aerological observatories and stations. Aerology is also concerned with developing methods and instruments, the so-called aerological instruments, for studying the free atmosphere.

REFERENCES

Khrgian, A. Kh. Fizika atmosfery. Moscow, 1969.
Khvostikov, I. A. Vysokie sloi atmosfery. Leningrad, 1964.
Pinus, N. Z., and S. M. Shmeter.Aerologiia. Part 2: “Fizika svobodnoi atmosfery.” Leningrad, 1965.
Matveev, L. T. Osnovy obshchei meteorologii (Fizika atmosfery). Leningrad, 1965.

N. Z. PINUS