Abbreviation for Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (France).
Abbreviation for China National Oceanographic Data Center.
CNODC Web site.
- cnoidal wave
A periodic wave that can have widely spaced sharp crests separated
by wide troughs, not unlike the wave froms just outside the
breaker zone near the shore.
Limiting cases of cnoidal waves include
solitary waves (when
the wave period becomes infinite) and
Airy waves, although the mathematical
difficulties of the theory have kept it from such wide application.
The cnoidal wave profile is given by
where L is the wavelength, T the period, H the wave
height, the complete elliptic integral of the first
kind of modulus , the coordinate of the water
surface above the trough level at the horizontal coordinate
x, and the Jacobian elliptic function of r
(from whence comes ``cnoidal'' analogous to ``sinusoidal'').
See Komar (1976) and
Abbreviation for Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France).
Comprehensive Ocean Air Data Set, a CGCP
program to update and enhance the most extensive and widely used
set of surface marine data available for the global ocean over
the past 150 years. See the
COADS Web site.
Acronym for Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction
System, a numerical weather prediction model of the
Acronym for Center for Ocean Analysis and Prediction, a
Acronym for Center of Ocean-Atmosphere Predictive Studies,
an organization located at Florida State University whose
mission is to perform research in air-sea interactions
including ocean modeling, coupled air-sea modeling, climate
prediction on scales of months to decades, and statistical
studies and predictions of social and economic consequences
of ocean-atmospheric variations.
COAPS Web site.
Acronym for Cooperative Ocean-Atmosphere Research Data Service,
a NOAA branch whose purpose is to provide high quality,
well documented gridded datasets and software that can
analyze and visualize these data for the purpose of
examining climate change.
COARDS Web site.
Acronym for Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment, a
Additional information can be found at the
TOGA COARE Web site.
- coarse particle mode
One of three categories used to summarize the
distribution of atmospheric aerosols in terms of production
mechanism and particle size, the others
being the nucleation and
The coarse particle mode is greater than 1 m in
diameter and its production mechanism is by mechanical
See Jaenicke (1993b).
Acronym for Coastal Observation and Simulation with Topography, a
- Coastal Mixing and Optics Project (CMO)
A project funded by ONR and performed
by the Ocean Physics Laboratory at ICESS.
The objective is to determine how particles and optical properties
respond to physical forcing under various oceanic conditions on
a broad continental shelf off the east coast of the U.S.
This will be done by collecting time series of optical and
physical data from several depths using a variety of newly
developed optical and physical instruments placed on a
mooring at a mid-shelf location.
CMO Web site.
- coastal trapped wave
To be completed.
A NOAA program which makes satellite
data products and in-situ data from NOAA environmental buoys
available to federal, state and local marine scientists and
coastal resource managers. It focuses on specific regional
and national priorities such as unusual environmental
events (e.g. red tides), accumulating algal biomass that
can lead to oxygen depletion events, and mapping tidal
wetland changes. The archival and distribution tasks of
CoastWatch are handled by NCAAS.
CoastWatch Web site.
Acronym for Co-ordinating Body of the Seas of East Asia.
Abbreviation for Center for Ocean Climate Chemistry, a division
of the IOS in Canada.
Acronym for Coastal Ocean Dynamics Applications Radar.
Acronym for Committee on Data for Science and Technology, an
ICSU committee. See the
CODATA Web site.
Acronym for Coastal Ocean Dynamics Experiment, a program to
study shelf processes that took place north of San Francisco
during the summers of 1981-1982. The program employed
drifters, hydrographic measurements, Doppler-acoustic
surveys, wind measurements, and remote sensing
to study a prominent, persistent filament near Point Arena.
See Davis (1985).
A data management system offering scientists access to research
and operational geophysical data. It provides the means to
identify data sets of interest, view associated metadata, browse
the data, and then automatically obtain data via FTP.
CODIAC Web site.
The Cooperative Holocene Mapping Project (COHMAP) was an initiative
to assemble a global array of well-dated paleoclimate data and
use a GCM to identify and evaluate causes and mechanisms of
climate change over the last 18,000 years. See
Acronym for the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies, located
at the Institute of Global Environment and Society at Calverton,
Maryland. See the
COLA Web site.
Acronym for Coupled Ocean-Ice Linkages and Dynamics, a research
program whose components include
LTER, RACER and
COLD Web site.
- cold start problem
In climate modeling, this is a problem that results from beginning
a model simulation at a point in time when the climate response
to natural and anthropogenic forcing that happened before the
start of the simulation is already in progress. An example would
be specifying 1950 initial conditions for a simulation of the
effects of anthropogenic CO2 increases when the CO2 increases although
the CO2 increases started in the latter half of the 19th century.
This results in a simulation that is missing at least 50 years of
the time evolution of the modeled system's response to increasing
atmospheric CO2, which can be vital to the prediction of future
states of a system with components that change on time scales
greater than 50 years, e.g. the ocean.
- collection of cloud water
In cloud microphysics, the rate at which the precipitation content
increases as a result of the large falling drops intercepting and
collecting small cloud droplets lying in their paths.
See Houze (1993).
Acronym for Coastal Marine Program, a
An aggregation of species that live together at some locality
that relate to each other ecologically, i.e. a local set of
functionally interdependent species.
- collision broadening
See pressure broadening.
- complex demodulation
In statistics, this is a procedure used when a time series contains
significant energy in specific frequency bands.
See Bloomfield (1976).
- Comprehensive Ocean Air Data Set
This is an extensive data set that was created by combining, editing
and summarizing global in situ marine data from many sources. It
covers the period 1854-1992. It is a cooperative project among
ERL, NOAA, the NCDC,
CIRES and NCAR.
Extensive hypertext documentation is available. There
is also a further processed version of this data set called
See Woodruff et al. (1987).
- computational grid
A mapping of discrete points onto a continuum (e.g. the ocean,
the atmosphere, etc.) to comprise a grid-like structure. This
is done to enable a numerical solution of the equations governing
the specific continuum in cases where analytical solutions are
impossible or infeasible due to irregular boundary conditions,
nonlinearities in the governing equations, or some combination
thereof. A discretized version of the equations is solved
at each point in the grid, and the collection of these solutions
is combined (usually graphically) to recover a continuum-like
solution. It is hoped that this solution well approximates the
hypothesized correct solution.
- computational mode
An artifact of numerical solution procedures that use a centered
scheme for temporal advancement, i.e. one that requires information
at three time levels. Starting such a scheme requires two
independent initial conditions, one specified and the other calculated
from this using a temporal scheme requiring only two time levels.
This results in a solution
that is actually the sum of two solutions, one related to
the actual physics of the problem and the other purely an
artifact of the numerical procedure. The numerical solution usually
alternates at each time step, resembling a sawtooth wave over time, and
can be damped by averaging the solution
over two consecutive time steps at suitably chosen intervals.
See Kowalik and Murty (1993).
- concentration basin
See mediterranean sea.
- concurrent range biozone
a type of biozone in which the co-occurrence of
overlapping taxa is used for definition.
See Briggs and Crowther (1990), pp. 466-467.
- conditional instability
See conditionally unstable.
- conditional instability of the second kind
The process, abbreviated CISK, where low-level
convergence in a wind field produces
convection and cumulus formation. This releases
latent heat which enhances the convergence
and increases convection. This is a
loop that may lead to the formation of a large-scale
disturbance such as a hurricane.
An atmospheric condition where the
temperature lapse rate
lies between the dry and saturated
adiabatic lapse rates. That is, the environment is statically
stable with respect to dry air but unstable with respect
to saturated air. This region is usually located between
level of free convection (LFC)
and the upper
limit of convection (LOC).
A program to investigate the upwelling region and mixing of the
Rio Plata into the southwest Atlantic Ocean.
- conformal projection
A map projection that preserves the angles between intersecting
curves and is characterized by metric coefficients independent
of direction at a point, although they may vary from point to
point. Examples include the polar stereographic and
In geology, a coarse-grained rock with rounded particles of broken-down
rock (clasts) greater than 2 mm in size.
The third of six ages in the
Late Cretaceous epoch, lasting
from 88.5 to 87.5 Ma. It is preceded by
the Turonian age and
followed by the Santonian age.
In tidal mechanics,
that instant when the Earth-centered longitudes of the Moon
and Sun are identical, i.e. they are co-linear on the same
side of the Earth. This is also the time of the
new moon and of one of two monthly
spring tides. See also
- consecutive range biozone
a type of biozone where one (or more) of the
ranges through an interval unaccompanied by taxa that overlap
with it at other levels.
See Briggs and Crowther (1990), pp. 466-467.
- conservation laws
In numerical modeling, a numerical computational scheme is
said to be consistent if the discrete algebraic equations
created by the process of discretization
recover or reduce to the original continuum differential equations
as the spacing in the computational grid
is shrunk to zero. The scheme is said to be unconditionally
consistent if the above is true no matter how (i.e. in what order,
etc.) the grid is shrunk.
Thus consistency deals with relations between
equations in their continuum versus discrete forms, as opposed
In marine ecology, a heterotrophic
organism that feeds on living or dead organic material.
- continental climate
The type of climate found inland on large continental areas where
it is not subject to ameliorating maritime influences. As such,
a continental climate is characterized by more pronounced
extremes between summer and winter, with summers being hotter
and winters colder than in other climates. It is also charactarized
by relatively low rainfall amounts and humidities.
- continental drift
- continental rise
- continental shelf
Much more later.
- continental slope
The relatively steep slope usually found between the
continental shelf and
the abyssal plain. Continental
slopes range from 3 to 6 in slope (with 4 being about
average), range in depth from 100-300 m to 1400-3200 m, range in
width from 20-100 km, and occupy about 8.5% of the ocean floor
if the 2000 m contour is taken as the deeper border.
The continental shelf and slope are said to comprise the
- continental shelf wave
To be completed.
- Continental Water Boundary
In physical oceanography, a frontal region in the
Southern Ocean located at around
61-62 S that separates the
Continental Zone to the south
and its separate water mass of uniform temperature and low salinity
in the upper 500 m from the
to the north. See Tomczak and Godfrey (1994), pp. 76. This
is also known in the Weddell Sea region as the Weddell Gyre
- Continental Zone
In physical oceanography, a region in the
Southern ACC Front
and the continent of Antarctica.
It is characterized hydrographically by a
water mass of uniform
temperature and low salinity in the upper 500 m.
The CZ is one of four distinct surface water mass regimes in
the Southern Ocean, the others being (to the north) the
Antarctic Zone (AZ), the
Polar Front Zone (PFZ) and the
Subantarctic Zone (SAZ).
See Orsi et al. (1995).
- continuous plankton meter
A device used by biological oceanographers to provide continuous qualitative
and quantitative records of plankton distribution and patchiness when
studying swarms over large areas.
The meter is a square or round torpedo-shaped tube about 1 m long
that is towed behind a ship underway at full speed.
There is a small entrace hole in the front end which leads to
a wider tunnel across which a band of silk gauze is stretched.
This gauze is slowly wound from one spool to another via a
propeller mechanism attached to the outside of the meter, thus
being linked to the speed of the meter and therefore the distance
it has traveled. Data gathered with the meter is considered
supplementary to other types of net tow data gathered
separately at individual stations.
See Sverdrup et al. (1942).
- contra solem
A term introduced by V. W. Ekman in 1923 to describe motion
turning to the left (right) in the northern (southern)
hemisphere, i.e. cyclonic motion. This is the reverse
of cum sole.
- contrail cirrus
A type of cloud hypothesized to form when water vapor within
jet aircraft plumes undergoes homogeneous and/or
heterogeneous nucleation processes upon which ice particles
form and grow. They persist for only a short time if the
ambient air is dry, but may last for minutes to hours and spread
into linear formations a few kilometers in width and tens of
kilometers in width if humid conditions prevail. They also
tend to cluster in groups. Various investigations attempting
to show a connection between them have at least showed a
correlation between increased use of jet fuel in some regions
and the average annual number of clear days.
See Liou (1992).
- convective adjustment
In the numerical modeling of ocean circulation, this is a process
wherein, after each time step, the vertical potential density
gradient is calculated and, if densier water anywhere overlies
lighter water, the densities are mixed such that a state of either a neutral
or slightly positive stability is created. This process numerically
mimics the convective overturning processes observed and inferred
in the real ocean at locations such as the Weddell Sea, although
the real process takes place at spatial scales on the order of
a kilometer or less while the model resolution is such that the
spacing between grid points is usually much greater than this.
- convective available potential energy
A quantity, abbreviated CAPE, used by meteorologists to estimate
the possible intensity of thunderstorms.
CAPE is an integral of the total energy of an air parcel warmer
than the ambient environment as it rises from the
level of free convection (LFC)
limit of convection
(through the region of
in an environment conducive to storm development. It is calculated as
where is the parcel temperature, the temperature of
the environment and g gravitational acceleration.
An estimated maximum updraft velocity is obtained by equating
this measure of potential energy to kinetic energy, thus
obtaining a measure of storm strength.
- convective bomb
generate abrupt changes in the prognostic variables at single
gridpoints during a single time step of a simulation.
When this procedure is used in atmospheric simulations
these changes generate waves that propagate outward and which
eventually completely dominate the solution. The term
convective bomb was coined to describe these events since they
closely resemble shock waves propagating away from an
- convective precipitation
One of the two clearly distinguishable types of precipitation,
the other being stratiform.
Convective precipitation falls from
cumulonimbus clouds, and is defined as
a precipitation process in which vertical air motion equals
or exceeds the typical fall speeds of ice crystals and snow.
The precipitation particles originate and grow not far above the
base of the cloud at the time of cloud formation, and the growth
mechanism is that of accretion of liquid water. The strong
convective updrafts condense large amounts of liquid water which
facilitates the rapid growth of the particles until they reach
a size sufficient to overcome the upward force of the wind and
fail as rain. This process takes significantly less than an
hour to complete.
See Houze (1993), pp. 197-200.
In numerical modeling, a numerical computational scheme is
said to be convergent is the solutions to the discrete algebraic
equations created by the process of
discretization approach the solutions
of the original continuum differential equations as the spacing
in the computational grid is shrunk
to zero. Thus convergence deals with relations between solutions
of equations in their continuum versus discrete forms, as opposed
Acronym for CONtrol Volume EXperiment.
- conveyor belt
A simple model of a
closed global thermohaline
circulation scheme introduced by
Broecker (1987), Broecker (1991), and
Cold and salty deep water formed in the
(called NADW) flows southward as a deep current where
around 30% is transported via the ACC to the
Indian and Pacific Oceans. The flow travels northward along the western
boundaries of these oceans and upwells in the northern portions.
This drives a warm, shallow return flow that travels from the Northern
Pacific through the Indonesian Archipelago and the Indian Ocean
(gaining the water upwelled there) towards the South Atlantic via
the southern tip of Africa. There it is joined by the remaining 70%
that mixed with AAIW and returned to the South
Atlantic via the Drake Passage. A general northward flow returns
the water to the North Atlantic. The regions of deep water
formation around Antarctica form AADW which flows
under and mixes with the NADW, forming another
component in the mixture. This is a simple (and
to some an overly simplistic) view of the thermohaline circulation,
but it is useful as a first order description. A more complete and
accurate version of the
circulation pattern has been developed.
- Cooperative Institute for Arctic Research (CIFAR)
A Joint Institute collaboration between the NOAA
ERL and the University of Alaska established
in April 1994. CIFAR will focus on the Western Arctic Ocean, with
research topics including climate dynamics and variability, hydrographic
studies and ice dynamics, tsunami research and prediction, fisheries
oceanography, and environmental assessment, monitoring and
CIFAR Web site.
- Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems
A Joint Institute collaboration between the NOAA
GLERL, the University of Michigan, and Michigan
State University. CILER research is focused on climate and
large-lake dynamics, coastal and nearshore processes, and
large-lake ecosystem structure and function.
CILER Web site.
- Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS)
A Joint Institute collaboration between the Rosensteil School of Marine
and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) and the ERL of
NOAA, with the NMFS
The main research themes of CIMAS are climate variability and
fisheries ecology and ecosystem dynamics.
CIMAS Web site.
- Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological
A Joint Institute collaboration created in 1978
between the University of Oklahoma (OU) and the
Its purpose is to contribute to
the NOAA mission through improvement of the observation,
analysis, understanding, and prediction of weather elements and
systems ranging in size from cloud nuclei to multi-state regions.
The NWS and other NOAA laboratories also
participate in CIMMS.
CIMMS Web site.
- Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA)
A Joint Institute collaboration formed in 1980 between Colorado
State University and the NOAA ERL.
Its objective is to provide a center for cooperation in specified
research programs by scientists from Colorado, the nation, and other
countries, and to enhance the training of atmospheric scientists.
CIRA Web site.
- Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)
A Joint Institute collaboration formed in 1967 between
the University of Colorado and the NOAA
ERL. Research programs include atmospheric and
climate dynamics, cryospheric and polar processes, environmental
chemistry and biology, and solid earth sciences.
CIRES Web site.
- coordinate system
A method by which the position of an object in n-dimensional (where
n is usually 2 or 3) space is specified, usually in reference to
an origin of the specified coordinate system.
A overview of
coordinate systems for georeferencing
is available on the Web.
- cooscillating tide
The tide created in an estuary caused by the ocean tide at the
entrance to the estuary acting as a driving force.
See Officer (1976).
Acronym for the Coastal Ocean Program a program
office of NOAA that provides scientific information to
facilitate the management of coastal resources.
More information can be found at the
COP Web page.
Acronym for Coastal Ocean Probing Experiment, a NOAA
ETL experiment which took place in 1995.
The objectives were to determine how environmental conditions
affect observations of internal waves with active and passive
microwave sensors, to develop improved instrumentation and
techniques for observation of the air-sea interface, and to
evaluate new scattering theories.
COPE Web site.
Acronym for Coastal Ocean Prediction Systems Program.
- coral bleaching
A phenomena wherein coral reefs bleach as a result of high
temperatures or other environmental stresses, e.g. pollution
episodes. Observations indicate that since 1979 bleaching
episodes have coincided with El Nino war events and suggest
that the scale of bleaching since 1979 is unprecedented
See Goreau and Hayes (1994) and
- coral reef
A limestone structure found in relatively shallow water composed
of corals, organisms that secrete limestone foundations to provide
structural support and protection.
There are three geomorphologically distinct types of coral reefs,
barrier reefs, and
atolls, although there are gradations
between these types.
All these types have the same basic biological structure and result
from the same processes of accretion.
See Wells (1957) and Barnes and Hughes (1988).
- Coral Sea
A marginal sea located in the southwest Pacific centered at about
155 E and 14 S off of the northeast coast of
Australia. It is also bordered by the Solomon Islands and
Papua New Guinea to the north and west, New Caledonia and the New
Hebrides Islands to the east, and abuts the
Tasman Sea to the south.
The bathymetry is essentially composed of the Solomon Basin to
the northwest, the Coral Sea Basin in the center, and the
New Hebrides basin to the east.
It has a mean depth of about 2400 m with a maximum depth
of 9140 m in the New Britain Trench. The shallowest parts
are found on the continental shelf off of Queensland.
See Rotschi and Lemasson (1967).
Acronym for Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education,
a Washington, D.C. based association of U.S. oceanographic
research institutions, universities, laboratories, and
CORE Web site.
- core layer method
A systematic attempt to apply hydrography
to describe the waters of the ocean as developed by Wust and his
students in the 1930s. In this method he distinguished between
different core layers characterized by maxima or minima in their oxygen,
salinity or temperature fields. While of unquestioned descriptive
value, this method has some significant limitations. The number of
layers that can be identified using this techique is limited, e.g.
Wust identified just seven such layers in the North Atlantic, a
shortcoming ameliorated by the development of the
Also, these layers were too often uncritically assumed to be
the main paths of ocean circulation, an assumption that has been
proven to be incorrect on more than one occasion.
- Coriolis acceleration
An acceleration, the magnitude of which for a particle moving
horizontally on the surface of the Earth is
where is the angular velocity of
the rotation of the Earth, V the vector velocity relative to
the Earth's surface, and the latitude. This acceleration
is directed perpendicular to the direction of V and to the
right (left) in the northern (southern) hemisphere. There are
other terms for three-dimensional motion in GFD, but
they are generally negligible.
- Coriolis effect
The denotes the effect of the Coriolis force
to deviate a moving body perpendicular to its velocity.
- Coriolis force
The force which, acting on a given mass, produces the
It is a fictitious force introduced to facilitate the application
of Newton's second law of motion to a rotating reference frame.
- Coriolis parameter
This is defined by
where is the angular velocity of the rotation of the Earth
and the latitude. This gives the
on a moving particle when multiplied by that
A presentation of the degree of autocorrelation
in a time series which graphs the autocorrelation coefficient as the
ordinate and the lag for each coefficient as the abscissa.
Acronym for Cloud and Ocean Remote Sensing around Africa, a project
which aims to provide a quality controlled data set of surface,
atmospheric and cloud parameters over a time period and at a resolution
not available from any other source. The data are derived from
NASA AVHRR GAC level 1b data products, with
over 13,000 of these products having been processed.
CORSA Web site.
Of or produced by cosmic rays.
Acronym for Composite Observing System for the North Atlantic.
- cotidal line
Lines joining the points where high water
occurs at the same time. The lines show the lapse of time between
the moon's transit over a reference meridian (usually the Greenwich
meridian) and the occurrence of high water for any point lying
on the line.
- coupled model
In climate modeling this
refers to the combination of an atmospheric
GCM with some sort of ocean model rather than
the simple specification of SSTs as a lower boundary condition.
From simple to complex, the ocean model hierarchy used proceeds from
swamp ocean models to
slab ocean or mixed-layer models to
oceanic GCM models.
See Meehl (1992) and Bye (1996).
1. Abbreviation for Climate Prediction Center, which provides climate
products and services consisting of operational prediction of climate
variations, monitoring of the climate system, and development of
data bases for determining current global and regional climate
anomalies and trends, and analysis of their origins and linkages
to the complete climate system.
See the CPC Web site.
2. Abbreviation for condensation particle counter.
Abbreviation for complex principal oscillation pattern, a generalization
of the POP concept into the complex domain. Although this was
introduced to extend the POP technique to the modeling of standing
wave oscillations, it was also found the CPOPs evolve more regularly and
with less noise than POPs. Also, prediction skills are significantly
stronger than with the POP model. See Burger (1993).
Abbreviation for continuous plankton recorder.
Abbreviation for Cloud Profiling Radar Project, a
GEWEX project to determine the
global three-dimensional distribution of cloud
parameters from satellite observations.
CPRP Web site.
A major structural unit of the Earth's crust, generally of igneous
and/or metamorphic origin with perhaps a thin layer of sediment,
which is no longer affected by orogenic activity. An example
is the Canadian Shield. Shield is now used synonymously with
craton (or kraton).
Abbreviation for the Columbia River Estuary Data Development
Program, a project to increase understanding of the ecology of the
Columbia River Estuary and to provide information useful in making
land and water use decisions. See the
CREDDP Web site.
The final period of the
Mesozoic era, lasting from 144 to 66.4 Ma.
It precedes the Tertiary period
of the Cenozoic era and
follows the Jurassic period, and is comprised of
the Early (144-97.5 Ma) and Late (97.5-66.4 Ma) epochs.
It is named from the Greek word for chalk since in Northern Europe
and part of the midwestern U.S. it is represented by a unique
white limestone known as the Chalk.
- Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction
This refers to the catastrophic extinction of an estimated 75% of
all living species at the end of the Cretaceous (66 Ma). The weight
of evidence seems to favor the theory that an asteroid impact was
the major cause of this event. Paleontological evidence for other
extinction events occuring every 20-30 million years has led to
various theories attempting to explain these supposed cyclic
extinctions, the best known of which is the
- Cretan Sea
The southern part of the Aegean Sea,
located between Crete to the south and the Cyclades to the
north and centered around 25 E and 36 N.
This is also called the Sea of Crete and the Sea of Candia.
Abbreviation for cloud radiation feedback.
A marine animal of the class
A class of marine invertebrates in the phylum
The over 800 known species of these are commonly
known as sea lilies and sea feathers. They are chiefly
found in the East Indian Ocean, although their distribution
The lilies live in the deep sea and are anchored to the bottom
by long stalks, while the feathers are found at shallower
depths and have no stalks.
This species has over 2000 known extinct forms.
Abbreviation for cloud radiative forcing.
Abbreviation for cloud resolving models, a type of atmospheric
circulation model based on the nonhydrostatic equations of
motion and of sufficient resolution to accurately resolve
cloud-scale and mesoscale circulations that couple
cloud-related processes (e.g. microphysics, boundary and
surface layer radiation, and small-scale turbulence). These
processes are parameterized in GCMs.
The resolution is usually on the order of 100 to 1000 meters.
Abbreviation for Centre de Recherche Océanographie.
- Croll, James
- Cromwell Current
See Equatorial Undercurrent.
- Climatic Research Unit (CRU)
A department of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England.
CRU Web site.
That part of the climate
system consisting of the ice fields of Antarctica and Greenland,
other continental snow and ice fields, sea ice and permafrost.
At present the Antarctic ice sheet holds 89.3% of the total global
ice mass, with the Greenland ice sheet holding 8.6% and mountain
glaciers and permafrost holding 0.76% and 0.95%, respectively.
The remaining 0.39% is distributed among seasonal snow and
See Untersteiner (1984), Hibler and Flato (1992),
and Van der Veen (1992).
A Phylum of phytoplankton.
An eon comprising the whole of geologic
time to the end of the Precambrian
era, as opposed to Phanerozoic after that.
It is represented by rocks in which evidence for life is only slight
and of primitive forms.
Acronym for CRYospheric SYStem, a Canadian interdisciplinary
science investigation under the NASA EOS program.
The goals of CRYSYS are to develop capabilities for monitoring
and understanding regional and North American variations in
cryospheric variables, to develop and validate local, regional
and global models of climate/cryospheric processes and dynamics,
and the assemble, maintain and analyze key historical, operational
and research cryospheric data sets. See the
CRYSYS Web site.
Acronym for C-band scatterometer.
Abbreviation for Chukchi Sea Circulation Study.
Central South Equatorial Current.
Abbreviation for Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research
Organization, the chief scientific research organization in
Australia. See the
CSIRO Web site.
Abbreviation for Climate System Monitoring Project, a
WCDMP project to provide CSMP
members with information on large-scale climatic fluctuations and
to facilitate the interpretation and dissemination of this
information. More information can be found at the
CSM Web site.
Abbreviation for Cruise Summary Report.
continental shelf wave.
In oceanography, an abbreviation for Conductivity-Temperature-Depth,
an instrument for performing oceanographic measurements.
The CTD measures (either directly or indirectly) the three most
important oceanographic parameters for describing the distribution
of water in the ocean: temperature, salinity, and pressure.
Abbreviation for Conductivity-Temperature-Depth-Oxygen profiler.
Abbreviation for cloud top entrainment instability.
See Deardorff (1980).
Abbreviation for cloud-topped marine boundary layer.
coastal trapped wave.
Acronym for the Coastal Transition Zone Program, a research
program that took place in 1987 and 1988 off the northern
coast of California. The important questions this program
attempted to address were the physical and biological nature
and structure of cold filaments, what causes a filament to
form, and the physical and biological characteristics of a
filament. In order to address these questions the program
included a modeling effort and divided the field effort into
a pilot and a main program.
The pilot program took place in 1986-1987 and had the goals
of gaining some three-dimensional information about biological,
chemical, and turbulent processes in a filament as well as to
gain further background information about the detailed physical
structure. It included four large-scale, coarsely resolved
surveys from San Francisco to northern California, taking
place in both winter and summer. The goal was to see if
filaments or related currents could be identified when upwelling
was not present, thus confirming or denying the hypothesis
that filaments are related to coastal upwelling.
The main program took place
in summer 1988 and consisted primarily of a time series of
repeated maps meant to chart out the time dependence of a
single filament near Point Arena, California. It also
allowed for well-sampled repeat sections of microstructure
variability and detailed biological process measurements.
The objective was to characterize the detailed temporal evolution
of a filament and the processes that maintain its structure.
See Brink and Cowles (1991).
Acronym for Coastal Upwelling Experiment, an IDOE
Acronym for Coastal Upwelling Ecosystems Analysis, an
- cum sole
Descriptive of rotation in the same sense as a vector that
points toward the sun, i.e. motion turning to the right (left)
in the northern (southern) hemisphere, i.e. anticyclonic motion.
This term, along with the opposite
contra solem, was coined by
V. W. Ekman in 1923.
A type of cloud that is shaped like heaps or piles. It is colored
brilliant white in sunlight and dark and flat at the base, and
forms at an altitude of approximately 16,000 feet.
A type of cloud associated with storms and rains. It is heavy and
dense with a flat base and a high, fluffy outline, and can be tall
enough to occupy middle as well as low latitudes. This type of cloud
is formed from about 10,000 to 12,000 feet of altitude.
The curl of a vector field is a measure of its rotational
motion, i.e. when applied to the velocity vectors of air or water motion,
the curl is nonzero if the parcel is spinning.
In mathematical terms, the divergence of a vector function is
where is the gradient operator that operates with a vector
(or cross) product on the vector field A.
See Dutton (1986).
(1) In meteorology, an abbreviation for cloud water.
(2) In physical oceanography, an abbreviation for
In physical oceanography, an abbreviation for
Continental Water Boundary.
Abbreviation for cloud water content, comprising both
LWC and IWC.
A Phylum of phytoplankton
better known as blue-green algae. They are the most primitive
of the phytoplankton and show many affinites with bacteria.
They are commonly found in great abundance in shoreline and
estuarine environments, although oceanics species are rarer.
Reproduction can take place by production of endospores,
exospores, or unencysted fragments of filaments.
Acronym for Cyclonic Extratropical Storms, an experimental program.
- cyclic extinction
There exists persuasive evidence for several major
extinction events in Earth
history. Analysis of the temporal nature of this record
has led some to perceive a cyclic pattern to these
extinction events. One causal mechanism advanced to explain
this perceived periodicity involves the
An atmospheric pressure distribution in which there is a low central
pressure relative to the surroundings. The circulation around the center is
anticlockwise (clockwise) in the northern (southern) hemisphere.
The direction of rotation around a center of low pressure.
This is counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise
in the southern. The term originates from the circulation observed
around tropical cyclones.
A device that allows the profiling of the water column by
alternately rising to the surface and sinking to a predetermined
depth. It does so by adjusting its buoyancy. This device can
be used as a platform for a variety of instruments.
See Van Leer et al. (1974).
In statistics, this is said of a process evincing
An animal in the former class
A class of the subphylum Vertebrata of
the phylum Chordata.
These are fishlike forms without paired fins that have a circular
sucking mouth without jaws. They are commonly called hagfish
and lampreys, with the latter living in both sea and fresh water.
These have been included in the superclass
Agnathan, which includes many
The study of rhythmic sedimentary sequences.
- cyclostrophic wind
A theoretically hypothesized wind that would exist, when blowing
around circular isobars, as a balance between the pressure gradient
and the centrifugal force. The
is neglected, and as such this is a useful
approximation only in low latitudes, e.g. in tropical cyclones.
A series of beds deposited during a single cycle of sedimentation.
Abbreviation for Coastal Zone Color Scanner, a scanning radiometer
with six spectral channels centered at 0.443, 0.520, 0.550,
0.670, 0.750 and 11.5 micrometers and selected to allow
measurement of ocean color and temperature, suspended sediment
and chlorophyll concentrations, and ocean pollutants. It works
by measuring the ratio of different colors of visible light, with
the basic idea being that the higher the concentration of
chlorophyll-a in the water column, the greater the proportion
of light in the peaks of its absorption spectrum that will be
missing. This measurement is used as a proxy for the amount
of phytoplankton primary production going on in the water column.
The CZCS sensor operates in the visible portion of the spectrum
so it can only collect data in clear sky conditions. This leads
to the necessity of taking multi-year averages over some
areas, e.g. the Indian Ocean, to get useful images.
The device resolution is 800 m. This instrument flew aboard
the NIMBUS-7 satellite and was
active between November 1978 and June 1986. Other ocean
color sensors are being launched between 1996-1998, including
NASA's SeaWiFs, NASDA's
OCTS, and DLR's MOS.
The CZCS data is classified into various product levels depending on the
processing of the data and what type of ancillary data is include.
Level 0 data is the raw binary sensor counts recorded for radiation
at 6 wavelengths. A Level 1 data product
is the raw binary sensor counts cut
into 2 minute scenes and bundled with orbital and atmospheric
data. A Level 2 data product is a
processed product where a sensitivity
loss correction, atmospheric correction, and chlorophyll derivation
algorithm have bee applied to a level 1 product to calculate
surface reflectances, land/cloud flags, subsurface reflectances,
atmospheric signals, and chlorophyll concentration.
A Level 3 Primary product is generated by remapping a number of level
2 products from the same day to a fixed geographical area, with
the areas known as basins. This uses the orbital and geo-referencing
data from the Level 1 product and applies a coastline feature
matching algorithm. The basins are calculated in Alber's
equal area projection with a 1 km pixel size. A Level 3
composite product is generated by calculating the average
cholorophyll value for each pixel over a number of Level
3 Primary products.
CZCS Dataset Guide Document.