Glossary

Acid Deposition

Acidic aerosols in the atmosphere are removed from the atmosphere by wet deposition (rain, snow, fog) or dry deposition (particles sticking to vegetation). Acidic aerosols are present in the atmosphere primarily due to discharges of gaseous sulfur oxides (sulfur dioxide) and nitrogen oxides.

Aerosol

A collection of airborne solid or liquid particles, with a typical size between 0.01 and 10 micrometers (|im) and residing in the atmosphere for at least several hours. Aerosols may be of either natural or anthropogenic origin. Aerosols may influence climate in two ways: directly through scattering and absorbing radiation, and indirectly through acting as condensation nuclei for cloud formation or modifying the optical properties and lifetime of clouds.

Afforestation

The planting of new forests on land which historically had been covered by forest.

Albedo

The fraction of solar radiation reflected by a surface or object, often expressed as a percentage. Most snow-

covered surfaces have a high albedo; the albedo of soils ranges from high to low; vegetation covered surfaces and oceans have a low albedo. The Earth's albedo varies mainly through varying cloudiness, snow, ice, leaf area, and land cover changes.

Alleroed

A village in Denmark whose name is used for a warm period at the end of the last glacial.

Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)

The group of Pacific and Caribbean nations who call for relatively fast action by developed nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The AOSIS countries fear the effects of rising sea levels and increased storm activity predicted to accompany global warming. Its plan is to hold Annex I Parties to a 20 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2005.

Allometric Equation

An equation that uses known growth measurements to estimate related unknown growth measurements.

Alternative Energy

Energy derived from nontraditional sources (e.g., compressed natural gas, solar, hydroelectric, wind, and others).

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