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Encyclopedia > Thermal
Example of a thermal column between the ground and a cumulus
Example of a thermal column between the ground and a cumulus
This article is about the atmospheric phenomenon. For other uses of the term thermal, see thermal (disambiguation).

A thermal colin (or thermal) is a column of rising air in the lower altitudes of the Earth's atmosphere. Thermals are created by the uneven heating of the Earth's surface from solar radiation, and are an example of convection. The Sun warms the ground, which in turn warms the air directly above it. Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Thermal can mean: Clothing worn in extreme cold to conserve body heat Exothermic reaction in chemistry Heat Thermal, California, a small town near Indio, California Thermal neutron Thermal power station, a power station that produces electricity using heat Thermistor, a type of resistor used to measure temperature Thermodynamics or Thermal... Look up air in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... “Air” redirects here. ... Solar irradiance spectrum at top of atmosphere. ... Convection in the most general terms refers to the internal movement of currents within fluids (i. ...


When a pool of warmer air accumulates, it expands and becomes lighter (less dense) than the surrounding air mass. The mass of lighter air will then rise, but as it does so it will cool due to expansion. This process will continue until at some height the pool of air will have cooled to the same temperature as the surrounding air, at this stage the air will stop rising. Also associated with a thermal is a downward flow surrounding the thermal column. The downward moving exterior is caused by colder air being displaced at the thermal top. For other uses, see Density (disambiguation). ...


The size and strength of thermals are influenced greatly by the properties of the lower atmosphere (the troposphere). Generally, when the air is cold, bubbles of warm air formed by the ground heating the air above it, can rise like a hot air balloon. The air is then said to be unstable. If there is a warm layer of air higher up, an inversion can prevent thermals from rising high and the air is said to be stable. Look up size in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In physics, power (symbol: P) is the rate at which work is performed or energy is transferred. ... Atmosphere diagram showing the mesosphere and other layers. ... Smoke rising in Lochcarron is stopped by an overlying layer of warmer air. ...


Thermals are often indicated by the presence of visible cumulus clouds. When a steady wind is present thermals and their respective cumulus clouds can align in rows oriented with wind direction. Cumulus clouds formed by the rising air in a thermal as it cools and ascends, until the water vapor in the air begins to condense into visible droplets. The condensing water releases latent heat energy allowing the air to rise higher. Very unstable air can rise to great heights condensing large quantities of water and so forming showers or even thunderstorms. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article is about clouds in meteorology. ... It has been suggested that multiple sections of steam be merged into this article or section. ... In the physical sciences, a phase is a set of states of a macroscopic physical system that have relatively uniform chemical composition and physical properties (i. ... In thermochemistry, latent heat is the amount of energy in the form of heat released or absorbed by a substance during evaporation. ...


Thermals are one of the many sources of lift used by soaring birds and gliders to soar. BELLEND Not to be confused with lift (force). ... This is a list of types of soaring birds, which are birds that can maintain flight without wing flapping, using rising air currents. ... Gliders are un-powered heavier-than-air aircraft. ... A modern glider crossing the finish line of a competition at high speed. ...


See also

Hot Tower in Hurricane Bonnie 1998. ... It has been suggested that Thermal be merged into this article or section. ... For other uses, see Atmosphere (disambiguation). ...

External links

  • What do thermals look like? - Thermal Structure and Behavior by Wayne M. Angevine

  Results from FactBites:
 
Thermal conductivity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (806 words)
Thermal conductivity is the quantity of heat, Q, transmitted through a thickness L, in a direction normal to a surface of area A, due to a temperature difference ΔT, under steady state conditions and when the heat transfer is dependent only on the temperature gradient.
A thermal conductance tester, one of the instruments of gemology, determines if gems are genuine diamonds using diamond's uniquely high thermal conductivity, which is higher still for natural blue diamond.
A third term, thermal transmittance, incoporates the thermal conductance of a structure along with heat transfer due to convection and radiation.
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