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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #315932

Title: Atmospheric humidity

item Baker, John
item GRIFFIS, TIMOTHY - University Of Minnesota

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/5/2016
Publication Date: 1/12/2017
Citation: Baker, J.M., Griffis, T.J. 2017. Atmospheric humidity. In: Hatfield, J.L., Sivakumar, M.V.K., Prueger, J.H., editors. Agroclimatology: Linking Agriculture to Climate. Madison, WI: ASA, CSSA, SSSA. p. 1-14 doi:10.2134/agronmonogr60.2015.0031.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Water vapor plays a critical role in earth's atmosphere. It helps to maintain a habitable surface temperature through absorption of outgoing longwave radiation, and it transfers trmendous amounts of energy from the tropics toward the poles by absorbing latent heat during evaporation and subsequently releasing it during condensation. The location and timing of precipitation governs our ability to produce food and possible alterations to precipitation patterns due to climate change are perhaps a larger threat than temperature increases themselves. This chapter briefly describes these processes, provides definitions of basic humidity parameters, and equations for interconverting from one parameter to another. The various methods for measuring humidity are described, along with the strengths andweaknesses of each. Finally, the role of humidity in animal comfort is discussed.