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Sensible heat

Sensible heat is potential energy in the form of thermal energy or heat. The thermal body must have a temperature higher than its surroundings, (also see: latent heat). The thermal energy can be transported via conduction, convection, radiation or by a combination thereof. The quantity or magnitude of sensible heat is the product of the body's mass, its specific heat capacity and its temperature above a reference temperature. In many cases the reference temperature is inferred from common knowledge, i.e. "room temperature".

In the atmosphere, large-scale transport of heat from the tropics to the poles is affected by sensible heat in the form of warm air moving toward the poles, and by latent heat as cold air moving toward the equator. This motion is primarily driven by the cyclonic mixing taking place in the Ferrel cell in the mid-latitudes, the latter of which is associated with the phase changes of atmospheric water vapor, mostly vaporization and condensation.

The amount of heat added or removed can be measured by a change of temperature of a fluid substance in a calorimeter.

See also

Thermodynamic databases for pure substances

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sensible_heat". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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