By Brenda Wilmoth Lerner and K. Lee Lerner
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DEVELOPING NATION: Country that is relatively poor, with a low level of industrialization and relatively high rates of illiteracy and poverty. Sometimes termed less-developed country. The use of ‘‘developing’’ as a euphemism for ‘‘poor’’ contains the built-in assumption that ‘‘development,’’ in the sense of transition to a non-agricultural economy oriented toward perpetual growth, is innately good. DEW POINT: The temperature to which air must be cooled for saturation to occur, exclusive of air pressure or moisture content change.
DISCRETIZE: To represent a phenonemon that occurs smoothly over some range, such as wind speed or temperature, as a set of numbers separated by fixed gaps. ‘‘Discrete’’ means separate, not connected. 1 degree. All numerical representations of continuous natural phenomenon discretize them to some extent. DISINTEGRATION: Spontaneous nuclear transformation characterized by the emission of energy and/or mass from the nucleus. DISTILLATION: The process of separating liquids from solids or from other liquids with different boiling points by a method of evaporation and condensation, so that each component in a mixture can be collected separately in its pure form.
DENIALISTS: People who insistently refuse to accept a scientific or historical fact in the face of overwhelming physical evidence and near-universal expert agreement. DEOXYRIBONUCLEIC ACID (DNA): Large, complex molecules found in the nuclei of cells that carries genetic information for an organism’s development. DEPLETABLE ENERGY SOURCE: Energy source that diminishes as it is used: same as a non-renewable energy source (to ‘‘deplete’’ means to use up). All fossil fuels are depletable energy sources.
Climate Change in Context by Brenda Wilmoth Lerner and K. Lee Lerner