To our personal comfort and how we perceive apparent temperatures?
Humidity is the amount of water vapor contained in the air at any given time and place. The amount of water vapor in the atmosphere is dependent on evaporation and condensation.
Humidity is linked to air temperature. The kinetic energy is higher in the warmer air. It is transferred to water molecules as the faster-moving air molecules collide with the slower molecules in the water. The faster moving air molecules lose energy and the slower moving water molecules gain energy and begin to move faster and collide with each other more vigorously. Some of the water molecules will gain enough kinetic energy that enables them to overcome the attractive forces existing between the liquid molecules. Thus, a change of phase occurs from liquid to a free moving gas molecule. If the newly arriving air is colder the opposite occurs. Humidity, therefore, is a measure of how much of the energy available for evaporation has been used to free liquid water molecules from their neighbors.
Environmental factors including airflow (wind), air temperature, humidity, and radiation from the sun and other heated surfaces determine human thermal comfort. Under hot conditions, the body sheds heat to maintain thermal equilibrium. Climate Change and its Impacts on the Environment.
National Weather Service, 2007. NOAA. Accessed on 5 July, 2010 from
Pidwirny, M. (2006). "Energy, Temperature, and Heat". Fundamentals of Physical
Geography, 2nd Edition. Accessed on 5 July, 2010 from
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