Adiabatic process

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An adiabatic process is a thermodynamic process where a fluid becomes warmer or cooler without getting heat from, or giving it to, something else. Usually the temperature instead changes because of changes in pressure.

Adiabatic cooling is the usual cause of clouds. When warm, humid air rises due to convection or other cause, water condenses to make clouds, and in some cases precipitation. Convection also causes cold air to sink. This warms it adiabatically, often destroying a cloud and sometimes causing any precipitation to evaporate before hitting the ground.