Scale (physics)

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Example of scales in geography and metereology
Scale Length Area Description
Micro 1 m - 1 km 1 m2 - 1 km2 local
Meso 1 km - 100 km 1 km2 - 10 000 km2 regional
Macro 100 km - 10 000 km 10 000 km2 - 100 000 000 km2 continental
Mega > 10 000 km >100 000 000 km2 global

In physics, geography, astronomy, meteorology, statistics, and other sciences, the term scale or spatial scale is used for describing or classifying with large approximation the extent or size of a length, distance, or area studied or described. For instance, in physics an object or phenomenon can be called microscopic if too small to be visible. In climatology, a micro-climate is a climate which might occur in a mountain, valley, or near a lake shore, whereas in statistics a megatrend is a political, social, economical, environmental, or technological trend which involves the whole planet or is supposed to last a very large amount of time.

In physics, the concept of scale is closely related to the more accurate concept of order of magnitude.

It is important to realize that these divisions are somewhat arbitrary, and where, on this table, mega- is assigned global scope, it may only apply continentally or even regionally in other contexts. The interpretations of meso- and macro- must then be adjusted accordingly.

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