Weather and Climate

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Chapter 4 Review Study Guide Vocabulary

climate

average year-after-year, the weather in some location averaged over some long period of time, average, year-after-year conditions of temperature and precipitation in a particular region

tropical zone

near the equator, between 23.5 degrees North and 23.5 degrees South latitudes

polar zone

the region between 66.5 degrees north and south latitudes and the poles; the sun's rays strike at a very small angle in the polar zone

temperate zone

moderate climate zone between the polar zones and the tropics

marine climate

the climate of some coastal regions, with relatively warm winters and cool summers.

continental climate

The climate of the centers of continents, with cold winters and warm or hot summers.

windward

The side of a mountain that faces the oncoming wind

leeward

The side of a mountain range that faces away from the oncoming wind

monsooon

seasonal winds in teh Indian ocean

rain forests

dense forests that receive high amounts of rain each year

savanna

a flat grassland in tropical or subtropical regions

desert

an arid region with little or no vegetation

steppe

partly dry grassland often found on the edges of a desert

humid subtropical

hot, rainy summers and mild winters with some rain

subarctic

a huge area of North America which spreads from Alaska in the west to the Maritimes in the East

tundra

a vast treeless plain in the arctic regions between the ice cap and the tree line

ice age

any period of time during which glaciers covered a large part of the earth's surface

sunspot

a cooler darker spot appearing periodically on the sun's photosphere

El Nino

(oceanography) a warm ocean current that flows along the equator from the date line and south off the coast of Ecuador at Christmas time

La Nina

The water in the Eastern Pacific Ocean is cooler than usual-opposite from El Nino

global warming

an increase in the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere (especially a sustained increase that causes climatic changes)

greenhouse gases

Gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor, and ozone in the atmosphere which are involved in the greenhouse effect.

ozone depletion

thinning of Earth's ozone layer caused by CFC's leaking into the air and reacting chemically with the ozone, breaking the ozone molocules apart

CFC

a , synthetic organic compounds first created in the 1950s and used primarily as refrigerants and as propellants

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