World Regional Geography - Physical Processes, Ch 2

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Source in whole or in part from Fundamentals of World Regional Geography, 2nd edition, by J. J. Hobbs; and some of my own notes

An atmospheric high-pressure cell. In the cell, the air is descending and becomes warmer. As it warms, its capacity to hold water vapor increases, and the result is minimal precipitation.

anticyclone

A ranked list of places scientists believe deserve immediate attention for flora and fauna study and conservation.

biodiversity hot spots

The number of plant and animal species and the variety of genetic materials these organisms contain.

biological diversity (biodiversity)

A terrestrial ecosystem type categorized by a dominant type of natural vegetation.

biome

The average weather conditions, including temperature, precipitation, and winds, of an area over an extended period of time.

climate

Mapmaking using sophisticated software and computer hardware. It is a new, actively growing career field in geography.

computer cartography

Needleleaf evergreen trees; most bear seed cones.

coniferous vegetation

Animals that cannot produce their own food within a food chain.

consumer organisms

The heavy precipitation that occurs when air is heated by intense surface radiation, then rises and cools rapidly.

convectional precipitation

Bringing water to the land by artificial methods.

crop irrigation

A low-pressure cell that composes an extensive segment of the atmosphere into which different air masses are drawn.

cyclone

The precipitation generated in traveling low-pressure cells that bring different air masses into contact.

cyclonic (frontal) precipitation

Broadleaf trees that lose their leaves and cease to grow during the dry or the cold season and resume their foliage and grow vigorously during the hot, wet season.

deciduous trees

An area too dry to support a continuous cover of trees or grass. A desert generally receives less than 10 inches (25 cm) of precipitation per year.

desert

Scant, bushy plant life occurring in deserts of the middle and low latitudes where there is not enough rain for trees or grasslands. The plants are generally xerophytic.

desert shrub vegetation

On or about September 23, and again on or about March 20, Earth reaches the equinox position. Its axis does not point toward or away from the sun, so days and nights are of equal length at all latitudes on Earth.

equinox

A steep edge marking an abrupt transition from a plateau to an area of lower elevation.

escarpment

The loss of moisture from the earth's land surfaces and its water bodies to the air through the ongoing influence of solar radiation and transpiration by plants.

evaporation

A break in a rock mass along which movement has occurred. A break due to rock masses being pulled apart is a tensional or normal fault, whereas a break due to rocks being pushed together until one mass rides over the other is a compressional fault. The processes of faulting create these breaks.

fault

A contact zone between unlike air masses. A front is named according to the air mass that is advancing (cold front or warm front).

front

Other name for Cyclonic precipitation.

frontal precipitation

The introduction and transfer of high-yielding seeds, mechanization, irrigation, and massive application of chemical fertilizers to areas where traditional agriculture has been practiced.

green revolution

The observation that increased concentrations of carbon dioxide and other gases in Earth's atmosphere cause a warmer atmosphere.

greenhouse effect

An air mass descending and warming because of increased pressure and weight of the air above. High pressure typically means low relative humidity and minimal precipitation.

high pressure cell (anticyclone)

A climate with cold winters, warm to hot summers, and sufficient rainfall for agriculture, with the greater part of the precipitation in the summer half-year.

humid continental

A climate that generally occupies the southeastern margins of continents with hot summers, mild to cool winters, and ample precipitation for agriculture.

humid subtropical

The ability to control water in irrigation systems, rivers, urban settlements, and for the generation of electricity. It has been central to the development of major civilizations and to culture groups throughout human history.

hydraulic control

A climate and biome type characterized by permanent ice cover on the ground, no vegetation (except where limited melting occurs), and a severely long, cold winter. Summers are short and cool.

ice cap

A treaty on climate change signed by 160 countries in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997, and put into force in 2005. It requires MDCs to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by more than 5 percent below their 1990 levels by the year 2012.

Kyoto protocol

The floor of a former lake where glacial meltwater accumulated and sediments washed in and settled. An extremely flat surface is characteristic.

lacustrine plain

A climate occupying the western sides of continents in the higher middle latitudes; it is greatly moderated by the effects of ocean currents that are warm in winter and cool in summer relative to the land.

marine west coast

A climate that occupies an intermediate location between a marine west coast climate on the poleward side and a steppe or desert climate on the equatorward side. During the high-sun period, it is rainless; in the low-sun period, it receives precipitation of cyclonic or orographic origin.

Mediterranean (dry-summer subtropical)

The xeroyphytic vegetation typical of hot, dry summer, Mediterranean climate regions. Local names for this vegetation type include maquis and chaparral.

Mediterranean scrub forest

A transitional area where both needleleaf and broadleaf trees are present and compete with each other.

mixed forest

The single-species cultivation of food or tree crops, usually very economical and productive but threatening to natural diversity and change.

monoculture

A 1989 international treaty to ban chlorofluorocarbons.

Montreal protocol

The unsorted material deposited by a glacier during its retreat. Terminal moraines are ridges formed by long-continued deposition at the front of a stationary ice sheet.

moraine

The precipitation that results when moving air strikes a topographic barrier, such as a mountain, and is forced upward.

orographic precipitation

The process by which green plants use the energy of the sun to combine carbon dioxide with water to give off oxygen and produce their own food supply.

photosynthesis

A flat to moderately sloping area, generally of slight elevation.

plain

The dominant force in the creation of the continents, mountain systems, and ocean deeps. The steady, but slow, movement of these massive plates of the earth's mantle and crust has created the positions of the continents that we have and major patterns of volcanic and seismic activity.

plate tectonics

An elevated plain, usually lying 2,000 feet (610 m) above sea level. Some are known as tablelands. A dissected plateau is a hilly or mountainous area resulting from the erosion of an upraised surface.

plateau

An area of tall grass in the middle latitudes composed of rich soils that have been cleared for agriculture. The original lack of trees may have been due to repeated burnings or periodic drought conditions.

prairie

A condition creating dryness in an area located on the lee side of a topographic barrier such as a mountain range.

rain shadow

A low-latitude grassland in an area with marked wet and dry seasons.

savanna

The low, sparse vegetation in tropical areas where rainfall is insufficient to support tropical deciduous forest.

scrub and thorn forest

A biome composed mainly of short grasses. It occurs in areas of steppe climate, which is a transitional zone between very arid deserts and humid areas.

steppe (temperate grassland)

A high-latitude climate characterized by short, mild summers and long, severe winters.

subarctic

Areas where plates are being pulled under other plates as part of plate tectonics

subduction zone

On or about June 22, the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the northern tip of Earth's axis is inclined toward the sun at an angle of 23.5° from a line perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic. This is the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. On or about December 22, the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the southern tip of Earth's axis is inclined toward the sun at an angle of 23.5° from a line perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic. This is the summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.

summer solstice

A northern coniferous (needleleaf) forest.

taiga

Processes that derive their energy from within the within the earth's crust and serve to create landforms by elevating, disrupting, and roughening the earth's surface.

tectonic processes

A proposed mechanism for reducing total global greenhouse gases in which each country would be assigned the right to emit a certain quantity of carbon dioxide, according to its population size, setting the total at an acceptable global standard. The assigned quotas could be traded between underproducers and overproducers of carbon dioxide.

tradable permits

Streams of air that originate in semipermanent high-pressure cells on the margins of the tropics and are attracted equator ward by a semipermanent low-pressure cell.

trade winds

The vegetation typical of some tropical areas with a dry season. Here, broadleaf trees lose their leaves and are dormant during the dry season and then add foliage and resume their growth during the wet season.

tropical deciduous forest

A low-latitude broadleaf evergreen forest found where heat and moisture are continuously, or almost continuously, available.

tropical rain forest

A relatively moist low-latitude climate that has a pronounced dry season.

tropical savanna climate

A region with a long, cold winter, when moisture is unobtainable because it is frozen, and a very short, cool summer. Vegetation includes mosses, lichens, shrubs, dwarf trees, and some grass.

tundra

A climate that varies with latitude, altitude, and exposure to the sun and moisture-bearing winds.

undifferentiated highland

The atmospheric conditions prevailing at one time and place.

weather

On or about December 22, the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the southern tip of Earth's axis is inclined toward the sun at an angle of 23.5° from a line perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic. This is the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. On or about June 22, the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the northern tip of Earth's axis is inclined toward the sun at an angle of 23.5° from a line perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic. This is the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.

winter solstice

Literally, dry plant, referring to desert shrubs having small leaves, thick bark, large root systems, and other adaptations to absorb and retain moisture.

xerophytic

An area where the characteristics of one region change gradually to those of another.

zone of transition

What are the three "spheres" which make life on earth possible?

Lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere

What is the geological process which drives the process of "Continental Drift"?

Tectonic plates

What are the three main processes which take place where Tectonic Plates meet?

converging, separation, transverse movement

What are the three main natural hazards which result in areas where Tectonic Plates meet?

Earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis

What are the four major types of Landforms which shape the natural landscape?

Mountains, hills, plateaus, plains

What is the difference between climate and weather?

Timeframe (climate - long term average, weather - short term)

What are the three basic processes of precipitation?

Orographic, cyclonic (frontal), convectional

How are Solstices and Equinoxes different?

Length of day and night, angle of the sun

How does the Solstices relate to the earth's relative position to the Sun?

Sun directly above equator

How do the Equinoxes relate to the earth's relative position to the Sun?

Sun directly above tropic lines (cancer and Capricorn)

What is a Biome?

Terrestrial ecosystem type characterized by dominant vegetation

What are the principal types of biomes? 1) _________, 2) tundra, 3) desert, 4) prairie(steppe), 5) Mediterranean, 6) savannah, 7) tropical rainforest, 8) tropical deciduous forest, 9) temperate mixed forest, 10) coniferous forest, 11) undifferentiated highland

Icecap

What are the principal types of biomes? 1) Icecap, 2) _________, 3) desert, 4) prairie(steppe), 5) Mediterranean, 6) savannah, 7) tropical rainforest, 8) tropical deciduous forest, 9) temperate mixed forest, 10) coniferous forest, 11) undifferentiated highland

tundra

What are the principal types of biomes? 1) Icecap, 2) tundra, 3) _________, 4) prairie(steppe), 5) Mediterranean, 6) savannah, 7) tropical rainforest, 8) tropical deciduous forest, 9) temperate mixed forest, 10) coniferous forest, 11) undifferentiated highland

desert

What are the principal types of biomes? 1) Icecap, 2) tundra, 3) desert, 4) _________, 5) Mediterranean, 6) savannah, 7) tropical rainforest, 8) tropical deciduous forest, 9) temperate mixed forest, 10) coniferous forest, 11) undifferentiated highland

prairie(steppe)

What are the principal types of biomes? 1) Icecap, 2) tundra, 3) desert, 4) prairie(steppe), 5) _________, 6) savannah, 7) tropical rainforest, 8) tropical deciduous forest, 9) temperate mixed forest, 10) coniferous forest, 11) undifferentiated highland

Mediterranean

What are the principal types of biomes? 1) Icecap, 2) tundra, 3) desert, 4) prairie(steppe), 5) Mediterranean, 6) _________, 7) tropical rainforest, 8) tropical deciduous forest, 9) temperate mixed forest, 10) coniferous forest, 11) undifferentiated highland

savannah

What are the principal types of biomes? 1) Icecap, 2) tundra, 3) desert, 4) prairie(steppe), 5) Mediterranean, 6) savannah, 7) _________, 8) tropical deciduous forest, 9) temperate mixed forest, 10) coniferous forest, 11) undifferentiated highland

tropical rainforest

What are the principal types of biomes? 1) Icecap, 2) tundra, 3) desert, 4) prairie(steppe), 5) Mediterranean, 6) savannah, 7) tropical rainforest, 8) _________, 9) temperate mixed forest, 10) coniferous forest, 11) undifferentiated highland

tropical deciduous forest

What are the principal types of biomes? 1) Icecap, 2) tundra, 3) desert, 4) prairie(steppe), 5) Mediterranean, 6) savannah, 7) tropical rainforest, 8) tropical deciduous forest, 9) _________, 10) coniferous forest, 11) undifferentiated highland

temperate mixed forest

What are the principal types of biomes? 1) Icecap, 2) tundra, 3) desert, 4) prairie(steppe), 5) Mediterranean, 6) savannah, 7) tropical rainforest, 8) tropical deciduous forest, 9) temperate mixed forest, 10) _________, 11) undifferentiated highland

coniferous forest

What are the principal types of biomes? 1) Icecap, 2) tundra, 3) desert, 4) prairie(steppe), 5) Mediterranean, 6) savannah, 7) tropical rainforest, 8) tropical deciduous forest, 9) temperate mixed forest, 10) coniferous forest, 11) _________

undifferentiated highland

What are the 11 principal types of biomes?

icecap, tundra, desert, prairie(steppe), Mediterranean, savannah, tropical rainforest, tropical deciduous forest, temperate mixed forest, coniferous forest, undifferentiated highland

List two ways that biomes are related to climate

rainfall amount, seasonal differences

What are Biodiversity Hotspots?

Biodiverse areas under threat

What are the reasons that the oceans are important?

Hydrological cycle, source of food, source of energy and resources, markets and transport, climate regulation

How do the oceans effect climate?

thermohaline circulation (keeps Europe warm)

What is the physical and chemical process by which heat from the Sun is trapped within the earth's atmosphere?

Greenhouse effect

The presence of which gas in the atmosphere is primarily responsible for the Greenhouse Effect, and is a factor in global climate change?

CO2

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