unit 3: central/S. America & weather
Terms in this set (66)
severe or unusual weather conditions, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards and even severe heat waves or cold spells
-great destruction or loss of life caused by natural forces rather than by human actions
-Hurricanes often produce natural disasters.
an area defined by one or more natural or cultural characteristics that set it apart from other areas
area between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer and between the equator and the Tropic of Capricorn, where the climate is generally hot
origin of word Hurricane
The word hurricane comes from the language of one of these groups, the Taino, who believed that a storm god called Huracan controlled extreme weather events
Caribbean islands 1600s
The colonists set up plantations, or large farms, where they planted warm-weather crops such as tobacco and sugar. The planters tried to make native peoples work on their land, but in a short time the native peoples died out. Most of them were killed by diseases that were brought by Europeans to the Caribbean. After that, the European colonists brought large numbers of Africans to the Caribbean islands to work on their farms as slaves.
- gained their independence
-Slavery was also ended. However, independence brought new challenges, including the creation of stable governments and dealing with widespread poverty.
base their economies on agriculture. Sugar remains a major cash crop, and bananas, coffee, and spices are also important. In recent years, tourism has become a key industry on many islands, and tourists flock to the Caribbean to enjoy the region's warm weather, beautiful beaches, and clear blue waters.
a severe storm with high winds that spiral around a calm center. Depending on where they form, tropical cyclones are called hurricanes, typhoons, or cyclones.
This is a powerful storm with winds of 74 miles per hour or more. From above, the storm looks like a giant pinwheel as it forms over warm water, and it produces heavy rain and high waves as it grows.
the scientific study of climate and weather patterns
scientists who study Earth's atmosphere and climate in an effort to understand weather patterns and the forces that cause them.
takes energy from the sun, Earth, and the atmosphere and transforms it into rain, wind, and other types of weather.
Weather is caused by
interactions among heat, air, and water, with the sun acting as the "engine" that drives the weather machine.
the movement, or transfer, of heat through a gas or liquid
Warm air and warm water are ____ dense than cooler air and wate
less, so they rise
-When warm air or water rises out of an area, cool air or water flows in to take its place. The steady movement of air or water due to convection is called a current
-the steady movement of air or water due to convection
air flows around globe
In general, warm air and water currents flow from the equator toward the poles. At the same time, cool air and water currents flow from the poles toward the equator.
winds that usually blow in a certain direction for most of the year
If Earth didn't rotate, the prevailing winds would move in straight lines between the equator and the poles. Instead, Earth's rotation causes the wind and ocean currents to move in a curving pattern
Wind and ocean currents have an important influence on weather because....
they distribute heat and cold throughout the world. Even relatively minor changes in prevailing winds or ocean currents can result in significant changes in the weather.
- a warm ocean current that flows off the west coast of South America every few years. An El Niño event changes weather patterns around the world. It may also cause extreme weather in some regions
-This warm current does not appear every year, but when it does develop, it usually shows up during the Christmas season. That is why the current is called El Niño, which is a nickname for "the Christ child" in Spanish.
El Niño affects
the weather on the Pacific coast of North and South America gets warmer. As a result, rainfall increases and flooding is common. At the same time, weather on the other side of the Pacific becomes drier. During these dry spells, severe forest fires sometimes occur in Southeast Asia and Australia. The effects of an El Niño's appearance can be felt as far away as India and Africa.
Tropical cyclones occur only in areas where...
the ocean temperature reaches at least 80°F.
why tropical cyclones usually occur during the warmer months of the year.
A large amount of warm, moist air is needed to start these storms
where do hurricanes start and end? (atlantic)
start: west coast of Africa
end: East coast
(start in East and in west)
In the Northern Hemisphere, this rising air begins to circle in (direction)
counterclockwise direction as a consequence of the Coriolis effect
patterns of a hurricane
The exact track, or path, of a hurricane is unpredictable. A hurricane may change course with a shift in wind direction, and it may also speed up, slow down, or even stop for a while and build up strength.
where can the hurricane still gain power/speed
As long as a hurricane stays over warm water, it can continue to grow in both size and power.
The Hurricane Hunters work with meteorologists to track the paths of tropical storms. The meteorologists use satellite images and data from the flight crews to predict a storm's movement and to decide when a storm has become a hurricane. At that point, they give the hurricane a name.
determining the name
Meteorologists have alphabetical lists of male and female names to use in naming hurricanes each year. The name of the year's first hurricane always begins with the letter A. When a very destructive hurricane hits land, its name is retired and never used again. Since 1954, at least 70 hurricane names have been retired
When a storm might hit land within 24 to 36 hours
When the storm is less than 24 hours away
-meteorologists use the Saffir-Simpson scale to rate the strength of a hurricane
-This scale rates hurricanes from 1 to 5; the higher the number, the more damage the storm can potentially cause. This hurricane-rating information helps people decide whether to board up their windows and stay home or to seek a safer shelter away from the coast. Storms often change ratings as they travel. In 2003, Hurricane Isabel stayed at level 5 for over 30 hours, which made it one of the longest-lasting Category 5 storms on record.
-The most destructive feature of a hurricane
-a wall of water that is pushed ashore by a storm
-can rise as much as 33 feet above sea level
when do hurricanes die out
When the storms hit land or cross over cool water, they begin to weaken. In the Caribbean region, hurricanes can cross an island and then pick up force on the other side. However, they lose steam when they encounter a large landmass such as the United States or Mexico, usually dying out within a few days.
The first task after a storm passes is...
rescue the people who were caught in the wreckage. Relief agencies are set up to find and treat the injured, and relief workers supply food, water, shelter, and clothing to people in need.
The next task is...
cleaning up after the storm. The floodwaters have to be drained from the low-lying areas. The water and sewage lines have to be repaired in order to provide clean water and sanitation. The roads need to be cleared. Electrical power has to be restored. Damaged buildings must be knocked down. All of this work requires time and money, and it can take months or even years for a Caribbean island to fully recover from a severe hurricane.
a broadleaf evergreen forest found in wet and hot regions near the equator
natives of an area who have been conquered or dominated by others who came later
land use conflict
-disagreement over how to use a particular area of land
-Each of these groups has its own ideas about the Amazon rainforest. The rubber tappers, farmers, cattle ranchers, and loggers want to use the rainforest to make a living. Indigenous peoples want to maintain their traditional way of life. Environmental groups want to preserve the rainforest in its natural state
___ is the largest tropical rainforest in the world, covering more than 2 million square miles
The Amazon rainforest
the bottom layer, or ground, of a forest
the middle layer of a forest, consisting of shrubs and trees
the thick layer of overlapping tree branches that make up the top layer of a forest
The great ___ of rainforests attracts scientists of different specialties who come to study the flora and fauna there.
finding ways to use the resources of the rainforest without destroying it
"lungs of the Earth"
the key role that rainforests play in Earth's carbon-oxygen cycle. The carbon-oxygen cycle consists of a series of events that turn a gas called carbon dioxide, or CO2, into oxygen and then convert the oxygen back into CO2. In this way, carbon and oxygen are "cycled" among the living things that need them to survive.
-Amazon rainforest alone creates about one quarter of Earth's oxygen
indigenous people and sustainable living
Native people have lived in the rainforest for about 12,000 years. Many live as they always have, by hunting, fishing, and growing crops on small plots of land that they have cleared in the forest. When a field is no longer fertile, they clear a new field somewhere else. Over time, new forest covers the old field. This is a sustainable way of life that is using the resources of the Amazon rainforest without causing long-term damage
indigenous people and the gov.
In the 1960s, the government of Brazil decided that it would open the Amazon basin to development. The government began by building a highway, which farmers, ranchers, and loggers followed into the Amazon region. The arrival of so many newcomers has hurt native Amazonians. Many of the native people have been driven from their homelands in order to make room for farms and ranches. Some of them have died from diseases brought by newcomers. Other native people have been killed or injured in land use conflicts.
Today native Amazonians are fighting to save parts of the rainforest from development, arguing that they have a right to preserve themselves and their way of life...WHAT ARE THEY
In their struggle to survive, native Amazonians have had to learn new skills. One of these new skills is how to speak Portuguese, which is the official language of Brazil. Another skill is how to work with Brazil's government and legal system. Native groups have called on the Brazilian government to make them the legal owners of their homelands. Only through legal ownership will they be able to keep others from destroying their rainforest home.
struggles of the rubber tappers
Rubber tappers first came to the Amazon region during the 1870s, when they were hired to work on rubber tree plantations in the rainforest. When the price of rubber dropped, most of the plantations were abandoned. However, some of the rubber tappers decided to stay in the region and continue making their living in the rainforest
struggles of the rubber tappers cont.
In the 1960s, the government of Brazil decided that there were better ways to use the rainforest. It encouraged people to clear the forest for farms and ranches. In the deforestation that followed, many rubber trees disappeared, leading to land use conflict between the rubber tappers and the newcomers.
rubber tappers efforts to protect forest...
Therefore they have asked the government of Brazil to create protected reserves within the rainforest. These areas would be set aside for sustainable activities such as rubber tapping.
Rubber tappers believe that their right to the rainforest comes from having worked there for so long. They also argue that their way of life does not harm the rainforest. For this reason, they believe, the government should protect their activities
to cut down all of the trees in an area]
problems with logging
The logging companies argue that clear-cutting is the only way they can make money, but clear-cutting is also a major cause of deforestation. The larger the area that is stripped of its trees, the longer it takes for the rainforest to grow back. Logging also leads to other types of development. Logging companies build roads deep into the rainforest so that they can transport logs by truck. Meanwhile, settlers who are looking for land follow these logging roads into the forest. Once there, the settlers claim land for farming and ranching.
loggers arguments for it
Many groups oppose the clear-cutting of the rainforest. Loggers reply that they are helping Brazil's economy grow by creating jobs for people in the forestry industry. In addition, logging provides wood for Brazil's furniture factories and paper mills. Lumber companies also argue that they have made forestry a valuable economic activity for Brazil. In 2005, Brazil exported more than $5 billion worth of wood. The money earned from these sales is helping Brazil to pay off its debts to other countries and is improving the living conditions of many of its citizens
During the 1960s, the government of Brazil began to encourage poor people to move into the Amazon rainforest
...began to look for farm land
then land share became very unequal and poor people didnt have any land
why is farming in the rainforest difficult?
The thin soil is surprisingly poor in nutrients, which are the substances that make a field fertile. Constant rainfall soon washes away whatever nutrients the soil once contained. As the soil loses its fertility, the amount of food it can produce shrinks. The native Amazonians solved this problem by clearing new fields every few years. Over time, their abandoned fields regained some fertility.
problems with settling in the forest
However, Brazilian settlers cannot relocate as easily as the native Amazonians. As more settlers have cleared land for farming, opposition to settlers has grown. Native Amazonians, rubber tappers, and ranchers all want the settlers to leave the rainforest. In response, the settlers argue that there is no land for them in other parts of Brazil. They say they must look to the rainforest for land to feed their families.
problems with ranchers
-causes perminent deforestation (eat all the grass down till there is nothing left)
-uses up a lot of land
who support the ranchers?
farmers bc they clearthe land
ranchers argument for it
Cattle ranchers strongly disagree, arguing that they are making good use of rainforest land by raising food for the world and earning income for Brazil.
Many countries import beef from Brazil. In fact, the United States is one of the biggest buyers of Brazilian beef. Some environmental groups are dissatisfied with this trade. They estimate that 55 square feet of rainforest have to be cleared for every hamburger that is sold in the United States.
Like logging, cattle ranching has become an important economic activity in Brazil. In 2008, the value of beef that was exported to other countries was in excess of $3 billion. The government of Brazil can use the money that is earned from beef sales to help pay its debts and to care for its citizens.
benefits of preserving it
-medicines, o2, biodiverity, its their habitat
how to help
-encourage sustainable development (example of such a crop is shade-grown coffee,)
-strip logging (strip loggers clear long, narrow strips of forest. The forest grows back in these strips far more quickly than in large clear-cut areas.)
-Another step that consumers can take is to buy products made from wood that is harvested in a sustainable manner.
-buying products that support sustainable development.
a form of tourism that brings people to unique ecosystems while trying to avoid damage to these special places
-It creates jobs for people in the tourist industry. It helps the economy by bringing in money. Most important, it gives people a reason to preserve the places that ecotourists come to experience. The great danger of ecotourism is overuse. If too many tourists visit a fragile area, they may help to destroy what they have come to see.