58 terms

AP Environmental Science - Climate & Biomes


Terms in this set (...)

Average weather that occurs in a region over a long period. (Usually 30 years)
Most of the N2, O2 and H2O vapor is here. Densest Layer of Atmosphere. Where weather occurs.
Less dense. Ozone is formed here. Blocks UV radiation
% of incoming sunlight that is reflected from a surface, the ability of an object to reflect light
Saturation Point
Max amount of H2O vapor that can be in the air
Adiabatic Cooling
Lower pressure lowers the temp of air and expands its volume
Adiabatic Heating
Higher pressure decreases the volume and raises the air temp
Hadley Cell
Convection Currents that cycle between the equator, 30 degrees North and South.
Intertropical Convergence Zone
Area of Earth that receives the most intense sunlight
Polar Cells
Air currents above 60 degrees North and South
Coriolis Effect
The deflection of an objects path due to Earth's rotation
Large scale patterns of Water circulation. Ocean surface currents rotate in a clockwise direction in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
Deeper water rising and replacing the previous water. (The upward movement) brings in nutrients
El Nino-Southern Oscillation
ENSO Periodic changes in winds and ocean currents.
Rain Shadows
one side of a mountain receives all the rain while another does not due to moisture falling on the windward side of the mountain
Area of the Earth with a particular combination of average annual temperature and annual precipitation and contain distinctive plant growth forms that are adapted to its climate.
Cold, treeless, low growing vegetation. Completely frozen in winter.
Underlying subsoil prevents water from draining and roots from penetrating.
Boreal Forest
Forests made of cone bearing evergreen trees which can tolerate winter.
Temperate Rainforest
Moderate temps and high precipitation.
Temperate Seasonal Forest
More abundant than temperate rainforests.
Hot, dry summers and mild rainy winters. 12 month growing season but restricted in summer and in winter.
Temperate Grassland/Cold Desert
Biome has the lowest average precipitation of any biome. Cold, harsh winters and hot, dry summers.
Tropical Rainforests
Near the equator. Warm with lots of precipitation. Little seasonal temperature variation.
Tropical Seasonal Forests/Savanna
Warm Temperatures and distinct wet/dry seasons.
Subtropical Desert
Dry air, little water, lots of sun, hot weather.
Littoral Zone
Shallow area of soil and water near the shore where algae and plants grow. Most photosynthesis occurs here
Limnetic Zone
Open water where rooted plants can't live
Only photosynthetic organisms in the open water.
Profundal Zone
Below the limnetic zone where sunlight can't reach. Bacteria will decompose here.
Benthic Zone
Muddy bottom of a lake/pond
Freshwater Wetlands
Aquatic biomes that are submerged or saturated by water for at least part of the year, but still support species of plants that can live in wet soils. (part II)
Salt Marshes
Nonwoody emergent vegetation. Along the coast in temperate climates.
Mangrove Swamps
Along tropical/subtropical coasts. Contain trees whose roots are submerged in water. Salt tolerant.
Intertidal Zone
Narrow band of coastline between levels of high and low tide. Steep to Rocky. Harsh conditions with water crashing all around.
Coral Reefs
Warm, Shallow waters beyond the coastline. Most diverse marine biome.
Coral Bleaching
Algae inside corals will die. This will cause the coral to die. The reef will then turn white.
Photic Zone
Upper layer of water that receives sunlight for photosynthesis.
Aphotic Zone
Layer of water that does not get sunlight for photosynthesis. (
Bacteria using energy from the bonds of methane and hydrogen sulfide. Found in the deep ocean.
which layer of the atmosphere contains the ozone?
at this location air rises and large amounts of precipitation fall
High Pressure
what type of pressure would falling air create?
Low Pressure
what type of pressure would rising air create?
Direction gyres flow in the northern hemisphere
direction gyres flow in the southern hemisphere
global conveyor belt
Describes the deep water circulation of the ocean
el nino
this phenomenon is characterized by weakened trade winds and a lack of upwelling in the Pacific Ocean
la nina
this phenomenon is characterized by strong trade winds and upwelling in the Pacific Ocean
Highest layer of the atmosphere. Satellites are here.
Layer of the atmosphere where temperatures rise as you get higher.
Layer of the atmosphere where asteroids burn up
Current state of the atmosphere
Atmospheric Convection Current
Global patterns of air movement that are initiated by the unequal heating of Earth
Ferrell Cell
Convection current that lies between Polar cells and Hadley cells in the atmosphere
Lake with low levels of productivity
Lake with moderate levels of productivity
Lake with high levels of productivity