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average precipitation, temperature and winds over a long period of time

tilt on axis

23.5 degrees

el nino

unusually warm water in the Pacific

la nina

unusually cold water in the Pacific

effects of el nino

severe rain and drought

effects of la nina

severe winters and hurricanes

short term climate change

la nina and el nino

global warming

gradual increase of earth's temperature

greenhouse gases

trap energy in the atmosphere

greenhouse effect

Earth's atmosphere traps solar energy

levels of carbon dioxide

increase global temperature

hole in the ozone

created by chloroflourocarbons


chemicals used in air conditioners, refrigerators and aerosols

result of ozone depletion

increased UV radiation

UV radiation

causes skin cancer and eye damage

use of CFCs

reduced in 1990 and eliminiated in 2010

fossil fuels

formed from the remains of organisms that lived millions of years ago

sustainable practices

activities that benefit society without degrading the environment

unsustainable practices

activities that benefit society but degrade the environment


the amount of resources we use


cheapest and dirtiest fossil fuel

examples of non renewable resources

coal, oil, natural gas, petroleum, gasoline

examples of renewable resources

wind, solar, water, geothermal

nuclear power

efficient but produces dangerous waste

fossil fuel formation

takes millions of years to form


used in nuclear reactors


The characteristic of the atmosphere for a region on Earth over a longer time period (seasons, years etc.)

Global Dimming

This is where less solar radiation reaches the earth because of increased cloud and/or gas cover in the atmosphere

Greenhouse Effect

The process of gases being trapped inside earth's atmosphere and causing the earth to become warmer than it naturally would be.

Greenhouse Gases

Gases that are present in the greenhouse effect. Ex: Water vapor, CO2, CH4, and CFCs

Positive Feedback

Self-Enhancing in the warming effect; Makes it worse, this increase in air pollution leads to another increase and another =global warming

Negative Feedback

An increase which leads to a decrease. Self-regulation. GOOD.

Coriolis Effect

This effect deflects wind in a pattern creating 3 cells of air circulation in each hemisphere. Atmospheric circulation works with the tilt of the earth and what is going on with the latitudes and etc of the planet. It depends what area you are at as to what pressure level there will be. There is a total of six different zones of circulation.


This is the lower part of Earth's atmophere where weather takes place.


This is above the troposhere and this is where atmospheric waming takes place with inceases in altitude.


Inner most layer of atmosphere; 75% of weight


Second layer of atmosphere; Filters 95% of UV rays

Primary Air Pollutant

Chemical added by humans or natural causes

Secondary Air Pollutant

Chemical produced when primary pollutant reacts with air




Protects the Earth from UV rays

Particulate Matter

Complex mixture of chemicals that is harmful to one's health

Nitrogen Oxide

Air pollutant

Sulfur Oxide

Air pollutant

Environmental Protection Agency

Responsible for managing federal efforts to control pollution

Clean Air Acts

In charge of protecting the ozone layer

Temperature Inversion

A condition in which the upper air temperature increases rather than decreases

Industrial Smog

Pollution from industries

Photochemical Smog

A complex mixture of air pollutants

Acid Deposition

Falling of acids into atmosphere

Greenhouse Gas

Traps heat

Greenhouse Effect

Warming that results when solar radiation is trapped by the atmosphere

Montreal Protocol

Cut emission of CFCs into atmosphere by 35%


the direct transfer of heat from one substance to another substance that it is touching


the transfer of thermal energy by the circulation or movement of a liquid or gas


energy that is radiated or transmitted in the form of rays or waves or particles

Energy transfer

Movement of energy from one place or object to another

Rate of change

describes how a quantity is changing over time

Solar energy

energy from the sun

Radioactive decay

release of nuclear particles and energy from unstable atomic nuclei


The ability to do work or cause change.

Potential energy

stored energy

Kinetic energy

Energy in motion

Electromagnetic energy

A form of energy that travels through space as waves.


an insrument with a prism used to find out the elements of a star

Absolute zero

The coldest temperature, 0 Kelvin, that can be reached. It is the hypothetical temperature at which all molecular motion stops.


the action of a wave bouncing off an object


the amount of energy in a light or sound wave, which we perceive as brightness or loudness, as determined by the wave's amplitude

State of matter

a physical property that describes matter as a solid, liquid, or gas

Specific heat

the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1g of a substance 1 degree Celsius

Phase change

a change from one state (solid or liquid or gas) to another without a change in chemical composition


A ______ is any substance that has no definite shape and has the ability to flow

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