23 terms

AP Environmental Science CHP 5 Terms

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Weather
Short-term changes in the temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, precipitation, sunshine, cloud cover, wind direction and speed, and other conditions in the troposphere at a given place and time.
Climate
Physical properties of the troposphere of an area based on analysis of its weather records of a long period (at least 30 years). The two main factors determining an area's climate are its average temperature, with its seasonal variations, and the average amount and distribution of precipitation over at least 30 years.
Front
The boundary between two air masses with different temperatures and densities.
Coriolis effect
The deflection of an air mass to the east as it moves north or south away from the equator, or a deflection west as it moves toward the equator. These deflections occur because the earth's eastward rotation is faster at the equator than at any other point on its surface.
Prevailing winds
A wind from the direction that is predominant at a particular place or season.
Greenhouse effect
Natural effect that releases heat in the atmosphere near the earth's surface. Water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and other gases in the lower atmosphere absorb some of the infrared radiation (heat) radiated by the earth's surface and release some of it into the lower atmosphere.
Greenhouse gases
Gases in the Earth's lower atmosphere (troposphere) that cause the greenhouse effect.
Rain shadow effect
Low precipitation on the leeward side of a mountain when prevailing winds move up and over a high mountain or high mountain range and create semiarid and arid conditions on the leeward side of a high mountain.
Biome
Terrestrial regions inhabited by certain types of life, especially vegetarian.
Tundra
A vast, flat, treeless Arctic region of Europe, Asia, and North America in which the subsoil is permanently frozen.
Taiga
The sometimes swampy coniferous forest of high northern latitudes, especially that between the tundra and steppes of Siberia and North America.
Temperate
Relating to or denoting a region or climate characterized by mild temperatures.
Chaparral
Vegetation consisting chiefly of tangled shrubs and thorny bushes.
Desert
A dry, barren area of land, especially one covered with sand, that is characteristically desolate, waterless, and without vegetation.
Tropical
A non-arid climate in which all twelve months have mean temperatures of at least 18 °C (64 °F).
Scrub
Vegetation consisting mainly of brushwood or stunted forest growth.
Savanna
A grassy plain in tropical and subtropical regions, with few trees.
Coniferous
The Pinophyta, also known as Coniferophyta or Coniferae, or commonly as conifers, are a division of vascular land plants containing a single extant class, Pinopsida.
Succulent
Plants that have some parts that are more than normally thickened and fleshy, usually to retain water in arid climates or soil conditions. The word "succulent" comes from the Latin word sucus, meaning juice, or sap. Succulent plants may store water in various structures, such as leaves and stems. Some definitions also include roots, thus geophytes that survive unfavorable periods by dying back to underground storage organs may be regarded as succulents.
Permafrost
Perennially frozen layer of soil that forms when the water there freezes. It is found in the arctic tundra.
Epiphyte
A plant that grows on another plant but is not parasitic, such as the numerous ferns, bromeliads, air plants, and orchids growing on tree trunks in tropical rainforests.
Deciduous
(of a tree or shrub) Shedding its leaves annually.
Evergreen
a plant that retains green leaves throughout the year.: "evergreens planted to cut off the east wind".