DP Biology Vocabulary - 4.4 Climate change
Essential vocabulary for the IBO DP Biology course
Terms in this set (18)
a collection of tiny solid or liquid particles in the atmosphere that can come from natural sources (such as wildfires) or people's activities (such as burning fossil fuels). Some aerosols make the atmosphere warmer because they absorb energy. Others have a cooling effect because they reflect sunlight back into space.
a type of fuel produced from plants or other forms of biomass. Examples of biofuels include ethanol, biodiesel, and biogas.
material that comes from living things, including trees, crops, grasses, and animals and animal waste. Some kinds of biomass, such as wood and biofuels, can be burned to produce energy.
Carbon dioxide (CO2)
a colourless, odourless greenhouse gas produced naturally when dead animals or plants decay. It is used by plants during photosynthesis. People are adding carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, mostly by burning fossil fuels.
a significant change in the Earth's climate, including changes in weather patterns, the oceans, ice and snow, and ecosystems around the world.
the average weather conditions in a particular location or region at a particular time of the year. Climate is usually measured over a period of 30 years or more.
a marine ridge or reef consisting of coral and other organic material consolidated into limestone.
a type of fuel created over millions of years as dead plant and animal material becomes trapped and buried in layers of rock, and then heat and pressure transform this material into a fuel deep within the Earth. Examples of fossil fuels include coal, oil, and natural gas.
the increase in temperature near the surface of the Earth as a result of natural causes. However, the term is most often used to refer to recent and on-going warming caused by people's activities.
natural or man-made gases that trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to the greenhouse effect. Greenhouse gases include water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases.
a type of electromagnetic radiation. The Earth gives off energy in the form of infrared radiation, which is not visible to the naked eye and feels like heat to the human body.
Long wave radiation (infrared light)
radiation emitted in the spectral wavelength greater than 4 µm corresponding to the radiation emitted from the Earth and atmosphere.
a colourless, odourless greenhouse gas that occurs both naturally and as a result of people's activities. Methane is produced by the decay of plants, animals, and waste, as well as other processes.
Nitrous oxide (NOx)
a colourless, odourless greenhouse gas that occurs both naturally and as a result of people's activities. Major sources include farming practices (such as using fertilizers) that add extra nitrogen to the soil, burning fossil fuels, and certain industrial processes.
a gas made up of three atoms of oxygen bonded together. High in the atmosphere, ozone naturally shields the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation and closer to the Earth's surface is a pollutant that is formed by other pollutants that react with each other. Ozone is also a greenhouse gas.
energy that travels in the form of a particle or a wave and exists in many different forms, such as electromagnetic radiation, X-rays, ultraviolet radiation, infrared radiation, and visible light.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation
a type of electromagnetic radiation, not visible to the naked eye that is produced by the sun. Most UV radiation is blocked by ozone high in the Earth's atmosphere, but some of it reaches the Earth's surface and can lead to skin cancer and eye damage.
Water vapour (H2O)
water that is present in the atmosphere as a gas, and as a greenhouse gas it plays an important role in the natural greenhouse effect.