58 terms

Physical Geography

Physical Geograph CHP 1-5
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Eratosthenes
Father of Geography; accurately estimated circumference of Earth (24,480 mi)
Ptolemy
Printed his geography until 15th century;
estimated Earth circumference wrong (18,200 mi)
Von Humboldt
Explorer across Atlantic; Identified Ocean current off of Peru; life zones
Huntington
Environmental Determinism theory; physical environment causes human activities & behaviors (Nazis)
Sauer
Cultural Landscape theory; describes forms&artifacts placed on landscapes by people
Arithmetic Density
total # of people divided by total land area
Physiologic Density
# of people divided by total farm land;
population pressure indicator
Cartography
science of map making; 2300 BC Babylonia clay table first
Mercator Projection
preserves shape and not area of land
Equal Area Projection
Preserves area and not shape of land
Functional Region
area organized around focal point, City and downtown area
Vernacular Region
An area that people believe to exist as part of their cultural identity. (The South
Arc of Great Circle
shortest distance between two pnts on Earth
Lithosphere
the solid, outer layer of the earth that consists of the crust and the rigid upper part of the mantle
Atmosphere
gaseous envelope surrounding Earth
Biosphere
all parts of Earth with living organisms
Perihelion
Earth closest to sun on January 3
Aphelion
Earth furthest from sun on July 4
Inclination
Earth is tilted at 23.5 degrees
Polarity
axis pointed to N star; June, Earth leans towards sun; December, leans away
Equinox
every place on earth receives 12 hrs day/night; March 20, Sept 22
Solstice
Shortest and longest days of year; June 21, December 21
Water Vapor
Usually found in tropics (cloudy/clouds)
Ozone Layer
between 9-30 miles from Earth's surface
Particulates
composed of distinct particles small pieces; can absorb water=clouds and reflect sunlight away from Earth
Layers of Atmosphere
Troposphere^Stratosphere^Mesosphere^Thermosphere^Exosphere
Ionosphere
Deep layer of electrically charged molecules and atoms in mesosphere (N/S lights)
Heat: Land v. Water
Land heats faster than water; Oceans stabilize climates
Sun's energy
electromagnetic radiation/radiant energy
Visible light spectrum
between .4 and .7 micrometer wavelength
Insolation
incoming solar radiation received at top of atmosphere
Scattering
molecules and particulate matter in air can deflect light waves and redirect them
Transmission
EM waves pass completely through a medium, such as through clear colorless gas/glass
Conduction
movement of heat from molecule to next with no change in position
Angle of Incidence
angle at which sun hits the Earth
Specific Heat
energy required to raise 1 gram of substance 1 degree C
subtropicl Gyres
clockwise currents in NH, counterclockwise currents in SH
Atmospheric Pressure
force of gas on Earth's surface
Dynamic High
strongly descending air usually associated with high pressure at surface
Thermal High
very cold surface conditions, high pressure
Dynamic low
strongly rising air, low pressure
Thermal low
very warm surface conditions, relatively low pressure
Barometer
measures atmospheric pressure, now millibars are more common to measure
Ridge
elongated area of relatively high pressure
Trough
elongated area of relatively low pressure
Pressure Gradient
relative closeness of isobars indicates horizontal rate of pressure change
Geostrophic Wind
Wind that moves parallel to isobars
Hadley Cells
two prominent low pressure convection cells in tropics (circulations)
Subtropical High (STH)
each ocean basin has a large semipermanent high-pressure cell centered at about 30 degrees Lattitude
Rossby Waves
Large curvey jet stream paths
Polar Highs
over both polar regions are high pressure cells
Monsoon
Seasonal changing of the winds; Southeast Eurasia; Rains
Sea Breeze
wind from sea to land, during day
Land Breeze
Wind from land to sea, during night
Katabatic/Foehn/Chinook winds
Downslope winds; (in Alps)/(in Rockies)
El Nino
warm water replaces cool nutrient rich water and kills fish population off of SA
La Nina
cooler waters and dryer than usual wind off of SA
Teleconnections
coupling of weather and oceanic events in one part of the world with those of another
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