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the weather in some location averaged over some long period of time


the meteorological conditions: temperature and wind and clouds and precipitation

catastrophic event

powerful, dramatic forces that have a major effect on our planet and all living things on Earth.


Area on the leeward slope of mountain range where percipitation is greatly reduced compared to the wind ward slope on the other side.

water cycle

the continuous process by which water moves from Earth's surface to the atmosphere and back

coriolis effect

The way Earth's rotation makes winds in the Northern Hemisphere curve to the right and winds in the Southern Hemisphere curve to the left.


the property of being close together


the amount of energy transmitted (as by acoustic or electromagnetic radiation)


a small discrete mass of solid or liquid matter that remains individually dispersed in gas or liquid emissions (usually considered to be an atmospheric pollutant)

sun angle

Angle formed between sunlight approaching the earth's surface and the surface itself


an imaginary line around the Earth parallel to the equator

el nino

(oceanography) a warm ocean current that flows along the equator from the date line and south off the coast of Ecuador at Christmas time

ice cores

pieces of ice used to track earths past weather

tree rings

tree growth is influenced by climate conditions, patterns in tree rings and isotopic composition of materin within each ring reflect variations in past climate


the mass of air surrounding the Earth

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