77 terms

geography chapter 3


Terms in this set (...)

warm currents carry heated water from the tropics toward cooler middle latitudes.
gulf stream
the condition of the atmosphere at any given place or time.
the conditions in a geographic region over a long time.
the measurement of heat over a long time.
earths atmosphere traps heat energy in this process
greenhouse effect
evidence to show that earths has gotten warmer in recent decades, this is caused by humans.
global warming
all centers of low pressure
winds that move heat and cold across earths surface. maintains global energy balance; some blow the same direction most of the time.
prevailing winds
the zone along the equator is calm with no prevailing winds.
with two airbuses of widely diff temperatures or moister levels meet.
when the suns energy reaches earth half of the energy does what? what does the other half do?
-is reflected back into space or absorbed but the atmosphere.
-absorbed by the earths surface and created into heat energy.
low pressure zones are caused by
warm air; which expands and rises.
high-pressure zones are caused by
cold air; which shrinks and dense.
pressure differences causes what?
air flow and energy distribution around the globe
four major air pressure zones:
equatorial low, subtropical high, subplot low, and the polar highs.
pressure differences causes
wind moves ___ and ___ across the earths surfaces.
heat and cold
prevailing winds blow from the same direction most of the time causing?
same weather conditions
water heats and cools more slowly than land, making coastal areas?
milder than island areas
ocean currents move heat between the tropics and polar regions, helping to maintain
earths energy balance
how do air pressure, global winds belts, and ocean currents affects earths energy balance?
moves warm to the tropics and cold to the polar regions.
how is air pressure affected when an area of earth is heated?
the air pressure expands and rises; creates a low pressure zone.
why are temperature ranges greater for places in the interior of continents than they are for places near oceans?
water heats and cools slower than land; milder temperatures.
how do views on the causes of global warming differ among scientists and other people? why s the issue important?
-it changes different ways: human activity (cars, factories, pollution), natural process
four factors that affect climate?
- atmospheric pressure, sun and latitude, global wind belts, and ocean currents.
forms of precipitation:
-evaporation, humidity, condensation (dew , clouds, fog, frost)
types of condensation:
rain, snow, sleet, hail
liquid formed through condensation of water vapor
ice crystals formed in clouds
rain that freezes as it falls
chunks of ice formed in storm clouds.
what causes a drop in temperature?
increase in elevation
effect when most air meets a barrier and is pushed upward which causes cooling, condensation, and precipitation
orographic effect
what storms form when cold dry polar air form mixes with most warm tropical air.
what storms are usually smaller and lack fronts?
community of plants and animals in an area.
wind system which winds completely reverse direction and cause seasons of wet and dry weather.
areas of tropical grasslands, scattered trees, and shrubs
"dry" a dry climate region with little rainfall
trees that loose their leaves during part of the year.
deciduous forests
trees that remain green all year.
coniferous forests
permanently frozen soil.
long, dry summer and milder winters; scrub woodland vegetation.
hot, humid summers an mild winters; temperate forests.
humid subtropical
mild all year, may support dense forests.
marine west coast
variable; with four seasons; enough rain to support dense forests.
humid continental
long, cold winters, short, warm summers; vast evergreen forests.
long winters, with permafrosts; low shrubs, lichens, mosses, and ferns.
polar climates; few land plants and animals.
ice cap
varies by elevation, with low elevations relatively midland high elevations similar to ice caps.
The four middle-latitude climates:
1.) Mediterranean
2.) humid subtropical
3.) marine west coast
4.) humid continental
The four high-latitude and highland continents:
3.) ice cap
4.) highland
characteristics of a tropical humid environment:
close to equator
warm temp
rainfall all year
receives direct sunrise all year
rising warm air
rain forests
characteristics of dry climate areas:
generally centered about 30 degrees north and south of equator
subtropical high-pressure zone causes sinking dry air, with little rain.
winters may be very cold, summers very hot
hardy plants and animals.
found in areas closer to the equator
tropical humid
sometimes called the tropical savanna climate
tropical wet and dry
centered about 30 degrees north and south of the equator
transition zone between arid climate and more humid climates
found along coastal areas of southern Europe and along west coast of continents with cool ocean currents
found on the west coat of continents in the upper middle latitudes
marine west coast
has the most changeable weather conditions
humid continental
located generally about 50* north latitude
what area produces permafrost?
found in earths polar regions
ice cap
can have varying climates because of changes in elevation
what is an ecosystem?
it is a community of plants and animals in an area.
vegetation: mixed forests
humid subtropical
vegetation: shrub, woodland, grassland
vegetation: sparse drought, resistant plants, many barren, rocky or sandy
vegetation: tropical rainforests
tropical humid
vegetation: northern evergreen forests
moss, lichens, low shrubs, permafrost bogs in the summer
ice cap
The precipitation that occurs when moist air rises up the side of a mountain. As the air rises, it cools down and releases most of its moisture as rain or snow.
orographic effect
A violently rotating column of air stretching from a cloud to the ground
the low-rainfall region that exists on the leeward (downwind) side of a mountain range. This rain shadow is the result of the mountain range's causing precipitation on the windward side.
rain shadow
fierce tropical storms with strong winds
hurricane-like storms that form in the warm waters of the Tropics