Chapter 3 Geography
Terms in this set (55)
condition of the atmosphere in one place during a short period of time
weather patterns typical for an area over a long period of time
an imaginary line that runs through the center of the Earth between the North and South Poles
in astronomy, the Earth's yearly trip around the sun, taking 365¼ days
one of two days (about March 21 and September 23) on which the sun is directly above the Equator, making day and night equal in length
one of two days (about June 21 and December 22) on which the sun's rays strike directly on the Tropic of Cancer or Tropic of Capricorn, marking the beginning of summer or winter
continuous daylight, a time when the sun is visible at midnight during the summer in either the Arctic or Antarctic Circle
the capacity of certain gases in the atmosphere to trap heat, thereby warming the Earth
cold or warm stream of seawater that flows in the oceans, generally in a circular pattern
wind in a region that blows in a fairly constant directional pattern
the resulting diagonal movement, either north or south, of prevailing winds caused by the Earth's rotation
a frequently windless area near the Equator
a periodic change in the pattern of ocean currents, water temperatures, and weather in the mid-Pacific region
being in or facing the direction from which the wind is blowing
being in or facing the direction toward which the wind is blowing
result of a process by which dry areas develop on the leeward sides of mountain ranges
major type of ecological community defined primarily by distinctive plant and animal groups
plant life that grows in a certain area if people have not changed the natural environment
the physical characteristics of the surface of the land
the average of the daily high temperature and the overnight low; often used for comparison across climate regions
average daily temperature
small area in a desert where water and vegetation are found
an inland grassland area
referring to vegetation having cones and needle-shaped leaves, including many evergreens, that keep their foliage throughout the winter
falling off or shed seasonally or periodically; trees such as oak and maple, which lose their leaves in autumn
forest with both coniferous and deciduous trees
a permanently frozen layer of soil beneath the surface of the ground
the significant change in temperature, precipitation, and wind patterns that lasts for at least several decades
the warming of the Earth's average temperature that has occurred since the mid-1800s
What are the causes of climate change?
burning of fossil fuels from automobiles and factories
What are the potential impacts of climate change on people?
warmer oceans, severe wildfires, and stronger storms
Why is the Earth's tilt and rotation important?
they cause day and night and the weather
Combined with the tilt, what is significant about the Earth's revolution around the sun?
It affects the amount of sunlight that reaches different locations on the earth at different times of the year
What do the 2 equinoxes mark?
they mark the shift in seasons between winter and spring and summer and fall
What is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and what is it called?
June 21, summer solstice
How much of the suns radiation reaches the Earth?
50% of the sun's radiation is converted into heat
Where is the low latitude lines?
between 30 degrees N and 30 degrees S
What are some characteristics of the low latitude region?
tropic of Capricorn, equator, Tropic of cancer
Where is the mid latitude lines?
between 30 degrees N & 60 degrees N and 30 degrees S and 60 degrees S
What are some characteristics of the Middle latitude region?
temperate climate with dramatic seasonal weather changes
Where is the high latitude lines?
60 degrees N to 90 degrees N and 60 degrees S to 90 degrees S
What are some characteristics of high latitude?
When either Northern or the Southern Hemisphere is tilted toward the sun, its polar area receives nearly continuous, but indirect sunlight
air moving across the surface of the Earth
What is it called when warm temperatures cause air to rise?
What is it called when cool temperatures cause air to sink?
Why are ocean currents so important?
they help distribute energy around the planet
What determines the direction of prevailing winds?
latitude and the Earth's movement
What 3 factors determine ocean currents?
the Earth's rotation, changes in air pressure, and differences in water temperature
How do mountain ranges affect climate?
Their increase in elevation brings a decrease in temperature
What are the four climate zones?
tropical, dry, midlatitude, and high- latitude
What are the 2 main factors that affect distribution of Earth's biomes?
climate and terrain
What do similarities in climates often result in?
What are the 2 types of tropical climates and what kind of biomes do they have?
wet and dry climates, tropical rain forests & savanna
What are the 2 types of dry climates and what biomes do they have?
semiarid and arid, steppes & deserts
What are the 4 types of midlatitude climates?
humid subtropical, marine west coast, Mediterannean, and humid continental
What are the 3 types of high latitude climates?
subarctic, tundra, and ice cap