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42 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
What is a system?
A type of model. It can be defined as a part of the universe that can be studied separately.
What is model?
A representation of an object, a process, or a phenomenon. Examples include: a small cardboard version of a house, globes, and maps.
What is a closed system?
A system in which energy can enter or leave, but matter cannot.
What is an open system?
A system in which there is a free exchange of both energy and matter between the system and its surroundings.
Is the Earth a closed system or an open system?
"Scientists consider Earth to be an essentially closed system. Earth receives radiant energy from the sun and reflects much of it back into space (an exchange of energy). The system is not entirely closed, however. The atmosphere loses hydrogen atoms to space and meteorites enter the atmosphere from space. Overall, however, Earth's mass remains relatively onstant. One of the consequences of Earth's being an essentially closed system is that many of the planet's resources are finite"(6-7).
The gaseous envelope surrounding earth. It is composed of a mixture of gases and the atmosphere provides living things with oxygen and carbon dioxide. Other gases in the atmosphere absorb and alter rays from the sun, blocking potentially harmful radiation. Changing amounts of water vapor in the atmosphere results in areas of high or low humidity and influence the formation of clouds.
What are the Earth's four systems?
Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, Geosphere, Biosphere.
The earth itself- the rocks, the mountains, the beaches, and all the other physical features of the planet except water. Included in the geosphere are also ocean basins and rock layers that one cannot easily see.
Mineral resources, such as iron and copper, are mined from this sphere.
This sphere contains all the water in the Earth system, including the water in the oceans, lakes, rivers, and groundwater. Water locked up in ice and snow at the poles and in high mountains is also considered to be a part of this sphere.
What is the makeup of the Earth's water source?
3% of the Earth's water is fresh water.
70% of the water is frozen in the form of glacial ice.
Only 1/2% of the Earth's water is usuable fresh water.
This sphere includes all forms of life, from single-celled protozoa to jellyfish to redwood trees to people.
What is the water cycle?
The continuous circulation of H2O through the hydrosphere.
What components make up the water cycle?
The cycling of water vapor into the atmosphere by evaporation and transpiration.
Where does most of the energy come from?
*99.985% is solar energy, "Nuclear fusion reactions in the sun"
*0.013% is geothermal energy, "Decay of radioactive materials."
*0.002% is tidal energy, "Pull of the moon on Earth's oceans"(16).
The percentage of energy that is reflected without being changed.
{examples: a forest has a low ___, reflecting 5-10% of the energy that reaches it. A field of freshly fallen snow has a low ___, reflecting 80-90% of the energy.}
First Law of Thermodynamics
Energy can never be created or destroyed, only changed from one form to another.
Second Law of Thermodynamics
When energy changes, it is converted from a more useful, more concentrated form to a less useful, less concentrated form.
Carbon Cycle
The biogeochemical circulation of carbon through the Earth system.
The physical or chemical processing of Earth materails that repeats over time, for example, the water cycle, the carbon cycle, and the rock cycle.
Earth system science
The study of Earth materials and processes subdivided into a group of four interconnected spheres of activity: atmosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere.
Energy cycle
The movement of energy into and out of the Earth system.
Geothermal Energy
Heat energy that originates from within Earth and drives the movement of Earth's tectonic plates
Solar Energy
Energy emitted by the sun.
Tidal Energy
Energy created by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon on Earth's oceans.
One who makes maps.
Contour Interval
The difference in elevation between two consecutive contour lines.
Contour Lines
Lines on a topographic map showing elevation of land above or below sea level, all points connected by a line having the same elevation.
The imaginary line dividing Earth's surface into Northern and Southern Hemispheres; establishes 0o latitude.
False-Color Image
A computer image that assigns disticctive colors to different wavelengths of light reflected from a distant object, delineating surface features; used frequently in satellite images of Earth from space.
An equal division of Earth's surface into northern and southern halves or eastern and western halves.
East-west lines parallel to the equator used to measure distance in degrees north and south, from 0o to 90o north and south at the poles.
North-south lines running between the poles, used to measure distance in degrees east and west of the prime meridian, from 0o at the prime meridian to 180o east and west.
Magnetic Declination
The angle by which the compass needle varies from true north; magnetic variation.
A flat, two-dimensional representation of Earth's surface and features.
Map Scale
On a map,l the comparison of distant units used with actual distances on Earth's surface; may be expressed as a ratio, a fraction, or in a scale bar.
Prime Meridian
The imaginary line dividing Earth's surface into Eastern and Western Hemispheres, established as 0o at Greenwich, England; the starting point for standard time zones.
A representation of the spherical earth on the flat plane of a map.
A method of detecting distant objects and recording their features and properties by analysis of electromagnetic waves reflected from their surfaces.
The steepness of a landscape, calculated as the change in elevation divided by the distance covered.
Topographic Map
A map that uses contour lines and symbols to show the surface features of a particular area, including natural features like mountains, valleys, bodies of water, as well as human-made features like bridges, buildings, and roads.
All natural and human-made surface features of a particular area.