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145 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
thin, gaseous veil surrounding the Earth held to the planet by gravity
intricate, interconnected web that links all organisms w/ their physical environment.

area in which physical and chemical factors form context of life.(soils,ecosystems,biomes)
closed system
system that is shut off from the surrounding environment so that it is self contained
*Earth is a closed system
energy cycle
energy comes from thermonuclear reactions deep w/ in sun. come through outermost edge of earths atmosphere being transformed into various forms--kinetic(motion) and potential(position)
geothermal energy
the enerdy in steam and hot water heated by subsurface magma near groundwater.
refers to the heat from Earths interior
energy is used in Iceland, New Zealand, italy and N. Cali
earths waters exist in atmosphere
open system- water exists in 3 states:solid, liquid, gas
3 sources of energy for earth
-thermal energy
-tidal energy
-short wavelength solar radiation
law (scientific)
theory that is proven true
open system
not self contained:inputs of energy and matter flow into the system and output of energy and matter flow from the system.
parts function in an interrelated manner acting together in a way that gives each system its character
positive feedback
feedback that encourages increased response of system.further production in the system stimulates the growth of system.
ex. good reviews affecting ticket sales
negative feedback
feedback info discourages response in system.
further production in system decreases the growth of system
causes self regulation in natural system, stabilizing system.
ex. weightloss diet- stand on scales and results act as negative feedback thus provide guidance as to how to manage
natural or artificial place where water is collected and stored for use
unit of measurement
smallest unit of light energy
study of natual world
scientific method
an approach that applies common sense in an organized and objective manner; based on observation, generalization,formulation; and testing of hypothesis & development of theory
any ordered, interrelated set of things and their attributes, linked by flows of energy and matter as distint from the surrounding environment outside the system
mass that assumes physical shape and occupy space
verification of a hypothesis after testing represent thruly broad general prinicples--unifying concepts that tie together laws that goven nature
--positive feedback
blackbody radiatior
ideal blackbody absorbs all radiant energy that it recieves and subsequently emits all that it recieves
--earth radiates all that it absorbs
3x10 8
c= velocity of light
electromagnetic radiation
sun radiation energy is shortwave radiation

earths radiation energy is longwave
reflective quality or intrinsic brightness of a service
-darker colors-lower albedo
-ligher colors-higher albedo

21% reflected by clouds
measurement of a wave; the distance btw crests of successsive waves
# waves passing a fized point in 1 sec.
charged particle
makes up molecules
same as loudness corresponds to how much the wave is compressed sometimes called pressure amplitude
form of energy that flows from one system or object to another because the two are at diff. temps

-changes in temp are caused by the absorption or emission of heat energy.
measure of the average kinetic energy(motion) of individual molecules in matter.
thermal energy
heat energy
(cooking, heating)
motions of molecules in atoms
measure it by theometer
the process of forcibly joining positively charged hydrogen and helium mnuclei under extreme temp. and pressure; occurs naturally in thermonuclear reactions with in stars, such as sun.
separating particles
energy is released
potential energy
coal stores chemical and releases kinetic
kinetic energy
energy of motion in a body;derived from the vibration of the bodys own movement and stated as temperature
light emissoin
positively charged particle
assimilation of radiation by molecules of matter and its conversion from one from of energy to another

hotter surface the shorter the wavelengths that are emitted
reflective quality or intrinsic brightness, of a surface
%of insolation that is reflected
scattering of radiation
gas molecules redirect radiation, changing the direction of the lights movement WITH OUT ALTERING ITS WAVELENGHTS.

7% of earths reflectivity(albedo)

dust particles, pollutants, cloud droplets, and water vapor scatter as well.
Raleigh Scattering
relates wavelenghts to the size of molecules
--shorter the wavelenght, the greater the scattering;and the longer the wavelength, the less the scattering.
--shorter wavelengths of visible light(blues and violets)scatter the most and dominate the lower atmosphere.

angle of the suns rays determine the thickness of atmosphere they must passs through to reach the surface.
the deepest inner portion of Earth, representing one -third of its entire mass
differentiated into two zones--solid innercore surrounded by a dense,molten, fluid metallic-iron outer core
transfer of heat from one object to another
physical mixing involves a strong verticle motion
ex. temp diff. btw land and water, heating of surfaces and overlying air, soil temp
molecule to molecule transfer of heat energy as it diffuses through a substance.

as molecules warm, their vibration increases, causing collisions that produce motion in neighboring molecules, thus transferring heat from warmer to cooler materials
ex. atmospheric and oceanic circulation,air mass movements and weather systems, internal motions deep in the earth
region where an object stops being transparent to ordinary light. Because stars are believed to have no solid surface, the photosphere is typically used to describe the Sun or another star's visual surface.
convective layer
outermost layer of the Sun's interior. Energy is transferred there in convection currents, rather than energetic photons. Once hot gas convects up to the photosphere, it emits photons into space, cools, and settles back into the Sun.
Ether is the general name for a class of chemical compounds which contain an ether group — an oxygen atom connected to two (substituted) alkyl groups.
Interferometry is the science of combining (interfering) two or more waves, which creates an output wave different from the input waves; this in turn can be used to explore the differences between the input waves

An interferometer works on the principle that two waves that coincide with the same phase will add to each other while two waves that have opposite phases will cancel each other out, assuming both have the same amplitude. In the beginning, most interferometers used white light sources
luminosity is the amount of energy a body radiates per unit time. It is typically expressed in the SI units watts, in the cgs units ergs per second, or in terms of solar luminosities, ; that is, how many times more energy the object radiates than the Sun, whose luminosity is 3.827×1026 W.
The watt (symbol: W) is the SI derived unit of power, equal to one joule per second. A human being climbing a flight of stairs is doing work at the rate of about 200 watts; a highly-trained athlete can work at up to approximately 2000 watts for brief periods. An automobile engine produces 25 000 watts (approximately 30 horsepower) while cruising

.239 cal/sec
cant see with visible eye
cause by shockwaves
The chromosphere (literally, "color sphere") is a thin layer of the Sun's atmosphere just above the photosphere, roughly 10,000 kilometers deep (approximating to, if a little less than, the diameter of the Earth). The chromosphere is more visually transparent than the photosphere
low density gas
caused by fusions and reactions from core
aura borealis
The ecliptic is the apparent path the Sun traces out along the sky — independent of Earth's rotation — in the course of the year. More accurately, it is the intersection of the celestial sphere with the ecliptic plane, which is the geometric plane containing the mean orbit of the Earth around the Sun.
body of rock that conducts groundwater in usable amounts
permeable layer of rock
drainage basin
ridges that form drainage divides
ridges are the dividing lines that control into which basin precipation drains
--open system
input:precipation and minerals and rocks
output: water and sediment into other bodies of water
water beneath the surface that is beyond the soil root zone; major source of potable water
not an independant source of water, its tied to surface supplies for recharge.
water table
upper limit of the water that collects in the zone of saturation
contact surface between the zone of saturation and zone of aeration
slope of water table controls groundwater movement
large mass of ice resting on land or floating as an iceshelf in the sea.
open system
glacier ice
determines whether the glacier expands or retreats
mineral and rock
sediments (snow&firn) are pressured and recrystallized into a dense metamorphic rick
mass balance
zone where accumulation gain balances ablation(losses) is equillibrium line.
glacier achieves positive net balance of mass-grows larger- during cold periods with adequate precipitation
colder times it grows smaller-retreats and it is a negative net balance
coriolis effect
apparant deflection of moving objects(wind, ocean currents) from traveling in a straight path, in proportion to the speed of earths rotation at different latitudes.
max at poles
zero at equator
wind moving parallel to land in Southern direction (WARM)
excess water gravitates downward
deep currents that flow vertically and along ocean floor & travel full extent of ocean basis carrying heat and salinity
wind moving parallel to land in Northern direction (cold)
surface water is swept away from coast
ekman transport
winds parallel to coast create an ekman transport either toward or away from land, depending on wind direction
layer within a body of water or air where the temperature changes rapidly with depth.
El Nino/La Nina
-warm weather pools in w.pacific near indonesia
-upwelling occurs in e. pacific toward peru.
-high rainfall and warm water near Indonesia
-low rainfall and cool water near Peru
NADW (north atlantic deep water)
is a water mass, built in the Atlantic Ocean. It is largely formed in the Labrador Sea and in the Greenland Sea, where the North Atlantic drift ends in the northeast Atlantic (northeast of Iceland) by the sinking of dense overflow water from the Greenland Sea. It runs around the southern end of Greenland and then follows the coast of Canada down to the coast of the United States where it turns a bit east, out from the coast and then continues southeast, past the eastern tip of South America
ocean currents are driven by the circulation around subtropical high pressure cells in both hemispheres

offset toward te western side of each ocean basin
concentration of natural elements and compounds dissolved in solution

measured by weight
complex daily oscillation in sea level produced by gravitational pull of both sun and moon

moon pulls water and solid to make tidal bulges
earth rotates through 2 bulges
flood tides
2 rising (high tides)
high tides when sun and moon are pulling bulges on opposite sides
ebb tides
2 falling (low tides)
low tides when sun and moon are pulling bulges side by side
adiabatic lapse rate
dry rate
rate at which dry air cools by expansion or heats by compression. "dry" refers to air that is less saturated
adiabatic lapse rate
moist rate
rate at which an ascending air parcel that is moist(saturated) cools by expansion or that a descending parcel warms by compression
adiabatic proccess
degree of stability or instability requires 2 temps: temp inside an air parcel and temp in the surrounding the parcel.
environmental lapse rate
actual lapse rate at a particular place and time
-pressure decreases, rises to higher altitudes, density decreases (consuming sensible heat=COOLING0
-air parcel sinks toward surface, pressure increases, compresses and produces sensible heat=WARM)
affects the atmospheric albedo
sulfate aerosols:sulfur dioxide- acts as insolation-reflecting haze in clear sky conditions..result is atmospheric absorption by pollutants
measures air pressure
cloud is a visible mass of condensed droplets or frozen crystals suspended in the atmosphere above the surface of the Earth or another planetary body.
cold front
leading edge of an advancing cold air mass, identified on a weather map as a line marked with triangular spikes pointing in the direction of frontal movement
change in matter of a substance to a denser phase, such as a gas (or vapor) to a liquid. Condensation commonly occurs when a vapor is cooled to a liquid, but can also occur if a vapor is compressed into a liquid, or undergoes a combination of cooling and compression.
dew point
temp at which given mass of air becomes saturated,holding all the water it can hold. any further cooling or addition of water vapor results in condensation
latent heat
energy stored in water vapor evaporates
heat energy releases when water changes back to solid

amount of energy in the form of heat that is required for a material to undergo a change of phase
mesospheres outer boundary, is the coldest portion of the atmosphere
stratospheres outer boundary, temps increase -70f to 32f
final layer encountered by incoming solar radiation. surges through atmosphere to surface.
home of biosphere
bulk of atmosphere (clouds, pollution, lifeforms)
upper limit, exact elevation varies with season, latitude, and surface temps
"heat sphere"
during periods of less active sun where there are fewer sun spots and coronal bursts, it may lower in altitude
active sun causes the layer to swell and creates frictional drag on sattelites
warm front
leading edge of an advancing warm air mass, which is unable to push cooler, passive air out of the way, thends to push the cooler, underlying air in to a wedge shape
hadley cell
decending cool dry air
dominates tropical atmosphere
The Hadley cell carries heat and moisture from the tropics to the northern and southern mid-latitudes.
intertropical convergence zone
thermally caused low-pressure area that almost girdles earth, with air converging and ascending all along its extent
formed by the vertical ascent of warm, moist air from the latitudes above and below the equator.

The air is drawn into the intertropical convergence zone by the action of the Hadley cell
polar front
siginificant zone of contrast btw cold and warm air masses

boundary between the polar cell and the Ferrel cell in each hemisphere. At this boundary a sharp gradient in temperature occurs between these two air masses, each at very different temperatures.
1st thermodynamic law
The increase in the internal energy of a thermodynamic system is equal to the amount of heat energy added to the system minus the work done by the system on the surroundings.
2nd thermodynamic law
The entropy of an isolated system not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium

*expression of the fact that over time, differences in temperature, pressure, and density tend to even out in a physical system which is isolated from the outside world. Entropy is a measure of how far along this evening-out process has progressed.
air pressure
preesure produced by the motion, size and number of gas molecules in the air and exerted on surfaces in contact with the air.
Relative Humidity
ratio of water vapor actually in the air compared to the max water vapor in the air could hold at the temp. %
the direct change of ice to water vapor
location of a place on Earth north or south of the Equator.
location of a place on Earth east or west of a north-south line called the Prime Meridian.
either of the two events of the year when the sun is at its greatest distance from the equatorial plane
event when the Sun can be observed to be directly above the equator. The event occurs twice a year, around March 20 and September 23. More technically, the equinox happens when the Sun is at one of two opposite points
energy balance
energy in-energy out
linear speed of movement of wave
specific heat
increase of temp in a material when energy is absorbed, water has a higher specific heat than comparable volume of soil or rock
ferrel cell
rising warm moist air
event when the Sun can be observed to be directly above the equator. The event occurs twice a year, around March 20 and September 23. More technically, the equinox happens when the Sun is at one of two opposite points
-parcel of warm air, moist air rises cools and condenses into cumulus louds releasing latent heat
-h20 drops reevaporate, moist air continues to rise & cloud grows taller
-latent heat released keeps interior of could warmer, cloud fed by rising air
-updrafts keep water droplets & ice crystals suspended- no prec.lightning/thunder
-above freezing level could particles grow larger eventually becoming heavy
-drier air from outside the cloud is drawn in, evaporation occurs chiling air, which becomes cold and heavy creating downshaft
-downdraft and updraft constitute cell
-storm how most intense; top flattens out
-storm updrafts and downdrafts create turbulance
-heavy rainfall and hail, lighting
-gust front may force move warm air upward enhancing the updrafts and feeding storm
-updrafts weakens as gust front moves away from cell
-downdrafts now dominate interior of cell
-updrafts cut off;moist air no longer risinng into cell
artificial lake, used to store water for various uses. Reservoirs are created first by building a sturdy dam, usually out of cement, earth, rock, or a mixture of all three. Once the dam is completed, a stream is allowed to flow behind it and eventually fill it to capacity
Under the thin oceanic plates the asthenosphere is usually much nearer the seafloor surface, and at mid-ocean ridges it rises to within a few kilometres of the ocean floor.
iron and nickle- solid and molten/warm
properties may vary with temp(mesosphere: hot by stronger due to high pressure
convergent margin
2 plates moving toward one another
one plate moves under another
ocean floor;
moving under another takes sediment with it uder plate and returns to surface via volcanic mountain
divergent margin
spreading centers
2 plates move apart and new material added to lithosphere

uplift of broad area
crust heated and expanded
subduction zone
area on Earth where two tectonic plates meet and move towards one another, with one sliding underneath the other and moving down into the mantle
sum of all chemical processes, reactions in an organism by which it grows and maintains itself
the ordering and organizing of atoms and molecules to make larger molecules, rearranging larger molecules into organs and body parts to accomplish specific functions to maintain the organism
creation of new organisms duplicate organsims which create/replace older organisms
the change that species undergo through time eventually leading to new species
measure of order increases as disorder increases
complex of chemical compound enclosed in membrane w/ complex structure
organized collection of cells
sets of interacting populations
ecological community of animals plants,fungi and microorganisms together with its physical environ.
the pathway that energy and matter are moved from one organism to another
bottom of foodchains single cell"selffeeders"
*links living world with nonliving world*
food web
map of all interconnections among food chains for an ecosystem
organisms that obtain energy from chemincal compounds
found in places where there is no light
tubeworms chemosynthic bact.
sum of all chemical reactions in an organism by which it grows and maintains itself
2 types

-breaking down larger molecules into smaller ones

-creation of larger molecules to smaller ones
breaks down bonds of simple sugars and releases energy
organiing of atoms and small molecules to make larger molecules
our bodies are composed of organs which are composed of tissues, cells, molecules
creation of new individuals and passing genetic info to offspring
mixing of 2 diff. individuals genes to create genetically diff. offspring
replication of individual genes to create a genetically identical offspring
growth and reproduction
all the processes necessary for life decrease the amount of useable energy
late jurassic 150myrsago
acient wing
half dino/bird
study of how populations change through time
how new species are formed and extinct
4 conditions of evoultion
w/in population organisms must differ
phenotype:actual trait org. displays (physical)
genotype: genetic makeup of individual
differences must be passed on to offspring
struggle for existance
majority of offspring die in nature
variation leads to differences in survival and reproduction

**suitability to a particular environment
evolution flow diagram
inheritance-->genotype-->phenotype <--(fitness)natural selection