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79 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
patterns of atmospheric circulation, temperature, and precipitation over short time periods such as hours to days
solar radiation
vernal equinox
March 20 or 21 on the N. Hemisphere

time when the perpendicular rays of the Sun strike the equator, and the Sun is directly overhead at the equator
autumnal equinox
September 22 or 23

time when the perpendicular rays of the Sun strike the equator, and the Sun is directly overhead at the equator
Tropic of Cancer
parallel of 23.5 N latitude
Tropic of Capricorn
the parallel of 23.5 S latitude
summer solstice
for places in the n. hemisphere, june 20 or 21
the date when the sun is directly overhead along the tropic of cancer
(longest day of year)
for places in the s. hemisphere, dec. 21 or 22, directly overhead at noon at the tropic of capricorn
winter solstice
S. Hemi = june 20 or 21
sun at noon is directly overhead at tropic of cancer

N. Hemi=dec 21 or 22 directly overhead at tropic of capricorn (shortest day of year)
short waves
radiant energy emitted by the sun in wavelengths about .2 to .5 microns
long waves
radiant energy emitted by the sun

5 to 30 microns
greenhouse effect
atmospheric warming that results from the passage of incoming shortwave energy and the capture of outgoing longwave energy
circulation in a fluid caused by temperature-induced density differences, such as the rising of warm air in the atmosphere.
horizontal movements of air or substances by wind or ocean currents
water changing from a gas state (vapor) to a liquid or solid state
relative humidity
the actual water content of the air expressed as a percentage of how much water the air could hold at a given temp
Convectional precipitation
air warmer than its surroundings rises, expands, and cools by this expansion (cloudy) pg 56
orographic precipitation
wind forces air up and over mountains pg.56
frontal precipitation
air is forced up a boundary (front) between cold and warm air masses pg 56
cold front
the boundary where a cold air mass advances against a warmer one

blue, biting teeth
warm front
the boundary where warm air mass advances against cooler air

warm, red, little half circles
average atmospheric pressure
measured with a barometer. in mbs
coriolis effect
the tendency of an object moving across earth's surface to be deflected from its apparent path as a result of earths rotation
air pressure
varies with altitude, the higher you go, the less air exists above you. it is greater at sea level than in a mountain
highs and lows of air pressure
-air descends in regions of high pressure
-air rises in areas of low pressure
-wind blows from areas of high to low pressure
ITCZ intertropoical convergence zone
zone between the tropics of cancer and capricorn where surface winds converge
polar pressure zone
intense cold caused by meager insolation creates dense air and high pressure
-very little moisture
an intense tropical cyclone that develops over warm ocean areas in the tropics and subtropics, primarily during the warm season.
in pacific = typhoons
indian ocean =cyclones
el nino
a circulation change in the eastern tropical pacific ocean, from westward flow to eastward flow that occurs every few years
a rapidly roatating column of air usually associated with a thunderstorm
the totality of weather conditions over a period of several decades or more
vertical climate zones
-tierra helada

-tierra fria

-tierra templada

-tierra caliente
tierra helada
snow line 14000 ft below 20 degrees
grazing 10000 ft, bottom is tree line 20-55 degrees
tierra fria
potatoes cerals apples, vegies 6000 ft
55-65 degrees
tierra templada
coffee citrus fruit field crops 3000 ft 65-75 degrees
tierra caliente
bananas rice sugar cane pineapple sea level 75-80 degrees
A (tropical, low latitude)
Af - Humid tropical, wet each month

Aw seasonal humid tropical, distinct wet and dry season
Bw - desert, <250 mm

Bs - Semi arid, 251-500 mm
C (warm mid latitude)
Cfa - Humid subtropical

Cfb - marine west coast, cloudy wet

Cs - mediterranean, hot dry summers, mild wet winters
D (cold mid latitude)
Dfa - humid continental
global warming
a general increase in temperatures over a period of at least several decades believed to be caused by increased levels of c2o in earths atmosphere
the study of the shape of earth's surface and the processes that modify it
tectonic plates
peices of the earths rigid crust
a vent in earths surface where lava emerges
igneous rocks
rocks formed by crystallization of magma
sedimentary rocks
rocks formed thru accumulation of many small rock fragments at earths surface
metamorphic rocks
rocks formed by modification of other rock types, usually by heat and or pressure
vast areas of continental crust; some have not been significantly eroded or changed for millions of years
normal faults
rocks that break apart because they are stretched
the chemical and or mechanical breakdown of rocks into smaller particles at earths surface
continental glaciers
a thick glacier hundreds to thousands of kilometers across large enough to be only partly guided by underlying topography (surface relief)
an accumulation of rock and sediment deposited by a glacier, usually in or near the melting area
outwash plain
an accumulation of sand and gravel carried by meltwater streams from a glacier, usually deposite immediately beyond the terminal moraine from the glacier
U shaped valleys
as an alpine glacier flows thru a V shpaed valley it scours away the rock and rounds the valley bottom
coastal erosion
an especially active area of erosion because an enormous amount of energy is concentrated on the shorelines from pounding waves
an extremely long wave created by an underwater earthquake
quantities of water in storage
oceans have 97 percent, the rest is in glaciers, then streams, lakes, and atmosphere
parent material
the mineral matter from which soil is formed
dynamic, porous layer of mineral and organic matter
soil horizons
O - organic

pg 146
deciduous trees
low nat. fertility
S. America, tropical forest
black soil
high organic matter
neutral/slightly basic
high natural fertility
mid USA
pines and deciduous
A = 18-24"
low natural fertility
pine trees
E (white)
low naturla fertility
N. MI and Wisc. and NE USA
lots of clay
high fertility
hard to manage
E. Texas and Cali
deciduos trees
A= 4-6"
slightly acidic
treat well and will be very productive
Midwest, ohio and S. MI
A = 1-20'
C = acidic
blows away or catches fire
soil fertility
the ability of a soil to suppot plant frowth thru making nutrients available
a process of ecological change in which organisms modify their immediate environments in ways that allow other species to establish themselves and dominate
tropical rainforest
has a top layer, or canopy, and 2 or more layers beneath that. Each layer has a diff. dominant species and associated animal communities
large areas of natural vegetation
broadleaf deciduous forest
exists in subtropical and midlatitude humid environments where seasonally cold conditions limit plant growth
much less diverse than tropical rain forests,but still support many species
boreal forest
cold, continental midlatitude climates. northern hemi.
temperate forest
west coasts of n and s america. lush evergreen coniferous forests grow.
moderate temps and ample rainfall all year round
few species
large seasonally dry areas in tropical Africa and S. America.
fire is common
grasses and scattered trees
in mediterranean climates
shrub woodland dominated by hard leaved trees and shrubs that whithstand the severe summer aridity.
fire is common
tall grass
short grass
plants adapted to moisture stress (deserts)