- The state of the atmosphere at a specific time and place.
- Large ocean wave created from an earthquake or volcanic eruption. Open ocean wave height may be as high as 1 meter. When entering shallow coastal waters, land configuration can amplify waves to heights of over 15 meters.
- Tropical Cyclone
- An intense cyclonic storm consisting of an organized mass of thunderstorms that develops over the warm oceans of the tropics. To be classified as a hurricane, winds speeds in the storm must be greater than 118 kilometers per hour. Another name for hurricane.
- The relief exhibited by a surface.
- Measurable period in which cause and effect occurs and systems function.
- A system is a set of interrelated components working together towards some kind of process.
- A pit like hole in found in areas of karst. These features are caused by the weathering of limestone or dolomite by subsurface drainage. Also called a sink or doline.
- (1) A body of saline water found on the Earth's continental surface.
(2) A portion of a ocean that is in close proximity to a continent.
- Science is a way of acquiring knowledge. To do science, one must follow a specific universal methodology. The central theme in this methodology is the testing of hypotheses and the ability to make predictions. The overall goal of science is to better understand nature and our Universe.
- Anything obtained from the environment to meet the needs of a species.
- Is defined as the force acting on a surface from another mass per unit area.
- (1) Refers to all the individuals of a given species in a specific area or region at a certain time. Its significance is more than that of a number of individuals because not all individuals are identical. Populations contain genetic variation within themselves and between other populations.
(2) A statistical population is the entire collection of people, animals, plants or things from which we may collect data from.
- Plate Tectonics
- Theory suggesting that the Earth's surface is composed of a number of oceanic and continental plates. Driven by convection currents in the mantle, these plates have the ability to slowly move across the Earth's plastic asthenosphere. This theory is very important to geology and geomorphology because it helps to explain the occurrence and formation of mountains, folds, faults, volcanoes, earthquakes, ocean trenches, and the mid-oceanic ridges.
- Ozone Hole
- Is a sharp seasonal decrease in stratospheric ozone concentration that occurs over Antarctica in the spring. First detected in the late 1970s, the ozone hole continues to appear as a result of complex chemical reaction in the atmosphere that involves CFCs.
- Tri-atomic oxygen that exists in the Earth's atmosphere as a gas. Ozone is highest in concentration in the stratosphere (10-50 kilometers above the Earth's surface) where it absorbs the Sun's ultraviolet radiation. Stratospheric ozone is produced naturally and helps to protect life from the harmful effects of solar ultraviolet radiation. Over the last few decades levels of stratospheric ozone have been declining globally, especially in Antarctica. Scientists have determined that chlorine molecules released from the decomposition of chlorofluorocarbons are primarily responsible for ozone destruction in the stratosphere.It is also abundant near the the Earth's surface in highly polluted urban centers. In these areas, it forms as a by product of photochemical smog, and is hazardous to human health.
- A body of saline water found occupying all or part of the Earth's ocean basins. There are five recognized oceans: the Atlantic, the Southern Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean.
- Remote sensing device found on Landsat satellites that acquires images in four spectral bands from visible to reflected infrared.
- Movement of organisms in an intentional way between two points in space. Many migrations are seasonal.
An abstraction of the real world that is used to depict, analyze, store, and communicate spatially organized information about physical and cultural phenomena.
A term used in geography that deals with the relative and absolution spatial position of natural and human-made phenomena.
- La Niña
Condition opposite of an El Niño. In a La Niña, the tropical Pacific trade winds become very strong and an abnormal accumulation of cold water occurs in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean.
Zone of low atmospheric pressure and ascending air located at or near the equator. Rising air currents are due to global wind convergence and convection from thermal heating. Location of the thermal equator.
An intense cyclonic storm consisting of an organized mass of thunderstorms that develops over the warm oceans of the tropics. To be classified as a hurricane, winds speeds in the storm must be greater than 118 kilometers per hour.
Short for human immunodeficiency virus. Any of various strains of a retrovirus of the genus Lentivirus that cause AIDS by infecting the body's immune system.
- High Pressure
An area of atmospheric pressure within the Earth's atmosphere that is above average. If this system is on the Earth's surface and contains circular wind flow and enclosed isobars it is called an anticyclone.
Heat is defined as energy in the process of being transferred from one object to another because of the temperature difference between them. In the atmosphere, heat is commonly transferred by conduction, convection, advection, and radiation.
A strip of land that juts seaward from the coastline. This feature normally bordered by a cliff.
The steepness of a slope as measured in degrees, percentage, or as a distance ratio (rise/run).
A geographic information system merges information in a computer database with spatial coordinates on a digital map.
The study natural and human constructed phenomena relative to a spatial dimension.
Process that changes the state of rest or motion of a body.
The deformation of rock layers because of compressive forces to form folds.
Is defined as the capacity for doing work. Energy can exist the following forms: radiation; kinetic energy; potential energy; chemical energy; atomic energy; electromagnetic energy; electrical energy; and heat energy.
- El Niño
Name given to the occasional development of warm ocean surface waters along the coast of Ecuador and Peru. When this warming occurs the tropical Pacific trade winds weaken and the usual upwelling of cold, nutrient rich deep ocean water off the coast of Ecuador and Peru is reduced. The El Niño normally occurs around Christmas and lasts usually for a few weeks to a few months. Sometimes an extremely warm event can develop that lasts for much longer time periods.
Climatic condition where water loss due to evapotranspiration is greater than water inputs through precipitation.
Conversion of marginal rangeland or cropland to a more desert like land type. Desertification can be caused by overgrazing, soil erosion, prolonged drought, or climate change.
Refers to the quantity of mass per unit volume. For gases, density involves the number of atoms and molecules per unit volume.
Area of low pressure in the atmosphere that displays circular inward movement of air. In the Northern Hemisphere circulation is counterclockwise, while Southern Hemisphere cyclones have clockwise wind patterns.
- Coriolis Force
An apparent force due to the Earth's rotation. Causes moving objects to be deflected to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern hemisphere. Coriolis force does not exist on the equator. This force is responsible for the direction of flow in meteorological phenomena like mid-latitude cyclones, hurricanes, and anticyclones.
General pattern of weather conditions for a region over a long period time (at least 30 years).
- Carbon Dioxide
Common gas found in the atmosphere. Has the ability to selectively absorb radiation in the longwave band. This absorption causes the greenhouse effect. The concentration of this gas has been steadily increasing in the atmosphere over the last three centuries due to the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, and land-use change. Some scientists believe higher concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will result in an enhancement of the greenhouse effect and global warming. The chemical formula for carbon dioxide is CO2.
The atmosphere is the vast gaseous envelope of air that surrounds the Earth. Its boundaries are not easily defined. The atmosphere contains a complex system of gases and suspended particles that behave in many ways like fluids. Many of its constituents are derived from the Earth by way of chemical and biochemical reactions.