geography vocabulary.txt

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geography vocabulary.txt
2012-02-24 15:39:59
physical geography

vocabulary words
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  1. Axis-
    an imaginary straight line through the center and the pole of Earth.
  2. Poles-
    the two points on the Earth's surface where the axis of rotation emerges.
  3. Geographic Grid-
    network of parallels and meridians, used to fix location on Earth.
  4. Parallel-
    east-west circle of Earth's surface lying in a plane parallel to the equator
  5. Meridian-
    north-south line on Earth's surface, connecting the poles.
  6. Equator-
    a parallel of latitude lying midway between the Earth's poles; it is designated latitude 0?.
  7. Latitude-
    arc of a meridian between the equator and a given point on the globe.
  8. Longitude-
    arc of a parallel between the prime meridian and a given point on the globe.
  9. Map Projection
    -a system of parallels and meridians representing the Earth's curved surface drawn on a flat surface.
  10. Mercator Projection-
    map projections with horizontal parallels and vertical meridians.
  11. Goode Projection-
    equal-area map projection often used to display information, such as climate or soil type.
  12. Polar Projection-
    map projection center on Earth's North or South Pole.
  13. Standard Time-
    time system based on the local time of a standard meridian and applied to belts of longitude extending roughly 71/2 degrees on either side of the meridian.
  14. Time Zones-
    zones or belts within which standard time is applied
  15. Winter Solstice-
    solstice occurring on December 21 or 22, when the subsolar point is at 231/2 S also termed December solstice.
  16. Summer Solstice-
    solstice occurring on June 21 or 22, when the subsolar point is at 231/2 N; also termed June solstice.
  17. Equinox-
    instant in time when the subsolar point falls on the Earth's equator and the circle of illumination passes through both poles.
  18. Electromagnetic radiation-
    wave-like form of energy radiated by any substance possessing heat; it travels through space at the speed of light.
  19. Absorption-
    process in which electromagnetic energy is transferred to heat energy when radiation strikes molecules or particles in a gas, liquid, or solid.
  20. Scattering-
    process in which particles and molecules deflect incoming solar radiation in different directions on collision; atmospheric scattering can redirect solar radiation back to space.
  21. Longwave Radiation-
    electromagnetic radiation in the range 3 to 50 um; the Earth emits Longwave radiation.
  22. Shortwave Radiation-
    electromagnetic energy in the range from 0.2 to 3um; most solar radiation is shortwave radiation.
  23. Insolation-
    the flow of solar energy intercepted by an exposed surface assuming a uniformly spherical Earth with no atmosphere.
  24. Ozone-
    form of oxygen with a molecule consisting of three atoms of oxygen; O3.
  25. Sensible Heat-
    an indication of the intensity of kinetic energy of molecular motion within a substance; it is measured by a thermometer
  26. Latent Heat-
    heat absorbed and stored in gas or liquid during the processes of evaporation, melting, or sublimation.
  27. Albedo-
    proportion of solar radiation reflected upward from a surface.
  28. Counterradiation-
    Longwave atmospheric radiation moving downward toward the Earth's surface.
  29. Greenhouse Effect-
    accumulation of heat in the lower atmosphere through the absorption of Longwave radiation from the Earth's surface.
  30. Net Radiation-
    the difference in energy flow between all radiant energy coming into a surface and all radiant energy leaving the surface.
  31. Transpiration-
    the process by which plants lose water to the atmosphere by evaporation through leaf pores.
  32. Evapotranspiration-
    the combined water loss to the atmosphere by evaporation from soil and transpiration from plants.
  33. Urban heat island-
    area at the center of a city that has higher temperature than surrounding areas.
  34. Temperature inversion-
    reversal of normal temperature pattern so that air temperature rises with altitude.
  35. Isotherm-
    line on a map drawn through points with the same temperature.
  36. Temperature gradient-
    rate of temperature change along a selected line or direction.
  37. Lapse rate-
    rate at which air temperature drops with increasing altitude.
  38. Troposphere-
    lowest layer of the atmosphere in which temperature falls steadily with increasing height
  39. Aerosols-
    tiny particles present in the atmosphere
  40. Stratosphere-
    layer of atmosphere directly above troposphere here temperature slowly increase with height.
  41. Hydrosphere-
    total water realm of the Earth's surface including the oceans surface water of the lands ground water and water held in the atmosphere.
  42. Precipitation-
    particles if liquid water or ice that fall from the atmosphere and may reach the ground.
  43. Humidity-
    the amount of water vapor in the air.
  44. Dew-point temperature-
    temperature at which air with a given humidity will reach saturation when cooled without changing its pressure
  45. Adiabatic principle-
    the physical principle that a gas cools as it expands and warm as it compressed, provided that no heat flows in or out of the gas during the process.
  46. Dry adiabatic lapse rate-
    rate at which rising air is cooled by expansion when no condensation is occurring 10 C per 1000m (3.5 F per 1000ft)
  47. Wet adiabatic lapse rate-
    rate at which rising air is cooled by expansion when condensation is occurring ranges from 4 to 9 C per 1000m (2.2 to 4.9 F per ft)
  48. Condensation nucleus-
    a tiny bit of solid matter (aerosol) in the atmosphere on which water vapor condenses to form a tiny water droplet.
  49. Orographic precipitation-
    precipitation induced when moist air is forced over a mountain barrier.
  50. Convectional precipitation-
    precipitation induced when warm, moist air is heated at the ground surface, rises, cools, and condenses to form water droplets, raindrops and eventually rainfall,
  51. Thunderstorm-
    intense local storm associated with a tall dense cumulonimbus cloud in which there are very strong updrafts of air.
  52. Air pollutant-
    an unwanted substance injected into the atmosphere from the Earth's surface by either natural or human activities includes aerosols, gases, and particulates.
  53. atmospheric pressure-
    pressure exerted by the atmosphere because of the force of gravity acting upon the overlying column of air
  54. barometer-
    instrument that measures atmospheric pressure
  55. isobars-
    change in atmospheric pressure measured along a line at right angles to the isobars
  56. pressure gradient-
    lines on a map drawn through all points having the same atmospheric pressure
  57. convection loop-
    circuit of moving fluid such as air or water created by unequal heating of fluid
  58. Coriolis Effect-
    effect of the Earth's rotation that acts like a force to deflect a moving object on the Earth's surface to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere
  59. cyclone-
    center of low atmospheric pressure
  60. anticyclone-
    center of high atmospheric pressure
  61. Hadley Cell-
    low-latitude atmospheric circulation cell with rising air over the equatorial trough and sinking air over subtropical high-pressure belts
  62. Intertropical convergence zone ITCZ-
    zone of convergence of air masses along the equatorial trough
  63. subtropical high-pressure belt-
    belt of persisent high atmoshpheric pressure centered about on lat 30 N and S
  64. polar front-
    front lying between cold polar air masses and warm tropical air masses
  65. geostrophic wind-
    wind at hight levels above the Earth's surface blowing parallel with a system of straight parallel isobars
  66. Rossby waves-
    horizontal undulatios in the flow path of the upper-westerlies alos known as upper air waves
  67. jet stream-
    high-speed air flow in narrow bands within the upper=air westerlies and along certain other global latitude zones at high levels
  68. ocean current-
    persistent, dominantly horizontal flow of water
  69. air mass-
    extensive body of air in which temperature and moisture characteristics are fairly uniform over a large area
  70. front-
    surface contact between two unlike air masses
  71. cold front-
    moving weather front along which a cold air mass movers underneath a warm air mass lifting the war air mass
  72. warm front-
    moving weather front along which a warm air mass slides over a cold air mass leading to production of stratiform clouds and precipitation
  73. occluded front-
    weather front along which a moving cold front has overtaken a warm front forcing the warm air mass aloft
  74. cyclonic storm-
    intense weather distrubance within a moving cyclone generating strong winds, cloudiness, and precipitation
  75. wave cyclone-
    traveling cyclone of the the midlatitudes involving interaction of cold and warm air masses along sharply defined fronts
  76. tornado-
    small very intense wind vortex with extremely low air pressure in the center formed between a dense cumulonimbus cloud in promixity to a cold front
  77. tropical cyclone-
    intense traveling cyclone of tropical and subtropical latitudes accompanied by high winds and heavy rainfall
  78. storm surge-
    rapid rise of coastal water level accompanying the onshore arrival of a tropical cyclone