Environmental Biology (7)
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What is weather
Weather is a set of physical conditions of the lower atmosphere such as temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind speed, cloud cover, and factors in a given area over a short period of time (hours or days)
What is Climate?
What 2 main factors determine climate?
-Climate is an area's general pattern of atmospheric conditions over a long period of time. (decades up to thousands of years)
- -Incoming solar energy
- -Earth's rotation
- -Global patterns of air and water movement
- -Gases in the atmosphere
- -The earth's surface features
What 3 major factors determine how air circulates in the lower atmosphere?
- -Uneven heating of the earth's surface by the sun
- -Rotation of the earth on it axis
- -Properties of air, water, and land
Boundary between an advancing warm air mass and the cooler one it is replacing
Leading edge of an advancing mass of cold air
What type of weather is associated with a LOW PRESSURE
Cloudy, Rainy, and Stormy Weather
What type of weather is associated with a HIGH PRESSURE
Fair Weather with clear skies and Sunny
What is Upwelling
An upward movement of ocean water
Describe the El Nino Southern Oscillation
Changes in weather patterns; prevailing winds blow east to west weaken or reverse direction, this allows the warmer waters of the Western Pacific to move toward the coast of South America which suppresses the normal upwellings of cold, nutrient-rich water. The decrease in nutrients reduces primary productivity and causes a sharp decline in the populations of some fish species.
Swirling, funnel shaped clouds that form over land; destroy houses and cause other serious damage. Occur when a large, dry, cold-air front moving southward from canada runs into a large mass of warm humid air moving northward from the Gulf of Mexico
Difference between Hurricanes and Typhoons
-Hurricanes form in the Atlantic Ocean
-Typhoons from in the Pacific Ocean
What are some ecological and economic benefits of tropical cyclones
Meteorologists can track tropical cyclones paths and wind speeds and warn people in areas likely to be hit by these violent storms. Tropical cyclones can flush bays and marshes which reduces brown tide (consisting of explosive growths of algae feeding on excess nutrients), increase growth of sea grass and increase production of commercially important species of shellfish and fish.
4 Main Greenhouse Gases
Water vapor, Carbon dioxide, Methane, Nitrous Oxide
Natural Greenhouse effect
Some of the heat escapes into space but some is absorb by molecules of greenhouse gases and emitted into lower atmosphere as even longer-wavelength infrared radiation. Some of this released energy radiates into space and some warms the lower atmosphere and the earth's surface.
Warming of the earth's lower atmosphere (troposphere) because of increases in the concentrations of 1 or more greenhouse gases. Can result in climate change that can last for decades to thousands of years
Rain Shadow as it Effect as it pertains to mountain ecosystems
Low precipitation on the leeward side of a mountain when prevailing winds flow up and over a high mountain or range of high mountains, creating semiarid and arid conditions on the leeward side of a high mountain range
Large terrestrial regions each characterized by certain types of climate and dominant plant life.
What Biomes comprise the United States
Costal chaparral and scrub, confiners forest, desert, prairie grassland and deciduous forest.
How does latitude affect biomes?
How does elevation affect biomes
-Latitudes decrese and elevtion increases (tropical forest> deciduous forest> coniferous forest>tundra>polar ice/snow)
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