World Geography Vocabulary

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World Geography Vocabulary
2010-10-04 19:45:02
vocab geography

Vocabulary for World Geography
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  1. meteorology
    the study of weather and weather forcasting; the study of places and human activities over time and the various geographic factors that have shaped them.
  2. cartography
    studying and making maps
  3. geographic information system (GIS)
    computer tools that process and organize data and satellite images with other information gathered by geographers and other scientists.
  4. desalination
    turning ocean water into fresh water by removing salt
  5. chaparral
    thickets of woody bushes and short trees
  6. climate
    term for weather patterns that an area typically experiences over a long period of time
  7. coniferous
    tress such as evergreens that have cones and needle-shaped leaves and keep their foliage throughout the winter
  8. current
    cold and warm streams of water that move through the ocean
  9. deciduous
    trees, usually broad leaved such as oak and maple that lose their foliage in autumn
  10. El Niño
    a periodic change in the pattern of ocean currents and water temperatures in the mid-Pacific region
  11. equinox
    one of two days (around March 21 & Sept. 23) on which the sun is directly above the equator, making the length of day and night equal
  12. greenhouse effect
    the capacity of certain gases in the atmosphere to trap heat, thereby warming the earth
  13. global warming
    gradual warming of the earth and its atmosphere that may be caused in part by pollution and an increase in the greenhouse effect
  14. leeward
    opposite side of the mountain (facing away from the directions the wind is blowing)
  15. weather
    condition of the atmosphere in one place during a short period of time
  16. permafrost
    frozen subsoil (below a thin layer of surface soil that thaws in the summer)
  17. rain shadow (effect)
    causes dry areas (deserts, too) to develop on the leeward sides of mountain ranges
  18. revolution (of the earth)
    one trip around the sun (a few hours more than 365 days)
  19. rotation (of the earth)
    one spin of the earth on its axis (takes a little less than 24 hours)
  20. windward
    the side of the mountain range facing the wind
  21. solstice
    one of two says (about June 21 & Dec. 22) on which the sun's rays strike directly on the Tropic of Cancer or Capricorn, marking the beginning of summer or winter
  22. culture
    way of life a group of people who share similar beliefs and customs
  23. cultural diffusion
    process of spreading new knowledge and skills from one culture to another
  24. culture hearth
    warly centers of civilization whose ideas and practices spread to surrounding areas
  25. death rate
    number of deaths per year for every 1000 people
  26. democracy
    any system of gov't in which leaders rule with the consent of the citizens
  27. developed country
    countries having much technology and manufacturing; most people work in manufacturing or service industries and enjoy high standard living
  28. developing country
    working toward greater manufacturing and technology use
  29. doubling time
    number of years it takes a population to double in size
  30. ethnic group
    people who share a common language, history, place of origin, or a combination of these elements
  31. free trade
    the removal of barriers so that goods can flow freely among countries
  32. industrialization
    spread of industry
  33. language family
    large groups of languages having similar roots
  34. market economy
    individuals and private groups make decisions about what to produce. Shoppers choose what products they want and businesses make more of what they think customers like
  35. mixed economy
    one in which the gov't supports and regulates free enterprise through decisions that affect the market place
  36. population density
    average number of people living on a square mile or square km of land
  37. oligarchy
    any system of gov't in which a small group holds the power
  38. population distribution
    pattern of human settlement
  39. traditional economy
    habit and custom determine the rules for all economic activity. Individuals cannot make choices based on what they want.
  40. autocracy
    any system of gov't in which power and authority to rule belong to a single individual
  41. birth rate
    number of births per year for every 1000 people
  42. command economy
    gov't owns the means of production -- land labor, capital (machinary, factories), and business managers -- and controls the distribution of goods