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Transcript of Chapter 4
troposphere: A layer of the atmosphere closest to the surface of Earth, extending up to approximately 16 km (10 miles) and containing most of the atmosphere’s nitrogen, oxygen, and water vapor.
stratosphere: The layer of the atmosphere above the troposphere, extending roughly 16 to 50 km (10–31 miles) above the surface of Earth.
albedo: The percentage of incoming sunlight reflected from a surface.
saturation point: The maximum amount of water vapor in the air at a given temperature.
adiabatic cooling: The cooling effect of reduced pressure on air as it rises higher in the atmosphere and expands.
adiabatic heating: The heating effect of increased pressure on air as it sinks toward the surface of Earth and decreases in volume.
latent heat release: The release of energy when water vapor in the atmosphere condenses into liquid water.
Hadley cell: A convection current in the atmosphere that cycles between the equator and 30° N and 30° S.
intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ): An area of Earth that receives the most intense sunlight; where the ascending branches of the two Hadley cells converge.
polar cell: A convection cell in the atmosphere, formed by air that rises at 60° N and 60° S and sinks at the poles, 90° N and 90° S.
Coriolis effect: The deflection of an object’s path due to the rotation of Earth.
gyre: A large-scale pattern of water circulation that moves clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
upwelling: The upward movement of ocean water toward the surface as a result of diverging currents.
thermohaline circulation: An oceanic circulation pattern that drives the mixing of surface water and deep water.
El NiÑo–Southern Oscillation (ENSO): The periodic changes in winds and ocean currents, causing cooler and wetter conditions in the southeastern United States and unusually dry weather in southern Africa and Southeast Asia.
rain shadow: A region with dry conditions found on the leeward side of a mountain range as a result of humid winds from the ocean causing precipitation on the windward side. Key Terms Cont. biome: A geographic region categorized by a particular combination of average annual temperature, annual precipitation, and distinctive plant growth forms on land, and a particular combination of salinity, depth, and water flow in water.
permafrost: An impermeable, permanently frozen layer of soil.
boreal forest: A forest made up primarily of coniferous evergreen trees that can tolerate cold winters and short growing seasons.
temperate rainforest: A coastal biome typified by moderate temperatures and high precipitation.
temperate seasonal forest: A biome with warmer summers and colder winters than temperate rainforests and dominated by deciduous trees.
woodland/shrubland: A biome characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters.
temperate grassland/cold desert: A biome characterized by cold, harsh winters, and hot, dry summers.
tropical rainforest: A warm and wet biome found between 20? N and 20° S of the equator, with little seasonal temperature variation and high precipitation.
tropical seasonal forest/savanna: A biome marked by warm temperatures and distinct wet and dry seasons.
subtropical desert: A biome prevailing at approximately 30 N and 30° S, with hot temperatures, extremely dry conditions, and sparse vegetation.
littoral zone: The shallow zone of soil and water in lakes and ponds where most algae and emergent plants grow.
limnetic zone: A zone of open water in lakes and ponds.
phytoplankton: Floating algae.
profundal zone: A region of water where sunlight does not reach, below the limnetic zone in very deep lakes.
benthic zone: The muddy bottom of a lake, pond, or ocean.
freshwater wetland: An aquatic biome that is submerged or saturated by water for at least part of each year, but shallow enough to support emergent vegetation.
salt marsh: A marsh containing nonwoody emergent vegetation, found along the coast in temperate climates.
mangrove swamp: A swamp that occurs along tropical and subtropical coasts, and contains salt-tolerant trees with roots submerged in water.
intertidal zone: The narrow band of coastline between the levels of high tide and low tide.
coral reef: The most diverse marine biome on Earth, found in warm, shallow waters beyond the shoreline.
coral bleaching: A phenomenon in which algae inside corals die, causing the corals to turn white.
photic zone: The upper layer of water in the ocean that receives enough sunlight for photosynthesis.
aphotic zone: The layer of ocean water that lacks sufficient sunlight for photosynthesis.
chemosynthesis: A process used by some bacteria in the ocean to generate energy with methane and hydrogen sulfide. Global Climates and Biomes