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Level 7

Chapter 7


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weather
a local area's short term temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind speed, cloud cover, and other physical conditions of the lower atmosphere as measured over hours or days.
climate
an area's general pattern of atmospheric or weather conditions measured over long periods of time ranging from decades to thousands of years.
currents
mass movements of surface water caused by prevailing winds blowning over the oceans.
greenhouse gases
gases that allow mostly visible light and some infrared radiation and ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun to pass through the atmosphere.
greenhouse effect
the natural warming effect of the troposphere
rain shadow effect
The loss of moisture from the landscape and the resulting semiarid or arid conditions on the leeward side of high mountains causes the rain shadow effect. Sometimes this leads to the formation of deserts such as Death Valley in the United States, which is in the rain shadow of Mount Whitney,
desert
annual precipitation is low and often scattered unevenly throughout the year
grasslands
occur mostly in the interiors of continents in areas too moist for deserts and too dry for forests
permafrost
underground soil in which captured water stays frozen for more than 2 consecutive years.
forest systems
lands dominated by trees. The three main types of forest—tropical, temperate, and cold (northern coniferous and boreal)—result from combinations of the precipitation level and various average temperatures (Figures