Flashcards in Climate and Ocean Currents Deck (43):
Definition of climate
average weather conditions at a location over a long period of time
What two factors determine climate?
One of 4 factors affecting climate- latitude
uneven heating from equator to poles
One of 4 factors affecting climate- elevation
temperature drops the higher you elevation
One of 4 factors affecting climate- distance from large bodies of water
oceans hold their heat longer creating mild coastal climates
One of 4 factors affecting climate- ocean currents
warm currents warm coastal climates; cold currents cool coastal climates
Climate zone- tropical
(0-25 degrees latitude) warm temps year round and high levels of precipitation
Climate zone- desert (aria)
(25-40 degrees latitude) hot temps during the day and low levels of precipitation
Climate zone- temperate
(40-60 degrees latitude) seasonal temps and moderate/seasonal precipitation
Climate zone- polar
(60-90 degree latitude) cold temps year round and low levels of precipitation
Type of climate change- El Nino
impact on global climate for 1-2 years
Type of climate change- Volcanic eruptions
1-100s of years depending on size of eruption
Type of climate change- meteor impact
Similar to vocanic eruptions
Type of climate change- global warming
Human impact on atmosphere, could be 100s of years
Type of climate change- Ice age
1000s of yrs
Type of climate change- Continental drift
millions of yrs
Surface currents influenced by...
Surface currents... (rise or sink and where)
Surface currents sink at the poles
Relative speed of surface currents
Deep currents mainly influenced by...
temperature and salinity
Describe the molecules in surface currents
Warm temp.--->Molecules spread apart--->Density decreases
Describe the molecules in deep currents
Cold temp.--->molecules slow--->move closer--->density increased
Deep currents... (rise or sink and where)
Deep currents rise at the equator
Relative speed of deep currents
What type of weather events can El Nino cause?
Rain (foods, South America), droughts (Indonesia Australia)
Where is warm water usually located?
Western Pacific Ocean
What happens to the winds during El Nino?
The trade winds in the South Pacific weaken and slow down, less warm tropical water is moved to Australia and Indonesia, causes temps to rise near South America
How does El Nino affect upwelling?
Stops upwelling along the west coast of South America, no nutrients is brought up, disrupts the food chain
What is El Nino's influence on global climate?
-Dry conditions in the Western Pacific (Australia and Indonesia)
-Heavy rainfall in South America
What are ocean currents influenced by?
The Earth's rotation and the position of the continents
Approximate depth and length of a surface current?
Depth- Several 100 meters
Length- 1000s of kilometers
What three factors control surface currents?
What circular direction do surface currents move in the southern and northern hemisphere?
What happens when a surface current meets a continent?
They deflect, or change direction
Where do cold and warm water currents begin?
Cold water- closer to poles
Warm water- near equator
What is upwelling?
Winds move warm surface water away allowing cold, deep water to move up and replace it
Brings nutrients and minerals to the surface, which feed Plankton
What is the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt?
Continuous flow of surface and deep currents connect throughout the entire world
What is an interglacial period?
Cycles of warm weather within ice ages
Which climate zone is considered to be the best zone to live in because of its rainfall amounts and temperature ranges?
Which climate zone has the least temperature variation through the months of the year?
Which climate zone exists all because of high air pressure sinking to the Earth?
Which zone never has the sun reach high above the horizon and is also a very dry climate?