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Flashcards in Climate and Ocean Currents Deck (43):
1

Definition of climate

average weather conditions at a location over a long period of time

2

What two factors determine climate?

temperature precipitation

3

One of 4 factors affecting climate- latitude

uneven heating from equator to poles

4

One of 4 factors affecting climate- elevation

temperature drops the higher you elevation

5

One of 4 factors affecting climate- distance from large bodies of water

oceans hold their heat longer creating mild coastal climates

6

One of 4 factors affecting climate- ocean currents

warm currents warm coastal climates; cold currents cool coastal climates

7

Climate zone- tropical

(0-25 degrees latitude) warm temps year round and high levels of precipitation

8

Climate zone- desert (aria)

(25-40 degrees latitude) hot temps during the day and low levels of precipitation

9

Climate zone- temperate

(40-60 degrees latitude) seasonal temps and moderate/seasonal precipitation

10

Climate zone- polar

(60-90 degree latitude) cold temps year round and low levels of precipitation

11

Type of climate change- El Nino

impact on global climate for 1-2 years

12

Type of climate change- Volcanic eruptions

1-100s of years depending on size of eruption

13

Type of climate change- meteor impact

Similar to vocanic eruptions

14

Type of climate change- global warming

Human impact on atmosphere, could be 100s of years

15

Type of climate change- Ice age

1000s of yrs

16

Type of climate change- Continental drift

millions of yrs

17

Surface currents influenced by...

Global winds

18

Surface currents... (rise or sink and where)

Surface currents sink at the poles

19

Relative speed of surface currents

fast

20

Deep currents mainly influenced by...

temperature and salinity

21

Describe the molecules in surface currents

Warm temp.--->Molecules spread apart--->Density decreases

22

Describe the molecules in deep currents

Cold temp.--->molecules slow--->move closer--->density increased

23

Deep currents... (rise or sink and where)

Deep currents rise at the equator

24

Relative speed of deep currents

Slow

25

What type of weather events can El Nino cause?

Rain (foods, South America), droughts (Indonesia Australia)

26

Where is warm water usually located?

Western Pacific Ocean

27

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

28

How does El Nino affect upwelling?

Stops upwelling along the west coast of South America, no nutrients is brought up, disrupts the food chain

29

What is El Nino's influence on global climate?

-Dry conditions in the Western Pacific (Australia and Indonesia)
-Heavy rainfall in South America

30

What are ocean currents influenced by?

The Earth's rotation and the position of the continents

31

Approximate depth and length of a surface current?

Depth- Several 100 meters
Length- 1000s of kilometers

32

What three factors control surface currents?

Global Winds
Coriolis Effect
Continental Deflections

33

What circular direction do surface currents move in the southern and northern hemisphere?

North- Clockwise
South- Counterclockwise

34

What happens when a surface current meets a continent?

They deflect, or change direction

35

Where do cold and warm water currents begin?

Cold water- closer to poles
Warm water- near equator

36

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

37

What is the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt?

Continuous flow of surface and deep currents connect throughout the entire world

38

What is an interglacial period?

Cycles of warm weather within ice ages

39

Which climate zone is considered to be the best zone to live in because of its rainfall amounts and temperature ranges?

Temperate

40

Which climate zone has the least temperature variation through the months of the year?

Tropical

41

Which climate zone exists all because of high air pressure sinking to the Earth?

Desert/Arid

42

Which zone never has the sun reach high above the horizon and is also a very dry climate?

Polar

43

Gyre

Where several surface currents come together to form a circular pattern