Earth’s Life Support Systems🌍🌫💧 Flashcards Preview

A Level - Physical Geography > Earth’s Life Support Systems🌍🌫💧 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Earth’s Life Support Systems🌍🌫💧 Deck (109):
1

Oxidation

- chemical process that weathers certain rock types
- involves the absorption of oxygen from the atmosphere and water💦 by rock minerals

2

Weathering

- in situ breakdown of rocks exposed at or near the land surface, by chemical, physical or biological processes

3

Systems

- a group of objects and the relationships between them

4

Permeable Rocks

- rock type which is penetrated by water💦 through mineral pores or joints🛠

5

Water Cycle Budget

- annual volume of movement by:
- evaporation
- precipitation
- run-off
- between stores eg the ocean

6

Sublimation❄️➡️🌫

Phase change of water from ice to vapour

7

Infiltrating

- vertical movement of water through soil

8

Percolate

- movement of surface and soil water into underlying permeable rocks

9

Residence Times

- length of time a molecule of water/CO2 remains in natural storage🌲📦

10

Stratiform Clouds☁️☁️

- clouds lying in a level sheet

11

Stable

- atmospheric condition in which air an air parcel🌫📦 = displaced from its original level and returns from the same level

12

Photosynthesis

- green plants🌱 convert water💦 + CO2 —> starch + sugar🍬 in the presence of sunlight☀️

13

Respiration

- process in living organisms🐶🐒👩🏽
- intake of oxygen oxidises organic substances
- producing energy and the release of CO2

14

Transpiration

- evaporation of water from pores on the leaf🍁 surfaces of plants

15

Precipitation

- moisture falling from clouds towards the ground🌧🌨

16

Evapotranspiration

- combined loss of water💦 at the surface by evaporation and transpiration by plants🌱

17

Run-off

- movement of water across a land surface💦🗾

18

Groundwater Flow

- horizontal movement of water within aquifers➡️💧

19

Phytoplankton

- photosynthesising marine organisms in the surface waters of oceans🌊

20

Water Balance

- relationship between precipitation, streamflow, evapotranspiration and groundwater storage in the drainage basin per year

21

River Discharge

- volume of water💦 slowing in a river channel🏞
- measured in m3/S

22

Atmosphere

- the thin envelope✉️ of gases (mainly nitrogen & oxygen) that surrounds the Earth🌍

23

Biosphere

- the space at the Earth’s surface & within the atmosphere occupied by living organisms🌱🦎🐢

24

Closed Systems

- a system with inputs & outputs of energy, but without any move,net of materials across system boundaries

25

Open Systems

- a type of system whose boundaries are open to both inputs & outputs of energy & matter

26

Evaporation💧➡️🌫

- process by which liquid water is converted into a gaseous state

27

Transpiration

- evaporation of moisture from pores on leaf🍁 surfaces of plants🌱

28

Condensation🌫➡️💦

- phase change of water vapour (gas) to water (liquid)

29

Ablation

- loss of ice❄️ & snow🌨, especially from a glacier, through melting, evaporation & sublimation

30

Subduction

- tectonic process found at convergent plate margins where an oceanic🌊 plate descends into the Earth’s mantle🌍🔥 & is destroyed

31

Aquifers

- water-bearing band or porous or permeable rock

32

Groundwater

- water stored underground in permeable & porous rocks known as aquifers

33

Sinks🛁

- anything that absorbs more of a particular substance than it releases eg the oceans🌊 act as a sink for CO2

34

Throughflow

- water flowing horizontally💦➡️ though the soil to stream & river channels🏞

35

Carbonate Rocks

- rocks comprising carbonate minerals eg CaCO3 eg limestone & chalk

36

Upper Mantle

- layer of the Earth’s🌏 interior extending 75-200km below the surface
- is able to flow🚿 under pressure

37

Tectonic Plate

- large slab of Earth’s lithosphere & crust

38

Chemical Weathering

- in situ breakdown of rocks by chemical processes eg carbonation, oxidation, solution & hydrolysis⚗️

39

Carbonaceous Rocks

- rocks manly comprising the fossilised remains of plants🌱 eg coal, lignite

40

Natural Sequestration

- long-term storage of carbon in plants🌱, soils, geologic formations, and the ocean🌊
- refers to the storage of carbon which has immediate potential to become CO2

41

Dew Point

- critical temperature🌡 at which which condensation occurs

42

Catchments

- area drained by a river & its tributaries eg a drainage basin

43

Cumuliform Clouds☁️☁️

- cloud formed by convection with a rounded-top, lumpy appearance & flat base

44

Advection

- horizontal movement of an air mass which often results is either heating🔥 or cooling❄️

45

Cirrus Clouds☁️☁️

- high altitude, feather-like cloud made of ice crystals❄️

46

Dew

- deposits of moisture on the ground & vegetation due to condensation caused by radiative cooling, most often at night🌚

47

Fog

- cloud at ground level caused by radiative cooling & advection

48

Latent Heat

- heat required to convert a solid into a liquid💧or vapour🌫 without a temperature change🌡

49

Adiabatic Expansion

- expansion of a parcel📦 of air due to a decrease in pressure
- expansion causes cooling❄️

50

Convection

- motion of a gas🌫 or liquid💧 which when warmed🔥 rises until eventually it cools❄️ & sinks in a continuous circulation

51

Lapse Rates

- describes the vertical distribution of temperature🌡 in the lower atmosphere & the temperature changes that occur within an air parcel📦 as it rises vertically⬆️ away from the ground

52

Instability

- ground heated by the sun☀️ warms the air in contact with the surface to 18degC
- because the air is warmer🔥 than its surroundings it is less dense & more buoyant🎈

53

Stable

- above 4000m the atmosphere is stable
- air can’t rise freely in this zone because it’s cooler❄️ & heavier than its surroundings

54

Interception Loss

- rainwater🌧 stored temporarily on the leaves🍁, stems🌿 & branches of vegetation which is evaporated & doesn’t reach the ground surface

55

Throughfall

- rainfall🌧, initially intercepted by vegetation🌱, which drips to the ground

56

Stemflow

- flow of water🚿 along the branches & stems of trees🌲& other plants🥀 to the ground

57

Overland Flow

- rainfall🌧 that runs off the ground surface either because the soil is saturated or the intensity of rainfall exceeds the soil’s infiltration capacity

58

Infiltration Capacity

- maximum rate at which water💦 , under the pull of gravity, soaks into the soil

59

Saturated Overland Flow

- the movement of water across the ground - often as thin as film🎞 - when the soil is saturated

60

Flux

- the rate of energy transfer per unit area

61

Anthropogenic/Anthropocene

- current geological period where humankind👩🏽 is the main driver of environmental change
- caused/influenced by humans🚶🏽

62

Carbonation & Equation

- rainwater🌧 is a weak carbonic acid which slowly dissolves limestone & chalk in this process
- carbonation = calcium carbonate + carbonic acid —> calcium bicarbonate

63

Freeze-Thaw

- mechanical weathering process caused by water💦 confined in rock joints, expanding as it freezes & as a result breaking rocks into smaller particles

64

Biological Weathering

- breakdown of rocks through the chemical & physical action of living organisms eg burrowing🐰🐇, tree roots🌲 etc

65

Chelation

- type chemical weathering caused by acids derived from rainwater⚗️🌧 & dead💀 organic material

66

Canopy

- uppermost layer or treetops & branches in a forest🌳 or woodland ecosystem

67

Biodiversity

- number of different plant🌹, animal🐖, fungi🍄 etc species in a given area

68

Downwelling🌊

- sinking of dense, salty(or cold) water in the oceans🌊

69

Food Chain🍝⛓

- series of organisms through which food energy moves before it it completely expended 🌱➡️🐛➡️🦅

70

Lithification

- transformation of sediments into rock

71

Absolute Humidity

- mass of water vapour🌫 in argument volume of air

72

Relative Humidity

- mass of water vapour🌫 in a given volume of air as a ratio of the mass needed to saturate it

73

Biomass

- organic material on Earth that has stored sunlight☀️ in the form of chemical energy⚗️

74

Porous Rocks

- rocks which contain pores or air spaces between mineral particles, where water is stored💧📦

75

Albedo

- proportion of sunlight☀️ reflected from a surface

76

Shifting Cultivation

- traditional method of cultivation in tropical forests🌴 which involves rotation of land rather than rotation of crops

77

Monoculture

- cultivation of a single crop🌱

78

Tree Line🌲🌲🌲

- latitudinal & altitudinal limit of tree🌲 growth

79

Heat Balance

- difference between inputs of solar energy to the Earth🌏-atmosphere system & energy outputs fro terrestrial radiation & gases in the atmosphere
- currently inputs exceed outputs & global climate responds by warming☀️

80

Carbon Sink

- long-term store of carbon in ocean sediments, carbonate rocks, forests🌲🌳🌲 etc

81

Carbon Source

- inputs of carbon to the atmosphere by respiration, combustion & decomposition

82

Negative Feedback Loops

- are within systems & restore balance

83

Dynamic Equilibrium

- system displaying unreleased average states through time

84

Lag Times

- difference in time⏰ between maximum rainfall🌧 & peak river discharge

85

Water Table💧📊🗓

- upper surface of the zone of saturation in permeable rocks & the soil

86

Abstraction

- extraction of water from rivers🏞 & boreholes for public water supply, agriculture etc

87

Recharge

- net input of water💦 into an aquifer causing a rise in the water table

88

Syncline

- downfolded, basin-like geological structure

89

Artesian Pressure

- hydrostatic pressure exerted on groundwater in a confined aquifer occupying a synclinal structure

90

Artesian Aquifer

- confined aquifer containing groundwater that when tapped will rise to the surface under its own pressure

91

Potentiometric Surface

- imaginary surface that defines the theoretical level to which water would rise in a confined aquifer➖💧

92

Carbon Structure and Storage (CCS)

- removal of CO2 from emissions by thermal power stations & its storage in disused oil & gas⛽️ wells underground

93

Positive Feedback

- automatic response to change in a system which generates further change

94

Negative Feedback

- automatic response to change in system that restores equilibrium

95

Greenhouse Gas

- gases in the atmosphere eg CO2, CH4 & water vapour🌫 which absorb long-wave terrestrial radiation

96

Carbon Fertilisation

- rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere which increase photosynthesis & stimulate plant growth🌱⬆️

97

Net Primary Productivity Of Vegetation (NPP)

- rate at which plants🌱 accumulate energy in the form of organic matter taking into account the energy use in respiration

98

Photoperiod🌅➡️🌅

- length of day eg from sunset🌅 to sunrise🌅

99

Glacial

- prolonged cold climatic phase lasting for 10s for 1000s of years & causing continental glaciation in middle & high latitudes

100

Inter-Glacial🌨☀️🌨

- period of climatic warming (lasting c.10,000 years) between glacial

101

Desertification

- reduction in agricultural capacity due to overexploitation of resources & natural processes eg drought💧❌
- only in extreme cases does it result in desert🌵like conditions

102

Overcultivation

- cultivation which, given environmental resources, isn’t sustainable in the long term & is evidenced by declining yields, soil exhaustion😴 & soil erosion

103

Land Degradation🏞⬇️

- deterioration of land suitability for agriculture by soil erosion, desertification & salinisation

104

Overgrazing

- excessive grazing of land by livestock🐄🐂🐖🐐🐏 which destroys or degrades pasture & isn’t suitable

105

Cap and Trade

- international scheme to control carbon emissions
- market-based solution to climate change where polluters either cut their emissions or incur extra costs by buying tradable carbon credits

106

Carbon Credits💰

- allowances that permit given levels of CO2 emissions by businesses
- excess emissions must be covered by trading carbon credits

107

Carbon Offsets

- market-based approach to limiting carbon emissions💨
- businesses receive annual carbon quotas (credits) which can be sold/bought on international carbon markets

108

Polyculture

- cultivation of several different crops🌱, often simultaneously is the same field

109

Residence Time

- average length of time carbon remains in stores