Climate and Terrestrial Biodiversity notes

Climate and Terrestrial Biodiversity notes - Chapter5:...

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Chapter 5: Climate and Terrestrial Biodiversity I.Climate: A Brief Introduction Weather and Climate Weather is a local area’s short­term physical conditions such as temperature and precipitation, and climate is a region’s average weather conditions over a long time. Weather­ an area’s temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind speed, cloud cover, and other physical conditions of the lower atmosphere over hours or days. Climate­a region’s general pattern of atmospheric or weather conditions over a long time Latitude­ distance from the equator Elevation­ height above sea level Climates Polar Subarctic Cool temperate Highland Warm temperate Dry Tropical Solar Energy and Global Air Circulation: Distributing Heat Global air circulation is affected by the uneven heating of the earth’s surface by solar energy, seasonal changes in temperature and precipitation, rotation of the earth on its axis, and the properties of air, water, and land. Factors contributing to a local climate: Uneven heating of the earth’s surface by the sun Seasonal changes in temperature and precipitation Rotation of the earth on its axis Coriolis effect­ the earth’s rotation deflects the movement of the air over different parts of the earth, creating global patterns of prevailing winds that help distribute heat and moisture in the troposphere. Cells­ huge atmospheric regions Prevailing winds­ major surface winds that blow almost continuously and distribute air, moisture, and dust over the earth’s surface. Properties of air, water, and land Ocean Currents: Distributing Heat and Nutrients Ocean currents influence climate by distributing heat from place to place and mixing and distributing nutrients. Atmospheric Gases and Climate: The Natural Greenhouse Effect Water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other gases influence climate by warming the lower troposphere and the earth’s surface. Small amounts of certain gases play a role in determining the earth’s average temperatures and thus its climates. Greenhouse gases allow mostly visible light and some infrared radiation and ultraviolet radiation from the sun to pass through the troposphere.
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The earth’s surface absorbs much of this solar energy and transforms it to longer­wavelength infrared radiation(heat), which then rises into the troposphere. Greenhouse effect­natural warming effect of the troposphere Topography and Local Climate: Land Matters Interactions between land and oceans and disruptions of airflows by mountains and cities affect local climates.
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  • Fall '11
  • Meador
  • Biodiversity, pH, tropical rain forests, microclimate, Temperate deciduous forests, Global Air Circulation, warm temperatures

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