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Climate Vocabulary

Word Definition Image

climate the weather conditions prevailing in an 


area in general or over a long period

tropical of, typical of, or peculiar to the tropics

temperate elating to or denoting a region or climate 


characterized by mild temperatures.

polar relating to the North or South Pole


climate zone
Climate Zone​: are divisions of the 
Earth's c
​ limates ​into general ​climate 
zones​ according to average 
temperatures and average rainfall.  

global winds . ​Global Wind​ Patterns ​wind​ belts of 


the general circulation. 

surface winds Surface wind​ is the ​wind​ blowing near 


the Earth's s
​ urface​.

Coriolis effect an effect whereby a mass moving in a 


rotating system experiences a force (the 
Coriolis force​ ) acting perpendicular to the 
direction of motion and to the axis of 
rotation. On the earth, the effect tends to 
deflect moving objects to the right in the 
northern hemisphere and to the left in the 
southern and is important in the 
formation of cyclonic weather systems.
jet stream a narrow variable band of very strong 
predominantly westerly air currents 
encircling the globe several miles above 
the earth. There are typically two or three 
jet streams in each of the northern and 
southern hemispheres

California The ​California Current​ is a Pacific 


current Ocean ​current​ that moves southward 
along the western coast of North 
America, beginning off southern 
British Columbia and ending off 
southern Baja ​California​ Peninsula

ocean current An ocean current is a continuous, 


directed movement of sea water 
generated by a number of forces acting 
upon the water, including wind, the 
Coriolis effect, breaking waves, cabbeling, 
and temperature and salinity differences

surface current A ​surface current​ is an ocean ​current 


that extends to depths of about 3 
meters near the shore and 10 meters 
in deep water

Gulf Stream Gulf Stream​. noun. A warm ocean 


current of the northern Atlantic Ocean 
off eastern North America.

Ocean Convection​ is the circular motion that 


convection happens when warmer air or liquid — 
cycle which has faster moving molecules, 
making it less dense — rises, while the 
cooler air or liquid drops down. ... 
Convection currents​ within the earth 
move layers of magma, and 
convection​ in the o
​ cean​ creates 
currents

Density density current​. ... ​Density​ of sea 


currents water is affected by temperature, 
salinity, and the content of suspended 
sediment. 

El Nino
1. an irregularly occurring and 
complex series of climatic 
changes affecting the equatorial 
Pacific region and beyond every 
few years, characterized by the 
appearance of unusually warm, 
nutrient-poor water off northern 
Peru and Ecuador, typically in late 
December 

topography the arrangement of the natural and 


artificial physical features of an area.

Local climate Climate​.gov. a. ​Climate​ is determined 


by the long-term pattern of 
temperature and precipitation 
averages and extremes at a location. 
Climate​ descriptions can refer to 
areas that are ​local​, regional, or global 
in extent
albedo the proportion of the incident light or 
radiation that is reflected by a surface, 
typically that of a planet or moon.

Urban heat An urban heat island is an urban area or 


island metropolitan area that is significantly 
warmer than its surrounding rural areas 
due to human activities.

microclimate the climate of a very small or restricted 


area, especially when this differs from the 
climate of the surrounding area.

deforestations the action of clearing a wide area of trees.

Ice age glacial episode during a past geological period. 


● the series of glacial episodes 
during the Pleistocene period 

Climate change a change in global or regional climate 


patterns, in particular a change apparent 
from the mid to late 20th century onwards 
and attributed largely to the increased 
levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide 
produced by the use of fossil fuels.
Global warming a gradual increase in the overall 
temperature of the earth's atmosphere 
generally attributed to the greenhouse 
effect caused by increased levels of 
carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and 
other pollutants.

Enhanced Increases in the amount of carbon 


greenhouse dioxide and other ​greenhouse gases 
effect in the Earth's atmosphere have 
caused an e ​ nhanced greenhouse 
effect