Chapter 3

Chapter 3

Chapter 3 Physical Geography Climate and Vegetation Climate is created by the suns solar energy interacting with the earths land, water, and air. In turn, climate and soil shape the earths vegetation. Index

Section 1: Seasons and Weather Section 2: Climate Section 3: World Climate Regions Section 4: Soils and Vegetation

Seasons and Weather Seasons and weather occur because of the changing position of the earth in relation to the sun. Weather extremes are related to location on earth. Seasons

Earths Tilt Earth is tilted at a 23.5 angle relative to the sun Areas of Earth get more, less direct sun at different times of year The seasons are related to the earths tilt and revolution The solstice marks beginning of summer, winter - suns rays directly overhead at noon at furthest points north and south

The equinox marks the beginning of spring and autumn - day and night are equal in length Weather Weather and Climate Weatheratmospheric conditions at a particular location and time Climateweather conditions at one

location over long a period Example: Northern Russia has a cold climate What Causes the Weather Sun: amount of solar energy received Water vapor: determines whether there will be precipitation Precipitationwater droplets falling as rain,

snow, sleet, hail Cloud cover: clouds may hold water vapor What Causes the Weather Landforms and bodies of water - water heats slowly, loses heat slowly - land heats rapidly, loses heat rapidly Elevation: as elevation increases, air becomes thinner

- thin air cannot hold moisture Air movement: distributes moisture and solar energy Precipitation Precipitation comes about when: - warm air rises, cools, loses ability to hold water vapor - water vapor condenses into droplets

- water droplets form clouds - heavy clouds release droplets as rain, snow Precipitation Three types of precipitation Hurricanes and Tornadoes Hurricanes Huge storms called hurricanes, or typhoons in Asia:

- form over warm, tropical ocean waters - hit land with heavy rain, high winds, storm surge Tornadoes Tornadoa powerful, funnel-shaped column of spiraling air: - born from strong thunderstorms - capable of immense damage Weather Extremes

Blizzards Blizzardheavy snowstorm with strong winds, reduced visibility Droughts Drought: long period of time with either no or minimal rainfall Floods Water spread out over normally dry land

Section 2: Climate Climate reflects the seasonal patterns of weather for a location over a long period of time. Global climatic changes may be natural or human-made. Factors Affecting Climate Wind Currents

Wind, ocean currents help distribute suns heat worldwide Convectionupward motion of air that transfers heat in atmosphere Coriolis effect is the bending of winds due to Earths rotation

Factors Affecting Climate Ocean Currents Resemble rivers flowing in the ocean Warm water flows away from equator toward poles Cold, polar water flows back toward equator Factors Affecting Climate

Elevation Elevation is the distance above sea level As elevation increases, climate gets colder Topography Topography: landforms and their distribution in an area Landforms, especially mountains, affect climate

Changes in Climate El Nio El Niowinds push warm Pacific Ocean waters toward the Americas La Ninawinds push warm waters toward Australia and Asia Both cause natural, worldwide changes in climate Changes in Climate Global Warming

Gradual warming of the earths atmosphere Greenhouse effect the earth warms due to trapped solar energy Section 3: World Climate Regions

Temperature and precipitation define climate regions. Broad climate definitions help to identify variations in weather at a location over the course of a year. Defining a Climate Region Typical Weather Temperature and precipitation define climate

Location, topography, elevation may impact climate Five general climate regions: - tropical (low-latitude) - dry - mid-latitude - high latitude - highland Types of Climates

Tropical Wet Always hot; daily rainfall adds up to more than 80 annually Tropical Wet and Dry Warm, wet summer season; cooler, dry winter season Semiarid Hot summers; mild to cold winters; little precipitation Desert Two kinds of deserthot, cool/cold; less than 10 rain per

year Types of Climates Mediterranean Summers dry and hot; winters cool and rainy Marine West Coast Moderate temperatures; frequently cloudy, foggy, damp Humid Subtropical Long periods of summer heat and humidity; winters mild

to cool Humid Continental Great variety of temperature, precipitation; four distinct seasons Types of Climates Subarctic Summers are short and cool; winters are long and very cold Tundra

Tundraflat, treeless ring of lands around the Arctic Ocean Very little precipitation; summer temperatures around 40 F. Permafrost is the constantly frozen subsoil found in this region Ice Cap Snow, ice, permanently freezing temperatures Types of Climates

Highlands Climate varies with latitude, elevation, topography, location Section 4: Soils and Vegetation Soil and climate help to determine the vegetation of a region. Human land use alters the vegetation in both positive and negative ways.

Soil Regions Shaping Human Existence Soil is a thin layer of weathered rock, humus, air, water Topsoil refers to the top 6 of soil Soil characteristics vary with climate Type of soil determines type of

vegetation that can be supported Type of vegetation determines type of possible human activity Vegetation Regions Natural Environments Ecosysteminterdependent community of plants and animals Biomethe ecosystem of a region

Biomes are further divided into: - forest - grassland - desert - tundra Vegetation Regions Forestlands Forest regions categorized by trees they supportbroadleaf or

needle Deciduousbroadleaf trees: maple, oak, birch, cottonwood - mostly in Northern Hemisphere Rain foresttropical forest covered with broadleaf trees Coniferousneedle leaf trees; cone bearing: pine, fir, cedar - mostly in Northern Hemisphere Deciduous and coniferous trees together form mixed forest Vegetation Regions

Grasslands Flat regions with few trees A savanna is a tropical grassland Steppe, or prairie, are temperate grasslands of Northern Hemisphere Desert and Tundra Plants in these regions have adapted to climate extremes: - tundra plants (mosses, lichen) hug the ground - desert plants (cacti, sagebrush) conserve water, withstand

heat Vegetation Regions Human Impact on the Environment Altering the Landscape Humans either adapt to land, or alter it to meet their needs Some human activities that affect the environment:

- building dams - installing irrigation systems - planting crops - slashing and burning vegetation

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