APES Chapter 4 Vocabulary House


The average weather that occurs in a given region over a long period of time


A layer of the atmosphere closest to the surface of Earth, extending up to approximately 16 km and containing most of the atmosphere's nitrogen, oxygen, and water vapor


The layer of the atmosphere above the troposhphere, extending roughly 16 to 50 km above the surface of Earth


The percentage of incoming sunlight reflected from a surface

Saturation Point

The maximum amount of water vapor in the air at a given temperature

Adiabatic Cooling

The cooling effect of reduced pressure on air as it rises higher in the atmosphere and expands

Adiabatic Heating

The heating effect of increased pressure on air as it sinks toward the surface of Earth and decreases in volume

Latent Heat Release

The release of energy when water vapor in the atmosphere condenses into liquid water

Hadley Cells

A convection current in the amosphere that cycles between the equator and 30N and 30S


An area of Earth that receives the most intense sunlight; where the ascending branches of the two Hadley cells converge

Polar Cells

A convection cell in the atmosphere, formed by air that rises at 60N and 60S and sinks at the poles, 90N and 90S

Coriolis Effect

The deflection of an object's path due to the rotation of Earth


A large-scale pattern of water circulation that moves clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere


The upward movement of ocean water toward the surface as a result of diverging currents


The periodic changes in winds and ocean currents, causing cooler and wetter conditions in the southeastern United States and unusually dry weather in southern Africa and Southeast Asia

Rain Shadow

A region with dry conditions found on the leeward side of a mountain range as a result of humid winds from the ocean causing precipitation on the windward side


A geographic region categorized by a particular combination of average annual temperature, annual precipitation, and distinctive plant growht forms on land, and a particular combination of salinity, depth, and water flow in water


An impermeable, permanently frozen layer of soil

Littoral Zone

The shallow zone of soil and water in lakes and ponds where most algae and emergent plants grow

Limnetic Zone

A zone of open water in lakes and ponds


Floating algae

Profundal Zone

A region of water where sunlight odes not reach, below the limnetic zone in very deep lakes

Benthic Zone

The muddy bottom of a lake, pond, or ocean

Coral Bleaching

A phenomenon in which algae inside corals die, causing the corals to turn white

Photic Zone

The upper layer of water in the ocean that receives enough sunlight for photosynthesis

Aphotic Zone

The layer of ocean water that lacks sufficient sunlight for photosynthesis


A precess used by some bacteria in the ocean to generate evergy with methane and hydrogen sulfide