APES Chapter 4 Vocaub House


the weather in some location averaged over some long period of time


the lowest atmospheric layer


the atmospheric layer between the troposphere and the mesosphere


the ratio of reflected to incident light

Saturation point

the stage at which a substance will receive no more of another substance in solution or in a vapor

Adiabatic cooling

the process by which the temperature of an air mass decreases as the air mass rises and expands

Adiabatic heating

the process in which the temperature of a gas rises when the gas is compressed, if no heat is lost

Latent heat release

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

Hadley cells

Belts of circulating air in the atmosphere.


Intertropical Convergence zone. Belt of low pressure around the equator. formed by the vertical ascent of warm, moist air from the latitudes north and south of the equator. Lots of precipitation.

Polar cells

where polar air sinks and flows away from the poles downward meeting the ferrel cells at 60 degrees latitude

Coriolis effect

The way Earth's rotation makes winds in the Northern Hemisphere curve to the right and winds in the Southern Hemisphere curve to the left.


huge circular moving current systems dominate the surfaces of the oceans.


the rising of cold water from deeper layers to replace warmer surface water that has been moved away


El Nino Southern Oscillation, trade winds weaken & warm surface water moves toward South America. Diminished fisheries off South America, drought in western Pacific, increased precipitation in southwestern North America, fewer Atlantic hurricanes.

Rain Shadow

an area that has little precipitation because some barrier causes the winds to lose their moisture before reaching it


Large geographic areas with similar climates and ecosystems


ground that is permanently frozen

littoral zone

the region of the shore of a lake or sea or ocean


photosynthetic or plant constituent of plankton

Profundal zone

zone in a freshwater habitat that is below the limits of effective light penetration

Benthic zone

bottom of an aquatic ecosystem; consists of sand and sediment and supports its own community of organisms

Coral bleaching

Occurs when a coral becomes stressed and expels most of its colorful algae, leaving an underlying ghostly white skeleton of calcium carbonat

Photic zone

regions of a body of water where light penetrates, enabling photosynthesis

Aphotic zone

permanently dark layer of the oceans below the photic zone


synthesis of carbohydrate from carbon dioxide and water