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Hot Arid & Semi-arid Environments Glossary
Arid An area characterised by high temperatures, low and unreliable
precipitation and sparse vegetation- less than 250mm of annual

Advection Fog When air above a cold current is chilled to a dew point- created
when warm moist air comes into contact with a…

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Convection The transfer of heat through movement of air.

Coriolis Force Air upon reaching the ground surface moves towards the
Equator- coriolis force = deflection of global winds by rotation of
the earth. (produce NE and SE trade winds.)

Corrasion When wind-blown sand abrades rock surfaces.

Crassulacean Acid CO taken…

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Diurnal Temperature Diurnal temperature variation is a meteorological term that
Range relates to the variation in temperature that occurs from the
highs of the day to the cool of nights.

Ephemeral Plant A marked by short life cycles, usually six to eight weeks.
Species are small and have shallow roots.…

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Insolation Weathering Form of physical weathering. Involves the physical breakdown
of minerals and rock due to thermal expansion and contraction.

Inter-tropical An area of rising air, low pressure, converging surface Trade
Convergence Zone Winds and high temperatures coincident with the Equator.

Inversion Layer Air layer where temperature rises rather…

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Relief Refers to the lie of the land. This is usually expressed in terms
of the elevation, slope, and orientation of terrain features.
Terrain affects surface water flow and distribution. Over a large
area, it can affect weather and climate patterns.
Salinisation Refers to land that has become too salty…

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Terrestrial Radiation Radiation that is constantly present in the environment and is
(long wave) emitted from a variety of natural and artificial sources.

Trade Winds Surface prevailing winds which blow from subtropical high
pressure cells towards the Equator.

Transpiration Water loss by evaporation from leaf surfaces and through


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