Climate, Enviroment and People key words

Some of the common words used in the Climate Enviroment and People unit

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GCSE Geography ­ Climate, the Environment and People Glossary card
I recommend that you use google images to look at what things look like if you don't know what they are doesn't work
for all words like anticyclone but delta and levèes would work
Anticyclone A high pressure weather system. Average sea level pressure at the centre of the system is usually above 1000
Beaufort Scale A scale of wind speed ranging from 0 (Calm) to 12 (Hurricane). A figure of 12 is over 117mph (73kph).
Biomes Large ecosystems at the global scale where the climate and vegetation is uniform.
Climate The average weather conditions over a long period ­ at least 30 years. Temperature and precipitation are the most often
used climate data and are shown on climate graphs.
Cold front The boundary where a cold air mass meets and pushes into a warm air mass. This is usually found in the mid-latitudes
of the northern hemisphere as part of a depression.
Delta A landform, often triangular in shape, that develops where a river meets a slow-moving body of water such as a lake or
ocean. Deposition of sediment eventually builds up above the water level forcing the river to split into distributaries to form a
Depression A low-pressure weather system often found in the mid-latitudes of the northern hemisphere where a warm tropical air
mass pushes into a cold arctic air mass. Warm air rises to give low pressure at the centre of the weather system. This is usually
less than 1000 millibars.
Ecosystem A system of links between plants and animals (the living community) and the habitats where they live, including the
non-living environment.
Heat island The building of towns and cities can change local weather by causing a build-up of temperature in and above them.
These temperatures are often higher than surrounding countryside and form a heat island.
Leaching A chemical reaction which results in nutrients in the soil being replaced by hydrogen from rainfall. Nutrients are lost from
the soil or moved deeper down the soil profile.
Levée The raised banks of a river usually found in the lower course. They may be formed naturally by regular flooding or be built
up by people to protect the area against flooding.
Maritime Areas close to or on the coast have their climate influenced by the sea. Due to differential heating, the sea is cooler than
the land in summer and warmer in winter. Consequently maritime climates do not have such large annual temperature ranges as
are found in continental climates.
Maximum temperature The highest temperature recorded during a time period. This is usually during a 24-hour period but can be
monthly or yearly.
Minimum temperature The lowest temperature recorded during a time period. This is usually during a 24-hour period but can be
monthly or yearly.
Monsoon Derived from the Arabic word meaning season. It is a seasonal change of wind direction. The monsoon refers to both
dry and wet seasons although its common use refers to the wet season only.
Precipitation ­ Moisture that falls out of the sky (rain, sleet, snow and hail).
Prevailing wind The direction from which the wind blows into an area for most of the year.
Sustainable Capable, by careful use and management, of being maintained, used and enjoyed by future generations.


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