World at Risk: Key Words

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Key Words: World At Risk
Geophysical Hazard A hazard formed by tectonic processes
Context Hazard Widespread global threat due to
environmental hazards such a climate change
Hazard A perceived natural event which has the
potential to threaten both lives and property
Hydro meteorological Hazard A hazard formed by hydrological and
atmospheric processes
Vulnerability A high risk combined with the inability of
communities to cope
Disaster A hazard that causes death, damage to goods
and property and the environment
Risk The probability of a hazard event occurring
and creating loss of lives and livelihoods
Albedo How much solar radiation a surface reflects
Climate Change Any long term change or shift in the climate
Enhanced Greenhouse Effect Greenhouse gases rise in the atmosphere due
to human activity
Greenhouse Effect The warming of the earth's atmosphere due
to the trapping of heat
Tipping Point The point at which a system switches from
one state to another
Feedback Mechanism Where the output of a system acts to
amplify(positive) or reduce(negative) further
Frequency How often an event of a certain size occurs
Magnitude The size of the event
Asthenosphere A semi molten zone of rock underlying the
earth's crust
Conservative Boundary A boundary between plates where the
movement of the plates is parallel to the plate
margin and the plates slide past each other
Constructive Boundary A boundary where plates are moving apart
Destructive Boundary A boundary where plates are moving together
Lithosphere Earth's crust
Hotspot A localised area of the earth's crust that has
an unusually high temperature
Plume An upwelling of abnormally hot rock within
the earth's mantle
Inter Tropical Convergence Zone A zone of low atmospheric pressure near the

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Climate The average conditions of precipitation,
temperature and pressure and wind
measured over a 30 year period
Thermohaline Circulation Global system of surface and deep water
currents driven by differences in temperature
and salinity between areas of the ocean
Little Ice Age A cool period in Europe which many glaciers
advanced.…read more


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