Difficult Earth Support System Terms.

The thin envelope of gases (mainly nitrogen and oxygen) that surrounds the Earth.
Atmosphere
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The space at the Earth’s surface and within the atmosphere occupied by living organisms.
Biosphere
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The horizontal movement of water within aquifers.
Groundwater flow
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The movement of water across the land surface.
Run-off
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Excessive grazing of land by livestock which destroys or degrades pasture and is not sustainable.
Overgrazing
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The annual volume of movement of water by precipitation, evapotranspiration, run-off etc. between stores such as oceans, permeable rocks, ice sheets, vegetation, soil etc.
Water Cycle Budget
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The loss of ice and snow, especially from a glacier, through melting, evaporation and sublimation.
Ablation
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The vertical movement of rainwater through the soil.
Infiltration
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The length of time that a molecule of water or carbon dioxide etc. remains in natural storage (e.g. in the atmosphere or oceans).
Residence time
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Tiny photosynthesising marine organisms in the surface waters of the oceans.
Phytoplankton
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The relationship between precipitation, streamflow, evapotranspiration, and soil moisture and groundwater storage in a drainage basin over a year.
Water balance
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A cloud formed by convection with a rounded-top, lumpy appearance and flat base.
Cumuliform
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Clouds lying in a level sheet.
Stratiform
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A high altitude, feather-like cloud made of ice crystals.
Cirrus
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The horizontal movement of an air mass which often results in either heating or cooling.
Advection
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The expansion of a parcel of air due to a decrease in pressure. Expansion causes cooling.
Adiabatic expansion
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Rainwater stored temporarily on the leaves, stems and branches of vegetation which is evaporated and does not reach the ground surface.
Interception loss
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Rainfall that runs off the ground surface either because the soil is saturated or the intensity of rainfall exceeds the soil’s infiltration capacity.
Overland flow
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The maximum rate at which water, under the pull of gravity, soaks into the soil.
Infiltration capacity
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Proportion of sunlight reflected from a surface.
Albedo
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The near surface layer in a periglacial environment which seasonally freezes and thaws.
Active layer
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A system displaying unrepeated average states through time.
Dynamic equilibrium
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

The space at the Earth’s surface and within the atmosphere occupied by living organisms.

Back

Biosphere

Card 3

Front

The horizontal movement of water within aquifers.

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

The movement of water across the land surface.

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Excessive grazing of land by livestock which destroys or degrades pasture and is not sustainable.

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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