Topic 1 - Conditions for life on Earth glossary

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Ambient gases
The surrounding environmental gases that are available to organisms.
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Atmosphere
The gases surrounding the Earth. Different layers are characterised by their temperature, density, turbulence and composition.
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Biosphere
All the living organisms on Earth.
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Greenhouse gas
A gas that absorbs infrared radiation and causes atmospheric heating.
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Hydrosphere
All the water on Earth, found in solid, liquid and gaseous form in a variety of reservoirs including the oceans, ice caps, rivers and lakes, soil, groundwater, atmosphere and living organisms.
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Lithosphere
The relatively hard outer layer of the Earth, consisting of the crust and upper layer of the mantle.
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Photolysis
The splitting of molecules by light, including the splitting of water molecues in the early atmosphere, producing oxygen.
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Physiological function
Any substance that is involved in chemical reactions in a living organism has a physiological function.
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Specific heat capacity
The measure of the amount of heat energy needed to heat up a particular mass of material through a particular temperature rise. Water has a high specific heat capacity so it heats up and cools down slowly.
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Thermophilic
Heat-loving, such as the bacteria that live around hot volcanic vents and springs.
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Transpiration
The loss of water by evaporation from the stomata of leaves.
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Card 2

Front

The gases surrounding the Earth. Different layers are characterised by their temperature, density, turbulence and composition.

Back

Atmosphere

Card 3

Front

All the living organisms on Earth.

Back

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Card 4

Front

A gas that absorbs infrared radiation and causes atmospheric heating.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

All the water on Earth, found in solid, liquid and gaseous form in a variety of reservoirs including the oceans, ice caps, rivers and lakes, soil, groundwater, atmosphere and living organisms.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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