Geography Test 1


great circle route

rhumb line
conic maps
sir isaac newton said that the earth is not really a sphere. ______ makes it bulge.
centriphical force
mass that assumes a physical shape and occupies space.

a capacity to change the motion of, or to do work on, matter.

closed system

if inputs = outputs = 0


a system that is shut off from the surrounding encironment so that it is self contained. the earth is a closed system in terms of physical matter and resources – air water, and materials. however, open in terms of GAS.

open system

inputs and outputs do not equal 0.


energy in from sun, earth gives energy back to space (infrared energy and relevting light)

longwave radiation
earth’s infrared emission into space (thermal infrared – TIR)
shortwave radiation

inputs of solar radiation to earth from the sun, earth reflects it.


(includes ultraviolet, visible light, and shortwave infrared)

incoming solar radiation
net radiation

SWin – SWout – LWout


the top of the atmosphere at 480 km
(W) measure of power

positive net radiation

more radiation comes in than leaves

negative net radiation
more radiation leaves than comes in (desert)
positive net radiation
more radiation comes in than leaves (greater excess of power) (oceans)
solar constant
the avg insolation recieved at the thermopause when earth is at its avg distance rom the sun, 1372 W/m^2 (power per unit area)
earth rotates on its axis so it appears to rise ____ to _____ (looking down on north pole)

west to east

what are the 2 things that cause seasons?

axial parallelism and the earth’s tilt (23.5 degrees)

axial parallelism

Earth’s axis remains aligned the same throughout the year (it ;remains parallel to itself;); thus, the axis extended from the North Pole points into space always near Polaris, the North Star.;;
plane of the ecliptic
A plane (flat surface) intersecting all the points of Earth’s orbit.
feedback loops
Created when a portion of system output is returned as an information input, causing changes that guide further system operation
positive feedback

further production in the system, stimulates growth of the system (not a good thing in nature)


example: permafrost melts, begins to decay, gives off methane, melts more permafrost

visible light is from ___ to ___ micrometers
.4 to .7
3 types of cones in retina
blue, green, and red


more sensitive than cones, what makes you see shades of gray at night, sensitive to all colors


temperature inversion
A reversal of the normal decrease of temperature with increasing altitude; can occur anywhere from ground level up to several thousand meters; functions to block atmospheric convection and thereby trap pollutants. 
sensible heat
measured as temp.
latent heat

energy that is stored in water vapor as water evaporates

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