Science Final Exam Cheat Sheet
The water cycle is composed off different steps or phases. The water cycle is controlled by the
sun. The water has been recycled for millions of years.
Evaporation changes liquid water to water vapor. Energy from the Suncauses water to evaporate.
Most evaporation is from the oceans because they cover so much area. The water vapor rises into
the atmosphere.
Transpiration is like evaporation because it changes liquid water to water vapor. In
transpiration, plants release water vapor through their leaves. This water vapor rises into the
Precipitation is water that falls from clouds to Earth’s surface. Water droplets in clouds fall to
Earth when they become too large to stay aloft. The water falls as rain if the air is warm. If the air
is cold, the water may freeze and fall as snow, sleet, or hail. Most precipitation falls into the
oceans. Some falls on land.
Runoff is precipitation that flows over the surface of the land. This water may travel to a river,
lake, or ocean. Runoff may pick up fertilizer and other pollutants and deliver them to a water
body. In this way, runoff may pollute bodies of water.
Infiltration is the process by which water soaks into the ground. Some of the water may seep
deep underground. Some may stay in the soil, where plants can absorb it with their roots.
Condensation is when water vapor joins together to turn into clouds
Ocean Currents: Streamlike movements of water.
Surface Currents: Streamlike movements of water that occur at or near the surface of the ocean.
The Coriolis Effect The Earth’s rotation causes wind and surface currents to move in curved
paths rather than in straight lines.
Deep Currents- Streamlike movements of ocean water far below the surface.
3 factors that cause Surface Currents
(1) Global winds
(2) The Coriolis Effect
(3) Continental deflections (continents get in the way and the currents move)
3 factors that cause
Deep Currents
(1) Decreasing temperature
(2) Increasing salinity through freezing
(3) Increasing salinity through evaporation
Weather: condition of the atmosphere at a certain place or time (changes day by day)
Weather Factors:
1) temperature- how fast particles are moving or how hot/cold something is
2) humidity-is the amount of water vapor in the air
a. when humidity gets to 100% condensation occurs
b. Clouds are formed by tiny water droplets or ice crystals
i. Cumulus- fuzzy, mostly seen on sunny days
ii. Stratus- grey, gloomy
iii. Cirrus-wispy, made of ice crystals
3) air pressure- weight of the air around us
a. high pressure-sunny
b. low pressure-clouds, precipitation
4) wind- is moving air
a. caused by the sun
b. the uneven heating causes winds to move
c. warm air rises, cold air sinks
1) Climate is the long term average, year after year conditions of temperature, precipitation,
winds, and clouds in an area.
2) Climate and weather are different because climate is over a long period of time (20-30
years). Weather is daily.
a. Examples of climate: Germany is a cold country, It rains every October, Florida
is hotter than Alaska
b. Examples of weather: The year 1976 was one of the hottest on record, 1992 was
one of the coldest summers on record, it rained on may 8
3) The main factors that influence temperature are altitude, latitude, distance from large
bodies of water, and ocean currents.
4) The main factors that affect precipitation are prevailing winds, the presence of mountains,
and seasonal winds.
5) The seasons are caused by the tilt of the Earth’s axis as Earth travels around the sun
a. The seasons change as the amount of energy each hemisphere receives from the
sun changes.
6) High Altitude=colder temperature, Hot ocean current=hotter temperature, close to
equator=hotter, high latitude=closer to poles=colder, close to ocean=medium temperature

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