Earth Science 12th Edition Vocabulary Chapter 20
By John Taylor (formerly GLY 1001 North Campus Fall 2009)
Arid climate or dry climate or desert climate– a climate to which yearly
precipitation is not as great as the potential loss of water by evaporation
Climate feedback mechanisms – Because the atmosphere is a complex interactive
physical system, several different possible outcomes may result when one of the system’s
elements is altered. These various outcomes are call ________________.
Climate system – the changes of energy and moisture that occur among the
atmosphere, hydrosphere, solid Earth, biosphere, and cryosphere.
Climatology – the scientific study of climate
Desert climate (arid climate) (BW) – a climate to which yearly precipitation is
not as great as the potential loss of water by evaporation
Dry-summer subtropical climate –A climate located on the west sides of
continents between latitudes 30o ands 45o. It is the only humid climate with a strong
winter precipitation maximum..
Highland climate – Complex pattern of climate conditions associated with
mountains. They are characterized by large differences that occur over short distances.
Humid continental climate – A relatively severe climate characteristic of broad
continents in the middle latitudes between approximately 4- and 50 degrees north
latitude. The climate is not found in the Southern Hemisphere, where the middle latitudes
are dominated by the oceans.
Humid subtropical climate – A climate generally located on the eastern side of a
continent and characterized by hot, sultry summers and cool winters
Ice cap climate (EF) – A climate that has no monthly means above freezing and
supports no vegetative cover except in a few scattered high mountain areas. The climate,
with its perpetual ice and snow, is confined largely to the ice sheets of Greenland and
Köppen classification – A system for classifying climates devised by Wladimir
Köppen that is based on mean monthly and annual values of temperature and
Marine west coast climate - Climate found on the westward coasts from latitudes
40-65 degrees and dominated by maritime air masses. Winters are mild and summers are
Polar climate – Climates in which the mean temperature of the warmest month is
below 10oC (50oF). They are known for their enduring cold.
Rain shadow desert – A dry area on the lee side of a mountain range. There are
many of them in the middle-latitudes.
Semiarid climate – see steppe
Steppe climate (BS) – One of the two types of dry climates. A marginal and more
humid variant of the desert that separates it from bordering humid climates..
Subartic climate – A climate found north of humid continental climate and south of
the polar climate and characterized by bitter cold winters and short, cool summers. Places
within this climate realm experience the highest annual temperature ranges on Earth.
Tropical rain forest – A luxuriant broadleaf evergreen forest; also, the name given
the climate associated with this vegetation.
Tropical wet and dry climate – A climate that is traditional between the wet
tropics and the subtropical steppes
Tundra climate (ET) – a type of polar climate which is treeless and found
exclusively in the Northern Hemisphere. The winters are severe, the summers cool, and
annual temperature ranges are high.