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Chapter 3 climate and vegetation


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Chapter 3 climate and vegetation

  1. 1. Climate is created by the sun’s solar energy interacting with the earth’s land, water, and air.
  2. 2. The seasons change b/c of the changing position of the earth in relation to the sun. Weather extremes are related to location on earth.
  3. 3.  Earth is tilted at a 23.5˚ angle relative to the sun  Areas of Earth get more, less direct sun at different times of year  The seasons are related to the earth’s tilt and revolution
  4. 4. The solstice marks the beginning of summer/winter.  - sun’s rays directly overhead at noon at furthest points north and south  -Summer Solstice = longest day of the year  -Winter Solstice = shortest day It occurs on June 21/22 and December 22/23
  5. 5. The equinox marks the beginning of spring/fall (autumn).  - day and night are equal in length It occurs on September 23 and March 21.
  6. 6. Weather is the condition of the atmosphere at a particular location and time. Climate is the term for weather over a long period of time.  -Ex. Northern Russia has a cold climate.
  7. 7.  Sun - amount of solar energy received  Water vapor – determines where there will be precipitation.  Cloud Cover – holds water vapor.  - Precipitation — water droplets falling as rain, snow, sleet, hail
  8. 8.  Elevation – Higher elevation = thinner air, loss of ability to hold moisture  Air movement (wind) – moves the solar energy and moisture (clouds) it holds.  Landforms and bodies of water  Water heats/cools slowly  Land heats/cools rapidly
  9. 9. Precipitation comes about when: 1. warm air rises, cools, loses ability to hold water vapor 2. water vapor condenses into droplets 3. water droplets form clouds 4. heavy clouds release droplets as rain, sleet, snow or hail
  10. 10.  There are 3 types of precipitation: 1. Convectional 2. Orographic 3. Frontal
  11. 11. Land on the leeward side of hills and mountains. There is little precipitation in the rain shadow.
  12. 12. Form over warm, tropical ocean waters. Sometimes called typhoons (Asia) Formed when air flows over warm water (over 80 degrees), picking up large amounts of moisture and energy. This flows into a low pressure core & tightens to form the ―eye‖ or center. The more heat energy there is, the stronger the winds become.
  13. 13.  Forms slowly over days  10-20 mile wide eye  Can be up to 500 miles wide  Classified by wind speed in the Saffir- Simpson scale; category 1-5  Winds from 75-200 mph  Winds move counter- clockwise (northern hemisphere)  Most storms start off the coast of Africa and move west (Cape Verde storms)  Damage includes flooding, wind damage, & storm surge.
  14. 14.  In 1992, Hurricane Andrew, a category 5 hurricane made landfall in Florida.  At the time, it was the most costliest hurricane in history, causing over $26 billion in damages.
  15. 15.  Hurricane Katrina was one of the most deadliest and devastating hurricanes in recorded history.  It was responsible for 1,800 deaths and over $81 billion in damages, making it the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.
  16. 16.  Powerful funnel-shaped columns of spiraling air.  Warm air and cool air colliding create them  Winds up to 300 mph.  Measured on the Fujita Scale; 0-6.  Generally they have small diameters (300 ft.) and travel short distances (1 mile)  3 out of 4 tornadoes in the world occur in the U.S. (around 700 per year)
  17. 17. F1 Tornado F2 Tornado F3 Tornado F4 Tornado
  18. 18. F5 Tornado
  19. 19.  On May 22, 2011 a catastrophic, multi- vortex F5 tornado hit the town of Joplin, Missouri.  It killed 158 people and caused nearly $3 billion in damages making it the deadliest and costliest tornado in American history.
  20. 20.  Before  After
  21. 21. Blizzard - Heavy snowstorm w/ winds of more than 35 mph creating reduced visibility. Floods - Water spreads out over normally dry land Droughts – A long period of time w/o rain or minimal rainfall.  - Droughts result in crop failures, reduced levels of water in storage.
  22. 22.  In 1993, a massive storm hit the United States.  Known as the ―White Hurricane‖, this storm not only caused a blizzard, but heavy winds, rains and tornadoes.  Many states received several feet of snow. Tennessee got the worst with over 5 ft. of snow in some areas!  In total, more than 300 people died as a result of this storm.
  23. 23.  In 1993 a great flood occurred in the Mississippi River basin.  The flood was among the most costly and devastating to ever occur in the United States, with $15 billion in damages and effecting over 30,000 square miles.  The floods claimed near 50 lives. LANDSAT views of the Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois Rivers.
  24. 24.  Drought is an extended period of time when a region has a deficiency in its water supply whether surface or underground water.  A drought can last for months or years.  It can cause significant damage[and harm on the ecosystem, agriculture of the affected region as well as damage to the economy.
  25. 25.  The Great Plains (150,000 square mile region) was ravaged by drought.  Thousands of families were forced to flee and find work elsewhere.  Major contributor of the economic disaster known as the Great Depression that took over 10 years to recover from.
  26. 26.  In 2011, Texas was hit hard by drought.  The drought dried up areas so much that in one town, it revealed some old history.  The city of Bluffton, Texas was purposefully flooded more 50 years ago to create Lake Buchanan.  Many parts of town were submerged under the 20-30 feet under the lake, that is, until the drought.  Since the drought, receding lakes have been revealing the foundations of buildings, streets and eerily, old gravesites…
  27. 27.  Climate reflects the seasonal patterns of weather for a location over a long period of time.  Global climatic changes may be natural or human-made.
  28. 28. 1. Wind and Ocean Currents 2. Latitude 3. Elevation 4. Topography
  29. 29.  Help distribute sun’s heat.  Convection – the transfer of heat in the atmosphere by upward motion of the air.  Wind - created by cool air (high pressure) rushing into warm air (low pressure).
  30. 30.  Hot air moves toward the poles, and cold air moves towards the equator.  Winds are curved b/c of earth’s rotation.  Coriolis effect – bending of the winds.  Winds are identified from the direction they come from.  P. 54
  31. 31.  Warm water flows away from the equator toward the poles and vice versa.  Winds blowing over ocean currents affect the climate of lands.  Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Drift keep Europe moderate.  Europe is much more moderate than Canada.  P. 55
  32. 32.  There are three zones of latitude. 1. Low or tropical 2. Middle or temperate 3. High or polar
  33. 33.  Temperature drops 3.5 degrees for every 1,000 feet you climb.  Mountains can affect climate by not allowing clouds to pass over them.  What is this called?
  34. 34.  El Nino – The natural warming of the waters off the coast of S. America.  - Every 2-7 years, easterly winds change directions ad push warm water w/ heavy rains towards the Americas.  La Nina – Reverse of El Nino. Causes drought conditions to occur along the Pacific coast.  P. 57
  35. 35.  Since the 1800s, the temperature of the earth has increased.  Scientists estimate that the temp. will increase 3.5 degrees in the next century.  Greenhouse effect- Gases released by coal and petro traps solar energy.  Scientists predict ice caps will melt and severe flooding could occur.
  36. 36.  Climate regions tell geographers about an area without giving many local details.  Temperature and precipitation are the two most important factors.  5 General Regions: Tropical (low latitude), dry (arid), mid-latitude, high latitude, and highland.
  37. 37.  Always hot  Avg. temp. of 80 deg. F  Central & South America  Africa and Southwest Asia
  38. 38.  Long, hot and humid summers  Mild to cool winters  Found on east coast of continents  Suitable or raising crops
  39. 39.  Summers are hot and dry  Winters are cool and wet
  40. 40.  Moderate temperatures  frequently cloudy, foggy, damp
  41. 41.  Receives little precipitation  Hot summers  Found in interior of continents, near deserts
  42. 42.  Categorized according to rainfall  Can be hot or cold  Receive less than 10 inches of rain/year
  43. 43.  Flat, treeless lands around Arctic Circle  Very little precipitation  Mostly in Northern Hemisphere  Permafrost – subsoil always frozen
  44. 44.  Permanently freezing  Rarely snows – too cold  Called polar deserts
  45. 45.  Soil and climate help to determine the vegetation of a region.  Human land use alters the vegetation in both positive and negative ways.
  46. 46.  Soil is a thin layer of weathered rock, humus, air, water  Topsoil refers to the top 6‖ of soil  Soil characteristics vary with climate  Type of soil determines type of vegetation that can be supported  Type of vegetation determines type of possible human activity.
  47. 47.  Ecosystem— interdependent community of plants and animals  Biome—the ecosystem of a particular region  Biomes are further divided into:  - forest  - grassland  - desert  - tundra
  48. 48.  Forest regions categorized by trees they support—broadleaf or needle  Deciduous—broadleaf trees: maple, oak, birch, cottonwood  - mostly in Northern Hemisphere  Coniferous—needle leaf trees; cone bearing: pine, fir, cedar  - mostly in Northern Hemisphere  Deciduous and coniferous trees together form mixed forest
  49. 49.  Rain forest— tropical forest covered with broadleaf trees
  50. 50.  Flat regions with few trees  A savanna is a tropical grassland  Steppe, or prairie, are temperate grasslands of Northern Hemisphere
  51. 51.  Plants in these regions have adapted to climate extremes:  - tundra plants (mosses, lichen) hug the ground  - desert plants (cacti, sagebrush) conserve water, withstand heat
  52. 52.  Humans either adapt to land, or alter it to meet their needs  Some human activities that affect the environment:  - building dams  - installing irrigation systems  - planting crops  - slashing and burning vegetation