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Glossary of Social Studies, Unit 1, Chap1, Lesson 3: geography terms and concepts

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Climate

The average weather a place has over a long period of time(decades, centuries).
natural vegetation
The plant life that grows naturally (all by itself) in a place.
rain shadow

The drier side of a mountain.
humidity

The amount of moisture in the air.
drought

A long period with little or no rain.
arid

dry
Vegetation region: savanna

A kind of grassland that has areas with some trees.
vegetation region:

prairie or grassland

An area of flat or rolling land covered mostly by GRASSES and wildflowers.
Name the 5 main vegetation regions of the United States.
1. Desert
2. Forest
3. Grassland (includes prairies)
4. Savanna
5. Tundra
Name 5 factors affecting a place's climate.
1. Distance to the equator.
2. Distance from oceans.
3. Ocean currents.
4. Elevation.
5. Where a place is located on a continent.

How does "distance from the equator affect climate?

Usually, the closer a place is to the equator, the warmer it is. The further from the equator, the colder it is.

How does a place's distance from oceans affect climate?

Near the ocean, temperatures are not as hot in summer and not as cold in winter.

How do ocean currents affect climate?

The currents carry cold water from the poles and warm water from the equator towards the poles. Examples: California Current and Gulf Stream.
How does elevation affect climate?

Places in the mountains are much cooler. Here is a picture of tropical Mount Kilimanjaro. Its peak is over 19,000 feet above sea level.
How does the location on a continent affect climate?

Mountains create rain shadows. Lack of mountains allow bitter-cold air masses to travel as far as Texas and Florida.
vegetation region:

tundra

A cold, dry region covered in snow at least 6 months a year. Trees can not grow here.
vegetation region:

desert

A dry land land with few plants(cactus grows here. Can be hot or cold.
vegetation region:

forest

A region mostly covered in trees, evergreens +/or broadleaf.

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