World at Risk: KEY WORDS

Joanna Griffith
Flashcards by , created over 4 years ago

A series of key words directly taken from the 'World at Risk' section of the Edexcel AS Geography textbook.

Joanna Griffith
Created by Joanna Griffith over 4 years ago
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Question Answer
Context hazard a global threat due to environmental factors such as climate change
Geophysical hazard hazard formed by tectonic/geological (e.g. earthquakes/volcanoes/tsunamis) and geomorphological processes
Hazard A perceived natural event which has the potential to threaten both life and property
Hydro-meteorological hazard A hazard formed by hydrological (water/floods) and atmospheric (storms/droughts) processes
Vulnerability A high risk combined with a low capacity for an individual/community to cope
Disaster A hazard becoming reality in an event that causes death, damage to property and the environment
Risk the probability of a hazard event occurring and creating loss of lives and livelihoods
Albedo how much solar radiation a surface reflects
Climate change Any long-term trend of shift in climate (average weather over 30 years) detected by a sustained shift in the average value of a climatic element (eg. rainfall, drought and storminess)
Enhanced greenhouse effect when levels of GHG in the atmosphere increase due to human activity
Fossil fuels energy sources that are rich in carbon and release CO2 when burnt (coal, oil, gas)
Global warming a recently measured rise in the average surface temperature of the planet
Greenhouse effect the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere due to the trapping of heat that would otherwise be radiated back into space - it enables the survival of life on Earth
Tipping point The point at which a system switches from one state to another
Feedback mechanism where the output of a system amplifies (positive) or reduces (negative) further output (eg. the melting of Arctic permafrost releases trapped methane, which leads to further global warming - positive feedback)
Frequency how often an event of a certain size (magnitude) occurs. For example, a flood of 1m height may occur, on average, every year on a particular river, while a 2m flood may only occur about every 10 years. The frequency is called the recurrence interval.
Magnitude the size of the event (e.g. force of a gale on the Beaufort scale or size of an earthquake on the Richter Scale)
Asthenosphere a semi-molten zone of rock underlying the Earth's crust
Conservative boundary a boundary between tectonic plates where the movement of the plates is parallel to the plate margin and the plates slide past each other
Constructive boundary a boundary between plates where the plates are diverging (moving apart)
Destructive boundary a boundary between plates where the plates are converging (moving together)
Lithosphere the crust of the earth, around 80-90 km thick
Magma molten material that rises towards the earth’s surface when hotspots with the asthenosphere generate convection currents
Plates rigid, less dense “slabs” of rock floating on the asthenosphere
Hotspot a localised area of the earth’s crust with an unusually high temperature
Plume an upwelling of abnormally hot rock within the earth’s mantle
Inter-tropical convergence zone a zone of low atmospheric pressure near the equator, which migrates seasonally
Climate the average conditions of precipitation (rainfall), temperature, pressure and wind over a 30 year period
Thermohaline circulation a global system of surface and deep ocean currents, driven by differences in temperature (thermo) and salinity (haline) between areas of the ocean. Also called the ocean conveyor.
Little Ice Age a cool period in Europe when many Alpine glaciers advanced (1400-1850)
Medieval Warm Period an unusually warm period in the North Atlantic climate (800-1400)
Thermal expansion an increased volume of the oceans as it heats up leading to sea level rise. Accounted for 60% sea level rise in the 20th century (1900s).
Climate forcing any mechanism that alters the global energy balance and forces the climate to change in response
Habitat the environment of plants and animals, in which they live, feed and reproduce
Permafrost permanently frozen ground
Indigenous native/endemic
Eustatic change change in sea level due to change in the amount of water in the oceans
Isostatic change movement of land in response to loss or gain of mass (e.g. melting ice sheets leads to uplift)
Adaptive capacity the extent to which a system can cope with climate change. In human systems it depends on available human, physical, and financial resources.
Climate vulnerability the degree to which a natural or human system lacks the ability to cope with climate change. Vulnerability is a result of the magnitude of the change, its speed of onset, the sensitivity of the system and its adaptive capacity.
Biofuels Fuels such as ethanol, extracted from plants
Sustainable development ’Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (Brundtland Report, 1987)