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Biosphere

acid rain Falling of rain (or snow) rich in


sulfur and nitrogen oxides.
biome A large land region characterized
by dominant plant species and
habitat conditions.
biosphere All regions of the Earth's waters,
crust, and atmosphere in which
organisms live.
climate Prevailing weather conditions in a
region.
conifer One of the gymnosperms;
evergreen woody tree or shrub with
needlelike or scalelike leaves.
desertification Natural or human-induced
conversion of grassland or cropland
to a desertlike condition.
downwelling Downward movement of water
along a coast, from the ocean
surface to its depths.
ecoregion Broad land or ocean region defined
by climate, geography, and
producer species.
El Niño A recurring warm current that
displaces cool, nutrient-rich water
along South America's coast. A
massive eastward movement of the
western equatorial Pacific's warm
surface water causes it.
eutrophication Nutrient enrichment of a body of
water .(e.g., a lake or pond).
fall overturn Downward movement of oxygen-
rich surface waters and upward
movement of nutrient rich waters
from the depths of a temperate-
zone lake in autumn.
La Niña Cool climatic event that occurs
between El Niño episodes; it, too,
has global effects.
marine snow Organic matter that drifts to ocean
depths and supports deep-sea food
webs.
ozone Seasonal thinning of the ozone
thinning layer in the atmosphere; most
pronounced above polar regions.
permafrost A water-impermeable, perpetually
frozen layer beneath the soil of
arctic tundra.
rain shadow Reduction in rainfall on the leeward
side of a high mountain range;
results in arid or semiarid
conditions.
spring Downward movement of oxygenrich
overturn surface waters and upward
movement of nutrient-rich waters
from the depths of many temperate-
zone lakes in spring.
temperature Globe-spanning latitudinal bands of
zone temperature (e.g., tropical, warm
temperate, cool temperate).

thermal A layer of dense, cool air trapped


inversion beneath a layer of warm air; can keep
air pollutants close to the ground.
upwelling Upward movement of cold nutrient-
rich water from the ocean depths to
the ocean surface.