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Social Science-Vocab


absolute location the locationo f a place as pinpointed interms of the global geographic grid
accent a dialect difference that involoves pronunciation only
acculturation the process of adopting some aspect of another culture
aciherding or domestication of aquatic animals and farming of aquatic plantd deposition the depostiion of acidic substances on the ground, primarily as a result of sulfu and nitrogen oxide pollution of the atmosphere
actual evapotranspiration (ACTET) the amount of water evaporated and/or transpired in a given environment
adiabatic cooling the cooling of air as a result of expansion of rising air, adiabatic meas "without heat being involved"
advection the horizontal movements of air or substances by wind or ocean currents
Afican diaspora The migration of black peoples out of Africa
agglomeration the bringing of people and activities together in one place for greater convenience
agricultural inputs all the inputs (materials, labor, capital) that go into growing and harvesting a crop
agricultural revolution the application of science and technology to agriculture, resulting in greatly increased yieldes and releasing workers for other occupations
alluvial fan a fan-shaped depoit of sediment formed where stream emerges from a narrow canyon onto a wider valley floor
alpine glacier a glacier occupying a valley in a mountainous area. The movement of an alpine glacier is primarily governed by the underlying topography
angle of incidence the angel at which solar radiation strikes a particular place at a point in time
apartheid a policy of racial segregation enforced in South Afica 1948-1993
aquaculture herding or domestication of aquatic animals and farming of aquatic plants
arithmetic density the number of people per unit of area
artifact a material object of culture; literally, "a thing made by skill"
asylum safety that a country grants to refugees
atmosphere a thin layer of gases surrounding Earth to an altitude of less than 480 kilometers (300 miles)
autocratic a form of government that is run according to the interests of the ruler or ruling elite rather than the people
autumnal (fall) equinox September 22 or 23 in the Northern Hemisphere, or March 20 or 21 in the Southern Hemisphere, when at noon the perpendicular rays of the Sun strike the equator (meaning that the Sun is directly overhead along the equator)
basic secotr the part of a city's economy that is producing exports
beach a deposit of wave-carried sediment along a shoreline, on which waves break
behavioral geography the study of how people perceive their environment and of how their thoughts and perception influence their behavior
bilateral agreement a formal agreement made between two countries
biodiversity the amount of variety of living things in a given environment
biogeochemical cycle the environmental recycling process that passes essential substances such as carbon, nitrogen, and toher nutrients among the biosphere, atmosphere, gydorsphere, and/or lithosphere
biogeochemical oxygen demand the amount of dissolved oxygen in a water body that is consumed by decay of organic pollutants added to the water
biomagnification the tendency for substances that accumlate in body tissues to increase in concentration as they are passed to higher levels in a food chain
biomass the dry mass of living or formerly living matter in a given environment
biome a large grouping of ecosystems characterized by particular plant and animal types
biosphere all living organisms on Earth
biotechnology new techniques for modifying biological oranisms and their physiological processes for applied purposes
blog a web log, an online diary or newsletter on the internet
boreal forest an evergreen needleleaf forest characteristic of cold continental climates
brain drain the emigration of a country's best-educated people and most skilled workers
broadleaf deciduous forest a forest with broadleaved trees that lose their leaves in teh winter; characteristic of humid midlatitude environments
brownfields abandoned polluted industrial sites in central cities, many of which are today being cleaned and redeveloped
capital-intensive activity an activity in which a large amount of capital is invested per worker
capitalist economic system an economic system in which the state defers to private enterprise and a stock market raises and allocates capital
carbon cycle the movement of carbon among the atmosphere, hydrosphere, bioshpyere, and lithosphere as a result of processes such as photosynthesis and respiration, sedimentation, weathering, and fossil-fuel combustion
carbon dioxide a trace gas formula CO2; a major contributor to the greenhouse effect
carbon monoxide a pollutant with chemical formaula CO formed by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels
carnivore an animal whose primary food supply is other animals
carrying capacity the population that can be supported by a given resource, as in the number of people that can be supported by agricultural land.
cartel an organization formed to control the market for a particular commodity, usually by restricting supply
cartogram a maplike image designed to convey the magnitude of something rather than exact spatial locations
cartography map making
caste a group in the rigid social hieracrchy of Hinduism
central business district (CBD) the traditional core of a city, where office buildings and retail shops tend to be concentrated
central place theory a model of the distribution of cities across an isotropic plain
centrifugal forces forces that tend to pull states apart
centripetal forces forces that bind a state together
chain migration a migration pattern resulting when migrates follow the paths of previous migrants from the same area of origin to the same destination
chemical weathering the breakdown of rocks or minerals through chemical reactions of Earth's surface
city a concentrated nonagricultural human settlement
civil society networks of individuals who are not controlled by states or businesses
climate the totality of weather conditions over a period of several decodes or more
climax community the end point of community succession
cloning the production of identical organisms by asexual reproduction from a single cell of a preexisting organism
cognate a word that clearly looks or sounds like one in another language to which it is related historically
cognitive behavioralism the theory that people react to their environment as they perceive it
cold front the boundary formed when a cold air mass advances againsta awarmer one
Cold War The competition between the United STates and the Soviet Union for global influence during the peirod between World War 2 and the collapse of the Soviet Union
collapsed state a state that has proven incapable of providing its citizens with either economic development or even peace and security
commerical agriculture the raising of food to sell
commerical revolution the tremendous expansion of global trade between about 1650 and 1750
commodification the marketing of cultural practices and material artifacts for sale to outsiders
common market a customs union within which common laws create similar conditions of production
community succession or succession a process of ecosystem change in which organisms modify their immediate enviroments in ways that allow other species to establish themselves and dominate
composite cone volcano a volcano formed by a mixture of lava eruptions and more explosive ash eruptions
concentration the distribution of a phenomenon within a given area
condensation water changing from a gas state (vapor) to a liquid or solid state
conformal map a map that distorts size but preserves shapes
congregation residential clustering by choice
consolidated metropolitan statistical area (CMSA) two or more contiguous MSAs
contiguous diffusion or contagious diffusion diffusion that occurs from one place directly to a neighboring place
continental glacier a thick glacier hundreds to thousands of kilmeters across, large enough to be only partly guided by underlying topography
continental shelf an area of relatively shallow water that surrounds most continents between the shore and the point where the continental slope drops more sharply to the deep sea floor
convection circulation in a fluid caused by temperture-induced density differences, such as the rising of warm air in the atmosphere
convergent plate boundary a boundary between tectonic plates in which the two plates move toward one another, destorying or thickening the crust
core area the historic homeland of a nation or area of greatest settlement
coriolis effect the tendency of an object moving across Earth's surface to be deflected from it's apprent path as a result of Earth's rotation
Council of Europe a multilateral treaty organization of European countries formed in 1949 to promote cooperation on democratic principles, human rights, and the rule law
creole a pidgin language that has become a mother tongue
crude birth rate the annual number of live births per thousand people
crude death rate the annual number of deaths per thousand people
cultural boundaries political boundaries drawn with respect to existing patterns of human activity
cultural diffusion the spreading of sultural attributes
cultural ecology the study of the ways societies adapt to environments
cultural geography the study of the geography of human cultures
cultural imperialism the subsitution of one set of cultural tradtions for another, either by force or by degrading those who fail to acculturate and rewarding those who do
cultural landscape a landscape that reveals the many ways people madify their local environment
cultural mosaic a phrase describing Canada and suggeting that various cultural groups retain individuality there
cultural preservation the effort to document, popularize, and rejuvenate traditional cultures
cultural realm the region throughout which a culture prevails
culture a bundle of attributes of shared bevior a belief, including virtually
culture area or region the entire region in which a cultural trait occurs
culture core area the region in which a cultural trait is predominant
culture domain the area in which a cultural trait is common but not predominant
culture realm the area in which a cultural trait occurs but may be common than other comparable trits
customs union a free-trade area that enforces a common external tariff
cyberspace the extension of reality through global electronic means of communication
cyclone large low-pressure area in which winds converge in a counter-clockwise swirl in the Northern Hemisphere (or clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere)
delta a deposit of sediment formed where a river enters a lake or an ocean
demographic equation or blancing equation a population's rate of natural increase (or decrease) plus the net migration rate (which may be negative)
demographic transition model a model that describes that historical experience of population growth in the countries that are today rich
demography the analysis of a population in terms of specific characteristics, such as age or income levels
density the frequency of occurrence of a phonomenon in relation to its geographic area
dependency ratio the ratio of the combined population less than 15 years old and adult population over 65 years old to the population of those between 15 and 64 years of age
desert a vegetation type with sparsely distributed plants, specifically adapted for moisture gathering and moisture retention
desert climate a climate with low precipitation and temperatures war enough to cause potential evapotranspiration to be substantially higher than percipitation for most or all of the year
desert pavement the stony surface of a desert soil formed by selective removal of fine particles by surface erosion
desertification the process of a region's soil and vegetation cover becoming more desertlike as a result of human land use, usually by overgrazing or cultivation
dialect a variation within a language
diffusion the process of anitem or a feture spreading through time
diffusionism the theory that aspects of civilization were developed in very few places and then diffused from those places to the rest of the world
digital divide the gap between regions with high and low levels of digital technology use, especially electronic communications
diminishing returns a condition that exist when, upon adding equal amounts of one factor of production, such as fertilizer or labor, each successive application yields a smaller increase in production than the application just preceding
discharge the quantity of water flowing past a point on a stream per unit time
dissoved oxygen oxygen found in dissoved form in water, it is essential for aquatic animals, and depleted by pollution
distance the extent of space between two objects or places, it can be measured absolutely, in terms of miles or kilometers, or in terms of other units, such as time or cost to cross
distance decay the dimiution of the presence or impact of any cultural attribute away from its hearth area
distribution the position, placement, or arrangement of a phenomena
divergent plate boundary a boundary between tectonic plates in which the two plates move away from each other, and new crust is created between them
domestication the process of adapting plants and animals to obtain their intimate association with humankind, to the advantage of humankind
double cropping harvesting two crops from each field per year
doubling time the number of years it would take any country's population to double at the present rate of increase
downstream activites economic activites that are second, third, or even fourth steps in the transformation of a raw material into goods for ulimate consumers
drainage basin the geographic area that contributes runoff to a particular stream, defined with respect tto a specific location along that stream
drainage density the total length of streams in a drainage basin divided by the drainage area
drift changes and errors in how a language is used that accumlate over time
dune an accumlation of windblown sand, shaped by the wind
earthquake a sudden release of energy within Earth, producing a shaking of the crust
ecology the scientific study of ecosystems
economic development the process of progressively increasing the value of goods and services that place is able to produce in order to enjoy or export
economic geography the study of how various people make their living and what they trade
economies of scale economices of scale
economies of scale economic factors which determine that as the number of units of a good produced increases, the prodcution cost per unit generally falls
ecosystem an interrelated collection of plants and animals and the physical environment with wich they interact
ecotourism travel to see distinctive examples of scenery, unusaul natural environments, or wildlife
edge cities new larger urban areas located outside old central cities
ejido a mexican form of land tenure in which a peasant community collectively owns a piece of land along with the natural resources and houses on it
El Nino a circulation change in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, from westward flow to easward flow, that occurs every few years
electoral geography the study of voting districts and voting patterns
electronic networks interconnected communication systems that allow users to exchange information
emigration movement away from a place
enculturation or socialization teaching younsters a society's values and traditions, its political and social culture
endogenic processes forces within Earth that affect its surface, such as plate tectonics, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes
energy intensity the amount of energy required to produce a unit of economic output
environmental determinism the simplistic belief that human events can be explained entirely as the result of the effects of the physical environment
epicenter the location on Earth's surface immediately avoe the focus of an earthquake
epidemiological transition the shift within a country of the principal causes of death from infectious to degenerative diseases
epidemiology the study of the incidence, distribution, and control of disease
equal-area map a map projection that preserves size but distorts shape
equator Earth's imaginary midline perpendicular to the axis and midway between the poles
ethnic cleansing the forcible and violent expulsion from political territory of persons of a particular culture
ethnic enclave an area that contains a high concentration of one cultural group in contrast to the surrounding area
ethnic group a dubious term suggesting that a particular cultural group is in the minority or "not normal" for a particular place and time
ethnocentrism a tendency to judge foreign cultures by the standards and practices of one's own; and usually to judge them unfavorably
ethnontionalism the claim that a particular culture group has special political rights over other groups in a given area
etymology the study of the origin and history of words
European Union (EU) a bloc of European countries enjoying free trade and committed to some degree of political union
eutrophication an increase in growth of aquatic plants such as algae and assciated increase in nutrient levels in a water body
evapotranspiration the sum of water converting from liquid to vapor state via evaporation or transpiration
evolutionism the theory that a culture's sources of change were embedded in the culture from the beginning, so the course of development was internally determined
exclusive economic zone (EEZ) a 200-nautical-mile zone within which a coastal state controls both mining and fishing rights from its shores
exogenic processes Forces origination in the atmosphere that, aided by gravity, shape Earth's surface; erosion by running water, glaciers, wind, and waves are examples
export-orientation or export-oriented growth a nation econmic policy of welcoming foreign investment to build factories that will manufacture goods for international markets
external economies the range of goods and service that takes place without agreement of the parties in a market; pollution is generally considered an externality
exurbs the settlements that make up the outermost ring of expanding metropolitan areas
failed state a state that has proven incapable of providing its citizens with either economic development or even peace and security
famine food shortages that lead to extensive starvation
fault a fracture in Earth's crust along which displacement of rocks has occurred
federal government a form of government in which a central government shares power with sub units
fertility transition a historical decrease in births in which populations move from high to low birth rates
fishery a concentration of aquatic species suitable for commercial harvesting
floodplain a low-lying surface adjacent to a stream channel and formed by materials deposited by the stream
focus (of an earthquake) the location in Earth where motion originates in a earthquake
folk culture a culture that is handed down and preserves traditions
food chain the sequential consumption of food in an ecosystem, beginning with green plants, followed by herbivores and carnivores, and ending with decomposers
food security having access to sufficient and appropriate food to be healthy
foreign direct investment (FDI) Investment by foreigners in wholly owned enterprises that are operated by the foreigner
formal region a region defined by essential uniformity in one or more physical or cultural features
fossil fuel a source of chemical energy stored in formely living plant and animal tissue. Coal, oil, and natural gas are fossil fuels
free-trade area an international territory having no internal tariffs, but that give its member the freedom to set their own tariffs on trade with the rest of the world
friction of distance the effort, time, or cost necessary to move or transport items
front a boundary between warm air and cold air
functional region a region defined by interaction among places, such as trad and communication
fundamentalism the strictest adherence to traditional religious beliefs
Gala hypothesis a holistic view that likens EArth to a living organism with the ability to regulate critical functions, such as climate, through interactions between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and lithosphere
gateway city an urban area that emerges at the intersection of two different physical or cultural areas
gender roles the culturally defined duties and behaviors associated with being a man or a woman
gene splicing or recombinant DNA the joining of the genes of two or more organisms to produce recombinant (recombined) genetic material
genetic engineering the minpulation of species' genetic material through selective breeding or recombinant DNA
genocide the practice of intentionally trying to eliminate a nation, ethnic, racial, or religious group
gentrification the occupation and restoration of select urban residential neighborhoods by wealthy urban white-collar workers
geographic information system (GIS) a computer system used to organize, store, analyze, and display geographic information
geography the study of the interaction of all physical and human phenomena at the individual places and of how interactions among places form patterns and organize space
geometric boundaries political boundaries drawn with respect ot lines of latitude, longitude or specific coordinates
geomorphyology the study of the shape of EArth's surface and the processes that madify it
geopolitics the influence of physical or human geography on international affairs
gerrymandering the drawing of voting distric lines in ways that include or exclude specific groups of voters, sot that one group gains an unfair advantage
glacier a large mass of lowing, perennial ice
global civil society international networks of actvists organized around specific issues
global positioning system (GPS) a navigational tool consisting of a fleet of satellites orbiting Earth, broadcasting digital codes, and a portable reciever that can receive those codes and determine its location
global security the reduction of risks that present common threats to all states
global warming a general increase in temperatures over a period of at least several decades believed to be caused primarily by increased levels of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere
globalization the organization of any activity treating the entire glove as one place
grade a condition in which a stream's ability to transport sediment is blanced by the amount of sediment delivered to it
green revolution an intensive effor, starting about 1950, to develop new grain varieties and associated agronic systems and to establish them in developing countries. It focused on certain crops and certain techniques, and was driven largely by private foundations
greenhouse effect atmospheric warming that results from the passage of incoming shortwave energy and the capture of outgoing longwave energy
greenhouse gases trace substances in the atmosphere that contribute to the greehouse effect; water vapor, cargon dioxide, ozone, methan, and chlorofuorocarbons are important examples
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) The time at the prime meridian or 0 degree longitude at Greenwich, England
gross domestic product (GDP) the total value of all goods and services produced within a country
gross national income (GNI) a country's GDP plus any income that residents receive from foreign investments, minus any money paid out of the country to foreign investors
groundwater the water beneath Earth's surface at a depth where rocks and/or soils are saturated with water
growth rate the value of a population's annual demographic equation divided by the population size at the beginning of that year
gyre a circular ocean current beneath a subropical high-pressure cell
hearth the place where a distinctive culture origninated
hervivore an animal whose primary food supply is plants
heritage site a place where a dead or dying folk culture is preserved or commenorated
hierarchical diffusion diffusion that occurs downward or upward through a organizational hierarchy; when mapped, it shows up as a network of spots
hinterland the region to which any city provides services and updon which it draws for its needs
historical consciousness a peoples conciousness of pst events insofar as that consciousness influences their present behavior
historical geography the study of the geography of the past and how geographic distributions have changed
historical materialism the belief that technology has historically increased humankind's control over the environment and imporved material welfare, and that this imporvement prompts other historical events and movements
horizon a layer in the soil with distinctive characteristics drived from soil-forming processes
Human Development Index (HDI) An index that combines statistics of life expectancy, school enrollment, literacy, and income to comparie the quality of life around the world
human geography the study of the geography of human groups and activities
human rights the set of rights, such as the freedom of speech and the right ot own property, that are thought by some to apply to all people
humid continental climate a climate characterized by cold winters and warm summers, with moderate levels of precipitation
humid subtropical climate a climate with cool winters, hot summers, and moderately high levels of precipitation
humid tropical climate a climate with high temperatures and high rainfall amounts all the year
hunger the deficiency of a person' or population's diet in calories, protein, vitamins, or micronutrients
hunter-gather a person who live on what he or she can hunt or harvest from Earth
hurricane an intense tropical cyclone that develops over warm ocean areas in the tropics and subtropics, primarily during the warm season. Hurricanes in the Pacific Ocean are called typhoons; in the Indian Ocean they are called cyclones
hybridity the idea that two different cultures can be combined
hydrocarbon a chemical substance composed of carbon and hydron; hydrocarbons in the atmosphere contribute to the formation of photochemical smog
hydroelectic power electricity generated by water passing through turbines at a dam
hydrologic cycle the movement of water from the atmosphere to Earth's surface, across that surface, and back to the atmosphere
hydrosphere the water realm of EArth's surface, including the oceans, surface waters on land (lakes, streams, rivers), groundwater in soil and rock, water vapor in the atmosphere, and ice in glaciers
ice-cap climate a climate with very cold temperatures all year, including summer temperatures that are rarely above freezing
iconography a state's set of symbols, including a flag and anthem
identity the characteristics that are used to descrive the unique qualities of an individual or that are thought to be shared by a group of people
igneous rock rock formed by crystallization of magma
immigration movement into a place
import-substitution a national economic policy of protecting domestic infant industries
incorporation the process of defining a city territory and establishing a government
indigenous peoples as defined by the United Nations, "descendants of the original inhabitants of a land who were subjugated by another people coming after them"
indirect rule the imperialist use of native rulers as intermediaries between the imperialists and the people
Industrial Revolution the evolution, which first occurred in Europe between about 1750 and 1850, from agricultural and commercial society to industrial society relying on inanimate power and complex machinery
industrial society a society with a significant share of its output from the secondary sector
industrialized economy a country has achieved a high level of income from manufacturing
inertia the force that keeps things stable or fixed in place
infant industry a newly developing industry that probably cannot compete with imports
infant mortality rate the number of infants per thousand who die before reaching 1 year of age
infiltration capacity the maximum amount of water that can soak into a soil per unit time
informal sector or underground sector economic activities that do not appear in official accounts
infrastructure fixed assets in place, such as buildings, dams, and roads
innocent passage the internationally guaranteed right of the ships of one state to pass through the territorial waters of another on their way to a third
insolation the amount of solar energy intercepted by a particular area of Earth
intergovernmentalism the creation of organizations through the cooperation of many individual states
internal economics goods and services that a large company can provide for itself
internal frontier a sparsely populated and underdeveloped region within a country that may have potential for settlement development
internally displaced person (IDP) a person who has been forced to flee his or her home but has not left his or her country or origin
International Date Line An imaginary line on Earth's surface where, by international agreement, travelers traveling eastward subtract one calendar day and travelers traveling westward add one calendar day. The line generally follows the 180 degree meridian, but it deviates for
intertertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) a low-pressure zone between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn where surface winds converge
irredenta territory that one state claims from another
isogloss a line around places where speakers use a linguistic feature in the same way
isolate a language unrealted to its neighbors
isostatic adjustment a vertical movement of Earth's crust, caused by the loading or unloading of the buoyant crust
isotropic plain a theoretical perfectly flat surface with absolutely no variations across it
karst an assemblage of landforms found in areas of intense subsurface chemical weathering that often include features such as caves and underground drainage
kleptocracy government by thieves or theft
labor-intensive activity an activity that employs a high ratio of workers to invested captial
laissez-faire capitalism a capitalist system that minimizes the government's role in the economy
land reform the redistribution of large land holdings such as plantations to poor would-be farmers
landform a characteristic shape of the land surface, such as a hill, valley, or flood plain
language a set of words, plus their pronunciation and methods of combining them, that is used and understood as communication within a group of people
language family languages that are related by descent from a common protolanguage
large-scale map a map that shows a given area in a large space
latent heat exchange the exchange of energy necessary to change water from one of its states to another-solid, liquid, or gaseous
latitude the location of a place measured as angular distance north and south of the euator
lava magma that reaches Earth's surace and erupts
liberation theology the belief in putting the problems of overcoming poverty at the heart of Christian theology
life expectancy the average number of years that a newborn baby within a given population can expect to live
lingua franca a second language held in common for international discourse
liquidity the quality of being readily convertible into cash
lithosphere the solid Earth, composed of rocks and sediments overlying them
Little Ice Age The period between about 1500 and 1750, when climates on Earth were especially cool
local content requirement a definition of the percentage of the totatl value of a good entering one country that must have been added in the second country for that product to qualify as a product of the second country
location the place where a thing is; it can befined absolutely or relatively
loess accumulation of windblown silt
longitude the location of a place measured as angular distance east and west from the prime meridian
longshore current a current in the surf zone along a shoreline, parellel to the shore
longshore transport sediment trasport by a longshore current
lonwave energy energy radiated by Earth in wavelenghts of about 5.0 to 30.0 microns
magma molten rock beneath Earth's surface
malnourished a person's having not enough nutrients
Malthusian theory the pessimistic argument that population increases will always outpace increases in food prodction, causing cycles of war, famine, and disease, articulated by Thomas Malthus
mantle the portion of Earth above the core and below the crust
map a two-dimensional (flat) representation of some portion of Earth's surface
maquiladora A factory in Mexico specializing in assembling items for export to the US market
marine terrace a nearly level surface along a shoreline, elevated above present sea level, formed by coastal erosion at a time when sea level at the location was higher than a present
marine west coast climate a climate with moderately cool winters, moderately warm summers, and moderate to high rainfall all year
market-oriented manufacturing manufacturing that locates close to the market either because the processing increases the perishablility of the product or because the processing adds bulk or weight to the product
Marshall Plan a plan of financial aid for the economic rehabilitation of Europe after World War 2; named for US Secretary of State George C Marshall
mass movement downslope movement of rock and soil at Earth's surface, driven mainly by the force of gravity acting on thos materials
material-oriented manufacturing manufacturing that locates close to the source of the raw material either because the raw material is heavy or bulky or because it is perishable
meandering the tendency of flowing water to follow a sinuous course with alternating right and left hand bends
mechanical wethering the breakdown of rocks into smaller particles caused by application of physical or mechanical forces
Mediterranean climate a climate with warm, dry summers and cool, moist winters
megacity an urban area with 10 million or more inhabitants
melting pot name given to the United States in a 1914 novel of that title, suggesting that ethnic and racial differences among immigrants melt together to form one culture
meltwater channel a river channel carved by water from a melting glacier
mental map the ideas that people have about places, regardless of whether those ideas are true or false
meridians imginary lines extending from pole to pole and crossing all parellels at right angles
meritocracy a society in which the most capable people can rise to the top based on merit alone
metamorphic rock rock formed by modification of other rock types, usually by heat and/or pressure
methane a trace gas found in the atmosphere with chemical formula CH4, a major contributor to the greehouse effect
metropolitan statistical area (MSA) according to the US Census Bureau, "an integrated economic and social unit with a recongnized large popluation nucleus"
microclimate an area with local climate conditions, as in a city, that differ from those of surrounding areas
midlatitude cyclone a storm characterized by a center of low pressure in the midlatitudes usually associated with a warm front and a cold front
midlatitude low-pressure zones regions of low pressure with air converging from the subtropical and polar high-pressure zones
migration chain a network of social and communication linkages that attracts migrants to follow others who have previously migrated
model an idealized, simplified representation of reality
monoculture the specialized production of one crop
monotheism belief in the existenc of only one god
monsoon circulation seasonal reversal of pressure and wind in Asia, in which winter winds from the ASian interior produce dry winters, and summer winds blowing inland from the Indian and Pacific oceans produce wet summers
moraine an accumlation of rock and sediment deposited by a glacier, usually in or near the melting area
multilateral agreement a formal agreement made between more than two states
multinational corporation an enterprise that produces and markets goods in several countries
multiplier effect the fact that jobs in a city's basic sector multiply jobs in the nonbasic sector
nation a group of people who want to have their own government and rule themselves
national security a government's assessment of the risks that threaten its rule
national self-determination the idea of the nation-state as defended by US President Woodrow Wilson after World War I
nation-state a state ruling over a territory containing all the people of a nation and no others
natural landscape a landscape without evidence of human activity
natural population increase or decrease the difference between the number of births and the number of deaths
natural resource something that is useful and that exists independent of human activity
net migration rate the number of emigrants subtracted from the number of immigrants for an area
network hypothesis the theory that central city unemployment is caused by a lack of social networks
nitrogen oxide a compound of nitrogen and oxygen with chemical formula NOx; a component of air pollution
nonbasic sector the part of a city's economy serving the needs of the city itself
nongovermental organization (NGO) a group of private individuals committed to promoting particular issues or providing material assistance, often across international boundaries
nonrenewable resource a resource that is either not being produced by nature or is produced much more slowly than it used by humans
North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) an agreement between the United STates, CAnada, and Mexico to reduce barriers to trade and investment between their countries
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) amilitary bloc founded in 1949. Its membership and activities have expanded significantly, bringing its very purpose into question
offical language the language in which legal documents are kept in a country
offshore outsourcing a company's relocation of some economic activites to another country where costs are lower
omnivore an animal that feeds on both plants and other animals
opportunity cost a capital return sacrificed by leaving capital invested in one form or activity rather than another
Organization for Security and cooperation in Europe an intergovernmental organization focused on conflict resolution, election reform, and arms reduction
orthography the study of writing, or a system of writing
outsourcing a company's decision to hire another company borders by bonds of family, clan, common home provinceto do part of its activities
outwash plain an accumulation of sand and gravel carried by meltwater streams from a glacier, usually deposited immediately beyond the terminal moraine from the glacier
overland flow water flowing across the soil surface on a hillslope, usually resulting from precipitation falling faster than the ground can absorb it
Overseas Chinese Chinese migrants who often remain linked across international
ozone a gas composed of molecules with three oxygen atoms; it is a highly corrosive gas at ground level, but in the upper atmosphere essential to protecting life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet radiation
parallels lines connecting all points of the same latitude
parent material mineral matter such as rocks or transported sediments from which soil is formed
particulate a small solid particle in the air, a componenet of air pollution
partition a boundary drawn to creat new states from the territory of an existing state
pastoral nomadism a group's style of life that does not have fixed residences; the group drives flocks from place to place to find grazing lands and water
pathogen a disease-causing organism
pattern the arrangement of objects within an area
permafrost soil or rock with a temperture below 0 degrees c (32 degrees F) all year
permanent mission one country's diplomatic officers and staff who reside and work in another country
photochemical smog a mixture of air pollutants including oxidants such as ozone, formed by interaction of sunlight and pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons
photosynthesis a chemical reaction that occurs in green plants in which carbon dioxide and water converted to carbohydrates and oxygen
photovoltaic cell a device that converts light to electricity
physical boundaries political boundaries drawn with respect to features of the physical environment
physical geography the study of the characteristics of the physical environment
physiological density the density of population per unit of arable land
plate tectonics theory a theory describing and explaining the movement of large, continent-sized slabs of Earth's crust relative to one another
Pleistocene Epoch a period of geologic time consisting of the first part of the Quaternary Period beginning about 3 million years ago and ending about 12,000 years ago
polar front a boundary between cold polar air and warm subtropical air that circles the globe in the midlatitudes
polar high-pressure zones regions of high pressure and descending air near the North and South Poles
political community governments that join together to form a government to solve common problems
political culture a set of unwritten ways in which written rules are interpreted and actually enforced
political economy the study of individual countries organization and regulation of their economies
political geography the study of the interaction between political processes and the distributions of all other activites and transformations of the landscape
pollution a human-caused increase in the amount of a substance in the environment
pollution prevention a strategy for reducing pollution that focuses on reducing the amount of pollutants created rather than on removing them from waste streams
polyculture the raising of a variety of crops
polyglot state a country that grants legal equality to two or more languages
polytheism the worship of many gods
popluar culture the culture of people who embrace innovation and conform to changing norms
population geography the study of the distribution of human-kind across Earth
population momentum the lag between falling birth rates and continued population growth that persists until the larger cohots complete their reproductive years
population projection a forecast of the future population, assuming that current trends remain the same or else change in defined ways
population pyramid a graphic device that shows the shares of a ntion's population by age groups
possiblilism the theory that the physical environment itself will neither suggest nor determine what people will attempt, but it may limit what people can profitably achieve
postindustrial society a society with the bulk of its economic activity in the tertiary sector
potential evapotranspiration (POTET) the maximum amount of water that caould be evaported from a moist surface and /or transpired by plants if it wer available
potential resource something that is not useful today but may become so in the foreseeable future
prairie a vegetation type characterized by dense grass up to 2 meters high, found in midlatitude semiarid climates
preindustrial society a society with the bulk of its economic activity in the primary sector
primary sector the part of the economy that extracts resources directly from Earth, including agriculture, fishing , forestry, and mining
primate city a large city concentrating a national population or national political, intellectual, or economic life
prime meridian the meridian passing through the royal observatory in Greenwich, England, from which longitude is measured
privatize or privatization to give or sell government assets to private individuals or investors
projection a method of portraying Earth or any portion of it on a flat map
proselytize to try to convert others to your religious believs
protolanguage see root language
proxemic the study of how people perceive and use space
psychological value added an increase in the cost of an item due not to an increase in its actual functionality or usefulness, but in its design, packaging, or "status" advertising
pull factors considerstions that attract people to new destinations
push factors considerations that make a person want to leave a place and seek a better life elsewhere
Quaternary Period the period of geologic time encompassing approximately the pst 3 million years
race a group of people variously defined by relatively minor bilogical differences within the human species
racism the fasle belief in the inherent superiority of one race over another and the linking of human ability, potential, and behavior to racial inheritance
radiation energy in the form of electromagnetic waves that radiate in all directions
recognition the formal acknowldgement by one state of anotehr state's existence
recominant DNA see gene splicing
refugee as defined by the 1951 geneva convention, someone outside his or her country with a "a well-founded fear of being persecuted in his country of origin for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion"
region a territory that exhibits a certain uniformity
regional geography an inventory analysis of all characteristics of any individual place
regionalism political identities based on areas within a state that are culturally or economically different from the rest of the state
relative humidity the actual water content of the air, expressed as a percentage of how much water the air could hold a t a given temperture
relative location the location of a place relative to other places
relocation diffusion diffusion from one widely separated point to another
remote sensing the acquistion of data about Earth's surface from a satellite orbiting the planet or from high-flying aircraft
renenwable resource something that is produced by nature at rates similar to those at which it is consumed by humans
replacement rate a total fertity rate of about 2.1, which stabilizes a popultaion
respiration a chemical reaction that occurs in plants and animals in which carbohydrates and oxygen are combined, releasing water, carbon dioxide, and heat
return migration the return of migrants to their homes or areas of origin
root language or protolanguage the common ancestor language to any group of several of today's languages
runoff flow of water from the land, either on the soil surface or in streams
sanitary landfill a site at which solid waste is deposited and covered with layers of earth
saturation vapor pressure the maximum amount of water vapor that air can hold expressed as a pressure
savanna a vegetation type characterized by grasses and scattered trees, characteristic of seasonally dry tropical climates
scale a quantitative statement of the relative sizes of an object on a map and in reality
scientific revolution in agriculture the continuing application of science to agriculture
sea level the general elevation of the sea surface, averaging out variations caused by waves, storms, and tides
seafloor spreading the creation of new oceanic crust where two tectonic plates are diverging on the seafloor
seasonally humid tropical climate a climate with warm temperatures all the year, a season with high rainfall, and a pronounced dry season
secondary sector the part of the economy that transforms raw materials into manufactured goods
sectoral evolution a shift in the concentration of activity from the economy's primary sector to its secondary and tertiary sectors
secularism a lifestyle or policy that deliberately ignores or excludes religious considerations
sediment transport the movement of rock particles by surface erosion
sedimentary rock rock formed through accummulation of many small rock fragments at Earth's surface
segregation residential clustering as a result of discrimination
seismic waves vibrations or shock wave soriginating at the cocus of an earthquake and transmitted through Earth
seismograph a device for recording movements of Earth's crust, such as earthquakes
semiarid climate a climate with precipitation less than potential evapotranspiration for much of the year, but not as dry as a desert.
sensible heat heat detectable by sense of touch, or with thermometer
separatism a subnational group;s seeking to establish its own state on territory taken from an existing state
service sector that part of the economy that services the primary and secondary sectors
sexuality a person's secual orientation and behavior
shamanism a belief in the power of mediums (shamans) who characteristically go into autohypnotic trances, during which they are thought to be in communion with the spirit world
Sharia Islamic teachings that are often incorporated into civil law in Islamic countries
shield the ancient core of a continent
shield volcano a volcano with relatively gentle slopes formed by eruption of relatively fluid lavas
shorwave energy radiant energy emitted by the Sun in wavelenghts of about 0.2 to 5.0 microns
SIAL crust formed of relatively less ense minerals, dominated by silicon and aluminum (an acronym for silicon-aluminum)
SIMA a crust formed of relatively dense minerals dominated by silicon magnesium (an acroyn for silicon-magnesium)
site the characteristics of the absolute location of a place
situation the characteristic of the relative location of a place
small-scale map a map that shows the land in a very small space
social Darwinism The theory of British sociologist Herbert Spencer that "Nature's law" calls for "the survival of the fittest, " even among cultures and entire peoples
socialization see enculturation
soil a dynamic, porous layer of mineral and organic matter at Earth's surface
soil creep the slow downslope movement of soil caused by many individual, near-random particle movements such as those caused by burrowing animals or freeze and thaw
soil fertility the ability of a soil to support plant growth through the storing and supplying water, air, and nutrients
soil order a major category in the US soil classification system
sojourner a migrant who intends to stay in a new location only long enough to save capital to return home to a higher standard of living
solar energy radiant energy from the Sun
sovereignty the exclusive right to rule over a demarcated space and all the people and resources within it
spatial identity the attachment of a certain identity to a particular place or region
spatial mismatch hypothesis the hypothesis that central city unemployment is caused by the removal of job opportunity to the suburbs and the concentration of the poor in the central city
speech community a group of people who speak together
state an independent political unit that claims exclusive jurisdiction over a defined territory and over all the people and activities within it
steppe a vegetation type characterized by relatively short, sparse grasses, found in midlatitude semiarid climates
storm surge an area of elevated sea level in the center of a hurricane that may be several meters high; storm surge does much of the damage when a hurricane comes ashore
stratus clouds flat layers of clouds formed along a warm front
structural landform a landform whose major characteristics are derived from endogenic processes or by erosional exposure of rock structures
subarctic climate a high-latitude climate characterized by brief, cool summers and long, cold winters
subculture a group that shares a smaller bundle of attributes with a larger, more diverse society
subnationalism regional and other alliances within a state that rival the state's dominant nationalism
subsistence agriculture the raising of food only for oneself, not to sell
substitutability the degree to which one commodity can be substituted for another in various uses
subtropical high-pressure (STH) zones regions of high pressure and descending air at about 25 degrees north and south latitudes
succesion see community succession
sulfur oxide an air pollutant consisting of compounds of sulfur and oxygen, derived mainly from combustion of coal and oil
summer solstice for places in the Northern Hemisphere, June 20 and 21, when at noon the Sun is directly overhead along the parallel of 23.5 degrees north latitude; for places in the souther Hemisphere, dec 21 or 22, when at noon the sun is directly overhead at places alo
superimposed boundaries boundaries drawn over existing territorial demarcations
supply and demand the interplay of buyers and sellers of a commodity in the market place
supranational organization an organization that exercises power over countries
surface erosion the downslope movement of rock and soil and Earth's surface, driven mainly by air, water, or ice moving across the surface
sustainability Human use of Earth's limited resources in ways that do not constrain future resource use
sustainable agriculture food production that can be continued indefinitely and that limits or even reverses environmental degradation
sustainable development economic development that can be continued indefinitely and that limits or even reverses environmental degradation
sustained yield a way of managing a renewable natural resource such that harvest can continue indefinitely
swidden slash-and-burn clearing and cultivation
syncretic religion a religion that combines two or more traditional religious practices
system an interdependent group of items that interact in a regular way to form a unified whole
systematic geography the study of universal laws or principles that apply to all places; topics may be as diverse as the geography of soils (pedology), of life forms (biogeography), of politics (political geography), of economic activities (economic geography), and of cities
tectonic plate a large, continent-sized piece of Earth's crust that moves in relation to other pieces
telecommuting working at home at a computer terminal connected to an office
temperature inversion a layer in the atmosphere in which relatively warm air lies above cooler air
terminal moraine an accumulation of rock and sediment at the toe of a glacier
territoriality organizing social and material practices by controlling a space
terrorism violent acts intended to frighten and to intimidate for political ends a civilian population byond the immediate victims
tertiary sector the part of the economy that offer services, such as retail, consulting, and education
thematic map a map designed to show a particular aspect of the rgion portrayed
theocracy a form of government where a church rules directly
threshold the minimum number of potential customers that is needed for a product or service to be offered
topical geography see systematic geography
topographic map a map that shows variation in elevation
topography the shape of earth's surface; surface relief
toponymy the study of place names
tornado a rapidly rotating column of air ususally associated with a thunderstorm, often having winds in excess of 300 kilometers per hour (185 miles per hour)
total fertility rate the average number of children that would be born to each woman in a given society if, during her childbearing years (15-49), she bore children at the current year's rate for women of that age
toxic substance a pollutant that can be harmful even at very low concentrations
trade wind the prevailing wind in subtropical and tropical latitudes that blows toward the intertropical convergence zone, typically from the northern hemisphere and from the southeast in the southern hemisphere
transform plate boundary a boundary between tectonic plates in which the two plates pass on another in a direction parallel to the plate boundary
transnational corporation an enterprise that produces and markets goods in several countries
transpiration the use of water by plants, normally drawing it from the soil via their roots, evaporating it in their leaves and releasing it to the atmosphere
trophic level a position in the food chain relative to other organisms, such as producer, herbivore, or carnivore
Tropic of Cancer the parallel of 23.5 degrees north latitude
Tropic of Capricorn the parallel of 23.5 degrees south latitude
tropical rain forest broadleaf evergreen vegetation characteristic of humid tropical environments
tsunami an extremely long sea wave created by an underwater earthquake; the wave may travel hundreds of kilometers per hour
tundra a low, slow-growing vegetation type found in high-latitude and high-altitude conditions in which snow covers the ground most of the year
tundra climate a climate characterized by long, very cold wingers and short, cool summers
typhoon a hurricane in the Pacific Ocean
underground sector see informal sector
undernourished having one's bodily functions physically degraded by hunger
undocumented immigrant a person who crosses a border without completing legal papers to do so
unification the erasure or movement of boundaries to unite cross-border groups
unitary government a form of government in which the balance of power lies with the central government
untouchable one of a group of people considered so low that their status is below the formal structure of the Hindu caste system
urban enterprise zones areas within which governments creat generous conditions for enterprises to encourage the creation of jobs
urban form the distribution patter of land use and activities within cities
urban geography the geographic study of cities
urban heat island warmer temperatures ina city compared to the surrounding rural area created by urban activities and conditions
urbanization the process of concentrating people in cities
value added by manufacturing the difference between the value of a raw material and the value of a product manufactured from that raw material
vernacular region a region defined by widespread popular conception of its existence
vernal (spring)equinox March 20 or 21, in the Northern Hemisphere, or Sept 22 or 23 in the Southern Hemisphere, when at noon the perpendicular rays of the Sun strike the equator
virtual reality a "place" created by intense involvement either with interactive electronic devices or else with distant people through electronic devices
volcano a vent in Earth's surface where lava emerges
warm front a boundary formed when a warm air mass advances against a cooler one
water budget an accounting of the amounts of precipitation, evapotranspiration, soil moisture storage and runoff at a given place
wavelength the distance between successive waves of radiant energy or of successive waves on a water body
weather patters of atmospheric circulation, temperature, and precipitation over short time periods such as hours to days
weathering the chemical and/or mechanical breakdown of rocks into smaller particles at Earth's surface
web log see blog
winter solstice for places in the southern Hemisphere when at noon the sun is directly overhead at places along the parallel of 23.5 degrees north Norther Hemispher when at noon the sun is directly over head the places along the parallel of 23.5 degrees south latitude
workers' remittances money that migrant workers send home for elsewhere
xerophyte a plant adapted to living in arid conditions
zero population growth a stabilized world population
zionism the belief that the jews should have a homeland of their own
zoning restricting or prescribing the use to which parcels of land may be put
Created by: DanceLots



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