anthrosphere The sphere of human activity. Includes the social, political, and economic components of the earth system.
algal blooms Enhanced phytoplankton growth that occurs in nutrient-rich waters.
convection A process by which heat is distributed in the troposphere. Rising parcels of warm air, less dense than their colder surroundings, transport heat vertically.
Coriolis force Force that arises when air moves with respect to the rotating Earth. It causes the wind (or water) to turn to the right in the Northern Hemisphere, and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere.
ENSO El Niño Southern Oscillation. This refers to the simultaneous change in sea level atmospheric pressure patterns (southern oscillation) and water temperatures (El Niño) that occur in the South Pacific Ocean.
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) A measure of the departure-from-normal of the sea level atmospheric pressure between Tahiti and Darwin, Australia. Negative values are correlated with warm ENSO (El Niño) events.
sustainability The ability to continually produce a resource from the earth system.
teleconnections Process by which earth system events in one part of the world are related to events in a different part of the world. For example, a warm ENSO event (El Niño) may be related to a decrease in Atlantic hurricanes.
thermocline Transition zone in a body of water where the temperature profile changes from warm top water to cold bottom water.
upwelling Process by which cold, nutrient-rich water is brought to the surface from deeper regions.
vector Organism, such as a mosquito, that transmits disease.
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