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Science Language Students Should Know And Use

Biomes
A major, global, living community, characterized by the climate and the dominant form of plant life. Examples include desert and grassland.
Biosphere
The part of Earth capable of supporting life.
Climate
The weather conditions that prevail in a region.
Convection current
An area between Earth's core and mantle where material moves in a circular pattern. Two currents either come together and push up at the surface, or they pull down at the surface. Both currents change the structure of Earth's surface.

Convergent
The action of plates coming together where convection currents go down from Earth's surface.
Divergent
The action of plates moving apart where convection currents rise from beneath Earth's surface.
Fault
A variation of Earth's surface due to shifting or dislodging of the crust as the result of earthquake activity.
Geosphere
The solid part of Earth.
Hot spot
Volcanic activity where magma exits to the surface from a thin crust area rather than at a plate boundary.
Hydrosphere
The water portion of Earth.
Hypothesis
A proposed explanation for a scientific problem that can be tested by investigation.
Plate
One of the sections of Earth's lithosphere which moves in relation to other sections.
Plate tectonics
The dynamics of the movement of sections of Earth's lithosphere used to explain earthquakes, volcanoes, continental drift and mountain building.
Sea-floor spreading
The process of creating new oceanic crust as magma comes out at mid-ocean ridges. Older crust is moved to the side when the new crust is created.
Theory
The statement that an explanation of events based on a hypothesis is accurate for what occurs in nature.
Transform
A type of plate boundary where two plates are moving laterally in relation to each other. Also sometimes referred to as a sliding boundary.
Volcanic eruption
The sudden occurrence or discharge of magma or steam and exploded volcanic materials.
Weather
The current state of the atmosphere in a given location with respect to temperature, moisture, wind speed and barometric pressure.
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Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

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