Earth Science

A:

When hot and cold air meet, the warm air rises above the cool air, creating a low pressure zone. Warm air tends to cool as it reaches higher elevations, with the liquid in it condensing and forming clouds and rain. Cool air rushes in to fill the low pressure zone, pushing more warm air up and creating a cycle that can result in high winds and storms.

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  • What is an ice cap?

    Q: What is an ice cap?

    A: An ice cap is a glacier that covers less than 19,000 square miles. These miniature ice sheets form in polar and subpolar regions that are high in elevation and possess a relatively flat surface. Glacial ice that covers an area greater than 19,000 miles is known as an ice sheet.
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  • What is the Earth's revolution?

    Q: What is the Earth's revolution?

    A: The Earth's revolution occurs in two different ways. The Earth revolves around the sun, and it also revolves, or rotates, on its own axis.
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  • What causes a monsoon?

    Q: What causes a monsoon?

    A: A monsoon is caused when a low-pressure area built up over a hot landmass reacts with a high-pressure zone over a cool ocean, sending moisture-laden wind toward the low-pressure zone. Once over the landmass, the ocean air rises and forms rain clouds. Dense cloud formation and heavy rains are especially likely to occur if there are higher elevations like with inland mountains.
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  • How does the sun affect the Earth?

    Q: How does the sun affect the Earth?

    A: The sun provides the Earth with energy in the form of heat, which it uses to warm the Earth's surface, oceans and atmosphere. The heat energy found in the atmosphere is one of the major components of the Earth's climate and climate change, according to Windows to the Universe.
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  • What are the four biogeochemical cycles?

    Q: What are the four biogeochemical cycles?

    A: The four biogeochemical cycles include the water cycle, the carbon cycle, the phosphorous cycle and the nitrogen cycle. These four cycles involve biology, chemistry and geology and describe the flow of nutrients and waste products on Earth.
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  • Why are deserts hot in the day and cold at night?

    Q: Why are deserts hot in the day and cold at night?

    A: The heat that radiates from the sun and heats up the land begins to heat up the air and then escapes into the atmosphere due to the lack of clouds and humidity. This is the main reason that deserts can be hot during the day but cold during the night.
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  • What is the hardest metal on Earth?

    Q: What is the hardest metal on Earth?

    A: Maraging steel is the hardest metal on Earth. This steel is an alloy of nickel, cobalt and molybdenum. Most of the hardest metals are not naturally occurring; instead, they are man-made alloys.
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  • What is deforestation?

    Q: What is deforestation?

    A: Deforestation is clearing away woodlands to use the cleared land for other uses. Deforestation happens to all types of woodland, including jungle and rain forest. The land is often used for farming or urban development.
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  • What are the characteristics of metamorphic rocks?

    Q: What are the characteristics of metamorphic rocks?

    A: The characteristics of metamorphic rock are that some contain layers and streaks of different colors and textures caused by different minerals. Other metamorphic rocks are more uniform in color and texture and have minerals arranged in parallel layers.
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  • What are some interesting facts about icebergs?

    Q: What are some interesting facts about icebergs?

    A: Fresh water is turned into an iceberg by the splitting or calving of glaciers. Bergs also vary wildly in shape and can be steep or irregular with rounded or flat tops. Because wind and water erode them, they constantly shift shape.
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  • How many minutes of daylight do we gain each day?

    Q: How many minutes of daylight do we gain each day?

    A: In the month of January, between 1.5 to 2 minutes of daylight are gained each day. In February, about 2 1/2 minutes of daylight are gained each day.
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  • What is the composition of air?

    Q: What is the composition of air?

    A: Air is a gaseous substance that is composed primarily of nitrogen, oxygen and argon. The air in the atmosphere that surrounds the Earth is approximately 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and 1 percent argon, with the remainder made up of various other gases including neon, helium and hydrogen.
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  • How many volcanoes does Hawai'i have?

    Q: How many volcanoes does Hawai'i have?

    A: Hawai'i has seven primary volcanoes, out of which three are currently active. The eight primary islands that make up the state of Hawai'i are part of a series of volcanoes.
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  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of fires?

    Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages of fires?

    A: Fires can cause damage to property and homes, but they are also a crucial instrument that has helped man forge tools and keep predators at bay. Even though burns can cause severe injuries to the skin, fire has also helped man cook food.
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  • Where is the windiest place in the world?

    Q: Where is the windiest place in the world?

    A: According to the American Museum of Natural History, Antarctica is the windiest place on earth with winds that are regularly exceed 100 miles per hour. Commonwealth Bay in Antarctica regularly experiences winds in excess of 150 miles per hour.
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  • What causes day and night?

    Q: What causes day and night?

    A: The Earth is constantly spinning on its axis, allowing sunlight to shine on different areas of the Earth at different times of the day, creating daytime when the Sun hits a specific area. When the Sun is not shining on a specific area of the Earth, it is nighttime. Since the Sun does not hit all of the Earth at the same time, it is daytime in some parts of the world, while it is nighttime in others.
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  • How do glaciers change the landscape?

    Q: How do glaciers change the landscape?

    A: Glaciers alter the landscape through erosion of the soil and rocks over which they pass. This erosion process leaves a vertical-walled valley similar to an amphitheater at the glacier's sources, according to Reference.com. As they travel through V-shaped valleys, glaciers transform the valley into a U-shape, grinding away cliffs and the bases of slopes. If the ocean fills these valleys, they become fjords.
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  • How does distance from the sea affect temperature?

    Q: How does distance from the sea affect temperature?

    A: Large bodies of water take longer to warm or cool than the land does, so coastal regions generally see lower temperatures during the summer and warmer temperatures during the winter than areas that are further inland. When warm air from the inland areas meets the cool sea air, moisture and water droplets form fog, which is far less common further from the sea.
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  • Who discovered the chloroplast?

    Q: Who discovered the chloroplast?

    A: Russian botanist Konstantin Mereschkowsky was the first person to discover the chloroplast. His discovery was the result of his work with lichens. In 1905, he began arguing for the symbiotic origin of the chloroplast and nucleus.
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  • What are some examples of ductile metals?

    Q: What are some examples of ductile metals?

    A: Gold and platinum are the most ductile metals on the periodic table of elements. Metals like copper, iron, nickel, manganese, silver, iridium, osmium, tungsten, tantalum, hafnium, rhenium, tin and zirconium can be drawn into very long wires. An ounce of gold can be drawn into a wire 50 miles long.
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  • What are the parts of a wave?

    Q: What are the parts of a wave?

    A: Transverse waves have two parts: a crest, which is the highest point of the wave, and the trough, which is the lowest part of the wave. Longitudinal waves also have two parts: compression, which are areas of high molecular density, and rarefactions, which are areas of low molecular density.
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