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OCR GCSE Geography Glossary

The key vocabulary you need to learn for your OCR GCSE Geography paper. Find all the terms and definitions you need to understand, from ‘AC’ to ‘zero-hours contract’.

A (AC to atmosphere)
Advanced Country: a country that is wealthy, has a wide range of jobs, many services, and a high Human Development Index (HDI).

Accessibility is the ability to reach a place with respect to another place.

adventure tourism
Adventure tourism is tourism involving travel to remote or exotic locations in order to take part in physically challenging outdoor activities.

Agroforestry is allowing crops to be grown in carefully controlled cleared areas among living trees, but allowing some to be harvested for building timber and fuelwood.

albedo effect
The albedo effect is how much surfaces reflect radiation from the Sun; pale ice has a high albedo and reflects heat, whereas dark rainforest has a low albedo and absorbs heat.

An allotment is a plot of land rented by an individual or family for growing vegetables or flowers.

Alluvium are all deposits laid down by rivers, especially in times of flood.

To analyse is to examine something methodically and in detail – to explain and interpret it.

An anomaly is a value that deviates significantly from the trend (plotted far from the line of best fit on a scattergraph) – also known as an outlier or residual.

appropriate technology
Appropriate technology is technology suited to the needs, skills, knowledge, and wealth of local communities and their environment.

arid desert
An arid desert is an area with less than 250 mm of rainfall per year, which is too dry or barren to support vegetation.

The atmosphere is the layer of gases above the Earth’s surface.

B (Bias to by-catch)
When there is a bias, there is a tendency to prefer one thing over another; in geographical enquiry, this can involve subconsciously selecting samples to fit the expected outcome (e.g. interviewing elderly people in a study investigating fear of crime).

Biodiversity is the number of different plant and animal species in an area.

Biomass is the organic material from living organisms, such as plants and animals; also used to describe renewable organic materials that can be a source of fuel or energy.

Biome is a global-scale ecosystem (e.g. tropical rainforest).

Biosecurity are measures aimed at preventing the introduction and/or spread of harmful organisms to animals and plants in order to minimise the risk of transmission of infectious disease.

Biotechnology is the controversial modification of products or processes including the development of genetically modified (GM) crops.

Bottom-up is the grassroots initiatives inspired by individuals or community groups.

bottom-up development
Bottom-up development is the small-scale local (development) projects, run and funded by NGOs working with local communities.

An abbreviation of ‘Britain’ and ‘exit’, Brexit refers to the withdrawal process of the UK from the European Union (EU).

brownfield site
A brownfield site is land that has been used, abandoned, and now awaits reuse – often found in urban areas.

buttress roots
Buttress roots are the thick, shallow roots of tropical rainforest trees that spread to support the weight of the tree above.

By-catch are the unwanted fish and animals caught in huge commercial fishing nets.

C (Carbon footprint to cross profile)
carbon footprint
Carbon footprint is a measurement of the greenhouse gases individuals produce through burning fossil fuels (e.g. cultivating, and transporting food).

carbon sink
A carbon sink is a natural store for carbon-containing compounds like CO2 or methane.

chemical weathering
Chemical weathering is when there is any chemical change or decay of solid rock (e.g. rain mixing with atmospheric gases to form weak acids dissolving limestone).

child mortality
Child mortality is the number of children that die under five years of age, per 1000 of the total population.

Clear-felling is the deforestation by chopping all trees down – leading to complete destruction of forest habitats.

commercial agriculture
Commercial agriculture is the growing of crops or raising livestock for profit – often involving vast areas of land.

Basic or economic goods such as agricultural or mining products.

The Commonwealth is a group of 56 countries who work together on issues such as democracy, trade, the environment, climate change, and gender equality.

On a map, communications refer to transport networks like roads and railways.

composite volcano
A composite volcano is a steep-sided volcano formed from alternating eruptions of sticky, gas-rich lava and ash building up the volcano in layers.

Connectivity is being connected or interconnected.

Conservation is the careful maintenance and upkeep of a natural resource to prevent it from disappearing.

A consumer can be a vegetarian herbivores eating plants (primary consumers) or meat-eating carnivores (secondary consumers) eating animals. (This is in the context of Knowledge Organiser 12 Why are natural ecosystems important?, and Knowledge Organiser 13 Why do tropical rainforests matter?)

convection current
A convection current is thermal plume rising from the Earth’s core, spreading, cooling, and sinking again.

coral reef
Calcium carbonate skeletons of thousands of coral polyps growing in clear, shallow warm water areas.

Coriolis effect
The Coriolis effect is strong force created by the Earth’s rotation, which cause rotating weather systems and tropical storms.

A correlation is the relationship between two variables.

Corruption is dishonest or illegal behaviour – especially by powerful people (such as government officials).

cost-benefit analysis
Cost-benefit analysis is evaluating the social, economic, and environmental costs of a project before deciding whether to go ahead.

Counter-urbanisation is the proportional increase in the number of people living in rural areas – the reverse process of urbanisation.

cross profile
A cross profile is the river valley shape: V-shaped in the upper course and almost flat by the lower course.

D (Debt crisis to drought )
debt crisis
Many poor countries borrowed money to develop their economies by investing in industry, manufacturing, and infrastructure, but couldn’t repay their debts or the high levels of interest.

debt relief
Debt relief is the total or partial cancellation of the debts of the least developed countries in the world by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

A decomposer such as bacteria and fungi that cause the decay and breakdown of dead plants, animals, and excrement – adding nutrients to the soil.

Deforestation is the deliberate cutting down of forests to exploit their resources (e.g. timber, land, or minerals).

De-industrialisation is the decline of a country’s traditional manufacturing industry due to exhaustion of raw materials, loss of markets and competition from EDCs.

Being democratic is where you support democracy or its principles: the idea that everyone should have equal rights and should be involved in making important decisions.

demographic transition
Demographic transition is how population changes over time.

densely populated
Many people living in a country, region, or city compared with another similar-sized area.

dependency ratio
Dependency ratio is the proportion of people above and below normal working age; the lower the ratio, the more workers there are (and so less dependency).

Deposition is when sediment being transported is dropped because of a reduction in energy (e.g. in sheltered bays along the coast, or on the inside bends of river meanders).

Development is the progress a country has made in terms of economic growth, use of technology and human welfare – all usually improving living standards and quality of life.

development gap
The development gap is the difference in standards of living between the world’s richest and poorest countries.

Discharge is the volume of water flowing in a river, measured in cubic metres per second (cumecs).

discordant coastline
A discordant coastline is a coastline alternating between bands of hard and soft rocks, so the rock strata are at right angles to the coast.

Dispersion is how data is distributed within the range spanning the whole set.

When you diversify you reduce the risk by enlarging and varying the economy (being less focused on a narrow range of economic activities).

Dredging is the digging out of rivers and drainage ditches to make them deeper – without this their beds are gradually raised by the accumulation of silt.

drip tip
Drip tip is a distinctive tropical rainforest tree adaptation to drain water from the leaves – which stops mould building up in the humid conditions.

Drought is an extended period when there is much less precipitation than is usual for an area, leading to water shortages.

E (Economic consequence to eye wall)

economic consequence
Economic consequence are consequences relating to money – lost revenue, repair costs, etc.

economic hub
An economic hub is a focal point for the economy of a country or region.

An ecosystem are interacting communities of plants and animals, and the environment in which they live.

Ecotourism is nature tourism usually involving small groups with minimal impact on the environment.

Emerging and Developing Country: a country in transition from being a low-income developing country to an advanced country, with a medium to high Human Development Index (HDI).

El Niño
El Niño is a Pacific Ocean event occurring when weak trade winds, blowing east to west, allow surface temperatures to increase.

enhanced greenhouse effect
Enhanced greenhouse effect is where there is increasing amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere due to human activities (e.g. burning fossil fuels and deforestation) – also known as global warming.

environmental consequence
Environmental consequence are consequences affecting the natural environment.

Erosion is the wearing away and removal of material by a moving force such as a river or breaking wave.

erosion process
Attrition, abrasion, hydraulic action, and solution.

ethical consumerism
Ethical consumerism is buying particular food products (e.g. organic) known to support local businesses, reduce food miles and/or promote animal welfare – all having positive social, economic, or environmental impacts.

ethnic diversity
Ethnic diversity is the presence of people from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds or identities.

European Union (EU)
The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 European countries designed to establish peace, common agreements, and laws, to promote trade, and remove economic and social barriers.

To evaluate is to assess and form an idea of the quality, importance, or value of something.

Evapotranspiration is the combined losses of moisture from vegetation through evaporation and transpiration.

An export are goods and services produced in one country, and sold to buyers in another.

The eye is the centre of a tropical storm: a column of rapidly sinking cool air where conditions are relatively calm and there are no clouds.

eye wall
The eye wall is the outer edge of the eye of a tropical storm, with the most severe conditions of very strong winds (including tornadoes) and torrential rainfall.

F (Fair trade to function)

Fairtrade is an international movement setting standards for trade and environmentally friendly production.

Famine is when there is an extreme scarcity of food.


Favela is the name for a Brazilian shanty town (squatter settlement).

flash flooding
Flash flooding is flooding that appears very quickly as a result of heavy rain.


food bank
A food bank is a store of food run by charities to give 3-days’ worth of food for people and families struggling with the cost of living.

food miles
The term food miles relates to the distances covered supplying food to consumers (e.g. foods imported into the UK).

food security
Food security is having access to enough safe, affordable, and nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.

food web
A food web is the complex network of overlapping food chains that connects plants and animals in biomes (and ecosystems).

foreign investment
Foreign investment is investment in domestic companies and assets of another country by a foreign investor.

fossil fuel
Fossil fuels are non-renewable, natural fuels found underground – buried within sedimentary rock in the form of coal, oil, or natural gas.

Fracking is the drilling and ‘hydraulically fracturing’ oil- and gas-bearing shale by water, sand, and chemicals to release oil or gas.

free trade
Free trade is the International trade left to its natural course without tariffs, quotas, or other restrictions.

freeze-thaw weathering
Freeze-thaw weathering is the physical breakdown of rocks following repeated cycles of water in cracks freezing (and expanding) and thawing (contracting).

A function is the purpose or main activity of a place.

G (G7 to groundwater flow)
A political group of seven advanced economies.

gender inequality
Gender inequality is discrimination on the basis of sex or gender: when men and women are not treated equally.

Gentrification is the improvement of built-up areas by individual property owners, which usually leads to increased commercial activity in local retail services.

geomorphic process
A geomorphic process is any physical process responsible for shaping landscapes – weathering, mass movement, erosion, transportation, and deposition.

gig economy
A gig economy is when the labour market relies heavily on temporary and part-time positions filled by independent contractors and freelancers rather than full-time permanent employees.

Geographical Information System: a database of located geographical information usually based on maps, satellite images and aerial photographs layered with digital data and text.

global circulation system
A global circulation system is the worldwide system of winds transporting heat from tropical to polar latitudes via interconnected cells of air, controlling temperatures and rainfall distributions.

Genetic Modification: when genetic material (DNA) is altered in a laboratory rather than through selective breeding.

Gross National Income: the total income of a country, including earnings abroad.

Gross National Product: the total value of goods produced and services provided by a country during one year, whether or not those goods are produced in that country.

green belt
Green belts are areas of land protected from new developments (such as housing and industry) by strict planning regulations.

Green Revolution
The Green Revolution was a period in the 1960s, when scientists aiming to increase food yields in LIDCs introduced cross-bred animals and high yielding varieties (HYVs) of rice and wheat – usually requiring agrochemicals, irrigation, and mechanisation.

green roof
A green roof is a layer of vegetation planted over a waterproofing system installed on top of flat or slightly sloped roofs to collect rainwater to use indoors.

grey pound
The grey pound is the purchasing power of the elderly – the money that older people as a group have available to spend in an economy.

groundwater flow
Groundwater flow is the water seeping slowly through saturated rocks (underground) towards the river.

H - K (Hadley cell to knowledge economy)

Hadley cell
The Hadley cell is the largest of the atmospheric circulation cells, explaining heavy rain over the ITCZ and deserts around 30° north and south of the equator.

hard engineering
The term hard engineering refers to building physical structures to deal with natural hazards (e.g. sea walls).

Human Development Index: a measurement of development based on the indicators of wealth, health, and education.

HEP station
Hydro-Electric Power station: where electricity is generated using a gravity flow of water from a dam to turn a turbine.

Heavily Indebted Poor Country: a group of 39 LIDCs with high levels of poverty and debt, eligible for special assistance from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

hold the line
Hold the line is a term used in Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) to indicate where sea defences will be used to stop erosion.

A hotspot is a place where magma rises in a plume in the mantle, and may burn through the lithosphere to create shield volcanoes (e.g. the Hawaiian Islands).

Ice Age
The Ice Age was a geologic period during which thick ice sheets cover vast areas of land; the last ice age was from 2.6 million years ago to 11 700 years ago.

igneous rock
Igneous rock is the Earth’s oldest rocks, formed from cooled magma and lava – all very resistant (e.g. granite and basalt).

International Monetary Fund: an organisation of 190 countries working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, reduce poverty, and promote sustainable economic growth, international trade, and high employment.

Immigration is when someone comes to live permanently in a foreign country.

Impermeable is not allowing water through – the opposite of permeable.

indigenous people
Indigenous people are the original inhabitants of a region – some still living traditional lifestyles in tribes, and hunting and gathering their food.

infant mortality
Infant mortality is the number of babies that die under one year of age, per 1000 live births.

Infiltration is water soaking or filtering into the ground (soil).

Infrastructure is the basic services and facilities needed for a country to operate (e.g. roads, railways, power and water supplies, waste disposal, schools, hospitals, and telecommunications).

inner core
The inner core is the solid centre of the Earth.

Insolation is the amount of heat (short-wave radiation from the Sun) that reaches the ground surface.

integrated transport system
The term integrated transport system relates to the different forms of transport linked together to make it easy to transfer from one to another.

Interception is where vegetation leaves and branches capturing rainfall – allowing some to evaporate and the rest to drip onto the ground (soil).

Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone: a narrow zone of low air pressure, from 5° north to 5° south of the Equator, where northern and southern air masses converge.

jet stream
Jet streams are very strong winds high in the atmosphere – used by long-haul aircraft pilots to reduce fuel consumption.

To justify something, you give evidence to support your ideas.

knowledge economy
Knowledge economy is an economy associated with high-tech manufacturing, the service sector, and IT and communications.

L (La Niña to long-term aid)
La Niña
La Niña is a Pacific Ocean event occurring when strong trade winds, blowing east to west, reduce surface temperatures.

Latitude is how far north or south a location on the Earth’s surface is from the Equator, measured in degrees.

Leaching is the process by which the nutrients in the soil are washed away, in solution, by heavy rains.

A levee is a raised river embankment built by material deposited when the river floods.

Low-Income Developing Country: a country that is poor, has a narrow range of jobs, few services, and a low Human Development Index (HDI).

life expectancy
The life expectancy is the average age to which people can expect to live.

Limitations are forced errors or weaknesses in (geographical enquiry) data collection preventing the production of fair and reliable data (e.g. insufficient time to interview sufficient pedestrians).

The term literacy means the ability to read and write.

The lithosphere is the rigid outer layer of the Earth (both crust and upper mantle), which is split into tectonic plates.

long profile
The long profile is the changing gradient of a river from its source to the point where it enters the sea, a lake, or larger river.

The longitude is how far east or west a location on the Earth’s surface is from the Prime Meridian, measured in degrees.

longshore drift
The longshore drift is a zig-zag movement of sediment along the coast caused by waves (swash) going up a beach at an angle and returning (through gravity) at right angles (backwash).

long-term aid
Long-term aid is money, goods, or services given by governments or NGOs to help rebuild livelihoods, properties, businesses, and infrastructure following a disaster.

M - O (Magma to ox-bow lake)

Magma is molten rock that is underground.

Magnitude refers to the size of something: e.g. strength of an earthquake or severity of a volcanic eruption.

When something is malnourished they are suffering from malnutrition – an inadequately balanced diet – whether through undernutrition or overnutrition (obesity).

mass movement
Mass movement is a general term for the movement of weathered rock or soil down slopes under the force of gravity (e.g. rockfalls, landslides, cliff collapses, and soil creep).

Millennium Development Goals: eight ambitious United Nations (UN) goals aimed to halve world poverty by 2015.

The media is the main means of mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and the internet).

A megacity are cities with a population of over 10 million.

metamorphic rock
Metamorphic rock is the resistant rocks formed from sedimentary rocks heated and compressed during tectonic activity (e.g. slate, schist, and marble).

Milankovitch cycle
The Milankovitch cycle is an orbital change, over very long timescales, constantly changing the Earth’s distance from the Sun.

Mitigation is action taken to make something less severe, such as reducing the impact of a hazard by monitoring, prediction, protection, and planning.

Monitoring is the recording of physical changes, such as ground deformation or microquakes around a volcano, to help forecast when and where a natural hazard might strike.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation: a group of 32 countries who have agreed to protect each other should any of them be invaded by another country.

net migration
The net migration is the difference between immigration and emigration.

Non-Governmental Organisation: a typically non-profit entity, formed independent from governments, and active in humanitarian causes – such as the World Bank or Oxfam International.

nutrient cycling
The nutrient cycling is the way nutrients move between biomass, litter, and soil as part of a continuous cycle which keeps both plants and soils healthy.

Official Development Assistance: government aid (excluding loans and credits for military purposes) designed to promote the economic development and welfare of LIDCs.

organic produce
Organic produce is food produced without the use of agrochemicals like fertilisers and pesticides.

Overfishing is when more fish of a particular species are caught than can be replaced through natural reproduction.

ox-bow lake
An ox-bow lake is a crescent-shaped lake formed when a river meander is cut off from the river and isolated.

P - Q (Pandemic to quaternary sector)

A pandemic is an epidemic occurring worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people.

A permaculture is a way of food production following the patterns and features of natural ecosystems involving harvesting rainwater, organic gardening, crop rotation, and managing woodland.

Permafrost is permanently frozen ground (soil and rock).

Photosynthesis is the process whereby plants use light energy (insolation) from the Sun to produce carbohydrates in the form of glucose.

Planning relates to actions taken to enable communities to respond to, and recover from, natural hazards.

Plantation are estates specialising in a single cash crop, such as palm oil.

plunge pool
A plunge pool is the deep pool eroded directly under a waterfall.

population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit land area (usually people per km2).

population pyramid
A population pyramid is a mirrored graph showing the structure of a population by gender and age.

population structure
A population structure is the number (or percentage) of males and females in a population, broken down into age groups – shown on a population pyramid.

A prediction is knowing when and where a natural hazard will strike.

primary data
Primary data is geographical enquiry data collected first-hand – real-time data specific to the needs of the (fieldwork) enquiry.

Producers are plants that convert energy from the Sun by photosynthesis into carbohydrates (e.g. glucose) for growth.

Protection is the constructing infrastructure and buildings to be more resistant to hazards, and so safer.

A protocol is a system of rules that explains the correct conduct and procedures to be followed.

qualitative data
Qualitative data is descriptive data in geographical enquiry – exploratory in nature, involving research and analysis (e.g. interviews).

quality of life
The term quality of life refers to all the variables contributing to human welfare, including happiness, material wealth and possessions, safety, security, freedom, voting rights, and good health.

quantitative data
Quantitative data is measurable (numeric) data in geographical enquiry – verifiable and transformable into useful statistics.

Quaternary period
The Quaternary period is the geological time period of the most recent 2.6 million years (from the present day).

quaternary sector
Quaternary sector are jobs in research, information technology, and the media.

R (Rain shadow to rural–urban migration)
rain shadow
Warm air rises over mountains and cools to cause relief rainfall; the air warms and descends on the leeward side, forming an area with dry conditions.

The range is the span of data across a set, calculated by subtracting the lowest from the highest value.

Reforestation is collecting primary forest seeds for nursery cultivation of saplings before replanting in deforested areas.

Relief is the differences in height and general unevenness of the land above sea level.

relief aid
Relief aid is the short-term emergency aid to provide food, water, shelter, and medical assistance and supplies.

relief rainfall
Rain formed when air is forced to cool when it rises over relief features in the landscape such as hills or mountains.

remote working
Remote working is where working from home is achievable by communicating with the company by email and telephone.

renewable energy
Renewable energy is an energy resource that cannot be exhausted (e.g. wind, solar and tidal energy).

A reservoir is an artificial lake where water is stored – mostly formed by constructing dams across rivers.

A resource is a stock or supply of something that has a value or a purpose.

ridge push
The higher elevation at a mid-ocean ridge causing gravity to push the lithosphere that is further from the ridge.

river basin
A river basin is the area of land from which one river and its tributaries collects its water.

Rostow’s model
The Rostow’s model is a simplified model of economic development outlining five stages that countries should go through as they develop.

rotational slip
A rotational slip is a mass movement in the form of a curved slump or landslip.

rural–urban migration
Rural–urban migration is the movement of people from the countryside into towns and cities (caused by push and pull factors).

S (Saffir-Simpson scale to social consequence)
Saffir-Simpson scale
The Saffir-Simpson scale is a scale that measures a tropical storm’s strength from one to five.

sampling method
In geographical enquiry, the sampling method is the selection of a subset to estimate characteristics of the whole population – whether through a random, stratified or systematic strategy.

sea ice
Sea ice is floating (Arctic) pack ice that extends in winter and retreats in summer, and ice shelves extending from the continental ice sheets in Antarctica.

secondary data
Secondary data is information that is collected by others, e.g. census data.

Sediment is any material eroded from coastal cliffs or river banks – from tiny clay particles to larger silt and sand, up to pebbles, cobbles, and boulders.

sedimentary rock
Sedimentary rock is formed from sediments eroded and deposited from rivers, the sea, or on the seabed (e.g. Carboniferous limestone, chalk, clay, sandstone, and millstone grit).

seismometer (seismograph)
An instrument used to record motion of the ground (e.g. seismic shaking in an earthquake, or microquakes in a volcano).

selective logging
Selective logging is managed forest exploitation whereby only fully-grown (mature) trees are cut down, and trees with important ecological value are left unharmed.

shield volcano
A shield volcano is a broad and flat volcano formed from fluid basaltic lava flowing a long way before cooling.

shifting cultivation
Shifting cultivation is the traditional, sustainable, clearance of small patches of tropical rainforest (by cutting and burning) to provide land and fertile ashes for a few years cultivation before moving on – also known as slash-and-burn farming.

slab pull
Following subduction, the lithosphere sinking into the mantle under its own weight, helping to ‘pull’ the rest of the tectonic plate with it.

slip-off slope
Slip-off slope is sediment on the inside bend of a meander deposited from the slow-moving water.

Smog is air pollution that reduces visibility – a term originally used to describe a mix of smoke and fog.

social care
Social care is physical, emotional, and social support to help people live their lives.

social consequence
A social consequence are consequences directly impacting people.

S (Socially deprived to sustainable management)

socially deprived
The term socially deprived relates to the extent to which an individual or a community is deprived of services and amenities.

soft engineering
Soft engineering is adapting to natural hazards and working with nature to limit damage (e.g. beach nourishment).

sparsely populated
Sparsely populated is where a few people are living in a country or region, compared with another similar-sized area.

A spit is a ridge of sand or shingle, formed by longshore drift, extending out along a coast.

A stakeholder is an individuals, group, or organisation affected by, or having an interest in, an issue.

staple crop
A staple crop is the major part of a diet – supplying the main proportion of energy and nutrient needs.

storm surge
A storm surge is an exceptionally high tide caused by very low air pressure during a tropical storm, which causes coastal flooding.

strategic realignment
Strategic realignment is a term used in Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) to indicate where the coast will be allowed to erode, but those directly affected will be relocated and/or compensated – otherwise known as strategic or managed retreat.

Stratification is the vertical layering of tropical rainforest vegetation in competition for sunlight.

subsistence agriculture
Subsistence agriculture is when farmers grow crops and rear animals to feed their own families.

Sun spot
A Sun spot is intense solar storms on the Sun’s surface that fire more solar energy towards the Earth and increase average temperatures.

Sustainability relate to actions that meet the needs of the present without reducing the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

sustainable (food supplies)
Food production that avoids damaging natural resources, providing good quality produce, and social and economic benefits to local communities.

sustainable management
Sustainable management is meeting the needs of people now, and in the future, whilst limiting harm to the environment.

T (Tectonic plate to tropical storm)
tectonic plate
A tectonic plate is an irregularly shaped and slowly moving section of the lithosphere ‘floating’ on the molten mantle beneath: there are seven major and several minor plates.

temperate climate
Generally subtle, warm, or cool (rather than extreme) climate associated with temperate latitudes of the globe (between the tropics and the Arctic Circles).

A throughflow is where water seeping through pores (air spaces) in the soil towards the river.

Trans-National Company: a company that has operations (factories, offices, research and development, shops) in more than one country.

The term top-down relates to the new initiatives that are government- or transnational company-led.

top-down development
Top-down development is government-led, large-scale national (development) projects, funded by the government or an international organisation.

The term trade relates to the buying and selling of goods and services.

trade wind
Trade wind are predictable, reliable surface winds blowing from high pressure belts to low pressure belts – used in the past by sail-driven trading ships.

Transpiration is the evaporation of water out of pores in plant leaves.

Transportation is the movement of eroded sediment from one place to another – by traction (rolling and dragging), saltation (bouncing), carrying in suspension, and dissolving in solution.

tropical storm
A tropical storm is a powerful, rapidly rotating storm that develops over the tropics.

U - Z (UN to zero-hours contract)
United Nations: the world’s largest international organisation, which aims to maintain international peace and international cooperation between its 193 members.

UN Security Council
The UN Security Council is a body of the UN with the authority to authorise peacekeeping missions, sanctions, and military intervention in other countries.

unemployment rate
Unemployment rate is the percentage of residents in an area without a job and looking for work.

A continuously built-up area.

urban garden
An urban garden is the practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food in or around urban areas – also called urban farming.

urban greening
Urban greening is the process of increasing and preserving open space in urban areas (i.e. public parks and gardens).

urban growth
Urban growth is the physical expansion of urban areas.

urban sustainability
Urban sustainability is creating an urban environment that meets the social, economic, and environmental needs of existing residents without compromising the same for future generations.

Urbanisation is the proportional increase in numbers of people living in towns and cities.

water scarcity
The term water scarcity relates to severe water stress – when water supplies fall below 1000 m3 per person.

water stress
Water stress is where there is pressure on water supplies caused by demand exceeding, or threatening to exceed, supply.

water transfer scheme
The water transfer scheme is the infrastructure projects for moving water from areas of surplus to areas of shortage.

World Health Organisation: a specialised agency of the UN responsible for international public health.

zero-hours contract
A zero-hours contract is a type of employment contract between an employer and an employee whereby the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum number of working hours to the employee.