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Soil
Soil is a mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liquids, and organisms that together support life. The Earth's body of soil is the pedosphere, which has four important functions: it is a medium for plant growth; it is a means of water storage, supply and purification; it is a modifier of Earth's atmosphere; it is a habitat for organisms; all of which, in turn, modify the soil. Soil interfaces with the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, and the biosphere. The term pedolith, used commonly to refer to the soil, literally translates ground stone
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Nutrients
A nutrient is a substance used by an organism to survive, grow, and reproduce. The requirement for dietary nutrient intake applies to animals, plants, fungi, and protists. Nutrients can be incorporated into cells for metabolic purposes or excreted by cells to create non-cellular structures, such as hair, scales, feathers, or exoskeletons. Some nutrients can be metabolically converted to smaller molecules in the process of releasing energy, such as for carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and fermentation products (ethanol or vinegar), leading to end-products of water and carbon dioxide. All organisms require water. Essential nutrients for animals are the energy sources, some of the amino acids that are combined to create proteins, a subset of fatty acids, vitamins and certain minerals. Plants require more diverse minerals absorbed through roots, plus carbon dioxide and oxygen absorbed through leaves
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Lithosphere
A lithosphere (Ancient Greek: λίθος [lithos] for "rocky", and σφαίρα [sphaira] for "sphere") is the rigid, outermost shell of a terrestrial-type planet or natural satellite that is defined by its rigid mechanical properties. On Earth, it is composed of the crust and the portion of the upper mantle that behaves elastically on time scales of thousands of years or greater
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Humid Subtropical Climate
A humid subtropical climate is a zone of climate characterized by hot, humid summers and mild winters. These climates normally lie on the southeast side of all continents, generally between latitudes 25° and 35° and are located poleward from adjacent tropical climates, and south of temperate climates. While many subtropical climates tend to be on or near a coast, in some cases they extend inland, most notably in China and the United States (US). The subtropical climate was created in the 1966 update of the Koppen climate classification. The Trewartha climate classification sought to redefine middle latitude climates into smaller zones (the original Köppen system grouped all middle latitude climates into a single zone, which was the major criticism)
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Archean
The Archean Eon ( /ɑːrˈkən/, also spelled Archaean) is a geologic eon, 4,000 to 2,500 million years ago (4 to 2.5 billion years), that followed the Hadean Eon and preceded the Proterozoic Eon
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Cenozoic
The Cenozoic Era ( /ˌsnəˈzɪk, ˌsɛ-/) is the current geological era, covering the period from 66 million years ago to the present day. The Cenozoic is also known as the Age of Mammals, because of the large mammals that dominate it
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Pleistocene
The Pleistocene ( /ˈplstəˌsn, -t-/, often colloquially referred to as the Ice Age) is the geological epoch which lasted from about 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the world's most recent period of repeated glaciations
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Particle Density (packed Density)
The particle density or true density of a particulate solid or powder, is the density of the particles that make up the powder, in contrast to the bulk density, which measures the average density of a large volume of the powder in a specific medium (usually air). The particle density is a relatively well-defined quantity, as it is not dependent on the degree of compaction of the solid, whereas the bulk density has different values depending on whether it is measured in the freely settled or compacted state (tap density)
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Connectedness
In mathematics, connectedness is used to refer to various properties meaning, in some sense, "all one piece". When a mathematical object has such a property, we say it is connected; otherwise it is disconnected
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Atmosphere
An atmosphere (from Greek ἀτμός (atmos), meaning 'vapour', and σφαῖρα (sphaira), meaning 'sphere') is a layer or a set of layers of gases surrounding a planet or other material body, that is held in place by the gravity of that body. An atmosphere is more likely to be retained if the gravity it is subject to is high and the temperature of the atmosphere is low. The atmosphere of Earth is composed of nitrogen (about 78%), oxygen (about 21%), argon (about 0.9%) with carbon dioxide and other gases in trace amounts. Oxygen is used by most organisms for respiration; nitrogen is fixed by bacteria and lightning to produce ammonia used in the construction of nucleotides and amino acids; and carbon dioxide is used by plants, algae and cyanobacteria for photosynthesis. The atmosphere helps to protect living organisms from genetic damage by solar ultraviolet radiation, solar wind and cosmic rays
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State Of Matter
In physics, a state of matter is one of the distinct forms in which matter can exist. Four states of matter are observable in everyday life: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. Many other states are known to exist, such as glass or liquid crystal, and some only exist under extreme conditions, such as Bose–Einstein condensates, neutron-degenerate matter, and quark-gluon plasma, which only occur, respectively, in situations of extreme cold, extreme density, and extremely high-energy. Some other states are believed to be possible but remain theoretical for now. For a complete list of all exotic states of matter, see the list of states of matter. Historically, the distinction is made based on qualitative differences in properties. Matter in the solid state maintains a fixed volume and shape, with component particles (atoms, molecules or ions) close together and fixed into place
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Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland (Irish: Tuaisceart Éireann [ˈt̪ˠuəʃcəɾˠt̪ˠ ˈeːɾʲən̪ˠ] (About this sound listen); Ulster-Scots: Norlin Airlann) is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland, variously described as a country, province or region. Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's total population and about 3% of the UK's population. Established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as part of the Good Friday Agreement, the Northern Ireland Assembly holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the British government
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Glacial Till
Till or glacial till is unsorted glacial sediment. Till is derived from the erosion and entrainment of material by the moving ice of a glacier
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Positive Feedback
Positive feedback is a process that occurs in a feedback loop in which the effects of a small disturbance on a system include an increase in the magnitude of the perturbation. That is, A produces more of B which in turn produces more of A. In contrast, a system in which the results of a change act to reduce or counteract it has negative feedback. Both concepts play an important role in science and engineering, including biology, chemistry, and cybernetics. Mathematically, positive feedback is defined as a positive loop gain around a closed loop of cause and effect. That is, positive feedback is in phase with the input, in the sense that it adds to make the input larger. Positive feedback tends to cause system instability
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Global Warming
Global warming is the long-term rise in the average temperature of the Earth's climate system
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Terrain
Terrain or relief (also topographical relief) involves the vertical and horizontal dimensions of land surface. The term bathymetry is used to describe underwater relief, while hypsometry studies terrain relative to sea level. The Latin word terra (the root of terrain) means "earth." In physical geography, terrain is the lay of the land. This is usually expressed in terms of the elevation, slope, and orientation of terrain features. Terrain affects surface water flow and distribution
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