habitat. The environment in which a given plant or animal is usually found. For example, gazelles are usually found in a savanna habitat. Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). In the USA, a plan prepared by landowners that specifies how they will deal with an endangered species found on their land. HCPs are submitted by landowners who hold permits for the “incidental taking” of endangered or threatened species on nonfederal lands during otherwise lawfbl activities. The permits and HCP form an agreement between the landowner and the federal government that allows the landowner to engage in activities that might result in the landowner affecting the endangered species or modifymg its habitat in exchange for measures that will enhance the survival of the species. See incidental taking and Endangered Species Act. habitat diversity. Variations in the ecology of a site that increase the number of niches for different species. Hadean era. A geological era that started at the formation of the earth 4,550 million years ago and continued until life fxst began some 3,800 million years ago. Hadley cell. A circulation system whereby rising warm air near the equator moves towards higher latitudes where the air cools and s m k s back towards the subtropics, eventually returning to the equator. half-life. The time it takes for half of the material of a radioactive substance to decay. halocarbons. A family of compounds containing carbon and either bromine, chlorine or fluorine. These can act as greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere. Chlorofluorocarbons...
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