A mountain is a large landform that stretches above the surrounding land in a limited area, usually in the form of a peak. A mountain is generally steeper than a hill. Mountains are formed through tectonic forces or volcanism. These forces can locally raise the surface of the earth by over 10,000 feet (3,000 m). Mountains erode slowly through the action of rivers, weather conditions, and glaciers. A few mountains are isolated summits, but most occur in huge mountain ranges.
High elevations on mountains produce colder climates than at sea level. These colder climates strongly affect the ecosystem of mountains: different elevations have different plants and animals. Because of the less hospitable terrain and climate, mountains tend to be used less for agriculture and more for resource extraction and recreation, such as mountain climbing. The highest mountain on Earth is Mount Everest in the Himalayas of Asia, whose summit is 8,849. 868 m above mean sea level.
Mountains Essay Example
The highest known mountain on any planet in the Solar System is Olympus Mons on Mars at 21,171 m . Climate on mountains become colder at high elevations, due to the way that the sun heats the surface of the Earth.  The sun warms the ground directly, while the greenhouse effect acts as a blanket, reflecting heat back towards the Earth that would otherwise be lost to space. The greenhouse effect thus keeps the air at low elevations warm. As elevation increases, there is less greenhouse effect, so the ambient temperature goes down.
The rate at which the temperature drops with elevation, called the environmental lapse rate, is not constant (it can fluctuate throughout the day or seasonally and also regionally), but a typical lapse rate is 5. 5°C per 1,000 m (3. 57°F per 1,000 ft).  Therefore, moving up 100 meters on a mountain is roughly equivalent to moving 80 kilometers (45 miles or 0. 75° of latitude) towards the nearest pole.  This relationship is only approximate, however, since local factors such as proximity to oceans (such as the Arctic Ocean) can drastically modify the climate.
As the altitude increases, the main form of precipitation becomes snow and the winds increase. The effect of the climate on the ecology at an elevation can be largely captured through a combination of amount of precipitation, and the biotemperature, as described by Leslie Holdridge in 1947.  Biotemperature is the mean temperature, where all temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F) are considered to be 0 °C. When the temperature is below 0 °C, plants are dormant, so the exact temperature is unimportant. The peaks of mountains with permanent snow can have a biotemperature below