Physical Geography Exam 1

Geography
At the equator, the rotation of the Earth is
left to right, or eastward
The arc of a meridian between the equator and a given point on the globe is
latitude
When the subsolar point is at 23.5 degrees S, the Earth experiences
December solstice
If you take a plane flight from San Francisco, CA to Seoul, South Korea, as you cross the international dateline the time will
advance one calendar day
The Earth’s axis of rotation is tilted from the plane of the ecliptic by about
23.5 degrees
A map projection that can portray the entire surface of the Earth without any distortion is the
there are no map projections that can portray the entire surface of the Earth without any distortion
Parallels run ____ around the globe and ____ the poles
east-west; around
Meridians run ____ around the globe and ___ at the poles
north-south; meet
The arc of a parallel between the prime meridian and a given point on the globe is
longitude
The geoid, a reference surface that closely approximates the shape of the Earth, is based on
the pull of gravity around the globe
Which color of visible light has the shortest wavelength?
violet
On the equator, the sun will reach its highest position in the sky on the
equinoxes
Air temperatures above low-albedo surfaces tend to be _____ than those over high-albedo surfaced
warmer
Air temperatures above high-albedo surfaces tend to be ____ than those over low-albedo surfaces
cooler
Estimates of the Earth’s average albedo range between
.29-.34
Hot objects emit _____ energy than cold objects, and it is of _____ wavelengths
more; shorter
Cold objects emit ____ energy than hot objects, and it is of _____ wavelengths
less; longer
The process in which electromagnetic energy is transferred into heat energy when radiation strikes some form of matter is called
absorption
The amount of insolation received at a location tends to be highest at
noon
In the northern hemisphere mid-latitudes, the sun will reach its highest position in the sky on the
June solstice
In the southern hemisphere mid-latitudes, the sun will reach its highest position in the sky on the
December solstice
At the arctic circle, the sun will reach its highest position in the sky on the
June solstice
______ is a common gas in the atmosphere that does not easily react with other substances
Nitrogen
______ is a common gas in the atmosphere that is highly chemically active and combines readily with other elements
Oxygen
The ozone layer in the upper atmosphere is essential for life on the planet because the full intensity of the sun’s ultraviolet rays would
damage skin, crops, and aquatic life
_____ flows from the ocean to the atmosphere when water evaporates
Water vapor
______ is a very important mechanism for transporting large amounts of energy from one region of the Earth to another
Latent heat transfer
Fields, forest, and bare ground tend to have albedos that are _____
average
Black pavement surfaces tend to have albedos that are _____
low
Snow and ice tend to have albedos that are _____
high
Clouds can absorb as much as _____ of incoming solar radiation
5 to 20 percent
The greenhouse effect results from the absorption of ______ in the atmosphere
long-wave radiation
If the amount of insolation absorbed by the Earth was consistently larger than the amount of longwave energy emitted by the Earth, we would expect
the Earth’s temperature to rise rapidly
On average, the Earth reflects about ______ of the solar radiation it receives back to space
30 percent
On a warm summer day, latent heat transfers will tend to
absorb and store heat in a substance as it changes state
If the Earth’s axis was perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic, insolation would be
greatest at the poles
Temperature decrease with elevation because
pressure is lower
The average environmental lapse rate in the troposphere is about
6.49 degrees per 1000m
On the Tropic of Capricorn, the sun will reach its highest position in the sky on the
December solstice
During the day, air near the ground surface is primarily warmed by
solar radiation
During the daytime, air temperature tends to _____ closer to the ground, and during the night it tends to ______ closer to the ground
be warmer; be cooler
On high mountains, insolation levels will be _____ the adjacent lowlands
higher than
Water heats and cools more slowly than land surfaces due to
the much greater depth that the heat must be distributed in water and hte mixing that occurs
Adjacent water and land locations have quite different temperature ranges due to differences in
specific heat capacity
The surface layer of a beach would heat up _____ that the adjacent water surface during the day, and cool down ____ during the night, during a summer day-night cycle
faster; faster
Lines that connect points of equal temperature on a map are called
isotherms
Temperature tends to _____ with elevation in the mesosphere, and _____ with elevation in thermosphere
decrease; increase
The layer of the atmosphere in which gases are sorted into layers by weight is the
heterosphere, specifically hte thermosphere
Temperature decreases with elevation in the troposphere because of
the decrease in pressure
The tiny particles that float in the atmosphere, held aloft by slight air movements are called
aerosols
Historical records indicate that global temperatures have been increasing for about the last
100 years
Oceans, lakes, and rivers return water to the atmosphere through
evaporation
The absorption of heat and the release of water vapor into the atmosphere occurs in the hydrologic cycle through
evaporation and transpiration
After precipitation falls to the land surface, surface water can flow off the land, concentrating in streams and rivers. This flow is known as
runoff
Precipitation that flows on the land into streams and rivers and then eventually to the lakes and oceans is known as
runoff
What is specific humidity?
the actual quantity of water held in the atmosphere
Blanket-like, layered clouds that cover large areas are called
stratus
The two basic classes of cloud families are
stratiform and cumuloform
The dry adiabatic rate is
10 degrees per 1000 meters
Dew-point is the temperature at which
the air is completely saturated and can hold no more moisture
Subsurface water found under the surface in soil and rock is known as
soil moisture
The largest portion of fresh water today is located in
glaciers
Thin, high wispy clouds composed almost entirely of ice crystals are called
cirrus
Clouds are grouped on the basis of two criteria:
height and form
Normally, a parcel of air will ____ if it is warmer than the surrounding air, conversely, the air parcel will _____ if it is cooler than the surrounding air
rise; descend
Rain shadows are found
on the dry side of the mountain, the side opposite which the cloud has formed over a large body of water
The most violent of all storms are associated with ________ clouds
tall, dense cumulonimbus
Evaporation involves the ______ of latent heat and a change in state from the ______ phase to the gaseous phase
absorption; liquid
Condensation involves the ______ of latent heat and a change in state from the ______ phase to the liquid phase
release; gaseous
_________ is when ice changes directly from the solid phase to the gaseous phase without a transitional liquid phase
Sublimination
Water vapor changing directly to the liquid phase is knows as _______
condensation
Which cloud sometimes produces thunder and lightening?
cumulonimbus
Water changing to the gaseous phase is known as
evaporation
In a thunderstorm, the release of latent heat ______ the temperature of a parcel of air and causes the parcel of air to _____ if it is warmer than the surrounding air
increases; rise
If the environmental lapse rate is significantly less than the dry adiabatic rate, a parcel of air will be
conditionally unstable
Microscopic particles, such as dust particles and sea salt crystals, are known as ______ and serve as “landing pads” on which water vapor can condense
aerosols
When a through flowing current of moist air is forced to move upward over a mountain barrier, the process is referred to as _______
orographic
The California Current is a cold current off the west coast of California. If a cool, moist air mass passed over this colder current, what would probably result?
Advection fog
Particles, such as tiny salt crystals or dust particles, that absorb water are called
raindrops
The transfer of water from land and ocean to the atmosphere and back again to land and oceans in a never ending cycle is
hydrologic cycle
The wet adiabatic rate for a rising parcel of air is less than the dry rate because
latent heat is released when condensation occurs
The temperature of a rising parcel of air ______ as it ascends
decreases
The Lifting Condensation Level is the altitude at which
condensation begins in the atmosphere
The amount of moisture in the atmosphere is called
humidity
The return of precipitation to the atmosphere as water vapor occurs through
evaporation
Water vapor that changes state to form a cloud is an example of
condensation
The weight force exerted by a column of air on a surface is called
atmospheric pressure
Air pressure is caused by
the force of gravity acting upon the overlying column of air
Atmospheric pressure at sea level is about
1 kg/cm^2
The changing weather conditions of monsoon circulation are associated with shifts in the position of the
ITCZ
A dry, hot local wind system that contributes to wildfire problems in southern California is the
Santa Ana Winds
The magnitude of the Coriolis force is largest at the
poles
Surface ocean currents in the northern hemisphere tend to flow
clockwise
In the southern hemisphere, the Coriolis effect causes winds and currents to veer to the
left
In an anticyclone located in the northern hemisphere winds spiral
clockwise
In an anticyclone located in the southern hemisphere winds spiral
counterclockwise
The zone where the northeast and southeast trade winds converge is the
ITCZ
The gulf stream carries _____ water to the _______
warm; Northern Atlantic Ocean
The polar jet stream tends to reach its furthest south position during the ______ months
winter
The band of rapidly flowing air found aloft above the polar front is a
jet stream
Rossby waves form along the
polar front
In a cyclone located in the southern hemisphere winds spiral
clockwise
In a cyclone located in the northern hemisphere winds spiral
counterclockwise
In the northern hemisphere, the Coriolis effect causes winds to veer
to the right
The differences between northern and southern hemisphere circulation patterns is strongly influenced by differences in
the tilt of the Earth
The low-latitude atmospheric circulation cell with rising air over the equatorial trough and sinking air over the subtropical high pressure belts is the
Hadley cell
The intertropical convergence zone migrates approximately between the
40 degrees north and south latitudes
Mountain sickness or altitude sickness, which can occur at elevations above 3000m, is caused by
lower pressure
Rossby waves are undulations in the flow path of the
upper westerlies
A device used to measure air pressure is the
barometer
_______ is when water vapor changes directly from the gaseous phase to the solid phase without a transitional liquid phase
Deposition
An extensive body of air in which temperature and moisture characteristics are fairly uniform is an
air mass
Which type of front tends to cause the most rapid lifting?
Cold front
The city of New Orleans was badly damaged as a result of hurricane
Katrina
As a result of global warming, global cloud cover is expected to
increase
The energy that powers a tropical cyclone comes from
extremely low pressure
The center of a tropical cyclone is known as the
eye
The most powerful and destructive type of cyclonic storm is the
tropical cyclone
Key factors that determine the characteristics of an air mass are the _____ and _____ of the formation area
latitude; source region
The major criteria used to identify air masses are
surface temperature and surface-specific humidity
Weather conditions associated with an anticyclone include
fair weather
We are currently experiencing _____ of hurricane activity
increases
In the north Atlantic, the peak of hurricane season occurs during
September
In the United States, tornadoes occur most frequently in the _____ states
plain
The lowest central pressures are found in a
cyclone
Air masses move in response to
changes in pressure
The coastal-continental location of a place has a strong influence on
temperature variation
The annual cycle of prevailing weather conditions at a given place based on long-term conditions is known as
climate
A continental tropical air mass would tend to bring ______ conditions when it arrived in an area
warm, dry
A maritime tropical air mass would tend to bring ________ conditions when it arrived in an area
warm, moist
A maritime equatorial air mass would tend to bring ______ conditions when it arrived in an area
warm, moist
A continental polar air mass would tend to bring ______ conditions when it arrived in an area
cold, dry
A continental arctic air mass would tend to bring _______ conditions when it arrived in an area
cold, dry
A major feature of weather in the mid-latitude climates is
wave cyclones
The temperature regime that experiences the smallest amount of seasonality is the
equatorial
In the United States, the moist continental climate covers most of the
Northeast
A maritime polar air mass would tend to bring _______ conditions when it arrived in an area
cold, moist
The _______ and ______ characteristics of an air mass tend to reflect the characteristics of its source region
temperature; moisture
The temperature regime that experiences the coldest annual temperature is the
ice sheet

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