Geol 150 Midterm Questions

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Midterm 1

1. The earth was formed

4.5billion yrs ago

2. Atmosphere formed primarily by?

Degassing of the earth’s mantle

3. Which three gases constitute most of the atmosphere near earths’ surface?

Nitrogen, oxygen and argon

4. Where does the atmosphere’s oxygen come from?


5. Greenhouse gases:

Absorbs long wavelength radiation from the earths’ surface

6. What are the most important greenhouse gases?

Water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane

7. Climate change

Long term imbalance between incoming and outgoing radiation

8. The moisture content of the atmosphere

Increases sharply with temperature

9. Why does anthropogenic CO2 matter for climate?

It absorbs long wave radiation and has a long residence time in the atmosphere

10. Wiens’ law states that:

Hot objects radiate at short wavelengths

11. Stenfan-boltaman’s law states that a physical body above the temperature of 0 K emits an energy flux whose intensity:

As the fourth power of temperature.

12. Which of the following statements is true

The earth received shortwave radiation from the sun, emits longwave radiation.

13. The planetary albedo is defined as

The fraction of solar radiation reflected by the earth.

14. Why are the poles colder than the equator?

C. because of beam spreading

15. As the earth revolves around the sun, it experience seasons. Why?

C. the earth’s axis is tilted.

16. When are seasonal contrasts the greatest?

D. Solstices.

17. “The greenhouse effect” is the popular term for :

C. The trapping of earth’s outgoing longwave radiation due to greenhouse gases

18. Which planet presents us with a dramatic example of “Runaway green house effect?”

D. Venus

19. Heat capacity or specific heat refers to

B. The quantity of energy required to raise 1 k of a substance’s temperature by 1K

20. What is the main reason why the ocean is able to store so much heat?

B. its specific heat is 4 times that of dry air

21. In the climate system, thermal energy is defined as the sum of:

C. Latent and sensible energies

22. In the atmosphere, pressure decreases sharply with height. Why?

A. Because hydrostatic balance states that the higher one goes, the less air there is above; hence the less pressure is felt

23. Why does air cool when it rises?

C. the loss of pressure with altitude causes adiabatic cooling

24 When do clouds from?

A.when a large amount of watervapor is addes to an airparce,

B.when adiabatic cooling lowers the saturation vapor pressure to the point where air parcel become saturate

C.when buoyant air reaches the lifiting condenstation level

D. All of the above

25 The pressure gradient forces push air

C. from regions of high pressure of regions of low pressure

26. Friction acts to:

A. Slow down atmospheric motion

27. In the northern hemisphere, the Coriolis force:

D. Deviates air parcels to the right

28. The buoyancy force was a fundamental insight due to:

D. Archimedes.

29. Buoyancy is responsible for which fundamental atmospheric motion?

D. Convection

30. Geostrophy means a balance between:

C. Coriolis force and pressure gradient force

31. Geostrphic balance occurs widely in the atmosphere and oceans away from boundaries. Its consequence is that air tends to:

C. Circle around regions of high or low pressure

32. Atmospheric convection is responsible for:

A. hunderstorms

B thurricanes

C the intertropical convergence zone

D All of the above

33. Why drives the general circulation of the atmosphere?

B. Radiation imbalance between the tropics and the high latitude

34. On average, the Hadley cell is best described by:

A. Ascending motion near equator: descending motion near 30...
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