218 terms

Meteorology Today Test #1 Review

Questions from the Textbook Meterorology Today, 9th edition by C. Donald Ahrens
Which below is not a process by which CO2 enters the atmosphere?
The primary source of oxygen for the Earth's atmosphere during the past half billion years or so appears to be:
Air density normally:
decreases with increasing height
The so-called "ozone hole" is observed above:
the continent of Antarctica
Which below is not considered a greenhouse gas?
Oxygen (02)
If you are standing north of a smoke stack and smoke from the stack id drifting over your head, the wind direction would be:
A force exerted on a unit area describes air____?
The largest storm in our atmosphere, in terms of actual size (diameter) is the ______
Middle latitude cyclonic storm
In the Northern Hemisphere, surface winds tend to blow this way around an area of surface low pressure.
Counterclockwise and inward
Which planet had the strongest greenhouse effect: Venus, Mars, or Earth?
The well-mixed region of the Earth's atmosphere is known as the_____. It is comprised of the Troposphere, Stratosphere, and the Mesosphere.
Of these four storms, the smallest in terms of actual size (diameter) is_____
Which of the following statements relates to weather rather than climate?

a. The winters here are cold and wet.
b. Outside it is sunny and hot.
c. Thunderstorms are prevalent during July.
d. Our lowest temperature ever was -30ºC
e. The average temperature during March is 20ºC
b. Outside it is sunny and hot.
The planet whose atmosphere is mainly nitrogen and oxygen:
The gas that shows the most variation from place to place and from time to time in the lower atmosphere is _________
Water Vapor (H20)
What percent does each of the following gases occupy in a volume of air near the earth's surface?
Nitrogen ______%
Oxygen _______%
Water Vapor ______%
Carbon Dioxide ______%
Most of the ozone in the atmosphere is found in the atmospheric layer called the _______
Most of the Earth's water is believed to have originally come from ______ _______
Outgassing/ Small meteors
The hottest atmospheric layer is the _______
The only substance near the Earth's surface that is found naturally in the atmosphere as a solid, a liquid, and a gas is _______
Water (H20)
The atmospheric layer in which we live is called the ______
The instrument that measures temperature, pressure, and humidity at levels above the Earth's surface is the ______
The primary source of energy for the Earth's atmosphere is the _____
Sun's Radiation
The mass of air in a given volume describes the air's ______
The process of water changing from a liquid to a vapor is called ______
At sea level, the average or standard value of atmospheric pressure is ____millibars and ____inches of mercury.
1013.25 mb
29.92 inHg
The atmospheric boundary that separates the troposphere from the stratosphere is the ______
The average decrease in air temperature with increasing height in the lower atmosphere is about ___ºC per 1000 meters, or ____ºF per 1000 feet.
6.5 ºC
The atmospheric layer that plays a role in radio communication is the ______
The amount of force exerted over an area of surface.
Air Pressure
The rate at which the air temperature decreases with height.
lapse rate
An in crease of air temperature with height.
Temperature inversion
The region of circulating air extending upward from the earth's surface to where the air stops becoming colder with height.
The Greek word tropein means ____
to turn or change
The boundary separating the troposphere from the stratosphere.
Refer to the image of the layers of the atmosphere and name the missing areas:
A. Troposphere
B. Tropopause
C. Stratosphere
D. Mesosphere
E. Mesopause
F. Thermosphere
The instrument that measures the vertical profile of air temperature in the atmosphere.
The boundary near 50km which separates the stratosphere from the mesosphere.
The "hot layer" above the mesosphere.
The region where atoms and molecules shoot off into space is sometimes referred to as the ______
The lower, well-mixed region
The region from about the base of the thermosphere to the top of the atmosphere is often called the ______. 90km and upwards
An electrified region within the upper atmosphere where fairly large concentration of ions and free electrons exist.
Heat transfer process that depends upon the movements of air
Objects that selectively absorb and emit radiation
selective absorber
Rising bubbles of air
The heat we can feel and measure with a thermometer
sensible heat
The horizontal transfer of any atmospheric property by the wind
Energy transferred by electromagnetic waves
One millionth of a meter
A measure of the average speed of air molecules
The horizontal distance between two wave crests
This is released as sensible heat during formation of clouds
latent heat
The transfer of heat by molecule-to-molecule contact
The sun emits radiation with greatest intensity in this region of the spectrum
A temperature scale where 0 represents freezing and 100 boiling
Wavelengths longer than those of red light
Visible light given off by excited atoms and molecules in the upper atmosphere
Electromagnetic waves whose wavelengths are shorter than those of visible light
Temperature scale that begins at absolute zero
Charged particles traveling through space
Solar wind
Energy of motion is know as _____ _____
Kinetic Energy
Sunlight bounces off a surface is said to be _____
A perfect absorber and a perfect emitter of radiation is called a _____ ______
black body
How much radiation would an object be emitting if its temperature were at absolute zero?
The _____ represents the reflectivity of a surface.
The two most significant atmospheric greenhouse gases in the earth's atmosphere are _____ and _____
H20, C02
At night objects on the ground cool by the process of emitting ____ _____
infrared radiation
The combined albedo of the earth and its atmosphere averages about _____ percent
The earth emits maximum radiation in the _____ portion of the spectrum, while the sun emits maximum radiation at _____ wavelengths
infrared, visible
If the present concentration of C02 doubles, climatic models predict that for the earth's average temperature to rise bu as much as 4.5C, the gas _____ _____ must also increase in concentration.
water vapor
The wavelength range where neither water vapor nor carbon dioxide absorbs much of the earth's infrared radiation is known as the atmospheric _____
Air that sinks, warms by ______
The temperature at which the earth is both absorbing solar radiation and emitting infrared radiation at equal rates is called the Earth's _____ _____ _____
radiative equilibrium temperature
In the Northern Hemisphere another name for the northern lights is the _____ ______
aurora borealis
Sunlight deflected in all direction after striking very small objects is said to be ______
As the average speed of air molecules decreases, the temperature of the air ______
The proper order of waves from longest to shortest is:
infrared, visible, ultraviolet
Heat energy is the process of being transferred from ____objects to _____ objects
hot, cold
The rate at which radiant energy is emitted by a body ____ with _____ temperature
increases, increasing
If the earth had no atmospheric greenhouse effect, the average surface temperature would be _____ than at present
If the earth's average surface temperature should increase, the amount of radiation emitted from the earth's surface will _____, and the wavelength of maximum emission will shift toward _____ wavelengths
increase, shorter
The moon's surface can only cool by ______
The earth's atmospheric greenhouse effect is produced mainly by water vapor and carbon dioxide absorbing and emitting ______ _______
infrared radiation
The albedo of the moon is _____ percent.
What does the ____% albedo number mean?
It means that X% of the sunlight that strikes an object is reflected
Clear, calm nights are usually cooler than cloudy, calm nights because....?
Clouds absorb and re-radiate infrared radiation back to the earth's surface
The law that states that good absorbers of radiation are good emitters of radiation at a particular wavelength:
Kirchhoff's law
The sun's radiation is also referred to as _____ radiation
Clouds are poor absorbers and emitters of ______ radiation
Substances such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, clouds, and snow that absorb radiation only at particular wavelengths
selective absorbers
What is larger, a degree Fahrenheit or a degree Celsius
a degree Celsius
On average, about ____ percent of the solar radiation that strikes the outer atmosphere eventually reaches the earth's surface.
Which carries more energy: an ultraviolet photon or an infrared photon?
ultraviolet photon
T/F Air is a poor conductor of heat.
T/F The earth's atmosphere behaves as a black body.
T/F On averages, each year the earth-atmosphere system sends off into space just as much energy as it receives.
T/F Sinking air always warms and rising air always cools.
On average, _____ percent of the sunlight that strikes water daily is reflected.
The ability or capacity to do work.
T/F An increase in cloud cover around the earth would probably increase the albedo of the earth-atmosphere system.
T/F Air glow is another name for the aurora.
The ratio of heat absorbed (or released) by the unit mass of the system to the corresponding temperature rise (or fall).
Specific heat
The heat we can feel and measure with a thermometer.
Sensible heat
T/F The process of condensation, freezing, and deposition all release sensible heat into the environment.
Convert 212°F to °C
Convert 140°F to °C
Convert 86°F to °C
Convert 50°F to °C
Convert 32°F to °C
Convert -4°F to °C
Convert 233K to °C
Convert 253K to °C
Convert 273K to °C
Convert 303K to °C
T/F In direct sunlight, a object with a high albedo appears darker than on object with a low albedo.
T/F The earth's radiative equilibrium temperature is lower than the earth's observed average surface temperature.
T/F UVB radiation is more likely to cause a sunburn than is UVA radiation
By doubling the absolute temperature of the sun's surface, the sun's energy output would increase by a factor of ____
A measure of the average speed of the atoms and molecules.
At this temperature, the atoms and molecules would possess a minimum amount of energy and theoretically no thermal motion.
Absolute zero
The heat capacity of a substance per unit mass.
Specific heat
The heat energy required to change a substance, such as water, from one state to another.
Latent heat
The transfer of heat from molecule to molecule within a substance is called ______
A small, rising parcel of war air produced when the earth's surface is heated unevenly.
The horizontal transfer of any atmospheric property by the wind.
Wavelengths longer than red.
Infrared (IR)
1367 W/m²
solar constant
The astronomical first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
Summer solstice
The astronomical beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere.
Winter solstice
The measured increase in air temperature just above the ground.
Radiation inversion
The process by which the ground and air above cool by radiating infrared energy.
Radiational cooling.
The main factors that cause variations in temperature from one place to another.
Controls of temperature
Lines connecting places that have the same temperature
Farmers use an index called _____ _____ _____ as a guide to planting and for determining the approximate dates when a crop will be ready for harvesting.
growing degree-days
The sensation of temperature that the human body feels in contrast to the actual temperature of the environment as measured with a thermometer.
Sensible temperature
The rapid loss of body heat may lower the body temperature below its normal level and bring on a condition know as ______.
Sunlight warms the ground, and the ground warms the air in contact with it by ______.
Air is a ____ conductor of heat.
Rising air bubbles (thermals) are the result of this type of heating.
Measured increase in air temperature just above the ground. Occurs on clear, calm nights. Winter nights provide the best conditions.
Radiation inversion / nocturnal inversion
In middle latitudes, these warmer hillsides called _____ _____, are less likely to experience freezing temperatures than the valley below.
thermal belts
Main factors that cause variations in temperature from one place to another.
Controls of temperature
The greatest factor in determining temperature.
Solar radiation
Two factors which determine the amount of solar radiation. (both are functions of latitude)
Length of day, intensity
The four main controls:
1. latitude
2. land and water distribution
3. ocean currents
4. elevation
The largest _____ range of temperature occurs on high deserts/
The average of the highest and lowest temperature for a 24-hour period i s know as the _____ (average) daily temperature.
The difference between the average temperature of the warmest and coldest months.
annual range of temperature
_____ cities have larger annual ranges than _____ cities.
inland, coastal
Near the _____ annual temperature ranges are small.
The temperature we perceive.
Sensible temperature
How cold the wind makes us feel.
Wind-chill index (WCI)
Often used for measuring surface air temperature because they are easy to read and inexpensive to construct.
Liquid-in-glass thermometers
Instrument which measures and records temperature.
Thermometers and other instruments are usually housed in an _____ _____
instrument shelter
Average distance from the earth to the Sun.
The earth is closest to the sun in this month:
Angle of earth's tilt:
23.5 degrees
The Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the sun in this season:
The Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the sun in this season:
Incoming solar radiation
Latitude of the Tropic of Cancer
23.5 degrees North
Date of the summer solstice:
During the summer solstice, solar energy incident on the earth's surface is maximum near this latitude:
30 degrees North
Date of the autumnal equinox:
When days and nights are of equal length:
Date of the winter solstice:
The latitude of the Tropic of Capricorn:
23.5 degrees South
Date of the vernal (spring) equinox:
When is the highest average temperature attained?
When the incoming solar radiation and the outgoing infrared energy are in balance.
Why does the coldest weather occur in January or February?
Outgoing earth energy exceeds incoming solar radiation
Relative humidity _____ as air temperature _____.
increases, decreases
The amount of water vapor in the air.
Ocean's occupy over _____% of the earth's surface.
Circulation begins over the _____.
Cycle of moving and transforming water molecules from liquid to water vapor and back to liquid again
hydrologic cycle
The process by which plants give up moisture
____% of water vapor in the atmosphere comes from oceans.
Mass of water vapor in a given volume of air
absolute humidity
Where is the average specific humidity highest?
warm, muggy tropics
Where is the average specific humidity lowest?
polar latitudes
Total pressure inside the parcel is equal to the sum of the pressures of the individual gasses
Dalton's Law of Partial Pressures
Tells us the mass of water vapor in a fixed volume of air, or the water vapor density
Absolute humidity
Measures the mass of water vapor in a fixed total mass of air
Specific humidity
Expresses the amount of water vapor in terms of the amount of pressure that the water vapor molecules exert
Actual vapor pressure
Pressure that the water vapor molecules would exert if the air were saturated with vapor at a given temperature
Saturation vapor pressure
The ratio of the amount of water vapor actually in the air to the maximum amount of water vapor required for saturation at that particular temperature (and pressure);
the ratio of the air's water vapor content to its capacity
relative humidity (RH)
A measure of the air's actual water vapor content
Actual vapor pressure
A measure of the air's total capacity for water vapor.
Saturation vapor pressure
Two ways to change the relative humidity:
change air's water vapor content; change air temperature
Average albedo of the earth _____%
Albedo of water is ____ depending on the Sun's elevation and viewing angle
% of the Sun's energy lost:
Temperature to which air would have to be cooled for saturation to occure:
dew point
A low dew-point temperature means there is ____water vapor in the air.
Polar air has a ____ RH than desert air. "Dry" desert air has a ____ dew-point, contains more water vapor than polar air.
higher, higher
Sun to earth distance in AU
1 AU (astronomical unit)
GMT stands for:
Greenwich Mean Time
Meteoros is Greek for _____
Logos is Greek for _____
A deferentially absorbing medium of electromagnetic radiation
More than _____% of atmospheric mass found below 30km.
Speed of light
Jet stream found at this height:
Altitude where air temperature increases (inversion)
Height of a ventilated shelter:
2m off the ground
The aurora occurs in this layer of the atmosphere:
Meteors burn up in this layer of the atmosphere:
A photon of UV "light" hits an oxygen molecule. The energy from the photon breaks the molecule apart into two separate oxygen atoms. This process is called:
Characterized by a relatively constant composition of its component gases.
Carbon monoxide, photochemical smog, industrial smog and sulfur oxides, particulates
anthropogenic pollution
Satellite instruments that monitor the ozone layer:
OMI, TOMS, GOME, NOAA, Balloon Sondes
Average concentration of the natural trace ingredient Ozone:
A pungent blue gas, detectable in small amounts:
Ozone (O3)
Ozein in Greek:
"to smell"
What unit is used for measuring ozone concentration:
Dobson Units
One ___ Unit is the number of molecules of ozone that would be required to create a layer of pure ozone 0.01 mm thick at 0 degrees Celsius and a pressure of 1 atm.
What is the significance of 1atm.
1 atm is the air pressure at the surface of Earth
What is the average thickness of the ozone layer?
300 Dobson Units (3mm) thick
The peak concentration of ozone occurs at an altitude of _____km
32km (20miles)
Weather occurs in this atmospheric layer:
Temperature rises in this atmospheric layer:
Co2 measurments were made by Keeling in 1958 at _____ _____, Hawaii
Mauna Loa, Hawaii