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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.


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