Chapter 21 Global Climate Change
Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology, 9e (Tarbuck/Lutgens)
21.1 Multiple-Choice Questions
1) Within the A group of climates, the two main types are wet tropical climates and tropical
________.
A) rain forest
B) wet and dry
C) highlands
D) lowlands
E) deltas
Answer: A
Diff: 1
2) Which climate group has precipitation as its primary criterion?
A) D group
B) A group
C) C group
D) E group
E) B group
Answer: E
Diff: 1
3) The humid subtropical climate dominates the ________ United States.
A) central
B) southeastern
C) western
D) northeastern
E) southwestern
Answer: B
Diff: 1
4) The Köppen climate classification recognizes ________ principal climate groups.
A) two
B) three
C) four
D) five
E) six
Answer: D
Diff: 1
1
5) Almost ________ of Australia is desert.
A) 10%
B) 20%
C) 30%
D) 40%
E) 50%
Answer: D
Diff: 1
6) In a climatological sense, dryness is a function of both annual rainfall and ________.
A) altitude
B) solar radiation
C) wind direction
D) slope
E) evaporation
Answer: E
Diff: 1
7) Which one of the following is NOT a component of the climate system?
A) biosphere
B) solid Earth
C) exosphere
D) cryosphere
E) hydrosphere
Answer: C
Diff: 1
8) The name ________ climate is often used as a synonym for the dry-summer subtropical
climate.
A) Australian
B) Indian
C) Mediterranean
D) African
E) European
Answer: C
Diff: 1
9) The ________ west coast climate is situated on the western (windward) side of continents
from about 40 to 65 degrees north and south latitude.
A) Mediterranean
B) marine
C) humid
D) continental
E) subtropical
Answer: B
Diff: 1
2
10) The two types of dry (B) climates are desert and ________.
A) tundra
B) taiga
C) steppe
D) arid
E) highland
Answer: C
Diff: 1
11) Winterless climates with all months having a mean temperature above 18˚C are known as
________ climates.
A) humid tropical
B) dry
C) polar
D) humid middle-latitude
Answer: A
Diff: 1
12) The climate in which temperatures average 25˚C or more each month and total precipitation
for the year is high is the ________ climate.
A) marine west coast
B) humid subtropics
C) humid continental
D) wet tropics
E) highland
Answer: D
Diff: 1
13) The ________ climates are land-controlled climates, the result of broad continents in the
middle latitudes.
A) A
B) B
C) C
D) D
E) E
Answer: D
Diff: 1
14) The ________ sides of mountains are often wet.
A) leeward
B) sunny
C) windward
D) steep
E) southern
Answer: C
Diff: 1
3
15) Which one of the following is NOT a trace gas contributing to a future global increase in
temperature?
A) nitrous oxide
B) methane
C) water vapor
D) chlorofluorocarbons
Answer: C
Diff: 1
16) For more than 70 years, the best-known and most used climate classification system has been
the ________ classification.
A) Klingel
B) Köppen
C) Smith
D) Hutton
Answer: B
Diff: 1
17) The most realistic models of atmospheric warming predict that mean global surface
temperature will increase about ________˚C during the second half of the 21st century.
A) 2.5
B) 3.5
C) 4.5
D) 5.5
E) 6.5
Answer: A
Diff: 1
18) The two most important elements in a climatic description are temperature and ________.
A) cloud cover
B) pressure
C) wind
D) air mass type
E) precipitation
Answer: E
Diff: 1
19) The subarctic climate is often called the ________ climate.
A) taiga
B) polar
C) highland
D) arctic
E) tundra
Answer: A
Diff: 1
4
20) The most luxuriant vegetation found in any climatic realm is the ________.
A) tundra
B) mid-latitude forest
C) taiga
D) tropical rain forest
E) savannah
Answer: D
Diff: 1
21) The leeward sides of mountains are typically dry and are often arid enough to be referred to
as ________.
A) rain shadow deserts
B) steppes
C) a Mediterranean climate
D) taigas
E) tundras
Answer: A
Diff: 1
22) Climates where evaporation exceeds precipitation are called ________ climates.
A) humid tropical
B) dry
C) humid middle-latitude
D) polar
E) highland
Answer: B
Diff: 1
23) Köppen believed that the distribution of ________ was an excellent expression of the totality
of climate.
A) solar energy
B) sedimentary rocks
C) ocean basins
D) tsunami
E) natural vegetation
Answer: E
Diff: 1
24) Earth's low-latitude deserts and steppes coincide with the ________ pressure belts.
A) subtropical high
B) equatorial low
C) subpolar low
D) polar high
E) both A and C
Answer: A
Diff: 1
5
25) The largest area of marine west coast climate is located in ________.
A) South America
B) Asia
C) Europe
D) North America
E) Australia
Answer: C
Diff: 1
26) Compared to places at lower elevations, highland climates are usually cooler and ________.
A) less changeable
B) wetter
C) sunny
D) dryer
E) none of the above
Answer: B
Diff: 1
27) The combustion of ________ has added great quantities of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
A) fossil fuels
B) wood
C) paper
D) oxygen
E) none of the above
Answer: A
Diff: 1
28) Af and Am climates form a discontinuous belt astride the ________.
A) Tropic of Capricorn
B) equator
C) Tropic of Cancer
D) Arctic Circle
E) Prime Meridian
Answer: B
Diff: 1
29) The ________ climate is located on the eastern sides of continents, in the 25- to 40-degree
latitude range.
A) dry-summer subtropical
B) humid continental
C) humid subtropical
D) Mediterranean
E) marine west coast
Answer: C
Diff: 1
6
30) The magnitude of a temperature increase due to greenhouse warming will probably be
smallest in the ________.
A) polar regions
B) lower middle-latitudes
C) higher middle-latitudes
D) subtropics
E) tropics
Answer: E
Diff: 1
21.2 Word Analysis Questions
Examine the words and/or phrases for each question below and determine the relationship among the
majority of words/phrases. Choose the option which does not fit the pattern.
1) A) lithosphere
B) atmosphere
C) hydrosphere
D) biosphere
Answer: lithosphere
Diff: 1
2) A) desert
Answer: subarctic
B) steppe
C) subarctic
D) rain shadow
B) ozone
C) nitrous oxide
D) methane
Diff: 1
3) A) carbon dioxide
Answer: ozone
Diff: 1
21.3 True/False Questions
1) The windward sides of mountains are often wet.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 1
2) The Köppen classification has been the best known and most used climate classification
system for more than 70 years.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 1
3) The dry-summer subtropical climate is the only humid climate that has a strong winter
rainfall maximum.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 1
4) The two main types of A climates are wet tropical climates and tropical wet and dry
climates.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 1
5) The terms "variety" and "changeability" best describe mountain climates.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 1
7
6) Earth's middle-latitude deserts exist principally because of their positions in the deep
interiors of large landmasses, far removed from the oceans.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 1
7) The largest stretch of continuous forests on Earth coincides with a subarctic climate.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 1
8) The climate system involves only Earth's atmosphere and solid surface.
Answer: FALSE
Diff: 1
9) The southeastern United States is a good example of a humid subtropical climate.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 1
10) Positive feedback mechanisms produce results that are opposite of the initial change and
tend to offset it.
Answer: FALSE
Diff: 1
11) Four of the major climate groups are defined on the basis of temperature characteristics.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 1
12) Altitude and precipitation are the two most important elements in a climatic description.
Answer: FALSE
Diff: 1
13) The tundra climate is a treeless climate found almost exclusively in the Southern
Hemisphere.
Answer: FALSE
Diff: 1
14) The largest area of Cfb climate is located in Europe.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 1
15) Köppen believed that the distribution of solar radiation was an excellent expression of the
totality of climate.
Answer: FALSE
Diff: 1
16) As a result of global warming, a significant melting of major ice sheets is expected during the
next century.
Answer: FALSE
Diff: 1
8
17) A savanna is a tropical grassland with scattered drought-tolerant trees.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 1
18) The hydrosphere refers to the snow and ice that exist at Earth's surface.
Answer: FALSE
Diff: 1
19) Annual temperature ranges are high throughout a humid continental climate.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 1
20) A semiarid climate represents a transition zone that surrounds a desert and separates it from
the bordering humid climates.
Answer: TRUE
Diff: 1
21.4 Short Answer Questions
1) The five parts of the climate system are the ________, ________, ________, ________, and
________.
Answer: atmosphere, hydrosphere, solid Earth, biosphere, cryosphere
Diff: 1
2) What are the three variables used in the Köppen system to establish the boundary between
dry and humid climates? ________, ________, ________
Answer: average annual precipitation, average annual temperature, seasonal distribution of
precipitation
Diff: 1
3) Winterless climates with all months having a mean temperature above 18°C are called
________ climates.
Answer: humid tropical
Diff: 1
4) Af and Am climates form a discontinuous belt astride the ________.
Answer: equator
Diff: 1
5) As a tool for presenting the general pattern of climates, the ________ classification has been
the best known and most used system for more than 70 years.
Answer: Köppen
Diff: 1
6) Wintertime precipitation in ________ and ________ climates is chiefly associated with the
passage of fronts connected with traveling middle-latitude cyclones.
Answer: humid middle-latitude, mild winters (C); humid middle-latitude, severe winters (D)
Diff: 1
9
7) Since the mid-nineteenth century there has been an increase of more than ________ percent
in the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere.
Answer: 25
Diff: 1
8) The two types of polar climates are the ________ climate (ET) and the ________ climate (EF).
Answer: tundra; ice cap
Diff: 1
9) ________ is often described as being an aggregate of weather.
Answer: Climate
Diff: 1
10) Earth's low-latitude deserts and steppes coincide with the ________ pressure belts.
Answer: subtropical high
Diff: 1
11) Köppen believed that the distribution of natural ________ was an excellent expression of the
totality of climate.
Answer: vegetation
Diff: 1
12) Extending from Norway to the Pacific coast of Russia is a great expanse of ________ climate,
often referred to as the taiga climate.
Answer: subarctic
Diff: 1
13) The two most important elements in a climatic description are ________ and ________.
Answer: temperature; precipitation
Diff: 1
14) Tropical wet and dry climates are located ________ of the wet tropics and ________ of the
tropical deserts.
Answer: poleward; equatorward
Diff: 1
15) List the three trace gases that, along with carbon dioxide, are contributing to a future global
increase in temperature. ________, ________, ________
Answer: methane (CH4), nitrous oxide(N2O), certain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
Diff: 1
16) Which climate is situated on the western (windward) side of continents, from about 40 to 65
degrees north and south latitude? ________
Answer: marine west coast
Diff: 1
17) The Köppen climate classification system uses mean monthly and annual values of ________
and ________.
Answer: temperature; precipitation
Diff: 1
10
18) ________ climates are those in which the average temperature of the coldest month is below
-3°C and the warmest monthly mean exceeds 10°C.
Answer: Humid middle-latitude, severe winters
Diff: 1
19) The two types of dry climates are ________ or desert and ________ or steppe.
Answer: arid; semiarid
Diff: 1
20) The boundaries of the Köppen climates are largely based on the limits of certain ________
associations.
Answer: plant
Diff: 1
21) Compared to nearby places at lower elevations, sites with ________ climates are cooler and
usually wetter.
Answer: highland
Diff: 1
22) Atmospheric carbon dioxide is transparent to incoming ________-wavelength solar
radiation, but it is not transparent to some of the ________-wavelength outgoing terrestrial
radiation.
Answer: short; longer
Diff: 1
23) The ________ climate is also referred to as a Mediterranean climate.
Answer: dry-summer subtropical
Diff: 1
24) ________ climate is summer less with the average temperature of the warmest month below
10˚C.
Answer: polar
Diff: 1
21.5 Critical Thinking Questions
Use complete sentences, correct spelling, and the information presented in Chapter 21 to answer the
questions below.
1) Climatic zones are often based on different types of vegetation that result from the
prevailing climatic conditions. Considering such zones, what are some of the potential
problems when using fossil plant assemblages to interpret ancient climates? What are some
of the factors (geological or otherwise) that would influence your conclusions?
Diff: 3
2) How are carbon dioxide and other trace gases thought to be potentially related to global
warming? Are the levels of these gases in our atmosphere increasing or decreasing and why
are levels changing? Finally, what are some of the observed climatic trends and possible
consequences associated with global warming?
Diff: 3
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