FIRST MIDTERM EXAMINATION STUDY QUESTIONS

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FIRST MIDTERM EXAMINATION STUDY QUESTIONS 1. Define the following terms: latitude, longitude, parallel, equator, meridian, prime meridian. Latitude: location described as an angle measured north and south of the equator. Longitude: location described as an angle measured (in degree, minutes, and second) east and west from the prime meridian on Earth’s surface. Parallel: a line connecting all points of equal latitude; such a line is parallel to all other parallels. Equator: the parallel of 0° latitude. Meridian: an imaginary line of longitude extending from pole to pole, crossing all parallels at right angles, and being aligned in true north‐south directions. Prime Meridian: The meridian passing through the Royal Observatory at Greenwich (England), just east of central London, and from which longitude is measured. 2. Latitude ranges from ____________ ° to __________°, while longitude ranges from ____________ ° to __________° Latitude ranges from 0° to 360°, while longitude ranges from 0° to 180° 3. State the latitude (in degrees) for the following “special parallels: equator, Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Arctic Circle, Antarctic Circle, North Pole, South Pole. Equator: 0° Tropic of Cancer: 23.5°N Tropic of Capricorn: 23.5°S Arctic Circle: 66.5°N Antarctic Circle: 66.5°S North Pole: 90°N South Pole: 90°S 4. Using a world map or globe, estimate the latitude and longitude (to the nearest 1°) of Los Angeles (in California) and Sydney (in Australia). Be sure to specify if these locations are north or south latitude, and east or west longitude. Los Angeles, California: Latitude 34°N / Longitude 118°W Sydney, Australia: Latitude 34°S / Longitude 151°E 5. Describe and explain the concepts of graphic map scales, fractional map scales and verbal map scales. Graphic map scale: the use of a line marked off in graduated distances as a map scale Fractional map scales: ratio of distance measured on a map and the actual distance that represents on Earth’s surface, expressed as a ratio or fraction; assume that the same units of measure are used on the map and on Earth’s surface. Verbal map scales: scale of a map stated in words; also called a word scale. 6. What is meant by a map scale of 1:100,000 A map scale of 1:100,000 meant that 1 unit of measure on the map represents an actual distance of 100,000 units of measure on Earth. 7. What is the difference between an equivalent map and a conformal map? Equivalent map projection is a projection that maintains constant area (size) relationship over the entire map; also called an equal area projection. Conformal map projection is a projection that maintains proper angular relationships over the entire map; over limited areas shows the correct shapes of features shown on a map. 8. Briefly describe the four major families of map projections: cylindrical, plane, conic, and pseudocylindrical (“elliptical”) Cylindrical projection: a family of maps derived from the concept of projection onto a paper cylinder that is tangential to, or intersecting with, a globe. Plane projection: a family of maps derived by the perspective extension of the geographic grid from a globe to a plane that is tangent to the globe at some point. Conic projection: a family of maps in which one or more cones is set tangent to, or intersecting, a portion of the globe and the geographic grid is projected onto the cone(s). Pseudocylindrical projection: a family of map projections in which the entire world is displayed in an oval shape. 9. What is an isoline on a map? Isoline is a line on a map connecting points that have the same quality or intensity of a given phenomenon. 10. Describe and explain the four factors in Earth – sun relations associated with the change of seasons: rotation, revolution around the Sun, inclination of Earth’s axis, and polarity (parallelism”) Rotation around the Sun: the spinning of Earth around its imaginary north – south axis. Revolution around the Sun: the orbital movement of Earth around the Sun over the year. Inclination of Earth’s axis: the tilt of Earth’s rotational axis relative to its orbital plane (the plane of the ecliptic). Polarity (parallelism): a characteristic of Earth’s axis wherein it always points toward Polaris (the North Star) at every position in Earth’s orbit around the Sun. 11. Is the noon Sun directly overhead at the equator every day of the year? (In other words, do the vertical rays of the noon Sun strike the equator every day of the year?) If not, on which day or days of the year is the Sun directly overhead at the equator? No. The noon Sun is directly overhead at the equator on March 20 and September 22. 12. Is the noon Sun ever directly overhead here in San Francisco? If not, on which day of the year is the noon Sun highest in the sky here, and on which day is it lowest? No. The noon Sun is highest in the sky in San Francisco on June 21, and lowest on December 21. 13. Is the noon sun ever directly overhead at the North Pole? If not, on which day of the year is the noon Sun highest in the sky there. No, the noon Sun is highest in the sky at the North Pole on June 21. 14. Beginning with the March equinox, describe the changing latitude of the vertical rays of the noon Sun during the year. The vertical rays of the Sun only strike Earth between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. After the March equinox, the vertical rays of the Sun migrate north from the equator, striking the Tropic of Cancer on the June solstice (although latitudes north of the Tropic of Cancer never experience the vertical rays of the Sun, the June solstice marks the day of the day when the Sun is highest in the sky in those latitudes). After the June solstice, the vertical rays migrate south, striking the equator again on the September equinox and finally to their southernmost latitude on the December solstice (the December solstice marks the day when the Sun is lowest in the sky in the Northern Hemisphere). Following the December solstice, the vertical rays migrate northward, reaching the equator once again on the March equinox. 15. For the equator, describe the approximate number of daylight hours on the following days of the year: March equinox, June solstice, September equinox and December solstice. March equinox: 12 hours of daylight June solstice: 12 hours of daylight September equinox: 12 hours of daylight December solstice: 12 hours of daylight 16. For the midlatitudes of the Northern Hemisphere (such as here in San Francisco), describe the approximate number of daylight hours (for example: “12 hours of daylight”, “more than 12 hours”, or “less than 12 hours”) on the following days of the year: March equinox, June solstice, September equinox and December solstice. March equinox: 12 hours of daylight June solstice: more than 12 hours September equinox: 12 hours of daylight December solstice: less than 12 hours 17. For the North Pole, describe the approximate number of daylight hours on the following days of the year: March equinox, June solstice, September equinox and December solstice. March equinox: 12 hours of daylight June solstice: 24 hours of daylight September equinox: 12 hours of daylight December solstice: 0 hours of daylight 18. At the North Pole, for how many months of the year is there no sunlight at all? 6 months 19. What is the longest day of the year (the day with the greatest number of daylight hours) in the midlatitudes of the Northern Hemisphere? What is the longest day in the Southern Hemisphere? Northern Hemisphere: June 21 Southern Hemisphere: December 21 20. In terms of Earth – Sun relations, explain the significance of the Trophic of Cancer, the Tropic of Capricorn, the Arctic Circle and the Antarctic Circle. Tropic of Cancer, which is Latitude 23.5°N, is where the vertical rays of the noon sun strike the north‐est in the North Hemisphere; Tropic of Capricorn, which is Latitude 23.5°S, is where the vertical rays of the noon sun strike the south‐est in the South Hemisphere; Between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn, the latitudes will experience vertical rays of the noon sun. Both from the Arctic Circle 66.5°N to the North Pole 90°N and from the Antarctic Circle 66.5°S, to the South Pole 90°S, the latitudes will experience 24 hours daylight and 24 hours darkness. 21. Describe the most important “constant” components and “variable” components of the atmosphere. *The most important “constant” components of the atmosphere: Nitrogen ‐ about 78% of the atmosphere Oxygen ‐ about 21% of the atmosphere *The “variable” components of the atmosphere: water vapor, carbon dioxide ‐ green house gases 22. Describe the general size and temperature characteristics of the troposphere and the stratosphere. Troposphere: on the average, the top of the troposphere is about 18 kilometers above sea level at the equator and about 8 kilometers above sea level over the poles. Air temperature decreases with increasing altitude in the troposphere. Stratosphere: it extends from an altitude of about 18 kilometers above sea level to about 48 kilometer. Air temperature increases with increasing altitude in the stratosphere. 23. What is ozone and why is it important in the atmosphere? Ozone is a gas composed of molecules consisting of three atoms of oxygen, O3. Ozone is important in the atmosphere because it forms a fragile “shield” by absorbing most of the ultraviolet radiation from the sun. 24. What is the difference between weather and climate? Weather is the short term atmospheric condition for a given time and a specific area. Climate is an aggregate of day‐to‐day weather conditions and weather extremes over a long period of time, usually at least 30 years. The distinction between them is the difference between immediate specifics and protracted generalities. 25. What are the four elements of weather and climate? What are the seven dominant controls of weather and climate? Four elements of weather and climate: ‐
Temperature ‐
Moisture content ‐
Pressure ‐
wind Seven dominant controls of weather and climate: Or (LAWMOPS) Latitude, altitude, water‐land, mountains, ocean currents, pressure cells and storms ‐
Latitude ‐
The distribution of land and water ‐
General circulation of the atmosphere ‐
General circulation of the oceans ‐
Altitude ‐
Topographic barrier ‐
Storms 26. Describe the Coriolis effect and its cause. Coriolis effect is the apparent defection of free‐moving objects to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere, in response to the rotation of Earth. Cause of the Coriolis effect: Due to the Coriolis effect, all things move over the surface of Earth or in Earth’s atmosphere appear to drift sideways as a result of Earth’s rotation beneath them 27. Describe and contrast shortwave radiation and longwave radiation. Shortwave radiation is the wavelengths of radiation emitted by the Sun, especially ultraviolet, visible lights, and short infrared radiation Longwave radiation is the wavelengths of thermal infrared radiation emitted by Earth and the atmosphere; also referred to as terrestrial radiation. The contrast between shortwave and longwave radiation: a/ the wavelength of them are different: shortwave radiation is shorter than the long wave radiation; b/ the radiations come from different places: shortwave radiation is from the Sun, while long wave radiation is emitted by Earth; c/ shortwave radiation are not easy to be absorbed by the atmosphere, while the long wave radiation are easy to be absorbed by the green house gases. 28. What is meant by the term insolation? Insolation is the incoming solar radiation. 29. Briefly describe the following warming and cooling processes associated with electromagnetic energy: radiation (emission), absorption, reflection, transmission, and scattering Radiation (emission): is the process by which electromagnetic energy is emitted from an object, referring to both the emission and the flow of electromagnetic energy. Absorption: is the process by which electromagnetic waves strike an object being assimilated by that object. Reflection: is the ability of an object to repel electromagnetic waves that strike it. Transmission: is the process whereby electromagnetic waves pass completely through a medium. Scattering: is a type of reflection that gas molecules and particulate matter in the air deflect light waves. 30. Why is the sky blue? Why are sunsets orange and red? The sky is blue because short wavelengths of visible light (blue and violet) are scattered more easily than longer wavelengths. Consequently, when the Sun is overhead on a clear day, one can see blue sky in all directions because blue light was selectively scattered. At sunsets, however, the path that light must take through the atmosphere is much longer, with the result that most of the blue light is scattered out before the light waves reach Earth’s surface. Thus, the Sun appears reddish in color and the sky is orange and red. 31. Briefly describe the following processes and their significance to atmospheric warming and cooling: conduction, convection, advection, expansion (adiabatic cooling) and compression (adiabatic warming). Conduction: the transfer of heat from one molecule to another without changes in their relative positions. This process enables energy to be transferred from one part of a stationary body to another, or from one object to a second object when the two are in contact. Convection: it is the process that energy is transferred from one point to another by the predominately vertical circulation of a fluid. Convection involves movement of the warmed molecules from one place to another. Advection: it is the process that energy is transferred from one point to another by the dominantly horizontal (sideways) direction. Advection also involves movement of the warmed molecules from one place to another. Expansion (adiabatic cooling): the expansion that occurs in rising air is a cooling process even though no energy is lost. As air rises and expands, the molecules spread through a greater volume of space ‐ the “work” done by the molecules during expansion reduces their average kinetic energy and so the temperature decreases. Compression (adiabatic warming): the descent causes compression as the air comes under increasing pressure ‐ the work done on the molecules by compression increases their average kinetic energy and so the temperature increases even though no energy was added from external sources. 32. What happens to the temperature of air when it rises? When it descends? Why? The temperature of air decreases when it rises. It is due to the expansion (adiabatic cooling) process: the expansion that occurs in rising air is a cooling process even though no energy is lost. As air rises and expands, the molecules spread through a greater volume of space ‐ the “work” done by the molecules during expansion reduces their average kinetic energy and so the temperature decreases. The temperature of air increases when it descends. It is due to the compression (adiabatic warming) process: the descent causes compression as the air comes under increasing pressure ‐ the work done on the molecules by compression increases their average kinetic energy and so the temperature increases even though no energy was added from external sources. 33. Briefly describe and explain how the troposphere is warmed indirectly by the Sun. When the insolation arrives at the upper atmosphere, some of the shortwave radiation are reflected back or scattered back into the space; some of the shortwave radiation will be directly absorbed by the ozone; some of the insolation will be absorbed by gases and clouds; then the rest of the insolation simply transmits through the atmosphere and is absorbed by the Earth's surface: then via evaporation, some latent heat transferred to the troposphere through condensation, warming up the troposphere; then some heat from Earth's surface by conduction and convection is also absorbed by the troposphere, warming up the troposphere; then most of the longwave radiation emitted from Earth is absorbed by the greenhouse gases, which warm up the troposphere. 34. Describe and explain the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, nothing the two most important natural greenhouse gases. The two most important natural greenhouse gases are water vapor and carbon dioxide. Shortwave radiation from the Sun transmits through the atmosphere and is absorbed by Earth’s surface; the surface is warmed and so emits longwave radiation that is absorbed by greenhouse gases (such as water vapor and carbon dioxide) thus delaying the eventual loss of this energy to space. 35. How might humans be enhancing (increasing) the natural greenhouse effect? Due to the greenhouse effect results from the greenhouse gases (water vapor and carbon dioxide) reacting differently to the shortwave and longwave radiation, if one or both of the greenhouse gas(es) change(s), there will result in the changes of the greenhouse effect. Over the last century or so, a significant increase in greenhouse gas concentration ‐ especially carbon dioxide ‐ has been measured. This increase in carbon dioxide is closely associated with human activity, especially the burning of fossil fuels such as petroleum and coal (carbon dioxide is one of the by‐products of combustion). This is how humans might be increasing the natural greenhouse effect. 36. Explain the reasons for the unequal warming (by latitude) of Earth by the Sun. There are only a few basic reasons for the unequal warming by latitude of Earth by the Sun: angle of incidence, atmospheric obstruction and day length 37. Explain why land warms and cools faster and to a greater extent than water. There are several reasons for why land warms and cools faster and to a greater extent than water: 1. Specific heat; 2. Transmission; 3. Mobility/movement; 4. Evaporative cooling. Land has low specific heat, no transmission, no movement and low evaporation; Water has high specific heat, some transmission, high movement and high evaporation; therefore land heats up/cools faster and to higher temperature than water 38. What are the two dominant mechanisms of energy transfer around the world? How would global temperature patterns be different without this heat transfer? The two dominant mechanisms of energy transfer around the world are atmospheric circulation and oceanic circulation. Without this heat transfer, global temperature patterns would be different: the tropics would be warmer and the poles would be colder. 39. Describe the basic pattern of ocean currents around the margins of a major ocean basin (including the relative temperature of each current – either “cool” or “warm”). (You should be able to sketch the direction of movement (and note the relative temperature) of major ocean currents on a blank map of an ocean basin) It consists of a series of enormous elliptical loops elongated east – west and centered approximately at 30° of latitude (except in the Indian Ocean, where it is centered closer to the equator). These loops flow clockwise in the North Hemisphere and counter clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. (PAGE 97) 40. What is the relative temperature of the ocean current flowing along the west coast of a continent in the midlatitudes? Along the east coast of a continent? The ocean current flowing along the west coast of a continent is cool, whereas the current flowing along the east coast is warm. 41. Describe the average lapse rate (average vertical temperature gradient) in the troposphere. The average rate of temperature decrease with height in the troposphere – about 3.6°F per 1000 feet. 42. Why does temperature generally decrease with increasing altitude in the troposphere? With increasing altitude, the air density will be less. Then the air in increasing altitude absorbs less heat. Therefore the temperature generally decrease 43. What is an isotherm? Isotherm is a line joining points of equal temperature. 44. Using the isotherm maps of average January and July seal level temperature (Figures 4‐31 and 4‐
32 in the textbook) describe the general influence of latitude, season, land‐water contrasts and ocean currents on global temperature patterns. Latitude: the decrease of temperature poleward from the equator. Season: the isotherms follow the changing balance of insolation during the course of the year, moving northward from January to July and returning southward from July to January. This isotherm shift is much more pronounced in high latitudes than in low and also much more pronounced over the continents than over the oceans. Isotherms are also more tightly “packed” in winter, which indicates that the temperature gradient is steeper in winter than in summer and also steeper over continents than over oceans. Land‐water contrasts: due to the different warming and cooling characteristics of land and water, summer temperatures are higher over the continents than over the oceans, as shown by the poleward curvature of the isotherms over continents in the respective hemispheres. Winter temperatures are lower over the continents than over the oceans, as shown by the isotherms bend equatorward over continents in the respective hemispheres. Therefore, isotherms make greater north‐south shifts over land than over water. Another manifestation of the land‐water contrast is the regularity of the isotherm pattern in the midlatitudes of the Southern Hemisphere, which is due to the little land in these Southern Hemisphere latitudes. Ocean currents: some of the obvious bends in the isotherms occur in near‐coastal areas of the oceans, where prominent warm or cool currents reinforce the isothermal curves caused by land‐water contrasts. Cool currents deflect isotherms equatorward, whereas warm currents deflect them poleward. Cool currents produce the greatest isothermal bends in the warm season. Warm currents have their most prominent effects in the cool season. 45. Where in the world do we generally find the greatest average annual temperature ranges and where do we find the smallest average annual temperature ranges? Why? We generally find the greatest average annual temperature ranges on land. We can find the smallest average annual temperature ranges in ocean. Since average annual temperature ranges is the difference between the average temperature of the warmest month and the average temperature of the coldest month and since land warms and cools to a greater extent than water, average annual temperature ranges on land will be greater than in ocean. 46. What generally happens to atmospheric pressure with increasing altitude? With increasing altitude, the air is less dense and therefore the atmospheric pressure decreases 47. What factors generally cause low atmospheric pressure cells and high atmospheric pressure cells near the surface? Low atmospheric pressure cells: rising air / warm surface High atmospheric pressure cells: descending air / cold surface 48. What is an isobar? When referring to air pressure, what is a ridge and what is a trough? Isobar is a line joining points of equal atmospheric pressure. When referring to air pressure, ridge is linear or elongated area of relatively high atmospheric pressure while trough is linear or elongated band of relatively low atmospheric pressure. 49. Describe the three factors that influence wind direction: pressure gradient, Coriolis effect and friction. Pressure gradient: it indicates that if there is higher pressure in one area than in another, air will begin to move from the higher pressure toward the lower pressure. Coriolis effect: because Earth rotates, any object moving freely near Earth’s surface appears to deflect to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. Deflection is strongest at the poles and decreases progressively toward the equator, where deflection is zero. A fast‐moving object is deflected more than a slower one. Friction: the frictional drag of Earth’s surface slows wind movement and so the influence of the Coriolis effect is reduced. 50. How and why are surface (“friction‐layer”) winds different from upper‐atmosphere geostrophic winds? Near Earth’s surface friction causes wind flow to be turbulent and irregular. Above the friction layer, the wind flow is generally smoother and faster. Because the frictional drag of Earth’s surface slows wind movement and so the influence of the Coriolis effect is reduced. Instead of blowing perpendicular to the isobars or parallel to them, the wind takes an intermediate course between the two and crosses the isobars at angles between 0° and 90°. In essence, friction reduces wind speed, which in turn reduces the Coriolis effect deflection ‐ thus, although the Coriolis effect does introduce a deflection to the right/left, the pressure gradient “wins the battle” and air flows into an area of low pressure and away from an area of high pressure. While in the upper atmosphere, the frictional influence diminishes progressively upward. Thus, the angle of wind flow across the isobars is greatest at low altitudes and becomes smaller at increasing elevations. 51. Describe and explain the pattern of wind flow in the Northern Hemisphere around: a surface high; a surface low; an upper atmosphere high; an upper atmosphere low. (You should be able to sketch the wind direction on isobar maps of highs and lows at the surface and the upper atmosphere in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres). 52. What is a cyclone? An anticyclone? Cyclone is low pressure center while anticyclone is high pressure center 53. Describe the pattern of vertical (up or down) air movement within a cyclone and an anticyclone. Cyclone: air converges and rises Anticyclone: air descends and diverges 54. Describe the general wind speed associated with a gentle (gradual) pressure gradient and a steep (abrupt) pressure gradient. With a gentle (gradual) pressure gradient, the wind speed will be low; with a steep (abrupt) pressure gradient, the wind speed will be high. 55. What are the Hadley Cells, and generally what causes them? Hadley Cells are two complete vertical convective circulation cells between the equator, where warm air rises in the ITCZ, and 25° to 30° of latitude, where much of the air subsides into the subtropical highs. The rotation of the Earth, its spherical shape, and solar radiation cause the Hadley cells. 56. Describe the general location and characteristics of the following general circulation components: intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), trade winds, subtropical highs, and the westerlies. (You should be able to sketch in the location of these four components on a blank map of an ocean basin) Intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ): the region near or on the equator where the northeast trades and the southeast trades converge; associated with rising air of the Hadley cells and frequent thunderstorm. Trade winds: the major easterly wind system of the tropics, issuing from the equatorward sides of the subtropical highs and diverging toward the west and toward the equator. Subtropical highs: large, semipermanent, high‐pressure cells centered at about 30°N and S over the oceans, which have average diameters of 2000 miles and are usually elongated east – west. Westerlies: the great wind system of the midlatitudes that flows basically from west to east around the world in the latitudinal between about 30° and 60° both north and south of the equator. 57. Describe the characteristic weather associated with the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) and the characteristic weather associated with subtropical highs. *The ITCZ is generally near the equator; weather is characterized by clouds, thunderstorms and rain. *Subtropical highs are generally located over the ocean, just off the west coasts of continent at about 25° to 30° N and S; weather is generally sunny and dry. 1‐1. What are the differences between physical geography and cultural geography? Physical geography primarily focuses on patterns in the natural environment and on human interaction with the environment; cultural geography primarily focuses on patterns of human activity and culture. 1‐2. Why are physical geographers interested in globalization? Many patterns and processes in the natural environment can be influenced by economic activity – such as the consequences of the extraction of resources or the burning of fossil fules; economic activity in one part of the world can influence the environment in another part of the world. 1‐3. Why is the phrase “scientific proof” somewhat misleading? Strictly speaking, science uses evidence to eliminate unsupported ideas or hypothese; science must always leave open the possibility that new evidence will cause us to come to new conclusions. 1‐4. Briefly define the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere. The lithosphere is the solid part of the Earth, the atmosphere is the gases surrounding Earth, the hydrosphere is the waters of Earth, the cryosphere is the frozen water of Earth, the biosphere is the living organisms on Earth. 1‐5. What does it mean when we say a system is in equilibrium? When the inputs to a system are balanced by the outputs, the conditions within a system remain the same over time. 1‐6. What is the difference between a positive feedback loop and a negative feedback loop? With a positive feedback loop, change in one direction tends to reinforce change in that direction; with a negative feedback loop, chang tends to bring the system back toward equilibrium. 1‐7. Contrast the characteristics of the terrestrial and Jovian planets in our solar system. Terrestrial planets are relatively small and are composed primarily of mineral material; Jovian planets are larger, less dense, and composed primarily of gases, liquids, and ices. 1‐8. What are Earth’s highest and lowest points, and what is the approximate elevation difference between them? Earth’s highest point is Mouth Everest and its lowest point is the bottom of the Mariana Trench – a difference of about 65,233 feet 1‐9. What is a great circle? Provide one example of a great circle A great circle is the largest circle that can be drawn on a sphere, dividing it into two hemispheres; the equator is the great circle. 1‐10. Why are lines of latitude called parallels? Because all parallels are parallels to each other – they never cross or touch 1‐11. Are locations in North America described by east or west longtitude? North America is west of the prime meridian, so it is described by west longitude 1‐12. Distinguish between Earth’s rotation and its revolution. Earth rotates, or “spins”, on its axis. Earth revolves, or “orbits”, around the Sun. 1.13. Does the North Pole lean toward the Sun throughout the year? If not, how does the North Pole’s orientation change during the year? No, the North Pole leans most directly toward the Sun on the June solstice and leans most directly away from the Sun on the December solstice. 1.14. What is the latitude of the vertical rays of the Sun on the June solstice? 23.5°N 1.15. How much does day length at the equator change during the year? Not at all – the equator has virtually 12 hours of daylight every day of the year. 1.16. On which days of the year do the vertical rays of the Sun strike the equator? The vertical rays of the Sun strike the equator on the March equinox and September equinox. 1.17. For how many months of the year does the North Pole go without sunlight? 6 months 1.18. What happens to the hour when crossing from one time zone to the next going from west to east? Crossing from west to east into a new time zone it becomes one hour later 1.19. What happens to the day when crossing the International Date Line going from west to east? Crosssing the IDL going from west to east it becomes the previous day. 2.1. Why can’t a map represent Earth’s surface as perfectly as a globe? Because it is impossible to flatten a sphere without distortion 2.2. On a map with a fractional scale of 1:10,000, one centimeter measured on the map represents what actual distance on Earth’s surface? 10,000 cm 2.3. What is a map projection? A system that mathematically transfer the graticule and features of Earth onto the flat surface of a map. 2.4. What is the difference between an equivalent map and a conformal map? An equivalent (equal area) map shows correct area (size) relationships over the entire map; a conformal map maintains correct angular (shape) relationships over the entire map. 2.5. Would a Mercator projection be a good choice for a map used to study the loss of forest cover around the world? Why or why not? No, a Mercator projection shows correct shapes, but severely distorts apparent are in the high latitudes, making it unsuitable for studying area distribution patterns. 2.6. What are the advantages of an “interrupted” projection, such as the Goode’s projection? Goode’s interrupted projection is equivalent, making it suitable for studying area distribution patterns, in addition, Goode’s maintain reasonable shape relationships for the continents (althout it isn’t conformal) 2.7. Define “isoline” and give one example of a kind of distribution pattern that can be mapped with isolines. A line of equal value on a map; for example, temperature patterns can be mapped with isotherms and topography mapped with elevation contour lines. 2.8. How does a digital elevation model convey the topography of Earth’s surface? An oblique view of the landscape is mathematically constructed from elevation data, using shaded relief, as if the Sun were illuminating the topography from the northwest 2.9. How does GPS determine locations on Earth? Timing signals from at least three satellites are received by the GPS unit; by determining the slight difference in arrival time of the signal, the GPS unit calculates the distance to each satellite, and from that information, triangulates a location 3.1. What generally happens to the density of the atmosphere with increasing altitude? Density of the atmosphere decreases with increasing altitude. 3.2. What is the most abundant gas in the atmosphere? Does this gas play an important role in processes of weather and climate? Nitrogen; nitrogen gas (N2) has virtually no effect on weather processes 3.3. What generally happens to the temperature of the atmosphere from the surface of Earth to the tropopause? What happens to temperature above the tropopause in the stratosphere? Temperature generally decreases from the surface up to the tropopause; in the stratosphere temperature increases with increasing altitude. 3.4. Is ozone the most abundant gas in the stratospheric ozone layer? Explain. No, although ozone is not the most abundant gas in the ozone layer, this is where the concentration of ozone is greatest. 3.5. What is the explanation for the thinning of the ozone layer that has been observed since the 1970s? CFCs and other ozone – depleting chemicals in the ozone layer undergo a photochemical reaction that destroys ozone. 3.6. Is photochemical smog considered a primary or secondary pollutant in the atmosphere? Why? A secondary pollutant; smog forms from a photochemical reaction of primary pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide. 3.7. What is the different between weather and climate? Weather refers to the short‐run conditions in the atmosphere; wheras climate refers to the aggregate of weather conditions over at least 30 years. 3.8. What is the relationship of the “controls” of weather and climate to the “elements” of weather and climate? The controls of weather and climate influence or act upon the elements of weather and climate to produce variations in atmospheric condition. 3.9. Describe the Coriolis effect and its cause As a result of the rotation of Earth, the path of any free‐moving object is deflected to the right in the Northern Hemisphere, and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. 4.1. What is the difference between temperature and heat? Temperature is the description of the average kinetic energy of the molecules in a substance; heat is the energy that transfers from one object to another because of a difference in temperature. 4.2. Contrast shortwave radiation with longwave radiation. Shortwave radiation is emitted by the Sun and includes ultraviolet, visible, and short (near) infrared wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation; longwave radiation is emitted by Earth’s surface and atmosphere and consists of thermal infrared (far infrared) wavelenghs. 4.3. Compare the processes of radiation, absorption, and reflection Radiation is the flow (or emission) of electromagnetic energy; absorption entails the assimilation of electromagnetic energy by an object; reflection occurs when an object repels the electromagnetic waves that strike it. 4.4. Explain the natural greenhouse effect in the atmosphere. What are the two most important natural greenhouse gases? Shortwave radiation from the Sun transmits through the atmosphere and is absorbed by Earth’s surface; the surface is warmed and so emits longwave radiation that is absorbed by greenhouse gases (such as water vapor and carbon dioxide) thus delaying the eventual loss of this energy to space. 4.5. Contrast the energy transfer processes of conduction and convection Conduction involves the transfer of energy through molecule to molecule collision, whereas convection involves the transfer of energy through the vertical circulation of a fluid (such as air) 4.6. What happens to the temperature of air as it rises, and as it descends? Why? Rising air expands and cools adiabatically; descending air compresses and warms adiabatically 4.7. In what ways does the surface of Earth warm the troposphere above? The surface of Earth warms the troposphere through conduction and convection, through the emission of longwave radiation and the greenhouse effect, and through the latent heat that is absorbed during the evaporation of water and released during condensation. 4.8. Why does more solar energy reach the surface when the Sun is high in the sky than when it is low in the sky? When the Sun is high in the sky, the energy from a beam of sunlight will pass through less atmosphere and will be concentrated into a smaller surface area than when the Sun is lower in the sky. 4.9. How does the high specific heat of water influence how quickly it warms? Because of its high specific heat, water must absorb about 5 times more energy than land to exhibit a comparable temperature increase. 4.10. Which midlatitude location will typically experience higher summer temperatures: a coastal are, or a location deep in the interior of a continent? Why? The interior location will usually be warmer in summer than the coat; water only slowly warms in summer, whereas land warms quickly. 4.11. What is the relative temperature of the ocean current flowing along the west coast of a midlatitude continent? Along the east coast? The ocean current flowing along the west coast of a continent is cool, whereas the current flowing along the east coast is warm. 4.12. What is a temperature inversion? A temperature inversion is present when temperature increases with increasing altitude – this is the opposite, or inverse, of the usual situation. 4.13. What generally happens to global temperatures going from the equator toward the poles? Why? Temperature generally decreases, going from the equator toward the poles, because low latitudes receive more total insolation over the year than high latitudes. 4.14. What kinds of locations around the world have a very small average annual temperature range, and a very large annual temperature range? The tropics and coastal areas have small annual temperature ranges, whereas high latitudes in the middle of continents experience the greatest temperature ranges. 4.15. How has human activity likely caused a slight increase in global temperature over the last century? Increasing greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide released through the burning of fossil fuels since the mid‐1700s, have increased the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere. 5.1. Explain why atmospheric pressure decreases with altitude The density of the atmosphere decreases with altitude, and so pressure decreases. 5.2. Is descending air more likely to be associated with high or low atmospheric pressure at the surface? Rising air? Descending air is most likely associated with high atmospheric pressure at the surface, whereas rising air is more likely to be associated with low pressure. 5.3. How does friction influence the direction of wind flow? In the lowest 1000 meters of the atmosphere, friction slows the wind, and so the amount of Coriolis effect deflection decreases. 5.4. What is the pattern of wind circulation associated with a surface cyclone in the Northern Hemisphere? Wind converges in a counterclockwise direction in a surface cyclone in the Northern Hemisphere 5.5. Describe the direction of vertical air movement within an anticyclone? Air descends toward the surface in an anticyclone 5.6. Describe the pattern of air movement within the Hadley cells. Warm air rises near the equator; by an altitude of about 15 km, the air spreads north and south and descends toward the surface at about 30°N and 30°S, where it moves back toward the equator to be uplifted again in the Hadley cells 5.7. Describe the general locations and the kind of weather associated with the subtropical highs. Subtropical highs are generally located over the ocean, just off the west coasts of continent at about 25° to 30° N and S; weather is generally sunny and dry. 5.8. Describe the general location and kind of weather associated with the ITCZ The ITCZ is generally near the equator; weather is characterized by clouds, thunderstorms and rain. 5.9. What is the relationship of the subtropical highs to the trade winds and the westerlies? The trade winds and westerlies diverge from the subtropical hights. 5.10. What are jet streams and where they are usually found? Jet streams are high‐speed currents of air in the upper troposphere; in each hemisphere one jet stream is generally located just poleward of the subtropical highs, and one just equatorward of the polar front. 5.11. Why does the location of the ITCZ shift north during the Northern Hemisphere summer? The position of the ITCZ shifts with the seasons, following the location of greatest insolation and surface warming. 5.12. How does wind direction in South Asia different from summer to winter? During the summer monsoon, wind blows onshore, off the ocean; during the winter monsoon, wind blows offshore. 5.13. How do see breezes form? Warming of land during the day creates relatively lower pressure over land, so the wind blows off the water toward land 5.14. How do the trade winds differ during an El Nino event compare with the normal pattern? During an El Nino event the trades weaken or reverse direction 5.15. What is a teleconnection? Describe one example of a teleconnection. A teleconnection is a connection between the weather or the ocean in one part of the world with that in another; for example, during a strong El Nino, the North Atlantic Ocean usually experiences fewer hurricanes. QUIZ + NOTE (2 quizzes = 18 points sofar) 1. Earth reaches perihelion (its closest point to the Sun) on Jan 3 and reaches aphelion (its farthest point from the Sun) on July 4. 2. Earth tilt 23.5° from the perpendicular 3. A fractional map scale of 1:50,000 means one inch measured on the map represents an actual distance of 50,000 inches on Earth’s surface. 4. A conformal map shows correct angular (shape) relationships. 5. The vertical rays of the Sun (rays reaching the surface at an angle of 90°) strike farthest north of the equator on June 21st of the year. 6. On the March equinox, the Tropic of Cancer receives 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. 7. The vertical rays of the noon Sun (sunlight arriving at an angle of 90°) strike the equator on the March equinox and the September equinox. 8. The ozone layer absorbs much of the incoming ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the Sun before it reaches the surface. 9. As a consequence of the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere: some of the longwave radiation emitted by Earth’s surface is absorbed by carbon dioxide and water vapor. 10. What happens to the temperature of a rising parcel of air: it cools as it rises and expands. QUIZ ONLINE 1. Place the steps into their proper sequence regarding the scientific method. 1. Observe phenomena. 2. Generate a hypothesis 3. Design an experiment 4. Predict outcomes 5. Conduct an experiment 6. Draw conclusions or formulate rules 2. Why is Earth's equatorial diameter greater than its polar diameter? The centrifugal force generated by Earth’s rotation causes Earth to bulge in the equatorial region. 3. Which term best describes the shape of Earth? Oblate spheroid 4. The Prime Meridian and the equator represent a great circle. 5. Seasons is a revolution effect 6. During summer in the Southern Hemisphere (December through February), the South Pole is tilted toward the Sun 7. On which date of the year will the Sun's rays strike perpendicular to the surface at the equator? September 21 8. On which date of the year will the Sun's rays strike perpendicular to the surface at the Tropic of Cancer? June 21 9. On which date does the circle of illumination bisect all parallels equally? March 21 10. One hour of time equals how many degrees of Earth rotation? 15° 11. If it is Monday and you travel across the International Date Line traveling eastward, what day is it after you cross the line? Sunday 12. What was the rationale for creating Daylight Savings Time? To save energy 13. If you enlarge or reduce a map on a copy machine or a computer screen, which of the scales below would be preserved? Graphic 14. Which of these characteristics of the globe can be accurately preserved on an equivalent projection? Area 15. Which geometric surface is the basis of an azimuthal projection? Plane 16. Which projection preserves the globe’s property of conformality? Mercator 17. What is the main problem of the Mercator projection? It grossly exaggerates areas in high latitude regions. 18. Match the isolines with their appropriate definitions. Isohyet – A line of equal precipitation Isobar ‐ A line of equal atmospheric pressure Contour line – A line of equal elevation Isogonic line ‐ A line of equal magnetism 19. Match the remote sensing bandwidths with what they do. Thermal infrared – Shows temperature differences between land and water Radar – Penetrates clouds for terrain analysis Sonar – Images the sea floor Color infrared ‐ Shows dead or withering vegetation 20. Which gas is a permanent gas? Oxygen 21. Why are permanent gases called “permanent”? Their quantities relative to each other remain constant over time. 22. Why does carbon dioxide have a significant influence on climate? It is an effective absorber of infrared radiation. 23. Which of the following correctly lists the thermal layers of Earth's atmosphere from Earth’s surface toward space? Troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, exosphere 24. What is the ionosphere responsible for? The generation of auroral displays 26. Ninety percent of Earth’s atmosphere is compressed within which layers? Troposphere and stratosphere 27. New ozone is formed in the stratosphere when ______________. UV‐B and UV‐C radiation splits oxygen (O2) molecules into free oxygen atoms that combine to form ozone (O3) molecules. 28. The effects of ozone depletion include all of the following EXCEPT _____________. increased temperatures in the stratosphere 29. The UV index of a location depends on which of the following? Cloud cover 30. Volatile organic compounds are most associated with which of the following? Select all that apply. Sulfur dioxide 31. Temperature inversions and anticyclonic development promote _______________. The accumulation of pollutants in the air 32. What is the Coriolis effect attributed to? Earth’s rotation 33. How is temperature best described? The amount of kinetic energy generated by an object 34. Why does the intensity of solar rays diminish as they travel away from the Sun? The distance between rays increases as they move away from the Sun's spherical body, which serves to disperse the energy over a larger area. 35. Match the areas of the electromagnetic spectrum with their respective wavelengths. 0.01 to 0.4 micrometers: Ultraviolet radiation 0.4 to 0.7 micrometers: Visible light 0.7 to 1000 micrometers: Infrared radiation 1000 micrometers to 1 meter: TV/FM radio Less than .001 micrometers: X‐rays, gamma rays, and cosmic rays 36. Which of the following forms of energy is solar and terrestrial radiation? Infrared radiation 37. Which of the following forms of energy is solar radiation? ultraviolet radiation 38. Approximately how much energy is received at the top of Earth's atmosphere? 1372 watts per square meter 39. Match the energy transmission process with the examples below. Radiation: The emission of energy from a hot body Conduction: The molecule‐to‐molecule movement of energy through a solid Convection: The transfer of heat from one point to another through vertical circulation Advection: The transfer of heat from one point to another through horizontal circulation 40. Which of the following surfaces have low albedos? Select all that apply. A tropical forest canopy A black‐shingled roof 41. Which of the following factors BEST explains why a parcel of rising air cools and a parcel of descending air heats without the exchange of energy from the surrounding atmosphere? Changes in atmospheric pressure at different altitudes 42. Why does water heat up more slowly and to a lower temperature than a comparable area of land surface, when both receive the same amount of energy from the Sun? Heat is more mobile in water. 43. Which location would most likely experience the GREATEST seasonal contrast in temperature? Minneapolis, United States 44. Which of the following currents is warm? Kuroshio current 45. Which of the following currents is cool? West Wind Drift 46. Why is the 70° isotherm pulled south over the South American land mass? The water in the South Atlantic and Pacific is absorbing greater amounts of energy during January, and the land is rapidly heating and reradiating energy. 47. The largest differences in the global pattern of the annual range in temperature are most likely attributed to what factor? Heating contrasts of land and water 48. As the pressure of a gas increases, the density _________ and the temperature __________. increases; increases 49. Match the dynamic and thermal characteristics with their appropriate pressure relationships. Dynamic high: Descending air Dynamic low: Ascending air Thermal high: Cold surface conditions Thermal low: Warm surface conditions 50. In regard to the Coriolis effect, which statement is CORRECT? It is weaker near the equator and stronger closer to the poles. 51. Which of the following best describes an anticyclone? Upper atmosphere convergence, descending air, and surface divergence 52. Which of the following best describes an cyclone? Surface convergence, ascending air, and upper atmosphere divergence 53. What is the most important characteristic of the general pattern of the circulation of Earth’s atmosphere? It is the principal mechanism for the latitudinal and longitudinal transfer of heat energy 54. Which of the following describes the horse latitudes? Descending air 55. Although the trade winds carry a great deal of moisture, when does precipitation usually form? When the winds encounter a physical barrier (such as a mountain) 56. Which of the following describes the doldrums? Rising air 57. Match the winds with the appropriate generating mechanisms. Mountain–valley breezes: Cool wind at night and warm upslope wind in daytime Katabatic winds: Cold, dense air draining off of a plateau via the force of gravity Santa Ana winds: High pressure inland that brings warm, desiccating winds from the northeast Foehn/chinook winds: A strong pressure gradient developing on either side of a topographic barrier (e.g., a mountain) Sea‐land breeze cycle: Contrasts in energy absorption and reradiation from water and land surfaces 58. Which of the following is a characteristic of the circulation of the atmosphere and currents in the South Pacific during an El Niño event? Warm surface water off the west coast of South America GEOGRAPHY 1 – PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY Darrel Hess – Wed. evening 6:40‐9:30, Science Hall, Room 5 [email protected] 8 quizzes (50 pts max) + 4 take‐home exercises (25*4=100pts) + 3 midterm(100*3=300 pts) + 1 final exam (200 pts) = 650 pts Quizz: short 10‐point quiz, be taken during the first 5 minutes of class Take‐home exercise: due one week later LECTURE AND EXAM SCHEDULE 8/20: Chapter 1 & 2 1. Introduction to Course and Physical Geography 2. Map Scale and Map Projections 8/27: Chapter 3 Earth‐Sun Relations; Introduction to the Atmosphere; Controls of Weather and Climate 09/03: Chapter 4 Insolation; Warming and Cooling Processes; Land‐Water Contrasts 09/10: Chapter 5 Global Temperature Patterns; Atmospheric Pressure and Wind; Global Circulation Patterns 09/17: First Midterm and Chapter 6 Monsoons and Local Winds; Relative Humidity; Adiabatic Processes 09/24: Chapter 7, Chapter 9 p253‐263 Global Precipitation Patterns; Air Masses; Midlatitude Cyclones 10/01: Chapter 8 (FG7, FG11) Tropical Cyclones; Global Climate and Climate Change; Bay Area Weather 10/08: Second Midterm & Chapter 13, Appendix II Topographic Maps; Introduction to Geomorphology 10/15: Chapter 14 Rocks; History of Plate Tectonics; Plate Boundaries 10/22: FG3 Mantle Plumes & Terranes; Folding and Faulting 10/29: Chapter 15 Volcanism and Volcanic Landforms; Weathering Processes 11/05: Third Midterm and FG 12 Mass Wasting; Introduction to Erosion 11/12: Chapter 16, Chapter 9 p267‐271 (FG13) Fluvial Processes and Fluvial Landforms 11/19: Chapter 18, Chapter 19 (FG9, FG 4 & FG5) Desert Topography; Glacial Processes 11/26: FG 1 through FG13 California Edition Field Guides 12/03: Chapter 20 Glacial Landforms; Coastal Processes and landforms 12/10: Chapter 14 p 438‐441 Bay Area Geomorphology; Earthquakes 12/17: Final Exam: 6:30‐8:30pm 
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