GEO 302C EXAM 1 Fall 2003

The mean score of this test is 78. Your grade was posted on the eGradebook on 9/19/03.


You may not refer to any other materials during the exam. For each question (except otherwise explicitly stated), select the best answer for that question. Read all choices before selecting an answer and make sure your choice answers the question asked.


1.       The primary source of energy that drives the earth's weather and climate is from:

          a. the earth’s interior

          b. the sun

          c. erupting volcanoes

          d. lightning discharges associated with thunderstorms

          e. latent heat released during the formation of hurricanes


2.       The most abundant gases in the earth's atmosphere by volume are:

          a. carbon dioxide and nitrogen

          b. oxygen and water vapor

          c. nitrogen and oxygen

          d. oxygen and helium


3.       The only substance near the earth's surface that is found naturally in the atmosphere as a solid, liquid, and a gas:

          a. carbon dioxide

          b. water

          c. molecular oxygen

          d. ozone

          e. carbon


4.       The most abundant greenhouse gas in the earth's atmosphere:

          a. carbon dioxide (CO2)

          b. nitrous oxide (N2O)

          c. water vapor (H2O)

          d. methane (CH4)

          e. chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)


5.       This holds a planet's atmosphere close to its surface:

          a. radiation

          b. gravity

          c. cloud cover

          d. moisture

          e. pressure


6.       Which of the following weather elements always decreases as we climb upward in the atmosphere?

          a. wind

          b. temperature

          c. pressure

          d. moisture


7.       The earth's atmosphere is divided into layers based on the vertical profile of:

          a. air pressure

          b. air temperature

          c. air density

          d. wind speed


8.       Almost all of the earth's weather occurs in the:

          a. exosphere

          b. stratosphere

          c. mesosphere

          d. thermosphere

          e. troposphere


9.       Which of the following is not a greenhouse gas:

          a. oxygen (O2)

          b. nitrous oxide (N2O)

          c. carbon dioxide (CO2)

          d. ozone (O3)

          e. chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)


10.     Which relates to weather rather than climate?

          a. The average temperature for the month of January is 28 oF

          b. the lowest temperature ever recorded in Frozenlake, Minnesota is -57 oF

          c. the foggiest month of the year is December

          d. I like the warm, humid summers

          e. Outside it is cloudy and snowing


11.     A change of one degree on the Celsius scale is       a change of one degree on the Fahrenheit scale.

          a. equal to

          b. larger than

          c. smaller than

          d. is in the opposite direction of


12.     The temperature scale where 0o represents freezing and 100o boiling:

          a. Fahrenheit

          b. Celsius

          c. Kelvin

          d. absolute


13.     When water changes from a liquid to a vapor, we call this process:

          a. freezing

          b. condensation

          c. sublimation

          d. deposition

          e. evaporation


14.     The term "latent" means:

          a. late

          b. hot

          c. light

          d. hidden

          e. dense


15.     Solar radiation reaches the earth's surface as:

          a. visible radiation only

          b. ultraviolet radiation only

          c. infrared radiation only

          d. visible and infrared radiation only

          e. ultraviolet, visible, and infrared radiation


16.     Often before sunrise on a clear, calm, cold morning, ice (frost) can be seen on the tops of parked cars, even when the air temperature is above freezing.  This condition happens because the tops of the cars are cooling by:

          a. conduction

          b. convection

          c. latent heat

          d. radiation


17.     The earth's radiation is often referred to as       radiation, while the sun's radiation is often referred to as       radiation.

          a. shortwave, longwave

          b. shortwave, shortwave

          c. longwave, shortwave

          d. longwave, longwave


18.     Which principle best describes why holes develop in snow around tree trunks?

          a. snow is a good absorber of infrared energy

          b. snow is a good emitter of infrared energy

          c. snow is a poor reflector of visible light

          d. snow is a poor absorber of visible light

          e. snow is a poor absorber of ultraviolet light


19.     The atmospheric greenhouse effect is produced mainly by the:

          a. absorption and re-emission of visible light by the atmosphere

          b. absorption and re-emission of ultraviolet radiation by the atmosphere

          c. absorption and re-emission of infrared radiation by the atmosphere

          d. absorption and re-emission of visible light by clouds

          e. absorption and re-emission of visible light by the ground


20.     The albedo of the moon is 7%.  This means that:

          a. 7% of the sunlight striking the moon is reflected

          b. 7% of the sunlight striking the moon is absorbed

          c. the moon emits only 7% as much energy as it absorbs from the sun

          d. 93% of the sunlight striking the moon is reflected


21.     The atmosphere near the earth's surface is "heated from below."  Which of the following in not responsible for the heating?

          a. conduction of heat upward from a hot surface

          b. convection from a hot surface

          c. absorption of infrared energy that has been radiated from the surface

          d. heat energy from the earth's interior


22.     Evaporation is a _________ process.

          a. cooling

          b. heating

          c. can’t tell - it depends on the temperature

          d. both a and c


23.     During the summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the "land of the midnight sun" would be found:

          a. at high latitudes

          b. at middle latitudes

          c. near the equator

          d. in the desert southwest

          e. on the West Coast


24.     In the Northern Hemisphere, this day has the fewest hours of daylight:

          a. summer solstice

          b. winter solstice

          c. vernal equinox

          d. autumnal equinox


25.     The north-facing side of a hill in a mountainous region in the US tends to:

          a. receive less sunlight during a year than the south-facing side

          b. grow a variety of trees that are typically observed at higher elevation

          c. be a better location for a ski run than the south-facing side

          d. have snow on the ground for a longer period of time in winter compared to the

             south-facing side

          e. all of the above


26.     The maximum in daytime surface temperature typically occurs _______ the earth receives its most intense solar radiation.

          a. before

          b. after

          c. exactly when


27.     Radiational cooling typically occurs

          a. during the afternoon

          b. at night

          c. during the late morning



28.     When it is January and winter in the Northern Hemisphere, it is       and       in the Southern Hemisphere.

          a. January and summer

          b. January and winter

          c. July and winter

          d. July and summer


29.     In the context of this course, the word insolation refers to:

          a. a well-constructed, energy-efficient home

          b. the solar constant

          c. incoming solar radiation

          d. an increase in solar output


30.     On a clear, calm, night, the ground and air above cool mainly by this process:

          a. evaporation

          b. reflection

          c. convection

          d. conduction

          e. radiation


31.     This is used as an index for fuel consumption:

          a. growing degree-days

          b. consumer price index

          c. heating degree-days

          d. mean annual temperature


32.     When a liquid thermometer is held in direct sunlight:

          a. it will accurately measure the air temperature

          b. it will measure a much higher temperature than that of the air

          c. it will measure a much lower temperature than that of the air

          d. it will measure the temperature of the sun rather than the air


33.     The main factors that cause variations in temperature from one place to another are

          a. latitude

          b. land and water distribution

          c. ocean currents

          d. elevation

          e. all of the above


34.     As the air temperature increases, the air's capacity for water vapor:

          a. increases

          b. decreases

          c. remains constant

          d. is unrelated to air temperature and can either increase or decrease



35.     Which of the following will change in a rising or descending parcel of air?

          a. absolute humidity

          b. specific humidity


36.     The Gulf Coast states are more humid in summer than the coastal areas of Southern California mainly because of the:

          a. higher air temperature in the Gulf States

          b. lower air temperature in Southern California

          c. higher water temperature in the Gulf of Mexico

          d. low relative humidity of the air over the Pacific Ocean


37.     If very cold air is brought indoors and warmed with no change in its moisture content, the saturation vapor pressure of this air will       and the relative humidity of this air will      .

          a. increase, increase

          b. decrease, decrease

          c. increase, decrease

          d. decrease, increase


38.     In a blinding snowstorm in Vermont the air temperature and dew-point temperature are both 30o F.  Meanwhile, under clear skies in Arizona, the air temperature is 85o F and the dew point temperature is 38o F.  From this information you could conclude:

          a. there is more water vapor in the air in Arizona

          b. there is more water vapor in the Vermont snowstorm

          c. the same amount of water vapor is found in the air in Vermont and Arizona

          d. Vermont and Arizona are both located next to the ocean


39.     The statements “rising air cools” and “warm air rises” are contradictory.

          a. yes

          b. no


40.     The cooling of the ground to produce dew is mainly the result of:

          a. conduction

          b. radiational cooling

          c. cooling due to the release of latent heat

          d. advection


41.     Condensation nuclei are important in the atmosphere because:

          a. they provide most of the minerals found in water

          b. they make it easier for condensation to occur in the atmosphere

          c. they are the sole producers of smog

          d. they provide the only means we have of tracking wind motions


42.     The fog rolling in past the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco during summer is mainly

          a. radiation fog

          b. advection fog

          c. evaporation fog


43.     Which association below is not correct?

          a. cirrus - high cloud

          b. cumulus - cloud of vertical extent

          c. altocumulus - high cloud

          d. stratus - low cloud


44.     Cirrus clouds are composed primarily of:

          a. water droplets

          b. water vapor

          c. ice particles

          d. salt aerosols


45.     A cirrus-like trail often seen forming behind an aircraft flying at high altitude is called (a):

          a. contrail

          b. stratus

          c. banner


46.     If an air parcel is given a small push upward and it falls back to its original position, the atmosphere is said to be:

          a. stable

          b. unstable


47.     The rate at which the actual air (or environmental air) temperature changes with increasing height above the surface is referred to as the:

          a. environmental lapse rate

          b. dry adiabatic rate

          c. moist adiabatic rate


48.     A rising parcel of air that does not exchange heat with its surroundings is an example of

          a. advection

          b. an adiabatic process

          c. forced lifting


49.     The difference between the "moist" and "dry" adiabatic rates is due to:

          a. the fact that saturated air is always unstable

          b. the fact that an unsaturated air parcel expands more rapidly than a saturated air


          c. the fact that moist air weighs less than dry air

          d. the fact that latent heat is released by a rising parcel of saturated air


50.     Which cloud type would most likely form in absolutely stable air?

          a. cumulus

          b. cumulonimbus

          c. stratus

          d. altocumulus