GEO 302C EXAM 1 Fall 2002   Name_____________________________________

  • SSN#_____________________________________

  • 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. An elliptical orbit causes the Earth's distance from the sun to vary annually. On January 3rd, perihelion, the Earth is closest to the sun (146.9 million kilometers). The Earth is farthest from the sun (152.1 million kilometers) on July 4th, or aphelion. Does this phenomenon cause the seasons in Austin?

    a. Yes.

    b. No.


    2. Which gases do not occur naturally and are anthropogenic compounds that were virtually non-existent before 1950?

    a. nitrogen

    b. oxygen

    c. water vapor

    d. chlorofluorocarbons

    e. carbon dioxide


    3. Two most abundant gases in the atmosphere are

    a. water vapor and carbon dioxide

    b. nitrogen and water vapor

    c. nitrogen and oxygen

    d. oxygen and water vapor

    e. carbon dioxide and ozone


    4. All of the following are true about ozone EXCEPT:

    a. it is a nuisance in the stratosphere formed by a combination of car exhaust and sunlight

    b. it is an efficient absorber of ultraviolet (UV) radiation

    c. it is a molecule consisting of three bonded oxygen atoms

    d. it is both a greenhouse gas and a pollutant in the troposphere

    e. it is most abundant in the stratosphere.


    5. The warm surface of the earth heats the atmosphere via all of the following EXCEPT

    a. radiation

    b. albedo

    c. convection

    d. conduction


    6. The amount of radiation emitted by an object is determined primarily by its _______.

    a. size

    b. speed

    c. temperature

    d. color

    e. smell


    7. When we move up vertically in the atmosphere, pressure

    a. increases

    b. decreases

    c. does not change


    8. The solar radiation is mostly ______ and the earth’s radiation is mostly _______.

    a. untraviolet, visible

    b. longwave, shortwave

    c. shortwave, longwave

    d. microwaves, AM radiowaves


    9. The largest monsoon system on earth is in

    a. North America

    b. Africa

    c. Asia

    d. Australia

    e. South America


    10. The most important greenhouse gas is _____________.

    a. ozone

    b. carbon dioxide

    c. methane

    d. chlorofluorocarbons

    e. water vapor


    11. Without greenhouse gases, the earth’s surface temperature would be approximately ________ degree Celsius.

    a. – 46

    b. – 57

    c. – 18


    12. With greenhouse gases at present-day levels, the earth’s temperature is approximately ________ degree Celsius.

    a. 477

    b. 15

    c. 47


    13. Vertical motion at the ITCZ or intertropical convergence zone is _______.

    a. upward

    b. downward

    14. Vertical motion in the region of the subtropical highs is ________.

    a. upward

    b. downward


    15. The temperature of the stratosphere rises with height because of

    a. greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide

    b. absorption of incoming ultraviolet radiation

    c. radiant energy from surface of the earth

    d. greenhouse effect of water vapor

    e. the latent heat released as water condenses into clouds


    16. Which of the following best describe the fate of 100 units of solar radiation entering into the atmosphere?

    a. Approximately 30 units are reflected and scattered back to space

    b. Approximately 20 units are absorbed by the atmosphere and clouds

    c. Approximately 50 units are absorbed at the earth’s surface

    d. All of the above


    17. Which of the following best describe the fate of 117 units of radiation emitted from the earth’s surface into the atmosphere?

    a. Only a small fraction of this energy is absorbed by the greenhouse gases and clouds.

    b. Only a small fraction of this energy is lost directly to space.

    c. The majority of this energy is absorbed by the greenhouse gases and clouds.

    d. None of the above.

    e. b and c only.


    18. Which of the following best describe the fate of 160 units of radiation emitted by the earth’s atmosphere?

    a. Most of this energy is radiated back to earth, producing the atmospheric greenhouse effect.

    b. Most of this energy is lost to space.

    c. This amount of energy is just stored in the atmosphere and does not go anywhere.

    d. None of the above.


    19. The atmosphere emits 160 units of longwave energy. Contributions to the 160 units are from

    a. surface emissions of longwave radiation

    b. latent heat transfer

    c. sensible heat transfer

    d. the absorption of shortwave radiation by atmospheric gases and clouds

    e. all of the above


    Which of the following statements relate more to weather (a) and which relate more to climate (b)?


    B 20. The summers in Austin are hot and humid.

    A 21. It is 75°F right now, partly sunny, and south winds 10 to 20 miles per hour.

    B 22. September 2001 was the 2nd coolest September of record for Austin/Bergstrom International Airport.

    B 23. Although winters in Austin are on the average mild by U.S. standards, cold outbreaks sometimes come, in some years more frequent than in others. These cold outbreaks are sometimes preceded or followed by periods of summerlike weather.

    A 24. The pressure now is 29.75 inches and steady, and humidity is 84%.


    25. The prevailing surface wind patterns between the ITCZ and the subtropical highs are

    a. the northeast trades in the northern hemisphere and the southeast trades in the southern hemisphere

    b. the southeast trades in the northern hemisphere and the northeast trades in the southern hemisphere

    c. westerlies

    d. northerlies

    e. southerlies


    26. Which of the following are represented in General Circulation Models?

    a. Shortwave radiation, longwave radiation, convection, conduction and latent heat

    b. Coriolis force, pressure gradient force, and frictional force

    c. Atmosphere, land, oceans, ice, and clouds

    d. ITCZ, Jet streams, and Rossby waves

    e. All of the above


    27. From Texas northward into Canada, it is much more common to experience winds blowing out of the ____ than from the ____.

    a. south, north

    b. north, south

    c. east, west

    d. west, east

    e. none of the above


    28. What is the force that initially sets the air in motion?

    a. Coriolis force.

    b. Frictional force.

    c. Pressure gradient force.

    d. None of the above.


    29. Why would you not expect to observe a geostrophic wind at the equator?

    a. The reason is as follows. Geostrophic wind requires a balance between the pressure gradient force and the Coriolis force. However, the Coriolis force is zero at the equator.

    b. This is because there is no pressure gradient force at the equator.

    c. This is because of a surplus in the net radiation budget in the tropics.

    d. This is because it is hot and humid at the equator.

    e. This is because the ITCZ lies in the vicinity of the equator.


    30. Once the air is set in motion, the Coriolis force bends the moving air to the _____ of its intended path in the Northern Hemisphere and to the ______ in the Southern Hemisphere.

    a. left, right.

    b. right, left.

    c. east, west

    d. west, east

    e. none of the above


    31. The interaction of the forces causes the winds aloft in the Northern Hemisphere to blow _____ around regions of high pressure and _____ around areas of low pressure.

    a. counterclockwise, clockwise.

    b. clockwise, counterclockwise.


    32. Which of the following is NOT true about hurricanes?

    a. Hurricanes derive their energy from the warm tropical water.

    b. Hurricanes derive their energy from the latent heat released as water condenses into clouds.

    c. Hurricanes cannot form within 5° of the equator because Coriolis force is not efficient to establish a vortex.

    d. Hurricanes intensify rapidly when they move over colder water or over a large landmass.

    e. Hurricanes tend to travel from the east to the west in the tropics.


    33. The above satellite image shows a tropical cyclonic system developed in the __________.

    A. Northern Hemisphere.

    B. Southern Hemisphere.


    34. Tightly packed isobars produce _______ pressure gradient forces and ______ winds.

    A. strong, high.

    B. strong, light.

    C. weak, high.

    D. weak, light.

    E. none of the above


    For Questions 35-38, answer true (a) or false (b).


    A 35. Convergence is an atmospheric condition that exists when the winds cause a horizontal net inflow of air into a specified region.

    A 36. When something spins, it has vorticity. The faster it spins, the greater its vorticity.

    A 37. Our body gives off longwave radiation.

    A 38. Cold fronts can catch up warm fronts because they move faster than warm fronts.


    39. At sea level, the atmospheric pressure is most likely to be _______.

    A. 0 mb.

    B. 100 mb.

    C. 500 mb.

    D. 1000 mb.

    E. 10000 mb


    40. The Teaching Assistant in my GEO 302C Lab is named

    a. Mary Smith

    b. Carla Young

    c. Steve Carter

    d. None of the above.