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## (Answered) Exam 1: Weather and Atmosphere

Question 1

The average annual snowfall in Boulder, CO, is approximately 90 inches. Is this an example of weather or climate?

1. Weather
2. Climate

Question 2

The temperature of a substance is directly related to the _________ energy of molecules within that substance. If the substance cools off, the molecules will move _______ than before.

1. potential; faster
2. quantum; faster
3. quantum; slower
4. kinetic; slower

Question 3

Convert 35 degrees C to degrees F. Round your answer to the nearest integer and include units.

95 degrees F

95 degrees Fahrenheit

95F

95 F

95 °F

95°F

Question 4

Convert –15 degrees F to Kelvin. Round your answer to the nearest integer and include units.

247 K

247 Kelvin

247K

Question 5

Imagine that you spend a beautiful summer morning climbing to the summit of Pike’s Peak, where the observed pressure is 700 mb. If the sea-level pressure is 1000 mb, approximately what percentage of the atmosphere resides at altitudes below the summit of Pike’s Peak?

1. 30%
2. 70%
3. 50%
4. 15%

Question 6

Imagine that you just left the gas station after filling up your car tires before a long road trip. As you drive, the temperature of the air inside the tires warms up. Assuming there’s no leak in the tires and that the volume of each tire is constant, what will happen to the pressure of the air inside the tires?

1. pressure will remain constant
2. pressure will decrease
3. pressure will increase

Question 7

Winds are named for the direction they are ___________. Therefore, a wind that blows from the southwest towards the northeast is called a _____________ wind.

1. blowing towards; northeasterly
2. blowing towards; southwesterly
3. blowing from; northeasterly
4. blowing from; southwesterly

Question 8

The direction of the wind can also be described in degrees. What is the direction of the wind in degrees for a wind that blows from the southeast towards the northwest?

1. 45 degrees
2. 135 degrees
3. 225 degrees
4. 315 degrees

Question 9

What processes emit considerable amounts of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere?

1. Combustion of fossil fuels
2. Ocean absorption
3. Photosynthesis
4. Burning plants/forests

Question 10

In which layer of the atmosphere does the weather we experience occur and how thick is this layer?

1. Thermosphere; 10 km
2. Thermosphere; 30 km
3. Troposphere; 10 km
4. Troposphere; 30 km

Question 11

Use the chart below. What is the relative humidity of an air parcel with a temperature of 25 degrees C and a dew point temperature of 0 degrees C?

1. 100%
2. 500%
3. 19%
4. 0%

Question 12

The process by which water vapor condenses onto aerosols within the atmosphere is known as:

1. homogeneous nucleation
2. cyclical nucleation
3. heterogeneous nucleation
4. monotonous nucleation

Question 13

Rank the following gases based on their prevalence within the atmosphere from most-to-least prevalent.

1. oxygen, nitrogen, water vapor, carbon dioxide
2. nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor, carbon dioxide
3. oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, water vapor
4. nitrogen, water vapor, carbon dioxide, oxygen

Question 14

During the northern hemisphere autumn and winter, carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere __________ due to the _________ of carbon dioxide by dormant and decaying plants.

1. fall; absorption
2. rise; emission
3. rise; absorption
4. fall; emission

Question 15

Which of the following is not a heat transfer mechanism?

1. Convection
2. Conduction
4. induction

Question 16

Which of the following factors can modulate the climatological temperatures observed at a location?

1. elevation
2. humidity
3. latitude
4. bodies of water/ocean currents

Question 17

The maximum capacity for water vapor within an air parcel is a function of what atmospheric variable?

1. wind speed
2. wind direction
3. temperature
4. Precipitation

Question 18

Assume that the temperature in International Falls, MN is –10 degrees F. Convert this temperature to Kelvin. Your answer should be rounded to the nearest integer and feature the correct units.

1. 250 Kelvin
2. -23 degrees C
3. 8 Kelvin
4. 250 degrees Kelvin

Question 19

Use the chart below. If an air parcel initially has a relative humidity of 50% and an air temperature of 10 degrees C, what is the relative humidity of the air parcel if it is warmed to 20 degrees C and no water vapor is added or removed?

1. 26%
2. 10%
3. 50%
4. 6%

Question 20

An object that is transparent to visible light but absorbs infrared light is an example of a _________

1. insulator
2. blackbody
3. selective absorber
4. selective albedo

Question 21

At night, City A features clear skies and calm winds while City B features clear skies and gusty winds. Which city will feature a warmer overnight temperature and why?

1. City A. Under calm winds conduction with the Earth’s surface preferentially warms the lowest layers of the atmosphere
2. City B. Gusty winds are conducive to the development of a temperature inversion
3. City A. Calm winds are conducive to the development of a temperature inversion
4. City B. Gusty winds help to keep temperatures evenly mixed within the lowest layers of the atmosphere

QUESTION 22

During the day, City A features thick low-level cloud cover while City B features sunny skies. Identify the city that will experience a warmer daytime temperature and the most appropriate justification

1. City A; Low-level clouds are effective at absorbing incoming solar radiation
2. City B; Low-level clouds are effective at reflecting incoming solar radiation
3. City A; Low-level clouds are effective at absorbing longwave radiation emitted by Earth
4. City B; Low-level clouds are transparent to longwave radiation emitted by Earth

Question 23

Which of the following are examples of weather instead of climate?

1. A strong temperature inversion developed over Denver last night
2. Denver averages more than 300 days of sunshine per year
3. The wind gusted to 50 mph this past Sunday in Boulder
4. Loveland ski resort recorded 6 inches of snow on January 3

Question 24

During the summer, the transpiration of water by corn contributes to larger dew point temperatures across the state of Iowa. If the air mass in neighboring Wisconsin is drier, which state would experience colder overnight temperatures?

1. Wisconsin; Increased water vapor in Iowa acts to absorb more longwave radiation emitted by the Earth in that location
2. Wisconsin; Dry air molecules are particularly effective at emitting longwave radiation to space
3. Iowa; The evaporation of water acts to cool the surrounding environment
4. Iowa; Water vapor is particularly transparent to longwave radiation emitted by Earth

Question 25

The sun emits most of its radiation as visible light while the Earth emits most of its radiation as infrared light. Which type of electromagnetic wave features a shorter wavelength and why?

1. infrared; Wien’s displacement law states that colder objects emit radiation at shorter wavelengths
2. infrared; Wien’s displacement law states that hotter objects emit radiation at shorter wavelengths
3. visible light; Wien’s displacement law states that hotter objects emit radiation at shorter wavelengths
4. visible light; Wien’s displacement law states that colder objects emit radiation at shorter wavelengths

Question 26

While at the top of Bear Peak, you observe a strong wind blowing from the east. Which phrase best describes the wind direction?

1. westerly at 90 degrees
2. easterly at 270 degrees
3. westerly at 270 degrees
4. easterly at 90 degrees

Question 27

Which of the following conditions are conducive to the development of a temperature inversion?

1. calm winds
2. cloudy skies
3. gusty winds
4. high humidity
5. clear skies

Question 28

Which of the following are examples of sensible heat?

1. Deposition of water vapor onto ice crystals acts to warm the surrounding environment
2. Liquid water evaporates, cooling the surrounding environment
3. Your feet cool off when you dip them into Boulder Creek
4. Condensation of water vapor into cloud droplets acts to warm the surrounding environment

Question 29

Overnight temperatures can be colder than the observed dew point temperature.

1. True
2. False

Question 30

An infrared satellite measures the __________ of surfaces on Earth and within its atmosphere. Consequently, deep clouds are characterized by _________ compared to shallow clouds

1. albedo; reduced reflectivity
2. temperature; warmer cloud top temperatures
3. albedo; greater reflectivity
4. temperature; colder cloud top temperatures

Question 31

During a cold air outbreak, your skin is particularly susceptible to frostbite (frozen skin). Which scenario best describes the heat transfer between your skin and the environment that leads to frostbite?

1. The environment transfers heat to your skin to cool it off
2. Your skin loses heat to the environment, cooling it off
3. The environment transfers heat to your skin to keep it warm
4. Your skin and the environment are in radioactive equilibrium and there is no transfer of heat

Question 32

Which of the following processes acts to decrease the relative humidity of an air parcel?

1. evaporation
2. sublimation
3. increasing the temperature of the air parcel
4. decreasing the temperature of the air parcel

Question 33

Of the substances listed below, which has the highest albedo?

1. asphalt
2. forests
3. snow
4. Sand

Question 34

The difference between the current temperature and the climatological average temperature is defined as ____________.

1. the temperature anomaly
2. the daily mean temperature
3. the daily high temperature
4. the daily temperature range

Question 35

Which quantity best describes the maximum capacity for water vapor within an air parcel?

1. relative humidity
2. dew point temperature
3. saturation vapor pressure
4. vapor pressure

Question 36

How do greenhouse gases, such as water vapor and carbon dioxide, help to keep our planet more habitable?

1. Greenhouse gases preferentially absorb shortwave radiation from the sun and reemit it back to space
2. Greenhouse gases preferentially absorb longwave radiation emitted by the Earth, a portion of which is reemitted back towards the Earth
3. Greenhouse gases reflect shortwave radiation from the sun and prevent too much radiation from being absorbed by the Earth
4. Greenhouse gases preferentially allow longwave radiation from the Earth to escape to space, keeping the planet cooler

Question 37

Water is characterized by a ________ specific heat than land. Consequently, water heats up ________ compared to land areas when the same amount of heat is applied to both

1. smaller; slower
2. larger; faster
3. larger; slower
4. smaller; faster

Question 38

Imagine that you heat up the air inside a balloon without changing the number of air molecules inside the balloon or without changing the pressure inside the balloon. What must happen to the balloon to obey the ideal gas law?

1. The balloon will shrink in volume
2. Any water molecules inside the balloon will undergo a phase change
3. The density of air molecules inside the balloon will go up
4. The balloon will expand in volume

Question 39

The Stefan-Boltzmann Law dictates that colder objects radiate _______ energy compared to warmer objects.

1. more and then less
2. the same
3. less
4. More

Question 40

Which of the following characteristics is most responsible for the Earth’s seasons?

1. Aphelion
2. The Earth’s rotation about its axis
3. The tilt of the Earth’s axis
4. Perihelion

Question 41

Over the oceans, precipitation is ___________ evaporation, while over land precipitation is __________ evaporation.

1. greater than; less than
2. less than; greater than
3. less than; the same as
4. the same as; the same as

Question 42

Which of the following features/processes within the Earth system act to resolve the imbalance in solar radiation received between the poles and the equator?

1. conduction
2. ocean currents
3. land-sea breezes
4. the advection of heat by surface high- and low-pressure systems

Question 43

Why is the temperature often the warmest during the late afternoon at a location?

1. Winds are often the weakest during the afternoon hours
2. The amount of incoming solar radiation exceeds the longwave radiation emitted by the Earth until late afternoon
3. The strongest solar radiation occurs during the late afternoon
4. The amount of longwave radiation emitted by the Earth is the smallest during the afternoon

Question 44

Which of the following statements is false.

1. A parcel is saturated if the vapor pressure equals the saturation vapor pressure
2. A parcel is saturated if water can evaporate into an air parcel at a greater rate than water vapor can condense out of the parcel
3. A parcel is saturated if the dew point temperature equals the observed air temperature
4. A parcel is saturated if its relative humidity is 100%

Question 45

If water undergoes a phase change from a gaseous to a liquid state, its molecules feature ___________ kinetic energy and subsequently move __________ after the phase change is complete.

1. more; faster
2. less; slower
3. less; faster
4. more; slower

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