# Shared Flashcard Set

## Details

Physical Geography Exam 1
EXAM ONE
139
Geography
02/23/2010

Term
 At the equator, the rotation of the Earth is
Definition
 left to right, or eastward
Term
 The arc of a meridian between the equator and a given point on the globe is
Definition
 latitude
Term
 When the subsolar point is at 23.5 degrees S, the Earth experiences
Definition
 December solstice
Term
 If you take a plane flight from San Francisco, CA to Seoul, South Korea, as you cross the international dateline the time will
Definition
Term
 The Earth's axis of rotation is tilted from the plane of the ecliptic by about
Definition
 23.5 degrees
Term
 A map projection that can portray the entire surface of the Earth without any distortion is the
Definition
 there are no map projections that can portray the entire surface of the Earth without any distortion
Term
 Parallels run ____ around the globe and ____ the poles
Definition
 east-west; around
Term
 Meridians run ____ around the globe and ___ at the poles
Definition
 north-south; meet
Term
 The arc of a parallel between the prime meridian and a given point on the globe is
Definition
 longitude
Term
 The geoid, a reference surface that closely approximates the shape of the Earth, is based on
Definition
 the pull of gravity around the globe
Term
 Which color of visible light has the shortest wavelength?
Definition
 violet
Term
 On the equator, the sun will reach its highest position in the sky on the
Definition
 equinoxes
Term
 Air temperatures above low-albedo surfaces tend to be _____ than those over high-albedo surfaced
Definition
 warmer
Term
 Air temperatures above high-albedo surfaces tend to be ____ than those over low-albedo surfaces
Definition
 cooler
Term
 Estimates of the Earth's average albedo range between
Definition
 .29-.34
Term
 Hot objects emit _____ energy than cold objects, and it is of _____ wavelengths
Definition
 more; shorter
Term
 Cold objects emit ____ energy than hot objects, and it is of _____ wavelengths
Definition
 less; longer
Term
 The process in which electromagnetic energy is transferred into heat energy when radiation strikes some form of matter is called
Definition
 absorption
Term
 The amount of insolation received at a location tends to be highest at
Definition
 noon
Term
 In the northern hemisphere mid-latitudes, the sun will reach its highest position in the sky on the
Definition
 June solstice
Term
 In the southern hemisphere mid-latitudes, the sun will reach its highest position in the sky on the
Definition
 December solstice
Term
 At the arctic circle, the sun will reach its highest position in the sky on the
Definition
 June solstice
Term
 ______ is a common gas in the atmosphere that does not easily react with other substances
Definition
 Nitrogen
Term
 ______ is a common gas in the atmosphere that is highly chemically active and combines readily with other elements
Definition
 Oxygen
Term
 The ozone layer in the upper atmosphere is essential for life on the planet because the full intensity of the sun's ultraviolet rays would
Definition
 damage skin, crops, and aquatic life
Term
 _____ flows from the ocean to the atmosphere when water evaporates
Definition
 Water vapor
Term
 ______ is a very important mechanism for transporting large amounts of energy from one region of the Earth to another
Definition
 Latent heat transfer
Term
 Fields, forest, and bare ground tend to have albedos that are _____
Definition
 average
Term
 Black pavement surfaces tend to have albedos that are _____
Definition
 low
Term
 Snow and ice tend to have albedos that are _____
Definition
 high
Term
 Clouds can absorb as much as _____ of incoming solar radiation
Definition
 5 to 20 percent
Term
 The greenhouse effect results from the absorption of ______ in the atmosphere
Definition
Term
 If the amount of insolation absorbed by the Earth was consistently larger than the amount of longwave energy emitted by the Earth, we would expect
Definition
 the Earth's temperature to rise rapidly
Term
Definition
 30 percent
Term
 On a warm summer day, latent heat transfers will tend to
Definition
 absorb and store heat in a substance as it changes state
Term
 If the Earth's axis was perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic, insolation would be
Definition
 greatest at the poles
Term
 Temperature decrease with elevation because
Definition
 pressure is lower
Term
 The average environmental lapse rate in the troposphere is about
Definition
 6.49 degrees per 1000m
Term
 On the Tropic of Capricorn, the sun will reach its highest position in the sky on the
Definition
 December solstice
Term
 During the day, air near the ground surface is primarily warmed by
Definition
Term
 During the daytime, air temperature tends to _____ closer to the ground, and during the night it tends to ______ closer to the ground
Definition
 be warmer; be cooler
Term
 On high mountains, insolation levels will be _____ the adjacent lowlands
Definition
 higher than
Term
 Water heats and cools more slowly than land surfaces due to
Definition
 the much greater depth that the heat must be distributed in water and hte mixing that occurs
Term
 Adjacent water and land locations have quite different temperature ranges due to differences in
Definition
 specific heat capacity
Term
 The surface layer of a beach would heat up _____ that the adjacent water surface during the day, and cool down ____ during the night, during a summer day-night cycle
Definition
 faster; faster
Term
 Lines that connect points of equal temperature on a map are called
Definition
 isotherms
Term
 Temperature tends to _____ with elevation in the mesosphere, and _____ with elevation in thermosphere
Definition
 decrease; increase
Term
 The layer of the atmosphere in which gases are sorted into layers by weight is the
Definition
 heterosphere, specifically hte thermosphere
Term
 Temperature decreases with elevation in the troposphere because of
Definition
 the decrease in pressure
Term
 The tiny particles that float in the atmosphere, held aloft by slight air movements are called
Definition
 aerosols
Term
 Historical records indicate that global temperatures have been increasing for about the last
Definition
 100 years
Term
 Oceans, lakes, and rivers return water to the atmosphere through
Definition
 evaporation
Term
 The absorption of heat and the release of water vapor into the atmosphere occurs in the hydrologic cycle through
Definition
 evaporation and transpiration
Term
 After precipitation falls to the land surface, surface water can flow off the land, concentrating in streams and rivers. This flow is known as
Definition
 runoff
Term
 Precipitation that flows on the land into streams and rivers and then eventually to the lakes and oceans is known as
Definition
 runoff
Term
 What is specific humidity?
Definition
 the actual quantity of water held in the atmosphere
Term
 Blanket-like, layered clouds that cover large areas are called
Definition
 stratus
Term
 The two basic classes of cloud families are
Definition
 stratiform and cumuloform
Term
Definition
 10 degrees per 1000 meters
Term
 Dew-point is the temperature at which
Definition
 the air is completely saturated and can hold no more moisture
Term
 Subsurface water found under the surface in soil and rock is known as
Definition
 soil moisture
Term
 The largest portion of fresh water today is located in
Definition
 glaciers
Term
 Thin, high wispy clouds composed almost entirely of ice crystals are called
Definition
 cirrus
Term
 Clouds are grouped on the basis of two criteria:
Definition
 height and form
Term
 Normally, a parcel of air will ____ if it is warmer than the surrounding air, conversely, the air parcel will _____ if it is cooler than the surrounding air
Definition
 rise; descend
Term
Definition
 on the dry side of the mountain, the side opposite which the cloud has formed over a large body of water
Term
 The most violent of all storms are associated with ________ clouds
Definition
 tall, dense cumulonimbus
Term
 Evaporation involves the ______ of latent heat and a change in state from the ______ phase to the gaseous phase
Definition
 absorption; liquid
Term
 Condensation involves the ______ of latent heat and a change in state from the ______ phase to the liquid phase
Definition
 release; gaseous
Term
 _________ is when ice changes directly from the solid phase to the gaseous phase without a transitional liquid phase
Definition
 Sublimination
Term
 Water vapor changing directly to the liquid phase is knows as _______
Definition
 condensation
Term
 Which cloud sometimes produces thunder and lightening?
Definition
 cumulonimbus
Term
 Water changing to the gaseous phase is known as
Definition
 evaporation
Term
 In a thunderstorm, the release of latent heat ______ the temperature of a parcel of air and causes the parcel of air to _____ if it is warmer than the surrounding air
Definition
 increases; rise
Term
 If the environmental lapse rate is significantly less than the dry adiabatic rate, a parcel of air will be
Definition
 conditionally unstable
Term
 Microscopic particles, such as dust particles and sea salt crystals, are known as ______ and serve as "landing pads" on which water vapor can condense
Definition
 aerosols
Term
 When a through flowing current of moist air is forced to move upward over a mountain barrier, the process is referred to as _______
Definition
 orographic
Term
 The California Current is a cold current off the west coast of California. If a cool, moist air mass passed over this colder current, what would probably result?
Definition
Term
 Particles, such as tiny salt crystals or dust particles, that absorb water are called
Definition
 raindrops
Term
 The transfer of water from land and ocean to the atmosphere and back again to land and oceans in a never ending cycle is
Definition
 hydrologic cycle
Term
 The wet adiabatic rate for a rising parcel of air is less than the dry rate because
Definition
 latent heat is released when condensation occurs
Term
 The temperature of a rising parcel of air ______ as it ascends
Definition
 decreases
Term
 The Lifting Condensation Level is the altitude at which
Definition
 condensation begins in the atmosphere
Term
 The amount of moisture in the atmosphere is called
Definition
 humidity
Term
 The return of precipitation to the atmosphere as water vapor occurs through
Definition
 evaporation
Term
 Water vapor that changes state to form a cloud is an example of
Definition
 condensation
Term
 The weight force exerted by a column of air on a surface is called
Definition
 atmospheric pressure
Term
 Air pressure is caused by
Definition
 the force of gravity acting upon the overlying column of air
Term
 Atmospheric pressure at sea level is about
Definition
 1 kg/cm^2
Term
 The changing weather conditions of monsoon circulation are associated with shifts in the position of the
Definition
 ITCZ
Term
 A dry, hot local wind system that contributes to wildfire problems in southern California is the
Definition
 Santa Ana Winds
Term
 The magnitude of the Coriolis force is largest at the
Definition
 poles
Term
 Surface ocean currents in the northern hemisphere tend to flow
Definition
 clockwise
Term
 In the southern hemisphere, the Coriolis effect causes winds and currents to veer to the
Definition
 left
Term
 In an anticyclone located in the northern hemisphere winds spiral
Definition
 clockwise
Term
 In an anticyclone located in the southern hemisphere winds spiral
Definition
 counterclockwise
Term
 The zone where the northeast and southeast trade winds converge is the
Definition
 ITCZ
Term
 The gulf stream carries _____ water to the _______
Definition
 warm; Northern Atlantic Ocean
Term
 The polar jet stream tends to reach its furthest south position during the ______ months
Definition
 winter
Term
 The band of rapidly flowing air found aloft above the polar front is a
Definition
 jet stream
Term
 Rossby waves form along the
Definition
 polar front
Term
 In a cyclone located in the southern hemisphere winds spiral
Definition
 clockwise
Term
 In a cyclone located in the northern hemisphere winds spiral
Definition
 counterclockwise
Term
 In the northern hemisphere, the Coriolis effect causes winds to veer
Definition
 to the right
Term
 The differences between northern and southern hemisphere circulation patterns is strongly influenced by differences in
Definition
 the tilt of the Earth
Term
 The low-latitude atmospheric circulation cell with rising air over the equatorial trough and sinking air over the subtropical high pressure belts is the
Definition
Term
 The intertropical convergence zone migrates approximately between the
Definition
 40 degrees north and south latitudes
Term
 Mountain sickness or altitude sickness, which can occur at elevations above 3000m, is caused by
Definition
 lower pressure
Term
 Rossby waves are undulations in the flow path of the
Definition
 upper westerlies
Term
 A device used to measure air pressure is the
Definition
 barometer
Term
 _______ is when water vapor changes directly from the gaseous phase to the solid phase without a transitional liquid phase
Definition
 Deposition
Term
 An extensive body of air in which temperature and moisture characteristics are fairly uniform is an
Definition
 air mass
Term
 Which type of front tends to cause the most rapid lifting?
Definition
 Cold front
Term
 The city of New Orleans was badly damaged as a result of hurricane
Definition
 Katrina
Term
 As a result of global warming, global cloud cover is expected to
Definition
 increase
Term
 The energy that powers a tropical cyclone comes from
Definition
 extremely low pressure
Term
 The center of a tropical cyclone is known as the
Definition
 eye
Term
 The most powerful and destructive type of cyclonic storm is the
Definition
 tropical cyclone
Term
 Key factors that determine the characteristics of an air mass are the _____ and _____ of the formation area
Definition
 latitude; source region
Term
 The major criteria used to identify air masses are
Definition
 surface temperature and surface-specific humidity
Term
 Weather conditions associated with an anticyclone include
Definition
 fair weather
Term
 We are currently experiencing _____ of hurricane activity
Definition
 increases
Term
 In the north Atlantic, the peak of hurricane season occurs during
Definition
 September
Term
 In the United States, tornadoes occur most frequently in the _____ states
Definition
 plain
Term
 The lowest central pressures are found in a
Definition
 cyclone
Term
 Air masses move in response to
Definition
 changes in pressure
Term
 The coastal-continental location of a place has a strong influence on
Definition
 temperature variation
Term
 The annual cycle of prevailing weather conditions at a given place based on long-term conditions is known as
Definition
 climate
Term
 A continental tropical air mass would tend to bring ______ conditions when it arrived in an area
Definition
 warm, dry
Term
 A maritime tropical air mass would tend to bring ________ conditions when it arrived in an area
Definition
 warm, moist
Term
 A maritime equatorial air mass would tend to bring ______ conditions when it arrived in an area
Definition
 warm, moist
Term
 A continental polar air mass would tend to bring ______ conditions when it arrived in an area
Definition
 cold, dry
Term
 A continental arctic air mass would tend to bring _______ conditions when it arrived in an area
Definition
 cold, dry
Term
 A major feature of weather in the mid-latitude climates is
Definition
 wave cyclones
Term
 The temperature regime that experiences the smallest amount of seasonality is the
Definition
 equatorial
Term
 In the United States, the moist continental climate covers most of the
Definition
 Northeast
Term
 A maritime polar air mass would tend to bring _______ conditions when it arrived in an area
Definition
 cold, moist
Term
 The _______ and ______ characteristics of an air mass tend to reflect the characteristics of its source region
Definition
 temperature; moisture
Term
 The temperature regime that experiences the coldest annual temperature is the
Definition
 ice sheet
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