Physical Geography - exam 2 (Wooten) MSU

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what are the assumptions of the one cell model
uniform body of water, a non rotating earth
under a one-cell model, why do Low pressures occur at the Equator and High pressures at the Poles?
Equatorial High aloft (divergence aloft and convergence at the surface) Polar Low Aloft (convergence aloft and divergence at the surface)
under a one-cell model, why does air at the surface flow from the poles to the equator?
Excess amounts of mass piling up at the poles, lack of mass at the Equator on the surface, results in PGF directed from Poles to the Equator to try and distribute mass
Under the one-cell model, why does air aloft flow from the Equator to the Poles?
Excess mass at the Equator, lack of mass at poles results in PGF directed towards the poles aloft
What are the assumptions of a multi cell model
a rotating earth, a uniform body of water
What does the ITCZ stand for
Intertropical convergence zone
what is the primary lifting mechanism associated with the ITCZ?
Convergence of the Easterly Trade winds
Why does little convergence happen where subtropical highs are located?
Piling up of air aloft results in denser air that sinks and becomes the subtropical high, hindering any vertical motion (also no significant moisture within descending parcels since it was released over the equator)
What direction do the Easterly winds come from?
the east
Hadley Cell
(0 - 30 degrees N/S), convergent winds at surface due to trade winds converging, divergence aloft
Ferrell Cell
(30 - 60 degrees N/S), Divergence at surface, convergences aloft that brings winds down towards the surface
Polar cell
(60-90 degrees N/S), convergence at surface, divergence aloft
thermally direct
warm air rises, cool air sinks
what cells are thermally direct?
Hadley and Polar
Thermally indirect
cool air rises, warm air sinks
what cell is thermally indirect
What are the three primary jet streams and their locations?
Equatorial jet (0 degrees) Subtropical jet (30 degrees) polar jet (60 degrees)
why does the polar jet exist?
the polar jet is caused by the strong temperature gradient present in the mid-latitudes
what is zonal flow?
the east to west flow of air
What is meridional flow?
the north to south air flow
What are the names of the layers of the ocean?
mixed, thermocline, deep ocean
Why is the temp at the surface of the ocean the greatest?
it has the most solar radiation
what is a warm current
flows poleward to warm the poles
what is a cold current
flows equatorward to cool the equator
Why does he ocean have the ability to modulate weather/climate over land
high specific heat/ maritime effect
how do warm and cold ocean currents affect the overlying atmosphere differently in terms of stability
more instability is associated with warm currents (leads to rising motion), stability is associated with cold currents
On what side of continents does the warm currents lie
Eastern coastline
on what side of the continents do cold currents lie
Western coastline
what are two ways ocean currents are generated
kinetic energy of prevailing surface winds, density differences can arise from temperature or from variations in salinity
the amount of salt in water, the more salt, the more dense the water is
what is a subtropical gyre
broad circulation with subtropical highs centered within them
What are the five subtropical gyres
North Atlantic gyre, south Atlantic gyre, Indian ocean gyre, north pacific gyre, south pacific gyre
Which gyres spin counter clockwise (northern hemisphere)?
North atlantic, Indian ocean, and North Pacific gyres
What gyres spin clockwise
South Atlantic, south Pacific
what is upwelling
removal of water from the coast
what is downwelling
piling of water along the coast
what are the benefits of upwelling
better fishing environments due to transport of nutrients towards surface
what is thermohaline circulation
controlled by differences in temperature/salinity, poleward moving Gulf Stream cools, as the water cools it becomes denser which sinks and becomes deep circulation
What does ENSO stand for
El Nino Southern oscillation
What three phases are a part of ENSO
El Nino, La Nina, neutral
El Nino oscillation
More convergence on the western portion of North America, more hurricanes on the California/Mexico coastline, warmer ocean temps along cali/mexico coastline
La Nina oscillation
More convergence on the eastern portion of North America, more hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean sea, colder ocean temps along cali/mexico coastline
When is rising motion the strongest/weakest in the western equatorial Pacific
Weaker in El Nino. Stronger during La Nina
When is rising motion strongest/weakest in the central/eastern equatorial pacific
stronger during El Nino, Weaker during La Nina
Air mass
an immense body of air characterized by generaly uniform conditions
How are air masses classified
by humidity and temperature
Air mass with the most humidity
Air mass with little humidity
Air mass with warm temperatures
Air mass with cold temperatures
Air mass with extreme cold temperatures that is only prevalent during the winter
specific humidity
refers to the weight of water vapor contained in a unit of air
relative humidity
the amount of water vapor present in air expressed as a percentage of the amount needed for saturation at the same temperature
what are the differences between cold and warm fronts
cold fronts are thin in height and contain stable air while warm fronts are thick in height and contain unstable air
What are the four types of fronts
warm, cold, dry, stationary
what is a front
boundary between differing air masses with sharp gradietns in temp, density, and mouisture
what is a warm front
a boundary of warm air replacing cold air
what is a cold front
a boundary if cold air replacing warm air
what are the four lifting mechanisms
orographic, frontal, convergence, convection
What is orographic lifting
air is forces to rise when it encounters a mountain
what is the rain shadow effect
as air rises, it cools and condenses into clouds and eventually wains on the windward side of the mountain. On the leeward side of the mountain, the now-dry air sinks and warms.
Convergence lifting
when winds near Earth's surface are forced upwards when colliding
Frontal lifting
when cool air in a cold front forces the warm air to rise
Convective lifting
the result of uneven surface heating that causes parcels of air to rise
What are the three condition for an air mass thunderstorm to develop
unstable atmo, moisture, some type of lifting mechanism
What are the three stages of a thunderstorms life cycle
developing, mature, dissipating
developing stage of a thunderstorm
updraft only, storm is building
Mature stage of a thunderstorm
Updraft and downdraft, storm is fully formed
dissipating stage of a thunderstorm
downdraft only, storm is dying
why does an air mass thunderstorm only last 30-60 minutes
because the storms downdraft eventually weakens and totally replaces updraft which is the fuel source
What are the severe thunderstorm criteria
wind greater than 58 mph, hail, tornado
Why do severe thunderstorms last longer than air mass thunderstorms
because the updrafts and downdrafts are able to stay separate from each other
squall line
a line of strong storms that forms along a frontal boundary
individual thunderstorms that rotate on their own
electrical discharge from storm
how hot can lightning get
6x hotter than the sun
how can lightning strike
cloud to cloud, cloud to ground, cloud to air
a type of thunderstorm precipitation
how does hail form
when water freezes and melts repeatedly in the downdraft, eventually becomes too heavy and falls to the surface
What are the 6 different climates in the Koppen Climate System
What is A in the koppen climate system
What is B in the koppen climate system
What is C in the koppen climate system
What is D in the koppen climate system
Mid latitude
What is E in the koppen climate system
What is H in the koppen climate system
high altitudes (think mountains)
why is recent global warming likely the result of man-made emissions?
excess of greenhouse gas and carbon emissions