ATM OCN (Meteorology) 100 WEATHER & CLIMATE
REVIEW QUESTIONS/STUDY GUIDE
for 1st Hour EXAM (1 July 2004)
In studying for the exam, review your notes, readings in the text including those figures and figure captions emphasized in class and your homework. If you are still not sure, please ask questions. In studying for the exam, review your class notes, the assigned readings in the text, including those figures and figure captions emphasized in class, and your homework. If you are still not sure, please ask questions before the exam, either during scheduled office hours, by appointment or by e-mail.
NOTE: The accompanying list is tentative. Near the end of class on Wednesday, you will find out the exact extent of the material to be covered on the exam.
TOPICS COVERED FOR FIRST HOUR EXAM
MONITORING THE WEATHER
- WEATHER ELEMENTS
- SYNOPTIC WEATHER OBSERVATIONS & ANALYSIS
- THE TOOLS
- Weather Instruments to include surface, satellites, radar, and radiosondes.
- SYNOPTIC OBSERVATIONS
- Need for standardization
- Greenwich (or Z) Time
- WEATHER MAPS
- Isobars and Isotherms
- Symbols: Highs, lows and fronts
- PRESENT ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION (especially near the surface)
- VERTICAL DISTRIBUTION
- According to Chemical Species (Homosphere and Heterosphere)
- According to Charged Particles (Ionosphere and Magnetosphere)
- HISTORICAL EVOLUTION OF ATMOSPHERE
- SEA-LEVEL PRESSURE VALUES & VARIATIONS in Time and Space
- VERTICAL DISTRIBUTION OF PRESSURE
- NEAR-SURFACE TEMPERATURE VALUES & VARIATIONS in Time and Space
- DEGREE-DAY UNITS
- VERTICAL DISTRIBUTION of AIR TEMPERATURE
- NOMENCLATURE ASSOCIATED WITH THE ATMOSPHERIC TEMPERATURE PROFILE
ENERGETICS: ENERGY & POWER
- ENERGY FORMS
- ENERGY AND POWER UNITS
- CONSERVATION OF ENERGY
- ENERGY TRANSPORT MECHANISMS
- HEAT ENERGY & WIND-CHILL
- RADIATION SPECTRUM
- RADIATION LAWS
- SHORT WAVE vs. LONG WAVE (i.e., Solar vs. Terrestrial)
- ENERGY BUDGETS
GAS LAWS & THERMODYNAMICS
- KINETIC THEORY
- EQUATION OF STATE
- DALTON'S LAW
- FIRST LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS
- RESPONSE OF AIR PARCELS TO VERTICAL MOTIONS
Are you able to answer the following?
- What are the differences between weather and climate?
- Name three weather elements that meteorologists routinely measure.
- What weather elements are measured by a radiosonde?
- Compare the observation capabilities of polar orbiting and geosynchronous satellites. What three types of satellite images are available to the meteorologist and how can these products be used?
- How is radar used to sense the weather? Briefly describe the principles utilized by conventional and Doppler weather radar units.
- Why do meteorologists use one uniform time around the world?
- Why is the atmosphere considered a vital resource? What is the composition of the present earth's atmosphere? Dry air? What are some of the common variable gases? Which gases are mainly responsible for the "greenhouse effect"? Which gas is most responsible for shielding us from excessive ultraviolet radiation?
- How does the composition of the present earth's atmosphere change with height? What is the "homosphere" and "heterosphere"? At what approximate levels are these layers found? Why is most of the ozone found at altitudes near 30 km? What is the meteorological and human significance of stratospheric ozone?
- What is meant by the "Greenhouse Effect"?
- What are some of the present plausible scientific theories concerning the origin and evolution of the earth's atmosphere and oceans?
- What ideas have been advanced concerning the formation of the present levels of atmospheric oxygen? What natural processes add free (diatomic) oxygen to the atmosphere? What processes remove it?
- Why are atmospheric carbon dioxide and ozone important? What impact might human activity have on the concentration of these gases? What are several different mechanisms that have contributed to the nearly exponential increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide in the last century?
- How do the atmospheres (or lack) of our neighbors in space - the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, and so forth - differ from the Earth's atmosphere? Why?
- What is atmospheric pressure, and how is it measured? What are the defining pressure units? What is a typical value of sea level pressure, and approximately how large is the range between the lowest and highest recorded sea level pressure observations?
- How does atmospheric pressure vary with height? Why does this change occur? What are some implications, especially for humans?
- What are isobars on surface weather maps? Why is the display of isobars important to the meteorologist? Why is station pressure corrected to mean sea level before the surface weather map is analyzed?
- What is air temperature, and how is it measured? What precautions are necessary when making air temperature observations? What is a typical hemispheric value of near surface air temperature and what is the approximate range between the lowest and highest recorded surface temperature observations?
- How do the Fahrenheit, Celsius and Kelvin temperature scales compare? Why is the Kelvin temperature scale used?
- How does the near-surface air temperature typically vary throughout the day? Why? When do the coldest and warmest days of the year typically occur in midlatitudes? Why?
- What are isotherms on weather maps?
- How is the average temperature calculated for a single day? What are heating degree-day units? Cooling degree-day units? Of what practical value are these units?
- What is meant by a temperature lapse rate? What is a temperature inversion? What is an isothermal layer? What is a lapse condition?
- How does the temperature of the earth's atmosphere typically vary with height? How are the troposphere, tropopause, stratosphere, stratopause, mesosphere, mesopause and thermosphere defined? How are the boundaries between each of these regions identified? Where are these layers or levels typically located? Why is the air temperature relatively warm at the earth's surface and at approximately 50-km altitude?
- Where is the ionosphere located? How is it maintained? What is its significance?
- What is the magnetosphere? How is it produced? What is the aurora borealis? In what regions of the atmosphere are aurorae usually found? What processes produce the aurora? What is the solar wind?
- What is energy? power? Why is the concept of energy useful? What four major forms (internal, gravitational potential, kinetic and latent energy) does energy take in the atmosphere? What is meant by energy transformations?
- By what three basic ways is energy transferred? Do you understand the differences between radiation, conduction, and convection, to include the media needed for energy transfer by that transport mode?
- What is wind-chill and wind-chill equivalent temperature and why are these quantities significant? What factors are needed to determine the wind-chill equivalent temperature? Given these factors, determine the wind-chill equivalent temperature from the provided table. Can you interpret your results in terms of human comfort?
- What is the electromagnetic spectrum? Rank the regions of the spectrum according to wavelength.
- Can you apply the fundamental radiation laws to determine how much the radiation emitted from an object will change if its absolute temperature were changed? (For example, doubled or tripled?) How does the wavelength of maximum radiation emission vary with the object's absolute temperature?
- Compare the characteristics of solar (or short wave) and infrared (or long wave) radiation.
- Why do many inhabitants of the earth experience the seasons? What are the equinoxes and the solstices? On approximately what dates do these events occur at present? What influence do they have on the timing and the intensity of the seasons? In the Northern Hemisphere? Southern Hemisphere?
- Can you describe the apparent path of the sun across the sky for a mid latitude location (for example, Madison at 43° N) for the solstices and equinoxes. Relate the length of daylight to this path.
- What is the inverse square relationship? How does the incident flux change if the distance from the source were doubled, halved, and so forth? What implications does this relationship have upon the energy budgets of the Earth, Mars and Venus?
- How does the intensity of the solar radiation received on a surface depend upon the angle between this surface and the beam of radiation? How does this relationship affect the solar radiation incident upon the earth's surface at various latitudes?
- How is the solar constant defined? What is the currently accepted value of the solar constant for the earth?
- Do you thoroughly understand the difference between transmission, reflection and absorption of radiation? If you get reflection of solar radiation confused with emission of long wave radiation from the earth, you do not understand these terms.
- What is albedo? Compare the albedo of various surfaces. Why is knowledge of albedo important?
- What is the global heat budget? What happens to the incoming solar energy entering the top of the atmosphere? How is the atmosphere principally heated? What are the three ways by which excess energy is transferred from the earth's surface to the atmosphere? How is energy emitted from the earth-atmosphere system to space?
- How do the annual average incoming and outgoing radiation curves vary with latitude? Of what importance is this relationship? (That is, why must a poleward transport of energy exist?) How is energy transported poleward to compensate for the latitudinal radiation imbalances?
- What does the equation of state say? What are the variables of state in the atmosphere? How are these variables of state of an atmospheric gas related? That is, if the pressure of an air parcel were kept constant, how would the density vary if the temperature changed? If the density were kept constant, how would the pressure vary if the temperature changed?
- What is Dalton's Law of partial pressures? Why is this relationship important to meteorology?
- Using your words, what does the First Law of Thermodynamics say? How does it apply to the atmosphere? What are the sources of heat? What produces work on the air parcel? What is meant by an adiabatic process? How does the air parcel respond to lifting and sinking in the atmosphere? What is the approximate value of the dry adiabatic lapse rate?
- Can you describe the hydrological cycle? What is the largest reservoir of the water substance on Planet Earth? the smallest? How does the total amount of precipitation compare with that of evaporation in the annual global water budget?
Latest revision: 25 June 2004 (0320 UTC)
Produced by Edward J. Hopkins, Ph.D.
Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI 53706