Human Geography

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The engine’s intake air will warm as it is compressed to cabin pressure, at a rate of 10° C/km.

 

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1. You are flying from Baltimore to San Franciso in a commercial airliner. At a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet (10.7 km), you learn from the pilot that the plane is pressurized to a cabin altitude of 1.7 km. The typical rate of pressure decrease with increasing altitude, in the lower atmosphere, is approximately 1 mb per 10 meters (m). What percentage of normal sea level pressure is your cabin altitude?

a. 92%

b. 83%

c. 79%

d. 68%

e. 56%

2. During this flight, you learn that the cabin is pressurized using compressed air from the engines. Each engine sucks in outside air and compresses it to cabin altitude pressure. The outside air temperature at your cruise altitude is -60 C. You know from Physical Geography class that this air will warm as it is compressed. This process is known as

a. the lapse rate

b. a moist adiabatic expansion

c. a dry adiabatic compression

d. latent heat release

e.specific heat

3. The engine’s intake air will warm as it is compressed to cabin pressure, at a rate of 10° C/km. If this air was NOT cooled by the plane’s air conditioner packs, what temperature would it have entering the plane’s cabin?

a. 45° F

b. 60° F

c. 86° F

d. 97° F

e. 110° F

4. “A parcel of rising air is cooled as it is lifted. Dry (unsaturated) air parcels cool more rapidly than saturated air parcels”. Which physical principle describing thermodynamics does NOT contribute to your understanding of this statement?

a. First Law of Thermodynamics

b. dry adiabatic process

c. latent heat release

d. moist adiabatic process

e. evaporation

5. Airplanes fly because the flow of air over a plane’s wings generates an upward lift force. The lift force is proportional to the mass of air flowing over the wing, per unit time. Given the following scenarios, what aircraft would have the most difficult time obtaining the needed lift for takeoff? Assume calm (no wind) conditions and plenty of runway length. Hint: Think about air density.

a. Baltimore on a cold, winter day, outside temperature = 34 F

b. Baltimore on a warm, spring day, outside temperature = 70 F

c. Denver on a cold, winter day, outside temperature = 34 F

d. Denver on a warm, spring day, outside temperature = 70 F

e. both a and c represent equivalent difficulty

6. Your friend gave you a hot air balloon ride for your birthday. You lift off (yourself and the balloon pilot) on a cool, clear, spring morning. Outside air temperature is 56° F and dewpoint temperature is 15° F (very dry air). At about 2,000 feet altitude, the balloon’s rate of rise begins to slow, and the balloon pilot has to increase the burner flow in order to regain lift. After a minute of burner time, the burner is shut off and the balloon continues on an uneventful voyage. The most likely explanation for the slowdown is:

a. you encounter a layer of stronger winds than at the surface

b. a bird has struck the balloon, punching a big hole in the fabric

c. you have ascended into a temperature inversion layer

d. the atmosphere is very unstable and wants to strongly overturn or “convect”

e. ice has formed on the balloon’s fabric, weighing down the balloon

7. It’s August in Baltimore. Air temperature is 95° F and the dewpoint temperature is an oppressive 77° F. A friend quips “It’s so humid today, the relative humidity must be 95%”! You smirk because you took Physical Geography and know that even though it feels very humid, the relative humidity can’t possibly be that high. You take a few minutes to educate your friend. Using the table below and a simple calculation, you demonstrate the actual relative humidity.

T °C       Saturation Specific Humidity, qs (g/kg)

-40                0.1

-30                0.3

-20                0.75

-10                  2

0                    3.5

5                     5

10                   7

15                   10

20                  14

25                  20

30                 26.5

35                  35

40                 47

The data in this table shows the saturation humidity, qs as a function of air temperature. This is just the mass of water vapor (in grams) per kilogram of air.

Assume that a dewpoint temperature of 77° F corresponds to a specific humidity value q = 20 g/kg. Relative humidity = q/qs x 100.

The actual relative humidity on this day is:

a.              57%

b.             66%

c.             72%

d.            81%

e.            85%

8. Air outside on a winter day has a temperature of 41° F and a dewpoint temperature of 32° F. The relative humidity of this air is 70%. As this air is brought inside your house and heated, its temperature rises to 77° F (your friend loves to crank up the thermostat). You start complaining because your sensitive skin is so dry. You explain to your friend that the relative humidity in the house decreases because the dry outside air is being heated. What is the approximate relative humidity inside the house? Use the table from the problem above.

a.                        18%

b.                        35%

c.                         45%

d.                         50%

e.                          52%

9. It’s late September and the nights are getting longer. You are waking up to frequent fogs which impede your commute into UMBC. Why is there so much fog this time of year?

a. as air flows from the south and southeast off the Chesapeake Bay, on

b. fog banks from over the Chesapeake Bay at night and move over campus

c. dew condenses on the grass, absorbing latent heat and cooling the air

d. the air has more hours to cool (by loss of infrared heat) to its dewpoint summer breezes, it undergoes adiabatic cooling to the dew point temperature above temperature overnight

10. Ice accretion from freezing rain is a dreaded consequence of winter in our region, causing tree limbs to fall onto power lines, precipitating blackouts. Freezing rain accumulates when the ground temperature is below freezing. However, freezing rain is also self-limiting, meaning that it rarely accumulates to dangerous levels. Why is this so?

a. latent heat is released during freezing of ice, raising the ground temperature

b. snow usually accumulates before the ice falls, preventing ice from accreting (sticking) to bare surfaces

c. heat flows upward from the ground surface into the ice layer, melting it

d. solar heating diffuses through the clouds, is absorbed by the ice, melting it

11. Which of the following statements best describes the most frequently occurring setup for sleet to develop over Baltimore?

a. warm air advects from the west-northwest a few thousand feet above the surface, overlying a deep layer of subfreezing air close to the ground

b. warm air advects from the east-southeast a few thousand feet above the surface, overlying a deep layer of subfreezing air close to the ground

c. warm air advects from the east-southeast a few thousand feet above the surface, overlying a shallow layer of subfreezing air close to the ground

d. warm air advects from the west-northwest a few thousand feet above the surface, overlying a shallow layer of subfreezing air close to the ground

12. Moist, Pacific air flows up the steep west slopes of the Cascade mountains; clouds quickly form and all the moisture precipitates out on the western slopes. The air flowing down the east-facing slopes ends up warmer and drier than the coastal air. All of the following physical processes explains this observation, EXCEPT:

a. dry adiabatic descent

b. moist adiabatic ascent

c. condensation and precipitation

d. convection

e. orographic ascent

Following is a map showing the forecast of the jet stream at 30,000 feet for Tuesday, March 3, 2015. Arrows show the direction of winds and the color scale shows the wind speed in knots. Letters have been added highlighting various features. Answer the following questions about this chart. Zoom in on this document to view the features better.

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13. This is the location of a jet stream trough.

a. C

b. D

c. E

d. F

e. G

14. This is the location of a jet stream ridge.

a. C

b. D

c. E

d. F

e. G

15. This is where we expect an extratropical cyclone to develop at the surface.

a. C

b. D

c. E

d. F

e. G

16. This is where we expect an extratropical anticyclone to develop at the surface.

a. C

b. D

c. E

d. F

e. G

17. Very cold air is located here.

a. A

b. B

c. D

d. E

e. F

18. Very warm air is located here.

a. A

b. B

c. C

d. F

e. G

19. Air in the Jetstream core is moving SLOWER than geostrophic here.

a. A

b. B

c. C

d. D

e. E

20. Air in the Jetstream core is moving FASTER than geostrophic here.

a. A

b. B

c. C

d. D

e. E

Below is a map showing the forecast of the surface weather map for Friday morning, February 27, 2015. Snow is shown by blue shades; rain in green. Letters have been added highlighting various features. Answer the following questions about this chart.

100

21. This is the location of a stationary front and significant weather.

a. A

b. B

c. C

d. D

e. E

22. The wind is very strong here.

a. A

b. B

c. C

d. D

e. E

23. The wind is weak here.

a. A

b. B

c. C

d. D

e. E

24. This is the location of cold air advection.

a. A

b. B

c. C

d. D

e. E

Following is a map showing the forecast of the surface weather map for Wednesday morning, March 4, 2015. Letters have been added highlighting various features. Answer the following questions about this chart.

50

25. This is the cold front.

a. A

b. B

c. C

d. D

e. E

26. This is the warm front.

a. A

b. B

c. C

d. D

e. E

27. This is the location of warm air advection.

a. A

b. B

c. C

d. D

e. E

28. This is the location of strong cold air advection.

a. A

b. B

c. C

d. D

e. E

29. This is the location of strongest wind from the north.

a. A

b. B

c. C

d. D

e. E

30. This type of severe local wind is associated with an intensely spinning vortex, creating a spiral inflow at its base as it moves along the ground.

a. hurricane

b. extratropical cyclone

c. mesocyclone

d. derecho

e. tornado

31. This type of severe local wind is associated with a rapidly descending, chilled pocket or bubble of air, spreading explosively outward in a violent blast upon impacting the surface.

a. mesocyclone

b. tornado

c. microburst/downburst

d. derecho

e. bow echo

32. This type of thunderstorm complex contains a mesocyclone and hook echo, and can persist for many hours, creating severe local weather including violent tornadoes.

a. multicell storm

b. squall line

c. hurricane

d. supercell

e. derecho

33. This type of thunderstorm complex is dominated by a massive, powerful downdraft, containing numerous downbursts and bow echoes, sweeping across several states at a high rate of speed.

a. multicell storm

b. squall line

c. hurricane

d. supercell

e. derecho

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