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Chapter 24 The Oceans, Atmosphere, and Climatic Effects
24.1 Earth's Atmosphere and Oceans
1) Coastal lands bordering the oceans generally have
A) colder temperatures than lands away from the ocean.
B) more moderate temperature variations than inland areas.
C) more scenery than land in the continental interior.
D) tropical temperatures due to the high heat capacity of water.
Answer: B
2) Compared with San Francisco, California, winter air temperatures and air density in Denver,
Colorado, are
A) the same.
B) cooler and thinner.
C) cooler and denser.
D) warmer and denser.
Answer: B
3) The Earth's oceans evolved
A) from condensation of water vapor in a hydrogen-oxygen rich atmosphere.
B) from condensation of water vapor from volcanic eruptions.
C) with accumulation of rainfall.
D) as Earth warmed.
Answer: B
4) Earth's earliest atmosphere was lacking in

A) carbon dioxide.
B) hydrogen.
C) free oxygen.
D) photosynthesis.
Answer: C
5) The process of photosynthesis is important because it
A) converts carbon and water to hydrocarbon and free oxygen.
B) contributed to the development of an ozone layer.
C) is an energy source that drives the geologic process.
D) allowed increased infiltration of solar energy.
Answer: B
6) Plants evolved the ability of photosynthesis during the
A) Cambrian period.
B) Precambrian.
C) Paleozoic era.
D) Pleistocene.
Answer: B
7) Earth's atmosphere probably developed from gases escaping from its interior during volcanic
eruptions. This outgassing also produced Earth's
A) protective ozone layer.
B) oceans.
C) numerous mountain belts.

D) ionosphere.
Answer: B
8) Earth's earliest atmosphere was most likely composed of hydrogen, helium,
A) oxygen, and nitrogen.
B) methane, and nitrogen.
C) methane, and ammonia.
D) oxygen, and ozone.
Answer: C
9) Earth's original atmosphere was
A) very similar to the atmosphere we have today.
B) rich in both O2 and O3.
C) obliterated after the birth of the Sun.
D) a mixture of N2, CO2, and O3.
Answer: C
10) Earth's first atmosphere was composed of
A) oxygen, hydrogen, and helium.
B) hydrogen and helium, with trace amounts of ammonia and methane.
C) gases from volcanic eruptions.
D) oxygen, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and methane.
Answer: B
11) Most of Earth's water is in the
A) oceans.

B) polar ice caps.
C) rivers, lakes, and stream.
D) ground.
Answer: A
12) The origin of Earth's oceans is from
A) comet debris.
B) melting of polar ice caps.
C) volcanic eruptions.
D) comets and volcanic eruptions.
Answer: D
13) What is the significance of the ozone layer?
Answer: The ozone layer acts as a filter to reduce the amount of harmful ultraviolet radiation
from reaching and penetrating the Earth's surface.
14) What impact does the formation of the ozone layer have on our planet?
Answer: As a protective envelope, the formation of the ozone layer blocked most of the Sun's
harmful ultraviolet radiation. Once this radiation was blocked, Earth's surface became more
hospitable to life.
15) Why are temperature fluctuations greater over land than water?
Answer: The high specific heat capacity of water. Water retains heat longer than a substance
with a low specific heat capacity (like rock or soil). The fact that water takes a long time to cool
and that it resists changes in temperature affects the climate of areas close to the oceans.
24.2 Components of Earth's Oceans
1) Going from continental land toward the deep ocean basin, the continental margin consists of
the

A) slope, the shelf, and the rise.
B) rise, the slope, and the shelf.
C) shelf, the slope, and the rise.
D) shelf, abyssal plain, and the mid-ocean ridge.
Answer: C
2) Fresh water enters the ocean by runoff from stream and rivers,
A) precipitation of rain over the ocean, and evaporation of coastal waters.
B) evaporation of surface water, and melting of glacial ice.
C) precipitation, and melting of glacial ice.
D) none of these
Answer: C
3) Fresh water leaves the ocean by evaporation,
A) and seawater freezing.
B) precipitation, and runoff.
C) sublimation, seawater freezing.
D) and formation of ice.
Answer: D
4) Factors that increase ocean salinity are
A) runoff from streams and rivers.
B) formation of sea ice.
C) precipitation.
D) glacial melting.

Answer: B
5) The average salinity of ocean water is
A) 96.5 parts per thousand.
B) 16 parts per thousand.
C) 35 parts per thousand.
D) 3.5 parts per thousand.
Answer: C
6) The two most abundant elements that make up the salinity of seawater are
A) sodium and potassium.
B) chlorine and sulfur.
C) calcium and sulfur.
D) chlorine and sodium.
Answer: D
7) Compared with equatorial open ocean waters, open ocean water in the northern Pacific
A) is colder and less dense
B) has a higher salinity content.
C) is colder and more dense.
D) has a lower salinity content.
Answer: C
8) When evaporation at the ocean surface exceeds precipitation, the salinity of seawater
A) increases.
B) decreases.

C) stays the same.
Answer: A
9) When precipitation at the ocean surface exceeds evaporation, the salinity of seawater
A) increases.
B) decreases.
C) stays the same.
Answer: B
10) What factors increase salinity in the ocean? What factors decrease salinity?
Answer: Salinity increases as the supply of fresh water decreases. Factors that increase salinity
include formation of sea ice and evaporation. Salinity decreases as the supply of fresh water
increases. Factors that decrease salinity include the runoff from streams and rivers, precipitation,
and the melting of glacial ice, sea ice, and icebergs.
11) Where do the ocean's salts originate?
Answer: One source is the chemical weathering of continental rocks. As rocks weather, elements
such as sodium, calcium, and potassium dissolve into the water that flows downstream to
eventually make its way to the ocean. Earth's interior is another source. Throughout Earth's
history, volcanic eruptions have delivered huge quantities of chlorine, as well as water vapor and
other gases, to the ocean. Chlorine plus sodium? Sodium chloride–common table salt. Hence, the
ocean's salty taste.
24.3 Ocean Waves, Tides, and Shorelines
1) Ocean waves and currents generally form as a result of
A) swells.
B) the rotation of the Earth.
C) differences in ocean density.
D) wind.

Answer: D
2) The orbital motion of a wave is greatest (has the largest "diameter") at
A) the wave base.
B) about one-half the depth of the wave base.
C) a depth of one-half the wavelength.
D) the surface.
Answer: D
3) The movement of water in a wave travels
A) with the wave.
B) in a circular path at and just below the water surface.
C) in a circular path at a depth of one-half the wavelength.
D) in both a longitudinal and circular path.
Answer: B
4) When a wave moves, the water
A) moves along with the wave.
B) follows a straight up and down path.
C) follows a roughly circular path.
D) moves with the wave to a depth of one-half the wavelength, while deeper water follows a
circular orbit.
Answer: C
5) As a water wave approaches a shoreline, wave speed
A) increases.

B) decreases.
C) is unchanged.
D) and wavelength increase.
Answer: B
6) In a swell, wavelength is constant. As a swell touches bottom the wavelength
A) increases and velocity decreases.
B) shortens and velocity decreases.
C) shortens and velocity increases.
D) and velocity increase.
Answer: B
7) As waves enter shallow water, wave speed
A) decreases, causing the wave to bend perpendicular to the shore.
B) increases, causing the wave to bend parallel to the shore.
C) decreases, causing the wave to bend parallel to the shore.
D) increases, causing the wave to bend perpendicular to the shore.
Answer: C
8) Waves are altered when they enter shallow water. They change
A) direction by refraction, they steepen and break.
B) direction by refraction, they increase in speed, steepen, and break.
C) direction by reflection, they increase in energy, steepen, and break.
D) intensity by refraction, they lose energy, steepen and break.
Answer: A

9) One of the results of wave refraction is that
A) wave energy is concentrated at headlands that project into the water.
B) wave energy is concentrated in the recessed parts of the coast between headlands.
C) sediment is deposited in the vicinity of headlands, making them larger.
D) wave energy is dissipated before the waves reach the shoreline.
Answer: A
10) Water movement in a wave in the surf zone is characterized by
A) steepened wave height and longer wavelength.
B) steepened wave height and shorter wavelength.
C) a surfable wave crest and increased wavelength.
D) shallow water depth and a steepened long wavelength.
Answer: B
11) In a swell, wavelength is constant. As a swell nears the shore and touches bottom, the
wavelength
A) shortens, wave speed slows, and wave height increases.
B) shortens, wave speed slows, and wave height decreases.
C) and wave height increase as wave speed slows.
D) and wave height increase as wave speed quickens.
Answer: A
12) At what water depth is an ocean wave affected by the ocean floor?
A) It depends on the wave's angle of approach to the shoreline.
B) The ocean floor has no impact on ocean waves.

C) At the depth equal to one-half the wave's wavelength.
D) At the depth where transverse motion dominates.
Answer: C
13) Ocean waves refract due to
A) wave interference.
B) ocean swells.
C) shallow water.
D) transverse motion.
Answer: C
14) Common erosional shoreline features include sea stacks,
A) beaches, and barrier islands.
B) wave-cut platforms, sea caves, and sea arches.
C) sea caves, sea arches, and atolls.
D) wave-cut platforms, sea caves, and sea spits.
Answer: B
15) Which of the following shoreline features does not belong in association with the others?
A) Sea stack
B) Sea caves
C) Spit
D) Sea arch
Answer: C
16) The most common depositional shoreline feature is a

A) beach.
B) wave-cut platform.
C) barrier island.
D) seamount.
Answer: A
17) Along the open ocean, barrier islands are zones of
A) relatively quiet waters.
B) intense erosion.
C) intense vegetation growth.
D) surf resistant sand ridges.
Answer: B
18) Sand spits are formed from sand
A) carried along the coast by longshore transport.
B) swept up from the seafloor and heaped up along the shore by wave action.
C) swept up from the continental rise.
D) swept into a heap by tidal currents.
Answer: A
19) Which pulls on the oceans of Earth with the greater force?
A) The Moon.
B) The Sun.
C) The Sun and the Moon both pull the same.
Answer: B

20) With respect to the stars, the Moon
A) circles the Earth.
B) and the Earth circle each other.
C) remains stationary while the Earth circles about it.
D) does not rotate about its own axis as the Earth does.
Answer: B
21) Which is most responsible for the ocean tides?
A) The Moon.
B) The Sun.
C) Both contribute equally.
Answer: A
22) The main reason ocean tides exist is that the pull of the Moon
A) and Sun are in conjunction at high tides and in opposition at low tides.
B) is greater on oceans closer to the Moon and less on oceans farther from the Moon.
C) is greater on Earth because the Moon is closer to Earth.
D) and the Sun on the oceans are in opposite directions.
E) none of these
Answer: B
23) Tidal forces in general are the result of
A) two or more sources of gravitation.
B) a combination of any kind of forces acting on a body.
C) unequal forces acting on different parts of a body.

D) the inverse-square law.
E) unequal fluid flow.
Answer: C
24) Suppose the Moon had twice as much mass as it does now and still orbits Earth at the same
distance. In that case, the ocean bulges on Earth would be
A) larger.
B) smaller.
C) unequal in size.
D) not significantly different.
E) none of these
Answer: A
25) The best time for digging clams (when low tide is extra low) is during the time of the
A) new or full moon.
B) half moon.
C) quarter moon.
D) none of these times.
Answer: A
26) There are no tides to be seen in the community swimming pool because
A) gravitation on the small mass of water is negligibly small.
B) it is shallow compared to the ocean.
C) all parts of it are practically the same distance from the Moon.
D) they are masked by the much stronger pull of Earth's gravity.

E) But there are, at nighttime.
Answer: C
27) For lunar tides to occur in the human body,
A) most of the body would have to be in the liquid state.
B) Earth's gravitation would have to be incredibly small.
C) parts of the body would have to be appreciably closer to the Moon than other parts.
D) but there are lunar tides in the body, as evidenced by women's monthly menstrual cycles.
E) none of these
Answer: C
28) If the Moon were covered with water, tidal effects by Earth would find the Moon with
A) 1 tidal bulge.
B) 2 tidal bulges.
C) 3 tidal bulges.
D) 4 tidal bulges.
E) no tidal bulges.
Answer: B
29) If the Moon were four times as massive but twice as far from Earth, high tides on Earth
would be
A) higher.
B) lower.
C) no different.
Answer: B

30) What is the most common depositional feature created by the work of the oceans?
Answer: A beach.
31) Warm climates favor carbonate deposition because carbonates dissolve more easily in cold
water than in warm water. Name two types of carbonate depositional environments.
Answer: Coral reefs–actively growing individual coral organisms that secrete calcium carbonate
as they grow; and carbonate platforms--very large and extensive types of coral reefs.
32) Identify erosional features of the shoreline. Identify depositional features of the shoreline.
Answer: Erosional features include cliff notches, sea stacks, sea caves, sea arches, and wave-cut
platforms. Depositional features include: spits, barrier islands, and beaches.
33) The Sun exerts almost 200 times more force on the oceans of the Earth than the Moon does.
Why then, is the Moon more effective in raising tides?
Answer: Tides are caused by DIFFERENCES in gravitational pulls. The Moon pulls with
proportionally more force on the side of Earth nearest the Moon than the far side. This difference
in pulls is greater than the corresponding difference in the pulls by the more distant Sun.
34) Which would have the greater effect on Earth's ocean tides–a Moon with a greater diameter,
or Earth with an increased diameter? Explain.
Answer: If the Moon's size were greater, with the same mass, there would be no difference in
Earth tides. The center of mass of the Moon would be at the same distance from Earth. But if the
Earth were larger, there would be greater distance between opposite sides of the Earth and the
tides would be greater.
24.4 Components of Earth's Atmosphere
1) Air temperature and pressure with increasing elevation and as you approach sea level.
A) decrease; increase
B) increases; decreases
C) cools and thins; warms and thins

D) cools and becomes denser; warms and becomes more dense
Answer: A
2) At lower elevations the air is generally
A) warm and heavy.
B) warm and light.
C) cool and heavy.
D) cool and light.
Answer: A
3) The atmosphere is divided into several layers. The troposphere is the
A) lowest and thickest layer, where Earth's weather occurs.
B) lowest and thinnest layer, where Earth's weather occurs.
C) atmosphere's third and thickest layer.
D) lowest and least dense layer in the atmosphere, where Earth's weather occurs.
Answer: B
4) At lower elevations the air is generally
A) warm and heavy.
B) warm and light.
C) cool and heavy.
D) cool and light.
Answer: A
5) Going from Earth's surface up toward space, the atmospheric layers are the troposphere,
A) stratosphere, ionosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, and exosphere.

B) stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, and exosphere.
C) stratosphere, mesosphere, ionosphere, exosphere, and thermosphere.
D) thermosphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and exosphere.
Answer: B
6) The layers of Earth's atmosphere, from top to bottom, are the
A) troposphere, stratosphere, ozonosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, ionosphere, and
exosphere.
B) exosphere, thermosphere, mesosphere, stratosphere, and troposphere.
C) exosphere, ionosphere, thermosphere, mesosphere, ozonosphere, stratosphere, and
troposphere.
D) troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, and the exosphere.
Answer: B
7) The ozone layer is a region within the
A) troposphere.
B) stratosphere.
C) mesosphere.
D) ionosphere.
Answer: B
8) The ionosphere is an electrified ion-rich area
A) within the stratosphere and uppermost thermosphere.
B) where atoms lose their electrons and become negatively charged.
C) where nitrogen and oxygen atoms gain electrons and become positively charged.
D) where atoms lose their electrons and become positively charged.

Answer: D
9) The ionosphere is an electrified ion-rich area
A) in the uppermost troposphere.
B) where atoms lose their electrons and are negatively charged.
C) where air density and solar radiation is low.
D) within the uppermost mesosphere and thermosphere .
Answer: D
10) The ionosphere
A) is produced by the action of solar radiation and atmospheric atoms.
B) consists of ozone ions.
C) reflects solar ultraviolet and atmospheric atoms.
D) occurs at roughly the same altitude as high clouds.
Answer: A
11) Your ears "pop" when you ascend to higher altitudes because
A) air pressure is greater at higher altitudes.
B) air temperature is lower at higher altitudes.
C) air pressure is lower at higher altitudes.
D) air is dryer at higher altitudes.
Answer: C
12) Temperature increases with altitude in the
A) troposphere.
B) thermosphere.

C) mesosphere.
D) all of these
Answer: B
13) Temperature decreases with altitude in the
A) troposphere.
B) stratosphere.
C) thermosphere.
D) all of these
Answer: A
14) The temperature of the mesosphere decreases from 0°C at the bottom to -90°C at the top. This
change in temperature is a result of
A) a decrease in air pressure.
B) low absorption of solar radiation–air molecules emit more energy than they absorb.
C) low air density.
D) all of these
Answer: B
15) The extremely hot temperature of the thermosphere has very little significance because
A) the dense air molecules in this region move too quickly to absorb much solar radiation.
B) there is very little ozone in the air to absorb the solar radiation.
C) there are not enough air molecules and atoms colliding with one another to generate heat
energy.
D) the thermosphere is very far from Earth's surface.
Answer: C

16) Why do your ears pop when you ascend to higher altitudes? Explain.
Answer: The air pressure at higher altitudes is less than at the surface. It takes time for your body
to adjust to this new pressure, so the air inside your inner ear pushes outward more than the
atmosphere pushes inward, giving you that popping feeling.
17) In which atmospheric layer does all our weather occur?
Answer: Troposphere.
24.5 Solar Energy
1) The angle of the Sun's rays striking Earth's surface greatly affects the
A) Earth's seasons.
B) equatorial and polar regions.
C) intensity of solar energy received at Earth's surface.
D) distribution of solar energy –from the poles to the equator, hours of daylight, and the seasons.
Answer: D
2) The tilt of Earth's axis greatly affects the
A) change of Earth's seasons.
B) hours of daylight.
C) intensity of sunlight that reaches Earth's surface.
D) distribution of heat energy, hours of daylight, and the change in seasons.
Answer: D
3) The lower atmosphere is directly warmed
A) by incoming solar radiation.
B) by the emission of terrestrial radiation.
C) from the weight of the atmosphere above.

D) by the absorption of terrestrial radiation.
Answer: B
4) Earth's lower atmosphere is warm because of
A) incoming solar radiation.
B) terrestrial radiation.
C) cloud cover.
D) outgoing short-wave radiation.
Answer: B
5) Daylight and nighttime hours are equal
A) during the summer and winter solstices.
B) during the equinoxes.
C) in mid-September and mid-March.
D) during the equinoxes–mid-September and mid-March.
Answer: D
6) Solar radiation consists of waves principally in the
A) ultraviolet, visible short-wavelength range.
B) long-wavelength infrared range.
C) long wavelengths that cannot escape the Earth's atmosphere.
D) short wavelengths that cannot escape the Earth's atmosphere.
Answer: A
7) Earth's atmosphere is similar to the panes of glass in a greenhouse, it allows the Sun's

A) short-wavelength radiation to enter, but blocks long-wavelength terrestrial radiation from
leaving.
B) infrared light radiation to enter, and prevents the short-wavelengths from leaving.
C) ultraviolet light to enter, and prevents the infrared light from leaving.
D) infrared light to enter, and blocks the visible terrestrial light from leaving.
Answer: A
8) At the end of December, all of the Southern Hemisphere is in
A) darkness.
B) light.
C) summer.
D) winter.
Answer: C
9) Almost all of Earth's supply of energy comes from
A) the oceans.
B) Earth's interior.
C) the Sun.
D) carbon dioxide.
Answer: C
10) If the composition of the atmosphere changed so that less terrestrial radiation was allowed to
escape, the Earth would experience
A) higher average temperatures.
B) lower average temperatures.
C) greater atmospheric pressure and higher temperatures.

D) no change in pressure or temperature.
Answer: A
11) If more terrestrial radiation were able to leave Earth's atmosphere than at present, we would
experience
A) global cooling.
B) no change in temperature.
C) global warming.
D) more severe weather.
Answer: A
12) The Earth's lower atmosphere is kept warm by
A) solar radiation.
B) terrestrial radiation.
C) short-wave radiation.
Answer: B
13) The warming of the lower atmosphere (the greenhouse effect) results from the
A) absorption of long-wave solar radiation.
B) reflection of long-wave terrestrial radiation.
C) absorption of long-wave terrestrial radiation by atmospheric gases.
D) release of atmospheric gases into the ozone layer.
Answer: C
14) Going from most significant to least significant, the atmospheric gases contributing to the
greenhouse effect include
A) carbon dioxide and water vapor.

B) carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxides, and CFCs.
C) water vapor and carbon dioxide.
D) water vapor, CFCs, carbon dioxide, and ozone.
Answer: C
15) Short wavelength radiant energy is emitted by
A) relatively cooler sources, like Earth.
B) relatively cooler sources, like the Moon.
C) relatively hotter sources, like the Sun.
D) none of the above
Answer: C
16) If Earth is closest to the Sun in January, why is much of the Northern Hemisphere cold in
January?
A) It is cold because it is winter.
B) The Southern Hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun in January.
C) Solar energy favors the equatorial regions.
D) The Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun in January.
Answer: D
17) Air near the equator averages higher temperatures than air near the poles because
A) polar air is cooled by ice and snow on the ground.
B) solar energy is readily absorbed due to increased levels of CO2 and water vapor in the air.
C) sunlight falls in a more vertical position at the equator than near the poles.
D) the oceans near the equator are warmer than those near the poles.

Answer: C
18) The amount of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion has increased with
population. Yet the amount of carbon dioxide emitted is greater than the amount found in the
atmosphere. Where is the likely repository of excess atmospheric carbon dioxide?
Answer: The oceans. Excess atmospheric carbon dioxide readily dissolves in the ocean, where it
undergoes various chemical reactions, most of which lead to the formation of carbonate
precipitates such as limestone.
19) The amount of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion has increased with
population. Yet the amount of carbon dioxide emitted is greater than the amount found in the
atmosphere. Where does all the excess atmospheric carbon dioxide go?
Answer: The oceans. Excess atmospheric carbon dioxide readily dissolves in the ocean, where it
undergoes various chemical reactions, most of which lead to the formation of carbonate
precipitates such as limestone.
20) How does terrestrial radiation warm Earth's surface?
Answer: Earth absorbs short-wavelength radiation from the Sun and reradiates it as longwavelength terrestrial radiation. Incoming short-wavelength solar radiation easily penetrates the
atmosphere to reach and warm Earth's surface, but outgoing long-wavelength terrestrial radiation
cannot penetrate the atmosphere to escape into space. Instead, atmospheric gases (mainly water
vapor and carbon dioxide) absorb the long-wave terrestrial radiation. As a result, this long-wave
radiation keeps Earth's surface warmer than it would be if there were no atmosphere.
21) If the Earth and all things on the Earth are continually radiating energy, why doesn't
everything get progressively colder?
Answer: Objects not only radiate energy they also absorb energy. If an object radiates more
energy than it absorbs, it gets cooler. If an object absorbs more energy than it radiates, it gets
warmer.
22) The variations in the angle at which the Sun's rays strike Earth's surface give us the seasons.
Name four physical factors that contribute to the Earth's seasons. (Hint: Think of the big picture.)
Answer:

(1) Earth has one source of illumination–the Sun.
(2) Earth's revolution around the Sun determines the length of the year and so determines the
duration of the seasons.
(3) Earth's rotation on its axis determines day length.
(4) The tilt of the Earth on its axis of 23.5° allows for the variation of illumination according to
latitude. During the equinox, all areas of Earth receive equal amounts of illumination. During the
solstices, the different hemispheres receive a variation in the amount of illumination at mid- and
high-latitudes. For the winter solstice, the north pole region is excluded from sunlight and the
south pole receives sunlight. The opposite occurs for the summer solstice; the north pole region
receives sunlight and the south pole does not.
24.6 Driving Forces of Air Motion
1) Wind is generated in response to
A) temperature differences only.
B) pressure differences only.
C) the unequal heating of Earth's surface only.
D) temperature and pressure differences, and the unequal heating of Earth's surface.
Answer: D
2) The wind blows in response to
A) pressure differences.
B) Earth's rotation.
C) temperature differences.
D) pressure and temperature differences.
E) none of these.
Answer: D

3) The Coriolis force greatly affects the path of air circulation, and is the result of
A) global winds.
B) Earth's rotation.
C) Earth's tilt.
D) all of these
Answer: B
4) Air moves toward a low-pressure region where it
A) sinks.
B) rises.
C) warms.
D) stops.
Answer: B
5) Air moves away from a high-pressure region where it
A) sinks.
B) rises.
C) cools.
D) stops.
Answer: A
6) In the Northern Hemisphere, air rushing into a low-pressure region
A) spirals in a clockwise direction.
B) sinks.
C) spirals in a counterclockwise direction.

D) rises.
Answer: C
7) In the Northern Hemisphere, the Coriolis force causes all free-moving objects in the air to
curve
A) to the left of their intended path.
B) to the right of their intended path.
C) counterclockwise to their intended path.
D) clockwise to their intended path.
Answer: B
8) In the Southern Hemisphere, the Coriolis force causes all free-moving objects in the air to
curve
A) to the left of their intended path.
B) to the right of their intended path.
C) counterclockwise to their intended path.
D) clockwise to their intended path.
Answer: A
9) The magnitude of the Coriolis force varies according to two factors:
A) the velocity of the moving object and the pressure-gradient force.
B) temperature and pressure.
C) the velocity of the moving object and the degree of latitude.
D) frictional force and pressure-gradient force.
Answer: C
10) Which of the following is not a major influence on atmospheric circulation?

A) The Coriolis force.
B) The unequal solar heating of Earth.
C) The distribution of continents and oceans.
D) The major topographic features on the continents.
E) The local variations in gravitational acceleration.
Answer: E
11) Because of the Coriolis force, a wind in the Northern Hemisphere is deflected
A) upward.
B) downward.
C) toward the right.
D) toward the left.
Answer: C
12) The flow of air in the upper atmosphere is predominantly from
A) east to west.
B) west to east.
C) north to south.
D) south to north.
Answer: B
13) The winds in a Northern Hemisphere cyclone spiral
A) clockwise toward its center.
B) counterclockwise towards its center.
C) clockwise away from its center.

D) counterclockwise away from its center.
Answer: B
14) Air currents are sensitive to changes in pressure and temperature. In general, air moves from
regions of
A) high pressure to regions of low pressure.
B) low pressure to regions of high pressure.
C) high temperature and low pressure to regions of low temperature and high pressure.
D) low temperature and high pressure to regions of high temperature and low pressure.
Answer: A
15) In general, warm days are associated with
A) high surface pressure.
B) low surface pressure.
C) summer storms.
D) negative change in pressure gradient.
Answer: B
16) Warm air aloft is associated with
A) low air pressure aloft.
B) warm summer nights.
C) high surface pressure.
D) high air pressure aloft.
Answer: D
17) In general, cold days are associated with

A) high surface pressure.
B) low surface pressure.
C) snow.
D) a pressure-gradient force.
Answer: A
18) Cold days are associated with
A) high surface pressure.
B) Chinook winds.
C) low surface pressure.
D) none of the above
Answer: A
19) What is the underlying cause of air motion?
Answer: The unequal heating of Earth's surface.
20) What causes pressure differences to arise, and hence causes the wind to blow?
Answer: Unequal heating of Earth's surface leads to temperature differences, which cause the
pressure differences to drive wind.
21) Explain the statement: "At the same pressure, cold air is more dense than warm air."
Answer: Air molecules in cold air are more densely packed than air molecules in warm air. In
cold air, air molecules slow down and crowd close together making the air more dense. When air
is warmed, the molecules move faster, they spread farther apart, and the air density decreases.
22) If the Earth were not spinning, what direction would the surface winds blow at 15 ° south
latitude? Why?
Answer: Southward, since warm air would rise up at the equator and flow southward toward
Antarctica. At the South Pole, cooled air would sink and flow northward toward the equator.

23) Why does air pressure decrease with height more rapidly in cold air than in warm air?
Answer: There are more air molecules per volume in cold air than in warm air; cold air is denser
than warm air. As you move up a column of cold air, the densely packed air molecules yield a
rapid change in pressure. In warmer, less dense air, because there are fewer molecules, air
pressure does not decrease as rapidly.
24) Define the Coriolis force and explain how each of the following influences it: (a) rotation of
the Earth; (b) wind speed; (c) latitude.
Answer: (a) The Earth's rotation causes the Coriolis force. As wind moves along with Earth's
rotation, it succumbs to the force of the Coriolis. The Coriolis force is the apparent deflection of
winds; in the Northern Hemisphere winds appear to deflect to the right of their intended path, in
the Southern Hemisphere they deflect to the left. (b) As wind speed increases, so does the force
of the Coriolis. The stronger the wind, the greater the deflection. (c) The amount of deflection
increases toward the poles and decreases toward the equator. As such, the higher the latitude, the
greater the deflection.
24.7 Global Circulation Patterns
1) Energy is transported from the tropics to the polar regions chiefly by
A) winds.
B) ocean currents.
C) interchange of carbon dioxide.
D) none of the above
Answer: A
2) What is responsible for causing weather on Earth?
A) The presence of the oceans.
B) The unequal heating of Earth's surface.
C) Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

D) The jet streams.
Answer: B
3) The primary driving force of Earth's weather is
A) atmospheric change.
B) solar radiation.
C) temperature difference.
D) the oceans.
Answer: B
4) In the tropics, the trade winds drive equatorial ocean currents
A) eastward.
B) westward.
C) southward.
D) northward.
Answer: B
5) At temperate latitudes, the prevailing westerlies drive surface ocean currents
A) eastward.
B) westward.
C) southward.
D) northward.
Answer: A
6) The jet streams
A) are high-speed winds in the upper troposphere.

B) play an essential role in the transfer of heat energy from the Equator to the Poles.
C) are generated by strong temperature and pressure gradients.
D) are high speed winds generated by temperature and pressure differences.
Answer: D
7) Jet streams not only play an essential role in the global transfer of thermal energy but also aid
A) eastbound airplanes.
B) westbound airplanes.
C) both eastbound and westbound airplanes.
D) landings and takeoffs.
Answer: A
8) What causes the jet streams to form?
A) Pressure gradients.
B) Temperature gradients.
C) Pressure and temperature gradients.
D) None of the above.
Answer: C
9) A strong temperature gradient contributes to steep pressure gradients and this can create very
strong
A) latitudes.
B) winds.
C) doldrums.
D) frictional force.

Answer: B
10) The existence of the world's subtropical deserts (such as the Sahara) is primarily due to
A) warm ocean currents.
B) strong prevailing northwesterly winds.
C) extremely high temperatures.
D) belts of atmospheric high pressure.
Answer: D
11) Many of the world's larger deserts are the result of
A) warm ocean currents.
B) extremely high temperatures.
C) strong prevailing northwesterly winds.
D) belts of high atmospheric pressure.
Answer: D
12) Although desert environments can occur for many reasons, a factor that has little to do with
their occurrence is
A) rising warm air.
B) the rain shadow effect.
C) when they are great distances from the ocean.
D) descending air.
E) the proximity of deserts to cold ocean currents.
Answer: E
13) The Sahara in northern Africa is an example of a

A) rain shadow desert on the downslope of a large mountain range.
B) cold ocean current desert formed by local winds coming off cool ocean areas.
C) horse latitude desert formed by Earth's tradewinds.
D) subtropical desert formed when tropical areas are overwhelmed by sand.
Answer: C
14) A high-pressure zone girdles Earth at the 30°N and 30°S latitudes, causing
A) great deserts, such as the Sahara and Arabia Desert in Africa, the Mojave Desert in the United
States, and the great Victoria Desert in Australia.
B) hot, weak winds in the horse latitudes.
C) a belt of hot and dry surface air.
D) all of these
Answer: D
15) The trade wind belts are regions of generally
A) little rainfall.
B) heavy rainfall.
C) low temperatures.
D) westerly winds.
Answer: D
16) Air that flows southward from the horse latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere produces the
A) Gulf Stream.
B) trade winds.
C) westerlies.

D) Kuroshio current.
Answer: B
17) Air that flows northward from the horse latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere deflects
westward to produce the
A) trade winds.
B) westerlies.
C) Gulf Stream.
D) Kuroshio current.
Answer: A
18) Air that flows northward from the horse latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere produces the
A) Gulf Stream.
B) trade winds.
C) westerlies.
D) Kuroshio current.
Answer: C
19) Air that flows southward from the horse latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere deflects
eastward to produce the
A) Gulf Stream.
B) trade winds.
C) westerlies.
D) Kuroshio current.
Answer: C
20) Irregularities in Earth's surface influence wind patterns. At night, winds blow from a region

A) over the ocean toward land.
B) above land toward the ocean.
C) of high pressure to a region of lower pressure.
D) of high pressure (ex: land) to a region of lower pressure (ex: ocean).
Answer: D
21) The rainy monsoonal climate of the Tibetan highlands results from
A) strong off-shore winds in the summer.
B) a strong temperature contrast and pressure gradient from warm air over the highlands and
cool air over the oceans.
C) a strong temperature contrast and pressure gradient from cool air over the highlands and
warm air over the oceans.
D) none of these
Answer: B
22) As a scuba diver descends into the open ocean, pressure
A) increases and temperatures decrease.
B) decreases and temperatures increase.
C) and temperatures decrease.
D) and temperatures increase.
Answer: A
23) As ocean currents carry warm water from equatorial regions northward, lands bordering the
ocean are warmed. A prime example of such warming is the
A) Doldrums.
B) Coriolis force.

C) Gulf Stream.
D) Horse latitudes.
Answer: C
24) Circulation of the ocean's surface water results from
A) blowing wind and frictional force.
B) the Coriolis effect.
C) the pressure gradient force.
D) frictional force from winds, along with the pressure gradient and Coriolis forces.
Answer: D
25) If evaporation exceeds precipitation, the salinity of the ocean in the area
A) decreases.
B) stays the same.
C) gets denser.
D) increases.
Answer: D
26) Water that is denser than surrounding water sinks. With respect to the densities of deeper
water, how far does it sink?
A) Until it encounters water of the same density.
B) Until it encounters water that is less dense.
C) Until it encounters water that is denser.
D) None of the above.
Answer: A

27) When sea ice forms, what happens to the unfrozen water immediately adjacent to the new
sea ice?
A) The salinity decreases.
B) The density increases.
C) The water sublimates.
D) The density decreases.
Answer: B
28) Water evaporated from over the oceans produces precipitation of fresh water because
A) there are more water molecules than salt molecules in the ocean.
B) the salt dissolves and forms a solution, which becomes more and more dilute until all the
water is fresh.
C) the salt dissolves in the air.
D) only water vapor molecules, and not salt molecules, evaporate.
Answer: D
29) The rate of evaporation over the very salty Mediterranean is
A) less than the rate of precipitation.
B) greater than the rate of precipitation.
C) equal to the rate of precipitation.
D) greater than the influx of fresh water from streams and rivers.
Answer: B
30) Most surface ocean currents are due to
A) melting polar glaciers.
B) river flow into the ocean.

C) winds.
D) density differences in the vertical profile of the ocean.
Answer: C
31) The climate of northwestern Europe is greatly affected by the
A) Kuroshio current.
B) Gulf Stream.
C) trade winds.
D) jet stream.
Answer: B
32) Deep ocean currents flow in a circulation pattern that is
A) north to south.
B) south to north.
C) west to east.
D) east to west.
Answer: A
33) In the open ocean, surface currents are most affected by
A) winds, the Coriolis force, the pressure-gradient force, and land boundary conditions.
B) frictional force (winds), the Coriolis force, and the pressure-gradient force.
C) winds and gyres.
D) both winds and the Coriolis force.
Answer: B
34) Large icebergs in the Arctic and Antarctic form as

A) frozen seawater thickens.
B) sea ice forms next to continental land.
C) glaciers cave into the sea.
D) alpine glaciers melt in Arctic and Antarctic waters.
Answer: C
35) The source of large icebergs is
A) glaciers.
B) sea ice.
C) ice and snowstorms at high latitudes.
D) summer thawing.
Answer: A
36) The Ekman transport spiral is driven
A) by density differences in the water column.
B) by gravity
C) solely by the Coriolis force.
D) by the wind.
Answer: D
37) In the Southern Hemisphere, the direction of Ekman transport is
A) at a 45° angle from the wind direction.
B) parallel to the wind direction.
C) to the right of the wind direction.
D) to the left of the wind direction.

Answer: D
38) The process where surface waters are pushed away from the land and replaced by nutrientrich bottom waters is called
A) downwelling.
B) upwelling.
C) land breeze.
D) sea breeze.
Answer: B
39) The ocean can be divided into several vertical layers–the surface zone, a transition zone, and
the deep zone. As one descends to lower depths, water pressure and temperature .
A) increases; decreases
B) decreases; increases
C) increases; increases
D) decreases; decreases
Answer: A
40) Which of the following occurs during an El Niño year?
A) Fishing catches improve along the South American coast.
B) Cold water upwelling increases.
C) The Trade winds become stronger.
D) Storms increase on the western side of the Pacific.
Answer: D
41) What direction do the trade winds blow? Is this direction a constant? How do the trade winds
influence ocean circulation?

Answer: The trade winds blow from the east toward the west. Although the direction is constant,
the intensity of the winds is subject to change. Because wind blowing over the oceans produces
surface ocean currents, when the trade winds slacken so do the surface ocean currents.
42) What is the polar front and how does it influence the development of the polar jet stream?
Answer: The polar front is where cool, polar air meets warm, tropical air. The temperature
difference between these two air masses creates a steep temperature and pressure gradient that
intensifies high altitude wind speeds. The polar jet is strongest during the winter as the polar
front migrates to lower latitudes. In summer, the jet stream is weaker as the polar front migrates
to higher latitudes.
43) Explain the relationship between the general circulation of the air and the circulation of
ocean currents.
Answer: Both circulation patterns are a result of the unequal heating of Earth's surface. Because
equatorial regions receive optimum radiant energy from the Sun, they have higher average
temperatures than other regions. As air heated by the hot ground or ocean at the equator rises, it
moves toward the polar regions, cooling gradually in the upper atmosphere. This cooled air then
sinks at the poles and is drawn back to the warmer regions of the equator. The same is true for
ocean water. Warm equatorial surface waters move toward polar waters where surface water
cools and sinks to eventually flow back toward the equator.
44) What type of pressure system is needed for upwelling to occur along the western coast of
North America? Explain.
Answer: An equatorial high-pressure system. High pressure causes the trade winds to blow
westward along the equator, dragging warm equatorial surface waters along with them. As warm
surface waters move westward, deeper, colder waters to the east rise upward to occupy the space
left vacant by the warm surface water. Thus cold nutrient-rich water wells up along the western
coasts of North and South America.
45) Discuss the formation of the winter and summer monsoon in India.
Answer: As warm air is carried from the equator to the poles, a sharp temperature and pressure
gradient along the subtropical front generates the strong winds of the subtropical jet stream. In
India, this jet stream is related to the warming of the air above the Tibetan highlands. During the

summer, the air above the continental highlands is warmer than the air above the ocean to the
south. Thus temperature and pressure gradients generate strong on-shore winds that contribute to
the region's rainy summer monsoonal climate. During winter, the prevailing winds from land to
sea produce the dry season called the winter monsoon.
46) What effect does the formation of sea ice in polar regions have on the density of seawater?
Answer: When seawater in polar regions freezes only the water freezes, the salt is left behind.
The surrounding seawater experiences an increase in salinity, which brings an increase in
density. The cold, denser, saltier seawater sinks, producing a pattern of vertical movement.
Movement is also horizontal as cold dense water flows along the bottom to the deeper parts of
the ocean floor.
47) What is surface ocean circulation primarily driven by?
Answer: The wind. As winds blow across the ocean, frictional forces set the surface water into
motion. The Coriolis force and interface with the land act to modify the circulation, but the
driving force is the wind.
48) What is the direction of Ekman transport in the Northern Hemisphere?
Answer: To the right of the wind direction. With no outside forces, water moves in the direction
of the wind. But the Coriolis force deflects wind and water currents–to the right in the Northern
Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. So, in the Northern Hemisphere Ekman
transport is to the right of the wind direction.
49) What is the Gulf Stream?
Answer: Warm equatorial water that flows westward into and around the Gulf of Mexico then
northward along the eastern coast of the United States. As it flows northward along the North
American coast, the prevailing westerlies steer the warm current eastward toward Europe. It is
then diverted southward toward the equator where it is picked up by the trade winds to move
westward into the Gulf of Mexico and start the cycle once again

Test Bank for Conceptual Physical Science
Paul Hewitt, John Suchocki, Leslie Hewitt
9780321752932, 9780134060491

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