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4.5: Getting Ready for Chapter 4

  • Page ID
    15856
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    Chapter 3 gave us an introduction to the structure and composition of the atmosphere, the gaseous envelope that supports life as we know it. We've found that some gases act to absorb heat released from the surface, creating a greenhouse environment and making earth habitable. But the concentration of greenhouse gases is on the rise, and human activities are responsible for much of it. Other gases shield the earth from receiving too much ultra-violet light. Their concentrations have been affected by human activities as well.

    sunset
    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Sunset over the Pacific (Courtesy Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Source: https://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/scripts/sseop/photo.pl?mission=ISS015&roll=E&frame=10469)

    Ahead in Chapter 4, Energy and Radiation, we'll examine the sources of heat that not only warm the atmosphere, but drive most of the environmental processes acting at the surface of the earth. We'll gain insight into how exogenic sources of energy ultimately heat the air, change the state of water, and warm the surface of the earth. Using these new insights, we'll be able to explain the geographical variation of radiation and energy. A peek into future changes in the earth's heat balance as a result of human-induced climate change will conclude the chapter.

    What you should already know...

    The content of Chapter 4 Energy and Radiation is some of the most important material for understanding the functioning of the earth system. Chapter 4 delves into the nature of energy and heat. Much of the chapter discusses energy received from the Sun, the ultimate source of energy to drive most environmental processes acting at the surface of the Earth. The knowledge gained in this chapter will serves as the foundation for understanding the geography of temperature, phase changes of water, circulation of the air, and much more.

    Before beginning you should be comfortable with the material covered in Chapter 2 The Earth System. Have a good understanding of the Earth in space, and how the orientation, rotation, and revolution of the Earth around the Sun affects sunlight reaching the earth system.

    Exercise \(\PageIndex{1}\)
    1. The Earth is closest to the Sun in
      1. January
      2. March
      3. September
      4. July
    2. The Earth's axis of rotation is tilted
      1. 23.5 degrees from perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic
      2. 66.5 degrees from perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic
      3. 0 degrees from perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic
      4. 90 from perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic
    3. The subsolar point on June 21st is
      1. 23.5 degrees north latitude
      2. 0 degrees (the equator)
      3. 23.5 degrees south latitude
      4. 66.5 degrees north latitude.
    4. There is 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night
      1. on June 21
      2. on December 22
      3. every day of the year at the equator
      4. none of the above.
    5. Tangent rays
      1. strike the north and south poles on the solstices
      2. strike the equator only on the solstice.
      3. strike the north and south poles on the equinox
      4. only strike the earth on the solstice
    6. 24 hours
      1. of daylight occurs at the South Pole on June 21
      2. of daylight occurs at the South Pole on March 21
      3. of darkness occurs at the South Pole on June 21
      4. of darkness does not occur anywhere
    7. The subtropical latitude zone is located
      1. 10 degrees N - 10 degrees S
      2. 10 degrees - 25 degrees N and S latitude
      3. 25 degrees - 35 degrees N and S latitude
      4. 35 degrees - 55 degrees N and S latitude
    8. Most greenhouse gases
      1. are good absorbers of solar radiation
      2. are good absorbers of radiation emitted by the Earth
      3. are known as "uniform absorbers"
      4. are all the above
    9. The largest sources of particulates entering the atmosphere is from
      1. salt from sea spray and bursting bubbles.
      2. windblown dust
      3. volcanoes
      4. biomass burning
    10. Solar radiation is considered
      1. an exogenic source of energy
      2. an endogenic source of energy
      3. an adiabatic source of energy
      4. a diabatic source of energy
    Answer
    1. A
    2. A
    3. A
    4. C
    5. C
    6. C
    7. C
    8. B
    9. A
    10. A

    About your score ....

    If you scored 80% or above, Great! ... start reading the chapter.

    If you scored 70% to 80% you should consider reviewing the previous material.

    If you scored less than 70% you should consider reviewing the previous material and seeking help from your instructor.


    This page titled 4.5: Getting Ready for Chapter 4 is shared under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Michael E. Ritter (The Physical Environment) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.