Chapter 8, Weather Systems, gave us an insight into how the daily changes of the atmosphere occur, in other words, our weather. Chapter 8 and those that preceded it set the stage for an analysis of climate, the long-term state of the atmosphere. Climate plays an important role in the distribution of plant and animal species, soils, streams and rivers, and affects land forming processes. Having a good grasp of the geographical distribution of climate is necessary in understanding the physical geography of Earth.
The Earth is potentially facing changes to its climate the likes of which have not seen for thousands of years, and it is most likely the result of human activities. The elements of climate interact with each of the subsystems of the Earth system. A change in any one of the elements of climate can reverberate through the entire system. These changes will have profound effects on the Earth system. Warming oceans and melting ice caps will reshape coastlines. The migratory behavior of animals will change as climate conditions shift. Habitats will vanish along with the plant and animal species that depend on them. Water resources will evaporate from some regions while others may experience floods like they haven't seen in the recent past. Thus it is ever so important for us to understand how the climate system works, and what effect our activities have on it.
What you should already know...
Chapter 9 integrates and builds on the content of previous chapters to develop an understanding of earth's climates. The elements of climate systems were presented in Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, and Chapter 8. You should have a good understanding of this material before reading Chapter 9.
Use the quiz below to assess your understanding of a few key topics from these chapters.
- Air masses that pass over a warm ocean current
- will likely become unstable
- will likely to become stable
- The polar front jet stream
- moves equatorward during the summer
- moves poleward during the summer
- doesn't shift its general location with seasons.
- Annual temperature range is largest
- in the Sahara desert
- in the central United States
- along the coast of California
- in Antarctica
- The which of the following uplift mechanisms are most important in the tropics?
- Frontal and convergence
- Convection and frontal
- Convection and convergence
- Only frontal
- Which of the following air masses is warm, moist and unstable at its source region?
- An advection fog is most likely to occur
- along the west coast of the United States
- as mT air moves over the Gulf Stream
- with moist still air on a cloudless night
- none of the above.
- A subtropical high
- is likely to produce dry conditions
- is likely to create cloudy conditions
- is likely to create very windy conditions
- will create convergence and uplift of air from the surface.
- If you are located at 15 degrees north latitude you will be influenced by
- the tradewinds
- the westerlies
- the polar easterlies
- none of the above
- Mountain systems in North America tend to be aligned _____ and in Europe _______.
- east to west; north to south
- north to south; east to west
- As one moves poleward through the midlatitudes, precipitation ____ and becomes ____ seasonal.
- increases, more
- decreases, more
- increases, less
- decreases, less
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.