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41 Cards in this Set

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What is the general effect of clouds on the radiation balance?
Reflects some visible radiation and absorbs IR.
What are clouds made up of?
Water droplets and ice crystals
Do clouds absorb and radiate in the IR?
No, they reflect
Do clouds absorb or reflect visible radiation?
Both
Why are dark clouds often associated with rainfall?
They scatter more light
Does condensation of water vapor in a parcel of air release heat to the atmosphere?
Release
Does evaporation of liquid water in a parcel of release heat to the atmosphere?
no
Is evaporation a warming process or a cooling process for the atmosphere?
warming
Is condensation a warming process or a cooling process for the atmosphere?
cooling
State Dalton’s Law of partial pressures
total pressure is the sum of partial pressures of oxygen, nitrogen, and water vapor
Define Vapor pressure
The partial pressure of the water vapor in a parcel of air
Define Saturation vapor pressure
The vapor pressure at equilibrium
What are the units of vapor pressure and saturation vapor pressure?
mb
Saturation vapor pressure is a function of only one variable. What is that variable?
Temperature
Using Dalton’s law, and the fact that air is made up of approximately 79% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen and 1% water vapor, calculate the typical water vapor pressure at the surface
10 mb
define mixing ratio
mass of water vapor/mass of dry air in parcel
define saturation mixing ratio
the total mixing ratio possible
what are the units of mixing ratio and saturation mixing ratio?
gm/kg
define relative humidity
the ratio of the amount of water vapor actually in the air to the maximum temp (and pressure). RH=water vapor content/water vapor capacity
what are the units of relative humidity?
(e/es) x 100 (%)
what is a psychrometer?
instrument used to obtain dew point and relative humidity
define dew point temperature
When air is cooled to the point that it becomes saturated
define wet bulb temperature
the temperature at which a parcel of air becomes saturated if allowed to cool by evaporating water from an external source.
define wet bulb depression
dry bulb minus wet bulb
(T-Tw)
Is humid air heavier of lighter than dry air?
lighter
If a glass of water were surrounded by saturated air what would happen to the water level?
stays the same
As the difference between air temperature and dew point increases, does the relative humidity increase or decrease?
decreases
What is another name for equilibrium vapor pressure?
saturation vapor pressure
Does average surface mixing ratio decrease or increase going pole ward from the equator?
decreases
At what latitudes N and S of the equator are there minima in surface RH?
30 degrees N & S
At what time of day is the RH generally a maximum?
8 am
Name the two most abundant greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
carbon dioxiode (CO2) and water vapor (H2O)
According to your text, what wavelengths of radiation are absorbed by H20?
> 7
According to your text, what wavelengths of radiation are absorbed by CO2?
> 1
The ratio of the mass of water vapor in a given volume of air to the mass of the remaining dry air defines what moisture variable?
mixing ratio
When the air temperature increases, what happens to the saturation vapor pressure?
it increases
The percentage of water vapor in the air compared to that required for saturation defines what moisture variable?
relative humidity
The lowest temperature obtained by evaporating water into the air is known as what?
wet bulb temperature
What is another name for saturation vapor pressure?
equilibrium vapor pressure
Compare the saturation vapor pressure over ice with that over water. Which is higher? Why?
over water b/c the temperature is higher
Why are regions inland from the California coast less humid than regions inland from the Gulf coast?
Gulf coast water is warmer