UT Arlington GEOL 1301 - Final Exam Study Guide (11 pages)

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Final Exam Study Guide

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Final Exam Study Guide


Study Guide
University of Texas at Arlington
Geol 1301 - Earth Systems
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GEOL 1301 Fall 2014 Final Exam Study Guide October 30th November 11th CLIMATE Climate classification edit There are several ways to classify climates into similar regimes Originally climes were defined in Ancient Greece to describe the weather depending upon a location s latitude Modern climate classification methods can be broadly divided into genetic methods which focus on the causes of climate and empiric methods which focus on the effects of climate Examples of genetic classification include methods based on the relative frequency of different air mass types or locations within synoptic weather disturbances Examples of empiric classifications include climate zones defined by plant hardiness 10 evapotranspiration 11 or more generally the K ppen climate classification which was originally designed to identify the climates associated with certain biomes A common shortcoming of these classification schemes is that they produce distinct boundaries between the zones they define rather than the gradual transition of climate properties more common in nature Bergeron and Spatial Synoptic edit Main article Air mass The simplest classification is that involving air masses The Bergeron classification is the most widely accepted form of air mass classification citation needed Air mass classification involves three letters The first letter describes its moisture properties with c used for continental air masses dry and m for maritime air masses moist The second letter describes the thermal characteristic of its source region T for tropical P for polar A for Arctic or Antarctic M for monsoon E for equatorial and S for superior air dry air formed by significant downward motion in the atmosphere The third letter is used to designate the stability of the atmosphere If the air mass is colder than the ground below it it is labeled k If the air mass is warmer than the ground below it it is labeled w 12 While air mass identification was originally used in weather forecasting during the 1950s climatologists began to establish synoptic climatologies based on this idea in 1973 13 Based upon the Bergeron classification scheme is the Spatial Synoptic Classification system SSC There are six categories within the SSC scheme Dry Polar similar to continental polar Dry Moderate similar to maritime superior Dry Tropical similar to continental tropical Moist Polar similar to maritime polar Moist Moderate a hybrid between maritime polar and maritime tropical and Moist Tropical similar to maritime tropical maritime monsoon or maritime equatorial 14 K ppen edit Monthly average surface temperatures from 1961 1990 This is an example of how climate varies with location and season Monthly global images from NASA Earth Observatory Main article K ppen climate classification The K ppen classification depends on average monthly values of temperature and precipitation The most commonly used form of the K ppen classification has five primary types labeled A through E These primary types are A tropical B dry C mild mid latitude D cold mid latitude and E polar The five primary classifications can be further divided into secondary classifications such as rain forest monsoon tropical savanna humid subtropical humid continental oceanic climate Mediterranean climate steppe subarctic climate tundra polar ice cap and desert Rain forests are characterized by high rainfall with definitions setting minimum normal annual rainfall between 1 750 millimetres 69 in and 2 000 millimetres 79 in Mean monthly temperatures exceed 18 C 64 F during all months of the year 15 A monsoon is a seasonal prevailing wind which lasts for several months ushering in a region s rainy season 16 Regions within North America South America Sub Saharan Africa Australia and East Asia are monsoon regimes 17 A tropical savanna is a grassland biome located in semiarid to semi humid climate regions of subtropical and tropical latitudes with average temperatures remain at or above 18 C 64 F year round and rainfall between 750 millimetres 30 in and 1 270 millimetres 50 in a year They are widespread on Africa and are found in India the northern parts of South America Malaysia and Australia 18 The humid subtropical climate zone where winter rainfall and sometimes snowfall is associated with large storms that the westerlies steer from west to east Most summer rainfall occurs during thunderstorms and from occasional tropical cyclones 19 Humid subtropical climates lie on the east side continents roughly between latitudes 20 and 40 degrees away from the equator 20 Humid continental climate worldwide A humid continental climate is marked by variable weather patterns and a large seasonal temperature variance Places with more than three months of average daily temperatures above 10 C 50 F and a coldest month temperature below 3 C 27 F and which do not meet the criteria for an arid or semiarid climate are classified as continental 21 An oceanic climate is typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of all the world s continents and in southeastern Australia and is accompanied by plentiful precipitation year round 22 The Mediterranean climate regime resembles the climate of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin parts of western North America parts of Western and South Australia in southwestern South Africa and in parts of central Chile The climate is characterized by hot dry summers and cool wet winters 23 A steppe is a dry grassland with an annual temperature range in the summer of up to 40 C 104 F and during the winter down to 40 C 40 F 24 A subarctic climate has little precipitation 25 and monthly temperatures which are above 10 C 50 F for one to three months of the year with permafrost in large parts of the area due to the cold winters Winters within subarctic climates usually include up to six months of temperatures averaging below 0 C 32 F 26 Map of arctic tundra Tundra occurs in the far Northern Hemisphere north of the taiga belt including vast areas of northern Russia and Canada 27 A polar ice cap or polar ice sheet is a high latitude region of a planet or moon that is covered in ice Ice caps form because high latitude regions receive less energy as solar radiation from the sun than equatorial regions resulting in lower surface temperatures 28 A desert is a landscape form or region that receives very little precipitation Deserts usually have a large diurnal and seasonal temperature range with high or low depending on location daytime temperatures in

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