ERTH 535:
Planetary Climate Change
(Spring 2018)
Pre-class Quiz #2:
The Greenhouse Effect, etc.
Dr. Dave Dempsey
Dept. of Earth & Climate Sci.,
SFSU

This is a "preview" version of Pre-class Quiz #2. The preview version is suitable for printing and leisurely inspection before you submit your answers to the interactive or "live" version—that is, the real thing. When you feel ready to submit your answers, go to iLearn's ERTH 535 "Pre-class Quiz" section, select the interactive version, and follow its instructions.

(Responses must be submitted via iLearn by 12:00 p.m. on Friday., March 2.)

Description: The questions below address material relevant to understanding the greenhouse effect. It is based on Reading Assignment #2 and Reading Assignment #3.

Questions:

(1) Multiple Choice. Solar vs. Terrestrial Radiation. According to Wien's Law, what wavelengths of electromagnetic radiative do the sun and the earth, respectively, emit the most? (Pick the one correct answer.)

  1. The sun emits solar radiation the most, while the earth emits microwave radiation the most.
  2. The sun emits ultraviolet radiation the most, while the earth emits short wavelengths of infrared radiation ("near" infrared) radiation the most.
  3. The sun emits visible radiation the most, while the earth emits longwave infrared radiation the most.
  4. The sun emits short wavelengths of infrared radiation ("near" infrared) the most, while the earth emits wavelengths also used by AM and FM radio the most.

(2) Multiple Choice. Troposphere. What is the troposphere? (Pick the one best answer.)

  1. The bottommost layer of the atmosphere, from the earth's surface to 10-15 km above sea level, in which the temperature typically decreases rapidly with increasing altitude.
  2. The very stable layer of the atmosphere from 10-15 km to about 50 km above sea level, containing the ozone layer, in which the temperature typically increases with increasing altitude.
  3. The layer of the atmosphere from about 50 km to about 90 km above sea level, in which the temperature typically decreases rapidly with increasing altitude.
  4. The layer of the sun lying immediately below the chromosphere, from which the sun emits the visible light that we see.

(3) Multiple Answer. Clouds and the Earth's Energy Budget. Which of the following effect(s) do clouds have on components of the earth's energy budget? (Pick all answers that apply; there might be more than one.)

  1. Clouds reflect sunlight back to space, thereby keeping the earth cooler than it would be without clouds (all else being equal).
  2. Clouds emit longwave infrared radiation, not only to space but also to the earth's surface, thereby keeping the earth's surface warmer than it would be otherwise (all else being equal).
  3. Clouds absorb longwave infrared radiation emitted by the earth's surface, thereby keeping the atmosphere warmer than it would be otherwise (all else being equal).
  4. Clouds insulate the earth's surface against heat loss by conduction and convection (all else being equal).

(4) Multiple Choice. Defining Property of Greenhouse Gases. What is the defining property of a greenhouse gas? (Pick the one correct answer.)

  1. A greenhouse gas is capable of trapping solar radiation in the atmosphere.
  2. A greenhouse gas is capable of absorbing and emitting longwave infrared radiation well.
  3. A greenhouse gas is capable of keeping a greenhouse warm on sunny days.
  4. A greenhouse gas is capable of insulating the earth's surface against heat loss by conduction and convection.

(5) Multiple Answer. Greenhouse Gases. Which of the gases in the atmosphere listed below are not effective greenhouse gases? (Pick all answers that apply; there might be more than one.)

  1. nitrogen (the most abundant gas in the atmosphere: ~78%)
  2. oxygen (the second most abundant gas in the atmosphere: ~21%)
  3. argon (the third or fourth most abundant gas in the atmosphere: ~1%)
  4. water vapor (the third or fourth most abundant gas in the atmosphere—its concentration varies a lot: ~0–4%)
  5. carbon dioxide (the fifth most abundant gas in the atmosphere: ~0.038%)
  6. freons (CFCs or chlorofluorocarbons, once widely used in air conditioners, refrigerators, and computer chip manufacturing; a trace gas in the atmosphere with only human-related sources)
  7. methane (a trace gas in the atmosphere with both natural and human-related sources)
  8. nitrous oxide (a trace gas in the atmosphere with both natural and human-related sources)
  9. ozone (a trace gas in the atmosphere; its concentration varies a lot and is greatest in the ozone layer in the stratosphere)

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