Chapter 6 Review Questions

Chapter 6 Review Questions - Chapter 6 Question 1. What is...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Chapter 6 Question 1. What is an adiabatic process? An adiabatic process is when a parcel of air expands and cools, or compresses and warms, with no interchange of heat with its surroundings. 2. Why are moist and dry adiabatic rates of cooling different? The moist adiabatic rate of cooling is usually less than the dry rate because as a parcel of moist air expands, the water droplets in it will evaporate, taking heat with them. This helps to offset the heat generated from the parcel expanding. The same principle applies to compressing the parcel and condensation. 3. Under what conditions would the moist adiabatic rate of cooling be almost equal to the dry adiabatic rate? When the air that is rising is very cool, less moisture is generated as it rises, causing the moist adiabatic rate to rise and almost be equal to the dry adiabatic rate. 4. Explain the difference between environmental lapse rate and dry adiabatic rate? The environmental lapse rate is the rate at which the air temperature changes as you increase in elevation. Unlike the dry rate, this is the rate of change of temperature of the actual air. 5. How would one normally obtain the environmental lapse rate? The environmental lapse rate is usually determined using a radiosonde, which results in a vertical profile of temperature called a sounding. 6. What is a stable atmosphere and how can it form? A stable atmosphere is when the environmental lapse rate is less than the moist/dry adiabatic rates, meaning that as an air parcel rises, it cools faster than the air around it, meaning it will want to sink back down to the level it was originally at. A stable atmosphere forms when the surface cools(through radiational cooling at night; an influx of cold surface air brought in by the wind(cold advection); or from air moving over a cold surface) 7. Describe the general characteristics of clouds associated with stable and unstable atmospheres. Clouds in a stable atmosphere tend to spread out horizontally, resulting in cirrostratus, altostratus, nimbostratus or stratus forming in the stable air. Clouds are more likely to grow vertically in an unstable/conditionally unstable atmosphere, as the warm air parcel from the ground tends to keep rising upwards. 8. List and explain several processes by which a stable atmosphere can be made unstable. A stable atmosphere can be made unstable when the environmental lapse rate steepens, which occurs whenair temperature drops rapidly with increasing height. Causes include: Cooling of the air aloft: Winds bringing in colder air (cold advection) Clouds (or the air) emitting infrared radiation to space (radiational cooling) Warming of surface air Daytime solar heating of the surface An influx of warm air brought in by the wind (warm advection) Air moving over a warm surface 9. If the atmosphere is conditionally unstable, what condition is necessary to bring on instability? The atmosphere is conditionally unstable when the environmental lapse rate is between the moist adiabatic
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 09/10/2011 for the course GO 101 taught by Professor Loving during the Spring '10 term at Park.

Page1 / 5

Chapter 6 Review Questions - Chapter 6 Question 1. What is...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online