FINAL EXAM GEO 2242 – Summer B 2020

FINAL EXAM

GEO 2242 – Summer B 2020

 

Save this file as ‘Final Exam – GEO2242 – YOUR-NAME-HERE’

 

Student Name:_____________________________________________________________

READ: Answer every question. You have Friday August 14th to complete this exam and upload it to Canvas. An extra 30 minutes is given to account for downloading this file – reading the exam questions and instructions thoroughly – and uploading the saved file back to Canvas. Keep an eye on the time! Be sure to give equal time to each question – the final exam is worth 250 points.

QUESTION 1:

As you work on this exam, please list here all the sources used in it, properly formatted. Use at least three sources, one of which must be a web reference. [25 points]

 

Kelley, J. D., Schultz, D. M., Schumacher, R. S., & Durran, D. R. (2019). Can Mountain Waves Contribute to Damaging Winds Far Away from the Lee Slope?. Weather and Forecasting34(6), 2045-2065.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. (2020). El Niño & Other Oscillations. Retrieved August 15, 2020, from https://www.whoi.edu/know-your-ocean/ocean-topics/ocean-circulation/el-nio-other-oscillations/#:~:text=El%20Ni%C3%B1o%20is%20a%20warming,the%20eastern%20tropical%20Pacific%20Ocean.&text=In%20a%20%22normal%2C%22%20or,of%20the%20Pacific%20over%20Peru.

Wu, L., Zong, H., & Liang, J. (2013). Observational analysis of tropical cyclone formation associated with monsoon gyres. Journal of the atmospheric sciences70(4), 1023-1034.

 

QUESTION 2:

Complete a weather forecast for the next 48 hours based on these weather maps – the top map shows the weather systems and the bottom a forecast for likely severe outbreaks (if any). Describe the weather systems shown and their causes and the likely forecast for the entire US across the next 2 days, but also focus in on any areas of more interesting weather etc. Be sure to discuss frontal systems, types of associated weather, likely upper level flow, air mass types, pressure systems, winds etc. Be as detailed as possible, indicate if any severe weather is likely.         [50 points]

 

Top map: As shown in diagram one we can see the weather surface analysis and the conditions for the next 48 hours. Based on this diagram we can see there is lots of low pressure which indicates why there is so much precipitation. In Georgia, West Tennessee, Northeast Arizona, South Texas, Northeast Utah, Northeast Colorado, North Wyoming, the Atlantic Ocean, and East Canada, we see lots of “L” indicating low pressure and lots of rain. The low pressure coming in from the Atlantic Ocean brings high volumes of rain into the East part of the U.S. and carries out into certain states following the low pressure trail. Flash flooding and heavy rain brought on North Carolina and some parts of South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia are due to the cold front coming from the Atlantic Ocean and all the rain and thunderstorms South of these states coming from the Gulf causing scattered thunderstorms and heavy precipitation for the next couple days. Low pressure zones tend to have counterclockwise winds.  Some high pressure in the very tip of the U.S. will bring cold air and warm sunny days ahead. There’s mostly cold air fronts (indicated by the bumpy blue lines) specially coming in from the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean which is why we see intense precipitation but should be short lived before becoming more clear in the days ahead for the weekend. Some areas such as FL, TX, AZ, UT, and all the other areas with warm fronts will have steady long period of rain (as indicated by the bumpy red lines). There will be gradually changing air pressure portrayed by the brown isobars. We can see there will be changed air pressure as they trail near and into rainy and low pressure zones. Likely higher wind speeds in between North MX and South TX in between the two isobar trails. Severe thunderstorms in between the low pressure zones in certain parts of ND, MT, SD, and WY. There is a cold front coming in from the pacific into this zone and some cold and warm air fronts that bring winds anti-clockwise, and clockwise causing pressure gradient and stronger winds in between these two lines where rain and severe thunderstorms are expected to happen. Mixed precipitation in parts of NV, CR, ID, and UT right on the edges of the warm and cold air fronts and in the isobar of equal winds trialing across this mixed precipitation. Most of these low pressure zones should be short intense lived rain and should hopefully bring in clear skies. Mostly clear skies all through the weekend in the middle North U.S. due to no air flow coming in or rain unless it gets pushed outwards more but should be short lived due to it mostly being cold fronts. Also clear skies in the SE section.

Bottom Map: In diagram two we can see we have a few different thunderstorm risk coming in for the next 48 hours one marginal, and one slight risk. There is a greater than 50% thunderstorm risk going into Texas and Alabama from the SE area of the U.S. and tip of FL. The TSTM risks can include heavy wind gusts, tornadoes, flash floods, excessive precipitation, and even large hail. A slight risk of severe thunderstorms goes into certain areas such as North and South Dakota, MT, and WY. Slight risk includes 5-15% expectation of severe weather which can include damaging winds, hail, and thunderstorms. One of the TSTM goes from the gulf over South FL and back into the Atlantic where it should die down eventually. The ongoing cluster of storms in the TSTM in the middle should move and yield out into TX and MT on the other side of the MRGL. The other TSTM section will move outward into parts of MT, WY, ID, and UT. It will head out of WA and expected to move back out into the Pacific. Most of the TSTM come in from oceans such as the Atlantic, and Gulf bringing in cold fronts which would be mostly short lived and die out either in the ocean or yield itself like the TSTM in the middle. Mostly rainy days and scattered thunderstorms over the next two days in these states covered by the light green. With scattered rains and a few storms in certain parts of those states covered by the yellow. MRGL have less than 2% risk of thunderstorms which gives that break in between the TSTM and SLGT causing slight chance of rain and of storms in those states covered by the yellow.

 

 

QUESTION 3:

This question has four parts, each 25 points each (100 pts total). It addresses ocean and atmospheric circulation, and energy. What would happen to wind patterns and/or currents in these hypothetical situations?

  1. a) Energy receipt is highest between 0° and 23.5° N and S as this is where the sun moves overhead. What would happen if instead the sun moved overhead across a much larger region, such that it was traveling overhead between 0° and 60° N and S? Think about how think might impact certain, major wind patterns. [25 pts]

 

The travelling of the sun overhead between 0o and 60o N and S shows a tendency of the heat warming the parts with higher decreases. The uneven warming of the air on the higher heated areas are bound to induce massive atmospheric pressure (Kelley, Schultz, Schumacher & Durran, 2019). This is bound to cause the movement of the air, also referred to as the winds from the South the North. That is, from regions with high atmospheric pressure to the lower regions. The intensity of the winds is determined by the magnitude of oC warming respective parts.

 

  1. b) What would happen if all the major mountain ranges, particularly in the north hemisphere were gone? The Rockies, Himalayas, the Alps, etc. Think of specific impacts to winds and global wind patterns.                                                                                        [25 pts]

 

In the event all the major mountains and ranges are gone in the northern hemisphere, the winds from the south are bound to blow with profound magnitude. This is due to the lack of forces acting against or slowing down the winds. The intensity of the winds is bound to be high with a likelihood of increasing. Hence, possess an extensive threat to the nearest or next infrastructure or settlements it finds in its wake.

 

  1. c) What would happen if earth rotated the other way? Think about ocean currents and their direction and location around continents.                                                                           [25 pts]

In the occurrence the earth rotates in the opposite direction, the ocean currents and the winds around different locations around continents would be changed. The wind patterns and temperature changes in the mid-latitudes and subtropics would be reversed causing continents such as Western zones to experience extremely cooling culminating in significantly colder regions. The ocean currents would have devastating effects on the offshore areas as instead of turning into the ocean or seas, it would turn to the dry land causing water levels to rise.

 

  1. d) What would happen if there was 0 (zero) sea ice in the world, northern or southern hemisphere? Think about energy, density, ocean circulation and currents.                  [25 pts]

 

Sea ice is important to the climate as it reflects the sun and cools the planet. It is significant to animals and important for energy, density, and ocean currents. If there was no sea ice it would cause temperatures to be higher and with high albedo sea ice reflects 85% of sunlight.

 

QUESTION 4:

After hurricane Irma, and partially trigger by news distributed by social media during that period, people in Ecuador (particularly in coastal places) have started to worry that changes in climate will translate into having tropical cyclones of similar magnitude hitting their country. After all, unusual patterns of rainfall, increase temperature that is melting glaciers in the Andes, etc., are relatively new climate-related events easily perceivable by people. As a climate expert, please explain to Ecuadorians briefly:

 

  • how tropical cyclones are formed and where they occur globally mentioning key factors for their formation and for them to gain strength. [25 pts]

 

Tropical cyclones formation is a result of relatively warm water. The warm moist air from the ocean waters act as a fuel to the cyclones as it rises form the oceans to the near surfaces. The movement of the air from the surface to the ocean leaves a vacuum to which the warm moist air from the ocean occupies (Wu, Zong & Liang, 2013). The strength of the cyclones in intensified the degrees of heating of the water surfaces which often occurs near the equator.

 

  • ii) using the previous information, discuss whether or not they have reason to worry about a tropical cyclone of high magnitude hitting Ecuador as a result of changes in climate.             [25 pts]

 

There is a reason to worry of the tropical cyclones as the equator line passes through Ecuador. The name Republic of Ecuador itself implies the ‘Republic of Equator’. Thus, the countries leave in the danger of experiencing such cyclones and with continued climate changes bound to increase in magnitude and strength.

 

QUESTION 5:

Explain briefly what the El Niño Northern Oscillation (ENSO) is and how it would affect the following locations: Piura, Peru; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Gainesville, FL, USA. Be detailed and scientific – give reasons and explain your answer for each location.        [25 pts]

 

The term El Niño is used to imply the warming of the surface waters in the eastern parts of the tropical Pacific Ocean. The ENSO or “normal” implies a neutral year that experiences low atmospheric pressure from one side with counter effects from the other side of the Pacific Ocean (Woods Hole Oceanographic, 2020). Regions such as Peru are bound to experience high intensities of El Niño as the opposite atmospheric pressure pass over it. Piura, Port Moresby, and Papua New Guinea are in opposing sides of the atmospheric pressure. Therefore, receive high rainfall from the effects of differences in atmospheric pressure. Regions in Gainsville and FL, USA are at minimal risks of El Niño as they are adjacent to one side of the atmospheric pressure.

 

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