The Physical Environment

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Self-Assessment Quiz

1. The annual temperature range is greatest

on the east coast of the United States (Washington D.C. for example)
in the interior of the continent (Kansas City, KS, for example)
the west coast of the United States (Los Angeles, CA, for example)
near the equator.

2. The air temperature of a large body of water does not change as much as nearby land because

most of the net radiation is used for latent heat transfer rather than sensible heat.
mixing of the water occurs
the specific heat of land is lower than that of water
all the above are true

3. The coldest temperature over the course of the day normally occurs

at midnight
at sunset
just after sunrise
at 8:00 pm

4. The daily range of temperature is greatest

when skies remain cloudless during the day and night
when the sky remains cloudy all day and night
when the sky is cloudy during the day but cloudless at night
when the sky is cloudless during the day but cloudy at night.

5. The seasonal lag of temperature 

is greater for places located on the coast
is greater for places located in the interior of a continent
is not any different if you are located on a coast or in the interior of the continent
is nonexistent along a coast

6. Which of the following air masses is the coldest during the winter?

they are all equally cold during the winter but not during the summer

7. Isotherms 

in the Northern Hemisphere bend towards the north when passing over passing over the Gulf Stream current during the winter.
tend to be linear in form in the Southern Hemisphere.
are more closely spaced over the North American continent in winter than summer.
exhibit all the above.

8. Which of the following statements is false?

Maximum outgoing radiation and maximum incoming solar radiation generally occur at the same time.
Maximum outgoing radiation generally occurs at the same time as maximum daily temperature.
Maximum daily temperature lags behind maximum daily incoming solar radiation.
Maximum outgoing radiation generally lags behind maximum incoming solar radiation.

9. Which of the following energy balance components has the most significant impact on the temperature of the air above the surface?

sensible heat transfer
latent heat transfer
ground heat transfer
none of the above affect the temperature of the air.

10. Heat transfer into the air is most efficient

when there is turbulent mixing
when the air is still
when there is no difference in the temperature between the air and the surface
none of the above


Score =
Correct answers:


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For Citation: Ritter, Michael E. The Physical Environment: an Introduction to Physical Geography.
Date visited.

Michael Ritter (
Last revised 6/5/12

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