BIO 105 Home
Questions | Answers

1. Temperature and precipitation.

2. Hot air rises, cold air descends.

3. Rising air cools, descending air heats (that is why it is hotter in Tucson than on Mt. Lemmon).

4. Warm air holds more water potentially.

5. Absolute humidity is the actual amount of water in the air.
Relative humidity (RH) is the actual amount of water in the air as a percentage of the maximum amount of water the air could hold at that temperature.

6. When air cools, RH increases. When air heats, RH decreases.

7. When air rises, it cools, so RH increases. When air descends, it heats, so RH decreases.

8. When air rises, it is more likely to rain. When air descends, it is less likely to rain.

9. The temperature at which the RH of the air becomes 100%

10. More likely.

11. Convection (when air is heated and rises), Orographic (when air rises as it is blown up the side of a mountain), Frontal (when air rises as it is pushed up the leading edge of a cold front).

12. From the Pacific in winter (mostly frontal precipitation), and from the Gulf of California and the Gulf of Mexico in summer (mostly convection).

13. Elevation, Latitude, Greenhouse gas concentration in atmosphere

14. The 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth and the Earth's revolution around the sun. As the Earth revolves around the sun, the angle each hemisphere is pointing toward or away from the sun changes. When the northern hemisphere is pointed most perpendicularly to the sun (June 21st), it is summer in the northern hemisphere but this is when it is winter in the southern hemisphere because June 21 is when the southern hemisphere is pointed most away from the sun.

15. It is cooler in the southwest in the winter because the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun and so the sun's rays must pass through more atmosphere (which reflects and absorbs the sun's energy) and because the sun's energy is spread over a larger area due to the sun's rays coming in at a low angle. It is warmer in the southwest in the summer because this is when the northern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun and the sun's rays are most perpendicular so are most concentrated and travel through the least amount of atmosphere (thus are reflected and absorbed less so that more reaches the ground).