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Part 011 – Physical Geography Previous Year Questions

Q1. The lowest layer of the atmosphere is :
(a) Stratosphere
(b) Thermosphere
(c) Troposphere
(d) Mesosphere
Ans: (c) The troposphere is the lowest layer of the Earth’s atmosphere. The air is very well mixed and the temperature decreases with altitude.

Q2. The zone of Earth’s atmosphere immediately above its surface up to a height of about 16 kms above equator and 8 kms over the poles is known as :

(a) Mesosphere
(b) Thermosphere
(c) Troposphere
(d) Stratosphere
Ans: (c) The zone of Earth’s atmosphere immediately above its surface up to a height of about 16 kms above equator and 8 kms over the poles is known as troposphere.

Q3. Which one of the following is called as “Roaring Forty”?

(a) Winds blowing in southern hemisphere between 400– 600 S
(b) Winds blowing in northern hemisphere between 400– 600 N
(c) Very cold winds which blow in winters
(d) Very hot and fast blowing summer winds
Ans: (a) The Roaring Forties is the name given to strong westerly winds found in the Southern Hemisphere, generally between the latitudes of 40 and 50 degrees. The strong west-to-east air currents are caused by the combination of air being displaced from the Equator towards the South Pole and the Earth’s rotation, and there are few landmasses to serve as windbreaks.

Q4. Airmass near to the earth’s surface is warmer because it

(a) radiates heat
(b) contains dust particles
(c) is warmed by terrestrial radiation
(d) is far from the sun
Ans: (c) The air close to the ground is warmer because the earth’s surface is what heats the atmosphere, for the most part. Terrestrial radiation accounts for much of the warming of air near the Earth’s surface. The further away from the earth’s surface we go, the cooler the atmosphere.

Q5. Which one of the following is called North-easter?

(a) Cold and fast-blowing winds in northern hemisphere that move from sub-polar to polar regions
(b) Cold and fast-blowing winds in South Pole region
(c) Cold and fast-blowing winds from the polar region in northern hemisphere
(d) Winds blowing towards Kazakhstan in Central Asia
Ans: (c) The polar easterlies are the dry, cold prevailing winds that blow from the high-pressure areas of the polar highs at the north and south poles towards lowpressure areas within the Westerlies at high latitudes. Cold air subsides at the pole creating the high pressure, forcing an equatorward outflow of air; that outflow is then deflected westward by the Coriolis Effect.

Q6. Density of the earth’s atmosphere is highest in the

(a) Troposphere
(b) Stratosphere
(c) Mesosphere
(d) Ionosphere
Ans: (a) Over 99% of the mass of the earth’s atmosphere is contained in two layers: the troposphere and the stratosphere. Most of the earth’s atmosphere (80 to 90%) is found in the troposphere, the atmospheric layer where we live. This layer, where the earth’s weather occurs, is within about 12 km of the earth’s surface.

Q7. Which of the following asborbs part of the insolation and preserves earth’s radiated heat?

(a) Oxygen
(b) Nitrogen
(c) Water vapour
(d) Carbon-di-oxide
Ans: (c) The amount of solar energy reaching the Earth is 70 percent. The surface of the Earth absorbs 51 percent of the insolation. Water vapor and dust account for 16 percent of the energy absorbed. Most of the terrestrial radiation is absorbed by the water vapor in the atmosphere and some by other gases (about 8 percent is radiated directly to outer space). This radiant energy is re-radiated in the atmosphere horizontally and vertically.

Q8. Cyclones are caused due to

(a) low pressure
(b) high pressure
(c) low temperature
(d) high density
Ans: (a) Cyclones are huge revolving storms caused by winds blowing around a central area of low atmospheric pressure. In the northern hemisphere, cyclones are called hurricanes or typhoons and their winds blow in an anti-clockwise circle. In the southern hemisphere, these tropical storms are known as cyclones, whose winds blow in a clockwise circle.

Q9. What is a ‘tornado’ ?

(a) A very high pressure centre
(b) A very low pressure centre
(c) A very high ocean wave
(d) A planetary wind
Ans: (b) A tornado is a closed low pressure circulation which is marked by a violently rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. Low-pressure systems form under areas of wind divergence which occur in upper levels of the troposphere. The formation process of a lowpressure area is known as cyclogenesis.

Q10. Katrina is the name given to _________

(a) Satellite (b) Star
(c) Heat wave (d) Hurricane
Ans: (d) Hurricane Katrina was the deadliest and most destructive Atlantic hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It was the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. At least 1,833 people died in the hurricane and subsequent floods, making it the deadliest U.S. hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane.

Q11. In which region does rainfall occur throughout the year ?

(a) Mediterranean
(b) Equatorial
(c) Tropical
(d) Temperate
Ans: (b) The equatorial climate is found between 5 degree north and 10 degree south of the equator. Precipitation in the equatorial region is heavy, between 60 inches and 106 inches and is well distributed throughout the year. Due to this abundant rainfall, tropical rainforest climate is usually found at latitudes within five degrees North and South of the equator.

Q12. The vertical movement of air is termed as

(a) wind
(b) air current
(c) air turbulence
(d) air mobility
Ans: (b) An updraught or downdraught is the vertical movement of air as a weather related phenomenon. Better known as air current, they can be caused by differences in temperature, pressure, or impurity concentration. Temperature differences can cause air currents because warmer air is less dense than cooler air, causing the warmer air to appear “lighter.” Rising air is associated with turbulence as it creates a low pressure on the surface.

Q13. The atmospheric layer closest to the earth is:

(a) Mesosphere
(b) Hydrosphere
(c) Troposphere
(d) Ionosphere
Ans: (c) The troposphere is the lowest portion of Earth’s atmosphere. It contains approximately 80% of the atmosphere’s mass and 99% of its water vapor and aerosols. Most of the phenomena we associate with day-to-day weather occur in the troposphere.

Q14. Frontal Rain is caused by

(a) Convection current
(b) Winds from sea
(c) Cyclonic activity
(d) Condensation of water evaporated from mountains
Ans: (c) Frontal rainfall is a type of precipitation which occurs when a warm air mass and a cold air mass meet. Extra-tropical cyclones form as waves along weather fronts before occluding later in their life cycle as cold core cyclones. Cyclogenesis is the development or strengthening of cyclonic circulation in the atmosphere (a low pressure area).

Q15. Smog is a combination of

(a) air and water vapour
(b) water and smoke
(c) fire and water
(d) smoke and fog
Ans: (d) The term “smog” was first used in London during the early 1900’s to describe the combination of smoke and fog. What we typically call “smog” today is a mixture of pollutants but is primarily made up of ground-level ozone.

Q16. Which one of the four regions above the earth has smallest height (km.) ?

(a) Stratosphere
(b) Mesosphere
(c) Thermosphere
(d) Troposphere
Ans: (d) The troposphere is the lowest portion of Earth’s atmosphere. The average depth of the troposphere is approximately 17 km (11 mi) in the middle latitudes. It is deeper in the tropics, up to 20 km and shallower near the Polar Regions, at 7 km in summer, and indistinct in winter. It contains approximately 80% of the atmosphere’s mass and 99% of its water vapor and aerosols.

Q17. Typhoons are common in the

(a) Arctic Ocean
(b) Seas of China and Japan
(c) Mexican Gulf
(d) Indian Ocean
Ans: (b) Typhoons are common in the China Sea and along the margins of the west Pacific Ocean.

Q18. Wind rose represents

(a) wind turbulance
(b) wind data
(c) wind pressure
(d) wind temperature
Ans: (a) A wind rose is a graphic tool used by meteorologists to give a succinct view of how wind speed and direction are typically distributed at a particular location.

Q19. The layer of the atmosphere in which Radio Waves are reflected back is called ;

(a) Ionosphere (b) Troposphere
(c) Stratosphere(d) Exosphere
Ans: (a) The Radio waves are reflected back to Earth in the Ionosphere which is an electrically charged layer of the upper atmosphere. This process is used to communicate beyond the horizon, at intercontinental distances, mostly in the shortwave frequency bands.

Q20. The atmospheric layer farthest from the Earth’s surface is known as

(a) Stratosphere (b)Exosphere
(c) Ionosphere (d)Mesosphere
Ans: (b) Extending from the top of the thermosphere to 10,000 km above the earth is the exosphere which is farthest from the Earth. This layer has very few atmospheric molecules, which can escape into space.

Q21. The climatic zones are classified on the basis of

(a) distance from the equator
(b) elevation
(c) rainfall
(d) distance from the sea
Ans: (c) The climatic zones are classified on the basis of maximum and minimum temperatures and the temperature range as well as the total and seasonal distribution of precipitation. Based on these parameters, the most commonly used classification scheme was originally developed by Wladimir Koppen.

Q22. The main advantage of Rain?
Water Harvesting (RWH) is

(a) Recharge ground water
(b) Avoid floods
(c) Reduce the loss of water
(d) Avoid soil erosion
Ans: (a) Rainwater harvesting is the simple collection or storing of water through scientific techniques from the areas where the rain falls. It is a technique of increasing the recharge of groundwater by capturing and storing rainwater by constructing structures such as dug wells, percolating pit, check dams.

Q23. Subtropical high pressure belts are otherwise called

(a) Furious fifties
(b) Screeching sixties
(c) Horse latitudes
(d) Roaring forties
Ans: (c) The areas of sub-tropical high pressure are located between latitudes 250 and 350 N and S. These highpressure zones are called the horse-latitudes. It is an area which receives little precipitation and has variable winds mixed with calm.

Q24. Atmospheric temperature increasing at the higher altitudes is called

(a) Radiation (b) Inversion
(c) Conduction (d) Convection
Ans: (b) The reversal of the normal behaviour of temperature in the troposphere in which a layer of cool air at the surface is overlain by a layer of warmer air is known as temperature inversion. Inversions play an important role in determining cloud forms, precipitation, and visibility.

Q25. Which of the following reasons is responsible for lack of vegetation in the deserts ?

(a) Heavy volume of sands
(b) Absence of B-horizon in the soil
(c) High temperature
(d) Lack of rainfall
Ans: (d) A desert is a barren area of land where little precipitation occurs and consequently living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. Lack of or insufficient precipitation is the main reason behind the lack of vegetation.

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