Test: Climatology - 4

30 Questions MCQ Test Geography for UPSC CSE | Test: Climatology - 4

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Which of the following factors helps in the formation of fog over the sea?

1. Tropical winds passing over cooler waters

2. Presence of condensation nuclei in the form of Ocean salt

Which of the above is/are correct?

  • When the wind blows moist air over a cool surface, the air will cool, and advection fog will form. Advection fog is widespread at sea when tropical winds pass over cooler waters and on land when a warm front passes over heavy snow.

  • Sea fog forms when the condensation nucleus is salt. Salt is, of course, prevalent near the ocean where it is kicked up into the atmosphere by the breaking waves.


In percentage terms, water vapour in the atmosphere, generally

1. Increases as we move to higher grounds

2. Decreases towards the poles if we start from the equator

Which of the above is/are correct?

Solution: Water vapour depends on both temperature and precipitation. In the warm and wet tropics, it may account for 4% of the air by volume, while in the dry and cold areas of desert and polar regions, it may be less than 1% of the air. Since polar regions have a cold climate and poor precipitation, the capacity of the air, as well as the moisture available, is lesser, leading to a lower water vapour content.


Consider the following about Anticyclones:

1. These are low-pressure regions.

2. Their extent is always small.

3. Cloudy and precipitation conditions exist along with the cyclone.

Select the correct answer using the codes below:

  • An anticyclone - also known as a high-pressure area - is a large atmospheric circulation system with the wind flowing clockwise around it in the Northern Hemisphere, and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.

  • The extents are generally large, and the effects are also pronounced.

  • Anticyclones form from air masses cooling more than their surroundings, which causes the air to contract slightly, making the air denser. Since dense air weighs more, the weight of the atmosphere overlying a location increases, causing increased surface air pressure. Winds are of moderate speed, and at the outer edges, cloudy and precipitation conditions exist. Cloudy conditions and precipitation exist at the periphery of anticyclones. Otherwise, such a high-pressure region generally shows fine and clear weather.


Consider the following statements:

1. Tropical storms bring rain, while extratropical storms do not.

2. Extratropical storms are caused due to jet streams, whereas tropical cyclones are caused due to lower atmospheric circulations.

Which of the above is/are correct?

  • Extratropical storms are a global, rather than a localised, phenomena with moisture usually carried in the upper atmosphere (unlike tropical storms where it is carried in the lower atmosphere). In the case of the subcontinent, moisture is sometimes shed as rain when the storm system encounters the Himalayas.

  • Jet streams are an important component of upper air circulation which is dominated by the westerly flow. These jet streams blow south of Himalayas, all through the year except in summer affecting India's climate and weather.

  • The western cyclonic disturbances experienced in the north and north-western parts of the country are brought in by this westerly flow which affects rainfall in Northern and north-western India.


Which of the following are important features of extratropical cyclones?

1. They originate only over the seas or oceans.

2. They require a frontal system to get activated.

3. Since they can move only vertically above, they must be carried laterally by jet streams to be effective.

Select the correct answer using the codes below:

  • The extratropical cyclones have a clear frontal system which is not present in the tropical cyclones.

  • They cover a larger area and can originate over the land and sea, whereas the tropical cyclones originate only over the seas and on reaching the land they dissipate.

  • The extratropical cyclone affects a much larger area as compared to the tropical cyclone.

  • Moreover, the wind velocity in a tropical cyclone is much higher, and it is more destructive. The extratropical cyclones move from west to east, but tropical cyclones move from east to west. No jet streams are required for its movement, so 3 is wrong.


Which of the following regions is known for 'frontal cyclones'?

  • In tropical regions, tropical cyclones are more common. So, (a) is less appropriate than (d).

  • Mid-latitude or frontal cyclones are large travelling atmospheric cyclonic storms up to 2000 km in diameter with centres of low atmospheric pressure.

  • Mid-latitude cyclones are the result of the dynamic interaction of warm tropical and cold polar air masses at the polar front.

  • This interaction causes the warm air to be cyclonically lifted vertically into the atmosphere where it combines with colder upper atmosphere air. This process also helps to transport excess energy from the lower latitudes to the higher latitudes.


Tropical cyclones dissipate on reaching the land; extratropical cyclones do not because

1. Tropical cyclones derive their energy from the moisture of the sea

2. Extratropical cyclones derive their energy from polar fronts

Which of these is/are correct?

  • Mechanism of tropical cyclones Heating of ocean water creates a low- pressure area to fill which wind from several high-pressure areas converge at high speeds.

  • Due to the presence of Coriolis force, they start circulating the low-pressure zone. The evaporated moisture from the ocean's low-pressure area condenses above in the form of cumulonimbus clouds.

  • This latent heat of condensation from the moisture feeds more heat to the cyclone and intensifies it. On reaching the land, the cyclone dissipates as its moisture supply is cut off.

  • Extratropical cyclones Formed in mid and high latitudes, beyond the tropics Forms along polar fronts - Derives its energy from a meeting and circulation of warm and cold air front.


Regarding anticyclones, consider the following statements

1. Anticyclones are the opposite of depressions - they are an area of high atmospheric pressure where the air is sinking.

2. Just like cyclones, anticyclones bring rainfall in temperate regions.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  • Areas of sinking air which result in high pressure are called anticyclones.

  • Light-pressure systems have small pressure gradients (i.e. the air pressure doesn't change rapidly). This means that the winds are gentle. As the air sinks, it warms up, leading to warm and dry weather.

  • Anticyclones are much larger than depressions and produce periods of settled and calm weather lasting many days or weeks. Anticyclones often block the path of depressions, either slowing down the bad weather or forcing it around the outside of the high-pressure system. They are then called 'Blocking Highs'.

  • As the air descends, air pressure increases. When air hits the ground, it has to go somewhere. The Earth's rotation makes the air change direction. In the Northern Hemisphere, the air is pushed clockwise. In the Southern Hemisphere, the air is pushed anticlockwise.


Thunderstorms are formed because of

  • Thunderstorms are caused by intense convection on moist hot days. A thunderstorm is a well-grown cumulonimbus cloud producing thunder and lightning. When the clouds extend to heights where sub-zero temperature prevails, hails are formed, and they come down as hailstorms. If there is insufficient moisture, a thunderstorm can generate dust storms.

  • A thunderstorm is characterised by the intense updraft of rising warm air, which causes the clouds to grow bigger and rise to a greater height. This causes precipitation.


During a thunderstorm, consider the following actions:

1. Staying in an open field near large trees.

2. Staying inside a car with all windows closed.

3. Driving a motorbike

Which of the following is/are safe choices?


Dos and Don'ts during a Thunderstorm:

  • Open vehicles, like motorbikes, tractors, construction machinery and open cars are not safe. Open fields, tall trees, shelters in parks, elevated places do not protect us from lightning strokes.

  • Carrying an umbrella is not a good idea at all during thunderstorms. If in a forest, take shelter under shorter trees.

  • If no shelter is available and you are in an open field, stay far away from tall trees.

  • Stay away from poles or other metal objects. Do not lie on the ground. Instead, squat low on the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head between the hands. This position will make you the smallest target to be struck.


Consider the following statements regarding Lightning.

1. Lightning is a very rapid and massive discharge of electricity in the atmosphere which are generated in giant moisture-bearing clouds that are 10-12 km tall.

2. Lightning always strikes tall objects such as trees, towers or buildings.

3. Lightning occurs commonly during thunderstorms.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution: Lightning is a very rapid and massive - discharge of electricity in the atmosphere. Some of which is directed towards the Earth's surface.

These discharges are generated in giant moisture-bearing clouds that are 10-12 km tall.

There is a greater probability of lightning. Striking tall objects such as trees, towers or buildings.



Consider the following statements:

1. A tornado is nothing but a cyclone.

2. Climate change affects the frequency of tornadoes.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?


A tornado is 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. They are often referred to as twisters or cyclones, although the word cyclone is used in meteorology, in a wider sense, to name any closed low pressure circulation.


Though a tropical cyclone typically moves from east to west in the tropics, its track may shift polewards and eastwards, called 'recurvature'. This may occur due to the influence of

1. Jet streams

2. Extratropical cyclones

Which of the above is/are correct?

Solution: Its track may shift polewards and eastwards either as it moves west of the subtropical ridge axis or else if it interacts with the mid-latitude flow, such as the jet stream or an extratropical cyclone. This motion, termed 'recurvature', commonly occurs near the western edge of the major ocean basins, where the jet stream typically has a poleward component and extratropical cyclones are common. An example of tropical cyclone recurvature was Typhoon Loke in 2006.


How do tropical cyclones play an important role in modulating regional and global climate?

1. They carry heat energy away from the tropics and transport it towards temperate latitudes.

2. They can often bring intense rainfall to drought-prone regions.

Which of the above is/are correct?

  • Tropical cyclones can relieve drought conditions as they often carry moisture-laden winds. In addition to strong winds and rain, tropical cyclones are capable of generating high waves, damaging storm surge and tornadoes.

  • They typically weaken rapidly over and where they are cut off from their primary energy source. For this reason, coastal regions are particularly vulnerable to damage from a tropical cyclone as compared to inland regions. Heavy rains, however, can cause significant flooding inland, and storm surges can produce extensive coastal flooding up to 25 miles from the coastline.

  • Since dense air weighs more, the weight of the atmosphere overlying a location increases, causing increased surface air pressure. Winds are of moderate speed, and at the outer edges, cloudy and precipitation conditions exist. Cloudy conditions and precipitation exist at the periphery of anticyclones. Otherwise, such a high-pressure region generally shows fine and clear weather.


Consider the following: Tropical cyclones are

1. intense low-pressure areas.

2. largely confined to the areas lying between 5° N and 5° S latitudes

3. like a heat engine that is energised by the release of latent heat on account of the condensation of wind moisture.

Select the correct answer using the codes below:

  • They lie between 30°N and 30°S latitudes in the atmosphere, around which high-velocity winds blow. They are not found near the equator where there is no Coriolis force. It extends up to 500-1,000 km horizontally and from the surface up to 12-14 km vertically.

  • Like a heat engine, a tropical cyclone or hurricane is energised by latent heat that is released by the condensation of moisture that the wind gathers after passing oceans and seas. Large pressure gradients characterise tropical cyclones. The cyclone centre is predominantly a warm, low-pressure, cloudless core known as the eye of the storm.


Consider the following statements: A typhoon

1. is a temperate cyclone

2. Develops mainly between 0° longitude to 20° longitude east of Greenwich

3. Accounts for nearly 80% of all cyclones in the world

Select the correct answer using the codes below:

  • A typhoon is a mature tropical cyclone that develops between 180° and 100°E. This region is referred to as the Northwestern Pacific Basin. It is the most active tropical cyclone basin on Earth, accounting for almost one-third of the world's annual tropical cyclones.

  • A typhoon differs from a cyclone or hurricane only based on location.

  • A hurricane is a storm that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and the northeastern Pacific Ocean.

  • A typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean.

  • A cyclone occurs in the south Pacific or the Indian Ocean.


Consider the following statements:

Assertion (A): Tropical cyclones are not formed at the equator.

Reason (R): Coriolis force is absent at the equator.

In the context of the above, which of these is correct?

Solution: Coriolis force is absent at the equator. Due to this, winds blowing from high-pressure sub-tropics to low-pressure tropics do not form a circulatory pattern around a low-pressure zone.

Instead, they simply fill the low-pressure zone. This is the reason cyclones start forming only after some distance away from the equator.


Consider the following statements:

1. A tropical depression has a low-pressure centre.

2. Just like cyclones, they too have a clean circular structure.

Which of the above is/are incorrect?

Solution: Depressions are actually a group of thunderstorms. They do not have a clear circular structure as cyclones possess. When viewed from a satellite, tropical depressions appear to have little organisation.


In a tropical cyclone, as you move from the edges towards the centre, air pressure

Solution: Tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterised by a low-pressure centre. On Earth, the pressures recorded at the centres of tropical cyclones are among the lowest ever observed at sea level. At the centre of a mature tropical cyclone, air sinks rather than rises. For a sufficiently strong storm, air may sink over a layer deep enough to suppress cloud formation, thereby creating a clear 'eye'. If the air pressure is high at the centre and low at the edges, an anticyclone is formed.


Regarding atmospheric pressure and its measurement, consider the following statements'.

1. Vertically from the ground, if an object is at a pressure of 900 Mb, it is very near to the surface.

2. The ocean surface has high pressure.

3. The eye of a cyclone has the lowest pressure, as low as 880 Mb.

Which of the above is/are correct?

Solution: Low Mb represents low pressure. As altitude increases, pressure decreases. An object at high altitude is at low pressure. So, statement 1 is wrong.


Of the cyclones hitting the coastal regions of the country, on an average four out of five-hit the eastern shores of peninsular India. Why is the eastern coast and Bay of Bengal more prone to tropical cyclones than the Western Coast and the Arabian Sea?

  • According to the Indian Meteorological Department, this is because, in addition to the storms that originate in the southeast Bay of Bengal and the adjoining Andaman Sea, breakaway typhoons over the Northwest Pacific move across the South China Sea into the Bay of Bengal, intensifying into cyclones.

  • As the frequency of typhoons over the Northwest Pacific is about 35% of the global annual average, the Bay of Bengal is affected.

  • In contrast, Arabian Sea cyclones are mostly their own formations and they also generally move north-west, away from India's west coast.

  • Besides, the Arabian Sea is colder than the Bay of Bengal, which inhibits the formation and intensification of the cyclonic system in the former. Warm sea surface temperature is an ideal platform for cyclones.


Regarding cyclones, consider the following statements:

1. Till now majority of the deadliest tropical cyclones in world history have been Bay of Bengal storms

2. A cyclonic storm is classified a Severe Cyclonic Storm if its speed is more than 220 km per hour (mph)

3. Cyclone Phailin which affected Orissa recently was classified a Severe Cyclonic Storm.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  • A total of 26 of 35 deadliest tropical cyclones have been witnessed in the Bay of Bengal.

  • As per IMD, for the severe cyclonic storm, the speed is 89-117 km/hr. For speeds >220km/hr, it is a super cyclonic storm. The Phailin cyclone falls under the extremely severe cyclonic storm.


Forests are broadly classified depending on when they shed their leaves. Shedding of leaves is dependent on which of these factors?

1. Availability of moisture

2. Latitudinal variation

Which of the above is/are correct?

  • Evergreen forests do not shed their leaves simultaneously in any season of the year. Deciduous forests shed their leaves in a particular season to conserve loss of moisture through transpiration.

  • This is responsible for the seasonal variation, which affects the timing when trees shed their leaves. Forests are further classified as tropical or temperate based on their location in different latitudes.


Moderate and milder climate in the Southern Hemisphere as compared to the Northern Hemisphere, for the same latitude, can be explained by

1. Continentality

2. Photoperiodism

Which of the given statements is/are correct?

Solution: This is so because the Southern Hemisphere has significantly more ocean and much less land; water heats up and cools down more slowly than land. The movement of the sea and land breeze helps to moderate the climate. On the other hand, wherein the Northern Hemisphere there is more land, temperatures reach both extremes, for example, in Central Asia or Siberia. Photoperiodism is related to plants' reaction to light; it isn't relevant here.


Which of the following climate types is not witnessed in Europe?

Solution: The continental interior stretches from central Europe westwards into Russia. The climate here is one of the hot damp summers and frigid, dry winters. The main reason for this climate's characteristics is the distance from the sea. Inland areas are warmer in summer and colder in winter than coastal places. Being far from the sea, they also tend to be drier.


As per the Koeppen classification, which of the following regions of India has a Steppe Climate?

Solution: Steppe climate will have lower and irregular rainfall. North-eastern India receives either abundant rainfall or gets too cold for being called a steppe climate.


These regions are hot and receive heavy rainfall throughout the year. As there is no particular dry season, the trees do not shed their leaves altogether. This description matches

  • Forests found near the Equator (10° North to 10° South) in Amazon and Zaire Basin and Southeast Asia are major evergreen forests. The thick canopies of the closely spaced trees do not allow the sunlight to penetrate inside the forest even in the daytime.

  • Thus, the grass is not found in these forests. Maximum varieties of trees are found. Trees are tall with large trunks. Hardwood trees like rosewood, teak, sal, ebony and mahogany are the common trees Found here.

  • Here the population found is very less. Due to dense forests, commercial exploitation of these forests has not been possible, making them economically backwards.


The trees of tropical rainforest have buttress roots to

1. Provide better aeration to the soil

2. Support the tree from falling over

3. Gather more nutrients from poor rainforest soil

Select the correct answer using the codes below:

  • These are large butts on all sides of a bottom-rooted butt.

  • Almost all types of mangroves have these types of roots. Most rainforest soil is impoverished with all the nutrients available largely remaining at surface level. Because of this rainforest trees have very shallow roots.

  • Some very tall trees have developed ways of obtaining much needed additional support by forming buttressed roots, which grow out from the base of the trunk sometimes as high as 15 ft above the ground. These extended roots also increase the area over which nutrients can be absorbed from the soil.

  • When the roots spread horizontally, they can cover a wider area for collecting nutrients. They stay near the upper soil layer because all the main nutrients are found there.


Biodiversity is likely to be highest in

Solution: Evergreen Equatorial forests receives the largest rainfall and experiences year-round warm temperatures which are crucial and stable conditions for the development of biodiversity.


Hardwood trees that are useful for making furniture, transport and constructional materials are likely to be found in

1. Tropical Evergreen Forests

2. Tropical Deciduous Forests

3. Temperate Evergreen Forests

Select the correct answer using the codes below:

  • The canopy tree species are mostly tall hardwoods with broad leaves like rosewood, ebony, mahogany.

  • The hardwood trees found in these forests are sal, teak, neem and shisham.

  • They comprise both hard and soft wood trees like oak, pine, eucalyptus, etc.

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