Climate Change Pre-Assessment Quiz

GLG115/ENV115 Climate Change -- Questions like these are given to students on the first and last day of class to assess whether the course learning outcomes are achieved.

  1. The major cause of global warming during the past 100 years is:
    1. Increase in solar irradiance
    2. Melting of the polar ice caps
    3. Increase in greenhouse gas content of the atmosphere
    4. The urban heat-island effect

  1. Which of the following is correct about global warming?
    1. There is no consensus among scientists about whether temperatures increased during the 20th century
    2. The ozone hole contributes little to global warming
    3. Satellite data show that the thermometer-based temperature records of global temperature are unreliable
    4. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has never been higher than today

  1. Which of the following is correct about the Earth's climate?
    1. The Earth is closer to the sun during the northern hemisphere summer
    2. Global warming appears to have stopped around 1998
    3. The coldest sustained period of the last 8,000 years took place between 1500 and 1900 AD
    4. Gas bubbles in ice cores from Antarctica show that past changes in the carbon dioxide levels of the atmosphere led (preceded) changes in temperature by hundreds of years

  1. Which of the following is correct about carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect?
    1. The process by which warmth is added to the atmosphere by the greenhouse effect is the same as the processes by which the air is warmed within a greenhouse
    2. Carbon dioxide is responsible for most of Earth¿s natural greenhouse effect
    3. There is more carbon dioxide dissolved in the ocean¿s water than there is in atmosphere
    4. Volcanoes emit about the same amount of carbon dioxide as humans do

  1. Which of the following contributes to warming the atmosphere over relatively short periods (from years to decades)?
    1. An increase in sulfate aerosols from smokestacks
    2. Strong El Niño events
    3. Large volcanic eruptions
    4. An increase in land clearance

  1. Which of the following is correct about sea-level rise?
    1. Tide gages from all around the world show nearly the same rate of sea-level rise
    2. Melting of the ice cover over the Arctic Ocean has contributed significantly to rising sea level
    3. Global sea level was many meters higher than today as recently as about 120,000 years ago
    4. Increased rainfall during the last 100 years has contributed significantly to rising sea level

  1. Which greenhouse gas absorbs infrared radiation most strongly for a given concentration of the gas?
    1. Nitrogen (N2)
    2. Oxygen (O2)
    3. Methane (CH4)
    4. Carbon dioxide (CO2)

  1. About how much of the CO2 that we emit today will remain in the atmosphere in 50 years from now?
    1. 1%
    2. 10%
    3. 50%
    4. 100%

  1. What attainable level of atmospheric CO2 (equivalency) content is needed to avoid the most severe consequences of global warming?
    1. Ten percent below preindustrial levels
    2. Return to preindustrial levels
    3. Roughly double preindustrial levels
    4. Five times preindustrial levels

  1. Burning ethanol reduces the overall global emissions of greenhouse gas if:
    1. The ethanol comes from corn
    2. Engines are better adapted to burn ethanol so that their combustion is more efficient
    3. The ethanol is used in hybrid cars
    4. More carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere during the entire ethanol growth than is released during its distribution and combustion

Answer Key



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