Vicki Drake

Earth Science Department

Santa Monica College



Please select two (2) questions from the following and write a two-to-three-page essay on each topic. Each essay must be double-spaced, using a typewriter or word processor, with one-inch margins.  Include your name and date on each paper. A bibliography or reference page is required.  Essay Questions are due on the date of the first quiz/exam.


Each essay will be graded for accuracy and fullness of content, along with punctuation, grammar, spelling, and sentence and paragraph structure.  You may use your notes, textbook, or other reference sources. Be careful about plagiarism – copying will result in an F for the essays.


  1. Name and define the Greenhouse Gases.  Include in your discussion: sources, both natural and human-induced sources, which gases are increasing and why, and possible environmental consequences relating to the increase in quantity of the gases in the atmosphere.


  1. A city located near a large body of water will generally have a milder climate than a city located inland.  Describe the factors that account for this difference.  Include in your discussion: heat exchange processes, water-land interactions, mixing of solar energy and water, possible pressure system interactions, and any other process(es) directly related to this climatic difference.


  1. Global temperatures vary from place to place.  Describe the controls on temperature, including latitudinal influences, the differential heating and cooling of land and water, ocean current influences, and elevation.   Include in your discussion any influences due to the tilt of the Earth on its axis.


  1. Describe the heat transportation mechanisms in the atmosphere.  Include in your essay a discussion on the effectiveness of each mechanism, where in the atmosphere each mechanism has its greatest influence, and how the mechanism’s effectiveness can be measured.