Download Coriolis Effect Station Lab (9/22) - Liberty Union High School District

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Answer all questions for the lab in your notebook. Answer in complete sentences so you know what the question was.
Coriolis Effect Station Lab
Station 1
One person should place his/her fingers on the top/bottom of the globe and
hold it straight up and down (with the North Pole at the top and south pole at
the bottom). Have another group member stand opposite the person holding
the globe and rotate the earth from west to east. We refer to the rotation of
the earth as counterclockwise. Observe the direction of rotation while looking
at the equator. Observe both sides of the earth while it is rotating.
Now have one group member hold the globe sideways (the north
pole/south pole axis should be horizontal). Another group member
should slowly rotate the globe in the same manner as before, from west
to east.
Observe the direction the globe appears to spin while looking at the
North Pole and then while looking at the South Pole. Refer to the
rotation as clockwise or counter clockwise motion.
As you looked at the equator while the axis was held vertical, in which direction did the globe rotate,
from left to right or right to left? Was this direction of rotation the same for both observers?
In which direction (clockwise or counterclockwise) did the globe appear to rotate as you observed the
North Pole? In which direction, as you observed the South Pole?
Station 2
Tape a Northern Hemisphere projection map to the turntable. Have one person spin the map
counter clockwise. Have another person take the red pen and try to draw a radius from the
North Pole outward to the edge of the projection on the turntable while the map is spinning.
Just draw it straight (your pen should curve). Repeat with the blue pen but this time start at
the equator and draw the straight radius in towards the North Pole.
Tape a Southern Hemisphere projection map to the turntable. Have one person spin the map clockwise. Have
another person draw a radius with the black marker from the South Pole to the equator. Repeat with the
green marker from the equator the South Pole. Sketch your drawings in your lab notebook.
Describe how these marker paths represent
the direction of air mass flowing from
toward the equator
the direction of air mass flowing from
toward the equator
the direction of air mass flowing from
toward the North Pole
the direction of air mass flowing from
toward the South Pole
the North Pole
the South Pole
the equator
the equator
How might the Coriolis effect influence global air circulation?
Station 3: Convection Currents
Part 1
Materials: 1 baking dish, 2 small beakers, chilled food coloring (in a dropper bottle), room temperature water,
ice, hot water (use your hot plate), paper towels
□ Place a small amount of ice in one of the small beakers. Fill the beaker with
room-temperature water about ¾ full.
□ Pour about ¾ of an inch of room-temperature water in the baking dish.
□ Fill the other small beaker with hot water (you will need to heat up some
water on your hot plate).
□ Place the two beakers into the baking dish like shown. Place one or two
drops of chilled food coloring in the water of the baking dish at the base of
the beaker of ice water. Observe the movement of the food coloring in the
water of the pie pan.
Food coloring
Record your observations of the food coloring’s movement in the water
of the pie pan.
Why did the majority of the chilled food coloring initially sink to the bottom of the water in the pie
What happened to the food coloring once it reached the beaker of hot water?
What type of heat transfer does this model represent?
Tape a side view diagram of this situation in to your notebook. Sketch the currents.
Knowing that air, like water, moves as a fluid, predict what will happen to air masses as they heat and
Part 2
Materials: 250mL beaker, chilled food coloring (in a test tube), hot plate, paper towels
Food coloring
Fill your beaker with water about ¾ full. Begin heating it.
Heat the water for ~10 minutes on setting 5. It should be warm, not boil!
Take the dropper and fill it with some chilled food coloring.
Go as far to the bottom of the beaker as you can (near the heat source) and put 4-5
drops of food coloring in the warm water.
□ Sketch a side view of the beaker, heat source, and food coloring. Record your
observations and draw the movement of the food coloring.
What does the heat source under the beaker do to the water? What does the heated water do?
What happens to the water as it moves farther and farther away from the heat source? What happens
to the water as it reaches the surface?
What happens to the food coloring as it heats up? How might this relate to a mass of heated air?
What do you expect will happen as air masses move over cold locations? Hot locations? How does this
movement of air influence climate?
a. What type of air masses originate from near the equator?
b. From near the North and South Pole?
c. How do the qualities of these air masses differ depending on whether they were informed over
land or water?
d. What climate would regions where air masses from the equator and the poles collide probably
have? Where would you expect to find these regions?
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that causes excess solar energy to be trapped in the form of heat
in the atmosphere. How do you think carbon dioxide affects convection currents?
Station 4: Insolation Energy
The amount of solar energy that any particular region on Earth receives is based on the mostly spherical shape
of the earth, the tilt of the earth’s axis, and the angle of the sun’s rays. Regions close to the equator receive
the most solar energy overall because these areas remain closer to the sun over the course of earth’s orbit,
while the regions near the North and South poles receive less solar energy over the course of a year because
these regions remain farther from the sun. Annual seasonal changes can be attributed to the tilt of the earth.
Hold the globe upright, with the North Pole facing directly upward and the South Pole facing downward. Have
one person hold a flashlight and point the light at the equator of the globe. Observe how the light from the
flashlight is distributed across the globe. Tilt the earth slightly. Have one person hold the globe and (without
blocking the light) move in a circle around the person holding the flashlight. This represents the orbit of the
earth around the sun.
Shine the flashlight perpendicular to the globe, directly at the equator. As the globe orbits the flashlight, turn
the flashlight so that it is always shining on the globe. As you do so, observe how the light is distributed across
the globe at different points of the globe’s rotation. Note the amount of “sunlight” received at the equator, at
the pole, at the Tropic of Capricorn, and at the Tropic of Cancer, and consider how many the amount of solar
energy received would affect each regions’ climate.
Which regions receive the most light? The least light?
How does June in the northern hemisphere compare to June in the southern hemisphere?
How does the amount of sunlight an area receives influence the climate of that area?
Station 5
On the computer, go to Atmospheric Arcade ( . Play the
Atmospheric Trivia Game. You MUST play LEVEL 3. Tape the layers diagram in to your notebook and take
some notes on it/next to it.
When you complete the game, what happens to the illustration?
Station 6: Rain Shadow Effect
Complete the Rain Shadow Effect Graphing Worksheet
Which side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains receives the Greatest amount of precipitation? Why?
Why is there more rain/snow at Baxter than at Auburn?
Which stations received the greatest amounts of precipitation? Why?
The elevation of Reno, Nevada, is higher than the elevation of Baxter, California. Why does Reno
receive less precipitation than Baxter does?
On which side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains would you expect to find Environments that support a
greater diversity and number of organisms? Why?