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Physical Geography The Influence of Continentality on Temperature Lab Report

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Wilfrid Laurier University Department of Geography and Environmental Studies GG101 Introduction to Physical Geography Lab 3: Temperature Patterns and Controls Tasks and Questions Assignment Submission Below are a series of tasks and questions. For Lab 3, you will need to create an answer file that has (i) typed answers to questions, (ii) a completed table, (iii) graphs. Do not include the original questions in your answer file. The answers to the questions below should be typed into your answer document using full sentences and the graphs and table placed at the appropriate positions in your answer document. Once completed, save your answer document in a pdf file format for submission to the Lab3 Dropbox. The answer file is due before your next Lab Section Meeting in the week of February 7th to 10th. Introduction There are three parts to this lab. In Part 1, you will examine the role of continentality (distance from the coast) as an influence on temperature with a focus on the temperature range. In Part 2, you will be examining how latitude influences temperature with a focus on mean annual temperatures and temperature range. In Part 3, you will examine how elevation can influence temperature. This document describes the tasks in each part of the lab and gives the questions. Read the instructions for each section carefully and provide the responses in the format as requested. Before you begin, go to MyLS and download all of the files from the Lab 3 folder. There are two files we will be using: an Excel file called Station Data.xlsx and a Google Earth filecalled Lab 3 Stations.kmz. Download to your computer and open these two files. We will be using data that are in the Excel file called Station Data.xlxs. Although this file can be opened in any spreadsheet program, such as Microsoft Excel, or the Apple program Numbers, or in Google Sheets, the most flexible graphing is available in Microsoft Excel. The lab coordinator will show you how to open the spreadsheet, how we can navigate within it, and how the data are organizedin the file. The data that are used in the files are monthly temperature climate normals from 1981- 2010 for climate stations in Canada and the United States. Within the Excel file, there are three worksheets that are labelled Continentality, Latitude, and Elevation. You can see and access these three worksheets using the tabs at the bottom left of your screen. When you first open the spreadsheet file, the Continentality worksheet will be open. In the Google Earth file, there are placemarkers at each climate station location used in the lab. Part 1 The Influence of Continentality on Temperature Open the Excel file called Station Data.xlxs. The data in the first worksheet called Continentality are climate normals temperature data from aseries of stations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba (see table below). pg. 1 Station Name Prov Latitude Longitude Tofino A BC 49.082222 -125.772506 Agassiz CDA BC 49.243056 -121.760278 Chilliwack R Hatchery BC 49.080002 -121.704167 Hope Slide BC 49.266667 -121.233333 Princeton A BC 49.467778 -120.512500 Oliver STP BC 49.179028 -119.544694 Castlegar A BC 49.296389 -117.632500 Cranbrook A BC 49.612222 -115.781944 Beaver Mines AB 49.467228 -114.176956 Lethbridge A AB 49.630278 -112.799722 Swift Current CDA SK 50.266667 -107.733333 Weyburn SK 49.650000 -103.833333 Brandon A MB 49.910000 -99.951944 Task 1 For each climate station determine the Temperature Range. The Temperature Range is the numeric difference between the mean temperature of the warmest month and the mean temperature of the coldest month. Enter the temperature range values into the appropriate columnin the Continentality worksheet and into Table 1 that you recreate in your answer file (for data submission). Task 2 Open the Google Earth file. Note that the climate stations used in Part 1 are a yellow colour. On the west coast of Vancouver Island, the climate station called Tofino is a coastal site from a climate perspective. Tofino is the closest to the Pacific Ocean. We will be measuring the distanceof each climate station from the Pacific Ocean and we will consider Tofino as the zero point. Using the measuring tool in Google Earth, determine the straight line distance in km between the Tofino location and the yellow placemarker of each station used in Part 1. Round to the nearest 10 km and enter the distance value into the column labelled “Distance from Tofino” in the Continentality worksheet and into Table 1 (for submission). Graphing Once you have completed the columns of data you will be in a position to create a graph that will pg. 2 allow you to explore the relation between temperature and continentality. The lab coordinator will show how a graph can be created using Excel. The type of graphs that will be produced in this lab are scattergrams (or scattergraphs or scatterplots) where one variable is plotted on the x-axis and the second variable on the y-axis. Select markers with no line so that each point on the graph will be clearly shown with a symbol and there are no lines that join the points. A good graph must have a descriptive title, both axes labelled with units, an appropriate range of values on each axis, and clear symbols that can be easily seen. The graphs will have a trendline added to each series. The graphs that you produce in Excel are to copied and pasted into your answer document (do not submit a spreadsheet file). The answers to the questions below should be typed into your answer document, and the graphs placed at the appropriate positions in your file. Graph 1 Plot the Temperature Range (y-axis) against the Distance to Tofino A (x-axis). Create a complete graph and include a linear trendline for the series. Copy and paste this graph into your answer file. (3 marks) Question 1 Describe the relation between temperature range and continentality, shown in Graph 1. (1 mark) Graph 2 Plot the Temperature Range (y-axis) against the Mean Annual Temperature (x-axis). Create a complete graph and include a linear trendline for the series. Copy and paste this graph into your answer file. (3 marks) Question 2 Describe the relation shown between temperature range and mean annual temperature, shown in Graph 2. (1 mark) Question 3 The graphs that you have created show that as we move from the coastal location (Tofino A) inland to the continental interior of Canada, there is a change in the Temperature Range. We also note a relation between the Mean Annual Temperature and the Temperature Range for the stationson that west (coastal) to east (inland or continental) transect. Why do we see this pattern? Explain. (4 marks) Part 2 The Influence of Latitude on Temperature In Part 2 we will be using data that are in the second worksheet of the Excel file Station Data.xlxs. At the bottom left of the screen, select the Latitude worksheet tab. The data in the Latitude worksheet are monthly temperature climate normals from 1981-2010 for climate stations in Canada and the United States. The stations form a latitudinal transect that run from the south in Nebraska, north through North Dakota into Manitoba and Saskatchewan, these stations and their locations are shownbelow in pg. 3 the table below. Using these stations, we can explore how latitude influences temperature. Station Name Prov/State Latitude Longitude North Platte Regional Airport NE 41.1213 -100.6694 Bismark Municipal Airport ND 46.7825 -100.7572 Bottineau ND 48.8216 -100.4527 Brandon A MB 49.9100 -99.9519 The Pas A MB 53.9667 -101.1000 La Ronge A SK 55.1500 -105.2667 Cigar Lake SK 58.0833 -104.4833 Stony Rapids A SK 59.2500 -105.8333 Task 3 For each climate station, determine the Temperature Range. The Temperature Range is the numeric difference between the mean temperature of the warmest month and the mean temperature of the coldest month. Enter the temperature range values into the appropriate column in the Part 2 Latitude worksheet and into Table 1 in your answer file. Task 4 For the Canadian stations, you will need to access the mean annual temperature climate normals. Go to the Climate Normals website https://climate.weather.gc.ca/climate_normals/index_e.html and search for each station in turn: Brandon A, The Pas A, La Ronge A, Cigar Lake, and Stony Rapids A. Enter the Mean Annual Temperature values in the appropriate column in the Latitude worksheet and into Table 1 in your answer file. Graph 3 Produce a graph that shows the Mean Annual Temperature (y-axis) versus Latitude (x-axis). Add a linear trendline to the series. Adjust the x-axis range appropriately. Add a second series to Graph 3, that shows the Temperature Range (y-axis) versus Latitude (x- axis). Add a linear trendline to the second series. Include a legend, and the y-axis title should be simply Temperature (oC). Copy and paste this graph into your answer file. (5 marks) Question 4 Describe the relation between (i) the Mean Annual Temperature and Latitude and (ii) the Temperature Range and Latitude. (2 marks) Question 5 Examine the differences in mean monthly temperatures between North Platte station in the south part of this transect and Stoney Rapids station in the north. Consider the seasons: Winter pg. 4 (Dec/Jan/Feb), Spring (Mar/Apr/May), Summer (Jun/Jul/Aug) and Fall (Sep/Oct/Nov). In which season is the temperature contrast (difference) between southern station and the northern station the highest, and in which season is the temperature contrast (difference) between southern station and the northern station the lowest. Explain why this pattern is observed. (3 marks) Data Submission in Table 1 To submit your data for Parts 1 and 2, you may either: (i) print out Table 1, neatly hand write your values into the table, then scan or take a photograph and paste into your answer document or (ii) recreate a similar Table 1 in your answer file and type the data directly into the table. Table 1 Climate Normals 1981-2010 Summary Data (4 marks) (a) Continentality Stations Station Name Distance from Tofino (km) Temperature Range (oC) Mean Annual Temperature (oC) Temperature Range (oC) TOFINO AGASSIZ CHILLIWACK R HOPE SLIDE PRINCETON OLIVER CASTLEGAR CRANBROOK BEAVER MINES LETHBRIDGE SWIFT CURRENT WEYBURN BRANDON (b) Latitude Stations Station Name NORTH PLATTE BISMARK BOTTINEAU BRANDON A THE PAS LA RONGE CIGAR LAKE STONEY RAPIDS 9.3 6.0 3.6 pg. 5 Part 3 The Influence of Elevation on Temperature The figure on page 7 of the background reading shows that mean annual temperature across North America is strongly influenced by latitude and by continentality (differences related to proximity to large water bodies). It also shows that elevation can be observed to influence temperature even at the generalized scale of that mapping. For example, we see that along the border area between southern Alberta and southern BC, there is a cooler region, this area is the Rocky Mountains. We also see cooler regions in the American Rocky Mountain chains, the Appalachian Mountains, and in the Coastal Mountains of BC and adjacent areas of the US, there is even a cooler area in the central plateaus of Mexico (Mexican Altiplano, in Spanish it is Altiplanicie Mexicana). In Part 3 we will be using data that are in the third worksheet of the Excel file Station Data.xlxs. At the bottom left of the screen, select the Elevation worksheet tab. The data in the Elevation worksheet are monthly temperature climate normals from 1981-2010 for climate stations in northwestern BC. The station locations for the stations are shown by the blue placemarkers in the Google Earth file. Beingnear the western coast, these stations are strongly influenced by air masses that come off the Pacificand since they are all at a similar latitude it permits us to examine the impact of elevation on temperature. In the Elevation worksheet, you can see that these stations are located at different elevations, from near sea level (7.8 m elevation) to almost 1300 m in elevation. Graph 4 Produce a scattergraph that has Mean Annual Temperature on the y-axis versus Elevation on the x-axis for the BC stations. Create a full graph and add a linear trendline to the series. (3 marks) Question 6 Describe the relation between Mean Annual Temperature and Elevation. (1 mark) BONUS QUESTION Estimate the change in temperature that occurs with elevation (temperature gradient) using the BC station data, express your answer in degrees Celsius per 100 m increase in elevation. (2 marks) pg. 6 Climate Normals 1981-2010 Coast to Interior Transect of Stations Prov Latitude Longitude TOFINO AGASSIZ CHILLIWACK R HOPE SLIDE PRINCETON OLIVER CASTLEGAR CRANBROOK BEAVER MINES LETHBRIDGE SWIFT CURRENT WEYBURN BRANDON BC BC BC BC BC BC BC BC AB AB SK SK MB 49.082222 49.243056 49.080002 49.266667 49.467778 49.179028 49.296389 49.612222 49.467228 49.630278 50.266667 49.650000 49.910000 -125.772506 -121.760278 -121.704167 -121.233333 -120.512500 -119.544694 -117.632500 -115.781944 -114.176956 -112.799722 -107.733333 -103.833333 -99.951944 Elevation (m) 24.5 15.0 225.0 685.0 701.7 297.2 495.6 940.0 1257.0 928.7 825.0 569.7 409.4 Jan (oC) Feb (oC) Mar (oC) 5.3 3.4 1.8 -1.8 -5.0 -0.8 -1.6 -6.1 -4.7 -6.0 -10.6 -13.5 -16.6 5.4 5.1 3.5 -0.3 -2.3 1.4 -0.1 -3.2 -3.8 -4.2 -8.2 -10.5 -13.6 Apr (oC) 6.5 7.5 6.0 2.5 2.8 6.2 4.4 2.0 -0.5 -0.1 -2.6 -3.6 -6.2 8.0 10.4 9.0 5.8 7.1 10.7 8.8 6.6 4.4 6.0 5.2 5.2 4.0 Graph 1: Temperature Range vs. Distan 40.0 35.0 Temperature Range (deg C) Station Name 30.0 25.0 20.0 15.0 10.0 5.0 0.0 0 200 400 600 800 Distance from Coast (km) Mean Monthly Temperatures May Jun Jul Aug o o o ( C) ( C) ( C) (oC) 10.5 13.6 12.0 9.4 11.3 15.1 13.3 11.3 8.9 11.1 10.9 11.7 10.6 12.9 16.2 14.7 12.5 14.8 18.9 16.8 15.0 12.7 15.2 15.4 16.7 15.9 14.7 18.5 17.5 15.1 17.9 22.2 20.2 18.7 16.0 18.2 18.5 19.6 18.5 15.0 18.7 17.7 15.3 17.9 21.8 20.0 18.2 15.4 17.7 18.2 18.8 17.7 Sep (oC) 13.4 15.9 14.6 11.8 13.2 16.4 14.7 12.6 10.8 12.6 12.0 12.5 11.8 Oct (oC) 10.0 11.0 9.6 6.5 6.8 9.7 8.0 5.7 5.7 6.6 5.1 5.1 4.1 perature Range vs. Distance from Coast 800 1000 1200 Distance from Coast (km) 1400 1600 1800 2000 Nov (oC) 6.8 6.1 4.5 1.2 -0.3 3.3 2.1 -1.3 -1.2 -1.2 -3.5 -4.2 -5.6 Mean Annual Distance Temperature Dec Temperature From Tofino Range o o ( C) ( C) (km) (oC) 5.0 3.2 1.6 -1.8 -5.6 -1.1 -2.1 -7.2 -4.6 -5.4 -9.2 -11.1 -14.0 9.5 10.8 9.4 6.3 6.6 10.3 8.7 6.0 4.9 5.9 4.3 3.9 2.2 0 290 300 330 380 450 590 730 840 940 1300 1590 1870 10.0 15.5 16.1 17.1 23.5 23.3 22.3 25.9 20.7 24.2 29.1 33.1 35.1 Graph 2: Temperature Range vs. Mean Annual Temperature 40.0 35.0 Temperature Range (deg C) 30.0 25.0 20.0 15.0 10.0 5.0 0.0 0.0 2.0 4.0 6.0 Mean Annual Temperature (deg C) 8.0 nnual Temperature 10.0 12.0 Climate Normals 1981-2010 Latitudinal Transect of Stations Station Name NORTH PLATTE BISMARK BOTTINEAU BRANDON A THE PAS LA RONGE CIGAR LAKE STONY RAPIDS Station Name NORTH PLATTE BISMARK BOTTINEAU BRANDON A THE PAS LA RONGE CIGAR LAKE STONY RAPIDS State or Provance Latitude Longitude Elevation (m
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