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Water vapor evaporated from the ocean contains a greater

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Water vapor evaporated from the ocean contains a greater [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2010, 13:35
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Water vapor evaporated from the ocean contains a greater proportion of oxygen-16 and a smaller proportion of the heavier oxygen-18 than does seawater. Normally, this phenomenon has no effect on the overall composition of the ocean, because evaporated seawater returns to the ocean through precipitation. During an ice age, however, a large amount of precipitation falls on ice caps, where it is trapped as ice.

Which one of the following conclusions about a typical ice age is most strongly supported by the statements above?

(A) The proportions of oxygen-16 and oxygen-18 are the same in vapor from seawater as in the seawater itself.
(B) The concentration of oxygen-18 in seawater is increased.
(C) Rain and snow contain relatively more oxygen-16 than they do in interglacial periods.
(D) During the ice age, more of the Earth’s precipitation falls over land than falls over the ocean.
(E) The composition of seawater changes more slowly than it does in interglacial periods.

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[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Water vapor [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2010, 14:01
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Premise: no effect on the overall composition of the ocean, because evaporated seawater returns to the ocean through precipitation
Premise: During an ice age, however, a large amount of precipitation falls on ice caps, where it is trapped as ice.

the premises tell us that although the overall composition of ocean does not change BUT during an ice age it does because a large portion of precipitation (more O-16) is trapped as ice on ice caps.

this must mean that the concentration of O-18 is now increased.

B is correct


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Re: Water vapor [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2010, 18:43
water vapor from ocean O16 > O18
water vapor from sea water O16 > O18---------->TRAP.
Water vapor evaporated from the ocean contains a greater proportion of oxygen-16 and a smaller proportion of the heavier oxygen-18 than does [water vapor from] seawater

(A) The proportions of oxygen-16 and oxygen-18 are the same in vapor from seawater as in the seawater itself. >> Out of scope / Cannot be inferred.
(B) The concentration of oxygen-18 in seawater is increased. >> O16 evaporates causing O18 to increase in seawater. O16 is not returned. Answer
(C) Rain and snow contain relatively more oxygen-16 than they do in interglacial periods. >> Rain is alright.But snow is wrong. OUT
(D) During the ice age, more of the Earth’s precipitation falls over land than falls over the ocean. >> Out of scope
(E) The composition of seawater changes more slowly than it does in interglacial periods. >> Out of scope
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Re: Water vapor [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2010, 21:58
Hey All

Now a question -

"Water vapor evaporated from the ocean contains a greater proportion of oxygen-16 and a smaller proportion of the heavier oxygen-18 than does seawater."

It means water vapor from ocean has O16 > O18 obviously
But the second half.

Is it comparing water vapor 's concentration from ocean with sea water ?

or is it comparing water vapor from ocean w/ water vapor from sea water :roll: ?

Can some one answer this pls?
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Re: Water vapor [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2010, 09:29
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nusmavrik wrote:

Is it comparing water vapor 's concentration from ocean with sea water ?

or is it comparing water vapor from ocean w/ water vapor from sea water :roll: ?

Can some one answer this pls?


critical thinking :wink:

actually this is a comparison of composition ... between water vapor (of the ocean) and seawater

e.g. let's assume
water vapor (from the ocean): 75% O-16, 25% O-18
seawater: 65% O-16, 35% O-18

now the argument is comparing the oxygen concentration between the two.
i.e. water vapor (from the ocean) has greater composition of O-16 than does saltwater -----> equal amount of seawater btw

i hope i made some sense!


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Re: Water vapor [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2010, 10:38
LOL dimitri92. I was inferring too less. A is negative.

+1 to you :-)
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Re: Water vapor [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2010, 18:24
B for me for the reasons explained above.
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Re: Water vapor [#permalink] New post 13 Feb 2011, 23:03
dimitri92 wrote:

Premise: no effect on the overall composition of the ocean, because evaporated seawater returns to the ocean through precipitation
Premise: During an ice age, however, a large amount of precipitation falls on ice caps, where it is trapped as ice.

the premises tell us that although the overall composition of ocean does not change BUT during an ice age it does because a large portion of precipitation (more O-16) is trapped as ice on ice caps.

this must mean that the concentration of O-18 is now increased.

B is correct



Your explanation is acceptable with regard to the OA.

But I think, the text is a bit confusing to find the right answer. A, C, D, E are clearly out.

And let's consider the OA in the light of the main text.

The first premise is "Water vapor evaporated from the ocean contains a greater proportion of oxygen-16 and a smaller proportion of the heavier oxygen-18 than does seawater."
This premise separates the seawater from the ocean water. On this basis the second premise - "Normally, this phenomenon has no effect on the overall composition of the ocean, because evaporated seawater returns to the ocean through precipitation." - seems clearly ambiguous because of the use of the word "return".

Moreover, one may, because of the words " precipitation falls on ice caps", assume two cases, i.e. either water circulation from the ocean to the sea or vise versa. Herewith the reader can also be trapped in so far as the ocean water does usually not become icy (here the ice age is not an absolute evidence to disprove this fact and otherwise as in the GMAT-format the test-taker is not assumed to posses the knowledge of the special subject, as here the case relates to the geography), the same is true under conditions regarding the seawater.

Take my evaluations into consideration then even B is also not a proper ans. choice.

I would say it a bad question because of such internal contradictions in its construction and ambuqity of its content.
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Re: Water vapor [#permalink] New post 13 Feb 2011, 23:38
B it is. I think i have seen this question on the OG.
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Re: Water vapor [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2011, 09:56
i'll go with B. explanations given above sum it up
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Re: Water vapor [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2011, 10:42
B. If more oxygen-16 gets evaporated from the ocean than oxygen-18 and the ocean does not get replinished with majority of them, then the concentration of oxygen-18 increases in the ocean.
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Re: Water vapor [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2014, 08:31
dimitri92 wrote:
nusmavrik wrote:

Is it comparing water vapor 's concentration from ocean with sea water ?

or is it comparing water vapor from ocean w/ water vapor from sea water :roll: ?

Can some one answer this pls?


critical thinking :wink:

actually this is a comparison of composition ... between water vapor (of the ocean) and seawater

e.g. let's assume
water vapor (from the ocean): 75% O-16, 25% O-18
seawater: 65% O-16, 35% O-18

now the argument is comparing the oxygen concentration between the two.
i.e. water vapor (from the ocean) has greater composition of O-16 than does saltwater -----> equal amount of seawater btw

i hope i made some sense!





Can somebody please eloborate on this. im still confused
Re: Water vapor   [#permalink] 30 Jan 2014, 08:31
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