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Re: The Northeast region of the United States has a climate that is unique [#permalink]
samichange wrote:
rukna wrote:
The Northeast region of the United States has a climate that is unique at the latitude. For example, Burlington, Vermont is at 44 degrees north latitude, the same latitude as Southern France. Southern France has a typical mid-temperate zone climate characterized by warm, dry summers and cool winters with only occasional snowfall. Yet Burlington’s climate is similar to that of Anchorage, Alaska and Helsinki, Finland, each or which are located about 1000 miles further north.

Which of the following, if true, best helps to resolve the apparent discrepancy discussed above?

A) The warm waters of the Mediterranean Ocean influence the weather of Southern France, especially the French Riviera.

B) The circulation of air around low pressure centers generally brings cold northern air to the western side of the low pressure.

C) Altitude influences climate as much as does latitude and Burlington, Anchorage, and Helsinki are all less than 200 feet above sea level.

D) The atmospheric jet stream moving across North America is diverted, by the Rocky Mountains, far to the south, bringing cold arctic Canadian air to the northeastern United States year round.

E) The Western region of the contiguous United States has a stable climate dominated by the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean.


Confused between C and D. Please help.



What is the discrepancy? The discrepancy is that even though Burlington and Southern France are located at the same latitude, the climate of Burlington is not the same as that of Vermont but is more similar to regions up North.

What makes Burlington " area" so special? Let us go through the options-

A) The warm waters of the Mediterranean Ocean influence the weather of Southern France, especially the French Riviera.

Not correct because it explains the climate of Southern France but does not explain what we are interested in- the climate of Burlington.

B) The circulation of air around low pressure centers generally brings cold northern air to the western side of the low pressure.

Not correct. Although in real world we may know which area lies to west and east but that such knowledge is not required on the GMAT. So, we really do not know which area lies where and to west and north of what??? :-D :-D :-D

C) Altitude influences climate as much as does latitude and Burlington, Anchorage, and Helsinki are all less than 200 feet above sea level.

Not correct. Does this argument tell how the altitude influences the climate? No and we do not require to have that knowledge either. 200 feet above sea level makes Burlington colder or hotter? Also do we know the altitude of Southern France? This option simply plays with our pre-conceived notions and knowledge because we all know that with increase in latitude temperatures do fall. But at what altitude? We do not have so much info.This is atypical GMAT trap where it traps us into comparison between similar entities when all we require is the comparison between dis-similar entities.

D) The atmospheric jet stream moving across North America is diverted, by the Rocky Mountains, far to the south, bringing cold arctic Canadian air to the northeastern United States year round.

This option is correct because it resolves the conflicting information by providing unique information about the factor that makes NE region including Burlington unique.Note that we already know about the details of climate for Southern France , so with this extra info. everything falls into place.

E) The Western region of the contiguous United States has a stable climate dominated by the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Irrelevant.We are interested with North Eastern part of the United states so to hell with the Western part :-D :-D :-D

Hope the above clears your doubt.

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Thanks for your reply.
So, here is what I thought.

C option gives us another explanation. It is not only latitude but some other factor i.e altitude which could be the reason why climate of Burlington is similar to north. It also gives reasoning that altitude of Burlington, Anchorage, and Helsinki are all less than 200 feet above sea level.
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Re: The Northeast region of the United States has a climate that is unique [#permalink]
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rukna wrote:

Thanks for your reply.
So, here is what I thought.

C option gives us another explanation. It is not only latitude but some other factor i.e altitude which could be the reason why climate of Burlington is similar to north. It also gives reasoning that altitude of Burlington, Anchorage, and Helsinki are all less than 200 feet above sea level.



You have a point.
But here we are dealing more with dis-similarity and less with causality.
Moreover, does being less than 200 feet above sea level makes a climate hotter or colder??

Actually, option C actually says that the climate of Burlington should be different from the areas up North !!!

Since, all the cities in option C are less than 200 feet above sea level so the altitude's influence on climate should be more or less same for the cities of Burlington, Anchorage and Helsinki BUT all are at DIFFERENT latitudes and hence the climate of Burlington MUST be different from the cities up North.

I hope the above explanation clarifies your doubt.

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Re: The Northeast region of the United States has a climate that is unique [#permalink]
Can we eliminate C on the basis that it takes a specific example to be true for the entire region?

D does example about the entire region
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Re: The Northeast region of the United States has a climate that is unique [#permalink]
warriorguy wrote:
Can we eliminate C on the basis that it takes a specific example to be true for the entire region?

D does example about the entire region


It explains only the coldness in NA but doesn't explain about South France. If the option had mentioned the altitude of S. France it would have been a strong contender.

Although, I marked C, that is how I explained to myself why C can't be the right answer :-D

I'd welcome experts comments on my reasoning.
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Re: The Northeast region of the United States has a climate that is unique [#permalink]
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manhasnoname wrote:
warriorguy wrote:
Can we eliminate C on the basis that it takes a specific example to be true for the entire region?

D does example about the entire region


It explains only the coldness in NA but doesn't explain about South France. If the option had mentioned the altitude of S. France it would have been a strong contender.

Although, I marked C, that is how I explained to myself why C can't be the right answer :-D

I'd welcome experts comments on my reasoning.


If the altitude of southern France were given, even then the explanation would not be alright because option C states that the altitude is LESS THAN 200 meters. High altitude, not low, is associated with coldness.

If altitude of southern France were more than 200 meters, then S.France should be colder than these places - so option C then would not explain the difference. If S.France were also less than 200 meters, then there would be no difference between the 3 cities and S.France and hence even then altitude could not be taken as a factor for the difference in weather.
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Re: The Northeast region of the United States has a climate that is unique [#permalink]
Hi expert

My query is w.r.t option C
Is option C incorrect because it mentions that altitude of Burlington is lower than 200 feet and 200 feet is considered a lower altitude generally and lower altitude means warmer temperature rather than colder? If, because of the lower altitude temperature is warmer then it wont help us resolve the paradox.

Here we are bringing some common knowledge that higher the altitude, colder the temperature and vice-versa

Thanks, Devansh
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Re: The Northeast region of the United States has a climate that is unique [#permalink]
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devansh18 wrote:
Hi expert

My query is w.r.t option C
Is option C incorrect because it mentions that altitude of Burlington is lower than 200 feet and 200 feet is considered a lower altitude generally and lower altitude means warmer temperature rather than colder? If, because of the lower altitude temperature is warmer then it wont help us resolve the paradox.

Here we are bringing some common knowledge that higher the altitude, colder the temperature and vice-versa

Thanks, Devansh


Hi Devansh,
Seems like you ended up answering your question :)
Let's go through Option C once again.
Altitude influences climate as much as does latitude and Burlington, Anchorage, and Helsinki are all less than 200 feet above sea level.
My questions to you :
1) Do we know how altitude influences the climate presently? (Cold/hot) - as per the passage?
2 ) Do we know the impact and the result?
3) Places A,B,H are all less than 200 ft above sea level and you've mentioned 200 feet is considered a lower altitude generally - we need NOT apply our knowledge here. Always swear by what is written in the passage.
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Re: The Northeast region of the United States has a climate that is unique [#permalink]
KarishmaB MartyMurray Can you please explain this question ?

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Re: The Northeast region of the United States has a climate that is unique [#permalink]
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