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Water vapor evaporated from the ocean contains a greater proportion of

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Water vapor evaporated from the ocean contains a greater proportion of  [#permalink]

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New post 18 May 2017, 08:25
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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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Re: Water vapor evaporated from the ocean contains a greater proportion of  [#permalink]

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New post 18 May 2017, 08:33
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shwetachauhan wrote:
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.

This is an inference question, in which we must determine which of the following answers can be concluded from the above.

What do we know? We know that the ocean contains both oxygen-16 and oxygen-18. However, water made from oxygen-16 evaporates more readily. During normal times, this precipitation falls on the land or in snow packs and then melts in the spring to return to the oceans.

In an ice age, however, more and more ice accumulates on land. This ice is made up mostly of water containing oxygen-16. Meanwhile the concentration of oxygen-18 increases in the ocean because oxygen-16 is reduced and never replaced.

This information best supports answer choice (B).
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Re: Water vapor evaporated from the ocean contains a greater proportion of &nbs [#permalink] 18 May 2017, 08:33
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Water vapor evaporated from the ocean contains a greater proportion of

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