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Which of the following processes eventually leads to saturation of air by water vapour?
  • A
    Increasing the air pressure.
  • B
    Increasing the amount of water vapour in the air.
  • C
    Increasing the temperature of the air.
  • D
    Decreasing the amount of water vapour in the air.

Saturation occurs when the air reaches its maximum capacity to hold water vapour at a specific temperature and pressure. The process that leads to saturation is influenced by various factors, but in this context, we'll focus on the options provided.

a) "Increasing the air pressure": INCORRECT. While increasing air pressure can impact the air's capacity to hold water vapour, it does not directly lead to saturation. Higher pressure allows the air to hold more water vapour.

b) "Increasing the amount of water vapor in the air": This is the CORRECT answer. When more water vapour is introduced into the air, it increases the humidity level. As the air accumulates water vapour, it approaches its saturation point. Once the air reaches this saturation point, further additions of water vapour will lead to condensation, forming clouds or precipitation.

c) "Increasing the temperature of the air": INCORRECT. Raising the air temperature does not directly cause the air to become saturated. However, it is an essential factor in determining the air's capacity to hold water vapour. Warm air can accommodate more water vapour than cold air. As the temperature increases, the air can hold more moisture, thus reducing relative humidity - making saturation less likely.

d) "Decreasing the amount of water vapour in the air": INCORRECT. Lowering the amount of water vapour in the air reduces the humidity level, making saturation less likely. The air becomes drier, it does not cause the air to become saturated.

AIR BECOMES SATURATED:

  • By adding more water vapour to it.
  • As warm air can hold more water vapour than cold, saturation can be achieved by cooling the air (adiabatic cooling = adiabatic expansion = lifting the parcel to a higher level).
  • Combination of both of the above.

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