Questions tagged [atmosphere]

The gaseous envelope surrounding the *Earth*, and retained by the Earth's gravitational field. If your question is about the atmosphere on another celestial body or is more astronomy related, please ask on Astronomy.SE.

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How does the partial pressure of oxygen relate to its concentration in water?

I've read that the partial pressure of oxygen in water will be the same as the partial pressure of oxygen in the atmosphere, but that the saturation of oxygen in water is dependent on factors like ...
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Which chemicals are most responsible for the blue sky?

Earth's atmosphere is especially good at refracting blue light, which makes the sky blue. Which gas or gasses is/are responsible for this? If some gasses in the atmosphere do not refract blue light, ...
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In geostrophic wind, what is the mechanism behind the tendency of the coriolis effect/force and the pressure gradient force to balance each other out?

I understand that it is possible for the coriolis effect and the pressure gradient force (PGF) to cancel each other out, but it appears to be a tendency (rather than just a possibility). What is the ...
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How much water is the atmosphere receiving

I was reading this Question earlier about how if water is getting lost into space and one of the answers said that (paraphrase) the Earth lost about enough water for the oceans to reduce by 12 cm, if ...
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Are there any types of winds or waves that are produced just by Earth's rotation?

Are there any types of wind or waves caused and produced only and exclusively by Earth's rotation? Not influenced by Earth rotation, but produced solely by it? In the case of waves, are Rossby waves 1 ...
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What does "red sun at night, sailor's delight" mean and is it true?

There is proverb that sounds like: Red sun at night, sailor’s delight; red sun in the morning, sailor take warning. Is it valid and if it is then what is it about?
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What is the current atmospheric concentration of $\small\sf{CO_2}$ in the atmosphere in atm (or bar)?

For some reason, I can only find the answer in ppm and I don’t know how to do this conversion.
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Does high atmospheric pressure in the atmosphere push warm air down?

The BBC ran an article Extreme weather: What is it and how is it connected to climate change that contained this graphic: Is this accurate? Does high pressure in the atmosphere push warm air down, ...
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Why is the Northern Hemisphere warming faster than the Southern Hemisphere?

Hi I just found the NOAA table. It clearly shows that the N. hemisphere has warmed much more than the southern hemisphere since 1880! https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/monthly-report/global/...
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How to calculate greenhouse effect for planet as well as for the atmosphere?

I recently found a calculation on how to calculate the greenhouse effect for Earth from another question here, but I couldn't make heads or tails of the calculations that were provided in one of the ...
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What's the effect of space launches on climate?

Do space launches warm or cool the surface temperature (admittedly, for a little bit)? This BBC article presents it as an emerging climate problem but also says If the amount of black carbon expelled ...
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Confusion about the horizontal pressure gradient force being equal to the gradient of the geopotential in pressure coordinates

I asked this in the physics exchange and thought I would ask here as well: I see many sources in atmospheric dynamics express the following: $\frac{1}{\rho}(\nabla p) = \nabla_p \phi$ For example this ...
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Mean free path and Scale height

Banks and Kockarts, in Aeronomy (Part B), has provided an illustration of the vertical distribution of the mean free path of atomic hydrogen for several thermopause temperatures (Fig. 16.3, p.84/362). ...
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Why does the camera do this and what does the sky really look like around 87,000 ft altitude?

When watching this high altitude balloon video I stumbled across a weird thing: Go to 6:08 and watch as the black sky suddenly turns to blue due to a different camera position. This is an image from ...
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Why is there a window in the absorption spectrum of Earth's atmosphere at a wavelength of 4 μm?

Looking at the Wikipedia page for absorption bands, it seems to me that there's a sizable window - i.e. a local minimum - in the graph for electromagnetic radiation absorption, as per the edited image ...
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Strange Circular Rays showing up on radar

Can anyone explain these strange rays? They seem to be pulsing in roughly the same location when you watch the radar and are always in the same circle pattern. Thanks for your input!
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How do you convert the μmol/mol units for atmospheric CO2 into CO2 mass fraction?

The Keeling curve reports CO2 in units of μmol/mol, but people's (and country's) emissions are generally reported in kilograms or tons of CO2. I would like to convert μmol/mol of CO2 in the atmosphere ...
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What does the "strength" of a circulation cell refer to?

I'm reading articles about climate models for possible exoplanets, and I'm confused as to what the "strength" of a Hadley or Ferrell cell refers to. Does it refer to wind speed? Wind force?
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divergence of static stability identical parameters

All, The static stability of the atmosphere is defined as: $\sigma =-\dfrac{T}{\theta} \dfrac{d\theta}{dp}= \dfrac{dT}{dp}-\dfrac{R}{c_p} \dfrac{T}{p}$ where: $T$ is temperature, $P$ is pressure, $R$ ...
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Where does this refractive index formula come from: $n_{1} = n - 1 = \frac{77.6P}{T} 10^{-6}$

In this equation, $n_{1} = n - 1 = \frac{77.6P}{T} \cdot 10^{-6}$ the variable P is the total air pressure and T is expressed in Kelvin. This equation describes the refractive index of moist air as EM ...
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What does the refractive index static coefficient measure and how is it derived?

From my understanding the refractive index structure coefficient $C_{n}^2$ measures atmospheric turbulence, but I'm not entirely sure as the literature seems to imply that there are slightly different ...
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What would the approx. min and max temperatures be for Snowball Earth with no atmosphere?

I saw a similar previous question on this website about the temperature of the Earth with no atmosphere. It sounds like if the Earth did lose its atmosphere we’d end up with either Snowball Earth or ...
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Is there a simple model for the interaction between greenhouse gases and infrared radiation?

I am thinking (in the simplest model) that the Earth emits $N$ photons per unit time, some proportion $p$ hit a greenhouse gas particle and will be re-emitted back towards the earth with a probability ...
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Visible satellite imagery, atmospheric anomaly (descending air) in cumulus fields?

When looking at GOES satellite imagery, in the visible channels. I have noticed these "lines" if you will, usually forms in Cumulus fields. I understand the process of the 'Mackerel sky' (...
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Cluster of cow burps now mapped; which satellites contribute to GHGSat's high-resolution maps of ppb levels of methane emission? How do they do it?

CNN's April 30, 2022 Planet-warming emissions from cow burps have been seen from space begins: The emissions were detected by environmental data company GHGSat's high-resolution satellites in ...
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How do meteorologists accurately measure outdoor air temperature? There's sunlight, local trapping of air, radiant heat, precipitation

I'd like to know how the state-of-the-art meteorological direct, localized measurements of the temperature of the air is measured. If you put a thermometer in sunlight it may read high. If you put it ...
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Clarification of dry deposition of particles

I found a formula for the dry deposition speed of particles and an electric circuit analogy to go with it. I would like some clarification on this figure: I'm mostly interested in the top right ...
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What kind of clouds did Joseph Kittinger see at 102,000 ft?

When Joseph Kittinger in Excelsior III dwelt at his peak altitude of 102,000 ft (31 km), he reportedly saw clouds at his altitude. What in the world could these clouds have been? Polar stratospheric ...
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If there was no ozone layer, would the temperature decrease all the way from sea level to the mesopause?

The temperature increase with altitude in the stratosphere is caused by the UV radiation absorbed in the ozone layer, isn't it? What if there was no ozone layer? Would temperature keep decreasing ...
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Why does the Earth's atmosphere appear to no longer follow the curvature beyond the terminator line?

I had noticed this on Google Earth and Celestia already. Here's an image from the ISS: As you can see on the horizon, at the terminator the atmosphere doesn't seem to follow the curvature any longer ...
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radar data for buoyancy measurements of cyclones

I'm sorry if I'm asking in the wrong forum. I'm a computational scientist and I do not have much physics background. I'm working on constructing machine learning models from data. Currently, I've only ...
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But what exactly is "black carbon" in the context of snow-melting particulates reaching Antarctica?

CNN's What is black carbon? The latest way humans are causing changes in Antarctica doesn't actually say anything about what black carbon is. Neither does The Guardian's Black carbon pollution from ...
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Retrieve surface values in hybrid sigma cordinate system

I need to retrieve surface values of a parameter in high mountainous region that are in hybrid sigma coordinate system. From what I have understood, hybrid sigma coordinate has three layers in the ...
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If methane decays to $\small\sf{CO_2}$ in the atmosphere, shouldn't there be much more $\small\sf{CO_2}$?

I am trying to understand the atmospheric ppm data, specifically around how CH4 decays to CO2. This data says 2017 CH4 is about 1850ppm, and 2017 CO2 is 402ppm increasing about 3ppm/year. (https://www....
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Could the Pineapple Express collide with cold air, resulting in extreme snowfall?

The pineapple express is a colloquial term for the strong atmospheric river produced by the polar jet stream, which drives excessive moisture and warmer air towards north-western North America. With ...
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In terms of atmospheric pressure, why do pressure systems move and what factors affect the general pressure of an area?

With very limited background in the physics of air and weather, this question occurred to me for no particular reason. With that in mind, a simplified answer would be much appreciated. This weatherman'...
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Potential temperature constant in a well-mixed atmospheric layer?

Why is the potential temperature, defined as $\theta = T\Big(\frac{P_0}{P}\Big)^{R/c_p}$, constant in a well-mixed layer? I understand that the dew point temperature has to be parallel to a line of ...
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Pressure vs Temperature effect on humidity

I am a bit confused about pressure vs temperature effect on relative humidity. I know that air density is decreased with altitude, which means that there is more "space" between air ...
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Is there really less diurnal temperature variation in the mountains than at sea level?

I live in the Los Angeles area, at sea level. Nearby we have tall mountains where I like to go hiking. I've noticed something strange about the NOAA forecasts, which is that the forecasts in the ...
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Why does hydrodynamic escape not change isotopic ratio of elements in the atmosphere?

One of the means of atmospheric escape is the hydrodynamic escape. I read someplace that this doesn't cause a change in the isotopic ratio of elements in the atmosphere. But if you heat a group of ...
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Is the troposphere expanding?

If the Earth's atmosphere is warming it has to expand. Can we measure an increasing thickness of the troposphere?
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Is Global Mean Surface Atmosphere Pressure changed long-term by global warming?

We know the Global Mean Temperature is increasing due to climate change. But for the Global Mean Atmosphere Pressure, can we see an obvious trend?
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Didn't they get the atmospheric layers wrong in this image and which layers are those actually?

In the following image (from this article) they claim the orange part is the troposphere, the yellow/almost white part is the stratosphere and the light blue part obviously the mesosphere while those ...
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Do surface temperature inversions only occur in valleys and natural bowls?

When you read about temperature inversions online, you mostly hear about them trapping pollution in places like Salt Lake City, which is surrounded by mountains. That seems to be the case for most ...
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How does the lack of data about the Mesosphere affect our predictive knowledge of the atmosphere?

Out of all the layers of the Earth's atmosphere the Mesosphere is the hardest to collect data and experiment on, due to it's density being too much for satellites and too little for aircraft or ...
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Do "aerosol shields" protect big emitters from the impact of their own GHGs?

Green house gases typically have higher lifetimes than aerosols and their precursors (e.g. SO2) so, as I understand it, GHGs usually spread more or less evenly across continents, no matter where they ...
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What are the reaction mechanisms for singlet oxygen in the atmosphere?

Just as the production cycles of Ozone are dependent on the incident falling ultraviolet light and is fairly complex, I was wondering what the process of the production of singlet oxygen in the ...
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Is there any measured atmospheric temperature profile made public?

I'm looking for a temperature-with-altitude measurement by a sounding rocket having gone through the tropo, strato- and mesosphere, have any such results been published after temperatures were ...
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Why is the isothermal layer being considered a part of the stratosphere rather than the troposphere or being an independent layer?

At altitudes from 12-20 km (7-12.5 mi) above the midlatitudes the temperature remains constant with altitude (minus 56.5°C in the ISA). This part is usually considered to be in the stratosphere, but ...
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Creating composite dropsonde profiles?

I am working with 13 dropsonde profiles that were launched during a field program. I have been attempting to create composite profiles of them using python, but I am a bit stuck. Here are the issues ...

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