# 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.

422 questions
76 views

### Are El Niños stronger when there is a longer gap from the last El Niño?

E.g. see http://www.wired.com/2014/04/el-nino-effects/. I'm thinking.. In case a major El Niño event didn't happen this year, then would it only make it more likely that a stronger El Niño would ...
434 views

### What factors determine the height of the turbopause?

The turbopause separates (by definition) the homosphere from the heterosphere. What factors cause the turbopause to be where it is? Is it affected by mesopheric composition, solar irradiance, global ...
243 views

### What can we learn by studying lunar atmospheric tides?

Lunar atmospheric tides are likely insignificant for weather, although Guoqing (2005) asserts that The lunar revolution around the earth strongly influences the atmospheric circulation. They don't ...
567 views

### How do we measure (or empirically calculate) the amount of entropy in the atmosphere and oceans?

Here's a paper on the entropy budget1, where moist entropy is defined in equation (8) as $$s = (1-q_t)(C_{pd} \ln T - R_d \ln p_d) + q_t C_l \ln T + \frac{q_v L_v}{T} - q_v R_v \ln \mathcal{H}$$ ...
641 views

### How will climate change affect the entropy budget of the atmosphere?

The entropy per unit mass of moist air can be defined as $$s=(1-q_t)(C_{pd} \ln{T}-R_d\ln{p_d})+q_tC_l\ln{T} + \frac{q_vL_v}{T}-q_vR_v\ln{\mathcal{H}}$$ And in statistical equilibrium, the entropy ...
855 views

### Similarities between grand circulation solvers and mantle convection solvers

My impression is that both ocean grand circulation models (e.g. MITgcm), and Mantle Convection models (e.g. CitcomS), both use Navier-Stoke's as the governing equation. What are the other major ...
235 views

### How will climate change affect the total kinetic energy in the atmosphere?

In particular, how it will affect the eddy and zonal components of kinetic energy in the atmosphere? (I'm also curious about potential energy, though that could come in another question)
326 views

### How do we measure the total heat content contained in ocean and atmosphere?

This is similar to How is ocean heat content measured?, but here I'm thinking about the total content rather than fluxes in the content between land and ocean.
206 views

### Can the clouds on Venus and Titan be categorized in the same way as clouds on Earth?

E.g. are the clouds on Venus (and Titan) cumulus, stratus, cirrus, or some other type that isn't found on Earth?
273 views

### How will climate change affect the 3D distribution of lapse rate in the atmosphere?

The lapse rate is the rate at which temperature decreases with height. By "3D" distribution, I mean distribution across all latitudes, longitudes, and heights. Would climate change change the lapse ...
467 views

### How will cloud feedback effects on the climate change as the result of global warming?

So global warming will increase the tropospheric temperatures, which, in turn, would make the clouds higher than they otherwise would be. And higher clouds (especially cirrus clouds) tend to trap in ...
190 views

### How do Kelvin waves determine surface temperature variations?

Kelvin waves are basically waves that balance out the Coriolis force against topographic boundaries like coastlines and mountains. It seems very important in the oceans, for example. My question is ...
3k views

### What are the major differences between weather models and climate models?

Some weather models include GFS (Global Forecast System) and NAM (North American Mesoscale Model). Some climate models include CCSM (Community Climate System Model) and the NASA GISS (Goddard ...
1k views

### How do I explain why the Tibetan plateau is colder than lowlands at similar latitudes?

A common layman explanation for why does it get colder to higher elevations (considering only the troposphere here) qualitatively boils down to The Sun heats the Earth's surface and the Earth's ...
1k views

### How does the pole-to-equator temperature gradient scale with height contours?

Are the pole-to-equator temperature gradients lower at higher heights than at lower heights (like 850 mb/500 mb)? If so, why is it the case? Especially given that the zonal circulation tends to be ...
115 views

### Are certain isobar temperatures higher in mountainous regions?

So we know that the air temperature at higher elevations is lower. But is the air temperature at a certain isobar over, say Vail, Colorado, higher than the air temperature of the same isobar over, say,...
124 views

### Can we predict which annular modes existed during the time of Pangaea?

Some examples of annular modes include ENSO, NAM, and SAM. I think one of the major mysteries of them is how they formed to begin with. I'm just curious - do we have any idea of whether or not ...
7k views

### What determines how fast clouds move?

Do cirrus clouds in the upper troposphere move faster than cumulus and stratus clouds in the lower atmosphere? What about clouds associated with extratropical systems, compared with clouds in the ...
138 views

### Does El Niño increase the amount of heat that escapes into space, or does it increase the amount of heat trapped on Earth?

So we know that surface air temperatures are warmer during El Niño events (which implies that there is more heat in the atmosphere, although maybe it's possible that it also means there's less heat in ...
100 views

### Are there any quantities defined analogically to the virtual temperature, but for other gases?

The virtual temperature is a pseudo-temperature taking into account water vapour in the atmosphere in such a way, that the resulting quantity can be used with the ideal gas law and the molar mass for ...