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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1answer
189 views

Which particles are classified as PM2.5? How exactly is this defined?

Question When discussing "PM2.5", is there any standardized understanding of which particles are or are not included? Is it everything that's 2.5 microns and smaller? Or Everything between 2.5 and 0....
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How do current pollution levels in Los Angeles compare to the 1970s?

As I understand it there are two key kinds of air pollution: ozone and fine particles. Are there any long-term data series that chart average ozone levels and/or fine particulates over time going ...
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Is it true that a butterfly flapping its wings can result in a tornado in a distant location?

I have heard that extreme storm events can be caused simply by a butterfly flapping its wings somewhere in a distant location. Is it true that such a small disturbance in the air in one location can ...
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Why doesn't the 71% water of the earth dry or evaporate?

Perhaps a simple question, we know 71% of the earth's surface contains water as oceans. If Earth's age is 4.543 billion years, then I guess it should be decreased with drying or should have been dried ...
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regression map vs correlation map

What is the exact difference between regression and correlation maps? I know that they are often used in climate science but which is the difference in the information they provide? Here an example I ...
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What is the steepest surface that can hold snow?

I know it depends on the type of snow (dry or wet) and the rougness of the surface. I'm looking for an approximate rule of thumb answer. Assuming a reasonably smooth surface, at what angle it's likely ...
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What causes clouds to appear blue?

In a thunderstorm cloud about sunset time, I saw these clouds, including some (in the upper right) that were a unique shade of blue. I don't think I've seen clouds quite that color before. I tried ...
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3answers
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How does anthropogenic heating affect global warming?

Anthropogenic-sourced greenhouse gases are commonly cited as the main source for human-caused climate change. However, something that I never see discussed is the actual heat produced by human ...
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What is the fastest the Earth has ever spun?

How fast can the Earth rotate and support life? In prehistoric times, dinosaurs were so massive that archeologists wonder how they were not crushed under their own weight. Could a faster spinning ...
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Is there any evidence for higher air pressures in the geological past?

I was curious about how the Earth's overall air pressure has varied over time, and tried to take a look around the internet. However, Google pops up a lot of sites with questionable science proposing ...
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How closely related is surface air temperature to pressure?

Obviously with a given mass and volume of air, pressure is directly proportional to temperature. However, I would expect the total mass of air within a column of atmosphere to vary over time, due to ...
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Where does the sky's blueness come from; at what altitudes is it being produced?

Rayleigh scattering (mostly) results in a blue sky (Diffuse_sky_radiation) as seen from Earth's surface. Go up in a plane to cruise altitude and the sky gets noticeably blue-er, and then darker. The ...
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What was the density and composition of Earth's atmosphere during the Cretaceous warmest period?

There was time during the age of dinosaurs when the polar regions were ice free. The earth was obviously much warmer but a run-away greenhouse effect did not occur. This was most likely because the ...
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What are the composition and pressure of the exosphere?

I've read that the pressure and temperature are different - how different are they, and does that affect the atmosphere's composition?
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Where does molecular hydrogen in the atmosphere come from?

This figure from Wikipedia's Atmosphere of Earth shows a hydrogen fraction of 0.000055 percent by volume. Question: Where does molecular hydrogen in the atmosphere come from? Does this come directly ...
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Model impact of atmopsheric circulation changes on precipitation dD of a region

I'm looking to model the impact of broad scale atmospheric circulation changes on the hydrogen isotope ratio of precipitation for a given region. As an example, what impact does a high pressure system ...
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Why are there no CO2 snowfalls on Earth?

The CO2 phase diagram shows that at atmospheric pressure and about -78 °C temperature CO2 becomes solid: Wikipedia confirms this: At 1 atmosphere (near mean sea level pressure), the gas deposits ...
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2answers
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Equation for solar radiation at a given latitude?

I'm trying to find equations that would help me determine the amount of solar radiation hitting a certain latitude on a certain planet given the following inputs: the degrees of latitude of the ...
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Why did the carboniferous period have so much atmospheric oxygen?

Even if all the carbon dioxide (which makes up less than 1% of the atmosphere) in the air were sequestered by plants, would the atmosphere not remain about 21% oxygen? Why did the carboniferous period ...
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How temperature anomaly are measured

Temperature Anomaly is the measure used to show that the earth is warming. The formula for temperature anomaly involves in the subtraction of average temperature measurement over 30 years considered ...
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953 views

What causes a rainbow, its colours and its shape?

What is the cause of rainbows? Do they appear due to rainfall or any other natural phenomenon. What makes it form a semi-circle in the atmosphere and its colours?
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What is the cause of the jet streams?

Jet streams are fast-flowing currents of air in our earth's atmosphere. An enormous amount of energy is necessary to keep a jet stream going. Where does this come from and why?
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Polar Ice caps are melting? Questions on enviromental impact

The polar ice caps are melting at a significant rate partly due to the albedo effect, releasing greenhouse gas-methane into earth’s atmosphere. At the same time we are logging our forests for ...
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Is volume of air increasing as CO2 levels increase?

CO2 levels are increasing, they have crossed 400 ppm, which means that of every million gas molecules in the air, 400 are of CO2. It has been increasing. Does that mean the total volume of air in the ...
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At what rate does Earth's atmosphere shed heat into space? [closed]

If we had a heat bank account (the atmosphere) + heat cash supply (ice) + heat debt (the oceans) could governments find a way to balance our heat economy that doesn't kill ...
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The atmosphere and the dispersion of greenhouse gases

I have been researching everywhere. At what level of the atmosphere do carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases occur? I can't get a straight answer and am frustrated...
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Would the enthalpy of fusion for melting ice fields be a causative factor for colder winter weather?

Would the enthalpy of fusion for melting ice fields be a causative factor for colder winter weather? As an example, NASA estimated the annual loss of the Greenland ice field 2002-2013 as more than ...
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The Tambora eruption caused the “Year without a summer”. How much would such an eruption today affect the output of solar pv on a global scale?

Are there any estimates for the reduction of global solar insolation at the Earth's surface that a Tambora scale eruption would bring? If our electrical power generation became heavily reliant on ...
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777 views

Understanding a diagram of Earth's radiation balance

Trying to understand this image. Can someone tell me if I have the right reasoning here: Sun has 100% SW shooting to earth 30% of that 100% is reflected by clouds 70% remains Of that 70%, 45% of that ...
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1answer
681 views

What is the difference between radiation balance and the global energy balance?

Looking at two diagrams below, they seem to depict the same system. How are they different? Why one is a radiation balance model and the other a global energy balance model? RADIATION BALANCE MODEL: ...
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1answer
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How much water is the atmosphere losing to space?

Up until recently, I was under a (wrong) impression that the amount of planetary cumulative water resources was finite as I believed its escape from the atmosphere was impossible. I believed that, ...
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1answer
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Why do anticyclones bring clear skies in summertime?

It's obvious that in summer anticyclones bring hot weather. But why clear skies? Heat evaporates the moisture and should lead to the cloud formation, shouldn't it?
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1answer
478 views

What is the smallest and largest cloud? [closed]

When is a cloud too small to be considered a cloud? What is the largest cloud officially on record?
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Weight vs. Mass of Clouds

I came across a statement online that said that an average cloud has a weight of 1 million pounds. My main question is, does a cloud actually have weight on Earth or was the term "weight" a colloquial ...
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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 ...
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Can spraying sulphate particulates in the upper atmosphere to lower Earth's temperature have side effects?

According to Geoengineering treatment stratospheric aerosol injection climate change study Planes spraying tiny sulphate particulates into the lower stratosphere, around 60,000 feet up. The idea ...
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2answers
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Where is the calmest place on Earth?

I have done some research online, and I've found out that Antarctica has the calmest winds (lowest maximum wind speed) recorded on Earth. However, it is uninhabitable for human life. Other very calm ...
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1answer
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Is there a 'standard size' for volcanic eruptions in terms of gas output?

We saw recently the Iceland volcano Eyjafjallajökull produced significant gaseous output that impacted the flight paths of several planes. When we look at volcanic gas components, we see they ...
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What is the CO2 concentration by altitude and why?

Here is a measurement of CO2 concentration by altitude measured by aircraft:(from Pulsed airborne lidar measurements of atmospheric CO2 column absorption) Is this the usual vertical structure of CO2? ...
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Does airglow intensity systematically change during the night?

Airglow is caused, among other factors, by recombination of atoms ionized during the day. This makes me think that during the night concentration of these ions should reduce, lowering intensity of ...
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1answer
574 views

How big does a lake have to be to have its own Sea Breeze?

How big does a body of water need to have a sea breeze? Is there a chart on sea breezes wind speed that include lakes? Could a circular lake create enough sea breeze to create a wind vortex in the ...
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1answer
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How to strong winds cause baroclinic intensification in the upper ocean?

Below is an excerpt from The Biology of the Indian Ocean, Bernt Zeitzschel, Sebastian A. Gerlach The more vigorous atmospheric and oceanic circulation during the SW monsoon causes not only the ...
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Electricity in clouds and induced magnetism

This is well known to everyone that clouds carry electric charges and cumulonimbus clouds contain huge amount of electricity. It is also known from Maxwell's equations that moving particles induce ...
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1answer
128 views

Do HAARP-like programs have effects on climate? [closed]

Military powers like USA, Rusia and China have programs to heat through electromagnetic waves the Ionosphere. HAARP supposedly is a research program, but run by part of the military of US (Air Force ...
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1answer
256 views

Do solar storms affect Earth's weather?

Solar storms have a direct effect on Earth, creating charged particles. What are the direct and indirect effects of large solar storms on Earth's atmosphere? Do solar storms affect Earth's weather?
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Are there any consequences to carbon capture and storage that also sequesters oxygen?

A big argument for carbon capture and storage is true reversal; while switching to renewable energy and eliminating CO2 emissions is a must, it will not reverse the massive movement of carbon from ...
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1answer
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Does the magnetic field really protect Earth from anything?

Many topics discussed here in Earth Science SE, tend to be about facts that are of consensus in the scientific community but not widely accepted by the general public. Instead, this one is widely ...
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Is the color of the sky the same everywhere on earth?

Is the color of the sky at noon (local time) in, say, NY, Buenos Aires, London, Nairobi, Sydney, New Delhi and Tokyo the same? I choose the specific time of noon to exclude the twilight colors of the ...
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How can I convert a CERA-20C total precipitation dataset of "monthly means of daily means' (edmo) to mm/month?

I downloaded an edmo dataset of 1 ensemble of the cera-20c model. I want to convert these data, which are in [m], to mm/month. Further specifications: 0.125/0.125 grid, -29/30/-30/31 area. Example of ...
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How much energy is required to hold the earth’s atmosphere up against the forces of gravity?

My understanding is that the earth’s atmosphere was originally formed by the molten earth itself, and the sun was 70% weaker that present. Then as the earth cooled the energy required to keep the ...