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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What is the strongest observed static stability in the troposphere?

I know that typical values for the Brunt–Väisälä frequency, $N$, are of the order $10^{-2} \mathrm{s}^{-1}$, but what is the strongest observed stability? And how deep are such strong layers? I am ...
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What is the difference between roughness length and zero plane displacement?

Both roughness length $z_0$ and zero plane displacement $d$ seemed to be defined as the height above the ground at which wind speed theoretically becomes zero. But wind speed is also supposed to go to ...
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Relationship between obliquity, antarctic circumpolar current, and atmospheric $\ce{CO2}$

Hannah's text on the biology of climate change appears to suggest that forcing due to changes in obliquity can act in opposite ways in Antarctic waters. On one hand, "Low obliquity brings cool ...
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What is the finest horizontal grid spacing that Eulerian grid-cell air-dispersion models should use?

My colleagues run the Advanced Research Weather Research & Forecasting (WRF) model in predictive mode, and then test the skill of the model anywhere from 12 - 84 hours out from the initialization ...
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How is there enough $\ce{O2}$ in the atmosphere to breathe if you are in a desert with no plants?

Humans depend on $\ce{O2}$ for breathing. The source of $\ce{O2}$ is photosynthesis by plants or cyanobacteria in the ocean. How is it, that when people travel through deserts or the Arctic / ...
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What type of clouds are these?

I would appreciate some help in identifying these clouds: This was taken on a commercial plane flying between Hong Kong and Japan on the 31st of March around 2pm. I tried looking up cloud types but ...
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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 ...
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504 views

Why don't all living beings die at night due to lack of oxygen?

During the day plants photosynthesize and give out oxygen through stomata. But during the night, when half of the planet is dark, half of the earth's trees/plants consumes oxygen to survive. At that ...
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Quantitative mapping of air pollution Sifakis and Paronis

I am reading this paper about deriving AOT and I have found this ...
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1answer
420 views

Website that contains the maps of atmospheric pressure and wind speeds

Is there a website that contains the maps of atmospheric pressure and wind speeds for specific climatic events such as hurricanes day after day ?
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What would the climate be like on an Earth-like planet if it had only one convection cell per hemisphere?

Earth has three convection cells per hemisphere. These are the Polar cell, Ferrel cell and Hadley cell. These create the trade winds, westerlies and polar easterlies which control many aspects of ...
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Remote Sensing System (RSS) historical atmospheric data continually updated

Does anyone know why every month there are updates to the RSS historical atmospheric data? How can data that is 10 years old need adjusting every month? For instance, here's the difference in data ...
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What atmospheric radiative effects, if any, do contrails cause?

First of all, this question is not about the conspiracy theory based chemtrails as in the linked question, from the answers there and from the question Equation for predicting contrail formation I ...
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234 views

What is the mass of our planet's atmosphere, hydrosphere, and cryosphere combined?

What is the mass of our planet's atmosphere, hydrosphere, and cryosphere combined? How accurate can our estimates be?
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Optimal vertical coordinate for complex topography

There are plenty of choices in models in so far as choice of vertical coordinate is concerned for meteorological models. Five that I know of: The sigma coordinate system - Hybrid coordinate system(...
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Confirmation of historical El Niño events

As this year's boreal summer monsoon draws to a close interest automatically centers around forecasts for next summer's monsoon and the likelihood of possibly another El Niño event. This brings about ...
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Why is Venezuela so dry?

I'm trying to understand why the summer (January) precipitations in Venezuela are so low in the central and southern parts of the country as well as in eastern Colombia. The most plausible explanation ...
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948 views

What causes the colors seen during a sunset / sunrise?

What causes the typical red, pink or orange colors seen in sun-rises and sun-sets? How come the sky doesn't just turn a darker blue?
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Main sources of $\ce{CO2}$ emission to the atmosphere

What are the main sources of $\ce{CO2}$ emission to the atmosphere? I know that the answer would probably be from the electricity sector and transportation but wouldn't most of the carbon dioxide ...
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Weekly atmospheric or oceanic oscillation within Arctic region

I'm in the middle of writing my Master's thesis. I've analyzed Ocean Bottom Pressure (OBP) signals derived from observations by the GRACE satellites.These observations are able to reproduce sub-...
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What is the height above ground of NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis 1 variables?

I am confused regarding the height above ground of this data set. http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/gridded/data.ncep.reanalysis.html I have to reprocess this data set and need to know this piece of ...
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Wind profile below the aerodynamic roughness length

The vertical profile of horizontal windspeed is often given by the so-called "log-law": $$u(z)=(u^*/k)\ln(z/z_0),\ \mathrm{for}\ z>z_0,$$ which can be found here. As can be seen from the ...
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Explanation of yellow/pinkish sky? [closed]

Last night the sky suddenly went yellow/pinkish colour. It looked like someone placed a transparent yellow/red plastic over our windows. I went outside and everything looked a pink/yellow colour, ...
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Is the difference in 'Summer tanning' in the Southern Hemisphere related to the Ozone hole or are there other factors?

Many people have observed that people 'tan faster' in the Southern Hemisphere, compared to equivalent latitudes in Europe. Some Australians even say the sun is 'less bright' on a European beach. Now ...
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Why is the Ozone Layer 'hole' more pronounced in the Southern Hemisphere?

Lots of people comment that you have to use more sunscreen in Australia compared to European countries due to the hole in the ozone layer. (Even for roughly equivalent latitudes). What would cause ...
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How to calculate specific humidity with relative humidity, temperature, and pressure

I know there is this question already How do I convert Relative Humidity into specific humidity but I don't have ρws = density of water vapor (kg/m3) and ρ = density of the moist or humid air (kg/m3)....
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Why do clouds have areas of darkness instead of scattering light to produce a rainbow?

I suspect it has to do with the difference in size of a rain drop and that of the water particles in the cloud.
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How deep would the nitrogen and oxygen ocean be if cooled to liquid?

If the atmosphere were cooled to liquid, say the planet's average atmospheric temperature were reduced to 70K, how deep (above sea level - frozen oceans of water) would the resulting ocean be?
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Is the poleward migration of the maximum intensity of cyclones a result of tropical expansion or are there some other contributing factors?

In the recently published article by Kossin et al. (Nature, 2014, dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature13278), they show that there is a trend toward poleward migration of the location of tropical cyclone (...
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How to tell if a single day of weather is an anomaly or due to climate change?

I am interested in understanding how to tell if a single day of 'abnormal' weather is due to climate change or not. From my understanding, you would compare this day's weather to historical weather. ...
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Why do the dry and moist adiabatic lapse rates converge with height?

Near the surface, the slope of the moist adiabats are much steeper than dry adiabats due (as I understand it) to the the latent heat released as water vapour condenses. The difference is amplified at ...
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Winds in a northern hemisphere hurricane

In the Northern Hemisphere, do surface winds around the center of a hurricane move counterclockwise and inward or counterclockwise and outward? I'm guessing they move inward.
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Where does wind come from?

Wind is (according to Wikipedia) the flow of gases on a large scale.On the surface of the Earth, wind consists of the bulk movement of air. What forces would cause such a mass movement of air?
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Strangely bright morning twilight over Switzerland

Yesterday morning (04.11.2014) I woke up at 6:40 as usual and noticed that it was relatively bright out. I had a better look around 7 and concluded that it was definitely quite a bit brighter than it ...
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What caused a fall in atmospheric oxygen about 1.9 billion years ago?

Using chromium isotopes geochemistry, Frei et al. 2009, describe in the article Fluctuations in Precambrian atmospheric oxygenation recorded by chromium isotopes that after the Great Oxidation Event (...
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What is El Niño Modoki?

What are the characteristics that distinguishes a El Niño Modoki from a "normal" El Niño? What are the effects of El Niño Modoki on atmospheric and oceanic processes? How does it affect weather ...
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What causes the semi-annual mesospheric meteoric potassium variability?

In a recent study presented in the article First global observations of the mesospheric potassium layer (Dawkins et al. 2014), space-borne resonance fluorescence observations confirmed previous LIDAR ...
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What ozone depleting chemicals can salt produce?

According to How Long Will Life Last On Earth, 250 million years ago Siberia underwent a large a prolonged period of volcanic activity. It has been speculated that large salt deposits that existed in ...
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The differences in gases produced by asteroids impacting crystalline and sedimentary rocks

A second question inspired from How Long Will Life Last On Earth, The Manicouagan crater in Canada is one of the largest impact crater on Earth. It was created 215 million years ago, but its ...
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What causes the entrainment of atmospheric gases towards a volcanic ash/tephra plume?

I understand that volcanic ash plumes can only rise to great heights (e.g. 50km) with the help of some other processes, as the velocity of the material ejected isn't great enough to send it high into ...
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How do I prepare for the International Earth Science Olympiad?

Recently I have been selected for the National Camp of INTERNATIONAL EARTH SCIENCE OLYMPIAD of my country. How do I prepare for it? Resources, books, etc. I know there are 4 parts- geology, ...
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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 ...
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Does temperature affect partial pressure of gas dissolved in water?

I am trying to understand the behavior of oxygen dissolved in seawater. I have always been under the impression that if a gas is in equilibrium between its gaseous and aqueous forms, that it will ...
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Is it possible for a natural fluorescent mineral to glow from the sun's rays?

I have been searching certain fluorescent minerals, such as Andersonite, and all websites are saying how the mineral will glow if exposed to Ultraviolet light. Does enough ultraviolet light come ...
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Why does El Niño enhance the jet stream?

As quoted over here. This is especially interesting to me because El Niño tends to warm up the climate, and warmer climates are generally associated with weaker jet streams. El Niño has other ...
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1answer
772 views

Dry atmospheric temperature profile (dry adiabatic vs. isothermal)

I'm trying to understand why there are differing predictions of the atmospheric temperature profile. It is well established that the dry adiabatic lapse rate (DALR) is: $$ \frac{\mathrm{d}T}{\mathrm{...
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How much do anthropogenic carbon aerosols (soot) affect the atmospheric radiation budget?

Anthropogenic carbon or black carbon (BC), particularly soot, is a product of many human activities, a major one being incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons. The occurrences of soot are mainly in ...
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Noctilucent clouds and anthropogenic climate change

In reading about observing noctilucent clouds, several articles about this phenomena, such as Science Daily's Spectacular 'Night-shining' Clouds Could Be A Harbinger Of Climate Change, suggest that ...
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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 ...
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How does El Niño affect thunderstorm/tornado/CAPE activity in the central United States?

Or in other words, does it increase the amount of heat+moisture advection from the Gulf of Mexico into the Central United States? And is this increase associated with increased CAPE/tornado/...