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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119 views

Could dust blown up by a comet impact render the air unbreathable?

In the docudrama Super Comet After the Impact, the impact is shown to have made the air within a few miles of it unbreathable, and humans need gas masks to breath in this area. How realistic is this? ...
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How to predict when contrails are likely to form over a specific location using public data?

I saw the image below used as a click-attractor to an unrelated story about tourism, but found a larger version here. Contrails, or water condensation trails happen when planes pass through the ...
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Why do tethered aerostats have lower persistence than stratospheric balloons?

We have been thinking of using Aerostats/Balloons for an environmental monitoring project in our university. We have been considering 2 options: Tethered Aerostats (which fly upto 1 km) and ...
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Is there an atmospheric hydrogen cycle?

There are various physical, chemical and biological processes that free up hydrogen from molecules (often hydrocarbons or water). Once in the atmosphere, the hydrogen is lost to space (the Earth's ...
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Given a 3 box model of the atmosphere,determine fraction of mass transport from lower layer

P = 300mb, Pot. Equiv. Temp = 375K P = 600mb, Pot. Equiv. Temp = 325K P = 900mb, Pot. Equiv. Temp = 350K (surface) Given that a deep convective plume sends a portion of the bottom layer to the ...
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Given only pressure and potential equivalent temperature, can I determine other variables?

I am given a 3 box model of atmosphere where each layer is 300 mbar thick, and the potential equivalent temperature of each is given (from bottom to top - 350K, 325K, 375K). Am I able to determine ...
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What are the environmental effects of leaking hydrogen from large-scale energy storage mechanisms?

I recently have calculated the total cost of an energy system that is based on wind power as the primary power source and hydrogen as the energy storage mechanism. The total system costs are ...
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1answer
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Technical term for percentage of CO2 remaining in the atmosphere

I have a theoretical exercise where I calculated the amount of CO2 that is released to the atmosphere per year (4.6 ppm). We assume that the relative increase of CO2 is 2 ppm, hence the percentage of ...
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Why does warm air “hold” more moisture?

It is often explained that warm air holds more water because warmer water is less likely to condense. This and other explanations just seem to be circular arguments. If the warmer air picks up enough ...
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124 views

What were CO2 levels in Carboniferous?

What were CO2 levels in early and late Carboniferous, an what were mean levels? Who are the sources for these figures?
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Will a country that cares for its environment be affected by climate change due to other countries' activities?

Let's say my country is very environment conscious, has lots of trees and animals, protects the forest, uses clean/green energy, and has all kinds of environment friendly policies you can imagine. ...
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Over which surface will the albedo changes due to clear and overcast skies have the greatest impact?

With respect to climate change, will the changes in albedos due to clear skies and overcast skies have the greatest impact on incoming solar radiation over ocean, sea ice, or land? My thoughts: On a ...
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Clarification: Effective temperature, emission temperature, and effective emission temperature

This terminology is quite confusing to me. Are effective temperature, emission temperature, and effective emission temperature the same thing? Where does this occur, at the surface, or at some ...
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Optical Thickness of the Atmosphere

Homework question: Show that the absorption optical thickness of the atmosphere at pressure $p$ (i.e., between $p$ and the top of the atmosphere) as a function of the mixing ratio of the ...
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Do man-made machines take natural Nitrogen out of the atmosphere and in turn cause global warming?

I read in Wikipedia that, "Natural Nitrogen, Dinitrogen forms about 78% of Earth's atmosphere. Dinitrogen is the most abundant uncombined element in the atmosphere." Do man-made machines destroy the ...
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373 views

Ozone layer and radiation absorption

The ozone layer if compressed to a minimum on the earth's surface can absorb infrared radiation. How is it possible that the same molecule can absorb radiation of two different wavelength with ...
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Appearing of Weird Cornered Cloud in Sky?

It was about 6'o Clock in the Evening. Suddenly I noticed A wierd Cloud in the middle of the sky. Is there Natural Phenomenon responsible for creating such prefect clouds? & What it is? or ...
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Does the global temperature vary daily (hotter and colder days)?

Earth's current average global temperature (i.e. including hot deserts and cold polar caps) is reported be somewhere between 14°C and 16°C (depending on sources and methods). This temperature varies ...
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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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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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1answer
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Why is the upper atmosphere brighter than the lower atmosphere in some photos from space?

In most photos from space, the atmosphere gradually fades away from pretty bright blue to essentially black, as you move away from the Earth surface, such as can be seen in this photo of the Earth ...
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1answer
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Where on Earth does the atmosphere have the most $O_2$ concentration?

Is there a map that shows the average oxygen concentration in the atmosphere? Seems to me that it would be where the most plants are but I wonder if population and industry make a difference in oxygen ...
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Can cloud seeding make a much hotter summer, at a middle latitude, at the area that receives less water than expected?

My country, Spain (40ºN), receives clouds from the Atlantic Ocean during the summer. Our most visited beaches are on the Eastern coast, which sits on the Mediterranean Sea, there is typically more dry ...
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How big does something have to be to cause an atmospheric event upon entry to the Earth's atmosphere?

The question is about a foreign object, ranging from an asteroid to a spaceship. How large does it have to be in order for its presence to start messing with the weather patterns, causing the like of ...
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How long is the ISS visible from Earth? [closed]

If I‘d lie on the ground and the ISS became visible, how long could I see it (min/sec), if the circumstances were perfect and I didn't change my position?
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How do 'greenhouse gases' let heat in, but not let it out?

That honestly doesn't make any sense to me. How could heat pass through a gas one way but not the other? Its not like our upper atmostphere has a bunch of doors that can only open one way. To me, that ...
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If the nitrogen and oxygen in our atmosphere were doubled would the pressure double?

As to P=ρgh, would the height of the atmosphere be affected by an increase in nitrogen and oxygen mass or would the height remain constant? Thanks!
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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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Why is the sky blue? Due to the ozone layer or due to ''light scatterization in atmosphere''? [closed]

I've found several answers to the question of why the sky is blue. Basically the title. Elaborate however you want...
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Why is potential vorticity so emphasized in technical work, but often neglected in maps on weather websites?

When I was first introduced to potential vorticity, I was told that it is a very important tool for meteorologists to learn. Sure, it solved a simple problem in dynamics, but it wasn't apparent to me ...
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Where on Earth has the least changing temperature? [closed]

Is there a map that shows places where the temperature changes the least season to season? Is there a place on Earth where the temperature is the most constant in a comfortable range?
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What happens in the upper air when the altitude of the tropopause changes?

I know about the seasonal changes of the altitude of the tropopause as well as the differences by latitude. I thought the change at one location was a very slow process, but I just found upper air ...
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1answer
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How to calculate the solar radiation at any place, any time

The solar radiation is one of the important factors controlling the formation of $O_3$, and thereby impacting the levels of various secondary species in the atmosphere. However, in the campaign of ...
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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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1answer
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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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what is the best way to actually make the Earth lose heat?

I know that refrigerated air just moves heat around, and creates more by using fossil fuel energy in the process. If we wanted to actually reduce the amount of net heat energy in an area on the ...
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Why is the night very bright in the Himalayas?

Some years ago I had the chance to climb the Himalayas. Not the Everest of course, but the Annapurna Base Camp which is about 4km above sea level. During the night of the stay I went out to do some ...
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Causes of fluctuations in atmospheric oxygen in past 300 Mya

I have two questions based on the history of atmospheric oxygen levels depicted below. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sauerstoffgehalt-1000mj2.png. The notes below the chart explain ...
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Difference between sulfuric clouds and sulfuric haze (on Venus)?

In a conversation in comments below this answer to the question in Space Exploration Could we see the surface of Venus after the explosion of a H-bomb in its atmosphere? we're speculating about what ...
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Calculating exoatmosphereic flux and figuring out amount of SW Earth will absorb at an albedo of 0.3?

Am working through two problems which I am not sure if I am handling correctly. Here they are: a. If the Earth decreases its distance from the sun by 0.03 Astronomical Units (AU), what will be ...
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Are there any flights that fly east both from origin to destination and from destination to origin?

Flying east is faster so I expect that if the destination are on opposite points or closer, that the flights between them always be to the east. For example Los Angeles to Delhi. I see the fly is ...
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Why does the Earth have six atmospheric bands? [duplicate]

I know that the earth has atmospheric banding like the gas giants. What I want to know is why six in specific? What physical processes or equations determine the number of atmospheric bands on a ...
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1answer
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Why is the skyline hazy on the Greek islands?

I've recently been to Crete, Santorini and am currently on Ios. I've noticed that there is a hazy-ness when I look out on the sea: there's no definitive line where sky meets sea, they just blur ...
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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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Feedback loops between soil chemistry and plant growth

Would the dynamic between soil nitrogen and plant growth be a positive or negative feedback loop I think it is a negative feedback loop because as soil nitrogen increases then plant growth increases, ...
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How to analyze this data showing atomospheric CO2, CH4 and tempertures obtain from an ice sample?

Here is the chart: My questions are: Is the atmosphere in equilibrium over this record? how would I determine what the maximum and minimum values for each record is (approximation). Is there a ...
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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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How to calculate residence time for an element in a reservoir?

The residence time for an element in a reservoir can be calculated by the reservoir size at steady state divided by the inflow or outflow rate. Given the following diagram, I need to calculate the ...
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A rough picture about the ground-level ammonia (NH3)

Ammonia is the only alkaline gas in the atmosphere. It is one of the key features to control the acidity of aerosols and the formation of ammonium salts. In the environment of $NH_3$-rich and $NH_3$-...
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What would happen to the Subtropical Ridge/Horse latitudes and Polar front if the Earth was rotating 5% faster?

Would they move towards the Equator/Poles? Stay in the same place? What about if the Earth was rotating 10% slower? Is there a rotation speed for Earth which will lead to 4 wind belts instead of 3 ?