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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6
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1answer
1k views

Why are most cirrus clouds present over the equator and over tropical continents?

As quoted from the AR5 IPCC report (chapter 7) here. Most high cloud (mainly cirrus and deep cumulus outflows) occurs near the equator and over tropical continents, but can also be seen in ...
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How does the lapse rate in clouds compare with the lapse rate of air?

So moisture decreases the temperature lapse rate (relative to the dry adiabat). My question is this: does a cloud decrease the lapse rate at the same rate as 100% humidity would decrease it? Or would ...
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Is global warming occuring only because of humans? [duplicate]

I learned that human activities produce gases that deplete the ozone layer, and create the greenhouse layer, which increases the world's temperature. (And seems real , now in Thailand it's 35 degree ...
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Bifurcation Scenarios in the Atmosphere

I read that the mathematical definition of bifurcation is that, at a critical value of a parameter that governs the dynamical system, the system changes to a topologically different system than the ...
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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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(How long) would Earth's atmosphere last without a global magnetic field?

The Earth's magnetic field provides an important protection against the solar wind (for example, see Wikipedia on Earth's magnetic field and references therein). Mars may have lost its atmosphere ...
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Coriolis effect and Cyclones

The Coriolis force predicts that winds in the northern hemisphere should be deflected in a clockwise pattern and winds in the southern hemisphere should be deflected in an anti-clockwise pattern. Why ...
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781 views

Why does the meandering pattern of the jet stream itself propagate?

It is well known that the jet stream follows an overall meandering pattern, but what is less well known is that this meandering pattern itself moves as a wave with a velocity much slower than the ...
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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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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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How can I estimate a 2 m temperature from / in an atmospheric model?

Numerical models of the atmosphere usually have their first atmospheric grid level well above 2 m, but the temperature at 2 m above ground level is something one often wants to calculate with such a ...
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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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How much total heat is contained in the upper layers of the atmosphere?

In particular, I'm interested in the heat contained in the stratosphere, mesophere, and thermosphere.
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 $$ s = (1-q_t)(C_{pd} \ln T - R_d \ln p_d) + q_t C_l \ln T + \frac{q_v L_v}{T} - q_v R_v \ln \mathcal{H} $$ ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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)
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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.
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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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 ...
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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,...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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Have there been any attempts to measure profiles through deep convective systems using dropsondes?

In-situ measurements in deep convective systems, tropical cyclones, etc., are difficult to perform. Few if any people would like to fly a small aircraft close to its core, and radiosondes or larger ...
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Is climate chaotic?

The atmosphere is a highly dynamical system, and exhibits many chaotical features. An operational weather forecasting model tries to model an initial value problem, in fact one of the most famous ...