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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7
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1answer
465 views

Pressure as a function of altitude

My city's altitude is almost 950 meters, yet the weather stations provide a read of 102.14 kPa which is around 1 atm! Shouldn't the pressure be a function of elevation? I doubted that the data ...
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3answers
12k views

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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1answer
736 views

Resources for learning the technical parts of atmospheric modeling

I'm a computer/atmospheric science undergrad and I'm trying to get into atmospheric modeling. Any recommendations for resources to get going or to learn about approaches? I can handle fairly technical ...
14
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1answer
898 views

How is carbon distributed among the atmosphere, the oceans, the biomass and the unburnt fossil fuels?

In relation to my other question about carbon cycle and climate change, i would like to know some estimates of the carbon distribution among the atmosphere, the oceans, the biomass and the unburnt ...
7
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1answer
161 views

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 ...
5
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2answers
329 views

Pressure of condensation of an air parcel

If a parcel of air ascends adiabatically, would condensation be reached at the lifting condensation level (LCL) or the level of free condensation (LFC)?
26
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4answers
12k views

What is the origin of the dominant atmospheric nitrogen content in Earth's atmosphere?

Comparing the atmospheric compositions of Earth with our nearest neighbours: As the table shows, the Earth's atmospheric nitrogen concentration is 78%, compared to 3.8% for Venus and 2.7% for Mars ...
9
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1answer
704 views

What are the causes of lower UV radiation at lower elevations?

After recently visiting the Dead Sea in Israel and not getting any skin burns, I was wondering about the reasons for that. Searching the literature, it seems that the UV radiation is indeed lower in ...
9
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1answer
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A parcel of air in an isothermal layer

I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out a solution to this problem: There is an isothermal layer of air which has a temperature of 0 °C extending from the surface to 1 km height. A parcel is 0.5 °C ...
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2answers
1k views

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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3answers
155 views

coriolis force in atmospheric/ocean modeling

The Coriolis force is not a real force, but depending on the reference system and how it does refer to an inertial system. Could this Coriolis force as widely used in atmospheric/climate modeling be ...
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2answers
933 views

How do I calculate Per capita $\ce{CO2}$ emissions?

I need to find the per capita $\ce{CO2}$ emissions for Canada in 2010 (expressed in kg/day). I know that Canada had $\ce{CO2}$ emissions of 0.55 (Gt) and a population of 34 million in 2010. I am just ...
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3answers
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Why is there a seasonal cycle to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere?

I'm doing some homework on the increase of $\mathrm{CO}_2$ in the atmosphere. On one of the graphs it shows the amount of $\mathrm{CO}_2$ peaks in May and has a low in November. Why is this? Shouldn't ...
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3answers
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Is the atmosphere becoming thicker?

Is the atmosphere getting more dense with various gases, car pollution (200 million cars just in North America), factory pollution, more water vapor and denser cloud cover? If so could a "thicker" ...
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3answers
973 views

Regarding the melting glaciers and icebergs, why isn't the extra water vapor in the atmosphere mentioned in discussions of global warming?

As is reported on the major news networks, many glaciers and big icebergs are melting, which reportedly causes a tremendous increase in the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. Now a lot of ...
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1answer
122 views

Are there any high-resolution urban CO2 concentration data sets?

I gather that higher-than-ambient CO2 "domes" can form above urban areas, enhancing other local air pollution. Are there papers or datasets of average CO2 concentrations down at ground level (say 0-20 ...
21
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1answer
694 views

Significant difference between averaged wind speeds and averaged wind power density, for wind generation modelling?

Climate models outputs, particularly the reanalysis datasets, output wind speeds as zonal and meridional averages for the modelled time period (typically 1, 3 or 6 hours). So we get a 2-dimensional ...
17
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1answer
673 views

To what extent is hydroelectric power really renewable?

One of the more widespread "renewable" ways of generating power is by harnessing hydropower, i.e. by exploiting the movement of falling or flowing water. Some of the most commonly seen implementations ...
8
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1answer
128 views

Why does the Northern polar vortex usually have two centers?

From http://glossary.ametsoc.org/wiki/Polar_vortex polar vortex A planetary-scale mid- to high-latitude circumpolar cyclonic circulation, extending from the middle troposphere to the stratosphere. ...
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
9
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1answer
486 views

How can I downscale daily values of relative humidity?

I have a dataset (The ISIMIP interpolation of CMIP5 output) that contains daily values of the following variables: ...
25
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2answers
764 views

Why do some planets have lots of $\mathrm{N_2}$ and others none?

Earth, Titan and Venus all have large amounts of $\mathrm{N_2}$ in their atmospheres. (In the case of Venus it's a small proportion, but Venus' atmosphere is very thick, and the total mass of $\mathrm{...
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1answer
175 views

What is the time-lagged correlation between historical $\ce{CO2}$ records from ice cores and global temperature records?

Is there a time-lagged correlation with CO2 levels preceding temperature? Does the time lag change from time to time?
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0answers
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Does the time-lagged correlation between $\ce{CO2}$ and ocean temperature have a shorter timelag than the one between $\ce{CO2}$ and air temperature?

I'm talking about evidence from both proxy records in the last 50,000 years (if possible) and the recent past (if also possible)
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3answers
836 views

How good were climate models of the 1990s at predicting the global temperature trends of the 2000s/2010s?

Was there a significant bias between the ensemble of climate models and the long-term temperature trends? What about spatial patterns?
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1answer
66 views

Are there any studies comparing different climate models on how well they've forecasted the climate in the past? [closed]

E.g. IGCM, HadCM3, HadGEM1, GFDL CM, CGCM, CCSM, CFS, and ECHAM.
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1answer
3k views

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.
11
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1answer
224 views

Synoptic weather predictibility under climate change scenarios

Under climate change scenarios, it is quite certain that high latitude regions will experience more warming than at low latitudes. For example, in winter the reduced area of sea ice and snow cover ...
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2answers
2k views

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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5answers
4k views

How to reduce the atmospheric temperature artificially?

Is there any gas/substance which absorbs/reduces atmospheric temperature? Ozone filters UV rays from the sun light and allows in infrared rays. In my knowledge these infrared rays are the cause of ...
13
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3answers
704 views

Ozone gas (O₃) endurance in the atmosphere

If I release some ozone gas (O3) to the atmosphere, for how much time will it stay there in its original form? Does it change to some other form by reacting with other atmospheric constituents?
12
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2answers
576 views

How does radiogenic argon-40 get into the atmosphere?

There's an awful lot of argon in the atmosphere: about 0.93% of the atmosphere is argon[1], making it the third-most abundant gas after N2 and O2. As I understand it, most of it is produced by the ...
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0answers
88 views

Is the number of high/low pressure regions different at low pressure levels at high pressure levels?

Is there a higher number of mid-latitude high/low pressure regions at 850 mb, as compared to the number of high/low pressure regions at 200 mb? And if so, why?
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0answers
104 views

What is the significance of the Vertical integral of northward kinetic energy flux?

This is a field in the ERA-Interim dataset. What is its significance, and what is it important for?
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1answer
576 views

Can thunderstorms be thought of as a heat engine?

Or in other words, can they be seen as sources of heat transport? If so, what can be thought of as the heat source, and what can be thought of as the heat sink?
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0answers
88 views

How much heat do hurricanes transport from equatorial to more polar latitudes, and from ocean to atmosphere?

And how much does this heat compare with the total fraction of heat otherwise transported from equatorial to polar latitudes, and from ocean to atmosphere?
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1answer
228 views

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/...
5
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1answer
109 views

Why is the eastern Pacific full of stratocumulus clouds, and why do they have so much variation in net radiation?

They can be seen in the diagram below (of the CERES radiation dataset - supposedly they contribute a lot to the total variance in net radiation, which is the sum of SW and LW) - just west of Peru and ...
6
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2answers
1k views

How will climate change affect the latitudinal distribution of precipitation over each latitudinal region?

In other words... How will it affect precipitation in the tropics? The mid-latitudes? And the polar latitudes? I'm interested in both the mean and variance of the precipitation.
7
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1answer
1k views

Golden and red colored light even after sunset

I heard about the golden hour, but yesterday I saw golden and red colored patches in the sky even after sunset. Why does it happen? And I would like to know more about the science behind the golden ...
15
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2answers
610 views

Will model resolution have an effect on model spin-up time?

In terms of uncoupled AGCM studies, I've seen people use periods within a decade (say, 5 years) as spin-up time, but I also see some people take tens of year as spin-up in some recent studies. So I'm ...
16
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1answer
121 views

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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1answer
2k views

Why do Earth and Venus have different atmospheres?

Venus appears to be the closest to Earth in mass, density, size, etc. - though they clearly have different atmospheres. Why do Earth and Venus have different atmospheres?
8
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1answer
610 views

How is the radiative efficiency of a given gas (like a given CFC) analytically calculated?

E.g. the gases listed at http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/tssts-2-5.html . Do they calculate them analytically or theoretically?
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1answer
97 views

Why are methane spectroscopic parameters harder to determine and relatively poorly known, compared to other Earth trace gases?

In atmospheric remote sensing of methane, a dominant source of error is the uncertainty in spectroscopic parameters. For example, in the retrieval algorithms described by Batchelor et al. (2009), the ...
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3answers
41k views

What would be the temperature of earth if there was no atmosphere?

I do know that the atmosphere protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation, warming the surface through heat retention (greenhouse effect),and reducing temperature extremes between ...
6
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1answer
89 views

What, if any, scientific value do global soundscapes have?

Seems like the Earth Day related crowd sourcing project to create the first global soundscape by encouraging smartphone owners around the world to download and use an app developed to record the ...
21
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2answers
6k views

Does Earth's air leak into space over time?

From my current understanding, Earth's atmosphere and air are held by the balance of two forces: 1. Earth's gravity and 2. Air pressure from air out to space. Is my understanding correct? So, do ...
27
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2answers
3k views

Why does El Niño only exist in the Pacific Ocean and not the Atlantic/Indian Oceans?

El Niño is associated with the weakening of the ‘normal’ pressure/temperature gradients between the western and eastern Pacific Oceans. My question is this: why does it only exist in the Pacific ...
10
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2answers
201 views

Why does the rising of high clouds due to climate change impart positive radiative feedback on radiative forcing?

As seen in the figure below. The larger the temperature difference between surface and cloud, the more positive the radiative forcing is from the cloud. So as the cloud moves up, it supposedly ...

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