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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
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 ...
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2answers
582 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 (...
21
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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
541 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?
12
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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 ...
37
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3answers
37k 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
88 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
5k 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 ...
25
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2answers
2k 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
182 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 ...
13
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2answers
179 views

Are clouds significantly easier to simulate in weather models than climate models?

Cloud forcing is still one of the major uncertainties of radiative forcing in climate modeling because there are so many uncertainties in it (and parametrizations). But also because the timescale of ...
6
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1answer
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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 ...
4
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1answer
335 views

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 ...
6
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0answers
68 views

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 ...
12
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2answers
464 views

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 ...
19
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1answer
5k views

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?
43
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2answers
4k views

(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 ...
16
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2answers
13k views

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 ...
11
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1answer
821 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 ...
23
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2answers
1k views

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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5answers
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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 ...
14
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1answer
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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 ...
12
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2answers
541 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
137 views

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.
8
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1answer
76 views

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 ...
8
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1answer
450 views

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 ...
20
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1answer
255 views

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 ...
11
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2answers
617 views

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 $$ s = (1-q_t)(C_{pd} \ln T - R_d \ln p_d) + q_t C_l \ln T + \frac{q_v L_v}{T} - q_v R_v \ln \mathcal{H} $$ ...
14
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0answers
677 views

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 ...
35
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2answers
875 views

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 ...
6
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0answers
245 views

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)
14
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2answers
367 views

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.
7
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1answer
226 views

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?
15
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1answer
322 views

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 ...
16
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1answer
481 views

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 ...
13
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1answer
191 views

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 ...
20
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2answers
4k views

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 ...
17
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3answers
1k views

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 ...
9
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
6
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1answer
116 views

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,...
9
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1answer
124 views

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 ...
12
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2answers
8k views

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 ...
9
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1answer
141 views

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 ...
9
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1answer
118 views

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 ...
14
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1answer
149 views

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 ...
22
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2answers
787 views

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 ...