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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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3answers
11k views

How does Earth's heat escape to space?

I know that if the sun stopped shining, Earth would lose it's heat and we'd all freeze and die. On the other hand, we don't keep increasing temperature when the sun shines because heat escapes to ...
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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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250 views

Why is the Earth's shadow blue?

After every sunset, once the sun is gone, I always enjoy seen the belt of venus rising in the other side, followed by the Earth's shadow. This is a picture I took (you will find better ones online). ...
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1answer
975 views

What causes smog to clear up on some days?

I notice that in my town sometimes the pollution/haze/smog sticks around on some days but then on others the sky can be completely clear. I don't necessarily see any difference between windy and non ...
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1answer
927 views

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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159 views

Persistence time of ozone

Ozone is formed in the upper atmosphere by ultraviolet light, and broken down by ultraviolet, spontaneous reactions and artificial pollutants among other things. Suppose there were no artificial ...
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1answer
104 views

How will climate change affect planetary waves?

You can see planetary/rossby waves in the meanders of the jet stream. In short: If an air parcel moves from warm subtropics towards the pole, it will deviate toward the east due to conservation of ...
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121 views

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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1answer
155 views

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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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?
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1answer
232 views

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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1answer
112 views

Would a global cooling event disable solar energy usage?

Imagine that we've improved the level quality, affordability, and ease of use of photo-voltaic solar, and it's use is widely distributed in the USA. We've improved the grid for power distribution, we ...
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2answers
812 views

Why is at high altitude more light from oxygen in the auroras while it is heavier than nitrogen?

In an other recent question is said that because of diffusion and thermal causes oxygen and nitrogen are mixed. Nevertheless oxygen is a little bit heavier than oxygen so it should be lower in the ...
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344 views

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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152 views

Is there a 'standard size' for volcanic eruptions in terms of gas output?

We saw recently the Iceland volcano Eyjafjallajökull produced significant gaseous output that impacted the flight paths of several planes. When we look at volcanic gas components, we see they ...
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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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343 views

What's the prospect of air quality forecasting based on machine learning?

Air quality forecasting models which are useful for atmospheric scientist and government can be built based on numerical theory or statistic theory. The first approach outline the basic physics ...
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1answer
144 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 ...
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Why are deserts hotter than other places on Earth

We all know that deserts are the hottest places on Earth, but what makes them different from other parts of the world?
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1answer
119 views

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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1k views

How to locally identify a cold front passage?

I know that the passage of a cold front affects local conditions by decreasing the temperature and shifting the winds. Some precipitation could happen as well. How do software that analyze weather ...
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300 views

How large can local surface CO2 concentration vary due to natural processes?

I'd like to have a rough idea of how large local surface CO2 concentration vary due to natural processes. For example, a purely hypothetical experiment: If I set up some CO2 monitors in a wide ...
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1answer
354 views

The difference of vertical advection and convection process for chemistry species

In atmospheric, the change of mixing ration $C_i$ of a chemical species $i$ is determined by: $\frac{\partial C_i }{\partial t} = -\bigtriangledown (VC_i)+\frac{\partial }{\partial z}(k_z\...
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How to calculate the temperature of Earth's surface

From a dissertation, I read about the greenhouse gas's effect which make the surface warmer. It says, I quote: The greenhouse effect results in an average surface temperature of approx. $14^\...
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626 views

Take all the CO2 in the atmosphere and put it into a layer on the surface of earth, how thick would the layer be?

I teach a Middle School (year 8) Geometry course and have a student attempting to answer this question. My assumptions: earth's radius is $3959 \text{ mi}$ earth is a sphere There is approximately $3 ...
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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 ...
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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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How does temperature impact the elevation distribution of orographic precipitation?

Consider the case of two weather systems of different temperatures hitting the Andes Mountains from the west: After traveling a long distance over the Pacific ocean I would expect the air in both ...
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570 views

Why does the emission of aircrafts at higher altitudes have a greater effect on the climate?

I am trying to understand the footprint of a flight. First Wikipedia says (without quoting a source): The level and effects of CO2 emissions are currently believed to be broadly the same ...
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2answers
124 views

Is pollution a contributing factor to freezing rain?

I have been to different places with nearly the same freezing temperatures, around -2°C, but only at some specific places I repetitively experienced freezing rain. One common factor at these places ...
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1answer
157 views

If the atmosphere is (very nearly) an ideal gas, how can it ever be barotropic?

A barotropic fluid is a fluid whose density is a function of pressure only, i.e. $\rho=\rho(p)$. My understanding is that, in the atmosphere, in general, the tropics are barotropic whereas the ...
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764 views

Is there a way to calculate the ground and 10m temperature from standard 2m temperature measurements?

I am wondering if it is possible at all to calculate the ground temperature and air temperature at 10m above ground from 2m measurements, or at least using data that a standard weather station ...
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286 views

What are the conditions for an ionosphere to form?

I already asked this on Astronomy SE but did not receive any answer so far: What are the prerequisites for an ionosphere to form? For example, can a planet without any atmosphere have an ionosphere? ...
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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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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.
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Is oxygen spread equally on Earth's surface?

We know that oxygen comes from trees and plants (photosynthesis), so in the jungle where there are a lot of trees you would expect more oxygen than in the desert where there are no trees. Walking in ...
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1answer
121 views

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
183 views

At what altitude do winds exert the most force?

Imagine I want to make a floating wind turbine like the Altaeros BAT, which is tethered and uses helium. What would be the best height to keep such a device deployed? I know that wind velocity ...
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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.
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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
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 ...
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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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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)
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Is the Unified Theory of Climate (Nikolov & Zeller) compatible with the AGW/GHG theory in any respect?

Nikolov & Zeller have published a paper concerning what they call The Unified Theory of Climate. https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/New-Insights-on-the-Physical-Nature-of-the-Atmospheric-...
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151 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
183 views

Why did the carboniferous period have so much atmospheric oxygen?

Even if all the carbon dioxide (which makes up less than 1% of the atmosphere) in the air were sequestered by plants, would the atmosphere not remain about 21% oxygen? Why did the carboniferous period ...
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2answers
2k views

Equation for solar radiation at a given latitude?

I'm trying to find equations that would help me determine the amount of solar radiation hitting a certain latitude on a certain planet given the following inputs: the degrees of latitude of the ...
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2answers
303 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)?
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2answers
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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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Global warming cycles

Everyone is saying we are in a global warming, an unnatural one at that because of CO2. Has there ever been a 'global warming' in Earth's history? I know that global cooling is cyclical and 'looks' ...