Questions tagged [atmospheric-chemistry]

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If methane decays to $\small\sf{CO_2}$ in the atmosphere, shouldn't there be much more $\small\sf{CO_2}$?

I am trying to understand the atmospheric ppm data, specifically around how CH4 decays to CO2. This data says 2017 CH4 is about 1850ppm, and 2017 CO2 is 402ppm increasing about 3ppm/year. (https://www....
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What are the reaction mechanisms for singlet oxygen in the atmosphere?

Just as the production cycles of Ozone are dependent on the incident falling ultraviolet light and is fairly complex, I was wondering what the process of the production of singlet oxygen in the ...
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3 votes
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What is the atmospheric percentage of oxygen produced by trees and phytoplankton every year?

I know that every year carbon sinks remove ~20Gt of CO2 (about half of our emissions), and release a comparable amount of O2 , But I want to know how much O2 the carbon sinks produce annually ...
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4 votes
1 answer
140 views

Does carbon dioxide preferentially accumulate in one layer of the atmosphere?

Just as Ozone concentration peaks at around 20 km in the stratosphere, having a distribution around higher and lowers layers of the atmosphere, does the same happen for carbon dioxide or other ...
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4 votes
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How to convert $\ce{NO2}$ mixing ratio (ppmv) into $\ce{NO2}$ column density(moles/m2)?

I have a WRF-chem output with NO2 mixing ratio for 37 levels, for my analysis I need to convert it into into column density. How do I do that?
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1 vote
1 answer
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Does increased water vapour in atmosphere increase the risk of hypoxia?

I recently found that each degree of warming increases water vapour by 7% and I've also learned that the atmosphere contains (on average) between 1-5% water vapour when saturated, this confused me a ...
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When it comes the average lifetime of chemicals in the atmosphere, is the mean lifetime ~1.4427 times the half-life? As with radioactivity?

There are so many websites giving numbers for 'average' lifetimes of global-warming or ozone-depleting chemicals in the atmosphere, yet they are rarely explicit in their definition(s)... For instance, ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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How to derive the total potential energy of the atmosphere?

In one of Lorenz’s paper (I mean the meteorologists Edward Lorenz), he stated that the total potential energy of the whole atmosphere $P + I$ (means the sum of potential energy and internal energy) is ...
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Correct way to spin-up for sensitivity analysis in a Global Chemical Transport Models

In my understanding, in Global Chemical Transport Models, initial conditions are provided by spinning up the model or through previous simulation. But, can I use the same initial condition that I ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Now Mars is pulsing 3 times per night in the UV, can anyone explain these waves in simple terms? Do these waves happen on Earth?

I link below to questions on another kind of Mars pulse) Phys.org's NASA's Maven observes Martian night sky pulsing in ultraviolet light links to the new paper Imaging of Martian Circulation Patterns ...
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1 answer
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Does evaporated hand sanitizer pollute the environment?

With all the COVID-19 stuff going on, I feel the usage of alcohol-based hand sanitizers has increased many fold. I wonder what happens to all that evaporated alcohol in the atmosphere. How soon does ...
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How to convert mol/m^2 to total mass ( e.g gram, kg etc )?

I want to calculate the total $\rm{NO_2}$ amount in a year using satellite Sentinel-5p NO2 dataset. But the problem is sentinel satellite data stored in $\rm\frac{mol}{m^2}$ unit. But I have to ...
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7 votes
2 answers
919 views

Convert NO2 concentration in Sentinel-5P data from mol/m2 to μg/m3 on the ground level

Sentinel-5P satellite provides high-resolution data products on concentration levels for several atmospheric trace gases (NO2, SO2, O3 , and others), which are measured in mol/m2 within the total or ...
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3 answers
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Why isn't $\ce{H2O}$ evenly distributed in Earth's atmosphere?

I frequently read $\ce{CO2}$ have a spatially constant concentration sadly rising and at 415ppm at present. That concentration do not vary a lot spatially I think. You will find ~415ppm at Argentina ...
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3 answers
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Are atmospheric halogen oxides "supposed to be" in the atmosphere? Where do they come from?

I like to naively think of Earth's natural atmosphere as nitrogen, oxygen, argon, water, carbon dioxide and okay, some nitrogen and sulfur oxides, and again okay, a little hydrogen and methane from ...
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3 answers
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Why are atmospheric BrO and ClO important to measure by satellite?

The announcement Arianespace orbits two satellites – JCSAT-17 and GEO-KOMPSAT-2B – to support connectivity and environmental monitoring in Asia mentions GEO-KOMPSAT-2B which hosts the Geostationary ...
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4 votes
4 answers
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Have the oceans dissolved water vapour?

The oceans have dissolved gases as N2 or O2. Henry's law establishes there is an equilibrium between the atmospheric concentration of a gas and its concentration in the ocean. The atmosphere has H2O(...
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5 votes
2 answers
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Why are $\small\sf{CH_4}$ and $\small\sf{CO_2}$ levels coupled during the Pleistocene?

CH4 and CO2 levels show correlation throughout the Pleistocene: Source: trustyetverify.wordpress.com What are the reasons of this coupling?
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13 votes
3 answers
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Why have "ozone-depleting substances" led to a third of all global warming and half of arctic sea ice loss?

According to the Phys.org article "Ozone-depleting substances caused half of late 20th-century Arctic warming, says study" (emphasis added): A study published today in Nature Climate Change by ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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What is the history of atmospheric O₂ concentration?

(This is about O₂, not CO₂) How did the concentration of oxygen change? Over geologic time frames since plants began to produce it, and during the time since the carbon dioxide increase caused by ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Origin of Sulphuric Acid in the Atmosphere

I often see claims that volcanic emissions of sulphur dioxide, on Earth and on the planet Venus, creates sulphuric acid when it combines with water vapour. It doesn't. Sulphur dioxide creates ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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What portion of global warming is caused by radioactive CO2 produced from cosmic rays?

The Earth's magentic field has been weaking recently, and the sun's magnetic field has been weaking recently, and it is a known fact that when either of these magnetic fields weaken (let alone both of ...
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6 votes
1 answer
162 views

What is brown carbon?

There is a lot of interest in brown carbon in the atmospheric science community these days. There is a paper in the journal, "Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics" titled, "Black carbon or brown carbon? ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What exactly are "ambient aerosols"?

I see this term being used everywhere, but I have not been able to find a formal definition for "ambient aerosols".
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1 answer
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Which are the mechanisms of the correlation between atmospheric carbon dioxid and global warming/cooling?

In the end of glacial periods there seems to be an increasing release of carbon dioxide as the global warming increase and at the end of these global warming periods the content of carbon dioxide in ...
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Can airplanes trigger rain?

A lady was telling me that the lower clouds were contrails left from plane exhausts. I looked up and there were none I could see in the sky she pointed to Stratocumulus Clouds. I did not want to tell ...
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2 answers
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Where does molecular hydrogen in the atmosphere come from?

This figure from Wikipedia's Atmosphere of Earth shows a hydrogen fraction of 0.000055 percent by volume. Question: Where does molecular hydrogen in the atmosphere come from? Does this come directly ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Is weathering of rock a primary means of $\text{CO}_2$ scrubbing on primordial Earth?

I read somewhere that the reason Venus has a runaway greenhouse effect and Earth doesn't is because Venus failed to develop tectonic plates and instead formed a full tectonic plate enveloping the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
239 views

Stratosphere height vs. Temperature based on ozone concentration

Why does temperature increase as height increases in the stratosphere (15 km - 60 km above earth), when the ozone molecules are most concentrated at about 25 km?
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3 votes
0 answers
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The differences on the atmospheric transportation for various trace metal in atmosphere

I have known that the atmospheric lifetimes of chemical species were highly dependent on their physicochemical properties. For example, $SO_2$ might exist for 5-8 days, while $NO_2$ could only exist ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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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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1 vote
0 answers
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To what extent does lightning produced NOx end up in the atmopsheric boundary layer?

Lightning produced NO$_{x}$ (emitted as NO but quickly converted to NO$_{2}$) can be one of the major sources of atmospheric NO$_{x}$ in the tropics [1]. Estimates of emissions per flash range from 10 ...
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How is the vertical distribution of water vapor changing?

In this publication about data assimilation and observations (paywall alert) in the chapter General Concepts in Meteorology and Dynamics (by Andrew Charlton-Perez, William Lahoz, Richard Swinbank, ...
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What are the benefits of direct sun viewing spectrometer over a backscatter measuring spectrometer to quantify trace gases in the atmosphere?

I am using a Pandora spectrometer and a MAX-DOAS spectrometer to quantify the amount of formaldehyde (HCHO) present in the troposphere and stratosphere in Fairbanks, Alaska. Both the spectrometers use ...
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5 votes
1 answer
2k views

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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1 vote
1 answer
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Can the Air Mass Factor (AMF) be negative?

I am using a untraviolet-visible spectrometer to measure Vertical Column Densities (VCDs) of trace gases up to the stratosphere. It is physically impossible to have negative VCDs. I have observed some ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Does "Arctic Greening" mean an increase in the spatial extent of vegetation, an increase in particular types of vegetation, or both?

I am trying to study the impact of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) on the atmospheric chemistry of the Arctic Region which has been said to be "greening", by taking HCHO as a proxy.
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4 votes
0 answers
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Do NO2 and O3 titrate each other out in the atmosphere?

Here is a plot of the vertical column densities of NO2 and O3 from an ultraviolet-visible spectrometer in Fairbanks, Alaska. It is interesting to see that when NO2 dips, O3 rises, and vice versa. Also,...
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3 votes
0 answers
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The difficulties for the simulation of atmospheric metals

Atmospheric metals usually reside in aerosols with complex source origins. The concentrations distribution of metals especially for those with high toxicity (Pb, Cd, Ni, V) should be informative for ...
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1 vote
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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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10 votes
2 answers
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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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5 votes
2 answers
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Can I use diamonds as fossil fuel?

Aside from cultural implications (correct me if I'm wrong but artificial diamonds are not so hard to obtain, right?) diamonds are pure carbon and are more unstable than graphite. So, why not use ...
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13 votes
2 answers
288 views

How did CO₂ originate on Earth before there was life?

To start life there has to be $\ce{CO2}$. $\ce{Solar energy + 6CO2 + 6H2O -> C6H12O6 (sugars) + 6O2}$ $C_6H_{12}O_{6} + O_2 \longrightarrow H_2O + {CO}_2 + \text{Energy}$ So to start this cycle, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What's the difference between uptake and adsorption of gas into aerosols

In the area of atmospheric chemistry, I have learned that the heterogeneous oxidation of SO2 is one of the important pathways for sulfate formation. The reactions of SO2 oxidation in mineral, soot ...
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10 votes
2 answers
602 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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3 votes
1 answer
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The influence of special emissions (possibly coal mining activity) on particulate matters

Based on multiple site sampling of airborne $PM_{2.5}$ and $PM_{10}$ , the elemental concentrations of the trace elements were analyzed. I have found out in the site near surface coal mining zone ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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What controls the tendency of trace elements in different particle size fractions?

Trace element atmospheric particles are introduced from different sources, with both anthropogenic and natural origins. By analyzing the concentration levels of 18 elements in samples of $PM_{2.5}$ ...
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4 votes
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The factors should be considered to determine one specific pollutant originated from regional transportation?

Ideally, one pollutant (e.g. organic carbon, heavy metals, sulfate) should be the mixed result of local emissions and regional transportation. To quantify the contribution of local emissions is of ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What control the atmospheric lifetime of different metals in aerosols?

Background I'm analysing the metallic elements in $PM_{2.5}$ to identify their possible anthropogenic sources for the study area. A total of 19 metallic elements were investigated including dust-...
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0 votes
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calculation monocationic elements

How to calculate of the number of monocationic millimoles? If I have concentrations of: $SiO_2$, $TiO_2$, $K_2O$, $MgO$, $MnO$, $Na_2O$, etc. How can I get $Na^+$, $Mg^{2+}$, $Mn^{2+}$ ..? This is ...
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