Questions tagged [thermodynamics]

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How do higher-latitude convection cell currents (Ferrel, Polar) work?

I'm a forest ecologist and college professor who has been teaching about the Earth's convection cell circulation for many years. Explaining Hadley cells is very straightforward with differences in ...
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3 votes
1 answer
34 views

Does saturation mixing ratio change during adiabatic ascent/descent?

Does saturation mixing ratio change during adiabatic ascent/descent? I think the mixing ratio ($r_v = \rho_v/\rho_d$) is constant as long as no water vapor is condensed out, but saturation mixing ...
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How much does the biosphere contribute to Earth's entropy production?

Papers like 1, 2, etc. and the work of Axel Kleidon (e.g. 3) suggest that the the biosphere increases the production of entropy of Earth but I'd like to know if we could quantify this in a simple way. ...
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Is it possible to kickstart an hypothetical frozen earth with 0.6 ice albedo to an earth with an atmosphere, with just the sun at current distance?

Phase change of water at different pressures and temperatures tell us that with no atmospheric pressure 200 Kelvin (minus 73 Celcius) is enough to turn ice into vapor directly Wouldn't that suggest ...
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1 answer
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Why is the average 1 Bar temperature on planets with a thick atmosphere proportional to the distance of the sun?

The temperature of a planetary body in space varies with the fourth-root of the power incident upon it, this is derived from the Stefan-Boltzmann Law. This is understandable when applied to a black ...
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Equilibrium condition for Kelvin's Vapor Pressure-curvature equation

This is regarding the Correction due to 'Curvature of the drop' made by Lord Kelvin to the Clausius-Clapeyron Equation. So, the idea is that, during large scale nucleation of water vapour into cloud ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How do I find the temperature of the air mass, and how do I use a t-skew chart?

So the first problem I'm stuck on is this one: An airmass is moving down a mountain from point A to B. At A the temperature is -10 Celsius and the pressure is 890hPa. At point B the pressure is 1010 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
80 views

What is the relationship between the derivatives of specific volume and potential temperature with height?

While studying about atmospheric waves, I found a passage in my book in which a equation involved the term $$ \frac{1}{\alpha }\frac{\partial \alpha }{\partial z}$$ where $\alpha$ is the specific ...
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10 votes
1 answer
242 views

How quickly is the Earth shrinking?

Except for ice, acetic acid, bismuth and gallium and a few other things materials generally shrink when they cool and solidify, so I'm pretty sure Earth has as well. It probably wouldn't be ...
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30 votes
11 answers
11k views

Global warming - why doesn´t mankind collect heat (thermal energy) and turn it into electricity or send it to space?

Why doesnt mankind "collect" thermal energy (there has to be some way: thermal couplings, detour over chemical energy, whatever) and after it has been concentrated at one point, turn it to electrical ...
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3 votes
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How much increase in the atmospheric pressure when the global temperature is elevated by 12 C?

The deep-sea temperature was $12º$C higher $50$ My ago. I would like to know how much the atmospheric pressure at sea level had decreased and how much the water-vapour changed. One can consider no ...
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1 vote
1 answer
35 views

Does the shear modulus of silicate minerals vary significantly with changes in P and T?

I know that the bulk modulus, K, varies with pressure and temperature for silicate minerals and liquids, but what about the shear modulus? If so, is the change drastic for changes from standard ...
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How to plot orography for vertical profile of a certain variable along pressure levels in GRADS

I am using GRADS (1, 2, 3) to plot ERA reanalysis relative humidity profile for latitudinal average of 15N to 37N, and along the longitude from 40E to 130E. The orography is quite obvious and thus ...
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8 votes
2 answers
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Does Earth risk losing its oceans to space due to global warming?

I read that we are facing the very real possibility of Earth's average temperature rising by more that 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. As I understand our planet is constantly loosing ...
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5 votes
2 answers
756 views

Sensible and Latent Heat. how to separate them

I need help with latent and sensible heat. P.S: I have been through all Wikipedia and other pages that say phase change and temperature change. My Question is: if there is convection, it will take ...
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4 votes
2 answers
920 views

Why doesn't subducted earth crust melt?

If you take a look at a typical picture tectonic plate subducting under another plate, the subducting plate is always drawn as deep (seemingly tens of km) into molten rock, but the subducted part of ...
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2 votes
2 answers
710 views

what is the best way to actually make the Earth lose heat?

I know that refrigerated air just moves heat around, and creates more by using fossil fuel energy in the process. If we wanted to actually reduce the amount of net heat energy in an area on the ...
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3 votes
0 answers
127 views

Internal energy, enthalpy, and work in the atmosphere

I'm writing a toy radiative-convective atmospheric model and need to relate the heat flux convergences (either surface sensible heat flux or the radiative flux) to changes in atmospheric layer ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Please help in understanding redox buffers

I'm trying to gain a firmer conceptual understanding of how redox buffers work in petrology, specifically how oxygen fugacity influences mineral crystallization. While I understand the mathematical ...
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1 answer
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Does being under water provide any protection from a asteroid?

Does being under or on water provide any protection from an asteroid hitting the opposite side of the Earth over being in or on land or in air? Why? Will the shock wave follow the curvature of the ...
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20 votes
4 answers
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Do fossil fuels insulate the crust from the Earth's interior?

I was doing a project for my English class, and I came upon the article Energy conservation in the earth's crust and climate change. I can't view the full text of the article, but the abstract piqued ...
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1 vote
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Is there such a thing as virtual barotropic?

In meteorological terminology within dynamics, there are usually one of two unique assumptions made: Baroclinic- density is a function of both temperature and pressure : $\rho(x,y,z,t)=\frac{P(x,y,z,...
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3 votes
1 answer
263 views

A balloon falling from space?

How long would it take for a store bought rubber balloon filled in space with air to fall from space just outside the atmosphere and touch ground? Would it Pop? Added after comments: Ideally you ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Is there a table available for the maximum potential intensity of hurricanes?

The maximum potential intensity (MPI) is a computed quantity that often sets a maximum bound for maximum hurricane wind speed, though rarely, the wind speeds observed can exceed it. MPI is based off ...
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6 votes
3 answers
535 views

Is the ocean guaranteed to warm in a warming climate, regardless of whether it absorbs LW radiation?

More specifically, I've seen some discussion of this article: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/09/why-greenhouse-gases-heat-the-ocean/ which claims that the observed ocean warming ...
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3 votes
0 answers
41 views

Phase conversion of snow and ice due to irradiation versus melting

A few years ago another question touched on the relative rates of sublimation versus melting in terms of snow and snow pack disappearance. What was unusual about the answer is the huge range of ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Is this a valid semi-diagnostic equation for Omega?

Beginning with the Primitive equations governing atmospheric motion for a dry gas, primarily the ideal gas law, and the conservation of mass and energy, neglecting diffusivity. $$P=\rho R T$$ $$\...
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3 votes
2 answers
219 views

Why do buoyantly rising mantle minerals melt, yet buoyantly rising atmospheric waters condense?

In the mantle, minerals contained in buoyant plumes of rock undergo phase changes from solid to liquid (decompression melting). In the atmosphere, waters contained in buoyant plumes of air undergo ...
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9 votes
3 answers
971 views

Sea Level Rise due to Climate Change

I've been trying to make sense of the argument surrounding sea level rise and not getting very far. Those who claim that Sea Level Rise is insignificant generally assert that we have been unable to ...
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3 votes
2 answers
174 views

Elevation of Atmosphere differ?

Does the atmosphere depth (or how high the air molecules from the ground) of Earth or Mars differ gradually or can there be plumes of atmosphere that reaches into space? If I were able to travel a ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Doesn't the sublimation rate on glaciers depend on the (specific) latent heat of sublimation of water ice?

On p. 6 of this article: Bliss, A.K., Cuffey, K.M., Kavanaugh, J.L., 2011. Sublimation and surface energy budget of Taylor Glacier, Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology 57, 684–696. There is an ...
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49 votes
14 answers
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Why is the pond in my backyard not frozen when it is -15 °C (5 °F) outside?

I am in O'Fallon, Missouri and today it is -15 °C (5 °F) outside. I was taught water freezes at 0 °C (32 °F). I could understand if it was exactly 0 °C (32 °F) that the water might not be turning to ...
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8 votes
4 answers
1k views

First to Sail the Jet Stream Around the World

My questions are related to a scenario discussed on Earth Science: A huge (heavier-than-air) kite sailing in and out of the jet streams. The kite: The scenario: The assumptions: Such an airship ...
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17 votes
5 answers
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Is global warming being moderated by latent heat of melting polar ice?

I've only had a secondary education in physics, so bear with me, but with the greenhouse effect and all, wouldn't we be much hotter already if the ice melt-rate wasn't increasing, since more (heat) ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Why does it rain more at night than during the day?

I'm living near a sea, and it rains mostly and heavily at night from 11 PM to 3 AM. The weather is mostly clear during daytime. Air is generally cooler at night, and cool air holds less moisture ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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The Role of the Antarctic Circumpolar Vortex & Ocean Current in Keeping Antarctica Frozen

An offshoot from the question how does Antarctica stay frozen? Do the Anatarctic circumpolar vortex and circumpolar ocean current play a role in keeping Antarctica frozen?
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11 votes
3 answers
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How does Antarctica stay frozen?

Antarctica receives heat from the Sun every day, so how does it stay frozen? I have some thoughts about the answer but I'm unsure of whether it is correct; I hope people here can clarify. My idea: ...
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34 votes
3 answers
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How does anthropogenic heating affect global warming?

Anthropogenic-sourced greenhouse gases are commonly cited as the main source for human-caused climate change. However, something that I never see discussed is the actual heat produced by human ...
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5 votes
2 answers
381 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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11 votes
2 answers
758 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 $$ s = (1-q_t)(C_{pd} \ln T - R_d \ln p_d) + q_t C_l \ln T + \frac{q_v L_v}{T} - q_v R_v \ln \mathcal{H} $$ ...
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