16 votes
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Why are deserts mostly located on the western side of continents?

Some of the driest deserts on Earth occur in the western side of continents and they are called Coastal Deserts. Examples of such deserts are the Atacama desert (Chile, the driest desert on Earth), ...
arkaia's user avatar
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14 votes
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Is Atacama Desert cloudy or cloudless most of the year?

The Atatacma desert comprise a very large area of more than 100,000 square kilometers, that host very different climates. The main factors driving the climatic variability are the distance to the ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
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12 votes
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What are the differences between Climatology, Meteorology and Atmospheric Science?

Atmospheric science is the generic study of the atmosphere. This includes climatology, air quality, and meteorology. It is often all-encompassing. Climatology- the study of climate, the atmosphere ...
BarocliniCplusplus's user avatar
9 votes
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Long-term Wind Speed Forecasting: reality or wishful thinking?

Warning: "long-term wind-speed forecasting for generation" has (at least) two very different meanings. One refers to forecasting a distribution of wind speeds; the other refers to hour-by-hour (or ...
410 gone's user avatar
  • 4,080
9 votes

Are Ice Ages Affected by the Freezing Out of CO2 in Antarctica?

The freezing point of carbon dioxide is -78.5C. The temperature at which carbon dioxide sublimates is not a fixed value. It instead is a function of the partial pressure of carbon dioxide. That value ...
David Hammen's user avatar
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8 votes

Why are deserts mostly located on the western side of continents?

Because of the Coriolis Effect, the prevailing winds on the earth between about the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer go from the East to the West (knows as the Trade Winds). To get to the ...
foobarbecue's user avatar
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8 votes
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What are good metrics to compare climates?

The Köppen climate classification is a classic metric to classify climates: Source: Wikimedia Commons It classifies climates based on the number of months with temperature below and/or above certain ...
gerrit's user avatar
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8 votes
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Confusion with precipitation values in CORDEX MPI-ESM rcp data

TLDR; The precipitation values (and possibly some other variables; see below) need to be divided by 24. Background The global attributes of the netCDF file in the question provide an URL to a ...
daniel.heydebreck's user avatar
8 votes
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What percentage of Earth's surface is arid?

It will depend on the exact definition of "arid" and the period of time. But using the widely used and accepted Köppen climate classification, "arid" would correspond to the four climates in climatic ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
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7 votes

Is Atacama Desert cloudy or cloudless most of the year?

Atacama desert is cloudless most part of the year. Except for the litoral, where a fog from the sea goes inland. This phenomena is called camanchaca. Telescopes for astronomy are located in high ...
Santiago's user avatar
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7 votes
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"steep slope" when cold fronts encounter warm fronts: Confusing sentence in textbook

The slope is the ratio of the vertical to horizontal distance. From here "Warm fronts have a gentler slope and generally move more slowly than cold fronts, so the rising motion along warm fronts ...
f.thorpe's user avatar
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7 votes
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Why aren't diatoms' shells used as a temperature proxy, but foraminifera shells are?

Lacustrine diatoms are used extensively as reliable conventional proxies in Holocene (within the last 10,000 years) paleoclimate studies. According to this 2010 paper: (paleoclimate) Reconstructions ...
Knob Scratcher's user avatar
6 votes
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Technical term for percentage of CO2 remaining in the atmosphere

We call this the airborne fraction, although as the name suggests, it's normally expressed as a fraction rather than a percentage. Raupach et al (2014) is an (open access) example of it being used in ...
Deditos's user avatar
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6 votes
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What kind of temperature unit is "cK"?

It actually is the common centi- prefix, but applied to temperature changes in units of Kelvins rather than absolute temperatures. The research as quoted by the Daily Mail obscures this by simplifying ...
dplmmr's user avatar
  • 1,144
6 votes

What exactly is a published climatologist?

Not answering the question asked, but the underlying motivation: The level of consensus hasn't been verified by a poll. The way the 97% figure has been arrived at, AIUI, is by going through every ...
Semidiurnal Simon's user avatar
6 votes
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How does the rotation of Earth's inner core influence climate?

I have four things to say regarding this: The paper is far too new. I'm not saying the first paper is wrong (it is in fact rather interesting), but having been published yesterday, it is far too new ...
David Hammen's user avatar
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5 votes
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Interdisciplinary sciences which combine earth sciences with computer science

Pretty much all Earth Sciences combine deeply with computer sciences. In many areas where the underlying physical phenomena are not well understood, machine learning is often used, and numerical ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
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5 votes
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Climatology Career

You do not need another Bachelor's degree. After graduating with a bachelors degree in natural science, I taught high school for three years, and then went to graduate school to study air quality in ...
f.thorpe's user avatar
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5 votes
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How averaging works in GFS model from NOAA?

The GFS is a model, and the model have a given time-step equal or smaller than the time-step of the output, that in this case is 3 hours. Different processes can be computed using different or even ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
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5 votes
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Correlation and causation

Convergent cross mapping (CCM) is a recently developed tool to answer the question you've asked. It's based on tools developed in nonlinear time series analysis and dynamical systems theory. It allows ...
Z W's user avatar
  • 432
5 votes

Do cloud formations change depending on the season?

Yes. The types of clouds formed are dependent on the profile of temperature and the profile of water vapor. During the summer, there is more radiative flux, which produces more buoyancy. Hence more ...
BarocliniCplusplus's user avatar
5 votes

What exactly is a published climatologist?

Regarding Publications Published in an accredited scientific journal on climatology would seem to meet the spec. Published on some blog about the weather would seem to fail to meet this spec. I ...
Fred's user avatar
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4 votes

Correlation and causation

I can give some examples from atmospheric science: Wind and temperature in the vertical direction: as you increase in height, the temperature decreases due to the conservation of geopotential energy. ...
BarocliniCplusplus's user avatar
4 votes
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CMIP5 Historical experiments, what do they mean?

The CMIP5 experimental protocol is documented at https://cmip.llnl.gov/cmip5/docs/Taylor_CMIP5_design.pdf The historical experiment for a model spans model years 1850-2005 and is initialized from a ...
K. Lindsay's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Do "aerosol shields" protect big emitters from the impact of their own GHGs?

Your general line of thinking is correct. However, here are a few things that make the whole concept somewhat more complicated: It is widely accepted that the general tendency of "global dimming&...
Pat's user avatar
  • 362
4 votes
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How do you convert the μmol/mol units for atmospheric CO2 into CO2 mass fraction?

TL;DR: Multiply $\ce{CO_2}$ expressed in μmol/mol by 1.52 the μg/g equivalent. Details: The molecular mass of $\ce{CO_2}$ is 44.01 g/mol. The standard molecular mass of dry air is 28.9647 g/mol. ...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 23.6k
3 votes

What percentage of Earth's surface is arid?

ARID LANDS: CHALLENGES AND HOPES by EARTH SYSTEM: HISTORY AND NATURAL VARIABILITY – Vol. III - Arid Lands: Challenges and Hopes - Barakat H.N. Hyperarid zones cover 7.5% of Earth's land surface, ...
aaroncorcino's user avatar

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