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388 views

Greenhouse gases

A post (below) on the Bishop Hill blog relating to climate change asserts that no warming effect can be attributed to CO2. I don't know whether the author is really a physicist but it sounds ...
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2answers
181 views

Earth's Temperature

I have a question regarding earth's temperature... How come the average temperature in the middle east (Israel, Saudi Arabia, Sudan or lower) is always so much significantly higher than in Europe ...
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1answer
772 views

Why did nuclear testing not result in nuclear winter?

According to Wikipedia over 2000 nuclear tests have been performed since the Manhattan Project. If nuclear war would bring about a nuclear winter, why didn't testing do? Were they too much spread out ...
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3answers
57 views

Why do grey body radiators not heat up?

So I'm doing so work on the earth's climate system, and modelling it as a grey body radiators, and I've come across the phrase: "$62\%$ of the outgoing energy is lost to space and the other $32\%$ is ...
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1answer
86 views

Would a Nuclear bomb have any effect on the sun that could damage the earth?

I was asked this recently and wasn't sure. The power of the sun is much more powerful than that of a Nuclear explosion but the question was what is the worst that could happen, we are assuming a ...
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2answers
205 views

Why do clouds fly? [duplicate]

I know it's probably the most stupid question there is, but why do they fly are the clouds lighter than air? What's keeping those tiny ice structures floating miles about the ground? I've been looking ...
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5answers
261 views

Would dropping large blocks of ice into the ocean mitigate global warming?

This amusing Futurama sketch 'solves' global warming by dropping increasingly larger blocks of ice into the ocean. Presumably the blocks of ice are harvested from a different planet. Would this ...
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1answer
288 views

Why is the rainy season in the winter for some (mediterranean?) climates and in the summer for other (tropical?) climates?

Generally speaking, the rainy season is in the summer in tropical climates, and in the winter in mediterranean climates. (I admit that is a gross oversimplification) What is the cause for this ...
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0answers
85 views

How can I make a simple climate simulator? [closed]

Given an Earth-like planet with arbitrary terrain, how can I create a simple climate simulator that can output parameters such as humidity and temperature, so that I can assign biomes to areas of ...
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2answers
175 views

How do greenhouse gases trap heat?

I am looking for a molecular-level understanding of the greenhouse effect. What is it about the carbon-dioxide molecule (and methane, and water, etc) that is different from other gasses ...
5
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1answer
119 views

Why don't clouds fall? [duplicate]

Well I do know that they sometimes fall as rain, but my question is why don't the droplets fall as soon as they condense from steam to cloud. Clouds are white by the process of Mie scattering so the ...
3
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1answer
121 views

Reference request: statistical inference with real world (chaotic) data, e.g. climate/weather data

I'm interested in the process that goes from, for example, huge data sets of temperature, pressure, precipitation etc readings to a model of the atmosphere. I'd like to know about how much relies on a ...
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2answers
161 views

Hurricanes and Atmospheric Temperature

EDIT -- It appears that everyone is confused by the question. That's probably my fault. Let me say it another way. Do hurricanes cool the atmosphere (by taking heat out of the ocean/air and using ...
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0answers
41 views

What is the reason of the semidiurnal pressure oscillation in the atmosphere?

It appears that in many (most) places on earth, a pressure oscillation of a 100-200 Pa takes place twice a day : that is, with maxima around 12AM and 12PM and minima around 6AM and 6PM. I've found ...
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2answers
244 views

Why is the summer, in the temperate latitudes, in average, hotter that the spring?

It is common knowledge that the transition from the Spring to the Summer season occurs in the Summer Solstice when the "Sun reaches its highest excursion relative to the celestial equator on the ...
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0answers
53 views

Realistic Ocean Shears

I was wondering if anyone could point me to published data on the vertical structure of strong ocean currents, such as the Gulf Stream. I am primarily interested in the mean current profile as a ...
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2answers
123 views

Atmosphere above huge fire areas (e.g., “fire ocean”)? [closed]

My question is more about climate sciences, but I hope that it is still related to physics. What would be possible atmospheric conditions for planet with some kind of "fire" ocean? I had some ...
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2answers
95 views

Why isn't a mirror more effective in preventing global warming than a solar panel?

In many countries, solar panels are heavily subsidized because they replace fossil fuels that apparently cause global warming. A mirror of the same size would - through a completely different effect - ...
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2answers
484 views

How is the mechanism of greenhouse gases interacting with IR radiation?

How does atmospheric CO2 and other Greenhousgases (GHG) affect the incoming (from sun) and outgoing (from earth) radiation. I understand that at certain wavenumbers (or areas of wavenumbers) in the ...
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2answers
400 views

Do gases reflect some IR radiation?

The usual definition given for a greenhouse gas is that it absorbs infrared radiation. Of course, then the gas emits its own thermal radiation, and it does so without preference for direction ...
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1answer
392 views

What is the effect of humidity in temperature?

Suppose we have a building in an area with weather conditions $W_t$ at time $t$, and suppose we could change the relative humidity $\phi_t \in W_t$. Would the change in relative humidity $\phi_t$ have ...
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0answers
364 views

How can I interpret negative values of potential evapotranspiration?

If I extract Potential Evaporation (PET, W/m$^2$) from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), climate reanalysis data (downloadable as netCDF files here), there are some negative ...
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2answers
2k views

Increase thermal efficiency of combustion engine by using heat of coolant/exhaust?

I can't be the only one who's ever thought of this, but obviously it hasn't caught on: In terms of energy density, fossil fuels are the best thing around short of enriched uranium (and, flammability ...
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1answer
101 views

Sensors for Greenhouse Study

A group and I have the opportunity to design a payload that will be sent up some 100,000 ft (~ 30 km) into the atmosphere for approximately 3 hours. In our design, we were going to include gas sensors ...
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1answer
149 views

Equations for the two-plane model of the greenhouse effect

I'm trying to understand this "toy model" of the greenhouse effect. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/04/learning-from-a-simple-model The model predicts the surface temperature of ...
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2answers
151 views

Intensity in rainfall and global warming [closed]

Why we should observe an increment on the mean intensity in rainfalls and an increment on mean dry days with global warming?
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0answers
179 views

Theoretically speaking what are the limits for super-capacitors in terms of their storage capability?

According to wikipedia, commercially available super-capacitors in 2010 can store 30Wh/kg, with 85Wh/kg achieved in a lab in 2011. Have any theoretical calculations been done to show what can be ...
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2answers
215 views

Do greenhouse gasses make the world habitable?

An ageing gent says he does not accept this statement: ...
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1answer
685 views

How relative humidity and temperature affect rainfalls

The question is simple as stated in the title. How relative humidity and temperature affect rainfalls? I can't find a satisfatory answer in the web. Who can help me to understand me this relation?
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1answer
133 views

The effects of nuclear warhead detonations on the Earth's environment and global warming

For years I have been hearing all sorts of conflicting information about global warming. Many say that scientists have proven that humans have been warming the Earth significantly with their actions. ...
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1answer
293 views

Is it possible that nuclear fission contributes to climate change?

This is probably a really stupid question, please forgive me. Is it possible that the use of nuclear fission on earth contributes to the increased energy in the Earth's system as according with the ...
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2answers
116 views

What is the relation of the release time of fossil fuel emissions to climate change? [closed]

This question presupposes that The amount of fossil fuels on earth is limited Mankind will burn all of its fossil fuels eventually Based on these presuppositions, the total amount of CO2 released ...
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1answer
108 views

What is the spectrum of the Earth's albedo?

I was recently discussing climate change with a friend and was surprised (and embarrassed) to learn that the heat capacity of CO${}_2$ is not higher than that of nitrogen contrary to my assertions. ...
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1answer
62 views

What is the average total heat incident on Earth's surface each hour?

Just what the title states Some part or the other of this Globe faces approximately towards the Sun during each 24 hour period. What is the total amount of heat (in calories) incident on average ...
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2answers
143 views

During an Ice Age, would someone at moderate latitude get a sunburn/suntan on a sunny day?

Let's say you live at a moderate (temperate, in today's terms) latitude during the last glacial maximum. You're probably in some kind of steppe or taiga biome, even though you're at 40 degrees north, ...
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1answer
113 views

Clouds in closed hydrosphere

Is possible estimate the needed size of an geodesic dome (like in the Eden project) for creating an real hydrosphere - especially clouds (and rain)? With other words, under what circumstances can ...
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3answers
224 views

If humans were able to catch all sun energy reaching the earth for their use, will the climate change?

I guess that energy will be used up and, at the end, will contribute to heat the earth, so I see no big differences... please explain your point of view.
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2answers
881 views

Why is radiative forcing from CO2 logarithimic and not a decreasing exponential?

I have a question about climate science, but this is relatively straight forward and (I hope) easy. I've been reading that the radiative forcing caused by CO2 in the atmosphere (or any gas) is ...
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4answers
207 views

What could cause a planet to have apparently random season lengths?

The world A Song of Fire and Ice series is set on is characterized by seasons that last several years (how years are measured on this planet is not specified to my knowledge). However, they are of ...
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2answers
717 views

Approximating mean daily and hourly temperature beyond Fourier series

Summary: What "well-known" and short parametrized mathematical function describes daily and hourly temperature for a given location? If you look at the mean daily temperature graph for a given ...
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1answer
131 views

Computing delta temperature based on radiation and heat loss

Is there a formula that gives me the instantaneous change in temperature under ideal circumstances? Details: On a cloudless day, temperature is affected by two major things(?): While the Sun is ...
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1answer
189 views

How do subgrid-scale parametrisations in climate models work?

Global Circulation Models typically have grids of 100-300km on a side. There are obviously lots of atmospheric processes that happen at smaller scales than this. Convection, cloud formation, the ...