Questions tagged [atmospheric-science]

The study of the composition or dynamics of the gaseous layers around planets, often applied to questions on Earth's atmosphere but can be applicable to all planets & moons in the solar system.

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24
votes
12answers
10k views

Why do spacecrafts take off with rockets instead of just ascending like an aircraft until they reach space?

I guess it's not a very educated question, but I never quite understood why spacecrafts have to shoot up and can't just reach space by simply continuing an upwards ascent like an airplane.
6
votes
1answer
955 views

Estimating hydrogen loss by Jeans escape

I'm looking at Jeans (thermal) escape of hydrogen from the early Earth's atmosphere. I understand how to calculate the rate in (g cm^-2 s^-1) using the number density, average particle velocity, and ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

How to calculate the volume of water from the measured rainfall?

With the impending landfall of Cyclone Yasi, we were pondering how much water would be dropped by storm after hearing them say there would be about a metre of rain falling. Assuming that this is the ...
6
votes
5answers
27k views

How can I calculate Vapor Pressure Deficit from Temperature and Relative Humidity?

I have a series of measurements of temperature and relative humidity (RH), together with mosquito capture data. Because mosquitoes are sensitive to desiccation, it's reasonable that RH may be useful ...
5
votes
1answer
535 views

Mean optical depth in plane parallel atmospheres

I have the second edition of Houghton's "The Physics of Atmospheres". In section 2.2 he says one can do simple radiative transfer calculations in a plane parallel atmosphere by assuming that there ...
3
votes
2answers
318 views

Relating the power to weather variables [closed]

Could you please help me in this problem? I have 3 independent variables, (T,H,t) , as inputs and one output P ( I have all data for these inputs and the output, done experimentally measured every ...
13
votes
9answers
23k views

How come gas molecules don't settle down?

If the earth's gravity exerts a net downward gravitational force on all air molecules, how come the molecules don't eventually lose their momentum and all settle down? How is the atmosphere is still ...
9
votes
6answers
11k views

Why doesn't air freeze?

I am in no way experienced in the Physics field so this question may seem a bit silly but i'd appreciate an answer :) Why doesn't air freeze?
15
votes
4answers
7k views

Why can't CO$_2$ mix back with the liquid after a soda bottle has been shaken?

If you shake a soda bottle before opening it, and then open it, you get the fizz. That is the compressed CO2 releasing to the atmosphere which is at comparatively low pressure value. Two questions (...
92
votes
8answers
91k views

Why does the atmosphere rotate along with the earth?

I was reading somewhere about a really cheap way of travelling: using balloons to get ourselves away from the surface of the earth. The idea held that because the earth rotates, we should be able to ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Would weighing scales show a negative weight if placed in a vacuum?

The weighing scales in my kitchen are currently showing 0 Kg. However, there is a column of air between the scales and the ceiling that is presumably exerting pressure on them. If I were to place ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

logarithmic wind speed profile

Under some atmospheric stability condition, over flat terrain, it has been observed for a while that the ratio between wind speed at height $h_1$ above the earth and the wind speed at height $h_0$ is $...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Can extra-solar gamma rays reach the Earth's surface?

Can gamma rays of high enough energy entering our planet's atmosphere reach the surface (50% probability)? Or, in other words, is there a window for extremely high-energy gamma rays like for the ...
12
votes
3answers
578 views

How are the northern lights produced?

Although I've never seen it myself, I hear the northern lights are a sight to be seen! I know they're related to the Earth's magnetic field but I don't know much more about them. What is the physical ...
4
votes
1answer
149 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 ...
42
votes
5answers
10k views

Why does the sky change color? Why is the sky blue during the day, red during sunrise/set and black during the night?

Why does the sky change color? Why is the sky blue during the day, red during sunrise/set and black during the night?