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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0answers
109 views

Why do rain clouds form in the first place?

Thought process leading to the question It's cold over here in India and I noticed that while breathing out some cloudy thing comes out of my mouth (I found it is called EBC (Exhaled Breathe ...
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1answer
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An interesting query about gravitation [duplicate]

If a helicopter flies linearly in the upward direction from a point A on the earth stays in the air at the same position for a long time and then linearly comes down , will it land at the same point A ...
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Why is Methane a more effective greenhouse gas compared to Carbon dioxide? [duplicate]

Over 100 years, Methane has a Global warming potential 34 times bigger than Carbon dioxide. Over 20 years, it's even 86 times bigger. How does one arrive at these numbers? Looking at the following ...
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Why is there a “blue hour” after the “golden hour”?

There's a great story about why the sky is blue during the day, and turns golden during sunsets: Rayleigh scattering affects blue light more. During the day, blue light from the Sun is scattered ...
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What will limit Santa's top speed in traveling between two major cities on opposite sides of the planet?

My school is hosting a family night, and the math department has charged me with setting up a booth where visitors can grab a yard stick and a world map and, given Santa’s top speed, calculate how ...
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Is our atmosphere declining?

While studying about Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution (through a chemistry textbook) I came across the fact that molecules can posses any speed (lower than $c$). This makes it obvious that there are ...
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2answers
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Follow up question of “Why does atmospheric pressure acts on us?”

This question is a follow up question of this one. . I saw the answer by user Thomas Fritsch and he says Actually your head only feels those air molecules which are directly hitting the surface of ...
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9answers
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Why does atmospheric pressure act on us?

I have a bit of misconception about weight which I want to clarify. The air pressure is explained as the weight of the air column above our head acting per unit area. But since air is not continuous ...
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What form(s) of radiation are least attenuated by the atmosphere?

Given the composition of Earth's atmosphere, what is the most efficient way of wirelessly beaming energy from the stratosphere down to the surface?
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1answer
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Why doesn't the sunlight supersede the effects of the bodies of water and the ground on the temperature of the atmosphere?

I am not asking about why the summer is hotter then the spring. I do understand that the body of water on the surface of Earth needs to cool off and warm up, and that takes more time then for the ...
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Why aren't we crushed by atmospheric pressure? [duplicate]

I've read online that the reason is because the interior pressure equals atmospheric pressure so net force acts overall but taking a steel board for example, if i applied a force of 1 million newtons ...
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Why can visible light go through green-house gases? [duplicate]

I understand that visible light can (largely) go through greenhouse gases, but infrared radiation can get reflected back... why can visible light go through green-house gases? Does it have to do ...
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1answer
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How does the Earth have enough gravity to hold on to its atmosphere? [duplicate]

I'm looking for numbers/math that describe how earth (or any other planet) holds on to it's atmosphere. Presumably, we would be able to determine the exact atmospheric pressure that we would expect ...
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1answer
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How is a horizontal sunset possible? [closed]

Source: @PHSXES/Reddit Normally, sunset moves vertically, from up to down in the sky. But in this photo, it appears to be moving horizontally, from left to right. It might be an instant of a ...
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Why do atmospheric refraction phenomena only affect distant objects?

Under special atmospheric conditions, we can sometimes see much farther than the curvature of the earth would normally allow us. Atmospheric refraction usually makes distant objects appear elevated. ...
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3answers
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Why are rain clouds darker?

I was taught in school that clouds are white due to the scattering of light. Since all rays are reflected it appears as white. But I am wondering about rain clouds. Why are rain clouds darker?
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Thermodynamics of cloud formation

I have been thinking about cloud formation for a while and wanted to know if I have the right idea. Clouds are formed by water vapor rising higher and higher into the atmosphere and reaching a ...
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1answer
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Rotation Vs hovering

Say, a person with a jetpack is in the moon. If the person is balanced over his weight by an upward force generated by the jetpack above the surface of the moon (kind of hovering for some time and at ...
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Is there a way to visualize the properties of $\rm CO_2$ regarding IR to a layman?

I think about how to explain the greenhouse effect to somebody with no physics background. What to explain to a general layperson, basically. I have ideas how to go on from that CO₂ are some kind of ...
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1answer
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$CO_2$ absoprtion bands in atmosphere and impact of increasing concentration levels

I have a question to do with this graphic and the CO2 absorption band highlighted with a red vertical line. The image shows that nearly 100% of the IR energy in that band is absorbed in the ...
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2answers
377 views

Why does this simple equation predict the Venus surface temperature so accurately?

Assume the atmosphere of Venus behaves much the same as Earth. However, it is closer to the sun, has a thicker atmosphere, and is less massive. Further assume: The insolation should follow the ...
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0answers
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When Measuring Altitude for a High Altitude Balloon does Temperature Matter?

When I look at the High Altitude Ballon results from people online that have launched DIY balloons (that have posted their data) I can see that their claimed top altitude (based on the pressure they ...
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2answers
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Shouldn't $CO_2$ forcing depend on the surface temperature?

When I read about radiative forcing due to CO2 it says: "Radiative forcing is a measure of the influence a factor has in altering the balance of incoming and outgoing energy in the Earth-...
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6answers
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How can atmospheric $CO_2$ absorption of infrared be 100% when its atmospheric concentration is 0.04%?

An absorption spectrum from high in the atmosphere of infrared radiation emitted from the earth, shows that for the 15µm wavelength there is almost complete absorption. This is attributed to ...
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1answer
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Is there any natural phenomenon that can account for the 100 fold faster $CO_2$ rate increase?

"Based on the best historical data that we have available CO2 is probably increasing at a rate at of least 100 times faster than at any time in the last 800,000 years." Pieter Tans lead scientist of ...
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Is there more or less atmospheric pressure pressing down onto water having a larger atmosphere than of a smaller atmosphere?

Is there more or less atmospheric pressure pressing down onto water having a larger atmosphere than of a smaller atmosphere?
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What is actually breaking the ozone layer?

My question is about the ozone layer. Is it possible that sending rockets out to space can damage the ozone layer?
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1answer
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Why is the sky near the Earth limb warm-colored, even far from the sun?

I've seen many sunset pictures with explanations. The sun is red, the areas adjacent to it is orange, then yellow... because redder lights bend less, and the air is thick at that angle. Far enough ...
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Why can't we harness the energy of lightning? [duplicate]

Studying capacitors, this question struck me. If we know that there is a large potential difference between the ground and the atmosphere, why dont we use that to power our machinery? I understand ...
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1answer
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What causes the vertical bands of light in an aurora?

I was lucky enough to witness a medium-strength aurora recently in Iceland (KP ~3). We saw the classic rippling arc of green light, which at times seemed to consist of smaller flickering vertical ...
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Design and construction of a system identifying molecular nitrogen and water

I have read papers that use LIDAR-like and LIDAR-Raman systems that detect elements. I want to measure the vapor water ($\rm H_2O$) and $\rm N_2$ of trees/agriculture using Arduino and low cost ...
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How much does science know about lightning? [closed]

In his Lectures, Feynman says the following: So the fundamental origin of lightning is really not thoroughly understood. We know it comes from the thunderstorms. Source: http://www.feynmanlectures....
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2answers
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Sunrays through clouds paradox [duplicate]

So I have a layman question. If we look at the angle of the sun rays, doesn't sun seem much closer than it is [150 million kilometers] cant we take those angles that the sun makes with the earth, ...
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1answer
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Splitting $CO_2$ as a plasma to remove it from the atmosphere

I am wondering if CO2 can be removed from the atmosphere by heating it up using the same lasers they use to make plasma when researching nuclear fusion, and then fire the plasma of oxygen and carbon ...
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Physical meaning of angular spectrum

I have been going through the paper Diffraction from an irregular screen with applications to ionospheric problems. H.G. Booker, J.A. Ratcliffe and D.H. Shinn. Philos. Trans. Royal Soc. A 242, 579 ...
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How do thunderstorms generate ionospheric potential?

In all the explanations of how global electric circuit on Earth works, I've always encountered statements like "thunderstorms generate ionospheric potential" (which is about 250 kV). E.g. here: https:...
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1answer
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Why doesn't it rain every night as humid air cools?

When atmospheric relative humidity (RH) exceeds 100%, water must condense out of the air. We typically see this as rainfall. In North-Eastern U.S. summers it is common for daytime air to reach above ...
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1answer
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Why can't we generate electricity from Earth's electric field?

This may be very silly, but I need to understand this to get my concepts right. Consider the fact that the electric field b/w the Earth's surface and the ionosphere is on an average $100$ V/m, then ...
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1answer
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Lightning through Helium gas

Assuming that some distant planet had an atmosphere of helium and(due to extremely cold temperatures) a "water cycle" of neon, what would happen if the theoretical neon clouds acted in a similar way ...
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2answers
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Why don't (can't) astronomers take advantage of interferometry to the extreme?

Reading and watching from various sources (e.g: APOD, ESO videos, or Wiki), whenever interferometry is mentioned, it is also usually explained like this: An astronomical interferometer consists of ...
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3answers
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On the Coriolis effect and weather

I learned in classical mechanics that the Coriolis Effect curves everything with speed to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere, my question is then why ...
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1answer
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Dielectric constant change in the atmosphere?

I'm curious about the refractive index changing in the atmosphere. As I understand it (and I may very well be wrong/naive) when a ray of light enters from one medium into another, the electric field ...
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1answer
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Is there a Coandă effect outside the atmosphere?

For example, when air is blown through a spoon in the atmosphere, the air flow bends toward the spoon. People say it's the Coandă effect. So, outside the atmosphere, when we let air blow through the ...
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1answer
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Is the passage of lightning on a transmission line? [closed]

If so, then shouldn't lightning be reflected back into the sky everytime it hits the earth, due to an impedance change?
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4answers
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How does sound change high in atmosphere? [duplicate]

There is no sound in space because there are not enough particles to transmit the pressure wave. But what about really high in the atmosphere where there is just a little air? Would sound move faster, ...
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1answer
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Is it possible to destroy a typhoon by bombs?

When a typhoon is still on the ocean, if a big bomb or several bombs are thrown to it, maybe at the eye, or at the part where the wind circles fastest, can the bomb destroy the typhoon?
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1answer
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Direct Air Capture (DAC) of $CO_2$: Would a DAC mechanism run out of local $CO_2$ to convert?

Per Carbon Engineering's Website: Direct Air Capture (DAC). They claim to be able to remove 1 million tons of CO$_2$ per year with a single plant. My question is whether they needed to account for ...
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1answer
156 views

Does the atmosphere rotate slightly slower than the earth surface?

I often hear the vague explanation that the Coriolis Effect is why air rotates into pressure systems. That doesn't explain it for me though. Is pressure gradient directly toward the center of the low?...
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1answer
383 views

What is the speed of air molecule?

Given the minimal temperature measured in the Earth's atmosphere is not $0\space K$, air molecules are moving. I see no reason for air molecule to move all at the same speed. The question is ...
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How does the Earth's magnetic field protect it from the solar wind?

Several sources (see linked questions at the end) say that earth's magnetic field shields us from the solar wind. The general consensus is that without earth's magnetic field, the atmosphere would be ...

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