Crushed space rocks hint at exoplanets’ early atmospheric makeup

Kepler-186f

Burning bits of ground-up meteorites may tell scientists what exoplanets’ early atmospheres are made of. A set of experiments baking the pulverized space rocks suggests that rocky planets had early atmospheres full of water, astrophysicist Maggie Thompson of the University of California, Santa Cruz reported January 15 at the virtual meeting of the American Astronomical […]

Atmospheric CO2 will pass an alarming milestone in 2021

Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration will soar past a scary threshold this year, exceeding 417 parts per million (ppm) —  a 50% increase since the start of widespread industrial activity in the 18th century. The forecast comes from the Met Office, the national meteorological service for the U.K., which used data collected at  Mauna Loa […]

Newly Identified Instabilities Enhance Atmospheric Turbulence

Physicists have long known that turbulence is a fundamental process in Earth’s atmosphere, where it facilitates mixing, contributes to energy and momentum transport and deposition, and has important implications for weather and climate prediction. However, the mechanisms driving the transitions from laminar airflow to 3D turbulence are complex and poorly understood. In new […]

New proposal for how aerosols drive increased atmospheric convection in thunderstorm clouds

High in the clouds, atmospheric aerosols, including anthropogenic air pollutants, increase updraft speeds in storm clouds by making the surrounding air more humid, a new study finds. The results offer a new mechanism explaining the widely observed – but poorly understood – atmospheric phenomenon and provide a physical basis for predicting increasing thunderstorm intensity, particularly […]

Dust from Receding Glaciers May Have Major Atmospheric Impacts

In spring 2016 in the remote northern reaches of Yukon, Canada, a glacier melted so quickly that its meltwater cut a new path through the ice and changed the course of the Ä’äy Chù, or Slims River. When the old riverbed dried out, the basin’s fine-grained dirt (created by glaciers grinding against bedrock) […]

Bacteria can travel from one continent to another in atmospheric dust particles

Figure 1. Sequence of iberulite formation in the atmosphere with bacterial involvement (left) and the appearance of an iberulite under electron microscopy (right). Credit: Atmospheric Research Researchers from the University of Granada (UGR) have discovered that some microorganisms, such as bacteria, can travel from one continent to another ‘hidden’ in atmospheric dust. Scientists from the […]

The ocean’s role in past atmospheric carbon dioxide change comes into focus — ScienceDaily

The last million years of Earth history have been characterized by frequent “glacial-interglacial cycles,” large swings in climate that are linked to the growing and shrinking of massive, continent-spanning ice sheets. These cycles are triggered by subtle oscillations in Earth’s orbit and rotation, but the orbital oscillations are too subtle to explain the large changes […]

Shift in atmospheric rivers could affect Antarctic sea ice, glaciers — ScienceDaily

Weather systems responsible for transporting moisture from the tropics to temperate regions in the Southern Hemisphere have been gradually shifting toward the South Pole for the past 40 years, a trend which could lead to increased rates of ice melt in Antarctica, according to new research. Atmospheric rivers are long, narrow jets of air that […]

Decrease in fossil-fuel CO2 emissions due to COVID-19 detected by atmospheric observations

IMAGE: Birds-eye view photo of Hateruma Island (left) and the monitoring station on the island (right). view more  Credit: NIES Tracking emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases by atmospheric observations is a major challenge for policymaking, such as the Paris Agreement. Huge atmospheric observation networks comprised of a variety of platforms including satellites have been developed to […]

Capturing Heat-Driven Atmospheric Tides on Mars

On Mars, heat from the Sun drives daily changes in temperature, wind, and pressure in the atmosphere. Known as atmospheric tides, these regular patterns play a major role in shaping the planet’s weather. Atmospheric tides exist on Earth as well, but they have a much greater influence in Mars’s thin atmosphere. The details […]