Atmospheric Science

Atmospheric science is a broad field of scientific knowledge that includes a number of sub-disciplines that study the phenomena and processes found in the atmosphere of Earth and even other planets. Atmospheric science includes the sub-disciplines of meteorology, climatology, atmospheric chemistry, and atmospheric physics.  Atmospheric scientists often study how the phenomena and processes found in other systems, including the lithosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and cryosphere, interact dynamically with the atmosphere.

  • CFC-Ozone Puzzle: Lecture Featured Article CFC-Ozone Puzzle: Lecture CFC-Ozone Puzzle: Lecture

    Speakers: F. Sherwood Rowland and Mario J. Molina Series: The John H. Chafee Memorial Lecture on Science and the Environment 1st National... More »

  • Solomon, Susan Featured Article Solomon, Susan Solomon, Susan

    Susan Solomon is an Atmospheric Scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She completed her doctorate at the University of California in... More »

  • Global picture of greenhouse gases Featured News Article Global picture of greenhouse gases Global picture of greenhouse gases

    A three-year series of research flights from the Arctic to the Antarctic has successfully produced an unprecedented portrait of greenhouse gases and particles in the... More »

  • Derecho Featured Article Derecho Derecho

    Two types of derecho may be distinguished based largely on the organization and behavior of the associated derecho-producing convective system. The type of derecho most often... More »

  • Clouds Featured Article Clouds Clouds

    A could is a visible aggregate of minute water droplets or ice particles in the atmosphere above the Earth's surface. Clouds are classified according to their height above and... More »

  • Albedo Featured Article Albedo Albedo

    Introduction Albedo is the fraction of Sun’s radiation reflected from a surface. The term has its origins from the Latin word albus, meaning “white”.... More »

  • El Niño Featured Article El Niño El Niño

    What is an El Niño? El Niño is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific, as opposed to La Niña, which... More »

  • Stomata Featured Article Stomata Stomata

    Stomata are minute aperture structures on plants found typically on the outer leaf skin layer, also known as the epidermis. They consist of two specialized cells, called guard... More »

  • Radon Featured Article Radon Radon

    Previous Element: Astatine Next Element: Francium ... More »

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Meteorology Last Updated on 2014-10-26 16:32:04   Meteorology is the scientific study of the atmosphere and physical processes of interaction with the Earth's crust, oceans and outer space. Meteorological phenomena are observable weather events which are investigated by the science of meteorology. The chief parameters comprised by the science of meteorology are: temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, sunlight and the gradients and interactions of each variable, as well as their temporal variability. The majority of Earth's observed weather is located in the troposphere. Different spatial scales are studied to determine how systems on local, regional, and global levels impact meteorological phenomena. Meteorology, climatology, atmospheric physics and atmospheric chemistry are sub-disciplines of the atmospheric sciences. Meteorology and hydrology compose the interdisciplinary field of hydrometeorology. Interactions... More »
Climate Last Updated on 2014-10-01 10:48:54 Climate is the typical pattern of conditions of the earth’s atmosphere over a given region, as defined by factors such as temperature, air pressure. humidity, precipitation, sunlight, cloudiness, and winds. The World Meteorological Organization defines climate as "the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time," where an appropriate period is typically at least thirty years. Climate can be assessed at different, overlapping geographic regions. For example, Earth is thought to have a climate that is distinct from that of other planets, while different regions of Earth are also thought to have distinct climate types. Climate is often described as the "average" conditions; however, since daily and seasonal variability (including extremes) are critical determinants, using the term... More »
Clouds Last Updated on 2014-09-30 10:52:27 A could is a visible aggregate of minute water droplets or ice particles in the atmosphere above the Earth's surface. Clouds are classified according to their height above and appearance (texture) from the ground. Clouds form when air is cooled to its dewpoint—or the temperature at which, if the air is cooled, it reaches saturation with water. Air can reach saturation in a number of ways. The most common way is through lifting. As a bubble or parcel of air rises it moves into an area of lower pressure (pressure decreases with height). As this occurs the parcel expands. This requires energy, or work, which takes heat away from the parcel. So as air rises it cools. This is called an adiabatic process. The rate at which the parcel cools with increasing elevation is called the "lapse rate". The lapse rate of unsaturated air (air with relative humidity <100%)... More »
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United States Last Updated on 2014-06-30 19:00:15 The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a federal agency within the United States Department of Commerce.  As a science-based operational agency tasked with monitoring climate and changes in the environment, NOAA is responsible for the study of the atmosphere and the oceans.  The agency issues daily weather forecasts and storm warnings, restores coastline, aids the flow of marine commerce, and manages fisheries.  NOAA's activities facilitate weather- and climate-sensitive economic activity that account for roughly one-third of the country's gross domestic product (GDP)[1]. The agency also responds to natural and man-made maritime disasters, operates a complex network of oceanographic, meteorological and atmospheric data-collecting products and services, and manages marine mammals, marine endangered... More »
Perspective of Antarctica in 1911 Last Updated on 2014-06-25 18:41:34 Exploration of the Antarctic - Part7 See also Chronology of Antarctic Exploration. In 1911, the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration was in full stride and the world's understanding of the nature of Antarctica was being shaped by many new facts. An interesting snapshot of Antarctica at this time, after the Nimrod Expedition, but before the expeditions to the South Pole was the entry on Polar Regions in the 1911 Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica which summarized the view of Antarctica at that time: In contrast to the Arctic region, the Antarctic is essentially a land area. It is almost certain that the South Pole lies on a great plateau, part of a land that must be larger and loftier than Greenland, and may probably be as large as Australia. This land area may be composed of two main masses, or of one continent and a great archipelago, but it can no longer be... More »