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 »

Recently Updated
Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Volume 1: Current State and Trends: Air Quality and Climate Last Updated on 2014-11-17 12:15:25 This is Chapter 13 of the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment report Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Volume 1: Current State and Trends Coordinating Lead Authors: Jo House, Victor Brovkin Lead Authors: Richard Betts, Bob Constanza, Maria Assunçao Silva Dias, Beth Holland, Corinne Le Quéré, Nophea Kim Phat, Ulf Riebesell, Mary Scholes Contributing Authors: Almut Arneth, Damian Barratt, Ken Cassman, Torben Christensen, Sarah Cornell, Jon Foley, Laurens Ganzeveld, Thomas Hickler, Sander Houweling, Marko Scholze, Fortunat Joos, Karen Kohfeld, Manfredi Manizza, Denis Ojima, I. Colin Prentice, Crystal Schaaf, Ben Smith, Ina Tegen, Kirsten Thonicke, Nicola Warwick Review Editors: Pavel Kabat, Shuzo Nishioka Main Messages Ecosystems, both natural and managed, exert a strong influence on climate and air quality. Ecosystems are both sources and sinks of greenhouse gases,... More »
Climate Literacy- The Essential Principles of Climate Sciences Last Updated on 2014-11-15 15:52:27 View online here or download the PDF: High Resolution (14.67MB) or Low Resolution (2.92MB) If you would like more detailed coverage of this topic please see The Climate Literacy Handbook Climate Science Literacy is an understanding of your influence of climate and climate's influence on you and society. understands the essential principles of Earth's climate system, knows how to assess scientifically credible information about climate, communicates about climate and climate change in a meaningful way, and is able to make informed and responsible decisions with regard to actions that may affect climate. During the 20th century, Earth's globally averaged surface temperature rose by approximately 1.08°F (0.6°C). Additional warming of more than 0.25°F (0.14°C) has been measured since 2000. Though the total increase may seem small, it... More »
Climate change Last Updated on 2014-11-15 14:23:07  Editor's Note: This article was compiled and edited by Mohan Munasinghe, Cutler J. Cleveland, and Laura De Angelo. In the interests of maintaining scientific accuracy, this article is derived directly from material in the Synthesis Report and the Technical Summary of Working Group I, "The Physical Science Basis," of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The full Synthesis Report and Technical Summary are reproduced in this Encyclopedia, and are available in their original PDF forms at the IPCC web site. The relevant IPCC Lead Authors are listed in the Acknowledgments at the end of this article. Climate change refers to a change in the state of the climate that can be identified by changes in the average and/or the variability of its properties (e.g., temperature, precipitation), and that persists for an extended... More »
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 »