Results tagged “Climate”

Changes in solar irradiance and in its spectral distribution are among the main natural drivers of the climate on Earth. However, irradiance measurements are only available for less than four decades, while assessment of solar influence on Earth requires much longer records.

Planetary rotation rate has a significant effect on atmospheric circulation, where the strength of the Coriolis effect in part determines the efficiency of latitudinal heat transport, altering cloud distributions, surface temperatures, and precipitation patterns.

Cyclic sedimentation has varied at several timescales and this variability has been geologically well documented at Milankovitch timescales, controlled in part by climatically (insolation) driven sea-level changes.

A breakthrough in the understanding of how cosmic rays from supernovae can influence Earth's cloud cover and thereby climate has been published in the journal Nature Communications.

A team of scientists using a state-of-the-art UCLA instrument reports the discovery of a planetary-scale "tug-of-war" of life, deep Earth and the upper atmosphere that is expressed in atmospheric nitrogen.

Atmospheric Tides In Earth-like Planets

Atmospheric tides can strongly affect the rotational dynamics of planets. In the family of Earth-like planets, such as Venus, this physical mechanism coupled with solid tides makes the angular velocity evolve over long timescales and determines the equilibrium configurations of their spin.

Using Clouds to Map Life

Clouds may seem like distant, ephemeral features that have little to do with life on Earth. In fact, they affect everything from the viability of ecosystems, to how much carbon plants absorb, to the reproductive success of reptiles.

Astrophysical ionizing radiation events have been recognized as a potential threat to life on Earth, primarily through depletion of stratospheric ozone and subsequent increase in surface-level solar ultraviolet radiation.

Humanity is on the threshold of being able to detect signs of alien life on other worlds. By studying exoplanet atmospheres, we can look for gases like oxygen and methane that only coexist if replenished by life.

Geochemists have calculated a huge rise in atmospheric CO2 was only avoided by the formation of a vast mountain range in the middle of the ancient supercontinent, Pangea. This work is being presented to the Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Sacramento, California.

The end-Permian extinction is associated with a mysterious disruption to Earth's carbon cycle. Here we identify causal mechanisms via three observations.

In the mid-1970s, the first available satellite images of Antarctica during the polar winter revealed a huge ice-free region within the ice pack of the Weddell Sea. This ice-free region, or polynya, stayed open for three full winters before it closed.

Microscopic fungi that live in plants' roots play a major role in the storage and release of carbon from the soil into the atmosphere.

Massive terrestrial planets, called "super-Earths," are known to be common in our galaxy, the Milky Way.

Earth's volatile elements (H, C, and N) are essential to maintaining habitable conditions for metazoans and simpler life forms.

Much like the Grand Canyon, Nanedi Valles snakes across the Martian surface suggesting that liquid water once crossed the landscape, according to a team of researchers who believe that molecular hydrogen made it warm enough for water to flow.

During the Archean eon, between about 3.8 billion years ago and 2.5 billion years ago, the Sun was about 20 to 25 percent fainter than it is today. With less sunlight to warm the Earth, the oceans should have been frozen over, but geological evidence suggests that this was not the case.

The problem of the contribution of cosmic rays to climate change is a continuing one and one of importance. In principle, at least, the recent results from the CLOUD project at CERN provide information about the role of ionizing particles in 'sensitizing' atmospheric aerosols which might, later, give rise to cloud droplets.

It might be easier than previously thought for a planet to overheat into the scorchingly uninhabitable "runaway greenhouse" stage, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington and the University of Victoria published July 28 in the journal Nature Geoscience.

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