Results tagged “climate”

Two of TESS's major science goals are to measure masses for 50 planets smaller than 4 Earth radii and to discover high-quality targets for atmospheric characterization efforts.

The discovery of planets orbiting stars other than the Sun has accelerated over the past decade, and this trend will continue as new space- and ground-based observatories employ next-generation instrumentation to search the skies for habitable worlds.

The Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawai'i recently recorded the highest concentration of carbon dioxide, or CO2, levels in human history.

The evolution of different forms of photosynthetic life has profoundly altered the activity level of the biosphere, radically reshaping the composition of Earth's oceans and atmosphere over time.

A new study from researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Harvard University may help settle a long-standing question--how small amounts of organic carbon become locked away in rock and sediments, preventing it from decomposing.

The climate history of the earth is marked by periodic changes that are usually ascribed to the solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth. This insolation is not constant over geological time but modulated by cyclic changes in the earth's orbital parameters.

Hadley cells dominate the meridional circulation of terrestrial atmospheres. The Solar System terrestrial atmospheres, Venus, Earth, Mars and Titan, exhibit a large variety in the strength, width and seasonality of their Hadley circulation.

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.

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