Note: This is a 360° Video — press and hold to explore it!
Tree of Life
Plant Flower, Tree
Invertebrate Octopus, Ant, Bee, Butterfly, Spider, Lobster
Vertebrate Fish, Seahorse, Ray, Shark, Frog, Turtle, Tortoise, Dinosaur
Bird, Ostrich, Owl, Crow, Parrot
Mammal Bat, Rabbit, Giraffe, Camel, Horse, Elephant, Mammoth
Whale, Dolphin, Walrus, Seal, Polar Bear, Bear, Cat, Tiger, Lion, Dog, Wolf
Monkey, Chimpanzee, Human
These are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. More…
air : the mixture of invisible odorless tasteless gases (such as nitrogen and oxygen) that surrounds the earth — Webster
atmosphere : the gaseous envelope of a celestial body (such as a planet) — Webster
Atmosphere of Earth is the layer of gases, commonly known as air, that surrounds the planet Earth and is retained by Earth’s gravity. The atmosphere of Earth protects life on Earth by creating pressure allowing for liquid water to exist on the Earth’s surface, absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation, warming the surface through heat retention (greenhouse effect), and reducing temperature extremes between day and night (the diurnal temperature variation).
By volume, dry air contains 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.04% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases. Air also contains a variable amount of water vapor, on average around 1% at sea level, and 0.4% over the entire atmosphere. Air content and atmospheric pressure vary at different layers, and air suitable for use in photosynthesis by terrestrial plants and breathing of terrestrial animals is found only in Earth’s troposphere and in artificial atmospheres.
The atmosphere has a mass of about 5.15×1018 kg, three quarters of which is within about 11 km (6.8 mi; 36,000 ft) of the surface. The atmosphere becomes thinner and thinner with increasing altitude, with no definite boundary between the atmosphere and outer space. The Kármán line, at 100 km (62 mi), or 1.57% of Earth’s radius, is often used as the border between the atmosphere and outer space. Atmospheric effects become noticeable during atmospheric reentry of spacecraft at an altitude of around 120 km (75 mi). Several layers can be distinguished in the atmosphere, based on characteristics such as temperature and composition. — Wikipedia
Atmospheric Sciences are the study of the Earth’s atmosphere, its processes, the effects other systems have on the atmosphere, and the effects of the atmosphere on these other systems. Meteorology includes atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric physics with a major focus on weather forecasting. Climatology is the study of atmospheric changes (both long and short-term) that define average climates and their change over time, due to both natural and anthropogenic climate variability. Aeronomy is the study of the upper layers of the atmosphere, where dissociation and ionization are important. Atmospheric science has been extended to the field of planetary science and the study of the atmospheres of the planets of the solar system. — Wikipedia
Aeronomy is the meteorological science of the upper region of the Earth’s or other planetary atmospheres, which relates to the atmospheric motions, its chemical composition and properties, and the reaction to it from the environment from space. The term aeronomy was introduced by Sydney Chapman in a Letter to the Editor of Nature entitled Some Thoughts on Nomenclature in 1946. Studies within the subject also investigate the causes of dissociation or ionization processes.
Today the term also includes the science of the corresponding regions of the atmospheres of other planets. Aeronomy is a branch of atmospheric physics. Research in aeronomy requires access to balloons, satellites, and sounding rockets which provide valuable data about this region of the atmosphere. Atmospheric tides dominate the dynamics of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere, essential to understanding the atmosphere as a whole. Other phenomena studied are upper-atmospheric lightning discharges, such as red sprites, sprite halos or blue jets. — Wikipedia
Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences which includes atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric physics, with a major focus on weather forecasting. The study of meteorology dates back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 18th century. The 19th century saw modest progress in the field after weather observation networks were formed across broad regions. Prior attempts at prediction of weather depended on historical data. It wasn’t until after the elucidation of the laws of physics and, more particularly, the development of the computer, allowing for the automated solution of a great many equations that model the weather, in the latter half of the 20th century that significant breakthroughs in weather forecasting were achieved.
Meteorological phenomena are observable weather events that are explained by the science of meteorology. Meteorological phenomena are described and quantified by the variables of Earth’s atmosphere: temperature, air pressure, water vapor, mass flow, and the variations and interactions of those variables, and how they change over time. Different spatial scales are used to describe and predict weather on local, regional, and global levels. — Wikipedia
Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the degree to which it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloudy. Most weather phenomena occur in the lowest level of the atmosphere, the troposphere, just below the stratosphere. Weather refers to day-to-day temperature and precipitation activity, whereas climate is the term for the averaging of atmospheric conditions over longer periods of time. When used without qualification, “weather” is generally understood to mean the weather of Earth.
Weather is driven by air pressure, temperature and moisture differences between one place and another. These differences can occur due to the sun’s angle at any particular spot, which varies with latitude. The strong temperature contrast between polar and tropical air gives rise to the largest scale atmospheric circulations: the Hadley Cell, the Ferrel Cell, the Polar Cell, and the jet stream. Weather systems in the mid-latitudes, such as extratropical cyclones, are caused by instabilities of the jet stream flow. Because the Earth’s axis is tilted relative to its orbital plane, sunlight is incident at different angles at different times of the year. On Earth’s surface, temperatures usually range ±40 °C (−40 °F to 100 °F) annually. Over thousands of years, changes in Earth’s orbit can affect the amount and distribution of solar energy received by the Earth, thus influencing long-term climate and global climate change. — Wikipedia
EurekAlert! - Atmospheric Science The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Climate change has long-term impact on species...
on May 20, 2019 at 4:00 am
(The Francis Crick Institute) Historic climate change events can have a lasting impact on the genetic diversity of a species, reveals a new study on the alpine marmot. […]
Scientists develop new recycling technology for...
on May 20, 2019 at 4:00 am
(National University of Science and Technology MISIS) NUST MISIS scientists together with JSC 'Shchelkovo Plant of Secondary Precious Metals' developed an innovative cascade method for purifying silver from spent batteries used in submarines and military aircraft. Secondary use of pure precious metal from one such battery can help saving up to 500 million RUR for creating a new one. […]
Pseudohermaphrodite snails can help to assess how...
on May 20, 2019 at 4:00 am
(St. Petersburg State University) Ivan Nekhaev, a postdoc at St. Petersburg University, studied snails of the genus Boreocingula -- tiny gastropods as small as half a centimeter -- and first discovered that Arctic micromolluscs can show signs of pseudohermaphroditism. Boreocingula martyni adult females grow underdeveloped male genital organs. […]
High-quality jadeite tool discovered in...
on May 20, 2019 at 4:00 am
(Louisiana State University) Anthropologists discovered a tool made out of high-quality translucent jadeite with an intact rosewood handle at a site where the ancient Maya processed salt in Belize. The discovery of these high-quality materials -- jadeite and rosewood -- used as utilitarian tools, demonstrates that salt workers played an important role in the Classic Maya marketplace economy more than 1,000 years ago. […]
Preparing low-income communities for hurricanes...
on May 20, 2019 at 4:00 am
(Rutgers University) Governments seeking to help their most vulnerable residents prepare for hurricanes and other disasters should create community-based information campaigns ahead of time, according to a Rutgers study of economically disadvantaged New Jerseyans in the areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy. […]
Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories Phys.org internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.
Rocket man: LSU Mechanical Engineering alumnus...
on May 21, 2019 at 6:56 am
Apollo 11 Astronaut Neil Armstrong is rightfully remembered for taking man's first steps on the moon nearly 50 years ago on June 20, 1969. Less well known, perhaps, is LSU Mechanical Engineering alumnus Maxime "Max" Faget, who designed the spacecraft responsible for that "giant leap for mankind." […]
Could US wildfires be contributing to heart...
on May 21, 2019 at 6:53 am
The destructive force of wildfires in the U.S. is well documented. Every year, on both the east and west coasts of the country, and due to both environmental and man-made factors, fires rage, and homes and habitats are destroyed. But beyond the obvious dangers, these fires cause other, more invisible damages. Certain nanoscale particles in the atmosphere known as organic aerosols—particles released when organic materials like trees and other plant matter are burned—have been linked […]
Resilience of Yellowstone's forests tested by...
on May 20, 2019 at 7:00 pm
In August 2016, areas of Yellowstone National Park that burned in 1988 burned again. Shortly after, in October 2016, ecologist Monica Turner and her team of graduate students visited the park to begin to assess the landscape. […]
Juno finds changes in Jupiter's magnetic field
on May 20, 2019 at 4:48 pm
NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter made the first definitive detection beyond our world of an internal magnetic field that changes over time, a phenomenon called secular variation. Juno determined the gas giant's secular variation is most likely driven by the planet's deep atmospheric winds. […]
Hyperspectral camera captures wealth of data in...
on May 20, 2019 at 4:16 pm
Standard snapshots from space don't quite show Earth in all its glory. There's so much more to see. […]
Atmosphere News -- ScienceDaily Earth's atmosphere. Learn about threats to air quality, the latest scientific research in atmospheric chemistry, atmospheric physics and more.
Iceland volcano eruption in 1783-84 did not spawn...
on May 15, 2019 at 3:58 pm
An enormous volcanic eruption on Iceland in 1783-84 did not cause an extreme summer heat wave in Europe. But, as Benjamin Franklin speculated, the eruption triggered an unusually cold winter, according to a new study. The study will help improve predictions of how the climate will respond to future high-latitude volcanic eruptions. […]
Electrode's 'hot edges' convert carbon dioxide...
on May 14, 2019 at 6:32 pm
A team of scientists has created a bowl-shaped electrode with 'hot edges' which can efficiently convert carbon dioxide from gas into carbon based fuels and chemicals, helping combat the climate change threat posed by atmospheric carbon dioxide. […]
A late-night disco in the forest reveals tree...
on May 13, 2019 at 2:45 pm
Researchers have found a groundbreaking new method to facilitate the observation of photosynthetic dynamics in vegetation. This finding brings us one step closer to remote sensing of terrestrial carbon sinks and vegetation health. […]
Ocean activity is key controller of summer...
on May 7, 2019 at 6:55 pm
New research finds ocean activity may control the strength and intensity of summer monsoons. The results could help researchers predict how monsoons will change with warming oceans. […]
Experimental device generates electricity from...
on May 6, 2019 at 8:36 pm
A drawback of solar panels is that they require sunlight to generate electricity. Some have observed that for a device on Earth facing space, the chilling outflow of energy from the device can be harvested using the same kind of optoelectronic physics we have used to harness solar energy. New work looks to provide a potential path to generating electricity like solar cells but that can power electronics at night. […]