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.
Global warming hits sea creatures hardest
on April 24, 2019 at 4:00 am
(Rutgers University) Global warming has caused twice as many ocean-dwelling species as land-dwelling species to disappear from their habitats, a unique Rutgers-led study found. The greater vulnerability of sea creatures may significantly impact human communities that rely on fish and shellfish for food and economic activity, according to the study published in the journal Nature. […]
Microbes may act as gatekeepers of Earth's deep...
on April 24, 2019 at 4:00 am
(University of Oxford) Two years ago a team of scientists visited Costa Rica's subduction zone, where the ocean floor sinks beneath the continent and volcanoes tower above the surface. They wanted to find out if microbes can affect the cycle of carbon moving from Earth's surface into the deep interior. According to their new study in Nature, the answer is affirmatively -- yes they can. […]
Minerals in mountain rivers tell the story of...
on April 24, 2019 at 4:00 am
(University of Helsinki) Scientists have come up with a new way of analyzing sand in mountain rivers to determine the activity of landslides upstream, which has important implications for understanding natural hazards in mountainous regions. […]
Antarctica: the final frontier for marine...
on April 24, 2019 at 4:00 am
(British Antarctic Survey) A new study looking at the implications of increased shipping activity and the impact on Antarctic marine biodiversity is published this week in the journal Global Change Biology. The research is an important step in the quest to understand whether invasive species, introduced by shipping, will find the Antarctic marine environment more hospitable as Antarctica's climate changes. […]
Freshwater fish species richness has increased in...
on April 24, 2019 at 4:00 am
(PLOS) The taxonomic and trophic composition of freshwater fishes in the Ohio River Basin has changed significantly in recent decades, possibly due to environmental modifications related to land use and hydrology, according to a study published April 24 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Mark Pyron of Ball State University, and colleagues. […]
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.
Eclogitic diamonds formed from oceanic crust,...
on April 24, 2019 at 7:27 pm
Eclogitic diamonds formed in Earth's mantle originate from oceanic crust, rather than marine sediments as commonly thought, according to a new study from University of Alberta geologists. […]
Researchers dramatically clean up ammonia...
on April 24, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Ammonia—a colorless gas essential for things like fertilizer—can be made by a new process which is far cleaner, easier and cheaper than the current leading method. UTokyo researchers use readily available lab equipment, recyclable chemicals and a minimum of energy to produce ammonia. Their Samarium-Water Ammonia Production (SWAP) process promises to scale down ammonia production and improve access to ammonia fertilizer to farmers everywhere. […]
NASA examines Tropical Cyclone Kenneth in...
on April 24, 2019 at 3:14 pm
The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Kenneth and analyzed the storm in infrared light. […]
Uncovering Polynya: Research unravels 43-year-old...
on April 24, 2019 at 2:00 pm
A study led by NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Research Scientist Diana Francis has unraveled the four decade long mystery surrounding the occurrence of a mid-sea Polynya - a body of unfrozen ocean that appeared within a thick body of ice during Antarctica's winter almost two years ago. […]
Rapid destruction of Earth-like atmospheres by...
on April 24, 2019 at 1:57 pm
The discoveries of thousands of planets orbiting stars outside our solar system has made questions about the potential for life to form on these planets fundamentally important in modern science. Fundamentally important for the habitability of a planet is whether or not it can hold onto an atmosphere, which requires that the atmosphere is not completely lost early in the lifetime of the planet. A new study by researchers based at the University of Vienna and at the Space Research Institute of […]
Atmosphere News -- ScienceDaily Earth's atmosphere. Learn about threats to air quality, the latest scientific research in atmospheric chemistry, atmospheric physics and more.
Carbon dioxide from Silicon Valley affects the...
on April 23, 2019 at 6:55 pm
Elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide in air flowing out to sea from Silicon Valley and the Salinas Valley could increase the amount of carbon dioxide dissolving in Monterey Bay waters by about 20 percent. […]
Geomagnetic jerks finally reproduced and explained
on April 22, 2019 at 3:28 pm
The Earth's magnetic field experiences unpredictable, rapid, and intense anomalies that are known as geomagnetic jerks. The mechanisms behind this phenomenon had remained a mystery until the recent research. Scientists have now created a computer model for these geomagnetic jerks, and provided an explanation for their appearance. […]
Predictability limit: Scientists find bounds of...
on April 15, 2019 at 7:47 pm
In the future, weather forecasts that provide storm warnings and help us plan our daily lives could come up to five days sooner before reaching the limits of numerical weather prediction, scientists said. […]
North Atlantic warming hole impacts jet stream
on April 15, 2019 at 6:39 pm
The North Atlantic warming hole (NAWH), a region of reduced warming located in the North Atlantic Ocean, significantly affects the North Atlantic jet stream in climate simulations of the future. […]
Warming Arctic permafrost releasing large amounts...
on April 15, 2019 at 1:08 pm
A recent study shows that nitrous oxide emissions from thawing Alaskan permafrost are about twelve times higher than previously assumed. About one fourth of the Northern Hemisphere is covered in permafrost, which is thawing at an increasing rate. As temperatures increase, the peat releases more and more greenhouse gases. And, even though researchers are monitoring carbon dioxide and methane, no one seems to be watching the most potent greenhouse gas: nitrous oxide. […]