Related topics: earth · carbon dioxide · ocean · nasa · planets

South African forests show pathways to a sustainable future

Native forests make up 1percent of the landscape in South Africa but could play a key role in reducing atmospheric carbon and identifying sustainable development practices that can be used globally to counter climate change, ...

Shields up to beat global warming

Might an enormous orbiting "shield" be one way to combat the rising temperatures around the world caused by elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide levels? Writing in the International Journal of Global Warming, a team in China ...

Satellites assisting look into hurricanes

A mission to probe winds deep inside hurricanes, where most satellites cannot see and few aircraft venture, is showing signs of success despite an unexpected obstacle linked to tensions in the Middle East.

Dust storms on Mars

Dust is a critical component in the Martian atmosphere. It influences the atmosphere's circulation by heating or cooling it and is in turn redistributed around the planet by atmospheric winds. In this dust cycle, dust storms ...

Organic carbon hides in sediments, keeping oxygen in atmosphere

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, ...

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Atmosphere

An atmosphere (from Greek ατμός - atmos, 'vapor' + σφαίρα - sphaira, 'sphere') is a layer of gases that may surround a material body of sufficient mass, by the gravity of the body, and are retained for a longer duration if gravity is high and the atmosphere's temperature is low. Some planets consist mainly of various gases, but only their outer layer is their atmosphere (see gas giants).

The term stellar atmosphere describes the outer region of a star, and typically includes the portion starting from the opaque photosphere outwards. Relatively low-temperature stars may form compound molecules in their outer atmosphere. Earth's atmosphere, which contains oxygen used by most organisms for respiration and carbon dioxide used by plants, algae and cyanobacteria for photosynthesis, also protects living organisms from genetic damage by solar ultraviolet radiation. Its current composition is the product of billions of years of biochemical modification of the paleoatmosphere by living organisms.

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