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

A warming California sets the stage for future floods

By the 2070s, global warming will increase extreme rainfall and reduce snowfall in the Sierra Nevada, delivering a double whammy that will likely overwhelm California's reservoirs and heighten the risk of flooding in much ...

Ammonia-rich hail sheds new light on Jupiter's weather

New Juno results suggest that the violent thunderstorms taking place in Jupiter's atmosphere may form ammonia-rich hail, or 'mushballs,' that play a key role in the planet's atmospheric dynamics. This theory, developed using ...

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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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