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Sample records for early terrestrial atmosphere

  1. Fractionation of the Early Terrestrial Atmospheres: Dynamical Escape

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartle, Richard E.

    2002-01-01

    Hydrodynamic escape may have played a significant role in the early fractionation of the atmospheres of the terrestrial planets. This possibility has been demonstrated in the last two decades by numerous models that show radial, transonic flow of hydrogen can occur in the presence of sufficient solar EUV Hydrodynamic escape may have played a significant role in the early fractionation of the atmospheres of the terrestrial planets. This possibility has been demonstrated in the last two decades by numerous models that show radial, transonic flow of hydrogen can occur in the presence of sufficient solar EUV flux, thought to exist in the first 500 My. The models show that the larger the solar flux the greater the mass of the fractionating species, which are accelerated to escape speeds by the hydrogen wind through drag processes. As the atmospheres evolve and the solar EUV flux wanes, the maximum mass of flowing gas constituents decreases until all gases become static. We show that fractionation can continue beyond this point when non-radial flow and dynamically enhanced Jeans escape are considered. For example, the early terrestrial atmospheres are thought to have had large hydrogen contents, resulting in exobase altitudes of a planetary radius or more. In this case, rotational speeds at the exobases of Earth and Mars would be large enough so that light constituents would "spin" off and fractionate, especially at equatorial latitudes. Also, in the presence of transonic flow of hydrogen only, non-radial expansion throws heavier gases to high altitudes in the exosphere, accompanied by strong bulk speeds at the exobase, which results in enhanced thermal escape fluxes and fractionation. flux, thought to exist in the first 500 My. The models show that the larger the solar flux the greater the mass of the fractionating species, which are accelerated to escape speeds by the hydrogen wind through drag processes. As the atmospheres evolve and the solar EUV flux wanes, the

  2. Wind and Rotation Enhanced Escape From the Early Terrestrial Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartle, R. E.

    2001-05-01

    The earliest atmospheres of the terrestrial planets are thought to have been hotter, have stronger winds and rotate faster than atmospheres of today. Since these primitive atmospheres were weakly bound, they evolved rapidly because atmospheric escape was very strong, often referred to as "blowoff." Such escape has been treated as hydrodynamic, transonic flow, similar to solar wind flow dynamics. However, in many cases the outward flow is hydrodynamic at low altitudes only to become collisionless at higher altitudes, well before sonic speeds are ever attained. Recent models dealing with such transition from fluid to kinetic flow have applied the Jeans escape flux at the exobase. This approach has lead to escape rates that are too low due to the fact that thermospheric winds and planetary rotation increase escape fluxes considerably over the corresponding Jeans fluxes (1). In particular, for a given density and temperature at the exobase, the escape flux increases as the wind speed and/or the rotation rate increase. Also, for a given wind speed and rotation rate, the escape flux enhancement over the Jeans flux increases as the mass of an escaping constituent increases, an important factor in isotope fractionation, especially the enrichment of deuterium on Mars. Accounting for a range of possible temperatures, thermospheric wind speeds and planetary rotation rates in the primitive atmospheres of the terrestrial planets, estimates are made of light constituent escape flux increases over the corresponding Jeans fluxes. (1) Hartle, R. E. and H. G. Mayr, J. Geophys. Res., 81, 1207, 1976.

  3. Wind and Rotation Enhanced Escape from the Early Terrestrial Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartle, Richard E.; Einaudi, Franco (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The earliest atmospheres of the terrestrial planets are thought to have been hotter, have stronger winds and rotate faster than atmospheres of today. Since these primitive atmospheres were weakly bound, they evolved rapidly because atmospheric escape was very strong, often referred to as "blowoff." Such escape has been treated as hydrodynamic, transonic flow; similar to solar wind flow dynamics. However, in many cases, although the outward flow is hydrodynamic at low altitudes, it becomes collisionless at higher altitudes, before sonic speeds are ever attained. Recent models dealing with the transition from fluid to kinetic flow have applied the Jeans escape flux at the exobase. This approach leads to escape rates that are too low, because thermospheric winds and planetary rotation are known to increase the escape flux above the corresponding Jeans flux. In particular, for a given density and temperature at the exobase, the escape flux increases as the wind speed and/or the rotation rate increase. Also, for a given wind speed and rotation rate, the escape flux enhancement over the Jeans flux increases as the mass of an escaping constituent increases, an important factor in isotope fractionation, especially the enrichment of deuterium on Mars. Accounting for a range of possible temperatures, thermospheric wind speeds and planetary rotation rates in the primitive atmospheres of the terrestrial planets, estimates are made of light constituent escape flux increases over the corresponding Jeans fluxes.

  4. The persistent and pernicious myth of the early CO2-N2 atmospheres of terrestrial planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaw, G. H.

    2009-12-01

    The accepted model for early atmospheres of terrestrial planets has settled on a CO2-N2 composition. Unfortunately, while it is largely based on a brilliant geological analysis by Rubey, there is no compelling evidence whatsoever for such a composition as the first “permanent” atmosphere for Earth or any other planet. In fact, geological discoveries of the past 50+ years reveal several problems with a CO2-N2 atmosphere, some of which Rubey recognized in his own analysis. He clearly addressed the problem of timing of degassing, concluding that early massive degassing of CO2 would produce readily observed and profound effects, which are not evident. Modeling and constraints on the timing of planetary accretion and core formation indicate massive early degassing. If early degassing emitted CO2-N2, the effects are concealed. Plate tectonic recycling is not a solution, as conditions would have persisted beyond the time of the earliest rocks, which do not show the effects. Attempts to return degassed CO2 to the mantle are not only ad hoc, but inconsistent with early thermal structure of the Earth. Second, production of prebiotic organic compounds from a CO2-N2 atmosphere has been a nagging problem. At best this has been addressed by invoking hydrogen production from the mantle to provide reducing capacity. While hydrogen may be emitted in volcanic eruptions, it is exceedingly difficult to imagine this process generating enough organics to yield high concentrations in a global ocean. The recent fashion of invoking organic synthesis at deep-sea vents suffers from the same problem: how to achieve sufficient concentrations of organics in a global ocean by abiotic synthesis when hydrothermal activity stirs the solution and carries the prebiotic products off to great dilution? Suggesting life began at deep-sea vents, and continues to carry on chemosynthesis there, begs the question. Unless you get high enough concentrations of prebiotics by abiotic processes, you simply

  5. On the relationship between early solar activity and the evolution of terrestrial planet atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Repin, Robert O.

    1989-01-01

    Mass fractionation during hydrodynamic escape of hydrogen-rich primordial atmospheres form Venus, earth, and Mars can account for most of the salient features of mass distributions in their present-day atmospheres. The principal assumptions and results of an escape-fractionation model for the evolution of terrestrial planet atmospheres from primary to final states are qualitatively described, with emphasis on the astrophysical conditions needed to enable the loss process. A substantial and rapidly declining flux of energetic solar radiation into atmospheric exospheres is required, initially (at solar ages of about 1-10 million years) two to three orders of magnitude more intense than that supplied by extreme-ultraviolet emission from the contemporary sun. The solar accretion disk must have dissipated if such radiation is to penetrate the system midplane to planetray distances. On both criteria, hydrodynamic escape from planets appears plausible in the astrophysical environment of the naked T-Tauri stars.

  6. The Atmospheres of the Terrestrial Planets:Clues to the Origins and Early Evolution of Venus, Earth, and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baines, Kevin H.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Bullock, Mark A.; Grinspoon, David H,; Mahaffy, Paul; Russell, Christopher T.; Schubert, Gerald; Zahnle, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    We review the current state of knowledge of the origin and early evolution of the three largest terrestrial planets - Venus, Earth, and Mars - setting the stage for the chapters on comparative climatological processes to follow. We summarize current models of planetary formation, as revealed by studies of solid materials from Earth and meteorites from Mars. For Venus, we emphasize the known differences and similarities in planetary bulk properties and composition with Earth and Mars, focusing on key properties indicative of planetary formation and early evolution, particularly of the atmospheres of all three planets. We review the need for future in situ measurements for improving our understanding of the origin and evolution of the atmospheres of our planetary neighbors and Earth, and suggest the accuracies required of such new in situ data. Finally, we discuss the role new measurements of Mars and Venus have in understanding the state and evolution of planets found in the habitable zones of other stars.

  7. Synthetic spectra of simulated terrestrial atmospheres containing possible biomarker gases

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schindler, T. L.; Kasting, J. F.

    2000-01-01

    NASA's proposed Terrestrial Planet Finder, a space-based interferometer, will eventually allow spectroscopic analyses of the atmospheres of extrasolar planets. Such analyses would provide information about the existence of life on these planets. One strategy in the search for life is to look for evidence of O3 (and hence O2) in a planet's atmosphere; another is to look for gases that might be present in an atmosphere analogous to that of the inhabited early Earth. In order to investigate these possibilities, we have calculated synthetic spectra for several hypothetical terrestrial-type atmospheres. The model atmospheres represent four different scenarios. The first two, representing inhabited terrestrial planets, are an Earth-like atmosphere containing variable amounts of oxygen and an early Earth-type atmosphere containing methane. In addition, two cases representing Mars-like and early Venus-like atmospheres were evaluated, to provide possible "false positive" spectra. The calculated spectra suggest that ozone could be detected by an instrument like Terrestrial Planet Finder if the O2 concentration in the planet's atmosphere is > or = 200 ppm, or 10(-3) times the present atmospheric level. Methane should be observable on an early-Earth type planet if it is present in concentrations of 100 ppm or more. Methane has both biogenic and abiogenic sources, but concentrations exceeding 1000 ppm, or 0.1% by volume, would be difficult to produce from abiogenic sources alone. High methane concentrations in a planet's atmosphere are therefore another potential indicator for extraterrestrial life.

  8. Fair weather terrestrial atmospheric electricity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison, G.

    Atmospheric electricity is one of the oldest experimental topics in atmospheric science. The fair weather aspects, although having less dramatic effects than thunderstorm electrification, link the microscale behaviour of ion clusters to currents flowing on the global scale. This talk will include a survey of some past measurements and measurement methods, as atmospheric electrical data from a variety of sites and eras are now being used to understand changes in atmospheric composition. Potential Gradient data was the original source of information on the global atmospheric electrical circuit, and similar measurements can now be used to reconstruct past air pollution concentrations, and black carbon loading.

  9. Impact erosion of terrestrial planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahrens, Thomas J.

    1992-01-01

    I review current ideas about the nature of the planetesimals - composition, size distribution, and the planetary encounter velocity. Previous papers on accretion and erosion of planetary atmospheres as a result of multiple impacts are reviewed. Finally, the effects of blowing off a substantial fraction of the atmosphere from a terrestrial planet due to a single giant body impact are discussed.

  10. Nucleosynthesis in the terrestrial and solar atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yu, C.; Zhou, R.; Zhan, S.

    1985-01-01

    Variations of Delta D, delta C-13, Delta C-14 and Delta O-18 with time were measured by a lot of experiments. Many abnormalities of isotope abundances in cosmic rays were found by balloons and satellites. It is suggested that these abnormalities are related to nuclearsynthesis in the terrestrial and solar atmospheres and are closely related to solar activities.

  11. Linkages between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bretherton, Francis; Dickinson, Robert E.; Fung, Inez; Moore, Berrien, III; Prather, Michael; Running, Steven W.; Tiessen, Holm

    1992-01-01

    The primary research issue in understanding the role of terrestrial ecosystems in global change is analyzing the coupling between processes with vastly differing rates of change, from photosynthesis to community change. Representing this coupling in models is the central challenge to modeling the terrestrial biosphere as part of the earth system. Terrestrial ecosystems participate in climate and in the biogeochemical cycles on several temporal scales. Some of the carbon fixed by photosynthesis is incorporated into plant tissue and is delayed from returning to the atmosphere until it is oxidized by decomposition or fire. This slower (i.e., days to months) carbon loop through the terrestrial component of the carbon cycle, which is matched by cycles of nutrients required by plants and decomposers, affects the increasing trend in atmospheric CO2 concentration and imposes a seasonal cycle on that trend. Moreover, this cycle includes key controls over biogenic trace gas production. The structure of terrestrial ecosystems, which responds on even longer time scales (annual to century), is the integrated response to the biogeochemical and environmental constraints that develop over the intermediate time scale. The loop is closed back to the climate system since it is the structure of ecosystems, including species composition, that sets the terrestrial boundary condition in the climate system through modification of surface roughness, albedo, and, to a great extent, latent heat exchange. These separate temporal scales contain explicit feedback loops which may modify ecosystem dynamics and linkages between ecosystems and the atmosphere. The long-term change in climate, resulting from increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (e.g., CO2, CH4, and nitrous oxide (N2O)) will further modify the global environment and potentially induce further ecosystem change. Modeling these interactions requires coupling successional models to biogeochemical models to

  12. Solar-terrestrial relationships in atmospheric electricity

    SciTech Connect

    Roble, R.G.

    1985-06-30

    There are many suggested solar-terrestrial relationships in global atmospheric electricity. Of the various relationships, the downward mapping of ionospheric and magnetospheric electric fields, associated with the solar wind/magnetosphere and the ionosphere wind dynamos, is best understood theoretically and appears to be supported by the few available data. The solar cycle variations of ionospheric potential and air-earth current appear to be related to variations in galactic cosmic rays and perhaps to their effect on the current output from thunderstorms. The solar flare and solar magnetic sector boundary variations are not well understood but may be related to Forbush decreases in cosmic ray flux and/or effects resulting from energetic particle precipitation. The available data on auroral effects on atmospheric electricity are confusing and not understood at all. There is a clear need for further research to better define the physical mechanisms responsible for all of these solar-terrestrial relationships. The observed solar-terrestrial variations and the need for current closure in the global circuit suggest that the function of the equalization layer in the ''classical picture'' of atmospheric electricity should be revised to be consistent with our current knowledge of upper-atmospheric electrical processes.

  13. Early Formation of Terrestrial Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison, T. M.; Schmitt, A. K.; McCulloch, M. T.; Lovera, O. M.

    2007-12-01

    Early (≥4.5 Ga) Formation of Terrestrial Crust T.M. Harrison1, A.K. Schmitt1, M.T. McCulloch2, and O.M. Lovera1 1Department of Earth and Space Sciences and IGPP, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA; 2Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, A.C.T. 2601 AUSTRALIA Large deviations in ǎrepsilonHf(T) from bulk silicate Earth seen in >4 Ga detrital zircons from Jack Hills, Western Australia, have been interpreted as reflecting a major differentiation of the silicate Earth at ca. 4.4 to 4.5 Ga. We have expanded the characterization of 176Hf/177Hf (Hf) in Hadean zircons by acquiring a further 116 laser ablation Lu-Hf measurements on 87 grains with ion microprobe 207Pb/206Pb ages up to 4.36 Ga. Most measurements employed concurrent Lu-Hf and 207Pb/206Pb analyses, permitting assessment of the use of ion microprobe data to characterize the age of the volumetrically larger domain sampled by laser drilling. Our new results confirm and extend the earlier observation of significant negative deviations in ǎrepsilonHf(T) throughout the Hadean, although no positive ǎrepsilonHf(T) values were documented in this study. These data yields an essentially uniform spectrum of single-stage model ages between 4.54 and 4.20 Ga for extraction of the zircons' protoliths from a chondritic reservoir. We derived the full error propagation expression for a parameter, ǎrepsilono, which measures the difference of a sample from solar system initial (Hf) (Hfo), and from this conclude that data plotting close to (Hfo), are statistically meaningful and consistent with silicate differentiation at 4.540±0.006 Ga. δ18O and Ti thermometry for these Hadean zircons show little obvious correlation with initial (Hf), consistent with their derivation through fusion of a broad suite of crustal rock types under near water-saturated conditions. Together with the inclusion assemblage and other isotopic and trace element data obtained from these ancient zircons, our results

  14. Solar-terrestrial coupling through atmospheric electricity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roble, R. G.; Hays, P. B.

    1979-01-01

    There are a number of measurements of electrical variations that suggest a solar-terrestrial influence on the global atmospheric electrical circuit. The measurements show variations associated with solar flares, solar magnetic sector boundary crossings, geomagnetic activity, aurorae, differences between ground current and potential gradients at high and low latitudes, and solar cycle variations. The evidence for each variation is examined. Both the experimental evidence and the calculations made with a global model of atmospheric electricity indicate that there is solar-terrestrial coupling through atmospheric electricity which operates by altering the global electric current and field distribution. A global redistribution of currents and fields can be caused by large-scale changes in electrical conductivity, by alteration of the columnar resistance between thunderstorm cloud tops and the ionosphere, or by both. If the columnar resistance is altered above thunderstorms, more current will flow in the global circuit, changing the ionospheric potential and basic circuit variables such as current density and electric fields. The observed variations of currents and fields during solar-induced disturbances are generally less than 50% of mean values near the earth's surface.

  15. Atmospheric evolution of the terrestrial planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunten, D. M.

    1993-02-01

    The major atmospheric gases on Earth, Venus, and Mars were probably CO2, H2O, and N2. Most of the Earth's CO2 is tied up in minerals such as limestone, and Venus has lost most of its H2O, leaving the CO2 in the atmosphere. Much of Mars' atmosphere may have been eroded in impacts by large meteoroids early in solar-system history. Noble gases are very underabundant everywhere, and must have been lost during an early period: they were probably dragged along during rapid loss of massive amounts of hydrogen. The tenuous atmospheres of Mercury and the moon have lifetimes of a few days or less and must be continuously replenished from internal or external sources.

  16. Were early pterosaurs inept terrestrial locomotors?

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Pterodactyloid pterosaurs are widely interpreted as terrestrially competent, erect-limbed quadrupeds, but the terrestrial capabilities of non-pterodactyloids are largely thought to have been poor. This is commonly justified by the absence of a non-pterodactyloid footprint record, suggestions that the expansive uropatagia common to early pterosaurs would restrict hindlimb motion in walking or running, and the presence of sprawling forelimbs in some species. Here, these arguments are re-visited and mostly found problematic. Restriction of limb mobility is not a problem faced by extant animals with extensive fight membranes, including species which routinely utilise terrestrial locomotion. The absence of non-pterodactyloid footprints is not necessarily tied to functional or biomechanical constraints. As with other fully terrestrial clades with poor ichnological records, biases in behaviour, preservation, sampling and interpretation likely contribute to the deficit of early pterosaur ichnites. Suggestions that non-pterodactyloids have slender, mechanically weak limbs are demonstrably countered by the proportionally long and robust limbs of many Triassic and Jurassic species. Novel assessments of pterosaur forelimb anatomies conflict with notions that all non-pterodactyloids were obligated to sprawling forelimb postures. Sprawling forelimbs seem appropriate for species with ventrally-restricted glenoid articulations (seemingly occurring in rhamphorhynchines and campylognathoidids). However, some early pterosaurs, such as Dimorphodon macronyx and wukongopterids, have glenoid arthrologies which are not ventrally restricted, and their distal humeri resemble those of pterodactyloids. It seems fully erect forelimb stances were possible in these pterosaurs, and may be probable given proposed correlation between pterodactyloid-like distal humeral morphology and forces incurred through erect forelimb postures. Further indications of terrestrial habits include antungual

  17. Sulfuric acid aerosols in the atmospheres of the terrestrial planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGouldrick, Kevin; Toon, Owen B.; Grinspoon, David H.

    2011-08-01

    Clouds and hazes composed of sulfuric acid are observed to exist or postulated to have once existed on each of the terrestrial planets with atmospheres in our solar system. Venus today maintains a global cover of clouds composed of a sulfuric acid/water solution that extends in altitude from roughly 50 km to roughly 80 km. Terrestrial polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) form on stratospheric sulfuric acid aerosols, and both PSCs and stratospheric aerosols play a critical role in the formation of the ozone hole. Stratospheric aerosols can modify the climate when they are enhanced following volcanic eruptions, and are a current focus for geoengineering studies. Rain is made more acidic by sulfuric acid originating from sulfur dioxide generated by industry on Earth. Analysis of the sulfur content of Martian rocks has led to the hypothesis that an early Martian atmosphere, rich in SO 2 and H 2O, could support a sulfur-infused hydrological cycle. Here we consider the plausibility of frozen sulfuric acid in the upper clouds of Venus, which could lead to lightning generation, with implications for observations by the European Space Agency's Venus Express and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Venus Climate Orbiter (also known as Akatsuki). We also present simulations of a sulfur-rich early Martian atmosphere. We find that about 40 cm/yr of precipitation having a pH of about 2.0 could fall in an early Martian atmosphere, assuming a surface temperature of 273 K, and SO 2 generation rates consistent with the formation of Tharsis. This modeled acid rain is a powerful sink for SO 2, quickly removing it and preventing it from having a significant greenhouse effect.

  18. Ions in the Terrestrial Atmosphere and Other Solar System Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison, R. Giles; Tammet, Hannes

    Charged molecular clusters, traditionally called small ions, carry electric currents in atmospheres. Charged airborne particles, or aerosol ions, play an important role in generation and evolution of atmospheric aerosols. Growth of ions depends on the trace gas content, which is highly variable in the time and space. Even at sub-ppb concentrations, electrically active organic compounds (e.g. pyridine derivatives) can affect the ion composition and size. The size and mobility are closely related, although the form of the relationship varies depending on the critical diameter, which, at 273 K, is about 1.6 nm. For ions smaller than this the separation of quantum levels exceeds the average thermal energy, allowing use of a molecular aggregate model for the size-mobility relation. For larger ions the size-mobility relation approaches the Stokes-Cunningham-Millikan law. The lifetime of a cluster ion in the terrestrial lower atmosphere is about one minute, determined by the balance between ion production rate, ion-ion recombination, and ion-aerosol attachment.

  19. Ions in the Terrestrial Atmosphere and Other Solar System Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison, R. Giles; Tammet, Hannes

    2008-06-01

    Charged molecular clusters, traditionally called small ions, carry electric currents in atmospheres. Charged airborne particles, or aerosol ions, play an important role in generation and evolution of atmospheric aerosols. Growth of ions depends on the trace gas content, which is highly variable in the time and space. Even at sub-ppb concentrations, electrically active organic compounds ( e.g. pyridine derivatives) can affect the ion composition and size. The size and mobility are closely related, although the form of the relationship varies depending on the critical diameter, which, at 273 K, is about 1.6 nm. For ions smaller than this the separation of quantum levels exceeds the average thermal energy, allowing use of a molecular aggregate model for the size-mobility relation. For larger ions the size-mobility relation approaches the Stokes-Cunningham-Millikan law. The lifetime of a cluster ion in the terrestrial lower atmosphere is about one minute, determined by the balance between ion production rate, ion-ion recombination, and ion-aerosol attachment.

  20. Formation and Internal Structure of Terrestrial Planets, and Atmospheric Escape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, S.

    2014-11-01

    As of 2014 April 21, over 1490 confirmed exoplanets and 3705 Kepler candidates have been detected. This implies that exoplanets may be ubiquitous in the universe. In this paper, we focus on the formation, evolution, and internal structure of terrestrial planets, and the atmospheric escape of close-in planets. In chapter 2, we investigate the dynamical evolution of planetary system after the protoplanetary disk has dissipated. We find that in the final assembly stage, the occurrence of terrestrial planets is quite common and in 40% of our simulations finally at least one planet is formed in the habitable zone. We also find that if there is a highly-inclined giant planet in the system, a great many bodies will be either driven out of the system, or collide with the giant planet or the central star. This will lead to the difficulty in planetary accretion. Moreover, our results show that planetary migration can lead to the formation of close-in planets. Besides migration, close-in terrestrial planets can also be formed by a collision-merger mechanism, which means that planetary embryos can kick terrestrial planets directly into orbits that are extremely close to their parent stars. In chapter 3, we construct numerically an internal structure model for terrestrial planets, and provide three kinds of possible internal structures of Europa (Jupiter's moon) based on this model. Then, we calculate the radii of low-mass exoplanets for various mass combinations of core and mantle, and find that some of them are inconsistent with the observed radius of rocky planets. This phenomenon can be explained only if there exists a large amount of water in the core, or they own gaseous envelopes. In chapter 4, we improve our planetary evolution codes using the semi-gray model of Guillot (2010), which includes the incident flux from the host star as a heating source in planetary atmosphere. The updated codes can solve the structure of the top radiative zone of intensely irradiated

  1. Synchronous negative carbon isotope shifts in marine and terrestrial biomarkers at the onset of the early Aptian oceanic anoxic event 1a: Evidence for the release of 13C-depleted carbon into the atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Breugel, Yvonne; Schouten, Stefan; Tsikos, Harilaos; Erba, Elisabetta; Price, Gregory D.; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.

    2007-03-01

    A common feature of records of the early Aptian oceanic anoxic event (OAE) 1a is the sharp negative δ13C excursion displayed in both carbonate and organic matter at the onset of this event. A synchronous negative δ13C excursion has also been noted for terrestrial organic matter. This negative excursion has been attributed to either an injection of 13C-depleted light carbon into the atmosphere or, in case of marine sediments, recycling of 13C-depleted CO2. However, most studies were done on separate cores, and no information on the relative timing of the negative spikes in terrestrial versus marine records has been obtained. Here we examine early Aptian core sections from two geographically distal sites (Italy and the mid-Pacific) to elucidate the causes and relative timing of this negative "spike." At both sites, increased organic carbon (Corg) and decreased bulk carbonate contents characterize the interval recording OAE 1a (variously referred to as the "Selli event"). The organic material within the "Selli level" is immature and of autochthonous origin. Measured δ13C values of marine and terrestrial biomarkers largely covary with those of bulk organic carbon, with lowest values recorded at the base of the organic-rich section. By contrast, sediments enveloping the "Selli level" exhibit very low Corg contents, and their extractable Corg is predominantly of allochthonous origin. Hydrous pyrolysis techniques used to obtain an autochthonous, pre-Selli δ13C value for algal-derived pristane from corresponding sample material yielded a negative δ13C shift of up to 4‰. A negative δ13C shift of similar magnitude was also measured for the terrigenous n-alkanes. The results are collectively best explained by means of a massive, syndepositional, rapid input of 13C-depleted carbon into the atmosphere and surface oceans, likely delivered either via methane produced from the dissociation of sedimentary clathrates or perhaps by widespread thermal metamorphism of Corg

  2. Rare earth element systematics of the chemically precipitated component in Early Precambrian iron formations and the evolution of the terrestrial atmosphere-hydrosphere-lithosphere system

    SciTech Connect

    Bau, M.; Moeller, P. )

    1993-05-01

    The chemically precipitated component in Early Precambrian (> 2.3 Ga) iron formations (IFs) displays (Sm/Yb)[sub CN] < 1 and (Eu/Sm)[sub SN] > 1 which reflects the corresponding ratios of contemporaneous seawater. In conjunction with [epsilon][sub Nd-IF] > [epsilon][sub Nd-shale] this rare earth element (REE) signature reveals that the REE distribution in Early Precambrian IFs must be explained by mixing between a marine bottom and a surface water component, and that the REEs (and by analogy the Fe) cannot be derived from weathering of a continental source. Mixing calculations reveal that (Sm/Yb)[sub CN] in Early Precambrian marine surface waters was significantly lower than it is today. To explain this difference, two mechanisms are discussed on the basis of higher P[sub CO[sub 2

  3. Chinguetti - terrestrial age and pre-atmospheric size

    SciTech Connect

    Welten, K C; Masarik, J; Bland, P A; Caffee, M W; Russell, S S; Grady, M M; Denyer, I; Lloyd, J

    2000-01-14

    Chinguetti is a 4.5 kg mesosiderite find recovered from the Adra region of Mauretania. In this paper the authors analyse a portion of the recovered sample for cosmogenic radionuclides to determine its terrestrial age, and to determine its pre-atmospheric radius. They determined the terrestrial age of Chinguetti to be < 30 ky. They constrain the pre-atmospheric radius to 50--80 cm and the shielding depths of 15--25 cm. These data indicate that Chinguetti is a comparatively recent fall.

  4. Transport of terrestrial atmospheric gases to the moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hills, H. K.; Freeman, J. W.

    1978-01-01

    The suprathermal Ion Detector Experiment instruments on the lunar surface have identified fluxes of ions which may be different from the solar wind both in elemental and in isotopic abundances. At present, only O/+/ is (tentatively) identified, but the mechanism operates to produce ions at the moon which have their origin in the earth's atmosphere. Consequently, the 'solar wind' component of the surface-correlated gases is effectively a combination of terrestrial atmospheric ions and the actual solar wind. The results differ from solar wind results if the terrestrial ion abundances strongly differ from those of the solar wind.

  5. Terrestrial nitrous oxide cycles and atmospheric effects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whitten, R. C.; Lawless, J. G.; Banin, A.

    1984-01-01

    The basic processes that cause N2O emission from soils are briefly discussed, and the rate of the processes is shown to vary widely in space and time, depending on soil, climate, and agrotechnical conditions. Although significant amounts of N2O are indeed emitted from the land, the complexity of the soil processes involved and the wide variation of measured rates still prevents the quantitative evaluation, global budgeting, and reliable prediction of atmospheric N2O. Increased atmospheric N2O abundance increases the levels of odd-nitrogen in the stratosphere, which, in turn, decreases the stratospheric ozone density via a catalytic cycle. Using appropriate atmospheric models and current chemical kinetic data, it has been found that the dependence of ozone reduction on N2O increase is nearly linear; a simulated doubling of N2O leads to a predicted decrease of about 14 percent in total ozone column density. A 10 percent increase in N2O yields a predicted increase in nonmelanoma skin cancer of several percent, and a possible raising of surface temperature of 0.03 K.

  6. Space, Atmospheric, and Terrestrial Radiation Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barth, Janet L.; Dyer, C. S.; Stassinopoulos, E. G.

    2003-01-01

    The progress on developing models of the radiation environment since the 1960s is reviewed with emphasis on models that can be applied to predicting the performance of microelectronics used in spacecraft and instruments. Space, atmospheric, and ground environments are included. It is shown that models must be adapted continually to account for increased understanding of the dynamics of the radiation environment and the changes in microelectronics technology. The IEEE Nuclear and Space Radiation Effects Conference is a vital forum to report model progress to the radiation effects research community.

  7. The Atmospheric and Terrestrial Mobile Laboratory (ATML).

    SciTech Connect

    Zak, Bernard Daniel; Rahn, Thom; Nitschke, Kim; Ivey, Mark D.; Mora, Claudia; McDowell, Nate; Love, Steve; Dubey, M.; Michelsen, Hope A.; Guilderson, Tom; Schubert, William Kent; Costigan, Keeley; Chylek, Petr; Bambha, Ray P.; Roskovensky, John K.

    2010-04-01

    The ionospheric disturbance dynamo signature in geomagnetic variations is investigated using the National Center for Atmospheric Research Thermosphere-Ionosphere-Electrodynamics General Circulation Model. The model results are tested against reference magnetically quiet time observations on 21 June 1993, and disturbance effects were observed on 11 June 1993. The model qualitatively reproduces the observed diurnal and latitude variations of the geomagnetic horizontal intensity and declination for the reference quiet day in midlatitude and low-latitude regions but underestimates their amplitudes. The patterns of the disturbance dynamo signature and its source 'anti-Sq' current system are well reproduced in the Northern Hemisphere. However, the model significantly underestimates the amplitude of disturbance dynamo effects when compared with observations. Furthermore, the largest simulated disturbances occur at different local times than the observations. The discrepancies suggest that the assumed high-latitude storm time energy inputs in the model were not quantitatively accurate for this storm.

  8. Solar Wind Ablation of Terrestrial Planet Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, Thomas Earle; Fok, Mei-Ching H.; Delcourt, Dominique C.

    2009-01-01

    Internal plasma sources usually arise in planetary magnetospheres as a product of stellar ablation processes. With the ignition of a new star and the onset of its ultraviolet and stellar wind emissions, much of the volatiles in the stellar system undergo a phase transition from gas to plasma. Condensation and accretion into a disk is replaced by radiation and stellar wind ablation of volatile materials from the system- Planets or smaller bodies that harbor intrinsic magnetic fields develop an apparent shield against direct stellar wind impact, but UV radiation still ionizes their gas phases, and the resulting internal plasmas serve to conduct currents to and from the central body along reconnected magnetic field linkages. Photoionization and thermalization of electrons warms the ionospheric topside, enhancing Jeans' escape of super-thermal particles, with ambipolar diffusion and acceleration. Moreover, observations and simulations of auroral processes at Earth indicate that solar wind energy dissipation is concentrated by the geomagnetic field by a factor of 10-100, enhancing heavy species plasma and gas escape from gravity, and providing more current carrying capacity. Thus internal plasmas enable coupling with the plasma, neutral gas and by extension, the entire body. The stellar wind is locally loaded and slowed to develop the required power. The internal source plasma is accelerated and heated, inflating the magnetosphere as it seeks escape, and is ultimately blown away in the stellar wind. Bodies with little sensible atmosphere may still produce an exosphere of sputtered matter when exposed to direct solar wind impact. Bodies with a magnetosphere and internal sources of plasma interact more strongly with the stellar wind owing to the magnetic linkage between the two created by reconnection.

  9. Kinetics of Fast Atoms in the Terrestrial Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kharchenko, Vasili A.; Dalgarno, A.; Mellott, Mary (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    This report summarizes our investigations performed under NASA Grant NAG5-8058. The three-year research supported by the Geospace Sciences SR&T program (Ionospheric, Thermospheric, and Mesospheric Physics) has been designed to investigate fluxes of energetic oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the terrestrial thermosphere. Fast atoms are produced due to absorption of the solar radiation and due to coupling between the ionosphere and the neutral thermospheric gas. We have investigated the impact of hot oxygen and nitrogen atoms on the thermal balance, chemistry and radiation properties of the terrestrial thermosphere. Our calculations have been focused on the accurate quantitative description of the thermalization of O and N energetic atoms in collisions with atom and molecules of the ambient neutral gas. Upward fluxes of oxygen and nitrogen atoms, the rate of atmospheric heating by hot oxygen atoms, and the energy input into translational and rotational-vibrational degrees of atmospheric molecules have been evaluated. Altitude profiles of hot oxygen and nitrogen atoms have been analyzed and compared with available observational data. Energetic oxygen atoms in the terrestrial atmosphere have been investigated for decades, but insufficient information on the kinetics of fast atmospheric atoms has been a main obstacle for the interpretation of observational data and modeling of the hot geocorona. The recent development of accurate computational methods of the collisional kinetics is seen as an important step in the quantitative description of hot atoms in the thermosphere. Modeling of relaxation processes in the terrestrial atmosphere has incorporated data of recent observations, and theoretical predictions have been tested by new laboratory measurements.

  10. Hydrogen and climate in primitive terrestrial and super-Earth atmospheres (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wordsworth, R.

    2013-12-01

    For the three terrestrial planets with significant atmospheres in the Solar System (Earth, Venus and Mars), present-day conditions are oxidizing, with combinations of CO2, N2, O2 and H2O dominating by mass and in terms of the greenhouse effect. However, primitive terrestrial or ';super-Earth' exoplanet atmospheres may be much more reducing (i.e., hydrogen-rich), with major implications for climate, composition, and pre-biotic chemistry. Here I discuss recent work on the role of hydrogen in terrestrial planetary atmospheres, with a particular focus on the early Earth. I describe how collision-induced absorption (CIA) by hydrogen may have significantly warmed Earth's surface in the Archean and Hadean by blocking the critical water vapour absorption window at 800-1200 cm-1. This warming may have helped mitigate the faint young Sun effect early on. After the emergence of widespread methanogenesis, the consumption of H2 and CO2 should have led to a global shift in climate, with potentially observable consequences in the geological record. Because of variations in planetary mass, stellar XUV input and outgassing rates, hydrogen is also likely to be an important component of many super-Earth atmospheres. As I will discuss, this should have a significant effect on climate evolution and the carbon cycle on such planets, which should be considered in future predictions of atmospheric spectra and biosignatures.

  11. Terrestrial biogeochemical cycles - Global interactions with the atmosphere and hydrology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schimel, David S.; Parton, William J.; Kittel, Timothy G. F.

    1991-01-01

    A review is presented of developments in ecosystem theory, remote sensing, and geographic information systems that support new endeavors in spatial modeling. A paradigm has emerged to predict ecosystem behavior based on understanding responses to multiple resources. Ecosystem models couple primary production to decomposition and nutrient availability utilizing this paradigm. It is indicated that coupling of transport and ecosystem processes alters the behavior of earth system components (terrestrial ecosystems, hydrology, and the atmosphere) from that of an uncoupled model.

  12. Energetic Metastable Oxygen and Nitrogen Atoms in the Terrestrial Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kharchenko, Vasili

    2004-01-01

    We have investigated the impact of hot metastable oxygen atoms on the product yields and rate coefficients of atmospheric reactions involving O( (sup 1)D). The contribution of the metastable oxygen atoms to the thermal balance of the terrestrial atmosphere between 50 and 200 km has been determined. We found that the presence of hot O((sup l)D) atoms in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere significantly increases the production rate of the rotationally-vibrationally excited NO molecules. The computed yield of the NO molecules in N2O+ O((sup 1)D) atmospheric collisions, involving non-Maxwellian distributions of the metastable oxygen atoms, is more than two times larger than the NO-yield at a thermal equilibrium. The calculated non-equilibrium rate and yield functions are important for ozone and nitrous oxide modeling in the stratosphere, mesosphere and lower thermosphere.

  13. ABIOTIC OXYGEN-DOMINATED ATMOSPHERES ON TERRESTRIAL HABITABLE ZONE PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Wordsworth, Robin; Pierrehumbert, Raymond

    2014-04-20

    Detection of life on other planets requires identification of biosignatures, i.e., observable planetary properties that robustly indicate the presence of a biosphere. One of the most widely accepted biosignatures for an Earth-like planet is an atmosphere where oxygen is a major constituent. Here we show that lifeless habitable zone terrestrial planets around any star type may develop oxygen-dominated atmospheres as a result of water photolysis, because the cold trap mechanism that protects H{sub 2}O on Earth is ineffective when the atmospheric inventory of non-condensing gases (e.g., N{sub 2}, Ar) is low. Hence the spectral features of O{sub 2} and O{sub 3} alone cannot be regarded as robust signs of extraterrestrial life.

  14. Early terrestrial ecosystems: the animal evidence

    SciTech Connect

    Gray, J.

    1985-01-01

    Work on fossil spores indicates that plants at a level of vegetative organization comparable to bryophytes and vascular plants existed on land in the Early Silurian. Vascular plants, limnetic fishes, and probable Ascomycetes have Late Silurian records. Charophytes are known in the Late Silurian but may have been marine. The presence of microarthropods in the Ludlovian has been hypothesized from fungal masses in the Burgsvik Sandstone that closely resemble microarthropod frass. A number of microarthropods such as collembolans and mites are microphagous; these animals are among the earliest known from the Early Devonian. These fungal masses as animal traces have been given added credibility by the recovery of animal body fossils from basal Llandovery age fluvial deposits of the Central Appalachians that yield abundant plant spores but that lack marine invertebrates, phytoplankton or chitinozoans. The remains are abundant and sufficiently varied to suggest that they may represent a variety of organisms. Some are eurypterid-like, others grossly arthropod-like, although they may represent an unknown phylum or phyla. Many small invertebrates are associated with extant bryophytes, which have been viewed as stepping stones or halfway houses for them as they emerged from water onto land. The occurrence of these Early Silurian invertebrate remains with abundant spore tetrads, which Gray has hypothesized represent land plants at a bryophyte or hepatic grade of organization, is of great interest in trying to understand the early development of nonmarine ecosystems.

  15. Energetic Metastable Oxygen and Nitrogen Atoms in the Terrestrial Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kharchenko, Vasili; Dalgarno, A.

    2005-01-01

    This report summarizes our research performed under NASA Grant NAG5-11857. The three-year grant have been supported by the Geospace Sciences SR&T program. We have investigated the energetic metastable oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the terrestrial stratosphere, mesosphere and thermosphere. Hot atoms in the atmosphere are produced by solar radiation, the solar wind and various ionic reactions. Nascent hot atoms arise in ground and excited electronic states, and their translational energies are larger by two - three orders of magnitude than the thermal energies of the ambient gas. The relaxation kinetics of hot atoms determines the rate of atmospheric heating, the intensities of aeronomic reactions, and the rate of atom escape from the planet. Modeling of the non-Maxwellian energy distributions of metastable oxygen and nitrogen atoms have been focused on the determination of their impact on the energetics and chemistry of the terrestrial atmosphere between 25 and 250 km . At this altitudes, we have calculated the energy distribution functions of metastable O and N atoms and computed non-equilibrium rates of important aeronomic reactions, such as destruction of the water molecules by O(1D) atoms and production of highly excited nitric oxide molecules. In the upper atmosphere, the metastable O(lD) and N(2D) play important role in formation of the upward atomic fluxes. We have computed the upward fluxes of the metastable and ground state oxygen atoms in the upper atmosphere above 250 km. The accurate distributions of the metastable atoms have been evaluated for the day and night-time conditions.

  16. Data Assimilation and Transport Modeling in Terrestrial and Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houben, Howard C.; Young, Richard E. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Data assimilation is a blanket term used to describe a number of techniques for retrieving important physical parameters from observational data, subject to constraints imposed by prior knowledge (such as, in the case of meteorology, the primitive equations that govern atmospheric motion). Since these newly developed methods make efficient use of computational resources, they are of great importance in the interpretation of the voluminous datasets that are now produced by satellite missions. As proposed, these techniques have been applied to the study of the Martian and terrestrial atmospheres based on available satellite observations. In addition, a sophisticated hydrodynamic model (non-hydrostatic, and therefore applicable to the study of the interiors of the giant planets) has also been developed and successfully applied to the study of tidally induced motions in Jupiter.

  17. Terrestrial production vs. extraterrestrial delivery of prebiotic organics to the early Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chyba, C. F.; Sagan, C.; Thomas, P. J.; Brookshaw, L.

    1991-01-01

    A comprehensive treatment of comet/asteroid interaction with the atmosphere, ensuring surface impact, and resulting organic pyrolysis is required to determine whether more than a negligible fraction of the organics in incident comets and asteroids actually survived collision with Earth. Results of such an investigation, using a smoothed particle hydrodynamic simulation of cometary and asteroidal impacts into both oceans and rock, demonstrate that organics will not survive impacts at velocities approx. greater than 10 km s(exp -1), and that even comets and asteroids as small as 100m in radius cannot be aerobraked to below this velocity in 1 bar atmospheres. However, for plausible dense (10 bar CO2) early atmospheres, there will be sufficient aerobraking during atmospheric passage for some organics to survive the ensuing impact. Combining these results with analytical fits to the lunar impact record shows that 4.5 Gyr ago Earth was accreting at least approx. 10(exp 6) kg yr(exp 1) of intact cometary organics, a flux which thereafter declined with a approx. 100 Myr half-life. The extent to which this influx was augmented by asteroid impacts, as well as the effect of more careful modelling of a variety of conservative approximations, is currently being quantified. These results may be placed in context by comparison with in situ organic production from a variety of terrestrial energy sources, as well as organic delivery by interplanetary dust. Which source dominated the early terrestrial prebiotic inventory is found to depend on the nature of the early terrestrial atmosphere. However, there is an intriguing symmetry: it is exactly those dense CO2 atmospheres where in situ atmospheric production of organic molecules should be the most difficult, in which intact cometary organics would be delivered in large amounts.

  18. Habitability of Terrestrial Planets in the Early Solar System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    SLEEP, N. H.

    2001-12-01

    The Protoearth, Mars, Venus, and the Moon-forming impactor were potentially habitable in the early solar system. The interiors of larger asteroids had habitable circulating water. To see when the inner solar system became continuously habitable, one needs to consider the most dangerous events and the safest refugia from them. Early geochemical and accretionary processes set the subsequent silicate planet reservoirs and hence hydrospheric and atmospheric masses. The moon-forming impact made the Moon and the Earth sterile bodies. Following the impact, the Earth passed through a rock-vapor atmosphere on the scale of 1000s of years and an internally heated steam greenhouse on the scale of 2 m.y. Minerals bearing the principle volatiles (water, Cl, and CO2) were stable at the Earth's surface by the time it cooled to 800K. The mass of reactable shallow material was insufficient to contain the available water and CO2. Habitable conditions were established after CO2 could be deeply subducted into the mantle. Vast quantities of H2 were vented during accretion and after the moon-forming impact and eventually lost to space. It is unknown whether significant amounts of this gas were present when the Earth's surface cooled into the habitable range. The moon remained sterile because its interior is essentially devoid of water. The mantle of the Earth, in contrast, cannot hold the available water, leaving the excess to form oceans. Nitrogen may behave similarly with the excess going into the air. Impacts of large asteroids (and comets) were an ever-present danger on otherwise habitable planets. The safest niche on planets was kilometer or deeper crustal rocks habitable by thermophiles. It is inevitable that several objects, which would have left only thermophile survivors, struck the Earth. Such events were so infrequent that the conditions of such a bottleneck should not be confused with conditions for the origin of life. An alternative refugium involves ejection of life within

  19. Contribution of natural terrestrial sources to the atmospheric chloroform budget

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhew, R. C.; Abel, T.; Pan, D.; Whelan, M.

    2008-12-01

    Chloroform (trichloromethane, CHCl3) is the second largest carrier of natural chlorine in the troposphere after methyl chloride, contributing to the reactive chlorine burden in the troposphere and to ozone destruction in the stratosphere. Our understanding of the biogeochemical cycling of atmospheric CHCl3 has undergone major adjustments recently, including the quantification of the total atmospheric burden of this compound, the estimated global source and sink strengths, and the relative contributions of anthropogenic versus natural contributions. Numerous natural terrestrial sources have been identified, including temperate peatlands, Arctic tundra, termite mounds, salt marshes, grasslands, forests and woodlands. However, the wide variability of fluxes within each ecosystem has complicated efforts to quantify the overall terrestrial source. In addition, the environmental and biogeochemical controls remain largely unknown. We shall present a comparison of recent CHCl3 flux measurements that cover a range of biome types and climatic conditions. To address within-biome variability, flux measurements from the Arctic tundra and temperate grasslands will be compared to common environmental parameters (e.g., temperature, soil moisture, solar insolation) and other trace gas fluxes (CH3Cl, CH4, CCl4). The generally poor correlations demonstrate that the variability of CHCl3 emissions may be affected by site-specific parameters that are not currently measured or by drastic changes in hydrologic conditions. Similar patterns are observed in laboratory incubations of tundra peat and grassland soils. We explore the possibility that the humification of plant material, which has been shown to produce organochlorine compounds through the chlorination of organic matter, may contribute to CHCl3 emissions. If this link exists, then CHCl3 production could potentially act as a proxy for organic matter degradation and carbon sequestration, essential biogeochemical and ecosystem

  20. Terrestrial atmospheric effects induced by counterstreaming dense interstellar cloud material

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yeghikyan, A.; Fahr, H.

    The Solar System during its life has encountered more than 10 times with dense interstellar clouds with particle concentrations about 10(8)-10(9) m(-3) and more suppressing the heliopause to dimensions smaller than 1 AU and bringing the Earth in immediate contact with the interstellar matter. For cloud's concentration greater than of 10(8) m(-3), the flow material at the Earth, completely shielded from solar wind protons would be only subject to solar photoionization processes. Previously published results were limited to consideration of processes outside of the accretion radius and have not been taken into account the photoionization. We have developed a 2D-2-fluid gasdynamical numerical code to describe the behavior of the incoming neutral matter near the Earth, taken into account both the photoionization and the gravity of the Sun. Increased neutral hydrogen fluxes ranging from 10(13) to 10(16) m(-2)s(-1) would cause an alteration of the terrestrial atmosphere. During immersion in the cloud the total incident flux of neutral hydrogen onto the terrestrial atmosphere in the steady state would be balanced by the upward escape flux of hydrogen and the downward flux of water, which is the product of hydrogen-oxygen chemistry via even-odd reaction schemes. In that case hydrogen acts as a catalyst for the destruction of oxygen atoms and causes the ozone concentration to diminish pronouncedly above 50 km from a factor of 1.5 at the stratopause to about a factor of 1000 and more at the mesopause. Thus, depending on the encounter parameters the large mixing ratio of hydrogen decreases the ozon concentration in the mesosphere and triggers an ice age of relatively long duration.

  1. Water loss from terrestrial planets with CO{sub 2}-rich atmospheres

    SciTech Connect

    Wordsworth, R. D.; Pierrehumbert, R. T.

    2013-12-01

    Water photolysis and hydrogen loss from the upper atmospheres of terrestrial planets is of fundamental importance to climate evolution but remains poorly understood in general. Here we present a range of calculations we performed to study the dependence of water loss rates from terrestrial planets on a range of atmospheric and external parameters. We show that CO{sub 2} can only cause significant water loss by increasing surface temperatures over a narrow range of conditions, with cooling of the middle and upper atmosphere acting as a bottleneck on escape in other circumstances. Around G-stars, efficient loss only occurs on planets with intermediate CO{sub 2} atmospheric partial pressures (0.1-1 bar) that receive a net flux close to the critical runaway greenhouse limit. Because G-star total luminosity increases with time but X-ray and ultraviolet/ultravoilet luminosity decreases, this places strong limits on water loss for planets like Earth. In contrast, for a CO{sub 2}-rich early Venus, diffusion limits on water loss are only important if clouds caused strong cooling, implying that scenarios where the planet never had surface liquid water are indeed plausible. Around M-stars, water loss is primarily a function of orbital distance, with planets that absorb less flux than ∼270 W m{sup –2} (global mean) unlikely to lose more than one Earth ocean of H{sub 2}O over their lifetimes unless they lose all their atmospheric N{sub 2}/CO{sub 2} early on. Because of the variability of H{sub 2}O delivery during accretion, our results suggest that many 'Earth-like' exoplanets in the habitable zone may have ocean-covered surfaces, stable CO{sub 2}/H{sub 2}O-rich atmospheres, and high mean surface temperatures.

  2. The early atmosphere - A new picture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levine, Joel S.

    1986-01-01

    Over the last few years, discoveries in astronomy, geochemistry, and atmospheric chemistry have resulted in a new picture of how our planet and its atmosphere formed. The traditional view held that the early atmosphere was composed of methane, ammonia, and molecular hydrogen, but the actual composition may have been nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. The history leading to the present understanding is discussed and topics covered include: chemical evolution, origin of the atmosphere, atmospheric evolution on earth, Venus, and Mars, and prebiological atmospheric oxygen and the early sun.

  3. Atmospheres on the terrestrial planets: Clues to origin and evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pepin, Robert O.

    2006-11-01

    Earth, Venus and Mars reached their final sizes in the first 100 Myr or so of solar system history. For part of that time the growing planets and the materials forming them were immersed in the Sun-like gases of the solar nebula, and so one would expect that their early volatile inventories were acquired from the nebula. But the compositions of atmospheres presently on these planets are not solar, and therein lies a complex and fascinating story of physical and chemical evolution over the past 4.5 Ga. Records of physical processing survive most clearly in the chemically inert noble gases, and data on the elemental and isotopic abundances of these trace constituents, now from Mars and Venus as well as Earth, point to atmospheric histories punctuated by enormous inputs of energy from early astrophysical sources long since vanished. Observational and theoretical advances during the past 30 years underpin current evolutionary models in which primordial solar-like atmospheric gases are fractionated by gravitational escape, driven on Earth by a giant Moon-forming impact, on Mars by sputtering at high altitudes, and on all three planets by adsorption of intense ultraviolet radiation from the young Sun. Residual atmospheres left behind after these outflows to space are augmented by planetary degassing, including species generated in their interiors by radioactive decay. Interplay over time of these mechanisms for loss and gain of atmospheric gases can account for many of the details of contemporary noble gas distributions. These of course are just models. However they have predictive power for compositions as yet unmeasured, particularly on Venus, and the modeling assumptions are in principle testable by experiment or theory. The fundamental question of whether nature actually shaped the atmospheres in this way is still unanswered, but at least we have an outline of how it might have happened.

  4. Origin of the atmosphere and hydrosphere of the terrestrial planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matsui, T.; Abe, Y.

    1985-01-01

    An early thermal evolution of a planet growing by planetesimal impacts was studied. An evolution of an impact induced atmosphere was considered. It is known that the surface of a growing planet is heated due to the blanketing effect of the atmosphere and exceeds the melting temperature, which means that the surface of a growing planet was entirely covered by a magma ocean. The amount of water in a proto-atmosphere is influenced by the formation of a magma ocean. It is suggested the solubility of water in silicate melt controls the water content in a proto-atmsphere. It is noted that irrespective of difference in initial water content of planetesimals the final water content in the atmosphere becomes almost constant and is about 10 to the 21st power kg which is almost identical with the present amount of the ocean. It is also shown that the water in a proto-atmosphere can be liquid for the Earth and becomes to be an ocean but this does not happen on Venus.

  5. Processes Impacting Atmosphere-Surface Exchanges at Arctic Terrestrial Sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Persson, Ola; Grachev, Andrey; Konopleva, Elena; Cox, Chris; Stone, Robert; Crepinsek, Sara; Shupe, Matthew; Uttal, Taneil

    2015-04-01

    Surface energy fluxes are key to the annual cycle of near-surface and soil temperature and biologic activity in the Arctic. While these energy fluxes are undoubtedly changing to produce the changes observed in the Arctic ecosystem over the last few decades, measurements have generally not been available to quantify what processes are regulating these fluxes and what is determining the characteristics of these annual cycles. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has established, or contributed to the establishment of, several terrestrial "supersites" around the perimeter of the Arctic Ocean at which detailed measurements of atmospheric structure, surface fluxes, and soil thermal properties are being made. These sites include Barrow, Alaska; Eureka and Alert, Canada; and Tiksi, Russia. Atmospheric structure measurements vary, but include radiosoundings at all sites and remote sensing of clouds at two sites. Additionally, fluxes of sensible heat and momentum are made at all of the sites, while fluxes of moisture and CO2 are made at two of the sites. Soil temperatures are also measured in the upper 120 cm at all sites, which is deep enough to define the soil active layer. The sites have been operating between 3 years (Tiksi) and 24 years (Barrow). While all sites are located north of 71° N, the summer vegetation range from lush tundra grasses to rocky soils with little vegetation. This presentation will illustrate some of the atmospheric processes that are key for determining the annual energy and temperature cycles at these sites, and some of the key characteristics that lead to differences in, for instance, the length of the summer soil active layer between the sites. Atmospheric features and processes such as cloud characteristics, snowfall, downslope wind events, and sea-breezes have impacts on the annual energy cycle. The presence of a "zero curtain" period, when autumn surface temperature remains approximately constant at the freezing point

  6. Terrestrial Effects of Nearby Supernovae in the Early Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, B. C.; Engler, E. E.; Kachelrieß, M.; Melott, A. L.; Overholt, A. C.; Semikoz, D. V.

    2016-07-01

    Recent results have strongly confirmed that multiple supernovae happened at distances of ˜100 pc, consisting of two main events: one at 1.7–3.2 million years ago, and the other at 6.5–8.7 million years ago. These events are said to be responsible for excavating the Local Bubble in the interstellar medium and depositing 60Fe on Earth and the Moon. Other events are indicated by effects in the local cosmic ray (CR) spectrum. Given this updated and refined picture, we ask whether such supernovae are expected to have had substantial effects on the terrestrial atmosphere and biota. In a first look at the most probable cases, combining photon and CR effects, we find that a supernova at 100 pc can have only a small effect on terrestrial organisms from visible light and that chemical changes such as ozone depletion are weak. However, tropospheric ionization right down to the ground, due to the penetration of ≥TeV CRs, will increase by nearly an order of magnitude for thousands of years, and irradiation by muons on the ground and in the upper ocean will increase twentyfold, which will approximately triple the overall radiation load on terrestrial organisms. Such irradiation has been linked to possible changes in climate and increased cancer and mutation rates. This may be related to a minor mass extinction around the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary, and further research on the effects is needed.

  7. Terrestrial Effects of Nearby Supernovae in the Early Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, B. C.; Engler, E. E.; Kachelrieß, M.; Melott, A. L.; Overholt, A. C.; Semikoz, D. V.

    2016-07-01

    Recent results have strongly confirmed that multiple supernovae happened at distances of ∼100 pc, consisting of two main events: one at 1.7–3.2 million years ago, and the other at 6.5–8.7 million years ago. These events are said to be responsible for excavating the Local Bubble in the interstellar medium and depositing 60Fe on Earth and the Moon. Other events are indicated by effects in the local cosmic ray (CR) spectrum. Given this updated and refined picture, we ask whether such supernovae are expected to have had substantial effects on the terrestrial atmosphere and biota. In a first look at the most probable cases, combining photon and CR effects, we find that a supernova at 100 pc can have only a small effect on terrestrial organisms from visible light and that chemical changes such as ozone depletion are weak. However, tropospheric ionization right down to the ground, due to the penetration of ≥TeV CRs, will increase by nearly an order of magnitude for thousands of years, and irradiation by muons on the ground and in the upper ocean will increase twentyfold, which will approximately triple the overall radiation load on terrestrial organisms. Such irradiation has been linked to possible changes in climate and increased cancer and mutation rates. This may be related to a minor mass extinction around the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary, and further research on the effects is needed.

  8. The Huygens Atmospheric Structure Instrument (HASI): Expected Results at Titan and Performance Verification in Terrestrial Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferri, F.; Fulchignoni, M.; Colombatti, G.; Stoppato, P. F. Lion; Zarnecki, J. C.; Harri, A. M.; Schwingenschuh, K.; Hamelin, M.; Flamini, E.; Bianchini, G.; Angrilli, F.

    2005-01-01

    The Huygens ASI is a multi-sensor package resulting from an international cooperation, it has been designed to measure the physical quantities characterizing Titan's atmosphere during the Huygens probe mission. On 14th January, 2005, HASI will measure acceleration, pressure, temperature and electrical properties all along the Huygens probe descent on Titan in order to study Titan s atmospheric structure, dynamics and electric properties. Monitoring axial and normal accelerations and providing direct pressure and temperature measurements during the descent, HASI will mainly contribute to the Huygens probe entry and trajectory reconstruction. In order to simulate the Huygens probe descent and verify HASI sensors performance in terrestrial environment, stratospheric balloon flight experiment campaigns have been performed, in collaboration with the Italian Space Agency (ASI). The results of flight experiments have allowed to determine the atmospheric vertical profiles and to obtain a set of data for the analysis of probe trajectory and attitude reconstruction.

  9. Evolution of an early Titan atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, R. E.; Tucker, O. J.; Volkov, A. N.

    2016-06-01

    Rapid escape from a proposed early CH4/NH3 atmosphere on Titan could, in principle, limit the amount of NH3 that is converted by photolysis into the present N2 atmosphere. Assuming that this conversion occurred, a recent estimate of escape driven by the surface temperature and pressure was used to constrain Titan's accretion temperature. Here we show that for the range of temperatures of interest, heating of the surface is not the primary driver for escape. Atmospheric loss from a thick Titan atmosphere is predominantly driven by heating of the upper atmosphere; therefore, the loss rate cannot be used to easily constrain the accretion temperature. We give an estimate of the solar driven escape rate from an early atmosphere on Titan, and then briefly discuss its relevance to the cooling rate, isotope ratios, and the time period suggested to convert NH3 to the present N2 atmosphere.

  10. Early Earth: Atmosphere's solar shock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez, Ramses

    2016-06-01

    Frequent storms on the young Sun would have ejected energetic particles and compressed Earth's magnetosphere. Simulations suggest that the particles penetrated the atmosphere and initiated reactions that warmed the planet and fertilized life.

  11. Early oxygenation of the terrestrial environment during the Mesoproterozoic.

    PubMed

    Parnell, John; Boyce, Adrian J; Mark, Darren; Bowden, Stephen; Spinks, Sam

    2010-11-11

    Geochemical data from ancient sedimentary successions provide evidence for the progressive evolution of Earth's atmosphere and oceans. Key stages in increasing oxygenation are postulated for the Palaeoproterozoic era (∼2.3 billion years ago, Gyr ago) and the late Proterozoic eon (about 0.8 Gyr ago), with the latter implicated in the subsequent metazoan evolutionary expansion. In support of this rise in oxygen concentrations, a large database shows a marked change in the bacterially mediated fractionation of seawater sulphate to sulphide of Δ(34)S < 25‰ before 1 Gyr to ≥50‰ after 0.64 Gyr. This change in Δ(34)S has been interpreted to represent the evolution from single-step bacterial sulphate reduction to a combination of bacterial sulphate reduction and sulphide oxidation, largely bacterially mediated. This evolution is seen as marking the rise in atmospheric oxygen concentrations and the evolution of non-photosynthetic sulphide-oxidizing bacteria. Here we report Δ(34)S values exceeding 50‰ from a terrestrial Mesoproterozoic (1.18 Gyr old) succession in Scotland, a time period that is at present poorly characterized. This level of fractionation implies disproportionation in the sulphur cycle, probably involving sulphide-oxidizing bacteria, that is not evident from Δ(34)S data in the marine record. Disproportionation in both red beds and lacustrine black shales at our study site suggests that the Mesoproterozoic terrestrial environment was sufficiently oxygenated to support a biota that was adapted to an oxygen-rich atmosphere, but had also penetrated into subsurface sediment. PMID:21068840

  12. Lichen metabolism identified in Early Devonian terrestrial organisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jahren, A. Hope; Porter, Steven; Kuglitsch, Jeffrey J.

    2003-02-01

    We used δ13C values to identify lichen metabolism in the globally distributed Early Devonian (409 386 Ma) macrofossil Spongiophyton minutissimum, which had been alternatively interpreted as a green plant of bryophyte grade or as a lichen, based on its morphology. Extant mosses and hornworts exhibited a range of δ13Ctissue values that was discrete from that of extant lichens. The δ13Ctissue values of 96 S. minutissimum specimens coincided with δ13Ctissue values of extant lichens. In contrast, S. minutissimum δ13Ctissue values showed no similarity to bryophyte carbon isotope values. The identification of large global populations of lichens during the Early Devonian may indicate that lichen-accelerated soil formation fostered the development of Paleozoic terrestrial ecosystems.

  13. A massive early atmosphere on Triton

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lunine, Jonathan I.; Nolan, Michael C.

    1992-01-01

    The idea of an early greenhouse atmosphere for Triton is presented and the conditions under which it may have been sustained are quantified. The volatile content of primordial Triton is modeled, and tidal heating rates are assessed to set bounds on the available energy. The atmospheric model formalism is presented, and it is shown how a massive atmosphere could have been raised by modest tidal heating fluxes. The implications of the model atmospheres for the atmospheric escape rates, the chemical evolution, and the cratering record are addressed.

  14. North America's net terrestrial CO2 exchange with the atmosphere 1990–2009

    SciTech Connect

    King, Anthony W.; Andres, Robert; Davis, Kenneth J.; Hafer, M.; Hayes, Daniel J.; Huntzinger, Deborah N.; de Jong, Bernardus; Kurz, Werner; McGuire, A. David; Vargas, Rodrigo; Wei, Yaxing; West, Tristram O.; Woodall, Chris W.

    2015-01-21

    Scientific understanding of the global carbon cycle is required for developing national and international policy to mitigate fossil fuel CO2 emissions by managing terrestrial carbon uptake. Toward that understanding and as a contribution to the REgional Carbon Cycle Assessment and Processes (RECCAP) project, this paper provides a synthesis of net land–atmosphere CO2 exchange for North America (Canada, United States, and Mexico) over the period 1990–2009. Only CO2 is considered, not methane or other greenhouse gases. This synthesis is based on results from three different methods: atmospheric inversion, inventory-based methods and terrestrial biosphere modeling. All methods indicate that the North American land surface was a sink for atmospheric CO2, with a net transfer from atmosphere to land. Estimates ranged from -890 to -280 Tg C yr-1, where the mean of atmospheric inversion estimates forms the lower bound of that range (a larger land sink) and the inventory-based estimate using the production approach the upper (a smaller land sink). This relatively large range is due in part to differences in how the approaches represent trade, fire and other disturbances and which ecosystems they include. Integrating across estimates, \\"best\\" estimates (i.e., measures of central tendency) are -472 ± 281 Tg C yr-1 based on the mean and standard deviation of the distribution and -360 Tg C yr-1 (with an interquartile range of -496 to -337) based on the median. Considering both the fossil fuel emissions source and the land sink, our analysis shows that North America was, however, a net contributor to the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere in the late 20th and early 21st century. With North America's mean annual fossil fuel CO2 emissions for the period 1990–2009 equal to 1720 Tg C yr-1 and assuming the estimate of -472 Tg C yr-1 as an approximation of the

  15. North America's net terrestrial CO2 exchange with the atmosphere 1990–2009

    DOE PAGESBeta

    King, Anthony W.; Andres, Robert; Davis, Kenneth J.; Hafer, M.; Hayes, Daniel J.; Huntzinger, Deborah N.; de Jong, Bernardus; Kurz, Werner; McGuire, A. David; Vargas, Rodrigo; et al

    2015-01-21

    Scientific understanding of the global carbon cycle is required for developing national and international policy to mitigate fossil fuel CO2 emissions by managing terrestrial carbon uptake. Toward that understanding and as a contribution to the REgional Carbon Cycle Assessment and Processes (RECCAP) project, this paper provides a synthesis of net land–atmosphere CO2 exchange for North America (Canada, United States, and Mexico) over the period 1990–2009. Only CO2 is considered, not methane or other greenhouse gases. This synthesis is based on results from three different methods: atmospheric inversion, inventory-based methods and terrestrial biosphere modeling. All methods indicate that the North Americanmore » land surface was a sink for atmospheric CO2, with a net transfer from atmosphere to land. Estimates ranged from -890 to -280 Tg C yr-1, where the mean of atmospheric inversion estimates forms the lower bound of that range (a larger land sink) and the inventory-based estimate using the production approach the upper (a smaller land sink). This relatively large range is due in part to differences in how the approaches represent trade, fire and other disturbances and which ecosystems they include. Integrating across estimates, \\"best\\" estimates (i.e., measures of central tendency) are -472 ± 281 Tg C yr-1 based on the mean and standard deviation of the distribution and -360 Tg C yr-1 (with an interquartile range of -496 to -337) based on the median. Considering both the fossil fuel emissions source and the land sink, our analysis shows that North America was, however, a net contributor to the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere in the late 20th and early 21st century. With North America's mean annual fossil fuel CO2 emissions for the period 1990–2009 equal to 1720 Tg C yr-1 and assuming the estimate of -472 Tg C yr-1 as an approximation of the true terrestrial CO2 sink, the continent's source : sink ratio for this time period was 1720:472, or nearly 4

  16. North America's net terrestrial CO2 exchange with the atmosphere 1990-2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, A. W.; Andres, R. J.; Davis, K. J.; Hafer, M.; Hayes, D. J.; Huntzinger, D. N.; de Jong, B.; Kurz, W. A.; McGuire, A. D.; Vargas, R.; Wei, Y.; West, T. O.; Woodall, C. W.

    2015-01-01

    Scientific understanding of the global carbon cycle is required for developing national and international policy to mitigate fossil fuel CO2 emissions by managing terrestrial carbon uptake. Toward that understanding and as a contribution to the REgional Carbon Cycle Assessment and Processes (RECCAP) project, this paper provides a synthesis of net land-atmosphere CO2 exchange for North America (Canada, United States, and Mexico) over the period 1990-2009. Only CO2 is considered, not methane or other greenhouse gases. This synthesis is based on results from three different methods: atmospheric inversion, inventory-based methods and terrestrial biosphere modeling. All methods indicate that the North American land surface was a sink for atmospheric CO2, with a net transfer from atmosphere to land. Estimates ranged from -890 to -280 Tg C yr-1, where the mean of atmospheric inversion estimates forms the lower bound of that range (a larger land sink) and the inventory-based estimate using the production approach the upper (a smaller land sink). This relatively large range is due in part to differences in how the approaches represent trade, fire and other disturbances and which ecosystems they include. Integrating across estimates, "best" estimates (i.e., measures of central tendency) are -472 ± 281 Tg C yr-1 based on the mean and standard deviation of the distribution and -360 Tg C yr-1 (with an interquartile range of -496 to -337) based on the median. Considering both the fossil fuel emissions source and the land sink, our analysis shows that North America was, however, a net contributor to the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere in the late 20th and early 21st century. With North America's mean annual fossil fuel CO2 emissions for the period 1990-2009 equal to 1720 Tg C yr-1 and assuming the estimate of -472 Tg C yr-1 as an approximation of the true terrestrial CO2 sink, the continent's source : sink ratio for this time period was 1720:472, or nearly 4:1.

  17. North America's net terrestrial CO2 exchange with the atmosphere 1990–2009

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    King, A.W.; Andres, R.J.; Davis, K.J.; Hafer, M.; Hayes, D.J.; Huntzinger, Deborah N.; de Jong, Bernardus; Kurz, W.A.; McGuire, Anthony; Vargas, Rodrigo I.; Wei, Y.; West, Tristram O.; Woodall, Christopher W.

    2015-01-01

    Scientific understanding of the global carbon cycle is required for developing national and international policy to mitigate fossil fuel CO2 emissions by managing terrestrial carbon uptake. Toward that understanding and as a contribution to the REgional Carbon Cycle Assessment and Processes (RECCAP) project, this paper provides a synthesis of net land–atmosphere CO2 exchange for North America (Canada, United States, and Mexico) over the period 1990–2009. Only CO2 is considered, not methane or other greenhouse gases. This synthesis is based on results from three different methods: atmospheric inversion, inventory-based methods and terrestrial biosphere modeling. All methods indicate that the North American land surface was a sink for atmospheric CO2, with a net transfer from atmosphere to land. Estimates ranged from −890 to −280 Tg C yr−1, where the mean of atmospheric inversion estimates forms the lower bound of that range (a larger land sink) and the inventory-based estimate using the production approach the upper (a smaller land sink). This relatively large range is due in part to differences in how the approaches represent trade, fire and other disturbances and which ecosystems they include. Integrating across estimates, "best" estimates (i.e., measures of central tendency) are −472 ± 281 Tg C yr−1 based on the mean and standard deviation of the distribution and −360 Tg C yr−1 (with an interquartile range of −496 to −337) based on the median. Considering both the fossil fuel emissions source and the land sink, our analysis shows that North America was, however, a net contributor to the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere in the late 20th and early 21st century. With North America's mean annual fossil fuel CO2 emissions for the period 1990–2009 equal to 1720 Tg C yr−1 and assuming the estimate of −472 Tg C yr−1 as an approximation of the true terrestrial CO2 sink, the continent's source : sink ratio for this time period was

  18. Fungal decomposition of terrestrial organic matter accelerated Early Jurassic climate warming

    PubMed Central

    Pieńkowski, Grzegorz; Hodbod, Marta; Ullmann, Clemens V.

    2016-01-01

    Soils – constituting the largest terrestrial carbon pool - are vulnerable to climatic warming. Currently existing uncertainties regarding carbon fluxes within terrestrial systems can be addressed by studies of past carbon cycle dynamics and related climate change recorded in sedimentary successions. Here we show an example from the Early Jurassic (early Toarcian, c. 183 mya) marginal-marine strata from Poland, tracking the hinterland response to climatic changes through a super-greenhouse event. In contrast to anoxia-related enhanced carbon storage in coeval open marine environments, Total Organic Carbon (TOC) concentrations in the Polish successions are substantially reduced during this event. Increasing temperature favoured fungal-mediated decomposition of plant litter – specifically of normally resistant woody tissues. The associated injection of oxidized organic matter into the atmosphere corresponds to abrupt changes in standing vegetation and may have contributed significantly to the amplified greenhouse climate on Earth. The characteristic Toarcian signature of multiple warm pulses coinciding with rapidly decreasing carbon isotope ratios may in part be the result of a radical reduction of the terrestrial carbon pool as a response to climate change. PMID:27554210

  19. Fungal decomposition of terrestrial organic matter accelerated Early Jurassic climate warming.

    PubMed

    Pieńkowski, Grzegorz; Hodbod, Marta; Ullmann, Clemens V

    2016-01-01

    Soils - constituting the largest terrestrial carbon pool - are vulnerable to climatic warming. Currently existing uncertainties regarding carbon fluxes within terrestrial systems can be addressed by studies of past carbon cycle dynamics and related climate change recorded in sedimentary successions. Here we show an example from the Early Jurassic (early Toarcian, c. 183 mya) marginal-marine strata from Poland, tracking the hinterland response to climatic changes through a super-greenhouse event. In contrast to anoxia-related enhanced carbon storage in coeval open marine environments, Total Organic Carbon (TOC) concentrations in the Polish successions are substantially reduced during this event. Increasing temperature favoured fungal-mediated decomposition of plant litter - specifically of normally resistant woody tissues. The associated injection of oxidized organic matter into the atmosphere corresponds to abrupt changes in standing vegetation and may have contributed significantly to the amplified greenhouse climate on Earth. The characteristic Toarcian signature of multiple warm pulses coinciding with rapidly decreasing carbon isotope ratios may in part be the result of a radical reduction of the terrestrial carbon pool as a response to climate change. PMID:27554210

  20. A reduced atmosphere for early Mars?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, J. F.

    1992-01-01

    One-dimensional, radiative-convective climate calculations indicate that the old model of a warm, dense, CO2 atmosphere on early Mars is no longer viable. The magnitude of the greenhouse effect in a CO2/H2O atmosphere is limited by condensation of CO2 clouds; this phenomenon is not important for Mars today, but has a pronounced cooling effect at the low solar luminosities thought to apply during early solar system history. The failure of this model indicates one of four things: (1) the new climate calculations are incorrect; (2) current solar evolution models are incorrect; (3) the idea that early Mars was warm and wet is incorrect; or (4) the atmosphere of early Mars contained other greenhouse gases (or particles) in addition to CO2 and H2O. Of these explanations, the most plausible is number (4) and the rest of the investigation is a further explanation of number (4).

  1. Origin of the atmospheres of the terrestrial planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cameron, A. G. W.

    1983-01-01

    The monotonic decrease in the atmospheric abundance of per gram of planet in the sequence, Venus, earth, and Mars has been assumed to reflect some conditions in the primitive solar nebula at the time of formation of the planetary atmospheres, having to do either with the composition of the nebula itself or the composition of the trapped gases in small solid bodies in the nebula. Behind such hypotheses lies the assumption that planetary atmospheres steadily gain components. However, not only can gases enter atmospheres; they may also be lost from atmospheres both by adsorption into the planetary interior and by loss into space as a result of collisions with minor and major planetesimals. In this paper a necessarily qualitative discussion is given of the problem of collisions with minor planetesimals, a process called atmospheric cratering or atmospheric erosion, and a discussion is given of atmospheric loss accompanying collision of a planet with a major planetesimal, such as may have produced the earth's moon.

  2. Relating GRACE terrestrial water storage variations to global fields of atmospheric forcing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humphrey, Vincent; Gudmundsson, Lukas; Isabelle Seneviratne, Sonia

    2015-04-01

    Synoptic, seasonal and inter-annual fluctuations in atmospheric dynamics all influence terrestrial water storage, with impacts on ecosystems functions, human activities and land-climate interactions. Here we explore to which degree atmospheric variables can explain GRACE estimates of terrestrial water storage on different time scales. Since 2012, the most recent GRACE gravity field solutions (Release 05) can be used to monitor global changes in terrestrial water storage with an unprecedented level of accuracy over more than a decade. In addition, the release of associated gridded and post-processed products facilitates comparisons with other global datasets such as land surface model outputs or satellite observations. We investigate how decadal trends, inter-annual fluctuations as well as monthly anomalies of the seasonal cycle of terrestrial water storage can be related to fields of atmospheric forcing, including e.g. precipitation and temperature as estimated in global reanalysis products using statistical techniques. In the majority of the locations with high signal to noise ratio, both short and long-term fluctuations of total terrestrial water storage can be reconstructed to a large degree based on available atmospheric forcing. However, in some locations atmospheric forcing alone is not sufficient to explain the total change in water storage, suggesting strong influence of other processes. Within that framework, the question of an amplification or attenuation of atmospheric forcing through land-surface feedbacks and changes in long term water storage is discussed, also with respect to uncertainties and potential systematic biases in the results.

  3. Photochemistry of methane in the earth's early atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasting, J. F.; Zahnle, K. J.; Walker, J. C. G.

    The photochemical behavior of methane in the early terrestrial atmosphere is investigated with a detailed model in order to determine how much CH4 might have been present and what types of higher hydroocarbons could have been formed. It is found that any primordial methane accumulated during the course of earth accretion would have been dissipated by photochemical reactions in the atmosphere in a geologically short period of time after the segregation of the core. Abiotic sources of methane are not likely to have been large enough to sustain CH4 mixing ratios as high as 10 to the -6th, the threshold for a possible methane greenhouse, with a CO-rich atmosphere being a possible exception. After the origin of life an increasing biogenic source of methane may have driven CH4 mixing ratios well above 10 to the 6th. The rise of atmospheric oxygen in the early Proterozoic may have led to a more rapid photochemical destruction of methane, lowering the mixing ratio to its present value.

  4. Atmospheric transport of persistent pollutants governs uptake by holarctic terrestrial biota

    SciTech Connect

    Larsson, P.; Okla, L.; Woin, Per )

    1990-10-01

    The atmospheric deposition of PCBs, DDT, and lindane, governed uptake in terrestrial biota in the Scandinavian peninsula. Mammalian herbivores and predators as well as predatory insects contained higher levels of pollutants at locations where the fallout load was high than at stations where atmospheric deposition was lower, and the two variables were significantly correlated.

  5. The Center for the Study of Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Atmospheres (CSTEA)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thorpe, Arthur N.; Morris, Vernon R.

    1997-01-01

    The Center for the Study of Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Atmospheres (CSTEA) was established in 1992. The center began with 14 active Principal Investigators (PI's). The research of the Center's PIs has, for the most part, continued in the same four areas as presented in the original proposal: Remote Sensing, Atmospheric Chemistry, Sensors and Detectors, and Spacecraft Dynamics.

  6. Exploring Terrestrial Temperature Changes during the Early Eocene Hyperthermals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snell, K. E.; Clyde, W. C.; Fricke, H. C.; Eiler, J. M.

    2012-12-01

    The Early Eocene is marked by a number of rapid global warming events called hyperthermals. These hyperthermals are associated with negative carbon isotope excursions (CIE) in both marine and terrestrial records. Multiple theories exist to explain the connection of these hyperthermals with the CIEs and each theory predicts different responses by the climate system. Characterizing the timing, duration and magnitude of temperature change that is associated with these hyperthermals is important for determining whether the hyperthermals are all driven by the same underlying climate dynamics or perhaps differ from one another in cause and climatic consequences. In the simplest case, all share a common underlying mechanism; this predicts that the associated temperature changes scale in a predictable way with the magnitude of the CIE (and perhaps exhibit other similarities, such as the relative amplitudes of marine and terrestrial temperature change). To our knowledge, however, the only hyperthermal with paleotemperature data from land is the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). Here we present preliminary carbonate clumped isotope paleotemperature estimates for Early Eocene hyperthermal ETM2/H2 from paleosol carbonates from the Bighorn Basin in Wyoming, USA. We compare the results to existing clumped isotope paleotemperature estimates for the PETM in the Bighorn Basin. Temperatures recorded by paleosol carbonates (which likely reflect near-peak summer ground temperatures) prior to each CIE are ~30°C and increase to ~40-43°C during the apex of each CIE. Following both CIEs, temperatures drop back to pre-CIE values. In the case of ETM2/H2, temperatures begin to rise again immediately, possibly in association with a later hyperthermal, though further work needs to be done to establish this with certainty. These preliminary data suggest that both the absolute values and the magnitudes of temperature changes associated with the PETM and ETM2/H2 are similar; the

  7. On the (anticipated) diversity of terrestrial planet atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leconte, Jérémy; Forget, François; Lammer, Helmut

    2015-12-01

    On our way toward the characterization of smaller and more temperate planets, missions dedicated to the spectroscopic observation of exoplanets will teach us about the wide diversity of classes of planetary atmospheres, many of them probably having no equivalent in the Solar System. But what kind of atmospheres can we expect? To start answering this question, many theoretical studies have tried to understand and model the various processes controlling the formation and evolution of planetary atmospheres, with some success in the Solar System. Here, we shortly review these processes and we try to give an idea of the various type of atmospheres that these processes can create. As will be made clear, current atmosphere evolution models have many shortcomings yet, and need heavy calibrations. With that in mind, we will thus discuss how observations with a mission similar to EChO would help us unravel the link between a planet's environment and its atmosphere.

  8. Proposed reference models for atomic oxygen in the terrestrial atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Llewellyn, E. J.; Mcdade, I. C.; Lockerbie, M. D.

    1989-01-01

    A provisional Atomic Oxygen Reference model was derived from average monthly ozone profiles and the MSIS-86 reference model atmosphere. The concentrations are presented in tabular form for the altitude range 40 to 130 km.

  9. Evaluation of terrestrial carbon cycle models with atmospheric CO2 measurements: Results from transient simulations considering increasing CO2, climate, and land-use effects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dargaville, R.J.; Heimann, Martin; McGuire, A.D.; Prentice, I.C.; Kicklighter, D.W.; Joos, F.; Clein, J.S.; Esser, G.; Foley, J.; Kaplan, J.; Meier, R.A.; Melillo, J.M.; Moore, B., III; Ramankutty, N.; Reichenau, T.; Schloss, A.; Sitch, S.; Tian, H.; Williams, L.J.; Wittenberg, U.

    2002-01-01

    An atmospheric transport model and observations of atmospheric CO2 are used to evaluate the performance of four Terrestrial Carbon Models (TCMs) in simulating the seasonal dynamics and interannual variability of atmospheric CO2 between 1980 and 1991. The TCMs were forced with time varying atmospheric CO2 concentrations, climate, and land use to simulate the net exchange of carbon between the terrestrial biosphere and the atmosphere. The monthly surface CO2 fluxes from the TCMs were used to drive the Model of Atmospheric Transport and Chemistry and the simulated seasonal cycles and concentration anomalies are compared with observations from several stations in the CMDL network. The TCMs underestimate the amplitude of the seasonal cycle and tend to simulate too early an uptake of CO2 during the spring by approximately one to two months. The model fluxes show an increase in amplitude as a result of land-use change, but that pattern is not so evident in the simulated atmospheric amplitudes, and the different models suggest different causes for the amplitude increase (i.e., CO2 fertilization, climate variability or land use change). The comparison of the modeled concentration anomalies with the observed anomalies indicates that either the TCMs underestimate interannual variability in the exchange of CO2 between the terrestrial biosphere and the atmosphere, or that either the variability in the ocean fluxes or the atmospheric transport may be key factors in the atmospheric interannual variability.

  10. PHOTOCHEMISTRY IN TERRESTRIAL EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERES. I. PHOTOCHEMISTRY MODEL AND BENCHMARK CASES

    SciTech Connect

    Hu Renyu; Seager, Sara; Bains, William

    2012-12-20

    We present a comprehensive photochemistry model for exploration of the chemical composition of terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres. The photochemistry model is designed from the ground up to have the capacity to treat all types of terrestrial planet atmospheres, ranging from oxidizing through reducing, which makes the code suitable for applications for the wide range of anticipated terrestrial exoplanet compositions. The one-dimensional chemical transport model treats up to 800 chemical reactions, photochemical processes, dry and wet deposition, surface emission, and thermal escape of O, H, C, N, and S bearing species, as well as formation and deposition of elemental sulfur and sulfuric acid aerosols. We validate the model by computing the atmospheric composition of current Earth and Mars and find agreement with observations of major trace gases in Earth's and Mars' atmospheres. We simulate several plausible atmospheric scenarios of terrestrial exoplanets and choose three benchmark cases for atmospheres from reducing to oxidizing. The most interesting finding is that atomic hydrogen is always a more abundant reactive radical than the hydroxyl radical in anoxic atmospheres. Whether atomic hydrogen is the most important removal path for a molecule of interest also depends on the relevant reaction rates. We also find that volcanic carbon compounds (i.e., CH{sub 4} and CO{sub 2}) are chemically long-lived and tend to be well mixed in both reducing and oxidizing atmospheres, and their dry deposition velocities to the surface control the atmospheric oxidation states. Furthermore, we revisit whether photochemically produced oxygen can cause false positives for detecting oxygenic photosynthesis, and find that in 1 bar CO{sub 2}-rich atmospheres oxygen and ozone may build up to levels that have conventionally been accepted as signatures of life, if there is no surface emission of reducing gases. The atmospheric scenarios presented in this paper can serve as the benchmark

  11. Stability of ammonia in the primitive terrestrial atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasting, J. F.

    1982-04-01

    The rate at which ammonia would have been destroyed in the earth's atmosphere under assumed NH3 mixing ratio conditions of 10 to the -8th to 0.0001 is calculated by a one-dimensional photochemical model, and the destruction rates are compared with possible biotic and abiotic ammonia sources. It is found that, while the mixing ratio of 10 to the -8th needed for the evolution of life could have been maintained by abiotic sources, the value of 0.00001 needed for the production of significant greenhouse warming could not have been sustained abiotically. The increase of atmospheric ammonia due to biological activities during the Archean is also considered lower than the level required for the generation of measurable thermal effects.

  12. X-ray emission of the night terrestrial atmosphere (experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pugacheva, Galina; Pankov, Vladislav; Prokhin, Vladimir; Gusev, Anatoly; Spjeldvik, Walther; Martin, Inacio; Pugacheva, Galina

    A spectrometer RPS-1 onboard the LEO "CORONAS-F" satellite monitored solar X-rays in the energy range 3-31.5 keV (31.07.2001 - 06.12.2005 years) using CdTe solid state detector with thermoelectric semiconductor micro cooler. The device registered X-ray emission of the upper atmosphere at shadowed branches of the orbit. When touching the inner radiation belt in the South Atlantic anomaly and at high latitudes the device registered signals produced by energetic trapped particles. Among the other factors determining the flux registered by the device there are solar activity, the Earth position relatively the Sun (seasonality), satellite position, the telescope orientation relatively nadir when entering and leaving the Earth's shadow. This paper presents global maps of the atmospheric X-ray emission in four energy intervals 3-5; 5-8, 8-16, and 16-31.5 keV during the total period from 23.03.2002 up to 23.03.2003 and periods of 23.03.2002-23.09.2002 and 23.09.2002-23.03/2003 corresponding "summer" and "winter" seasons in the Northern hemisphere. The energy of the registered emission does not exceed 8 keV out of the radiation belt. Comparison of the seasonal maps reveals a gap between the radiation belts at low altitudes ( 500km) in the summer of 2002 probably due to compression of the magnetosphere and/or the seasonal atmospheric temperature changesin time period close to the maximum of solar activity and the absence of the gap in summer of 2004 year near to solar activity minimum. A weak emission of 3-5 keV x-rays in the gap within radiation belts is produced by interaction of galactic cosmic rays with the atmosphere.

  13. The Martian atmospheric water cycle as viewed from a terrestrial perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zurek, Richard W.

    1988-01-01

    It is noted that the conditions of temperature and pressure that characterize the atmosphere of Mars are similar to those found in the Earth's stratosphere. Of particular significance is the fact that liquid water is unstable in both environments. Thus, it is expected that terrestrial studies of the dynamical behavior of stratospheric water should benefit the understanding of water transport on Mars as well.

  14. Radiative transfer code SHARM for atmospheric and terrestrial applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyapustin, A. I.

    2005-12-01

    An overview of the publicly available radiative transfer Spherical Harmonics code (SHARM) is presented. SHARM is a rigorous code, as accurate as the Discrete Ordinate Radiative Transfer (DISORT) code, yet faster. It performs simultaneous calculations for different solar zenith angles, view zenith angles, and view azimuths and allows the user to make multiwavelength calculations in one run. The Δ-M method is implemented for calculations with highly anisotropic phase functions. Rayleigh scattering is automatically included as a function of wavelength, surface elevation, and the selected vertical profile of one of the standard atmospheric models. The current version of the SHARM code does not explicitly include atmospheric gaseous absorption, which should be provided by the user. The SHARM code has several built-in models of the bidirectional reflectance of land and wind-ruffled water surfaces that are most widely used in research and satellite data processing. A modification of the SHARM code with the built-in Mie algorithm designed for calculations with spherical aerosols is also described.

  15. Carbon in the atmosphere and terrestrial biosphere in the 21st century.

    PubMed

    Malhi, Yadvinder

    2002-12-15

    The release of carbon dioxide from fossil-fuel combustion and land-use change has caused a significant perturbation in the natural cycling of carbon between land, atmosphere and oceans. Understanding and managing the effects of this disruption on atmospheric composition and global climate are likely to be amongst the most pressing issues of the 21st century. However, the present-day carbon cycle is still poorly understood. One remarkable feature is that an increasing amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide appears to be being absorbed by terrestrial vegetation. I review the recent evidence for the magnitude and spatial distribution of this 'terrestrial carbon sink', drawing on current research on the global atmospheric distribution and transport of carbon dioxide, oxygen and their isotopes; direct measurement of CO(2) fluxes above various biomes; and inventories of forest biomass and composition. I review the likely causes of these carbon sinks and sources and their implications for the ecology and stability of these biomes. Finally, I examine prospects and key issues over coming decades. Within a few years, satellite measurements of atmospheric CO(2) and forest biomass, coupled with 'real-time' biosphere-atmosphere models, will revolutionize our understanding of the terrestrial carbon cycle. Controlling deforestation and managing forests has the potential to play a significant but limited part in reaching the goal of stabilizing atmospheric CO(2) concentrations. However, there are likely to be limits to the amount of carbon storage possible in natural vegetation, and, in the long term, terrestrial carbon storage may be unstable, with the potential to accelerate rather than brake global warming. PMID:12626274

  16. The Evolution of Stellar Rotation and the Hydrogen Atmospheres of Habitable-zone Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnstone, C. P.; Güdel, M.; Stökl, A.; Lammer, H.; Tu, L.; Kislyakova, K. G.; Lüftinger, T.; Odert, P.; Erkaev, N. V.; Dorfi, E. A.

    2015-12-01

    Terrestrial planets formed within gaseous protoplanetary disks can accumulate significant hydrogen envelopes. The evolution of such an atmosphere due to XUV driven evaporation depends on the activity evolution of the host star, which itself depends sensitively on its rotational evolution, and therefore on its initial rotation rate. In this Letter, we derive an easily applicable method for calculating planetary atmosphere evaporation that combines models for a hydrostatic lower atmosphere and a hydrodynamic upper atmosphere. We show that the initial rotation rate of the central star is of critical importance for the evolution of planetary atmospheres and can determine if a planet keeps or loses its primordial hydrogen envelope. Our results highlight the need for a detailed treatment of stellar activity evolution when studying the evolution of planetary atmospheres.

  17. An impact-induced terrestrial atmosphere and iron-water reactions during accretion of the Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lange, M. A.; Ahrens, T. J.

    1985-01-01

    Shock wave data and theoretical calculations were used to derive models of an impact-generated terrestrial atmosphere during accretion of the Earth. The models showed that impacts of infalling planetesimals not only provided the entire budget of terrestrial water but also led to a continuous depletion of near-surface layers of water-bearing minerals of their structural water. This resulted in a final atmospheric water reservoir comparable to the present day total water budget of the Earth. The interaction of metallic iron with free water at the surface of the accreting Earth is considered. We carried out model calcualtions simulating these processes during accretion. It is assumed that these processes are the prime source of the terrestrial FeO component of silicates and oxides. It is demonstrated that the iron-water reaction would result in the absence of atmospheric/hydrospheric water, if homogeneous accretion is assumed. In order to obtain the necessary amount of terrestrial water, slightly heterogeneous accretion with initially 36 wt% iron planetesimals, as compared with a homogeneous value of 34 wt% is required.

  18. PHOTOCHEMISTRY IN TERRESTRIAL EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERES. II. H{sub 2}S AND SO{sub 2} PHOTOCHEMISTRY IN ANOXIC ATMOSPHERES

    SciTech Connect

    Hu Renyu; Seager, Sara; Bains, William

    2013-05-20

    Sulfur gases are common components in the volcanic and biological emission on Earth, and are expected to be important input gases for atmospheres on terrestrial exoplanets. We study the atmospheric composition and the spectra of terrestrial exoplanets with sulfur compounds (i.e., H{sub 2}S and SO{sub 2}) emitted from their surfaces. We use a comprehensive one-dimensional photochemistry model and radiative transfer model to investigate the sulfur chemistry in atmospheres ranging from reducing to oxidizing. The most important finding is that both H{sub 2}S and SO{sub 2} are chemically short-lived in virtually all types of atmospheres on terrestrial exoplanets, based on models of H{sub 2}, N{sub 2}, and CO{sub 2} atmospheres. This implies that direct detection of surface sulfur emission is unlikely, as their surface emission rates need to be extremely high (>1000 times Earth's volcanic sulfur emission) for these gases to build up to a detectable level. We also find that sulfur compounds emitted from the surface lead to photochemical formation of elemental sulfur and sulfuric acid in the atmosphere, which would condense to form aerosols if saturated. For terrestrial exoplanets in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars or M stars, Earth-like sulfur emission rates result in optically thick haze composed of elemental sulfur in reducing H{sub 2}-dominated atmospheres for a wide range of particle diameters (0.1-1 {mu}m), which is assumed as a free parameter in our simulations. In oxidized atmospheres composed of N{sub 2} and CO{sub 2}, optically thick haze, composed of elemental sulfur aerosols (S{sub 8}) or sulfuric acid aerosols (H{sub 2}SO{sub 4}), will form if the surface sulfur emission is two orders of magnitude more than the volcanic sulfur emission of Earth. Although direct detection of H{sub 2}S and SO{sub 2} by their spectral features is unlikely, their emission might be inferred by observing aerosol-related features in reflected light with future generation space

  19. New Data for Early Earth Atmospheric Modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blackie, D.; Stark, G.; Lyons, J. R.; Pickering, J.; Smith, P. L.; Thorne, A.

    2010-12-01

    The timing of the oxygenation of the Earth’s atmosphere is a central issue in understanding the Earth’s paleoclimate. The discovery of mass-independent fractionation (MIF) of sulphur isotopes deposited within Archean and Paleoproterozoic rock samples (> 2.4 Gyrs) and the transition to mass-dependent fractionation found in younger samples, could provide a marker for the rise in oxygen concentrations in the Earth’s atmosphere [1]. Laboratory experiments [2; 3] suggest isotopic self shielding during gas phase photolysis of SO2 present at wavelengths shorter than 220 nm as the dominant mechanism for MIF. The UV absorption of SO2 is dominated by the C1B2-X1A1 electronic system which comprises strong vibrational bands extending from 170 - 230 nm. Within an atmosphere consisting of low O2 and O3 concentrations, such as that predicted for the early Earth, UV radiation would penetrate deep into the ancient Earth’s atmosphere in the 180 - 220 nm range driving the photolysis of SO2. We have conducted the first ever high resolution measurements of the photo absorption cross sections of several isotopologues of SO2, namely 32SO2, 33SO2, 34SO2 and 36SO2, using the Imperial College UV Fourier transform spectrometer [4] which is ideal for high resolution, broad-band, VIS/UV measurements. The cross sections are being measured at Imperial College at initial resolutions of 1.0 cm-1 which will be increased to resolutions < 0.5 cm-1 for inclusion in photochemical models of the early Earth’s atmosphere in order to more reliably interpret the sulphur isotope ratios found in ancient rock samples [5]. For discussion and interpretation of the photochemical models see the abstract by Lyons et al.(this meeting). References [1] J. Farquhar and B.A. Wing. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 213:1-13, 2003. [2] J. Farquhar, J. Savarino, S. Airieau, and M.H Thiemens. Journal of Geophysical Research,106:32829-32839, 2001. [3] A. Pen and R. N. Clayton.Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

  20. Retention of an atmosphere on early Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carr, M.H.

    1999-01-01

    The presence of valley networks and indications of high erosion rates in ancient terrains on Mars suggest that Mars was warm and wet during heavy bombardment. Various processes that could occur on early Mars were integrated into a self-consistent model to determine what circumstances might lead to warm temperatures during and at the end of heavy bombardment. Included were weathering and burial of CO2 as carbonates, impact erosion, sputtering, and recycling of CO2 back into the atmosphere by burial and heating. The models suggest that despite losses from the atmosphere by weathering and impact erosion, Mars could retain a 0.5 to 1 bar atmosphere at the end of heavy bombardment partly because weathering temporarily sequesters CO2 in the ground and protects it from impact erosion while the impact rate is declining and impact erosion is becoming less effective. Because of the low output of the early Sun, surface temperatures can be above freezing only for a very efficient greenhouse, such as that suggested by Forget and Pierrehumbert [1997]. With weak greenhouse models, temperatures are below freezing throughout heavy bombardment, and such a large amount of CO2 is left in the atmosphere at the end of heavy bombardment that it is difficult to eliminate subsequently to arrive at the present surface inventory. With strong greenhouse models, temperatures are well above freezing during heavy bombardment and drop to close to freezing at the end of heavy bombardment, at which time the atmosphere contains 0.5 to 1 bar of CO2. This can be largely eliminated subsequently by sputtering and low-temperature weathering. Such a model is consistent with the change in erosion rate and the declining rate of valley formation at the end of heavy bombardment. Conditions that favor warm temperatures at the end of heavy bombardment are an efficient greenhouse, low weathering rates, low impact erosion rates, and a smaller fraction of heat lost by conduction as opposed to transport of lava to

  1. Time-Dependent Simulations of the Formation and Evolution of Disk-Accreted Atmospheres Around Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoekl, Alexander; Dorfi, Ernst

    2014-05-01

    In the early, embedded phase of evolution of terrestrial planets, the planetary core accumulates gas from the circumstellar disk into a planetary envelope. This atmosphere is very significant for the further thermal evolution of the planet by forming an insulation around the rocky core. The disk-captured envelope is also the staring point for the atmospheric evolution where the atmosphere is modified by outgassing from the planetary core and atmospheric mass loss once the planet is exposed to the radiation field of the host star. The final amount of persistent atmosphere around the evolved planet very much characterizes the planet and is a key criterion for habitability. The established way to study disk accumulated atmospheres are hydrostatic models, even though in many cases the assumption of stationarity is unlikely to be fulfilled. We present, for the first time, time-dependent radiation hydrodynamics simulations of the accumulation process and the interaction between the disk-nebula gas and the planetary core. The calculations were performed with the TAPIR-Code (short for The adaptive, implicit RHD-Code) in spherical symmetry solving the equations of hydrodynamics, gray radiative transport, and convective energy transport. The models range from the surface of the solid core up to the Hill radius where the planetary envelope merges into the surrounding protoplanetary disk. Our results show that the time-scale of gas capturing and atmospheric growth strongly depends on the mass of the solid core. The amount of atmosphere accumulated during the lifetime of the protoplanetary disk (typically a few Myr) varies accordingly with the mass of the planet. Thus, a core with Mars-mass will end up with about 10 bar of atmosphere while for an Earth-mass core, the surface pressure reaches several 1000 bar. Even larger planets with several Earth masses quickly capture massive envelopes which in turn become gravitationally unstable leading to runaway accretion and the eventual

  2. Global and Regional Constraints on Exchanges of CO2 Between the Atmosphere and Terrestrial Biosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piper, S. C.

    2001-12-01

    The vigorous atmospheric circulation rapidly mixes CO2 that is exchanged with the terrestrial biosphere and oceans. Therefore, at time scales greater than 1 year, the approximate interhemispheric exchange time of the atmosphere, an average of CO2 measurements from a network of surface stations can be used to accurately determine the global net change in atmospheric CO2. By subtracting CO2 produced by fossil fuel combustion, which is well characterized by national statistics, the global the sum of terrestrial biospheric and oceanic net fluxes, here termed the "nonfossil" CO2 flux, can also be accurately determined. The nonfossil CO2 flux averaged -2.1+/-0.3 PgC/yr and -3.2+/-0.4 PgC/yr in the 1980s and 1990s respectively (negative denotes out of the atmosphere), and varied in annual average from about 0 to -4 PgC/yr over these two decades. Two primary methods have been used to further partition the nonfossil CO2 flux between land and oceans: the O2 and 13C/12C methods, which rely, respectively, on measurements of atmospheric O2 (actually O2/N2 for technical reasons) and of the 13C/12C ratio of CO2. Burning of fossil fuel consumes atmospheric O2 and releases CO2 with a 13C/12C ratio lower than that of atmospheric CO2 whereas uptake of CO2 by terrestrial plants releases O2, and increases the atmospheric 13C/12C ratio owing to the preferential assimilation of 12CO2 relative to 13CO2. In contrast, the uptake of CO2 by the oceans has little effect on either the atmospheric O2 or 13C/12C ratio. Therefore, the net CO2 uptake or release from the terrestrial biosphere can be calculated in either method by subtracting the change owing to fossil fuel emissions from the measured change in the atmosphere, utilizing known stoichiometric ratios of O2 and CO2 in the O2 method, and isotopic fractionation factors in the 13C/12C method. Currently, the O2 method gives a net global terrestrial biospheric CO2 flux of -0.2+/-0.7 PgC/yr and -1.4+/-0.7 PgC/yr for the 1980s and the 1990s

  3. Exploring the control of land-atmospheric oscillations over terrestrial vegetation productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Depoorter, Mathieu; Green, Julia; Gentine, Pierre; Liu, Yi; van Eck, Christel; Regnier, Pierre; Dorigo, Wouter; Verhoest, Niko; Miralles, Diego

    2015-04-01

    Vegetation dynamics play an important role in the climate system due to their control on the carbon, energy and water cycles. The spatiotemporal variability of vegetation is regulated by internal climate variability as well as natural and anthropogenic forcing mechanisms, including fires, land use, volcano eruptions or greenhouse gas emissions. Ocean-atmospheric oscillations, affect the fluxes of heat and water over continents, leading to anomalies in radiation, precipitation or temperature at widely separated locations (i.e. teleconnections); an effect of ocean-atmospheric oscillations on terrestrial primary productivity can therefore be expected. While different studies have shown the general importance of internal climate variability for global vegetation dynamics, the control by particular teleconnections over the regional growth and decay of vegetation is still poorly understood. At continental to global scales, satellite remote sensing offers a feasible approach to enhance our understanding of the main drivers of vegetation variability. Traditional studies of the multi-decadal variability of global vegetation have been usually based on the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) derived from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), which extends back to the early '80s. There are, however, some limitations to NDVI observations; arguably the most important of these limitations is that from the plant physiology perspective the index does not have a well-defined meaning, appearing poorly correlated to vegetation productivity. On the other hand, recently developed records from other remotely-sensed properties of vegetation, like fluorescence or microwave vegetation optical depth, have proven a significantly better correspondence to above-ground biomass. To enhance our understanding of the controls of ocean-atmosphere oscillations over vegetation, we propose to explore the link between climate oscillation extremes and net primary productivity

  4. Carbon Fluxes Between the Atmosphere, Terrestrial, and River Systems Across a Glacier-Dominated Landscape in Southcentral Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zulueta, R. C.; Welker, J. M.; Tomco, P. L.

    2011-12-01

    The coastal Gulf of Alaska region is experiencing rapid and accelerating changes due to local and regional warming. Predicted high latitude warming may result in rapid recession of glaciers with subsequent changes in river discharge, nutrient fluxes into the rivers, shifts in landscape vegetation cover, and altered CO2 fluxes affecting the regional carbon balance. As glaciers recede an increase in glacier-dominated river discharge and a change in seasonality of the river discharge are expected. Recently deglaciated landscapes will, over time, be occupied by a succession of vegetation cover that are likely to alter the fluxes of carbon both between the atmosphere and terrestrial ecosystems, and between terrestrial ecosystems and stream and river systems. As the landscape evolves from deglaciated forelands it is expected that there is low to no CO2 fluxes between the atmosphere and the recently deglaciated landscape, as well as dissolved organic and inorganic carbon inputs into rivers and streams. These recently deglaciated landscapes will transition to early successional plant species and on towards mature spruce forests. Each transitional terrestrial ecosystem will have different carbon cycling between the atmosphere, terrestrial, and aquatic systems until the mature spruce forests which is expected to have high carbon uptake and sequestration as well as increased inputs of dissolved organic and inorganic carbon into the rivers and streams. A new research project was initiated in the summer of 2011 focusing on glacier-dominated landscapes within the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in southcentral Alaska with the objective to quantify how the transition from deglaciated forelands to mature spruce forests (a successional sequence) alters the patterns and magnitudes of CO2 exchange, the dissolved carbon inputs from terrestrial to aquatic systems and the extent to which these are manifested due to changes in glacier coverage. We seek to examine present

  5. The impact of Miocene atmospheric carbon dioxide fluctuations on climate and the evolution of terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Kürschner, Wolfram M; Kvacek, Zlatko; Dilcher, David L

    2008-01-15

    The Miocene is characterized by a series of key climatic events that led to the founding of the late Cenozoic icehouse mode and the dawn of modern biota. The processes that caused these developments, and particularly the role of atmospheric CO2 as a forcing factor, are poorly understood. Here we present a CO2 record based on stomatal frequency data from multiple tree species. Our data show striking CO2 fluctuations of approximately 600-300 parts per million by volume (ppmv). Periods of low CO2 are contemporaneous with major glaciations, whereas elevated CO2 of 500 ppmv coincides with the climatic optimum in the Miocene. Our data point to a long-term coupling between atmospheric CO2 and climate. Major changes in Miocene terrestrial ecosystems, such as the expansion of grasslands and radiations among terrestrial herbivores such as horses, can be linked to these marked fluctuations in CO2. PMID:18174330

  6. The impact of Miocene atmospheric carbon dioxide fluctuations on climate and the evolution of terrestrial ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Kürschner, Wolfram M.; Kvaček, Zlatko; Dilcher, David L.

    2008-01-01

    The Miocene is characterized by a series of key climatic events that led to the founding of the late Cenozoic icehouse mode and the dawn of modern biota. The processes that caused these developments, and particularly the role of atmospheric CO2 as a forcing factor, are poorly understood. Here we present a CO2 record based on stomatal frequency data from multiple tree species. Our data show striking CO2 fluctuations of ≈600–300 parts per million by volume (ppmv). Periods of low CO2 are contemporaneous with major glaciations, whereas elevated CO2 of 500 ppmv coincides with the climatic optimum in the Miocene. Our data point to a long-term coupling between atmospheric CO2 and climate. Major changes in Miocene terrestrial ecosystems, such as the expansion of grasslands and radiations among terrestrial herbivores such as horses, can be linked to these marked fluctuations in CO2. PMID:18174330

  7. Preliminary experiment requirements document for Solar and Terrestrial Atmospheres Spectrometer (STAS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    The principal scientific objective of the Solar and Terrestrial Atmospheres Spectrometer (STAS) project is the measurement of the absolute ultraviolet solar spectral irradiance with: (1) resolution of better than 15 mA, and (2) absolute irradiance uncertainty at the state of the art (less than or equal to 3%). High measurement accuracy coupled with high spectral resolution are necessary to identify the nature of the radiation, its variability, and to identify solar processes which may cause the changes. Solar radiation between 1200 and 3600 A dominates the photochemistry of the mesosphere and stratosphere. Some important minor species, such as NO, show very complex and fundamentally narrow structure in their photodestruction cross sections, especially in the region of the Schumann-Runge bands of O2. Understanding the photochemical processes in the terrestrial atmosphere requires knowledge of both the cross sections and of the solar spectrum with the highest possible resolution and accuracy.

  8. Atmospheric circulation modeling of super Earths and terrestrial extrasolar planets using the SPARC/MITgcm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kataria, T.; Showman, A. P.; Haberle, R. M.; Marley, M. S.; Fortney, J. J.; Freedman, R. S.

    2013-12-01

    The field of exoplanets continues to be a booming field of research in astronomy and planetary science, with numerous ground-based (e.g., SuperWASP, HARPS-N and S) and space-based surveys (e.g., Kepler) that detect and characterize planets ranging from hot Jupiters, Jovian-sized planets orbiting less than 0.1 AU from their star, to super Earths and terrestrial exoplanets, planets that have masses equal to or less than 10 times that of Earth with a range of orbital distances. Atmospheric circulation modeling plays an important role in the characterization of these planets, helping to constrain observations that probe their atmospheres. These models have proven successful in understanding observations of transiting exoplanets (when the planet passes in front of the star along our line of sight) particularly when the planet is passing through secondary eclipse (when the planet's dayside is visible). In modeling super Earths and terrestrial exoplanets, we must consider not only planets with thick fluid envelopes, but also traditional terrestrial planets with solid surfaces and thinner atmospheres. To that end, we present results from studies investigating the atmospheric circulation of these classes of planets using the SPARC/MITgcm, a state-of-the-art model which couples the MIT General Circulation Model with a plane-parallel, two-stream, non-gray radiative transfer model. We will present results from two studies, the first focusing on the circulation of GJ 1214b, a super-Earth detected by the MEarth ground-based survey, and a second study which explores the circulation of terrestrial exoplanets orbiting M-dwarfs.

  9. Relevance of O2 and O3 as biomarkers in terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kieken, J.; Selsis, F.; Despois, D.; Billebaud, F.; Dobrijevic, M.; Parisot, J. P.; Bordeaux Observatory Team

    2001-11-01

    Darwin (ESA) and Terrestrial Planet Finder-TPF (NASA) are two projects of space interferometers aiming at the detection of extra-solar terrestrial planets and some of their atmospheric components. In particular, they will be sensitive to the 9.6 microns band of O3 which may be the signature of an O2-rich atmosphere produced by photosynthetic life forms. We point out that O2, and hence O3, can also be produced by photochemistry and investigate the risk of "false positive" detection of life incurred by these missions. We have developed a numerical model for the simulation of chemical and thermal evolution of terrestrial planet atmospheres, which also computes the thermal emission of the planet. Using this code for a large range of realistic atmospheres (including present and past Earth and Mars), we show that O2-rich atmospheres (up to 5 %) and IR absorbing O3 layers can build up without life from H2O and CO2 photolysis. However the two photochemical sources of O2 interfere with each other, and even when appreciable amounts of abiotic O2 are reached, the O3 feature is masked at CO2 pressure higher than 50 mbar, and the by-products of H2O photolysis destroy O3. As a result, whereas the unique detection of O2 remains ambiguous, the simultaneous infrared detection of O2, CO2 and H2O, provided by TPF and Darwin, is established to be a robust way to discriminate photochemical O2 production from biological photosynthesis: none of the atmospheres modelled exhibits this "triple signature" feature, even in the most extreme "high risk" cases.

  10. The molecular composition of impact-generated atmospheres on terrestrial planets during the post-accretion stage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuwahara, Hideharu; Sugita, Seiji

    2015-09-01

    Both geochemical measurements and theoretical calculations suggest that impact degassing from meteoritic materials after the completion of main phase of planetary accretion may have produced a large fraction of the early terrestrial atmospheres. However, the molecular compositions of such impact-generated atmospheres are not well constrained because the thermodynamic cooling path, which controls the chemical reactions in impact-induced vapor, has not been investigated extensively. In this study, we theoretically assess the chemical reactions within impact-induced vapor that cools adiabatically until the pressure equilibrates with the ambient atmosphere. The calculation results indicate that there are two primary controlling factors for the cooling path: impact entropy gain and atmospheric pressure. The former is mainly determined by both impact velocity and the presence/absence of an ocean. The degree of atmospheric effect depends on vapor plume size. For large impacts, atmospheric containment of vapor expansion is inefficient. However, the expansion of small vapor plumes is contained by the pre-existing atmosphere and their terminal molecular composition is controlled by this process. This is because whether a chemical reaction quenches during adiabatic cooling or during subsequent radiative cooling would depend on the cooling transition temperature, at which adiabatic expansion stops and radiative cooling takes over. For high atmospheric pressures and/or the vapor generated by high-velocity impacts, adiabatic expansion will cease at higher temperatures than typical quenching temperatures. Thus, the molecular composition of the vapor will not greatly depend on the impact velocity. The calculation results suggest that the molecular composition of the impact-induced vapor would vary widely (i.e., CH4/CO ratios) even if the compositions of the impactors are the same. More specifically, the impact-induced vapor generated by lower velocity impacts may be rich in CH4

  11. Evaluation of atmospheric aerosol and tropospheric ozone effects on global terrestrial ecosystem carbon dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Min

    The increasing human activities have produced large amounts of air pollutants ejected into the atmosphere, in which atmospheric aerosols and tropospheric ozone are considered to be especially important because of their negative impacts on human health and their impacts on global climate through either their direct radiative effect or indirect effect on land-atmosphere CO2 exchange. This dissertation dedicates to quantifying and evaluating the aerosol and tropospheric ozone effects on global terrestrial ecosystem dynamics using a modeling approach. An ecosystem model, the integrated Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (iTem), is developed to simulate biophysical and biogeochemical processes in terrestrial ecosystems. A two-broad-band atmospheric radiative transfer model together with the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) measured atmospheric parameters are used to well estimate global downward solar radiation and the direct and diffuse components in comparison with observations. The atmospheric radiative transfer modeling framework were used to quantify the aerosol direct radiative effect, showing that aerosol loadings cause 18.7 and 12.8 W m -2 decrease of direct-beam Photosynthetic Active Radiation (PAR) and Near Infrared Radiation (NIR) respectively, and 5.2 and 4.4 W m -2 increase of diffuse PAR and NIR, respectively, leading to a total 21.9 W m-2 decrease of total downward solar radiation over the global land surface during the period of 2003-2010. The results also suggested that the aerosol effect may be overwhelmed by clouds because of the stronger extinction and scattering ability of clouds. Applications of the iTem with solar radiation data and with or without considering the aerosol loadings shows that aerosol loading enhances the terrestrial productions [Gross Primary Production (GPP), Net Primary Production (NPP) and Net Ecosystem Production (NEP)] and carbon emissions through plant respiration (RA) in global terrestrial ecosystems over the

  12. XUV-Exposed, Non-Hydrostatic Hydrogen-Rich Upper Atmospheres of Terrestrial Planets. Part I: Atmospheric Expansion and Thermal Escape

    PubMed Central

    Lammer, Helmut; Odert, Petra; Kulikov, Yuri N.; Kislyakova, Kristina G.; Khodachenko, Maxim L.; Güdel, Manuel; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Biernat, Helfried

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The recently discovered low-density “super-Earths” Kepler-11b, Kepler-11f, Kepler-11d, Kepler-11e, and planets such as GJ 1214b represent the most likely known planets that are surrounded by dense H/He envelopes or contain deep H2O oceans also surrounded by dense hydrogen envelopes. Although these super-Earths are orbiting relatively close to their host stars, they have not lost their captured nebula-based hydrogen-rich or degassed volatile-rich steam protoatmospheres. Thus, it is interesting to estimate the maximum possible amount of atmospheric hydrogen loss from a terrestrial planet orbiting within the habitable zone of late main sequence host stars. For studying the thermosphere structure and escape, we apply a 1-D hydrodynamic upper atmosphere model that solves the equations of mass, momentum, and energy conservation for a planet with the mass and size of Earth and for a super-Earth with a size of 2 REarth and a mass of 10 MEarth. We calculate volume heating rates by the stellar soft X-ray and extreme ultraviolet radiation (XUV) and expansion of the upper atmosphere, its temperature, density, and velocity structure and related thermal escape rates during the planet's lifetime. Moreover, we investigate under which conditions both planets enter the blow-off escape regime and may therefore experience loss rates that are close to the energy-limited escape. Finally, we discuss the results in the context of atmospheric evolution and implications for habitability of terrestrial planets in general. Key Words: Stellar activity—Low-mass stars—Early atmospheres—Earth-like exoplanets—Energetic neutral atoms—Ion escape—Habitability. Astrobiology 13, 1011–1029. PMID:24251443

  13. Atmospheric Dispersal of Bioactive Streptomyces albidoflavus Strains Among Terrestrial and Marine Environments.

    PubMed

    Sarmiento-Vizcaíno, Aida; Braña, Alfredo F; González, Verónica; Nava, Herminio; Molina, Axayacatl; Llera, Eva; Fiedler, Hans-Peter; Rico, José M; García-Flórez, Lucía; Acuña, José L; García, Luis A; Blanco, Gloria

    2016-02-01

    Members of the Streptomyces albidoflavus clade, identified by 16S rRNA sequencing and phylogenetic analyses, are widespread among predominant terrestrial lichens (Flavoparmelia caperata and Xanthoria parietina) and diverse intertidal and subtidal marine macroalgae, brown red and green (Phylum Heterokontophyta, Rhodophyta, and Chlorophyta) from the Cantabrian Cornice. In addition to these terrestrial and coastal temperate habitats, similar strains were also found to colonize deep-sea ecosystems and were isolated mainly from gorgonian and solitary corals and other invertebrates (Phylum Cnidaria, Annelida, Echinodermata, Arthropoda, and Porifera) living up to 4700-m depth and at a temperature of 2-4 °C in the submarine Avilés Canyon. Similar strains have been also repeatedly isolated from atmospheric precipitations (rain drops, snow, and hailstone) collected in the same area throughout a year observation time. These ubiquitous strains were found to be halotolerant, psychrotolerant, and barotolerant. Bioactive compounds with diverse antibiotic and cytotoxic activities produced by these strains were identified by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and database comparison. These include antibacterials (paulomycins A and B), antifungals (maltophilins), antifungals displaying also cytotoxic activities (antimycins and 6-epialteramides), and the antitumor compound fredericamycin. A hypothetical dispersion model is here proposed to explain the biogeographical distribution of S. albidoflavus strains in terrestrial, marine, and atmospheric environments. PMID:26224165

  14. Nitrogen Fixation on Early Mars and Other Terrestrial Planets: Experimental Demonstration of Abiotic Fixation Reactions to Nitrite and Nitrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Summers, David P.; Khare, Bishun

    2007-05-01

    Understanding the abiotic fixation of nitrogen is critical to understanding planetary evolution and the potential origin of life on terrestrial planets. Nitrogen, an essential biochemical element, is certainly necessary for life as we know it to arise. The loss of atmospheric nitrogen can result in an incapacity to sustain liquid water and impact planetary habitability and hydrological processes that shape the surface. However, our current understanding of how such fixation may occur is almost entirely theoretical. This work experimentally examines the chemistry, in both gas and aqueous phases, that would occur from the formation of NO and CO by the shock heating of a model carbon dioxide/nitrogen atmosphere such as is currently thought to exist on early terrestrial planets. The results show that two pathways exist for the abiotic fixation of nitrogen from the atmosphere into the crust: one via HNO and another via NO2. Fixation via HNO, which requires liquid water, could represent fixation on a planet with liquid water (and hence would also be a source of nitrogen for the origin of life). The pathway via NO2 does not require liquid water and shows that fixation could occur even when liquid water has been lost from a planet's surface (for example, continuing to remove nitrogen through NO2 reaction with ice, adsorbed water, etc.).

  15. Historical space psychology: Early terrestrial explorations as Mars analogues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suedfeld, Peter

    2010-03-01

    The simulation and analogue environments used by psychologists to circumvent the difficulties of conducting research in space lack many of the unique characteristics of future explorations, especially the mission to Mars. This paper suggests that appropriate additional analogues would be the multi-year maritime and terrestrial explorations that mapped the surface of the Earth in previous centuries. These, like Mars, often involved a hazardous trek through unknown territory, flanked by extended, dangerous voyages to and from the exploration sites. Characteristic issues included interpersonal relationships under prolonged stress, stretches of boredom interspersed with intense work demands, the impossibility of rescue, resupply, or other help from home, chronic danger, physical discomfort and lack of privacy, and the crucial role of the leader. Illustrative examples of one important factor, leadership style, are discussed. The examination of such expeditions can help to identify the psychological stressors that are likely to be experienced by Mars explorers, and can also indicate countermeasures to reduce the damaging impact of those stressors.

  16. Ammonia in the atmosphere: a review on emission sources, atmospheric chemistry and deposition on terrestrial bodies.

    PubMed

    Behera, Sailesh N; Sharma, Mukesh; Aneja, Viney P; Balasubramanian, Rajasekhar

    2013-11-01

    Gaseous ammonia (NH3) is the most abundant alkaline gas in the atmosphere. In addition, it is a major component of total reactive nitrogen. The largest source of NH3 emissions is agriculture, including animal husbandry and NH3-based fertilizer applications. Other sources of NH3 include industrial processes, vehicular emissions and volatilization from soils and oceans. Recent studies have indicated that NH3 emissions have been increasing over the last few decades on a global scale. This is a concern because NH3 plays a significant role in the formation of atmospheric particulate matter, visibility degradation and atmospheric deposition of nitrogen to sensitive ecosystems. Thus, the increase in NH3 emissions negatively influences environmental and public health as well as climate change. For these reasons, it is important to have a clear understanding of the sources, deposition and atmospheric behaviour of NH3. Over the last two decades, a number of research papers have addressed pertinent issues related to NH3 emissions into the atmosphere at global, regional and local scales. This review article integrates the knowledge available on atmospheric NH3 from the literature in a systematic manner, describes the environmental implications of unabated NH3 emissions and provides a scientific basis for developing effective control strategies for NH3. PMID:23982822

  17. Nested atmospheric inversion for the terrestrial carbon sources and sinks in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, F.; Wang, H. W.; Chen, J. M.; Zhou, L. X.; Ju, W. M.; Ding, A. J.; Liu, L. X.; Peters, W.

    2013-08-01

    In this study, we establish a nested atmospheric inversion system with a focus on China using the Bayesian method. The global surface is separated into 43 regions based on the 22 TransCom large regions, with 13 small regions in China. Monthly CO2 concentrations from 130 GlobalView sites and 3 additional China sites are used in this system. The core component of this system is an atmospheric transport matrix, which is created using the TM5 model with a horizontal resolution of 3° × 2°. The net carbon fluxes over the 43 global land and ocean regions are inverted for the period from 2002 to 2008. The inverted global terrestrial carbon sinks mainly occur in boreal Asia, South and Southeast Asia, eastern America and southern South America. Most China areas appear to be carbon sinks, with strongest carbon sinks located in Northeast China. From 2002 to 2008, the global terrestrial carbon sink has an increasing trend, with the lowest carbon sink in 2002. The inter-annual variation (IAV) of the land sinks shows remarkable correlation with the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The terrestrial carbon sinks in China also show an increasing trend. However, the IAV in China is not the same as that of the globe. There is relatively stronger land sink in 2002, lowest sink in 2006, and strongest sink in 2007 in China. This IAV could be reasonably explained with the IAVs of temperature and precipitation in China. The mean global and China terrestrial carbon sinks over the period 2002-2008 are -3.20 ± 0.63 and -0.28 ± 0.18 PgC yr-1, respectively. Considering the carbon emissions in the form of reactive biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) and from the import of wood and food, we further estimate that China's land sink is about -0.31 PgC yr-1.

  18. Prebiotic chemistry and atmospheric warming of early Earth by an active young Sun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Airapetian, V. S.; Glocer, A.; Gronoff, G.; Hébrard, E.; Danchi, W.

    2016-06-01

    Nitrogen is a critical ingredient of complex biological molecules. Molecular nitrogen, however, which was outgassed into the Earth’s early atmosphere, is relatively chemically inert and nitrogen fixation into more chemically reactive compounds requires high temperatures. Possible mechanisms of nitrogen fixation include lightning, atmospheric shock heating by meteorites, and solar ultraviolet radiation. Here we show that nitrogen fixation in the early terrestrial atmosphere can be explained by frequent and powerful coronal mass ejection events from the young Sun--so-called superflares. Using magnetohydrodynamic simulations constrained by Kepler Space Telescope observations, we find that successive superflare ejections produce shocks that accelerate energetic particles, which would have compressed the early Earth’s magnetosphere. The resulting extended polar cap openings provide pathways for energetic particles to penetrate into the atmosphere and, according to our atmospheric chemistry simulations, initiate reactions converting molecular nitrogen, carbon dioxide and methane to the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide as well as hydrogen cyanide, an essential compound for life. Furthermore, the destruction of N2, CO2 and CH4 suggests that these greenhouse gases cannot explain the stability of liquid water on the early Earth. Instead, we propose that the efficient formation of nitrous oxide could explain a warm early Earth.

  19. Atmospheric General Circulations of Synchronously Rotating Terrestrial Planets: Dependence on Planetary Rotation Rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noda, S.; Ishiwatari, M.; Nakajima, K.; Takahashi, Y. O.; Morikawa, Y.; Nishizawa, S.; Hayashi, Y.-Y.

    2012-04-01

    In order to investigate a variety of climates of synchronously rotating terrestrial planets, a parameter study on the dependence on planetary rotation rate Ω is performed by using a general circulation model (GCM) with simplified hydrologic and radiative processes. The planetary rotation rate is varied from zero to the Earth's value, and other parameters such as orbital parameters, planetary radius, solar constant are set to the Earth's values. The results show that there emerge four typical atmospheric states in ascending order of planetary rotation rate as follows: States in which dayside-nightside direct circulations dominate States in which weak super rotation emerges States in which strong super rotation emerges and meridionally asymmetric patterns oscillate States in which precipitation disturbances emerge in nightside midlatitudinal regions The atmospheric state is gradually accompanied by a qualitative circulation change from state (1) to state (3) with increasing Ω from zero, although Merlis and Schneider (2010) which performed similar GCM experiments lump together cases with small planetary rotation rates under the term "slowly rotating atmospheres". For cases for planetary rotation rate with the values of 0.75-0.85 times of the terrestrial value, multiple equilibrium solutions of state (3) and state (4) are obtained. It is shown that, in addition to dry atmosphere (Edson et al., 2011), moist atmospheres on synchronously rotating planet also have multiple equilibrium solutions. Although circulation patterns and amount of sensible/latent heat transport from the dayside to the nightside changes with the change of Ω, summation of sensible heat transport and latent heat transport almost remains unchanged, and the dependence of dayside to nightside temperature contrast on Ω is small.

  20. Flux of water vapor in the terrestrial stratosphere and in the Martian atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leovy, Conway; Hitchman, Matthew; Mccleese, Daniel J.

    1988-01-01

    A summary of the terrestrial satellite data is presented. The observations indicate that at equatorial latitudes, relatively dry air is introduced at the tropopause and carried to the upper stratosphere. At that altitude, any methane present in the ascending air mass is oxidized photochemically into water vapor. This vapor is eventually transported to high latitudes, where it is carried to the lower stratosphere by the descending leg of the diabatic circulation. The Pressure Modulator Infrared Radiometer instrument aboard the Mars Observer should provide a comparable picture of vapor transport in the martian atmosphere.

  1. Trophic network models explain instability of Early Triassic terrestrial communities

    PubMed Central

    Roopnarine, Peter D; Angielczyk, Kenneth D; Wang, Steve C; Hertog, Rachel

    2007-01-01

    Studies of the end-Permian mass extinction have emphasized potential abiotic causes and their direct biotic effects. Less attention has been devoted to secondary extinctions resulting from ecological crises and the effect of community structure on such extinctions. Here we use a trophic network model that combines topological and dynamic approaches to simulate disruptions of primary productivity in palaeocommunities. We apply the model to Permian and Triassic communities of the Karoo Basin, South Africa, and show that while Permian communities bear no evidence of being especially susceptible to extinction, Early Triassic communities appear to have been inherently less stable. Much of the instability results from the faster post-extinction diversification of amphibian guilds relative to amniotes. The resulting communities differed fundamentally in structure from their Permian predecessors. Additionally, our results imply that changing community structures over time may explain long-term trends like declining rates of Phanerozoic background extinction PMID:17609191

  2. Buildup of Abiotic Oxygen and Ozone in Atmospheres of Temperate Terrestrial Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleinboehl, Armin; Willacy, Karen; Friedson, Andrew James; Swain, Mark R.

    2015-12-01

    The last two decades have seen a rapid increase in the detection and characterization of exoplanets. A focus of future missions will be on the subset of transiting, terrestrial, temperate exoplanets as they are the strongest candidates to harbor life as we know it.An important bioindicator for life as we know it is the existence of significant amounts of oxygen, and its photochemical byproduct ozone, in the exoplanet’s atmosphere. However, abiotic processes also produce oxygen and ozone, and the amount of oxygen abiotically produced in an atmosphere will largely depend on other atmospheric parameters. Constraining this parameter space will be essential to avoid ‘false positive’ detections of life, that is the interpretation of oxygen or ozone as a bioindicator despite being produced abiotically.Based on 1D radiative-convective model calculations, Wordsworth and Pierrehumbert (ApJL, 2014) recently pointed out that the formation and buildup of abiotic oxygen on water-rich planets largely depends on the amount of non-condensable gases in the atmosphere. The amount of non-condensable gases determines whether an atmosphere will develop a 'cold-trap' (similar to the tropopause on Earth) that contains most of the water in the lower atmosphere and dries out the upper atmosphere. If water vapor is a major constituent of the atmosphere, this cold-trapping is inhibited, leading to a much moister upper atmosphere. Water vapor in the upper atmosphere is photolyzed due to the availability of hard UV radiation, yielding oxygen.We use a photochemical model coupled to a 1D radiative-convective climate model to self-consistently study this effect in atmospheres with N2, CO2 and H2O as the main constituents. These are typical constituents for secondary, oxidized atmospheres, and they can exist in a wide range of ratios. We calculate the amounts of abiotically produced oxygen and ozone and determine the vertical structure of temperature and constituent mixing ratios for various

  3. Modeling the terrestrial hydrology for the global atmosphere - The future role of satellite data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lin, J. D.; Bock, P.; Alfano, J. J.

    1981-01-01

    A global terrestrial hydrology model has been developed for the transport and storage of moisture and heat in the ground surface layer where the hydrological parameters react to diurnal and seasonal changes in the atmosphere. The spatial and temporal variability of land surface features is considered in the model by means of large scale parameterizations. The model can be either forced by the atmosphere using conventional meteorological data or coupled to an atmospheric general circulation model (GCM) for interactive studies. The global surface is divided into 4 deg longitude by 5 deg latitude cells while the ground is represented by a thin surface layer, a bulk layer (the root zone), and a deep layer (the ground water zone). Results are presented from a seven-day global experiment which was conducted utilizing the GLAS GCM (NASA Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheric Sciences). The model has demonstrated its capability to predict, over a large region, the overall soil moisture storage and major flux exchanges with the atmosphere above and the ground water below.

  4. Sulfur Chemistry in the Early and Present Atmosphere of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levine, Joel S.; Summers, M. E.

    2011-01-01

    Atmospheric sulfur species resulting from volcanic emissions impact the composition and chemistry of the atmosphere, impact the climate, and hence, the habitability of Mars and impact the mineralogy and composition of the surface of Mars. The geochemical/ photochemical cycling of sulfur species between the interior (via volcanism), the atmosphere (atmospheric photochemical and chemical processes) and the deposition of sulfuric acid on the surface of Mars is an important, but as yet poorly understood geochemical/ photochemical cycle on Mars. There is no observational evidence to indicate that Mars is volcanically active at the present time, however, there is strong evidence that volcanism was an important and widespread process on early Mars. The chemistry and photochemistry of sulfur species in the early and present atmosphere of Mars will be assessed using a one-dimensional photochemical model. Since it is generally assumed that the atmosphere of early Mars was significantly denser than the present 6-millibar atmosphere, photochemical calculations were performed for the present atmosphere and for the atmosphere of early Mars with assumed surface pressures of 60 and 350-millibars, where higher surface pressure resulted from enhanced atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2). The following sections include the results of earlier modeling studies, a summary of the one-dimensional photochemical model used in this study, a summary of the photochemistry and chemistry of sulfur species in the atmosphere of Mars and some of the results of the calculations.

  5. Global scale water isotope observations and the impact of the terrestrial biosphere on atmospheric hydrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noone, D. `; Brown, D.; Worden, J.

    2007-12-01

    Water isotope measurements are known to be extremely useful for identifying hydrologic exchange processes at both single site scales and at larger scales from networks of, for instance, precipitation. Recent advances in observational techniques have allowed the development of a global scale dataset of the HDO to H2O isotope ratio in lower troposphere from spacecraft. The HDO estimates are found though a spectroscopic retrieval based on high resolution and well calibrated infrared spectra obtained from the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) on NASA's Aura spacecraft. With these global scale observations available almost every two days, the ability to use isotopes to understand the impact of the terrestrial biosphere on atmospheric hydrology has become a possibility at not just local scales but for large geographic regions. Simulating the isotope exchange in global climate models continues to advance, but now such models can for the first time be validated and tested with observations. Further, with models, the importance of the processes identified in the observational data can be assessed in detail. Of particular interest is identifying the terrestrial source of atmospheric water vapor, and specifically continental evapotransipration. Using a combination of the satellite observations and model simulations, we identify the terrestrial source of atmospheric water, and demonstrate its importance is larger than previously recognized. This can be deduced from the observations since the isotopic signature of transpired water reflects the isotopic composition of precipitation, while that of oceanic origin reflects the disequilibrium fractionation during evaporation from the ocean. Based on these results and guided by model simulations, we speculate that should the land use characteristics of the tropical continental regions change, and reflect more arid environments, the impacts on the atmospheric hydrology and climate is more than of just local in extent. The use

  6. The Heat-Pipe Hypothesis for Early Crustal Development of Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webb, A. G.; Moore, W. B.; Simon, J. I.

    2014-12-01

    Crusts of the terrestrial planets other than Earth are dominated by mafic / ultramafic volcanics, with some contractional tectonics and minor extension. This description may also fit the early Earth. Therefore, a single process may have controlled early crustal development. Here we explore the hypothesis that heat-pipe cooling mode dominates early phases of terrestrial planet evolution. Volcanism is the hallmark of heat-pipe cooling: hot magma moves through the lithosphere in narrow channels, then is deposited and cools at the surface. A heat-pipe planet develops a thick, cold, downward-advecting lithosphere dominated by mafic/ultra-mafic flows. Contractional deformation occurs throughout the lithosphere as the surface is buried and forced toward smaller radii. Geologies of the Solar system's terrestrial planets are consistent with early heat-pipe cooling. Mercury's surface evolution is dominated by low-viscosity volcanism until ~4.1-4.0 Ga, with little activity other than global contraction since. Similar, younger features at Venus are commonly interpreted in terms of catastrophic resurfacing events with ~0.5 billion-year periodicity, but early support of high topography suggests a transition from heat-pipe to rigid-lid tectonics. Thick heat-pipe lithosphere may preserve the crustal dichotomy between Mars' northern and southern hemispheres, and explain the range in trace element abundances and isotopic compositions of Martian meteorites. At the Moon, global serial volcanism can explain refinement of ferroan anorthite rich rocks and coeval production of the "Mg-suite" rocks. The Moon's shape is out of hydrostatic equilibrium; it may represent a fossil preserved by thick early lithosphere. Active development of Jupiter's moon Io, which is warmed by tidal heating, is widely interpreted in terms of heat-pipe cooling. Given its potential ubiquity in the Solar system, heat-pipe cooling may be a universal process experienced by all terrestrial bodies of sufficient size.

  7. Detection of oxygen isotopic anomaly in terrestrial atmospheric carbonates and its implications to Mars.

    PubMed

    Shaheen, R; Abramian, A; Horn, J; Dominguez, G; Sullivan, R; Thiemens, Mark H

    2010-11-23

    The debate of life on Mars centers around the source of the globular, micrometer-sized mineral carbonates in the ALH84001 meteorite; consequently, the identification of Martian processes that form carbonates is critical. This paper reports a previously undescribed carbonate formation process that occurs on Earth and, likely, on Mars. We identified micrometer-sized carbonates in terrestrial aerosols that possess excess (17)O (0.4-3.9‰). The unique O-isotopic composition mechanistically describes the atmospheric heterogeneous chemical reaction on aerosol surfaces. Concomitant laboratory experiments define the transfer of ozone isotopic anomaly to carbonates via hydrogen peroxide formation when O(3) reacts with surface adsorbed water. This previously unidentified chemical reaction scenario provides an explanation for production of the isotopically anomalous carbonates found in the SNC (shergottites, nakhlaites, chassignites) Martian meteorites and terrestrial atmospheric carbonates. The anomalous hydrogen peroxide formed on the aerosol surfaces may transfer its O-isotopic signature to the water reservoir, thus producing mass independently fractionated secondary mineral evaporites. The formation of peroxide via heterogeneous chemistry on aerosol surfaces also reveals a previously undescribed oxidative process of utility in understanding ozone and oxygen chemistry, both on Mars and Earth. PMID:21059939

  8. Detection of oxygen isotopic anomaly in terrestrial atmospheric carbonates and its implications to Mars

    PubMed Central

    Shaheen, R.; Abramian, A.; Horn, J.; Dominguez, G.; Sullivan, R.; Thiemens, Mark H.

    2010-01-01

    The debate of life on Mars centers around the source of the globular, micrometer-sized mineral carbonates in the ALH84001 meteorite; consequently, the identification of Martian processes that form carbonates is critical. This paper reports a previously undescribed carbonate formation process that occurs on Earth and, likely, on Mars. We identified micrometer-sized carbonates in terrestrial aerosols that possess excess 17O (0.4–3.9‰). The unique O-isotopic composition mechanistically describes the atmospheric heterogeneous chemical reaction on aerosol surfaces. Concomitant laboratory experiments define the transfer of ozone isotopic anomaly to carbonates via hydrogen peroxide formation when O3 reacts with surface adsorbed water. This previously unidentified chemical reaction scenario provides an explanation for production of the isotopically anomalous carbonates found in the SNC (shergottites, nakhlaites, chassignites) Martian meteorites and terrestrial atmospheric carbonates. The anomalous hydrogen peroxide formed on the aerosol surfaces may transfer its O-isotopic signature to the water reservoir, thus producing mass independently fractionated secondary mineral evaporites. The formation of peroxide via heterogeneous chemistry on aerosol surfaces also reveals a previously undescribed oxidative process of utility in understanding ozone and oxygen chemistry, both on Mars and Earth. PMID:21059939

  9. The terrestrial biosphere as a net source of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Tian, Hanqin; Lu, Chaoqun; Ciais, Philippe; Michalak, Anna M.; Canadell, Josep G.; Saikawa, Eri; Huntzinger, Deborah N.; Gurney, Kevin R; Sitch, Stephen; Zhang, Bowen; et al

    2016-03-09

    The terrestrial biosphere can release or absorb the greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), and therefore has an important role in regulating atmospheric composition and climate1. Anthropogenic activities such as land-use change, agriculture and waste management have altered terrestrial biogenic greenhouse gas fluxes, and the resulting increases in methane and nitrous oxide emissions in particular can contribute to climate change2, 3. The terrestrial biogenic fluxes of individual greenhouse gases have been studied extensively4, 5, 6, but the net biogenic greenhouse gas balance resulting from anthropogenic activities and its effect on the climate system remains uncertain.more » Here we use bottom-up (inventory, statistical extrapolation of local flux measurements, and process-based modelling) and top-down (atmospheric inversions) approaches to quantify the global net biogenic greenhouse gas balance between 1981 and 2010 resulting from anthropogenic activities and its effect on the climate system. We find that the cumulative warming capacity of concurrent biogenic methane and nitrous oxide emissions is a factor of about two larger than the cooling effect resulting from the global land carbon dioxide uptake from 2001 to 2010. This results in a net positive cumulative impact of the three greenhouse gases on the planetary energy budget, with a best estimate (in petagrams of CO2 equivalent per year) of 3.9 ± 3.8 (top down) and 5.4 ± 4.8 (bottom up) based on the GWP100 metric (global warming potential on a 100-year time horizon). Lastly, our findings suggest that a reduction in agricultural methane and nitrous oxide emissions, particularly in Southern Asia, may help mitigate climate change.« less

  10. The terrestrial biosphere as a net source of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Hanqin; Lu, Chaoqun; Ciais, Philippe; Michalak, Anna M.; Canadell, Josep G.; Saikawa, Eri; Huntzinger, Deborah N.; Gurney, Kevin R.; Sitch, Stephen; Zhang, Bowen; Yang, Jia; Bousquet, Philippe; Bruhwiler, Lori; Chen, Guangsheng; Dlugokencky, Edward; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Melillo, Jerry; Pan, Shufen; Poulter, Benjamin; Prinn, Ronald; Saunois, Marielle; Schwalm, Christopher R.; Wofsy, Steven C.

    2016-03-01

    The terrestrial biosphere can release or absorb the greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), and therefore has an important role in regulating atmospheric composition and climate. Anthropogenic activities such as land-use change, agriculture and waste management have altered terrestrial biogenic greenhouse gas fluxes, and the resulting increases in methane and nitrous oxide emissions in particular can contribute to climate change. The terrestrial biogenic fluxes of individual greenhouse gases have been studied extensively, but the net biogenic greenhouse gas balance resulting from anthropogenic activities and its effect on the climate system remains uncertain. Here we use bottom-up (inventory, statistical extrapolation of local flux measurements, and process-based modelling) and top-down (atmospheric inversions) approaches to quantify the global net biogenic greenhouse gas balance between 1981 and 2010 resulting from anthropogenic activities and its effect on the climate system. We find that the cumulative warming capacity of concurrent biogenic methane and nitrous oxide emissions is a factor of about two larger than the cooling effect resulting from the global land carbon dioxide uptake from 2001 to 2010. This results in a net positive cumulative impact of the three greenhouse gases on the planetary energy budget, with a best estimate (in petagrams of CO2 equivalent per year) of 3.9 ± 3.8 (top down) and 5.4 ± 4.8 (bottom up) based on the GWP100 metric (global warming potential on a 100-year time horizon). Our findings suggest that a reduction in agricultural methane and nitrous oxide emissions, particularly in Southern Asia, may help mitigate climate change.

  11. The terrestrial biosphere as a net source of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Tian, Hanqin; Lu, Chaoqun; Ciais, Philippe; Michalak, Anna M; Canadell, Josep G; Saikawa, Eri; Huntzinger, Deborah N; Gurney, Kevin R; Sitch, Stephen; Zhang, Bowen; Yang, Jia; Bousquet, Philippe; Bruhwiler, Lori; Chen, Guangsheng; Dlugokencky, Edward; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Melillo, Jerry; Pan, Shufen; Poulter, Benjamin; Prinn, Ronald; Saunois, Marielle; Schwalm, Christopher R; Wofsy, Steven C

    2016-03-10

    The terrestrial biosphere can release or absorb the greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), and therefore has an important role in regulating atmospheric composition and climate. Anthropogenic activities such as land-use change, agriculture and waste management have altered terrestrial biogenic greenhouse gas fluxes, and the resulting increases in methane and nitrous oxide emissions in particular can contribute to climate change. The terrestrial biogenic fluxes of individual greenhouse gases have been studied extensively, but the net biogenic greenhouse gas balance resulting from anthropogenic activities and its effect on the climate system remains uncertain. Here we use bottom-up (inventory, statistical extrapolation of local flux measurements, and process-based modelling) and top-down (atmospheric inversions) approaches to quantify the global net biogenic greenhouse gas balance between 1981 and 2010 resulting from anthropogenic activities and its effect on the climate system. We find that the cumulative warming capacity of concurrent biogenic methane and nitrous oxide emissions is a factor of about two larger than the cooling effect resulting from the global land carbon dioxide uptake from 2001 to 2010. This results in a net positive cumulative impact of the three greenhouse gases on the planetary energy budget, with a best estimate (in petagrams of CO2 equivalent per year) of 3.9 ± 3.8 (top down) and 5.4 ± 4.8 (bottom up) based on the GWP100 metric (global warming potential on a 100-year time horizon). Our findings suggest that a reduction in agricultural methane and nitrous oxide emissions, particularly in Southern Asia, may help mitigate climate change. PMID:26961656

  12. Day-night Temperature Gradients and Atmospheric Collapse on Synchronously Rotating Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koll, D. D. B.; Abbot, D. S.

    2015-12-01

    Terrestrial exoplanets orbiting small host stars are abundant and are also the most promising observational targets for finding life outside our Solar system. Due to their close-in orbits, these planets experience significant tidal interactions with their host stars and will tend to evolve towards spin-orbit resonances or synchronous rotation (=tidally locked). Synchronous rotation has a number of interesting implications for habitability, including the potential for atmospheric collapse on the night side if the surface temperature drops below the condensation point of the gases in the atmosphere. To understand the habitability of synchronously rotating planets, it is therefore important to work out a theory of their temperature and wind structure. Many of these planets will be rotating slowly enough that the well-known weak-temperature-gradient theory holds in the free atmosphere, but even for these planets this theory does not constrain the maximum surface temperature gradient, the planets' thermal phase curve signature, or the threshold for atmospheric collapse. Here we study tidally locked planets using theory and a large array of simulations in a global climate model (GCM) with grey radiative transfer and a full boundary layer scheme. We derive a theory for surface temperatures and atmospheric circulation on synchronously rotating planets that allows us to predict the night-side surface temperature and determine whether atmospheric collapse will occur. We find that atmospheric collapse is sensitive to both the ratio of the Rossby radius to the planetary radius and the ratio of the surface drag timescale to the radiative cooling timescale.

  13. Stability of CO2 Atmospheres on Terrestrial Exoplanets in the Proximity of M Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, P.; Hu, R.; Yung, Y. L.

    2013-12-01

    M dwarfs are promising targets for the search and characterization of terrestrial exoplanets that might be habitable, as the habitable planets around M dwarfs are in much more close-in orbits compared to their counterparts around Sun-like stars. CO2, one of the most important greenhouse gases on our planet, is conventionally adopted as a major greenhouse gas in studying the habitability of terrestrial exoplanets around M dwarfs. However, the stability of CO2 in terrestrial atmospheres has been called into question due to the high FUV/NUV flux ratio of some M dwarfs in comparison to that of Sun-like stars. While CO2 is photolyzed into CO and O by photons in the FUV, with O2 forming from the O atoms through third body catalytic reactions, NUV photons are able to photolyze water, producing HOx radicals which go on to catalytically recombine the relatively stable CO and O2 molecules back into CO2. The comparatively low NUV flux of some M dwarfs leads to a significantly reduced efficiency of catalytic recombination of CO and O2 and the possible net destruction of CO2 and the build up of CO and O2. In this work we test the above hypothesis using a 1D photochemical kinetics model for a Mars-sized planet with an initial atmospheric composition similar to that of Mars and the incoming stellar flux of a weakly active M dwarf, assuming the exoplanet is 0.1 AU away from its parent star, in proximity of its habitable zone. We show that a CO2-dominated atmosphere can be converted into a CO2/CO/O2-dominated atmosphere in 10^3-10^4 years by CO2 photolysis. This process is kept from running away by a combination of O2 photolysis, three body reactions of O, O2, and another species to form O3, and reactions of CO with OH to form CO2 and H. However, such a large amount of O2 and CO, combined with some amount of H and H2, may be susceptible to spontaneous combustion or detonation, and thus could prove to be an especially unstable state in itself. Thus there could arise a situation

  14. Constraining terrestrial ecosystem CO2 fluxes by integrating models of biogeochemistry and atmospheric transport and data of surface carbon fluxes and atmospheric CO2 concentrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Q.; Zhuang, Q.; Henze, D.; Bowman, K.; Chen, M.; Liu, Y.; He, Y.; Matsueda, H.; Machida, T.; Sawa, Y.; Oechel, W.

    2014-09-01

    Regional net carbon fluxes of terrestrial ecosystems could be estimated with either biogeochemistry models by assimilating surface carbon flux measurements or atmospheric CO2 inversions by assimilating observations of atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Here we combine the ecosystem biogeochemistry modeling and atmospheric CO2 inverse modeling to investigate the magnitude and spatial distribution of the terrestrial ecosystem CO2 sources and sinks. First, we constrain a terrestrial ecosystem model (TEM) at site level by assimilating the observed net ecosystem production (NEP) for various plant functional types. We find that the uncertainties of model parameters are reduced up to 90% and model predictability is greatly improved for all the plant functional types (coefficients of determination are enhanced up to 0.73). We then extrapolate the model to a global scale at a 0.5° × 0.5° resolution to estimate the large-scale terrestrial ecosystem CO2 fluxes, which serve as prior for atmospheric CO2 inversion. Second, we constrain the large-scale terrestrial CO2 fluxes by assimilating the GLOBALVIEW-CO2 and mid-tropospheric CO2 retrievals from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) into an atmospheric transport model (GEOS-Chem). The transport inversion estimates that: (1) the annual terrestrial ecosystem carbon sink in 2003 is -2.47 Pg C yr-1, which agrees reasonably well with the most recent inter-comparison studies of CO2 inversions (-2.82 Pg C yr-1); (2) North America temperate, Europe and Eurasia temperate regions act as major terrestrial carbon sinks; and (3) The posterior transport model is able to reasonably reproduce the atmospheric CO2 concentrations, which are validated against Comprehensive Observation Network for TRace gases by AIrLiner (CONTRAIL) CO2 concentration data. This study indicates that biogeochemistry modeling or atmospheric transport and inverse modeling alone might not be able to well quantify regional terrestrial carbon fluxes. However, combining

  15. CO2 greenhouse in the early martian atmosphere: SO2 inhibits condensation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yung, Y. L.; Nair, H.; Gerstell, M. F.

    1997-01-01

    Many investigators of the early martian climate have suggested that a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere was present and warmed the surface above the melting point of water (J.B. Pollack, J.F. Kasting, S.M. Richardson, and K. Poliakoff 1987. Icarus 71, 203-224). However, J.F. Kasting (1991. Icarus 94, 1-13) pointed out that previous thermal models of the primitive martian atmosphere had not considered the condensation of CO2. When this effect was incorporated, Kasting found that CO2 by itself is inadequate to warm the surface. SO2 absorbs strongly in the near UV region of the solar spectrum. While a small amount of SO2 may have a negligible effect by itself on the surface temperature, it may have significantly warmed the middle atmosphere of early Mars, much as ozone warms the terrestrial stratosphere today. If this region is kept warm enough to inhibit the condensation of CO2, then CO2 remains a viable greenhouse gas. Our preliminary radiative modeling shows that the addition of 0.1 ppmv of SO2 in a 2 bar CO2 atmosphere raises the temperature of the middle atmosphere by approximately 10 degrees, so that the upper atmosphere in a 1 D model remains above the condensation temperature of CO2. In addition, this amount of SO2 in the atmosphere provides an effective UV shield for a hypothetical biosphere on the martian surface.

  16. The photochemistry of the early atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levine, J. S.

    1985-01-01

    The composition of the earth's present atmosphere is described. The formation of the earth from the coalescence and accretion of the refractory elements of the solar nebula is examined. Two possible compositions of the prebiological paleoatmosphere, which are a reducing atmosphere of CH4, NH3, and H2 or a mildly reducing atmosphere of H2O, CO2, and N2, and their photochemistry are analyzed. General photochemical and chemical processes are reviewed. The use of the coupled continuity-transport equation to calculate the vertical distribution of each species is discussed. A study of the photochemical process of CH4 and NH3 reveals that the reducing atmosphere could not possibly exist. An analysis of the photochemistry and chemistry of the H2O, CO2, and N2 atmosphere reveals that the photodissociation of H2O and CO2 results in a prebiotic source of O2, H2CO, and HCN, which are the components for the evolution of photosynthetic organisms and a strongly oxidizing atmosphere. The reactions which produce O2 and H2CO from H2O and CO2, and the relation between H2O and CO2 concentrations and O2 levels are investigated. The formation of O3 photochemically from O2 is explained.

  17. Terrestrial microorganisms at an altitude of 20,000 m in Earth's atmosphere

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Griffin, Dale W.

    2004-01-01

    A joint effort between the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Global Desert Dust and NASA's Stratospheric and Cosmic Dust Programs identified culturable microbes from an air sample collected at an altitude of 20,000 m. A total of 4 fungal (Penicillium sp.) and 71 bacteria colonyforming units (70 colonies of Bacillus luciferensis believed to have originated from a single cell collected at altitude and one colony of Bacillus sphaericus) were enumerated, isolated and identified using a morphological key and 16S rDNA sequencing respectively. All of the isolates identified were sporeforming pigmented fungi or bacteria of terrestrial origin and demonstrate that the presence of viable microorganisms in Earth's upper atmosphere may not be uncommon.

  18. Exploring the Sensitivity of Terrestrial Ecosystems and Atmospheric Exchange of CO2 to Global Environmental Factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, A. K.; Meiyappan, P.; Song, Y.; Barman, R.

    2011-12-01

    This presentation explores the sensitivity of terrestrial ecosystems and atmospheric exchange of carbon to global environmental factors to advance our understanding of uncertainty in CO2 projections. We use a land surface model, the Integrated Science Assessment Model (ISAM) recently coupled into the NCAR Community Earth System Model (CESM1) framework to evaluate ecosystem variability due to climatic and anthropogenic factors. The factors considered here include climate change, increasing ambient CO2 concentrations, anthropogenic nitrogen deposition, and land use change (LUC) activities such as clearing of land for agriculture, pasture, and wood harvest. Each factor has a potential to influence the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2. Using the ISAM-CESM modeling framework, we evaluate the individual and concurrent effects of all these environmental factors on the terrestrial NEE over the 20th century and the 21st century. The ISAM biogeochemical cycles consist of fully prognostic carbon and nitrogen dynamics associated with changes in land cover, litter decomposition, and soil organic matter. The ISAM biophysical model accounts for water and energy processes in the vegetation and soil column, integrated over a time step of 30 minutes. The newly available CRU-NCEP climate forcing data (1850-2010, 0.5ox0.5o spatial resolution) will be used for the historical period simulations. The 21st century simulations will be carried out using the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) storylines. This study will help quantify the importance of various environmental factors towards modeling land-atmosphere carbon exchange and better understand model related differences in CO2 estimates.

  19. New Satellite Project Aerosol-UA: Remote Sensing of Aerosols in the Terrestrial Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Milinevsky, G.; Yatskiv, Ya.; Degtyaryov, O.; Syniavskyi, I.; Mishchenko, Michael I.; Rosenbush, V.; Ivanov, Yu.; Makarov, A.; Bovchaliuk, A.; Danylevsky, V.; Sosonkin, M.; Moskalov, S.; Bovchaliuk, V; Lukenyuk, A.; Shymkiv, A.

    2016-01-01

    We discuss the development of the Ukrainian space project Aerosol-UA which has the following three main objectives: (1) to monitor the spatial distribution of key characteristics of terrestrial tropospheric and stratospheric aerosols; (2) to provide a comprehensive observational database enabling accurate quantitative estimates of the aerosol contribution to the energy budget of the climate system; and (3) quantify the contribution of anthropogenic aerosols to climate and ecological processes. The remote sensing concept of the project is based on precise orbital measurements of the intensity and polarization of sunlight scattered by the atmosphere and the surface with a scanning polarimeter accompanied by a wide-angle multispectral imager-polarimeter. Preparations have already been made for the development of the instrument suite for the Aerosol-UA project, in particular, of the multi-channel scanning polarimeter (ScanPol) designed for remote sensing studies of the global distribution of aerosol and cloud properties (such as particle size, morphology, and composition) in the terrestrial atmosphere by polarimetric and spectrophotometric measurements of the scattered sunlight in a wide range of wavelengths and viewing directions from which a scene location is observed. ScanPol is accompanied by multispectral wide-angle imager-polarimeter (MSIP) that serves to collect information on cloud conditions and Earths surface image. Various components of the polarimeter ScanPol have been prototyped, including the opto-mechanical and electronic assemblies and the scanning mirror controller. Preliminary synthetic data simulations for the retrieval of aerosol parameters over land surfaces have been performed using the Generalized Retrieval of Aerosol and Surface Properties (GRASP) algorithm. Methods for the validation of satellite data using ground-based observations of aerosol properties are also discussed. We assume that designing, building, and launching into orbit a multi

  20. New satellite project Aerosol-UA: Remote sensing of aerosols in the terrestrial atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milinevsky, G.; Yatskiv, Ya.; Degtyaryov, O.; Syniavskyi, I.; Mishchenko, M.; Rosenbush, V.; Ivanov, Yu.; Makarov, A.; Bovchaliuk, A.; Danylevsky, V.; Sosonkin, M.; Moskalov, S.; Bovchaliuk, V.; Lukenyuk, A.; Shymkiv, A.; Udodov, E.

    2016-06-01

    We discuss the development of the Ukrainian space project Aerosol-UA which has the following three main objectives: (1) to monitor the spatial distribution of key characteristics of terrestrial tropospheric and stratospheric aerosols; (2) to provide a comprehensive observational database enabling accurate quantitative estimates of the aerosol contribution to the energy budget of the climate system; and (3) quantify the contribution of anthropogenic aerosols to climate and ecological processes. The remote sensing concept of the project is based on precise orbital measurements of the intensity and polarization of sunlight scattered by the atmosphere and the surface with a scanning polarimeter accompanied by a wide-angle multispectral imager-polarimeter. Preparations have already been made for the development of the instrument suite for the Aerosol-UA project, in particular, of the multi-channel scanning polarimeter (ScanPol) designed for remote sensing studies of the global distribution of aerosol and cloud properties (such as particle size, morphology, and composition) in the terrestrial atmosphere by polarimetric and spectrophotometric measurements of the scattered sunlight in a wide range of wavelengths and viewing directions from which a scene location is observed. ScanPol is accompanied by multispectral wide-angle imager-polarimeter (MSIP) that serves to collect information on cloud conditions and Earth's surface image. Various components of the polarimeter ScanPol have been prototyped, including the opto-mechanical and electronic assemblies and the scanning mirror controller. Preliminary synthetic data simulations for the retrieval of aerosol parameters over land surfaces have been performed using the Generalized Retrieval of Aerosol and Surface Properties (GRASP) algorithm. Methods for the validation of satellite data using ground-based observations of aerosol properties are also discussed. We assume that designing, building, and launching into orbit a multi

  1. The chemical composition and climatology of the earth's early atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Henderson-Sellers, A.

    1983-01-01

    The earth's climate as it relates to the evolution of life is discussed.. Seven fundamental characteristics of the early evolutionary environment are examined, including a carbon dioxide and water vapor atmosphere, atmospheric mass between 500 and 1000 mb, a global hydrosphere, lowered solar luminosity, hospitable average global temperatures, a convectively active atmosphere, and trace gases. The influence of the early earth's extensive hydrosphere on the origin of life is considered. The warming of that hydrosphere due to radiative fluxes and the greenhouse effect is examined, and the nature of the feedback between clouds and climate is addressed.

  2. A terrestrial biosphere model optimized to atmospheric CO2 concentration and above ground woody biomass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, M.; Ito, A.; Maksyutov, S. S.

    2013-12-01

    This study documents an optimization of a prognostic biosphere model (VISIT; Vegetation Integrative Similator for Trace gases) to observations of atmospheric CO2 concentration and above ground woody biomass by using a Bayesian inversion method combined with an atmospheric tracer transport model (NIES-TM; National Institute for Environmental Studies / Frontier Research Center for Global Change (NIES/FRCGC) off-line global atmospheric tracer transport model). The assimilated observations include 74 station records of surface atmospheric CO2 concentration and aggregated grid data sets of above ground woody biomass (AGB) and net primary productivity (NPP) over the globe. Both the biosphere model and the atmospheric transport model are used at a horizontal resolution of 2.5 deg x 2.5 deg grid with temporal resolutions of a day and an hour, respectively. The atmospheric transport model simulates atmospheric CO2 concentration with nine vertical levels using daily net ecosystem CO2 exchange rate (NEE) from the biosphere model, oceanic CO2 flux, and fossil fuel emission inventory. The models are driven by meteorological data from JRA-25 (Japanese 25-year ReAnalysis) and JCDAS (JMA Climate Data Assimilation System). Statistically optimum physiological parameters in the biosphere model are found by iterative minimization of the corresponding Bayesian cost function. We select thirteen physiological parameter with high sensitivity to NEE, NPP, and AGB for the minimization. Given the optimized physiological parameters, the model shows error reductions in seasonal variation of the CO2 concentrations especially in the northern hemisphere due to abundant observation stations, while errors remain at a few stations that are located in coastal coastal area and stations in the southern hemisphere. The model also produces moderate estimates of the mean magnitudes and probability distributions in AGB and NPP for each biome. However, the model fails in the simulation of the terrestrial

  3. New Constraints on Terrestrial Surface-Atmosphere Fluxes of Gaseous Elemental Mercury Using a Global Database.

    PubMed

    Agnan, Yannick; Le Dantec, Théo; Moore, Christopher W; Edwards, Grant C; Obrist, Daniel

    2016-01-19

    Despite 30 years of study, gaseous elemental mercury (Hg(0)) exchange magnitude and controls between terrestrial surfaces and the atmosphere still remain uncertain. We compiled data from 132 studies, including 1290 reported fluxes from more than 200,000 individual measurements, into a database to statistically examine flux magnitudes and controls. We found that fluxes were unevenly distributed, both spatially and temporally, with strong biases toward Hg-enriched sites, daytime and summertime measurements. Fluxes at Hg-enriched sites were positively correlated with substrate concentrations, but this was absent at background sites. Median fluxes over litter- and snow-covered soils were lower than over bare soils, and chamber measurements showed higher emission compared to micrometeorological measurements. Due to low spatial extent, estimated emissions from Hg-enriched areas (217 Mg·a(-1)) were lower than previous estimates. Globally, areas with enhanced atmospheric Hg(0) levels (particularly East Asia) showed an emerging importance of Hg(0) emissions accounting for half of the total global emissions estimated at 607 Mg·a(-1), although with a large uncertainty range (-513 to 1353 Mg·a(-1) [range of 37.5th and 62.5th percentiles]). The largest uncertainties in Hg(0) fluxes stem from forests (-513 to 1353 Mg·a(-1) [range of 37.5th and 62.5th percentiles]), largely driven by a shortage of whole-ecosystem fluxes and uncertain contributions of leaf-atmosphere exchanges, questioning to what degree ecosystems are net sinks or sources of atmospheric Hg(0). PMID:26599393

  4. Do meteoroids of sedimentary origin survive terrestrial atmospheric entry? The ESA artificial meteorite experiment STONE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brack, A.; Baglioni, P.; Borruat, G.; Brandstätter, F.; Demets, R.; Edwards, H. G. M.; Genge, M.; Kurat, G.; Miller, M. F.; Newton, E. M.; Pillinger, C. T.; Roten, C.-A.; Wäsch, E.

    2002-06-01

    The 18 SNC meteorites identified to date are all igneous rocks, being basalts or basaltic cumulates. The lack of sedimentary rocks in this inventory is therefore surprising, in view of the collisional history of Mars and the likelihood that Mars experienced warmer conditions, possibly with a significant hydrosphere, earlier in its history. To address the possibility that sedimentary rocks ejected by impact from the surface of Mars may have reached the Earth, but did not survive terrestrial atmospheric entry, an experiment was performed in which samples of dolomite, a simulated Martian regolith (consisting of basalt fragments in a gypsum matrix) and a basalt were fixed to the heat shield of a recoverable capsule and flown in low Earth orbit. Temperatures attained during re-entry were high enough to melt basalt and the silica fibres of the heat shield and were therefore comparable to those experienced by meteorites. The dolomite sample survived space flight and atmospheric re-entry, in part, as did fragments of the simulated Martian regolith, allowing detailed examinations of these 'artificial meteorites' to be conducted for chemical, mineralogical and isotopic modifications associated with atmospheric re-entry. Oxygen three-isotope measurements of the silica 'fusion crust' formed on the sample holder during atmospheric re-entry fit on a mixing line, with tropospheric O 2 and the interior of the sample holder as end members. Because much of the surface of Mars is covered by clastic sediments, meteorites of Martian provenance might be expected to be mostly sedimentary rocks rather than igneous ones. However, in the absence of a readily identifiable fusion crust, the extraterrestrial origin of such sedimentary rocks on Earth would most probably not be recognised without detailed petrological-geochemical examination and, ultimately, isotope measurements.

  5. Middle atmosphere electrodynamics: Report of the workshop on the Role of the Electrodynamics of the Middle Atmosphere on Solar Terrestrial Coupling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maynard, N. C. (Editor)

    1979-01-01

    Significant deficiencies exist in the present understanding of the basic physical processes taking place within the middle atmosphere (the region between the tropopause and the mesopause), and in the knowledge of the variability of many of the primary parameters that regulate Middle Atmosphere Electrodynamics (MAE). Knowledge of the electrical properties, i.e., electric fields, plasma characteristics, conductivity and currents, and the physical processes that govern them is of fundamental importance to the physics of the region. Middle atmosphere electrodynamics may play a critical role in the electrodynamical aspects of solar-terrestrial relations. As a first step, the Workshop on the Role of the Electrodynamics of the Middle Atmosphere on Solar-Terrestrial Coupling was held to review the present status and define recommendations for future MAE research.

  6. Studies of volatiles and organic materials in early terrestrial and present-day outer solar system environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sagan, Carl; Thompson, W. Reid; Chyba, Christopher F.; Khare, B. N.

    1991-01-01

    A review and partial summary of projects within several areas of research generally involving the origin, distribution, chemistry, and spectral/dielectric properties of volatiles and organic materials in the outer solar system and early terrestrial environments are presented. The major topics covered include: (1) impact delivery of volatiles and organic compounds to the early terrestrial planets; (2) optical constants measurements; (3) spectral classification, chemical processes, and distribution of materials; and (4) radar properties of ice, hydrocarbons, and organic heteropolymers.

  7. Evidence for and implications of an Early Archean terrestrial impact record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lowe, Donald R.; Byerly, Gary R.

    1988-01-01

    Early Archean, 3.5 to 3.2 Ga, greenstone sequences in South Africa and Western Australia contain a well-preserved record of early terrestrial meteorite impacts. The main impact-produced deposits are layers, 10 cm to over 1 m thick, composed largely of sand-sized spherules, 0.1 to 4 mm in diameter. The beds studied to date show an assemblage of features indicating formation by the fall of debris from impact-generated ejecta clouds. Some presented data effectively rule out normal magmatic or sedimentary processes in the origin of these units and provide substantial support for an origin by large impacts on the early earth. The presence of at least four, remarkably thick, nearly pure spherule layers suggests that smaller-scale impact deposits may be even more abundant in these sequences. The existence of a well-preserved Archean terrestrial impact record suggests that a direct source of evidence is available regarding a number of important aspects of early earth history.

  8. Remote sensing of aerosol in the terrestrial atmosphere from space: new missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milinevsky, G.; Yatskiv, Ya.; Degtyaryov, O.; Syniavskyi, I.; Ivanov, Yu.; Bovchaliuk, A.; Mishchenko, M.; Danylevsky, V.; Sosonkin, M.; Bovchaliuk, V.

    2015-09-01

    The distribution and properties of atmospheric aerosols on a global scale are not well known in terms of determination of their effects on climate. This mostly is due to extreme variability of aerosol concentrations, properties, sources, and types. Aerosol climate impact is comparable to the effect of greenhouse gases, but its influence is more difficult to measure, especially with respect to aerosol microphysical properties and the evaluation of anthropogenic aerosol effect. There are many satellite missions studying aerosol distribution in the terrestrial atmosphere, such as MISR/Terra, OMI/Aura, AVHHR, MODIS/Terra and Aqua, CALIOP/CALIPSO. To improve the quality of data and climate models, and to reduce aerosol climate forcing uncertainties, several new missions are planned. The gap in orbital instruments for studying aerosol microphysics has arisen after the Glory mission failed during launch in 2011. In this review paper, we describe several planned aerosol space missions, including the Ukrainian project Aerosol-UA that obtains data using a multi-channel scanning polarimeter and wide-angle polarimetric camera. The project is designed for remote sensing of the aerosol microphysics and cloud properties on a global scale.

  9. Remote sensing of aerosol in the terrestrial atmosphere from space: "AEROSOL-UA" mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yatskiv, Yaroslav; Milinevsky, Gennadi; Degtyarev, Alexander

    2016-07-01

    The distribution and properties of atmospheric aerosols on a global scale are not well known in terms of determination of their effects on climate. This mostly is due to extreme variability of aerosol concentrations, properties, sources, and types. Aerosol climate impact is comparable to the effect of greenhouse gases, but its influence is more difficult to measure, especially with respect to aerosol microphysical properties and the evaluation of anthropogenic aerosol effect. There are many satellite missions studying aerosol distribution in the terrestrial atmosphere, such as MISR/Terra, OMI/Aura, AVHHR, MODIS/Terra and Aqua, CALIOP/CALIPSO. To improve the quality of data and climate models, and to reduce aerosol climate forcing uncertainties, several new missions are planned. The gap in orbital instruments for studying aerosol microphysics has arisen after the Glory mission failed during launch in 2011. In this review paper, we describe several planned aerosol space missions, including the Ukrainian project AEROSOL-UA that will obtain the data using a multi-channel scanning polarimeter and wide-angle polarimetric camera. The mission is designed for remote sensing of the aerosol microphysics and cloud properties on a global scale.

  10. Remote Sensing of Aerosol in the Terrestrial Atmosphere from Space: New Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Milinevsky, G.; Yatskiv, Ya.; Degtyaryov, O.; Syniavskyi, I.; Ivanov, Yu.; Bovchaliuk, A.; Mishchenko, M.; Danylevsky, V.; Sosonkin, M.; Bovchaliuk, V.

    2015-01-01

    The distribution and properties of atmospheric aerosols on a global scale are not well known in terms of determination of their effects on climate. This mostly is due to extreme variability of aerosol concentrations, properties, sources, and types. Aerosol climate impact is comparable to the effect of greenhouse gases, but its influence is more difficult to measure, especially with respect to aerosol microphysical properties and the evaluation of anthropogenic aerosol effect. There are many satellite missions studying aerosol distribution in the terrestrial atmosphere, such as MISR/Terra, OMI/Aura, AVHHR, MODIS/Terra and Aqua, CALIOP/CALIPSO. To improve the quality of data and climate models, and to reduce aerosol climate forcing uncertainties, several new missions are planned. The gap in orbital instruments for studying aerosol microphysics has arisen after the Glory mission failed during launch in 2011. In this review paper, we describe several planned aerosol space missions, including the Ukrainian project Aerosol-UA that obtains data using a multi-channel scanning polarimeter and wide-angle polarimetric camera. The project is designed for remote sensing of the aerosol microphysics and cloud properties on a global scale.

  11. Using Dimers to Measure Biosignatures and Atmospheric Pressure for Terrestrial Exoplanets

    PubMed Central

    Meadows, Victoria; Claire, Mark; Crisp, Dave

    2014-01-01

    Abstract We present a new method to probe atmospheric pressure on Earth-like planets using (O2-O2) dimers in the near-infrared. We also show that dimer features could be the most readily detectable biosignatures for Earth-like atmospheres and may even be detectable in transit transmission with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The absorption by dimers changes more rapidly with pressure and density than that of monomers and can therefore provide additional information about atmospheric pressures. By comparing the absorption strengths of rotational and vibrational features to the absorption strengths of dimer features, we show that in some cases it may be possible to estimate the pressure at the reflecting surface of a planet. This method is demonstrated by using the O2 A band and the 1.06 μm dimer feature, either in transmission or reflected spectra. It works best for planets around M dwarfs with atmospheric pressures between 0.1 and 10 bar and for O2 volume mixing ratios above 50% of Earth's present-day level. Furthermore, unlike observations of Rayleigh scattering, this method can be used at wavelengths longer than 0.6 μm and is therefore potentially applicable, although challenging, to near-term planet characterization missions such as JWST. We also performed detectability studies for JWST transit transmission spectroscopy and found that the 1.06 and 1.27 μm dimer features could be detectable (SNR>3) for an Earth analogue orbiting an M5V star at a distance of 5 pc. The detection of these features could provide a constraint on the atmospheric pressure of an exoplanet and serve as biosignatures for oxygenic photosynthesis. We calculated the required signal-to-noise ratios to detect and characterize O2 monomer and dimer features in direct imaging–reflected spectra and found that signal-to-noise ratios greater than 10 at a spectral resolving power of R=100 would be required. Key Words: Remote sensing—Extrasolar terrestrial planets

  12. A terrestrial vegetation turnover in the middle of the Early Triassic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, Ryosuke; Kaiho, Kunio; Oba, Masahiro; Takahashi, Satoshi; Chen, Zhong-Qiang; Tong, Jinnan

    2013-06-01

    Land-plant productivity was greatly reduced after the end-Permian mass extinction, causing a pronounced "coal gap" worldwide during the Early Triassic. Newly obtained organic geochemistry data from the Chaohu area, south China, indicated an abrupt and profound terrestrial vegetation change over the middle part of the Early Triassic Smithian-Spathian (S-S) interval. Herbaceous lycopsids and/or bryophytes dominated terrestrial vegetation from Griesbachian to Smithian times. The terrestrial ecosystem underwent an abrupt change, and woody conifers became dominant over the S-S interval. Several important biomarkers, namely retene, simonellite, and dehydroabietane (with multiple sources: conifer, lycopsid, and/or herbaceous bryophyte), were relatively abundant during Griesbachian, Dienerian, and Smithian times. The relatively low C/N ratio values during the Griesbachian-Smithian interval indicate that these biomarkers were likely sourced from herbaceous lycopsids and/or bryophytes. The extremely abundant conifer-sourced pimanthrene, combined with relatively high C/N ratio values, suggested the recovery of woody conifers after the S-S boundary. The new data revealed that the switch from herbaceous vegetation to woody coniferous vegetation marked a terrestrial plant recovery, which occurred globally within 3 million years after the end-Permian crisis rather than at a later date estimated in previous studies. In Chaohu, the S-S terrestrial event was marked by a reappearance of woody vegetation, while the S-S marine event was marked by an increase in ichnodiversity, trace complexity, burrow size, infaunal tiering level, and bioturbation level, and a possible intense upwelling event indicated by the extended tricyclic terpane ratios (ETR). Coeval vegetation changes with comparable patterns have also been documented in Europe and Pakistan based on palynologic studies. The S-S boundaries in Asia and Europe are associated with a positive δ13C excursion, the rebound of woody

  13. Photochemical model for NH3 in an early Martian atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, L. L.; Kasting, J. F.

    1992-01-01

    A warm and wet climate scenario for early Mars has been explained by invoking a 5-bar CO2 atmosphere; however, Kasting has shown that CO2 will condense in the Martian atmosphere at these pressures. The formation of CO2 clouds will reduce the convection lapse rate and reduce the magnitude of the greenhouse effect. It is possible that additional greenhouse gases such as methane and ammonia were present in the early Mars atmosphere. We are using a one dimensional photochemical model to estimate the magnitude of the ammonia source required to maintain a given ammonia concentration in a dense CO2 atmosphere. Because CO2 is 2.5 times more efficient at Rayleigh scattering than Earth's N2 atmosphere, we anticipate increased scattering opacities and decreased photolytic destruction rates of ammonia on early Mars. The reduced gravity on Mars means that a 1 bar atmosphere will be approximately 3 times as thick as on Earth. It is possible that ammonia could have been shielded from photolysis by hydrocarbon aerosols which form as a product of methane photolysis.

  14. The sensitivity of terrestrial carbon storage to historical climate variability and atmospheric CO2 in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tian, H.; Melillo, J.M.; Kicklighter, D.W.; McGuire, A.D.; Helfrich, J.

    1999-01-01

    We use the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM, Version 4.1) and the land cover data set of the international geosphere-biosphere program to investigate how increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration and climate variability during 1900-1994 affect the carbon storage of terrestrial ecosystems in the conterminous USA, and how carbon storage has been affected by land-use change. The estimates of TEM indicate that over the past 95 years a combination of increasing atmospheric CO2 with historical temperature and precipitation variability causes a 4.2% (4.3 Pg C) decrease in total carbon storage of potential vegetation in the conterminous US, with vegetation carbon decreasing by 7.2% (3.2 Pg C) and soil organic carbon decreasing by 1.9% (1.1 Pg C). Several dry periods including the 1930s and 1950s are responsible for the loss of carbon storage. Our factorial experiments indicate that precipitation variability alone decreases total carbon storage by 9.5%. Temperature variability alone does not significantly affect carbon storage. The effect of CO2 fertilization alone increases total carbon storage by 4.4%. The effects of increasing atmospheric CO2 and climate variability are not additive. Interactions among CO2, temperature and precipitation increase total carbon storage by 1.1%. Our study also shows substantial year-to-year variations in net carbon exchange between the atmosphere and terrestrial ecosystems due to climate variability. Since the 1960s, we estimate these terrestrial ecosystems have acted primarily as a sink of atmospheric CO2 as a result of wetter weather and higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations. For the 1980s, we estimate the natural terrestrial ecosystems, excluding cropland and urban areas, of the conterminous US have accumulated 78.2 Tg C yr-1 because of the combined effect of increasing atmospheric CO2 and climate variability. For the conterminous US, we estimate that the conversion of natural ecosystems to cropland and urban areas has caused a 18.2% (17

  15. The rise of oxygen in Earth's early ocean and atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Lyons, Timothy W; Reinhard, Christopher T; Planavsky, Noah J

    2014-02-20

    The rapid increase of carbon dioxide concentration in Earth's modern atmosphere is a matter of major concern. But for the atmosphere of roughly two-and-half billion years ago, interest centres on a different gas: free oxygen (O2) spawned by early biological production. The initial increase of O2 in the atmosphere, its delayed build-up in the ocean, its increase to near-modern levels in the sea and air two billion years later, and its cause-and-effect relationship with life are among the most compelling stories in Earth's history. PMID:24553238

  16. Effects of atmospheric ammonia (NH3) on terrestrial vegetation: a review.

    PubMed

    Krupa, S V

    2003-01-01

    At the global scale, among all N (nitrogen) species in the atmosphere and their deposition on to terrestrial vegetation and other receptors, NH3 (ammonia) is considered to be the foremost. The major sources for atmospheric NH3 are agricultural activities and animal feedlot operations, followed by biomass burning (including forest fires) and to a lesser extent fossil fuel combustion. Close to its sources, acute exposures to NH3 can result in visible foliar injury on vegetation. NH3 is deposited rapidly within the first 4-5 km from its source. However, NH3 is also converted in the atmosphere to fine particle NH4+ (ammonium) aerosols that are a regional scale problem. Much of our current knowledge of the effects of NH3 on higher plants is predominantly derived from studies conducted in Europe. Adverse effects on vegetation occur when the rate of foliar uptake of NH3 is greater than the rate and capacity for in vivo detoxification by the plants. Most to least sensitive plant species to NH3 are native vegetation > forests > agricultural crops. There are also a number of studies on N deposition and lichens, mosses and green algae. Direct cause and effect relationships in most of those cases (exceptions being those locations very close to point sources) are confounded by other environmental factors, particularly changes in the ambient SO2 (sulfur dioxide) concentrations. In addition to direct foliar injury, adverse effects of NH3 on higher plants include alterations in: growth and productivity, tissue content of nutrients and toxic elements, drought and frost tolerance, responses to insect pests and disease causing microorganisms (pathogens), development of beneficial root symbiotic or mycorrhizal associations and inter species competition or biodiversity. In all these cases, the joint effects of NH3 with other air pollutants such as all-pervasive O3 or increasing CO2 concentrations are poorly understood. While NH3 uptake in higher plants occurs through the shoots, NH4

  17. 3D-radiative transfer in terrestrial atmosphere: An efficient parallel numerical procedure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bass, L. P.; Germogenova, T. A.; Nikolaeva, O. V.; Kokhanovsky, A. A.; Kuznetsov, V. S.

    2003-04-01

    Light propagation and scattering in terrestrial atmosphere is usually studied in the framework of the 1D radiative transfer theory [1]. However, in reality particles (e.g., ice crystals, solid and liquid aerosols, cloud droplets) are randomly distributed in 3D space. In particular, their concentrations vary both in vertical and horizontal directions. Therefore, 3D effects influence modern cloud and aerosol retrieval procedures, which are currently based on the 1D radiative transfer theory. It should be pointed out that the standard radiative transfer equation allows to study these more complex situations as well [2]. In recent year the parallel version of the 2D and 3D RADUGA code has been developed. This version is successfully used in gammas and neutrons transport problems [3]. Applications of this code to radiative transfer in atmosphere problems are contained in [4]. Possibilities of code RADUGA are presented in [5]. The RADUGA code system is an universal solver of radiative transfer problems for complicated models, including 2D and 3D aerosol and cloud fields with arbitrary scattering anisotropy, light absorption, inhomogeneous underlying surface and topography. Both delta type and distributed light sources can be accounted for in the framework of the algorithm developed. The accurate numerical procedure is based on the new discrete ordinate SWDD scheme [6]. The algorithm is specifically designed for parallel supercomputers. The version RADUGA 5.1(P) can run on MBC1000M [7] (768 processors with 10 Gb of hard disc memory for each processor). The peak productivity is equal 1 Tfl. Corresponding scalar version RADUGA 5.1 is working on PC. As a first example of application of the algorithm developed, we have studied the shadowing effects of clouds on neighboring cloudless atmosphere, depending on the cloud optical thickness, surface albedo, and illumination conditions. This is of importance for modern satellite aerosol retrieval algorithms development. [1] Sobolev

  18. Effects of non-tidal atmospheric loading on a Kalman filter-based terrestrial reference frame

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbondanza, C.; Altamimi, Z.; Chin, T. M.; Collilieux, X.; Dach, R.; Heflin, M. B.; Gross, R. S.; König, R.; Lemoine, F. G.; MacMillan, D. S.; Parker, J. W.; van Dam, T. M.; Wu, X.

    2013-12-01

    The International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF) adopts a piece-wise linear model to parameterize regularized station positions and velocities. The space-geodetic (SG) solutions from VLBI, SLR, GPS and DORIS global networks used as input in the ITRF combination process account for tidal loading deformations, but ignore the non-tidal part. As a result, the non-linear signal observed in the time series of SG-derived station positions in part reflects non-tidal loading displacements not introduced in the SG data reduction. In this analysis, the effect of non-tidal atmospheric loading (NTAL) corrections on the TRF is assessed adopting a Remove/Restore approach: (i) Focusing on the a-posteriori approach, the NTAL model derived from the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) surface pressure is removed from the SINEX files of the SG solutions used as inputs to the TRF determinations. (ii) Adopting a Kalman-filter based approach, a linear TRF is estimated combining the 4 SG solutions free from NTAL displacements. (iii) Linear fits to the NTAL displacements removed at step (i) are restored to the linear reference frame estimated at (ii). The velocity fields of the (standard) linear reference frame in which the NTAL model has not been removed and the one in which the model has been removed/restored are compared and discussed.

  19. Dermal bone in early tetrapods: a palaeophysiological hypothesis of adaptation for terrestrial acidosis

    PubMed Central

    Janis, Christine M.; Devlin, Kelly; Warren, Daniel E.; Witzmann, Florian

    2012-01-01

    The dermal bone sculpture of early, basal tetrapods of the Permo-Carboniferous is unlike the bone surface of any living vertebrate, and its function has long been obscure. Drawing from physiological studies of extant tetrapods, where dermal bone or other calcified tissues aid in regulating acid–base balance relating to hypercapnia (excess blood carbon dioxide) and/or lactate acidosis, we propose a similar function for these sculptured dermal bones in early tetrapods. Unlike the condition in modern reptiles, which experience hypercapnia when submerged in water, these animals would have experienced hypercapnia on land, owing to likely inefficient means of eliminating carbon dioxide. The different patterns of dermal bone sculpture in these tetrapods largely correlates with levels of terrestriality: sculpture is reduced or lost in stem amniotes that likely had the more efficient lung ventilation mode of costal aspiration, and in small-sized stem amphibians that would have been able to use the skin for gas exchange. PMID:22535781

  20. Dermal bone in early tetrapods: a palaeophysiological hypothesis of adaptation for terrestrial acidosis.

    PubMed

    Janis, Christine M; Devlin, Kelly; Warren, Daniel E; Witzmann, Florian

    2012-08-01

    The dermal bone sculpture of early, basal tetrapods of the Permo-Carboniferous is unlike the bone surface of any living vertebrate, and its function has long been obscure. Drawing from physiological studies of extant tetrapods, where dermal bone or other calcified tissues aid in regulating acid-base balance relating to hypercapnia (excess blood carbon dioxide) and/or lactate acidosis, we propose a similar function for these sculptured dermal bones in early tetrapods. Unlike the condition in modern reptiles, which experience hypercapnia when submerged in water, these animals would have experienced hypercapnia on land, owing to likely inefficient means of eliminating carbon dioxide. The different patterns of dermal bone sculpture in these tetrapods largely correlates with levels of terrestriality: sculpture is reduced or lost in stem amniotes that likely had the more efficient lung ventilation mode of costal aspiration, and in small-sized stem amphibians that would have been able to use the skin for gas exchange. PMID:22535781

  1. Early tetrapod evolution and the progressive integration of Permo-Carboniferous terrestrial ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Beerbower, J.R. . Dept. of Geological Science); Olson, E.C. . Dept. of Biology); Hotton, N. III . Dept. of Paleobiology)

    1992-01-01

    Variation among Permo-Carboniferous tetrapod assemblages demonstrates major transformations in pathways and rates of energy and nutrient transfer, in integration of terrestrial ecosystems and in predominant ecologic modes. Early Carboniferous pathways were through plant detritus to aquatic and terrestrial detritivores and thence to arthropod and vertebrate meso-and macro-predators. Transfer rates (and efficiency) were low as was ecosystem integration; the principal ecologic mode was conservation. Late Carboniferous and Early Permian assemblages demonstrate an expansion in herbivory, primarily in utilization of low-fiber plant tissue by insects. But transfer rates, efficiency and integration were still limited because the larger portion of plant biomass, high-fiber tissues, still went into detrital pathways; high-fiber'' herbivores, i.e., tetrapods, were neither abundant or diverse, reflecting limited resources, intense predation and limited capabilities for processing fiber-rich food. The abundance and diversity of tetrapod herbivores in upper Permian assemblages suggests a considerable transfer of energy from high-fiber tissues through these animals to tetrapod predators and thus higher transfer rates and efficiencies. It also brought a shift in ecological mode toward acquisition and regulation and tightened ecosystem integration.

  2. Acyclic hydrocarbon environments ⩾ n-C 18 on the early terrestrial planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcano, Vicente; Benitez, Pedro; Palacios-Prü, Ernesto

    2003-03-01

    The possible occurrence on the surface of the early Earth, Mars and Venus of hydrocarbon environments mainly composed by acyclic alkane molecules ⩾ n-C 18 has been revised. These hydrocarbons could be accumulated from the contribution of endogenous Fischer-Tropsh-type reactions and post-impact recombination reactions, as well as from exogenous sources such as comets, meteorites and dust particles. Such heavy alkane environments could offer protection for the synthesis and survival of biomolecules on the early terrestrial planets. Amounts of heavy n-alkanes delivered by large impactors, dust particles or produced by post-impact recombination on Venus would have been higher than those delivered or produced by the same sources on Earth and Mars before 3600 Myr ago. However, the high values of the total frequency of impacts by bolides >14-km in diameter estimated in this time period (viz. 3.9×10 3, Mars; 2.2×10 4, Earth, and 3.8×10 4 Venus) and the high surface temperatures generated by those impactors suggest the existence of very unstable conditions on the early terrestrial planets for the survival and long-term accumulation of acyclic hydrocarbons. Therefore, the most significant accumulation of n-alkanes could have occurred only during the longer intervals (10 5- 10 7 yr) between each impact through the contribution mainly of IDPs, and thereby a high decomposition rate would be expected for the accumulated n-alkanes by successive impacts. Amounts of n-alkanes accumulated from IDPs in these intervals have been estimated between 2.3×10 9 and 2.2×10 10 kg 3600- 3800 Myr ago. These processes are expected to occur on other planetary bodies or satellites belonging to our solar system and probably in analogs of the early solar system.

  3. Increased delivery of condensation nuclei during the Late Heavy Bombardment to the terrestrial and martian atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Losiak, Anna

    2014-05-01

    During the period of the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB), between 4.1 and 3.8 Ga, the impact rate within the entire Solar System was up to a few thousand times higher than the current value (Ryder 2002, Bottke et al. 2012, Fassett and Minton 2013). Multiple basin-forming events on inner planets that occurred during this time had a strong but short-lasting (up to few thousands of years) effect on atmospheres of Earth and Mars (Sleep et al. 1989, Segura et al. 2002, 2012). However, the role of the continuous flux of smaller impactors has not been assessed so far. We calculated the amount of meteoric material in the 10^-3 kg to 106 kg size range delivered to Earth and Mars during the LHB based on the impact flux at the top of the Earth's atmosphere based on results from Bland and Artemieva (2006). Those values were recalculated for Mars based on Ivanov and Hartmann (2009) and then recalculated to the LHB peak based on estimates from Ryder (2002), Bottke et al. (2012), Fassett and Minton (2013). During the LHB, the amount of meteoritic material within this size range delivered to Earth was up to ~1.7*10^10 kg/year and 1.4*10^10 kg/year for Mars. The impactors that ablate and are disrupted during atmospheric entry can serve as cloud condensation nuclei (Rosen 1968, Hunten et al. 1980, Ogurtsov and Raspopov 2011). The amount of material delivered during LHB to the upper stratosphere and lower mezosphere (Hunten et al. 1980, Bland and Artemieva 2006) is comparable to the current terrestrial annual emission of mineral cloud condensation nuclei of 0.5-8*10^12 kg/year (Tegen 2003). On Mars, the availability of condensation nuclei is one of the main factors guiding water-ice cloud formation (Montmessin et al. 2004), which is in turn one of the main climatic factors influencing the hydrological cycle (Michaels et al. 2006) and radiative balance of the planet (Haberle et al. 1999, Wordsworth et al. 2013, Urata and Toon 2013). Increased delivery of condensation nuclei during the

  4. Simulation of atmospheric and terrestrial background signatures for detection and tracking scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schweitzer, Caroline; Stein, Karin

    2015-10-01

    In the fields of early warning, one is depending on reliable image exploitation: Only if the applied detection and tracking algorithms work efficiently, the threat approach alert can be given fast enough to ensure an automatic initiation of the countermeasure. In order to evaluate the performance of those algorithms for a certain electro-optical (EO) sensor system, test sequences need to be created as realistic and comprehensive as possible. Since both, background and target signature, depend on the environmental conditions, a detailed knowledge of the meteorology and climatology is necessary. Trials for measuring these environmental characteristics serve as a solid basis, but might only constitute the conditions during a rather short period of time. To represent the entire variation of meteorology and climatology that the future system will be exposed to, the application of comprehensive atmospheric modelling tools is essential. This paper gives an introduction of the atmospheric modelling tools that are currently used at Fraunhofer IOSB to simulate spectral background signatures in the infrared (IR) range. It is also demonstrated, how those signatures are affected by changing atmospheric and climatic conditions. In conclusion - and with a special focus on the modelling of different cloud types - sources of error and limits are discussed.

  5. Atmospheric pCO2 Reconstructed across the Early Eocene Hyperthermals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, Y.; Schubert, B.

    2015-12-01

    Negative carbon isotope excursions (CIEs) are commonly associated with extreme global warming. The Early Eocene is punctuated by five such CIEs, the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM, ca. 55.8 Ma), H1 (ca. 53.6 Ma), H2 (ca. 53.5 Ma), I1 (ca. 53.3 Ma), and I2 (ca. 53.2 Ma), each characterized by global warming. The negative CIEs are recognized in both marine and terrestrial substrates, but the terrestrial substrates exhibit a larger absolute magnitude CIE than the marine substrates. Here we reconcile the difference in CIE magnitude between the terrestrial and marine substrates for each of these events by accounting for the additional carbon isotope fractionation by C3 land plants in response to increased atmospheric pCO2. Our analysis yields background and peak pCO2 values for each of the events. Assuming a common mechanism for each event, we calculate that background pCO2 was not static across the Early Eocene, with the highest background pCO2 immediately prior to I2, the last of the five CIEs. Background pCO2 is dependent on the source used in our analysis with values ranging from 300 to 720 ppmv provided an injection of 13C-depleted carbon with δ13C value of -60‰ (e.g. biogenic methane). The peak pCO2 during each event scales according to the magnitude of CIE, and is therefore greatest during the PETM and smallest during H2. Both background and peak pCO2 are higher if we assume a mechanism of permafrost thawing (δ13C = -25‰). Our reconstruction of pCO2 across these events is consistent with trends in the δ18O value of deep-sea benthic foraminifera, suggesting a strong link between pCO2 and temperature during the Early Eocene.

  6. Early MAVEN results on the Mars Upper Atmosphere and Atmospheric Loss to Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakosky, B. M.; Grebowsky, J. M.; Luhmann, J. G.

    2015-10-01

    The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft went into orbit around Mars on 21 September 2014. After a commissioning phase that included science observations of Mars and of Comet Siding Spring during its close approach, its primary science phase began on 16 November 2014 and will run for a full Earth year, until November 2015. Early results on structure, composition and dynamics of the upper atmosphere and on escape to space will be presented.

  7. Modelling the impact of atmospheric and terrestrial inputs on the Black Sea coastal dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kourafalou, V. H.; Stanev, E. V.

    2001-02-01

    The dynamics on the North Western Shelf area of the Black Sea are examined, with an emphasis on the circulation induced by buoyancy due to the land drained fresh waters and by the interaction with the atmosphere, notably wind stress. A three-dimensional, multi-layer hydrodynamic model is employed with realistic topography and parameterisation of river plume physics. We focus on the seasonal patterns of transport of the river induced low-salinity waters within the Coastal Low Salinity Band and the conditions that influence their removal toward the shelf interior. The numerical simulations show that coastal circulation is greatly influenced by river runoff and especially in the case of the Danube, which is excessively high with monthly aver-aged values ranging from 5000 to 10000 m3 /s. A significant contribution of runoff comes from the neighbouring rivers. At the same time, the North Western Shelf is quite broad, so that the coastal dynamics are largely sheltered from the conditions in the deeper sea. Buoyancy due to river runoff thus dominates, creating a southward coastal current that is the predominant pathway for the land-drained inputs. As in all shelf areas, wind stress is a major circulation forcing mechanism and it modifies the buoyancy induced flow. It is shown that the seasonal variability in river runoff and wind stress, in combination with the shelf topography, determines the different pathways for the terrestrial inputs. Implications on the overall basin circulation are drawn, as the availability of low-salinity waters of river origin affects the upper Black Sea layer. Consequently, the formation of distinct water masses (such as the Cold Intermediate Layer) and the properties of the outflow toward the Mediterranean are also influenced.

  8. Requirements for the early atmosphere of Mars from nitrogen isotope ratios

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fox, J. L.

    1993-01-01

    The N escape models of Fox and Dalgarno and Fox required the presence of a dense, early CO2 atmosphere to inhibit fractionation of the N isotopes N-15 and N-14. The computed photochemical escape fluxes are so large at the present that the isotope ratio measured by Viking (about 1.62x terrestrial) can be produced in about 1.5 b.y. This model was refined in several ways. It was updated to incorporate the variation of the escape fluxes with increases in the solar fluxes at earlier times according to the model of Zahnle and Walker. As expected, this exacerbates the problem with overfractionation, but not greatly. Most of the escape and fractionation of the N occurs in the last 1.5 b.y., when the solar flux was only slightly different from the present. The dense early atmosphere must persist only a bit longer in order to reproduce the measured isotope ratio. The model was also modified to take into account changes in the O mixing ratio with time in the past, assuming that the O abundance is proportional to the square root of the solar flux. Although the production rate of O from photodissociation of CO2 scales as the solar flux, the strength of the winds and other mixing processes also increases with the solar flux, resulting in possibly more effective transport of O to the lower atmosphere where it is destroyed by catalytic and three-body recombination mechanisms.

  9. A carbon dioxide/methane greenhouse atmosphere on early Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, L. L.; Kasting, J. F.

    1993-01-01

    One explanation for the formation of fluvial surface features on early Mars is that the global average surface temperature was maintained at or above the freezing point of water by the greenhouse warming of a dense CO2 atmosphere; however, Kasting has shown that CO2 alone is insufficient because the formation of CO2 clouds reduces the magnitude of the greenhouse effect. It is possible that other gases, such as NH3 and CH4, were present in the early atmosphere of Mars and contributed to the greenhouse effect. Kasting et al. investigated the effect of NH3 in a CO2 atmosphere and calculated that an NH3 mixing ratio of approximately 5 x 10 (exp -4) by volume, combined with a CO2 partial pressure of 4-5 bar, could generate a global average surface temperature of 273 K near 3.8 b.y. ago when the fluvial features are believed to have formed. Atmospheric NH3 is photochemically converted to N2 by ultraviolet radiation at wavelengths shortward of 230 nm; maintenance of sufficient NH3 concentrations would therefore require a source of NH3 to balance the photolytic destruction. We have used a one-dimensional photochemical model to estimate the magnitude of the NH3 source required to maintain a given NH3 concentration in a dense CO2 atmosphere. We calculate that an NH3 mixing ratio of 10(exp -4) requires a flux of NH3 on the order of 10(exp 12) molecules /cm-s. This figure is several orders of magnitude greater than estimates of the NH3 flux on early Mars; thus it appears that NH3 with CO2 is not enough to keep early Mars warm.

  10. Heterogeneous Reactions of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons on Atmospheric and Terrestrial Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonich, S. L.

    2014-12-01

    formation of 2-nitrofluoranthene or 2-nitropyrene, suggesting that heterogeneous reactions predominated. The importance of this research with respect to atmospheric long-range transport of PM-bound PAHs and heterogeneous reaction of PAHs on terrestrial surfaces will be discussed.

  11. The role of terrestrial plants in limiting atmospheric CO(2) decline over the past 24 million years.

    PubMed

    Pagani, Mark; Caldeira, Ken; Berner, Robert; Beerling, David J

    2009-07-01

    Environmental conditions during the past 24 million years are thought to have been favourable for enhanced rates of atmospheric carbon dioxide drawdown by silicate chemical weathering. Proxy records indicate, however, that the Earth's atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations did not fall below about 200-250 parts per million during this period. The stabilization of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations near this minimum value suggests that strong negative feedback mechanisms inhibited further drawdown of atmospheric carbon dioxide by high rates of global silicate rock weathering. Here we investigate one possible negative feedback mechanism, occurring under relatively low carbon dioxide concentrations and in warm climates, that is related to terrestrial plant productivity and its role in the decomposition of silicate minerals. We use simulations of terrestrial and geochemical carbon cycles and available experimental evidence to show that vegetation activity in upland regions of active orogens was severely limited by near-starvation of carbon dioxide in combination with global warmth over this period. These conditions diminished biotic-driven silicate rock weathering and thereby attenuated an important long-term carbon dioxide sink. Although our modelling results are semi-quantitative and do not capture the full range of biogeochemical feedbacks that could influence the climate, our analysis indicates that the dynamic equilibrium between plants, climate and the geosphere probably buffered the minimum atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations over the past 24 million years. PMID:19571882

  12. Land Use Effects on Atmospheric C-13 Imply a Sizable Terrestrial CO2 Sink in Tropical Latitudes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Townsend, Alan R.; Asner, Gregory P.; Tans, Pieter P.; White, James W. C.

    2000-01-01

    Records of atmospheric CO2 and 13-CO2, can be used to distinguish terrestrial vs. oceanic exchanges of CO2 with the atmosphere. However, this approach has proven difficult in the tropics, partly due to extensive land conversion from C-3 to C-4 vegetation. We estimated the effects of such conversion on biosphere-atmosphere C-13 exchange for 1991 through 1999, and then explored how this 'land-use disequilibrium' altered the partitioning of net atmospheric CO2 exchanges between ocean and land using NOAA-CMDL data and a 2D, zonally averaged atmospheric transport model. Our results show sizable CO2 uptake in C-3-dominated tropical regions in seven of the nine years; 1997 and 1998, which included a strong ENSO event, are near neutral. Since these fluxes include any deforestation source, our findings imply either that such sources are smaller than previously estimated, and/or the existence of a large terrestrial CO2 sink in equatorial latitudes.

  13. Devonian rise in atmospheric oxygen correlated to the radiations of terrestrial plants and large predatory fish.

    PubMed

    Dahl, Tais W; Hammarlund, Emma U; Anbar, Ariel D; Bond, David P G; Gill, Benjamin C; Gordon, Gwyneth W; Knoll, Andrew H; Nielsen, Arne T; Schovsbo, Niels H; Canfield, Donald E

    2010-10-19

    The evolution of Earth's biota is intimately linked to the oxygenation of the oceans and atmosphere. We use the isotopic composition and concentration of molybdenum (Mo) in sedimentary rocks to explore this relationship. Our results indicate two episodes of global ocean oxygenation. The first coincides with the emergence of the Ediacaran fauna, including large, motile bilaterian animals, ca. 550-560 million year ago (Ma), reinforcing previous geochemical indications that Earth surface oxygenation facilitated this radiation. The second, perhaps larger, oxygenation took place around 400 Ma, well after the initial rise of animals and, therefore, suggesting that early metazoans evolved in a relatively low oxygen environment. This later oxygenation correlates with the diversification of vascular plants, which likely contributed to increased oxygenation through the enhanced burial of organic carbon in sediments. It also correlates with a pronounced radiation of large predatory fish, animals with high oxygen demand. We thereby couple the redox history of the atmosphere and oceans to major events in animal evolution. PMID:20884852

  14. Devonian rise in atmospheric oxygen correlated to the radiations of terrestrial plants and large predatory fish

    PubMed Central

    Dahl, Tais W.; Hammarlund, Emma U.; Anbar, Ariel D.; Bond, David P. G.; Gill, Benjamin C.; Gordon, Gwyneth W.; Knoll, Andrew H.; Nielsen, Arne T.; Schovsbo, Niels H.; Canfield, Donald E.

    2010-01-01

    The evolution of Earth’s biota is intimately linked to the oxygenation of the oceans and atmosphere. We use the isotopic composition and concentration of molybdenum (Mo) in sedimentary rocks to explore this relationship. Our results indicate two episodes of global ocean oxygenation. The first coincides with the emergence of the Ediacaran fauna, including large, motile bilaterian animals, ca. 550–560 million year ago (Ma), reinforcing previous geochemical indications that Earth surface oxygenation facilitated this radiation. The second, perhaps larger, oxygenation took place around 400 Ma, well after the initial rise of animals and, therefore, suggesting that early metazoans evolved in a relatively low oxygen environment. This later oxygenation correlates with the diversification of vascular plants, which likely contributed to increased oxygenation through the enhanced burial of organic carbon in sediments. It also correlates with a pronounced radiation of large predatory fish, animals with high oxygen demand. We thereby couple the redox history of the atmosphere and oceans to major events in animal evolution. PMID:20884852

  15. Identification of Lichen Metabolism in an Early Devonian Terrestrial Fossil using Carbon Stable Isotope Signature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, S.; Jahren, H.

    2002-05-01

    The fossil organismSpongiophyton minutissimum is commonly found in early terrestrial assemblages (Devonian age, 430-340 Ma). Suites of morphological descriptions of this fossil have been published, starting in 1954, and have led to two competing hypotheses: 1.) that this early colonizer of land was a primitive bryophyte, and therefore a precursor to modern plant organisms, and 2.) thatS. minutissimum was a lichen: a close association between an alga and a fungus. Because the ultimate mechanisms for carbon supply to the carboxylating enzyme in bryophytes and lichens differ fundamentally, we expect these two types of organisms to exhibit separate ranges of δ 13Ctissue value. In bryophytes, gaseous carbon dioxide diffuses through perforations in cuticle (resulting in δ 13Catmosphere - δ 13Cbryophyte = ~20 ‰ ). Within the lichen, carbon is supplied to the carboxylating enzyme of the photobiont as carbon dioxide dissolved in fungal cell fluids (resulting in δ 13Catmosphere - δ 13Clichen = ~15 ‰ ). By comparing the δ 13Ctissue value ofS. minutissimum (mean = -23 ‰ ;n = 75) with δ 13Ctissue values in twenty-five lichens, representative of the four different phylogenetic clades (mean = -23 ‰ ;n = 25) and thirty different genera of bryophytes including mosses, liverworts, and hornworts (mean = -28 ‰ ;n = 30), we conclude thatS. minutissimum was cycling carbon via processes that much more closely resembled those of lichens, and not bryophytes. We discuss the general strategies associated with lichen biology, such as the ability to withstand dessication during reproduction, and how they may have contributed to the successful colonization of terrestrial environments.

  16. Atmospheric composition and climate on the early Earth.

    PubMed

    Kasting, James F; Howard, M Tazewell

    2006-10-29

    Oxygen isotope data from ancient sedimentary rocks appear to suggest that the early Earth was significantly warmer than today, with estimates of surface temperatures between 45 and 85 degrees C. We argue, following others, that this interpretation is incorrect-the same data can be explained via a change in isotopic composition of seawater with time. These changes in the isotopic composition could result from an increase in mean depth of the mid-ocean ridges caused by a decrease in geothermal heat flow with time. All this implies that the early Earth was warm, not hot.A more temperate early Earth is also easier to reconcile with the long-term glacial record. However, what triggered these early glaciations is still under debate. The Paleoproterozoic glaciations at approximately 2.4Ga were probably caused by the rise of atmospheric O2 and a concomitant decrease in greenhouse warming by CH4. Glaciation might have occurred in the Mid-Archaean as well, at approximately 2.9Ga, perhaps as a consequence of anti-greenhouse cooling by hydrocarbon haze. Both glaciations are linked to decreases in the magnitude of mass-independent sulphur isotope fractionation in ancient rocks. Studying both the oxygen and sulphur isotopic records has thus proved useful in probing the composition of the early atmosphere. PMID:17008214

  17. Atmospheric composition and climate on the early Earth

    PubMed Central

    Kasting, James F; Howard, M. Tazewell

    2006-01-01

    Oxygen isotope data from ancient sedimentary rocks appear to suggest that the early Earth was significantly warmer than today, with estimates of surface temperatures between 45 and 85°C. We argue, following others, that this interpretation is incorrect—the same data can be explained via a change in isotopic composition of seawater with time. These changes in the isotopic composition could result from an increase in mean depth of the mid-ocean ridges caused by a decrease in geothermal heat flow with time. All this implies that the early Earth was warm, not hot. A more temperate early Earth is also easier to reconcile with the long-term glacial record. However, what triggered these early glaciations is still under debate. The Paleoproterozoic glaciations at approximately 2.4 Ga were probably caused by the rise of atmospheric O2 and a concomitant decrease in greenhouse warming by CH4. Glaciation might have occurred in the Mid-Archaean as well, at approximately 2.9 Ga, perhaps as a consequence of anti-greenhouse cooling by hydrocarbon haze. Both glaciations are linked to decreases in the magnitude of mass-independent sulphur isotope fractionation in ancient rocks. Studying both the oxygen and sulphur isotopic records has thus proved useful in probing the composition of the early atmosphere. PMID:17008214

  18. The Role of Hydrogen in Determining the Stability of CO2 Atmospheres of Terrestrial Exoplanets Around M Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Peter; Hu, Renyu; Robinson, Tyler D.; Yung, Yuk L.

    2014-11-01

    The recent discovery of terrestrial worlds in the Habitable Zones of M Dwarfs necessitates a more intensive investigation of the properties of these planets. One major feature of certain M Dwarfs is their high fluxes of EUV radiation, which photolyzes CO2, an important greenhouse gas that should be abundant on rocky worlds. This photolytic destruction of CO2 can be countered by HOx chemistry: photolysis of HOx species by NUV radiation generates OH, which reacts with CO to regenerate CO2. These processes are balanced around Sun-like stars such that Venus and Mars can maintain CO2-dominated atmospheres. However, M Dwarfs tend to have much lower NUV/EUV flux ratios, which could prevent the formation of significant CO2 atmospheres on any planets they may host. In this study, we evaluate the properties of CO2 atmospheres surrounding an Earth-massed, Earth-sized exoplanet in orbit of an M Dwarf using a 1D photochemical kinetics model. We consider an atmosphere similar in composition to that of Mars, but scaled to have a surface pressure of 1 bar. We choose to focus on Mars-like atmospheres rather than Earth-like ones, as Earth's atmosphere has been altered through biological sources and sinks and the presence of a large liquid water ocean, which are not necessarily present on terrestrial exoplanets. Our preliminary results show that the hydrogen content of the atmosphere is crucial in determining the ratio of CO2 to CO and O2. In particular, for a H2 mixing ratio identical to that of Mars 20-30 ppm), a steady state atmosphere is reached after 10 Gyr consisting of ~85% CO2, ~10% CO, and ~5% O2, with an ozone mixing ratio of ~0.01 ppm. In the extreme case where all hydrogen is lost to space, an atmosphere consisting of ~64% CO2, ~24% CO, and 12% O2 results, while ozone levels reach ~10 ppm. Finally, for H2 mixing ratios similar to that of Earth 0.5 ppm) and no atmospheric escape, a 49% CO2, 34% CO, 17% O2, and 0.1 ppm O3 atmosphere is possible. This not only points to the

  19. Simultaneous Assimilation of FAPAR and Atmospheric CO2 into a Terrestrial Vegetation Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaminski, T.; Knorr, W.; Scholze, M.; Gobron, N.; Pinty, B.; Giering, R.; Mathieu, P. P.

    2012-04-01

    Tackling the possible severe impacts of climate change on the carbon cycle and land water resources requires further development of simulation models and monitoring capabilities. Carbon cycle impacts can lead to further climate change through releases of CO2, and impacts on water resources are critical for human survival. A rapidly increasing monitoring capability is Earth Observation (EO) by satellites. Usually, EO by its very nature focuses on diagnosing the current state of the planet. However, it is possible to use EO products in data assimilation systems to improve not only the diagnostics of the current state, but also the accuracy of future predictions. This study investigates the simultaneous assimilation of ground-based atmospheric CO2 concentration data and Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FAPAR) derived from measurements made by the MERIS sensor on-board ENVISAT and to what extent these data can be used to improve models of terrestrial ecosystems, carbon cycling and hydrology. Further development of the Carbon Cycle Data Assimilation System (CCDAS, see http://CCDAS.org) for the purpose of simultaneous assimilation of FAPAR and atmospheric carbon dioxide measurements showed that the design of the ecosystem model is critical for successful implementation of highly efficient variational data assimilation schemes. This is important, because each newly added data stream will typically require a separate observational operator. In the case of this study, it was the leaf development (phenology) sub-model that needed to be developed. As a variational data assimilation scheme, CCDAS relies on first and second derivatives of the underlying model for estimating process parameters with uncertainty ranges. In a subsequent step these parameter uncertainties are mapped forward onto uncertainty ranges for predicted carbon and water fluxes. We present assimilation experiments of MERIS FAPAR at the global scale together with in situ observations

  20. Spectral identification of abiotic O2 buildup from early runaways and rarefied atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwieterman, Edward; Meadows, Victoria; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Arney, Giada; Luger, Rodrigo; Barnes, Rory

    2015-11-01

    The spectral detection of oxygen (O2) in a planetary atmosphere has been considered a robust signature of life because O2 is highly reactive on planets with Earth-like redox buffers and because significant continuous abiotic sources were thought to be implausible. However, recent work has revealed the possibility that significant O2 may build-up in terrestrial planet atmospheres through (1) photochemical channels or (2) through massive hydrogen escape. We focus on the latter category here. Significant amounts of abiotic O2 could remain in the atmospheres of planets in the habitable zones of late type stars, where an early runaway greenhouse and massive hydrogen escape during the pre-main-sequence phase could have irreversibly oxidized the crust and mantle (Luger & Barnes 2015). Additionally, it has been hypothesized that O2 could accumulate in the atmospheres of planets with sufficiently low abundances of noncondensable gases such as N2 where water would not be cold trapped in the troposphere, leading to H-escape from UV photolysis in a wet stratosphere (Wordsworth & Pierrehumbert 2014). We self-consistently model the climate, photochemistry, and spectra of both rarefied and post-runaway, high-O2 atmospheres. Because an early runaway might not have lasted long enough for the entire water inventory to have escaped, we explore both completely desiccated scenarios and cases where a surface ocean remains. We find “habitable” surface conditions for a wide variety of oxygen abundances, atmospheric masses, and CO2 mixing ratios. If O2 builds up from H escape, the O2 abundance should be very high, and could be spectrally indicated by the presence of O2 collisionally-induced absorption (CIA) features. We generate synthetic direct-imaging and transit transmission spectra of these atmospheres and calculate the strength of the UV/Visible and NIR O2 CIA features. We find that while both the UV/Visible and NIR O2 CIA features are strong in the direct-imaging spectra of very

  1. Spectral identification of abiotic O2 buildup from early runaways and rarefied atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwieterman, Edward; Meadows, Victoria; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Arney, Giada; Robinson, Tyler D.; Luger, Rodrigo; Barnes, Rory

    2016-01-01

    The spectral detection of oxygen (O2) in a planetary atmosphere has been considered a robust signature of life because O2 is highly reactive on planets with Earth-like redox buffers and because significant continuous abiotic sources were thought to be implausible. However, recent work has revealed the possibility that significant O2 may build-up in terrestrial atmospheres through (1) photochemical channels or (2) through the escape of hydrogen. We focus on the latter category here. Significant amounts of abiotic O2 could remain in the atmospheres of planets in the habitable zones of late type stars, where an early runaway greenhouse and massive hydrogen escape during the pre-main-sequence phase could have irreversibly oxidized the crust and mantle (Luger & Barnes 2015). Additionally, it has been hypothesized that O2 could accumulate in the atmospheres of planets with sufficiently low abundances of non-condensable gases such as N2 where water would not be cold trapped in the troposphere, leading to H-escape from UV photolysis in a wet stratosphere (Wordsworth & Pierrehumbert 2014). We self-consistently model the climate, photochemistry, and spectra of both rarefied and post-runaway, high-O2 atmospheres. Because an early runaway might not have lasted long enough for the entire water inventory to escape, we explore both completely desiccated scenarios and cases where a surface ocean remains. We find "habitable" surface conditions for a wide variety of oxygen abundances, atmospheric masses, and CO2 mixing ratios. If O2 builds up from massive or sustained H escape, the O2 abundance should be very high, and could be spectrally indicated by the presence of O2-O2 (O4) collisionally-induced absorption (CIA) features. We generate synthetic direct-imaging and transit transmission spectra of these atmospheres and calculate the strength of the UV/Visible and NIR O4 features. We find that while both the UV/Visible and NIR O4 features are strong in the radiance spectra of very

  2. Loss of nutrients from terrestrial ecosystems to streams and the atmosphere following land use change in Amazonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davidson, Eric A.; Neill, Christopher; Krusche, Alex V.; Ballester, Victoria V. R.; Markewitz, Daniel; Figueiredo, Ricardo de O.

    Rates of deforestation in the Amazon region have been accelerating, but the quantity and timing of nutrient losses from forested and deforested ecosystems are poorly understood. This paper investigates the broad variation in soil properties of the Amazon Basin as they influence transfers of plant nutrients from the terrestrial biosphere to the atmosphere and the aquatic biosphere. The dominant lowland soils are highly weathered Oxisols and Ultisols, but significant areas of Alfisols also exist, resulting in a wide range of weatherable primary minerals. Despite this considerable variation among Amazonian soils, a common feature in most mature lowland Amazonian forests is a conservative P cycle and excess N availability. In cattle pastures and secondary forests, however, low rates of internal terrestrial N cycling, low N export to streams, and low gaseous N emissions from soils are common, due to significant previous losses of N through repeated fire. Export of P to streams may increase or remain nearly undetectable after forest-to-pasture conversion, depending on soil type. Oxisols exhibit very low P export, whereas increased P export to pasture streams has been observed in Ultisols of western Amazonia. Calcium is mostly retained in terrestrial ecosystems following deforestation, although increased inputs to streams can be detected when background fluxes are naturally low. Because soil mineralogy and soil texture are both variable and important, the effects of land-use change on nutrient export to aquatic ecosystems and to the atmosphere must be understood within the context of varying soil properties across the Amazon Basin.

  3. Using atmospheric observations to evaluate the spatiotemporal variability of CO2 fluxes simulated by terrestrial biospheric models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, Y.; Michalak, A. M.; Shiga, Y. P.; Yadav, V.

    2014-12-01

    Terrestrial biospheric models (TBMs) are used to extrapolate local observations and process-level understanding of land-atmosphere carbon exchange to larger regions, and serve as predictive tools for examining carbon-climate interactions. Understanding the performance of TBMs is thus crucial to the carbon cycle and climate science communities. In this study, we present and assess an approach to evaluating the spatiotemporal patterns, rather than aggregated magnitudes, of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) simulated by TBMs using atmospheric CO2 measurements. The approach is based on statistical model selection implemented within a high-resolution atmospheric inverse model. Using synthetic data experiments, we find that current atmospheric observations are sensitive to the underlying spatiotemporal flux variability at sub-biome scales for a large portion of North America, and that atmospheric observations can therefore be used to evaluate simulated spatiotemporal flux patterns as well as to differentiate between multiple competing TBMs. Experiments using real atmospheric observations and four prototypical TBMs further confirm the applicability of the method, and demonstrate that the performance of TBMs in simulating the spatiotemporal patterns of NEE varies substantially across seasons, with best performance during the growing season and more limited skill during transition seasons. This result is consistent with previous work showing that the ability of TBMs to model flux magnitudes is also seasonally-dependent. Overall, the proposed approach provides a new avenue for evaluating TBM performance based on sub-biome-scale flux patterns, presenting an opportunity for assessing and informing model development using atmospheric observations.

  4. Terrestrial origin of viviparity in mesozoic marine reptiles indicated by early triassic embryonic fossils.

    PubMed

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Tintori, Andrea; Rieppel, Olivier; Chen, Guan-bao

    2014-01-01

    Viviparity in Mesozoic marine reptiles has traditionally been considered an aquatic adaptation. We report a new fossil specimen that strongly contradicts this traditional interpretation. The new specimen contains the oldest fossil embryos of Mesozoic marine reptile that are about 10 million years older than previous such records. The fossil belongs to Chaohusaurus (Reptilia, Ichthyopterygia), which is the oldest of Mesozoic marine reptiles (ca. 248 million years ago, Early Triassic). This exceptional specimen captures an articulated embryo in birth position, with its skull just emerged from the maternal pelvis. Its headfirst birth posture, which is unlikely to be a breech condition, strongly indicates a terrestrial origin of viviparity, in contrast to the traditional view. The tail-first birth posture in derived ichthyopterygians, convergent with the conditions in whales and sea cows, therefore is a secondary feature. The unequivocally marine origin of viviparity is so far not known among amniotes, a subset of vertebrate animals comprising mammals and reptiles, including birds. Therefore, obligate marine amniotes appear to have evolved almost exclusively from viviparous land ancestors. Viviparous land reptiles most likely appeared much earlier than currently thought, at least as early as the recovery phase from the end-Permian mass extinction. PMID:24533127

  5. Terrestrial Origin of Viviparity in Mesozoic Marine Reptiles Indicated by Early Triassic Embryonic Fossils

    PubMed Central

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Tintori, Andrea; Rieppel, Olivier; Chen, Guan-bao

    2014-01-01

    Viviparity in Mesozoic marine reptiles has traditionally been considered an aquatic adaptation. We report a new fossil specimen that strongly contradicts this traditional interpretation. The new specimen contains the oldest fossil embryos of Mesozoic marine reptile that are about 10 million years older than previous such records. The fossil belongs to Chaohusaurus (Reptilia, Ichthyopterygia), which is the oldest of Mesozoic marine reptiles (ca. 248 million years ago, Early Triassic). This exceptional specimen captures an articulated embryo in birth position, with its skull just emerged from the maternal pelvis. Its headfirst birth posture, which is unlikely to be a breech condition, strongly indicates a terrestrial origin of viviparity, in contrast to the traditional view. The tail-first birth posture in derived ichthyopterygians, convergent with the conditions in whales and sea cows, therefore is a secondary feature. The unequivocally marine origin of viviparity is so far not known among amniotes, a subset of vertebrate animals comprising mammals and reptiles, including birds. Therefore, obligate marine amniotes appear to have evolved almost exclusively from viviparous land ancestors. Viviparous land reptiles most likely appeared much earlier than currently thought, at least as early as the recovery phase from the end-Permian mass extinction. PMID:24533127

  6. Photochemistry in terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres. III. Photochemistry and thermochemistry in thick atmospheres on super Earths and mini Neptunes

    SciTech Connect

    Hu, Renyu; Seager, Sara

    2014-03-20

    Some super Earths and mini Neptunes will likely have thick atmospheres that are not H{sub 2}-dominated. We have developed a photochemistry-thermochemistry kinetic-transport model for exploring the compositions of thick atmospheres on super Earths and mini Neptunes, applicable for both H{sub 2}-dominated atmospheres and non-H{sub 2}-dominated atmospheres. Using this model to study thick atmospheres for wide ranges of temperatures and elemental abundances, we classify them into hydrogen-rich atmospheres, water-rich atmospheres, oxygen-rich atmospheres, and hydrocarbon-rich atmospheres. We find that carbon has to be in the form of CO{sub 2} rather than CH{sub 4} or CO in a H{sub 2}-depleted water-dominated thick atmosphere and that the preferred loss of light elements from an oxygen-poor carbon-rich atmosphere leads to the formation of unsaturated hydrocarbons (C{sub 2}H{sub 2} and C{sub 2}H{sub 4}). We apply our self-consistent atmosphere models to compute spectra and diagnostic features for known transiting low-mass exoplanets GJ 1214 b, HD 97658 b, and 55 Cnc e. For GJ 1214 b, we find that (1) C{sub 2}H{sub 2} features at 1.0 and 1.5 μm in transmission and C{sub 2}H{sub 2} and C{sub 2}H{sub 4} features at 9-14 μm in thermal emission are diagnostic for hydrocarbon-rich atmospheres; (2) a detection of water-vapor features and a confirmation of the nonexistence of methane features would provide sufficient evidence for a water-dominated atmosphere. In general, our simulations show that chemical stability has to be taken into account when interpreting the spectrum of a super Earth/mini Neptune. Water-dominated atmospheres only exist for carbon to oxygen ratios much lower than the solar ratio, suggesting that this kind of atmospheres could be rare.

  7. Quantitative Hydraulic Models Of Early Land Plants Provide Insight Into Middle Paleozoic Terrestrial Paleoenvironmental Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, J. P.; Fischer, W. W.

    2010-12-01

    humidity (<20%) combined with elevated temperatures (>25°C) could cause sufficient cavitation to reduce hydraulic conductivity by 50%. This suggests that the Early Devonian environments that supported the earliest vascular plants were not subject to prolonged midseason droughts, or, alternatively, that the growing season was short. This places minimum constraints on water availability (e.g., groundwater hydration, relative humidity) in locations where Asteroxylon fossils are found; these environments must have had high relative humidities, comparable to tropical riparian environments. Given these constraints, biome-scale paleovegetation models that place early vascular plants distal to water sources can be revised to account for reduced drought tolerance. Paleoclimate proxies that treat early terrestrial plants as functionally interchangeable can incorporate physiological differences in a quantitatively meaningful way. Application of hydraulic models to fossil plants provides an additional perspective on the 475 million-year history of terrestrial photosynthetic environments and has potential to corroborate other plant-based paleoclimate proxies.

  8. Mentors, networks, and resources for early career female atmospheric scientists

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hallar, A. G.; Avallone, L. M.; Edwards, L. M.; Thiry, H.; Ascent

    2011-12-01

    Atmospheric Science Collaborations and Enriching NeTworks (ASCENT) is a workshop series designed to bring together early career female scientists in the field of atmospheric science and related disciplines. ASCENT is a multi-faceted approach to retaining these junior scientists through the challenges in their research and teaching career paths. During the workshop, senior women scientists discuss their career and life paths. They also lead seminars on tools, resources and methods that can help early career scientists to be successful. Networking is a significant aspect of ASCENT, and many opportunities for both formal and informal interactions among the participants (of both personal and professional nature) are blended in the schedule. The workshops are held in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, home of a high-altitude atmospheric science laboratory - Storm Peak Laboratory, which also allows for nearby casual outings and a pleasant environment for participants. Near the conclusion of each workshop, junior and senior scientists are matched in mentee-mentor ratios of two junior scientists per senior scientist. An external evaluation of the three workshop cohorts concludes that the workshops have been successful in establishing and expanding personal and research-related networks, and that seminars have been useful in creating confidence and sharing resources for such things as preparing promotion and tenure packages, interviewing and negotiating job offers, and writing successful grant proposals.

  9. Heat flow vs. atmospheric greenhouse on early Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fanale, F. P.; Postawko, S. E.

    1991-01-01

    Researchers derived a quantitative relationship between the effectiveness of an atmospheric greenhouse and internal heat flow in producing the morphological differences between earlier and later Martian terrains. The derivation is based on relationships previously derived by other researchers. The reasoning may be stated as follows: the CO2 mean residence time in the Martian atmosphere is almost certainly much shorter than the total time span over which early climate differences are thought to have been sustained. Therefore, recycling of previously degassed CO2 quickly becomes more important than the ongoing supply of juvenile CO2. If so, then the atmospheric CO2 pressure, and thereby the surface temperature, may be approximated mathematically as a function of the total degassed CO2 in the atmosphere plus buried material and the ratio of the atmospheric and regolith mean residence times. The latter ratio can also be expressed as a function of heat flow. Hence, it follows that the surface temperature may be expressed as a function of heat flow and the total amount of available CO2. However, the depth to the water table can simultaneously be expressed as a function of heat flow and the surface temperature (the boundary condition). Therefore, for any given values of total available CO2 and regolith conductivity, there exist coupled independent equations which relate heat flow, surface temperature, and the depth to the water table. This means we can now derive simultaneous values of surface temperature and the depth of the water table for any value of the heat flow. The derived relationship is used to evaluate the relative importance of the atmospheric greenhouse effect and the internal regolith thermal gradient in producing morphological changes for any value of the heat flow, and to assess the absolute importance of each of the values of the heat flow which are thought to be reasonable on independent geophysical grounds.

  10. Responses of global terrestrial evapotranspiration to climate change and increasing atmospheric CO2 in the 21st century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Shufen; Tian, Hanqin; Dangal, Shree R. S.; Yang, Qichun; Yang, Jia; Lu, Chaoqun; Tao, Bo; Ren, Wei; Ouyang, Zhiyun

    2015-01-01

    Quantifying the spatial and temporal patterns of the water lost to the atmosphere through land surface evapotranspiration (ET) is essential for understanding the global hydrological cycle, but remains much uncertain. In this study, we use the Dynamic Land Ecosystem Model to estimate the global terrestrial ET during 2000-2009 and project its changes in response to climate change and increasing atmospheric CO2 under two IPCC SRES scenarios (A2 and B1) during 2010-2099. Modeled results show a mean annual global terrestrial ET of about 549 (545-552) mm yr-1 during 2000-2009. Relative to the 2000s, global terrestrial ET for the 2090s would increase by 30.7 mm yr-1 (5.6%) and 13.2 mm yr-1 (2.4%) under the A2 and B1 scenarios, respectively. About 60% of global land area would experience increasing ET at rates of over 9.5 mm decade-1 over the study period under the A2 scenario. The Arctic region would have the largest ET increase (16% compared with the 2000s level) due to larger increase in temperature than other regions. Decreased ET would mainly take place in regions like central and western Asia, northern Africa, Australia, eastern South America, and Greenland due to declines in soil moisture and changing rainfall patterns. Our results indicate that warming temperature and increasing precipitation would result in large increase in ET by the end of the 21st century, while increasing atmospheric CO2 would be responsible for decrease in ET, given the reduction of stomatal conductance under elevated CO2.

  11. Hf-W chronology of the accretion and early evolution of asteroids and terrestrial planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleine, Thorsten; Touboul, Mathieu; Bourdon, Bernard; Nimmo, Francis; Mezger, Klaus; Palme, Herbert; Jacobsen, Stein B.; Yin, Qing-Zhu; Halliday, Alexander N.

    2009-09-01

    large collisions, and changes in the metal-silicate partition coefficients of W due to changing fO 2 in differentiating planetary bodies. Calculated core formation ages for Mars range from 0 to 20 Myr after CAI formation and currently cannot distinguish between scenarios where Mars formed by runaway growth and where its formation was more protracted. Tungsten model ages for core formation in Earth range from ˜30 Myr to >100 Myr after CAIs and hence do not provide a unique age for the formation of Earth. However, the identical 182W/ 184W ratios of the lunar and terrestrial mantles provide powerful evidence that the Moon-forming giant impact and the final stage of Earth's core formation occurred after extinction of 182Hf (i.e., more than ˜50 Myr after CAIs), unless the Hf/W ratios of the bulk silicate Moon and Earth are identical to within less than ˜10%. Furthermore, the identical 182W/ 184W of the lunar and terrestrial mantles is difficult to explain unless either the Moon consists predominantly of terrestrial material or the W in the proto-lunar magma disk isotopically equilibrated with the Earth's mantle. Hafnium-tungsten chronometry also provides constraints on the duration of magma ocean solidification in terrestrial planets. Variations in the 182W/ 184W ratios of martian meteorites reflect an early differentiation of the martian mantle during the effective lifetime of 182Hf. In contrast, no 182W variations exist in the lunar mantle, demonstrating magma ocean solidification later than ˜60 Myr, in agreement with 147Sm- 143Nd ages for ferroan anorthosites. The Moon-forming giant impact most likely erased any evidence of a prior differentiation of Earth's mantle, consistent with a 146Sm- 142Nd age of 50-200 Myr for the earliest differentiation of Earth's mantle. However, the Hf-W chronology of the formation of Earth's core and the Moon-forming impact is difficult to reconcile with the preservation of 146Sm- 142Nd evidence for an early (<30 Myr after CAIs

  12. The non-homogeneous accumulation model for terrestrial planet formation and the consequences for the atmosphere of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Turekian, K. K.; Clark, S. P., Jr.

    1975-01-01

    The nonhomogeneous-accumulation model for the formation of the terrestrial planets is described, and its consequences for the formation of the Venusian atmosphere are assayed in the context of our knowledge of the composition of the earth and carbonaceous chondrites. The relative abundances of the low-temperature condensibles in the reservoirs at the earth's surface are applied to Venus. Although carbonaceous chondrites show similar properties for the chemically bound elements, they show large deficiencies for the rare gases. The major gases on Venus, by volume, are predicted to be 98.12% CO2, 1.86% N2 and 0.02% Ar-40.

  13. How do Early Impacts Modulate the Tectonic, Magnetic and Climatic Evolutions of Terrestrial Planets?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jellinek, M.; Jackson, M. G.; Lenardic, A.; Weller, M. B.

    2015-12-01

    The landmark discovery showing that the 142Nd/144Nd ratio of the accessible modern terrestrial mantle is greater than ordinary-chondrites has remarkable implications for the formation, as well as the geodynamic, magnetic and climatic histories of Earth. If Earth is derived from ordinary chondrite precursors, mass balance requires that a missing reservoir with 142Nd/144Nd lower than ordinary chondrites was isolated from the accessible mantle within 20-30 Myr following accretion. Critically for Earth evolution, this reservoir hosts the equivalent of the modern continents' budget of radioactive heat-producing elements (U, Th and K). If this reservoir was lost to space through mechanical erosion by early impactors, the planet's radiogenic heat generation is 18-45% lower than chondrite-based compositional estimates. Recent geodynamic calculations suggest that this reduced heat production will favor the emergence of Earth-like plate tectonics. However, parameterized thermal history calculations favor a relatively recent transition from mostly Atlantic-sized plates to the current plate tectonic mode characterized predominantly by the subduction of Pacific-sized plates. Such a transition in the style of Earth's plate tectonics is also consistent with a delayed dynamo and an evolving rate of volcanic outgassing that ultimately favors Earth's long-term clement climate. By contrast, relatively enhanced radiogenic heat production related to a less early impact erosion reduces the likelihood of present day plate tectonics: A chondritic Earth has a stronger likelihood to evolve as a Venus-like planet characterized by potentially wild swings in tectonic and climatic regime. Indeed, differences in internal heat production related to varying extents of impact erosion may exert strong control over Earth's climate and explain aspects of the differences among the current climatic regimes of Earth, Venus and Mars.

  14. Multiple Tectonic Regimes and Diverging Geologic Histories of Terrestrial Planets: The Importance of the Early Years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weller, M. B.; Lenardic, A.

    2013-12-01

    We use 3D mantle convection and planetary tectonics simulations to explore the links between tectonic regimes, the age of a planet, and its surface evolution. We demonstrate that the tectonic regime of a planet is dependant on its thermal and climatic evolution. A young planet with a high degree of internal heating has a strong susceptibility to climate-induced transitions in tectonic styles. The amplitude of a long lived surface temperature perturbation needed to initiate a transition from a mobile- to a stagnant-lid mode of tectonics decreases with increasing degrees of internal heating. As surface temperatures increase, episodic convection occurs over a larger range of lid strengths, suggesting that young and high temperature planetary bodies have a higher potential to exist in a long-lived mode of episodic tectonics. Once the system transitions into a stagnant-lid, the reverse transition is not attainable by a return to the original surface temperature, which indicates that the climate-tectonic system is bi-stable [multiple tectonic states are possible for the same parameter values]. As a planet ages, the system becomes increasingly insensitive to surface temperature induced transitions after ~30 - 50% of the original radiogenics decay. For a planet to transition from mobile- into episodic-, or stagnant-lid modes through the mechanism of increasing surface temperatures, the implication is that the change would have to occur early in its evolution, within the first 1-2 giga years. While the sensitivity to climatic perturbations decreases with the age of the planet, decreasing internal heat production can usher in a transition in tectonic regimes from a stagnant-lid state, into an episodic- and finally mobile-/sluggish-lid regimes. The implications are that terrestrial worlds can alternate between multiple tectonic states over giga-year timescales. The implications for the early Earth and Earth-Venus differences will be discussed.

  15. Consistent assimilation of MERIS FAPAR and atmospheric CO2 into a terrestrial vegetation model and interactive mission benefit analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaminski, T.; Knorr, W.; Scholze, M.; Gobron, N.; Pinty, B.; Giering, R.; Mathieu, P.-P.

    2012-08-01

    The terrestrial biosphere is currently a strong sink for anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Through the radiative properties of CO2, the strength of this sink has a direct influence on the radiative budget of the global climate system. The accurate assessment of this sink and its evolution under a changing climate is, hence, paramount for any efficient management strategies of the terrestrial carbon sink to avoid dangerous climate change. Unfortunately, simulations of carbon and water fluxes with terrestrial biosphere models exhibit large uncertainties. A considerable fraction of this uncertainty reflects uncertainty in the parameter values of the process formulations within the models. This paper describes the systematic calibration of the process parameters of a terrestrial biosphere model against two observational data streams: remotely sensed FAPAR (fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation) provided by the MERIS (ESA's Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer) sensor and in situ measurements of atmospheric CO2 provided by the GLOBALVIEW flask sampling network. We use the Carbon Cycle Data Assimilation System (CCDAS) to systematically calibrate some 70 parameters of the terrestrial BETHY (Biosphere Energy Transfer Hydrology) model. The simultaneous assimilation of all observations provides parameter estimates and uncertainty ranges that are consistent with the observational information. In a subsequent step these parameter uncertainties are propagated through the model to uncertainty ranges for predicted carbon fluxes. We demonstrate the consistent assimilation at global scale, where the global MERIS FAPAR product and atmospheric CO2 are used simultaneously. The assimilation improves the match to independent observations. We quantify how MERIS data improve the accuracy of the current and future (net and gross) carbon flux estimates (within and beyond the assimilation period). We further demonstrate the use of an interactive mission benefit analysis tool

  16. The use of the terrestrial snails of the genera Megalobulimus and Thaumastus as representatives of the atmospheric carbon reservoir

    PubMed Central

    Macario, Kita D.; Alves, Eduardo Q.; Carvalho, Carla; Oliveira, Fabiana M.; Ramsey, Christopher Bronk; Chivall, David; Souza, Rosa; Simone, Luiz Ricardo L.; Cavallari, Daniel C.

    2016-01-01

    In Brazilian archaeological shellmounds, many species of land snails are found abundantly distributed throughout the occupational layers, forming a contextualized set of samples within the sites and offering a potential alternative to the use of charcoal for radiocarbon dating analyses. In order to confirm the effectiveness of this alternative, one needs to prove that the mollusk shells reflect the atmospheric carbon isotopic concentration in the same way charcoal does. In this study, 18 terrestrial mollusk shells with known collection dates from 1948 to 2004 AD, around the nuclear bombs period, were radiocarbon dated. The obtained dates fit the SH1-2 bomb curve within less than 15 years range, showing that certain species from the Thaumastus and Megalobulimus genera are reliable representatives of the atmospheric carbon isotopic ratio and can, therefore, be used to date archaeological sites in South America. PMID:27271349

  17. The use of the terrestrial snails of the genera Megalobulimus and Thaumastus as representatives of the atmospheric carbon reservoir.

    PubMed

    Macario, Kita D; Alves, Eduardo Q; Carvalho, Carla; Oliveira, Fabiana M; Ramsey, Christopher Bronk; Chivall, David; Souza, Rosa; Simone, Luiz Ricardo L; Cavallari, Daniel C

    2016-01-01

    In Brazilian archaeological shellmounds, many species of land snails are found abundantly distributed throughout the occupational layers, forming a contextualized set of samples within the sites and offering a potential alternative to the use of charcoal for radiocarbon dating analyses. In order to confirm the effectiveness of this alternative, one needs to prove that the mollusk shells reflect the atmospheric carbon isotopic concentration in the same way charcoal does. In this study, 18 terrestrial mollusk shells with known collection dates from 1948 to 2004 AD, around the nuclear bombs period, were radiocarbon dated. The obtained dates fit the SH1-2 bomb curve within less than 15 years range, showing that certain species from the Thaumastus and Megalobulimus genera are reliable representatives of the atmospheric carbon isotopic ratio and can, therefore, be used to date archaeological sites in South America. PMID:27271349

  18. The use of the terrestrial snails of the genera Megalobulimus and Thaumastus as representatives of the atmospheric carbon reservoir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macario, Kita D.; Alves, Eduardo Q.; Carvalho, Carla; Oliveira, Fabiana M.; Ramsey, Christopher Bronk; Chivall, David; Souza, Rosa; Simone, Luiz Ricardo L.; Cavallari, Daniel C.

    2016-06-01

    In Brazilian archaeological shellmounds, many species of land snails are found abundantly distributed throughout the occupational layers, forming a contextualized set of samples within the sites and offering a potential alternative to the use of charcoal for radiocarbon dating analyses. In order to confirm the effectiveness of this alternative, one needs to prove that the mollusk shells reflect the atmospheric carbon isotopic concentration in the same way charcoal does. In this study, 18 terrestrial mollusk shells with known collection dates from 1948 to 2004 AD, around the nuclear bombs period, were radiocarbon dated. The obtained dates fit the SH1-2 bomb curve within less than 15 years range, showing that certain species from the Thaumastus and Megalobulimus genera are reliable representatives of the atmospheric carbon isotopic ratio and can, therefore, be used to date archaeological sites in South America.

  19. Changes in the terrestrial atmosphere-ionosphere-magnetosphere system due to ion propulsion for solar power satellite placement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curtis, S. A.; Grebowsky, J. M.

    1979-01-01

    Preliminary estimates of the effects massive Ar(+) injections on the ionosphere-plasmasphere system with specific emphasis on potential communications disruptions are given. The effects stem from direct Ar(+) precipitation into the atmosphere and from Ar(+) beam induced precipitation of MeV radiation belt protons. These injections result from the construction of Solar Power Satellites using earth-based materials in which sections of a satellite must be lifted from low earth to geosynchronous orbit by means of ion propulsion based on the relatively abundant terrestrial atmospheric component, Ar. The total amount of Ar(+) injected in transporting the components for each Solar Power Satellite is comparable to the total ion content of the ionosphere-plasmasphere system while the total energy injected is larger than that of this system. It is suggested that such effects may be largely eliminated by using lunar-based rather than earth-based satellite construction materials.

  20. Reducing Uncertainty in Terrestrial Biosphere Models with Satellite Observations of Atmospheric CO2: Comparing MsTMIP with GOSAT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swetish, J. B.; Huntzinger, D. N.; Schwalm, C. R.; Fisher, J. B.; Liu, J.; Michalak, A. M.; Bowman, K. W.

    2014-12-01

    Global-scale terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs) vary in their underlying driving assumptions, inputs, and parameterizations. As a result, TBM estimates of carbon fluxes and pools vary greatly and the lack of direct observations of land-atmosphere carbon exchange at the same spatio-temporal resolution (e.g., 0.5° x 0.5° degree and sub-daily to monthly) of model estimates makes it difficult to assess TBM performance in terms of their ability to represent the terrestrial carbon cycle. Atmospheric CO2 measurements, however, may be a potentially powerful observational constraint for TBMs because they provide an integrated view of surface sources and sinks of carbon. The Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) measures atmospheric CO2 from space at spatio-temporal scales relatively consistent with model estimates. Using TBM estimates from the North American Carbon Program Multi-scale synthesis and Terrestrial Model Intercomparison Project (MsTMIP), together with estimates of fossil fuel emissions and air-sea fluxes, we translate surfaces fluxes into atmospheric CO2 concentrations using the GEOS-Chem atmospheric transport model. The performance of MsTMIP TBMs is evaluated by comparing the dry air column-averaged mole fractions of CO2 (ΧCO2) from transported surface fluxes to observations of ΧCO2 from GOSAT. While MsTMIP ΧCO2 signals are generally consistent with GOSAT ΧCO2 in the southern hemisphere, MsTMIP and GOSAT XCO2 show profound differences in the northern hemisphere (NH). In general, MsTMIP XCO2 tends to be higher than GOSAT XCO2 at northern latitudes, especially in the NH summer and fall. Looking specifically at regions in the NH, we compare each MsTMIP ΧCO2 to GOSAT ΧCO2 in terms of its ability to reproduce the spatial distribution, magnitude and timing of the GOSAT ΧCO2 seasonal cycle. We use the information derived from the comparison to link model performance with how certain processes are represented within the models themselves, thus aiding

  1. XUV-exposed, non-hydrostatic hydrogen-rich upper atmospheres of terrestrial planets. Part I: atmospheric expansion and thermal escape.

    PubMed

    Erkaev, Nikolai V; Lammer, Helmut; Odert, Petra; Kulikov, Yuri N; Kislyakova, Kristina G; Khodachenko, Maxim L; Güdel, Manuel; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Biernat, Helfried

    2013-11-01

    The recently discovered low-density "super-Earths" Kepler-11b, Kepler-11f, Kepler-11d, Kepler-11e, and planets such as GJ 1214b represent the most likely known planets that are surrounded by dense H/He envelopes or contain deep H₂O oceans also surrounded by dense hydrogen envelopes. Although these super-Earths are orbiting relatively close to their host stars, they have not lost their captured nebula-based hydrogen-rich or degassed volatile-rich steam protoatmospheres. Thus, it is interesting to estimate the maximum possible amount of atmospheric hydrogen loss from a terrestrial planet orbiting within the habitable zone of late main sequence host stars. For studying the thermosphere structure and escape, we apply a 1-D hydrodynamic upper atmosphere model that solves the equations of mass, momentum, and energy conservation for a planet with the mass and size of Earth and for a super-Earth with a size of 2 R(Earth) and a mass of 10 M(Earth). We calculate volume heating rates by the stellar soft X-ray and extreme ultraviolet radiation (XUV) and expansion of the upper atmosphere, its temperature, density, and velocity structure and related thermal escape rates during the planet's lifetime. Moreover, we investigate under which conditions both planets enter the blow-off escape regime and may therefore experience loss rates that are close to the energy-limited escape. Finally, we discuss the results in the context of atmospheric evolution and implications for habitability of terrestrial planets in general. PMID:24251443

  2. The "terminal Triassic catastrophic extinction event" in perspective: a review of carboniferous through Early Jurassic terrestrial vertebrate extinction patterns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weems, R.E.

    1992-01-01

    A catastrophic terminal Triassic extinction event among terrestrial vertebrates is not supported by available evidence. The current model for such an extinction is based on at least eight weak or untenable assumptions: (1) a terminal Triassic extinction-inducing asteroid impact occurred, (2) a terminal Triassic synchronous mass extinction of terrestrial vertebrates occurred, (3) a concurrent terminal Triassic marine extinction occurred, (4) all terrestrial vertebrate families have similar diversities and ecologies, (5) changes in familial diversity can be gauged accurately from the known fossil record, (6) extinction of families can be compared through time without normalizing for changes in familial diversity through time, (7) extinction rates can be compared without normalizing for differing lengths of geologic stages, and (8) catastrophic mass extinctions do not select for small size. These assumptions have resulted in unsupportable and (or) erroneous conclusions. Carboniferous through Early Jurassic terrestrial vertebrate families mostly have evolution and extinction patterns unlike the vertebrate evolution and extinction patterns during the terminal Cretaceous event. Only the Serpukhovian (mid Carboniferous) extinction event shows strong analogy to the terminal Cretaceous event. Available data suggest no terminal Triassic extinction anomaly, but rather a prolonged and nearly steady decline in the global terrestrial vertebrate extinction rate throughout the Triassic and earliest Jurassic. ?? 1992.

  3. Speciation of C-O-H volatiles in reduced magmas applicable to early terrestrial and planetary deep volatile cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armstrong, Lora; Hirschmann, Marc

    2014-05-01

    The speciation and solubility of C-O-H volatiles in reduced magmas are of great importance for volatile behavior in the early Earth and other planets determining partitioning between Earth's earliest atmospheres, mantle, and cores, as well as influencing volcanogenic degassing on reduced planetary bodies such as Mars and the Moon. In mafic and ultramafic magmas, C is soluble chiefly as carbonate under oxidizing conditions, but when fO2 is below that required for graphite (or diamond) saturation, carbonate solubility diminishes severely. This has left the question as to what, if any, species may host dissolved C in magmas under reducing conditions. Initial results suggested that the principle species may be CH4 (Mysen et al. 2009), but experiments at well-defined thermodynamic conditions have shown that CH4 solubility is very small except under conditions of very high H2 fugacity (Ardia et al. 2012). More recent experiments (Wetzel et al. 2013; Stanley et al. 2014) have identified Fe-carbonyl-like species as possibly the most stable. To clarify the relative stability of these species, we have conducted additional high pressure experiments at 1.2 GPa and 1400°C with graphite-saturated martian and terrestrial (MORB) basalt compositions, over a range of oxygen fugacities, paying careful attention to the availability of H2O. FTIR and Raman analyses reveal a range of distinct species that predominate as a function of fO2 and availability of H2O. At comparatively oxidizing conditions, carbonate is the most abundant species but within 1 log unit of iron wustite (IW), carbonyl-like species predominate, provided that conditions are comparatively dry. At yet more reducing conditions, carbonyl is absent and instead N-H associated species (perhaps amides?) are more important. Methane is observed only when quenched glasses have appreciable H2O (approaching ~ 1 wt.%). In all cases, solubilities are small when conditions are reduced, with <100 ppm C at IW or below.

  4. Sea surface temperatures and terrestrial water storage provide early warning information about fire season severity in the Amazon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Y.; Randerson, J. T.; Morton, D. C.; DeFries, R. S.; Collatz, G. J.; Kasibhatla, P. S.; Giglio, L.; Jin, Y.; Marlier, M. E.; Velicogna, I.; Famiglietti, J. S.

    2012-12-01

    Fires in South America cause forest degradation and contribute to carbon emissions associated with land use change. We investigated the relationship between year-to-year changes in satellite observations of active fires in South America and sea surface temperatures. We found that the Oceanic Niño Index was correlated with interannual fire activity in the eastern Amazon whereas the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation index was more closely linked with fires in the southern and southwestern Amazon. Combining these two climate indices, we developed an empirical model that predicted regional fire season severity with 3-5 month lead times. We further examined the hypothesis that year-to-year variations in soil water recharge during the wet season modifies atmospheric water vapor and fire behavior during the following dry season. We tested this hypothesis by analyzing terrestrial water storage (TWS) observations from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), active fires from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), and other satellite and climate data during 2002-2011. We found that TWS anomalies at the end of the wet season were negatively correlated with the number of active fires during the dry season for three regions across the southern Amazon. The most significant relationships (p < 0.02) were observed for TWS anomalies during April-August, several months before the peak month of burning (September). Analysis of other datasets provided evidence for a cascade of processes during drought events, with lower cumulative precipitation (and higher cumulative evapotranspiration) in the wet season substantially reducing TWS, and subsequently surface and column water vapor. Our results indicate that TWS from GRACE also has the potential to provide early warning information about fire season severity in the Amazon.

  5. A lookup table to compute high energy cosmic ray effects on terrestrial atmospheric chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atri, Dimitra

    A variety of events such as gamma-ray bursts and supernovae may expose the Earth to an increased flux of high-energy cosmic rays, with potentially important effects on the biosphere. Existing atmospheric chemistry software does not have the capability of incorporating the effects of substantial cosmic ray flux above 10 GeV . An atmospheric code, the NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center two-dimensional (latitude, altitude) time-dependent atmospheric model (NGSFC), is used to study atmospheric chemistry changes. We have created a table that, with the use of the NGSFC code, can be used to simulate the effects of high energy cosmic rays (10 GeV - 1 PeV ) ionizing the atmosphere. By interpolation, the table can be used to generate values for other uses which depend upon atmospheric energy deposition by ensembles of high-energy cosmic rays. We discuss the table, its use, weaknesses, and strengths.

  6. Hot atom populations in the terrestrial atmosphere. A comparison of the nonlinear and linearized Boltzmann equations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sospedra-Alfonso, Reinel; Shizgal, Bernie D.

    2012-11-01

    We use a finite difference discretization method to solve the space homogeneous, isotropic nonlinear Boltzmann equation. We study the time evolution of the distribution function in relation to the solution of the linearized Boltzmann equation for three different initial conditions. The relaxation process is described in terms of the Laguerre moments and the spectral properties of the linearized collision operator. The motivation is the need to include self-collisions in the study of suprathermal oxygen atoms in the terrestrial exosphere.

  7. Multiple scattering of polarized light in planetary atmospheres. II - Sunlight reflected by terrestrial water clouds.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansen, J. E.

    1971-01-01

    The intensity and polarization of sunlight reflected by terrestrial water clouds are computed with the doubling method. The calculations illustrate that this method can be effectively used in problems involving strongly anisotropic phase matrices. The method can, therefore, be used to derive information about planetary clouds, including those of the earth, from polarimetric observations. The results of the computations indicate that the polarization is more sensitive than the intensity to cloud microstructure, such as particle size and shape.

  8. Increasing retention of early career female atmospheric scientists

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, L. M.; Hallar, A. G.; Avallone, L. M.; Thiry, H.

    2010-12-01

    Atmospheric Science Collaborations and Enriching NeTworks (ASCENT) is a workshop series designed to bring together early career female scientists in the field of atmospheric science and related disciplines. ASCENT uses a multi-faceted approach to provide junior scientists with tools that will help them meet the challenges in their research and teaching career paths and will promote their retention in the field. During the workshop, senior women scientists discuss their career and life paths. They also lead seminars on tools, resources and methods that can help early career scientists to be successful and prepared to fill vacancies created by the “baby boomer” retirees. Networking is a significant aspect of ASCENT, and many opportunities for both formal and informal interactions among the participants (of both personal and professional nature) are blended in the schedule. The workshops are held in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, home of a high-altitude atmospheric science laboratory, Storm Peak Laboratory, which also allows for nearby casual outings and a pleasant environment for participants. Near the conclusion of each workshop, junior and senior scientists are matched in mentee-mentor ratios of two junior scientists per senior scientist. Post-workshop reunion events are held at national scientific meetings to maintain connectivity among each year’s participants, and for collaborating among participants of all workshops held to date. Evaluations of the two workshop cohorts thus far conclude that the workshops have been successful in achieving the goals of establishing and expanding personal and research-related networks, and that seminars have been useful in creating confidence and sharing resources for such things as preparing promotion and tenure packages, interviewing and negotiating job offers, and writing successful grant proposals.

  9. Reproducing Experiment in the Shock-Induced Removal of CO2 From the Atmosphere on the Early Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikeda, K.; Isobe, H.

    2005-12-01

    The evolution of the Mars is one of the most important problems on the environmental issues of terrestrial planets. The early Martian atmosphere was formed by degassing and it consisted thick CO2. Most of the CO2 must have been removed from the early Martian atmosphere in order to change to the present thin atmosphere. Heavy bombardment of planetesimals had been one of the important high energy processes on the primitive Mars. In this study, we experiment to reproduce the reaction between the early Martian atmosphere and the minerals in the high temperature condition caused by the shock-induced heating and discuss its effect of CO2 removal from the atmosphere. Reaction experiments were carried out with CO2 or CO2- H2O fluid at the pressure of 100MPa or 50MPa. A range of the temperature is 200-650°C and run duration is 7 days. Starting materials was the mixture of olivine, orthopyroxene, diopside, and plagioclase represented the main mineral phases of the early Mars. After the experiment, the reacted CO2 was weighed by CO2 mass remained in the experimental capsule. CO2 reactivity increased with decreasing temperature. If removed CO2 fixed as carbonate minerals in the run products, abundance of the carbonate minerals may be as much as 10% of the run products. Presence of H2O has no remarkable effect on CO2 reactivity. A Martian meteorite, ALH84001 includes approximately 1% of carbonate. Large-scale impact on the Martian surface brought shock-induced heating up to several hundred degrees C at several kilometers in depth. Accessory carbonate minerals in Martian rocks may be formed by reactions of CO2 atmosphere and brecciated rocks under craters. A layer of 1% carbonate-bearing rocks with 5km in thickness at Martian surface can settle 0.5MPa of CO2 (1MPa equivalent at the terrestrial gravity) from the Martian atmosphere. Carbonate formation by the shock-induced heating may have played a significant role in the evolution of the primitive Martian atmosphere.

  10. The coupled 182W-142Nd record of early terrestrial mantle differentiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puchtel, Igor S.; Blichert-Toft, Janne; Touboul, Mathieu; Horan, Mary F.; Walker, Richard J.

    2016-06-01

    New Sm-Nd, Lu-Hf, Hf-W, and Re-Os isotope data, in combination with highly siderophile element (HSE, including Re, Os, Ir, Ru, Pt, and Pd) and W abundances, are reported for the 3.55 Ga Schapenburg komatiites, South Africa. The Schapenburg komatiites define a Re-Os isochron with an age of 3550 ± 87 Ma and initial γ187Os = +3.7 ± 0.2 (2SD). The absolute HSE abundances in the mantle source of the Schapenburg komatiite system are estimated to be only 29 ± 5% of those in the present-day bulk silicate Earth (BSE). The komatiites were derived from mantle enriched in the decay products of the long-lived 147Sm and 176Lu nuclides (initial ɛ143Nd = +2.4 ± 0.1, ɛ176Hf = +5.7 ± 0.3, 2SD). By contrast, the komatiites are depleted, relative to the modern mantle, in 142Nd and 182W (μ182W = -8.4 ± 4.5, μ142Nd = -4.9 ± 2.8, 2SD). These results constitute the first observation in terrestrial rocks of coupled depletions in 142Nd and 182W. Such isotopic depletions require derivation of the komatiites from a mantle domain that formed within the first ˜30 Ma of Solar System history and was initially geochemically enriched in highly incompatible trace elements as a result of crystal-liquid fractionation in an early magma ocean. This mantle domain further must have experienced subsequent melt depletion, after 182Hf had gone extinct, to account for the observed initial excesses in 143Nd and 176Hf. The survival of early-formed 182W and 142Nd anomalies in the mantle until at least 3.55 Ga indicates that the products of early planetary differentiation survived both later planetary accretion and convective mantle mixing during the Hadean. This work moreover renders unlikely that variable late accretion, by itself, can account for all of the observed W isotope variations in Archean rocks.

  11. The Net Exchange Between Terrestrial Ecosystems and the Atmosphere as a Result of Changes in Land Use

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houghton, R. A.

    1998-01-01

    The general purpose of this research was to improve and update (to 1990) estimates of the net flux of carbon between the world's terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere from changes in land use (e.g., deforestation and reforestation). The estimates are important for understanding the global carbon cycle, and for predicting future concentrations of atmospheric CO2 that will result from emissions. The emphasis of the first year's research was on the northern temperate zone and boreal forests, where the greatest discrepancy exists between estimates of flux. Forest inventories suggest net sinks of 0.6 PgC/yr; inversion analyses based on atmospheric data and models suggest much larger sinks 2-3.6 PgC/yr (e.g., Tans et al. 1990, Ciais et al. 1995). The work carried out with this grant calculated the flux attributable to changes in land use. The estimated flux was somewhat smaller than the flux calculated from inventory data suggesting that environmental changes have led to a small accumulation of carbon in forests that exceeds the accumulation expected from past rates of harvest. Two publications have described these results (Houghton 1996, 1998). The large difference between these estimates and those obtained with atmospheric data and models remains unexplained. The recent estimate of a 1.7 PgC/yr sink in North America, alone (Fan et al. 1998), is particularly difficult to explain. That part of the sink attributable to land-use change, however, is defined as a result of this grant.

  12. Fractionation of terrestrial neon by hydrodynamic hydrogen escape from ancient steam atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zahnle, K.

    1991-01-01

    Atmospheric neon is isotopically heavier than mantle neon. By contrast, nonradiogenic mantle Ar, Kr, and Xe are not known to differ from the atmosphere. These observations are most easily explained by selective neon loss to space; however, neon is much too massive to escape from the modern atmosphere. Steam atmospheres are a likely, if intermittent, feature of the accreting Earth. They occur because, on average, the energy liberated during accretion places Earth above the runaway greenhouse threshold, so that liquid water is not stable at the surface. It is found that steam atmospheres should have lasted some ten to fifty million years. Hydrogen escape would have been vigorous, but abundant heavy constituents would have been retained. There is no lack of plausible candidates; CO2, N2, or CO could all suffice. Neon can escape because it is less massive than any of the likely pollutants. Neon fractionation would have been a natural byproduct. Assuming that the initial Ne-20/Ne-22 ratio was solar, it was found that it would have taken some ten million years to effect the observed neon fractionation in a 30 bar steam atmosphere fouled with 10 bars of CO. Thicker atmospheres would have taken longer; less CO, shorter. This mechanism for fractionating neon has about the right level of efficiency. Because the lighter isotope escapes much more readily, total neon loss is pretty minimal; less than half of the initial neon endowment escapes.

  13. Early MAVEN Results on the Mars Upper Atmosphere and Atmospheric Loss to Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakosky, Bruce; Grebowsky, Joseph; Luhmann, Janet

    2015-04-01

    , operations, and calibrations. We also expect to have sufficient data collected to allow us to reach preliminary conclusions about the state of the upper atmosphere, interactions with the solar wind, escape of atmospheric gas to space at the present epoch, and integrated escape to space over time. These early results will be presented.

  14. Early warning of atmospheric regime transitions using transfer operators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tantet, Alexis; Dijkstra, Henk

    2015-04-01

    The existence of persistent midlatitude atmospheric regimes, such as blocking events, with time scales larger than 5-10 days and indications of preferred transition paths between them motivates the development of early-warning indicators of regime transitions. Here, we use a barotropic model of the northern midlatitudes winter flow to study such meta-stable regimes. We look at estimates of transfer operators acting on densities evolving on a reduced phase space spanned by the first Empirical Orthogonal Functions of the streamfunction and develop an early-warning indicator of zonal to blocked flow transition. The study of the spectra of transfer operators estimated for different lags reveals a multi-level structure in the flow as well as the effect of memory on the reduced dynamics due to past interactions between the resolved and unresolved variables. The slowest motions in the reduced phase space are thereby found to have time scales larger than 8 days and to behave as Markovian for larger lags. These motions are associated with meta-stable regimes and their transitions and can be detected as almost-invariant sets of the transfer operator. The early-warning indicator is based on the action on an initial density of products of the transfer operators estimated for sufficiently long lags, making use of the semi-group property of these operators and shows relatively good Peirce skill score. From the energy budget of the model, we are able to explain the meta-stability of the regimes and the existence of preferred transition paths as the manifestation of barotropic instability. Finally, even though the model is highly simplified, the skill of the early warning indicator is promising, suggesting that the transfer operator approach can be used in parallel to an operational deterministic model for stochastic prediction or to assess forecast uncertainty.

  15. Hydrogen and deuterium loss from the terrestrial atmosphere - A quantitative assessment of nonthermal escape fluxes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yung, Yuk L.; Wen, Jun-Shan; Moses, Julianne I.; Landry, Bridget M.; Allen, Mark; Hsu, Kuang-Jung

    1989-01-01

    A comprehensive one-dimensional photochemical model extending from the middle atmosphere (50 km) to the exobase (432 km) has been used to study the escape of hydrogen and deuterium from the earth's atmosphere. The model incorporates recent advances in chemical kinetics as well as atmospheric observations by satellites, especially the Atmosphere Explorer C satellite. The results suggest that the escape fluxes of both H and D are limited by the upward transport of total hydrogen and total deuterium at the homopause. About one fourth of total hydrogen escape is thermal, the rest being nonthermal. It is shown that escape of D is nonthermal and that charge exchange and polar wind are important mechanisms for the nonthermal escape of H and D.

  16. On the Transport of Polarized Infrared Signals Through the Terrestrial Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pesses, Mark; Israel, Steven; Meyer, Rodney; Price, Michael J.

    2002-09-01

    Both the Mie scattering and polarimetric transport models indicate that, in the LWIR, the atmospheric effect on the transport of right-hand circularly polarized signals and left-hand circularly polarized signals is identical. In the LWIR, the observed normalized circular polarization anisotropy, S3/SO, of a signal should not require any atmospheric corrections. Because natural LWIR light in not circularly polarized, only an active system will be able to exploit this finding. Both the Mie scattering and polarimetric transport models indicate that, in the LWIR, the atmospheric effect on the transport of the two orthogonal components of linearly polarized signals should be significantly different. In the LWIR both the observed degree of lineal polarization and the observed normalized linear polarization anisotropy Si/SO of a signal should require atmospheric corrections.

  17. Dynamic oxygenation of the early atmosphere and oceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyons, Timothy W.; Planavsky, Noah J.; Reinhard, Christopher T.

    2014-05-01

    The traditional view of the oxygenation of the early atmosphere and oceans depicts irreversibly rising abundances in two large steps: one at the Great Oxidation Event (GOE) ca. 2.3-2.4 billion years ago (Ga) and another near the end of the Neoproterozoic. This talk will explore how the latest data challenge this paradigm. Recent results reveal a far more dynamic history of early oxygenation, one with both rising and falling levels, long periods of sustained low concentrations even after the GOE, complex feedback relationships that likely coupled nutrients and ocean redox, and dramatic changes tied through still-emerging cause-and-effect relationships to first-order tectonic, climatic, and evolutionary events. In the face of increasing doubt about the robustness of organic biomarker records from the Archean, researchers are increasingly reliant on inorganic geochemical proxies for the earliest records of oxygenic photosynthesis. Proxy data now suggest oxygenesis at ca. 3.0 Ga with a likelihood of local oxygen build up in the surface ocean long before the GOE, as well as low (and perhaps transient) accumulation in the atmosphere against a backdrop of mostly less than ca. 0.001% of the present atmospheric concentration. By the GOE, the balance between oxygen sources and sinks shifted in favor of persistent accumulation, although sedimentary recycling of non-mass-dependent sulfur isotope signatures allows for the possibility of rising and falling atmospheric oxygen before the GOE as traditionally defined by the sulfur isotope record. Recycling may also hinder our ability to precisely date the transition to permanent oxygen accumulation beyond trace levels. Diverse data point to a dramatic increase in biospheric oxygen following the GOE, coincident with the largest positive carbon isotope excursion in Earth history, followed by an equally dramatic drop. This decline in Earth surface redox potential ushered in more than a billion years of dominantly low oxygen levels in

  18. Evolution and variation of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration over terrestrial ecosystems as derived from eddy covariance measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Min; Wu, Jiabing; Zhu, Xudong; He, Honglin; Jia, Wenxiao; Xiang, Weining

    2015-08-01

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas contributing to global climate change. Understanding the temporal and spatial variations of CO2 concentration over terrestrial ecosystems provides additional insight into global atmospheric variability of CO2 concentration. Using 355 site-years of CO2 concentration observations at 104 eddy-covariance flux tower sites in Northern Hemisphere, we presented a comprehensive analysis of evolution and variation of atmospheric CO2 concentration over terrestrial ecosystem (ACTE) for the period of 1997-2006. Our results showed that ACTE exhibited a strong seasonal variations, with an average seaonsal amplitude (peak-trough difference) of 14.8 ppm, which was approximately threefold that global mean CO2 observed in Mauna Loa in the United States (MLO). The seasonal variation of CO2 were mostly dominant by terrestrial carbon fluxes, i.e., net ecosystem procution (NEP) and gross primary produciton (GPP), with correlation coefficient(r) were -0.55 and -0.60 for NEP and GPP, respectively. However, the influence of carbon fluxes on CO2 were not significant at interannual scale, which implyed that the inter-annual changing trends of atmospheric CO2 in Northern Hemisphere were likely to depend more on anthropogenic CO2 emissions sources than on ecosystem change. It was estimated, by fitting a harmonic model to monthly-mean ACTE, that both annual mean and seasonal amplitude of ACTE increased over the 10-year period at rates of 2.04 and 0.60 ppm yr-1, respectively. The uptrend of annual ACTE could be attributed to the dramatic global increase of CO2 emissions during the study period, whereas the increasing amplitude could be related to the increases in Northern Hemisphere biospheric activity. This study also found that the annual CO2 concentration showed large variation among ecosystems, with the high value appeared in deciduous broadleaf forest, evergreen broadleaf forest and cropland. We attribute these

  19. Estimating Terrestrial Water Storage Changes in the Colorado River Basin: Atmospheric Data Analysis, Satellite Remote Sensing and Hydrologic Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Troch, P. A.; Seneviratne, S.; Hirschi, M.; Hurkmans, R.; Hasan, S.; Durcik, M.

    2006-12-01

    The Colorado River basin covers about 637 000 km2 and spreads over the southwestern United States and a small portion of Mexico. Much of the basin is arid, and runoff derives from the high elevation snow pack over the Rocky Mountains, which contributes about 70% of the annual runoff. A secondary source of water for the basin is the summer monsoon precipitation. The Colorado River system is one of the most heavily regulated for providing water supply, irrigation, flood control, and hydropower to a large area of the U.S. Southwest. Estimating intra- and inter-annual variability of water storage in the basin is important for sustainable water management. In this paper, an overview is given on how terrestrial water storage changes can be estimated. Fifty (50) years (1955-2005) of re-analysis data from ECMWF (European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts) is used together with observed and natural stream flow to derive monthly atmospheric and terrestrial water balances (Seneviratne et al., 2004; Hirschi et al., 2006). The resulting water storage changes in the Colorado basin exhibit a strong annual and a weaker decadal cycle. Correlation with different climate variability indices (ENSO, PDO, AMO) is examined. We compare these water storage change estimates with those derived from the NARR (North-American Regional Re-analysis) time series (1979 to 2005). Three years (2002-2005) of GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite data are then used to estimate monthly terrestrial water storage changes from estimates of geoid anomalies over the area. We find a close relationship between both independent estimation procedures. Both the annual cycle and the amplitude agree very well, although a slight phase shift of about a month is observed. To further examine the water storage changes we apply a land surface hydrologic model (VIC: Variable Infiltration Capacity) forced with observations spanning the period between 1950 and 2000 and compiled by Maurer et al

  20. Assessing the impact of non-tidal atmospheric loading on a Kalman filter-based terrestrial reference frame

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbondanza, Claudio; Altamimi, Zuheir; Chin, Toshio; Collilieux, Xavier; Dach, Rolf; Gross, Richard; Heflin, Michael; König, Rolf; Lemoine, Frank; Macmillan, Dan; Parker, Jay; van Dam, Tonie; Wu, Xiaoping

    2014-05-01

    The International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF) adopts a piece-wise linear model to parameterize regularized station positions and velocities. The space-geodetic (SG) solutions from VLBI, SLR, GPS and DORIS used as input in the ITRF combination process account for tidal loading deformations, but ignore the non-tidal part. As a result, the non-linear signal observed in the time series of SG-derived station positions in part reflects non-tidal loading displacements not introduced in the SG data reduction. In this analysis, we assess the impact of non-tidal atmospheric loading (NTAL) corrections on the TRF computation. Focusing on the a-posteriori approach, (i) the NTAL model derived from the National Centre for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) surface pressure is removed from the SINEX files of the SG solutions used as inputs to the TRF determinations; (ii) adopting a Kalman-filter based approach, two distinct linear TRFs are estimated combining the 4 SG solutions with (corrected TRF solution) and without the NTAL displacements (standard TRF solution). Linear fits (offset and atmospheric velocity) of the NTAL displacements removed during step (i) are estimated accounting for the station position discontinuities introduced in the SG solutions and adopting different weighting strategies. The NTAL-derived (atmospheric) velocity fields are compared to those obtained from the TRF reductions during step (ii). The consistency between the atmospheric and the TRF-derived velocity fields is examined. We show how the presence of station position discontinuities in SG solutions degrades the agreement between the velocity fields and compare the effect of different weighting structure adopted while estimating the linear fits to the NTAL displacements. Finally, we evaluate the effect of restoring the atmospheric velocities determined through the linear fits of the NTAL displacements to the single-technique linear reference frames obtained by stacking the standard SG SINEX files

  1. Three-Dimensional Tracer Model Study of Atmospheric CO2 - Response to Seasonal Exchanges with the Terrestrial Biosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fung, I.; Prentice, K.; Matthews, E.; Lerner, J.; Russell, G.

    1983-01-01

    A three-dimensional tracer transport model is used to investigate the annual cycle of atmospheric CO2 concentration produced by seasonal exchanges with the terrestrial biosphere. The tracer model uses winds generated by a global general circulation model to advect and convect CO2; no explicit diffusion coefficients are employed. A biospheric exchange function constructed from a map of net primary productivity, and Azevedo's (1982) seasonality of CO2 uptake and release closely simulates the annual cycles at coastal stations. The results show that zonal homogeneity in surface CO2 concentrations can never be achieved at mid-latitudes where the time scale for zonal mixing is longer than the time scale for biospheric exchange. Analysis of the zonal mean balance in the lower troposphere reveals that atmospheric transport processes may alter the CO2 response to local biospheric exchanges by 50% or more. Hence year-to-year variation of the annual CO2 cycle may result from the natural variability of the atmospheric circulation as well as from changes in the sources and sinks.

  2. Teaching about the Early Earth: Evolution of Tectonics, Life, and the Early Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mogk, D. W.; Manduca, C. A.; Kirk, K.; Williams, M. L.

    2007-12-01

    The early history of the Earth is the subject of some of the most exciting and innovative research in the geosciences, drawing evidence from virtually all fields of geoscience and using a variety of approaches that include field, analytical, experimental, and modeling studies. At the same time, the early Earth presents unique opportunities and challenges in geoscience education: how can we best teach "uncertain science" where the evidence is either incomplete or ambiguous? Teaching about early Earth provides a great opportunity to help students understand the nature of scientific evidence, testing, and understanding. To explore the intersection of research and teaching about this enigmatic period of Earth history, a national workshop was convened for experts in early Earth research and undergraduate geoscience education. The workshop was held in April, 2007 at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst as part of the On the Cutting Edge faculty professional development program. The workshop was organized around three scientific themes: evolution of global tectonics, life, and the early atmosphere. The "big scientific questions" at the forefront of current research about the early Earth were explored by keynote speakers and follow-up discussion groups: How did plate tectonics as we know it today evolve? Were there plates in the Hadean Eon? Was the early Earth molten? How rapidly did it cool? When and how did the atmosphere and hydrosphere evolve? How did life originate and evolve? How did all these components interact at the beginning of Earth's history and evolve toward the Earth system we know today? Similar "big questions" in geoscience education were addressed: how to best teach about "deep time;" how to help students make appropriate inferences when geologic evidence is incomplete; how to engage systems thinking and integrate multiple lines of evidence, across many scales of observation (temporal and spatial), and among many disciplines. Workshop participants

  3. A Carbon Flux Super Site. New Insights and Innovative Atmosphere-Terrestrial Carbon Exchange Measurements and Modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Leclerc, Monique Y.

    2014-11-17

    This final report presents the main activities and results of the project “A Carbon Flux Super Site: New Insights and Innovative Atmosphere-Terrestrial Carbon Exchange Measurements and Modeling” from 10/1/2006 to 9/30/2014. It describes the new AmeriFlux tower site (Aiken) at Savanna River Site (SC) and instrumentation, long term eddy-covariance, sodar, microbarograph, soil and other measurements at the site, and intensive field campaigns of tracer experiment at the Carbon Flux Super Site, SC, in 2009 and at ARM-CF site, Lamont, OK, and experiments in Plains, GA. The main results on tracer experiment and modeling, on low-level jet characteristics and their impact on fluxes, on gravity waves and their influence on eddy fluxes, and other results are briefly described in the report.

  4. Development of a model of atmospheric oxygen variations to estimate terrestrial carbon storage and release

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Najjar, Raymond G.; Keeling, Ralph F.; Erickson, David J., III

    1995-01-01

    Two years of work has been completed towards the development of a model of atmospheric oxygen variations on seasonal to decadal timescales. During the first year we (1) constructed a preliminary monthly-mean climatology of surface ocean oxygen anomalies, (2) began modeling studies to assess the importance of short term variability on the monthly-mean oxygen flux, and (3) conducted preliminary simulations of the annual mean cycle of oxygen in the atmosphere. Most of the second year was devoted to improving the monthly mean climatology of oxygen in the surface ocean.

  5. Variability of projected terrestrial biosphere responses to elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 due to uncertainty in biological nitrogen fixation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyerholt, Johannes; Zaehle, Sönke; Smith, Matthew J.

    2016-03-01

    Including a terrestrial nitrogen (N) cycle in Earth system models has led to substantial attenuation of predicted biosphere-climate feedbacks. However, the magnitude of this attenuation remains uncertain. A particularly important but highly uncertain process is biological nitrogen fixation (BNF), which is the largest natural input of N to land ecosystems globally. In order to quantify this uncertainty and estimate likely effects on terrestrial biosphere dynamics, we applied six alternative formulations of BNF spanning the range of process formulations in current state-of-the-art biosphere models within a common framework, the O-CN model: a global map of static BNF rates, two empirical relationships between BNF and other ecosystem variables (net primary productivity and evapotranspiration), two process-oriented formulations based on plant N status, and an optimality-based approach. We examined the resulting differences in model predictions under ambient and elevated atmospheric [CO2] and found that the predicted global BNF rates and their spatial distribution for contemporary conditions were broadly comparable, ranging from 108 to 148 Tg N yr-1 (median: 128 Tg N yr-1), despite distinct regional patterns associated with the assumptions of each approach. Notwithstanding, model responses in BNF rates to elevated levels of atmospheric [CO2] (+200 ppm) ranged between -4 Tg N yr-1 (-3 %) and 56 Tg N yr-1 (+42 %) (median: 7 Tg N yr-1 (+8 %)). As a consequence, future projections of global ecosystem carbon (C) storage (+281 to +353 Pg C, or +13 to +16 %) as well as N2O emission (-1.6 to +0.5 Tg N yr-1, or -19 to +7 %) differed significantly across the different model formulations. Our results emphasize the importance of better understanding the nature and magnitude of BNF responses to change-induced perturbations, particularly through new empirical perturbation experiments and improved model representation.

  6. Variability of projected terrestrial biosphere responses to elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 due to uncertainty in biological nitrogen fixation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyerholt, J.; Zaehle, S.; Smith, M. J.

    2015-12-01

    Including a terrestrial nitrogen (N) cycle in Earth system models has led to substantial attenuation of predicted biosphere-climate feedbacks. However, the magnitude of this attenuation remains uncertain. A particularly important, but highly uncertain process is biological nitrogen fixation (BNF), which is the largest natural input of N to land ecosystems globally. In order to quantify this uncertainty, and estimate likely effects on terrestrial biosphere dynamics, we applied six alternative formulations of BNF spanning the range of process formulations in current state-of-the-art biosphere models within a common framework, the O-CN model: a global map of static BNF rates, two empirical relationships between BNF and other ecosystem variables (net primary productivity (NPP) and evapotranspiration), two process-oriented formulations based on plant N status, and an optimality-based approach. We examined the resulting differences in model predictions under ambient and elevated atmospheric [CO2] and found that the predicted global BNF rates and their spatial distribution for contemporary conditions were broadly comparable, ranging from 95 to 134 Tg N yr-1 (median 119 Tg N yr-1), despite distinct regional patterns associated with the assumptions of each approach. Notwithstanding, model responses in BNF rates to elevated levels of atmospheric [CO2] (+200 ppm) ranged between -4 Tg N yr-1 (-3 %) and 56 Tg N yr-1 (+42 %) (median 7 Tg N yr-1 (+8 %)). As a consequence, future projections of global ecosystem carbon storage (+281 to +353 Pg C, or +13 to +16 %), as well as N2O emission (-1.6 to +0.5 Tg N yr-1, or -19 to +7 %) differed significantly across the different model formulations. Our results emphasize the importance of better understanding the nature and magnitude of BNF responses to change-induced perturbations, particularly through new empirical perturbation experiments and improved model representation.

  7. Giant Impacts on Terrestrial Planets: A High-Resolution 3D Study of Magma Ocean Formation and Atmospheric Blowoff

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stewart-Mukhopadhyay, Sarah

    The end stages of terrestrial planet formation are dominated by giant impact events, which may significantly affect the final composition of a planet. The physical changes from giant impacts include formation of magma oceans and atmospheric blowoff. We propose to conduct unique numerical experiments to investigate the physics of giant impacts in order to determine their effect on the thermal state and volatile budget of terrestrial planets (0.1 to 10 Earth masses). Proposed work: High-resolution 3D giant impacts between differentiated silicate-iron and ice-silicate planets will be modeled with both the widely-used CTH shock physics code and a new second-order Godunov finite-volume hydrocode called AREPO. AREPO's powerful arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian grid and computational efficiency allows for unprecedented resolution of planetary structure (e.g., crust and ocean). Expected results: (1) We will calculate the amount of melt generated and fraction of atmosphere lost during different classes of giant impacts (merging, graze and merge, hit and run, and erosion/disruption). (2) We will derive general scaling laws to describe these complicated phenomena. (3) We will consider the effect of re-accretion of ejected material at late times on the total thermal input of giant impact events. (4) And we will test the giant impact hypothesis for the high bulk density of Mercury by conducting orbital integrations of ejected debris to determine the amount of re-accreted mantle material for different impact orientations. The science team has an established collaborative body of work in giant impact simulations and hydrocode development. As in previous studies, the simulation results will be generalized into sets of simple equations describing collision outcomes that are suitable for N-body planet formation models. The proposed work supports the goals of the Origins of Solar Systems program by conducting a fundamental theoretical investigation of a key stage of planet formation

  8. Soil surface acidity plays a determining role in the atmospheric-terrestrial exchange of nitrous acid

    PubMed Central

    Donaldson, Melissa A.; Bish, David L.; Raff, Jonathan D.

    2014-01-01

    Nitrous acid (HONO) is an important hydroxyl (OH) radical source that is formed on both ground and aerosol surfaces in the well-mixed boundary layer. Recent studies report the release of HONO from nonacidic soils, although it is unclear how soil that is more basic than the pKa of HONO (∼3) is capable of protonating soil nitrite to serve as an atmospheric HONO source. Here, we used a coated-wall flow tube and chemical ionization mass spectrometry (CIMS) to study the pH dependence of HONO uptake onto agricultural soil and model substrates under atmospherically relevant conditions (1 atm and 30% relative humidity). Experiments measuring the evolution of HONO from pH-adjusted surfaces treated with nitrite and potentiometric titrations of the substrates show, to our knowledge for the first time, that surface acidity rather than bulk aqueous pH determines HONO uptake and desorption efficiency on soil, in a process controlled by amphoteric aluminum and iron (hydr)oxides present. The results have important implications for predicting when soil nitrite, whether microbially derived or atmospherically deposited, will act as a net source or sink of atmospheric HONO. This process represents an unrecognized mechanism of HONO release from soil that will contribute to HONO emissions throughout the day. PMID:25512517

  9. Atmospheric pressure as a natural climate regulator for a terrestrial planet with a biosphere

    PubMed Central

    Li, King-Fai; Pahlevan, Kaveh; Kirschvink, Joseph L.; Yung, Yuk L.

    2009-01-01

    Lovelock and Whitfield suggested in 1982 that, as the luminosity of the Sun increases over its life cycle, biologically enhanced silicate weathering is able to reduce the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) so that the Earth's surface temperature is maintained within an inhabitable range. As this process continues, however, between 100 and 900 million years (Ma) from now the CO2 concentration will reach levels too low for C3 and C4 photosynthesis, signaling the end of the solar-powered biosphere. Here, we show that atmospheric pressure is another factor that adjusts the global temperature by broadening infrared absorption lines of greenhouse gases. A simple model including the reduction of atmospheric pressure suggests that the life span of the biosphere can be extended at least 2.3 Ga into the future, more than doubling previous estimates. This has important implications for seeking extraterrestrial life in the Universe. Space observations in the infrared region could test the hypothesis that atmospheric pressure regulates the surface temperature on extrasolar planets. PMID:19487662

  10. Soil surface acidity plays a determining role in the atmospheric-terrestrial exchange of nitrous acid.

    PubMed

    Donaldson, Melissa A; Bish, David L; Raff, Jonathan D

    2014-12-30

    Nitrous acid (HONO) is an important hydroxyl (OH) radical source that is formed on both ground and aerosol surfaces in the well-mixed boundary layer. Recent studies report the release of HONO from nonacidic soils, although it is unclear how soil that is more basic than the pKa of HONO (∼ 3) is capable of protonating soil nitrite to serve as an atmospheric HONO source. Here, we used a coated-wall flow tube and chemical ionization mass spectrometry (CIMS) to study the pH dependence of HONO uptake onto agricultural soil and model substrates under atmospherically relevant conditions (1 atm and 30% relative humidity). Experiments measuring the evolution of HONO from pH-adjusted surfaces treated with nitrite and potentiometric titrations of the substrates show, to our knowledge for the first time, that surface acidity rather than bulk aqueous pH determines HONO uptake and desorption efficiency on soil, in a process controlled by amphoteric aluminum and iron (hydr)oxides present. The results have important implications for predicting when soil nitrite, whether microbially derived or atmospherically deposited, will act as a net source or sink of atmospheric HONO. This process represents an unrecognized mechanism of HONO release from soil that will contribute to HONO emissions throughout the day. PMID:25512517

  11. Continental scale atmospheric and terrestrial water budget modeling and comparison to GRACE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fersch, B.; Kunstmann, H.; Sneeuw, N.; Devaraju, B.

    2009-04-01

    Estimation of large scale water balances is still an unsolved challenge in hydrological sciences, particularly for data spare regions. The GRACE satellite mission (launched in 2002) provides a completely new opportunity to investigate seasonal large scale water mass changes based on measurements of gravitational acceleration differences. Our study aims at determining the potential of GRACE data for hydrological applications. Our approach assumes that vertically integrated atmospheric moisture convergence equals 1) precipitated minus evapotranspired water masses and therefore equals 2) aggregated surface runoff minus water storage changes. Using observed basin runoff, this interrelation allows us to compare GRACE derived water storage changes with modeled atmospheric moisture convergences. As regional atmospheric modeling is expected to yield more accurate meteorological fields than global model results, we use the WRF model for a dynamic downscaling of global atmospheric fields and hence derive high resolution fields of air pressure, horizontal moisture flux divergence, precipitation minus evapotranspiration, soil water storage, etc. Our study focuses on sensitivities and uncertainties of regionally modeled atmospheric mass and moisture fluxes due to specific model setup, origin of global driving data (NCEP vs. ECMWF) and spatial resolution. This is performed for four regions: Australia, Sahara, Siberia and the Amazon. The first three regions are characterized by a simplified hydrological mass balance, i.e. either evaporation or precipitation is close to zero. Central Australia represents a region with no outlet, meaning runoff is negligible. The Sahara also has zero runoff and for the dry periods evapotranspiration is close to zero. Siberia, comprising the catchments of Lena and Yenisei has negligible evapotranspiration for the winter months. The basin of the Amazon is representative for regions with high precipitation and evaporation terms. For the years 2003 to

  12. Verification of Atmospheric Signals Associated with Major Seismicity by Space and Terrestrial Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, Patrick

    2008-01-01

    Observations from the last twenty years suggest the existence of electromagnetic (EM) phenomena during or preceding some earthquakes [Haykawa et a!, 2004; Pulinets at al, 1999,2004, 2006, Ouzounov et all 2007 and Liu et all 20041. Both our previous studies [Pulinets at al, 2005, 2006, Ouzounov et al, 2006, 20071 and the latest review by the Earthquake Remote Precursor Sensing panel [ERPS; 2003- 20051; have shown that there were precursory atmospheric TIR signals observed on the ground and in space associated with several recent earthquakes. [Tramutoli at al, 2005, 2006, Cervone et al, 2006, Ouzounov et all 2004,2006JT.o study these signals, we applied both multi parameter statistical analysis and data mining methods that require systematic measurements from an Integrated Sensor Web of observations of several physical and environmental parameters. These include long wave earth infra-red radiation, ionospheric electrical and magnetic parameters, temperature and humidity of the boundary layer, seismicity and may be associated with major earthquakes. Our goal is to verify the earthquake atmospheric correlation in two cases: (i) backward analysis - 2000-2008 hindcast monitoring of multi atmospheric parameters over the Kamchatka region, Russia ; and (ii) forward real-time alert analysis over different seismo-tectonic regions for California, Turkey, Taiwan and Japan. Our latest results, from several post-earthquake independent analyses of more then 100 major earthquakes, show that joint satellite and some ground measurements, using an integrated web, could provide a capability for observing pre-earthquake atmospheric signals by combining the information from multiple sensors into a common framework. Using our methodology, we evaluated and compared the observed signals preceding the latest M7.9 Sichuan earthquake (0511212008), M8.0 earthquake in Peru (0811512007), M7.6 Kashmir earthquake (1010812005) and M9.0 Sumatra earthquake (1212812004). We found evidence of the

  13. Modeling the atmospheric and terrestrial water and energy cycles in the ScaleX experiment through a fully-coupled atmosphere-hydrology model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senatore, Alfonso; Benjamin, Fersch; Thomas, Rummler; Caroline, Brosy; Christian, Chwala; Junkermann, Wolfgang; Ingo, Völksch; Harald, Kunstmann

    2016-04-01

    The TERENO preAlpine Observatory, comprising a series of observatory sites along an altitudinal gradient within the Ammer catchment (southern Bavaria, Germany), has been designed as an international research platform, open for participation and integration, and has been provided with comprehensive technical infrastructure to allow joint analyses of water-, energy- and nutrient fluxes. In June and July 2015 the operational monitoring has been complemented by the ScaleX intensive measurement campaign, where additional precipitation and soil moisture measurements, remote sensing measurements of atmospheric wind, humidity and temperature profiles have been performed, complemented by micro-light aircraft- and UAV-based remote sensing for three-dimensional pattern information. The comprehensive observations serve as validation and evaluation basis for compartment-crossing modeling systems. Specifically, the fully two-way dynamically coupled atmosphere-hydrology modeling system WRF-Hydro has been used to investigate the interplay of energy and water cycles at the regional scale and across the compartments atmosphere, stream, vadose zone and groundwater during the ScaleX campaign and to assess the closure of the budgets involved. Here, several high-resolution modeled hydro-meteorological variables, such as precipitation, soil moisture, river discharge and air moisture and temperature along vertical profiles are compared with observations from multiple sources, such as rain gauges and soil moisture networks, rain radars, stream gauges, UAV and a micro-light aircraft. Results achieved contribute to the objective of addressing questions on energy- and water-cycling within the TERENO-Ammer region at a very high scale and degree of integration, and provides hints on how well can observations constrain uncertainties associated with the modeling of atmospheric and terrestrial water and energy balances.

  14. Global N/sub 2/O cycles - Terrestrial emissions, atmospheric accumulation and biospheric effects

    SciTech Connect

    Banin, A.; Lawless, J.G.; Whitten, R.C.; Oser, H.; Oro, J.; Macelroy, R.D.; Klein, H.P.; Devincenzi, D.L.; Young, R.S.

    1984-01-01

    Recent findings concerning the budget and cycles of nitrous oxide on earth are summarized, and the sources and sinks for N/sub 2/O on land, in the ocean, and in the atmosphere are examined in view of the N/sub 2/O concentration increase of 0.2-0.4 percent per year, observed over the period of 1975-1982. Possible atmospheric and biospheric consequences of the N/sub 2/O concentration increase are evaluated. N/sub 2/O emission values are given for several major ecosystem types, such as forest, desert, cultivated land; values from different sources are compared and discussed. Analysis shows an excess of documented sources over sinks by 0-51 Tg N/sub 2/O-N/yr. 63 references.

  15. Effects of long-period solar activity fluctuation on temperature and pressure of the terrestrial atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rubashev, B. M.

    1978-01-01

    The present state of research on the influence of solar sunspot activity on tropospheric temperature and pressure is reviewed. The existence of an 11-year temperature cycle of 5 different types is affirmed. A cyclic change in atmospheric pressure, deducing characteristic changes between 11-year cycles is discussed. The existence of 80-year and 5-to-6-year cycles of temperature is established, and physical causes for birth are suggested.

  16. Observed and Modeled Tritium Concentrations in the Terrestrial Food Chain near a Continuous Atmospheric Source

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, P.A.; Kim, S.B.; Chouhan, S.L.; Workman, W.J.G.

    2005-07-15

    Tritium concentrations were measured in a large number of environmental and biological samples collected during 2002 at two dairy farms and a hobby farm near Pickering Nuclear Generating Station in Ontario, Canada. The data cover most compartments of the terrestrial food chain in an agricultural setting and include detailed information on the diets of the local farm animals. Ratios of plant OBT concentration to air moisture HTO varied between 0.12 and 0.56, and were generally higher for the forage crops collected at the dairy farms than for the garden vegetables sampled at the hobby farm. Animal OBT to air HTO ratios were more uniform, ranging from 0.18 to 0.45, and were generally higher for the milk and beef samples from the dairy farms than for the chicken products from the hobby farm. The observed OBT concentrations in plants and animals were compared with predictions of IMPACT, the model used by the Canadian nuclear industry to calculate annual average doses due to routine releases. The model performed well on average for the animal endpoints but overestimated concentrations in plants by a factor of 2.

  17. Using dimers to measure biosignatures and atmospheric pressure for terrestrial exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Misra, Amit; Meadows, Victoria; Claire, Mark; Crisp, Dave

    2014-02-01

    We present a new method to probe atmospheric pressure on Earth-like planets using (O2-O2) dimers in the near-infrared. We also show that dimer features could be the most readily detectable biosignatures for Earth-like atmospheres and may even be detectable in transit transmission with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The absorption by dimers changes more rapidly with pressure and density than that of monomers and can therefore provide additional information about atmospheric pressures. By comparing the absorption strengths of rotational and vibrational features to the absorption strengths of dimer features, we show that in some cases it may be possible to estimate the pressure at the reflecting surface of a planet. This method is demonstrated by using the O2 A band and the 1.06 μm dimer feature, either in transmission or reflected spectra. It works best for planets around M dwarfs with atmospheric pressures between 0.1 and 10 bar and for O2 volume mixing ratios above 50% of Earth's present-day level. Furthermore, unlike observations of Rayleigh scattering, this method can be used at wavelengths longer than 0.6 μm and is therefore potentially applicable, although challenging, to near-term planet characterization missions such as JWST. We also performed detectability studies for JWST transit transmission spectroscopy and found that the 1.06 and 1.27 μm dimer features could be detectable (SNR>3) for an Earth analogue orbiting an M5V star at a distance of 5 pc. The detection of these features could provide a constraint on the atmospheric pressure of an exoplanet and serve as biosignatures for oxygenic photosynthesis. We calculated the required signal-to-noise ratios to detect and characterize O2 monomer and dimer features in direct imaging-reflected spectra and found that signal-to-noise ratios greater than 10 at a spectral resolving power of R=100 would be required. PMID:24432758

  18. Assessing the tolerance of the terrestrial moss Pseudoscleropodium purum to high levels of atmospheric heavy metals: a reciprocal transplant study.

    PubMed

    Boquete, M Teresa; Fernández, J Ángel; Carballeira, Alejo; Aboal, Jesús R

    2013-09-01

    We measured the concentrations of Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb and Zn in samples of the terrestrial moss Pseudoscleropodium purum reciprocally transplanted between an unpolluted and two polluted sampling sites. At the beginning of the experiment, the concentrations of all these elements differed significantly between mosses from the unpolluted site and mosses from the polluted sites. In general, the concentrations of the heavy metals in mosses from both polluted sites transplanted to the unpolluted site decreased until they reached the same levels as in autotransplants at this site (after 480-840 days). However, the concentrations of all heavy metals in mosses transplanted from the unpolluted site to both polluted sites increased to higher levels than in the autotransplants (except for Cu, Hg and Pb at one of the sampling sites). These results led us to conclude that mosses that have been continuously exposed to high atmospheric deposition of heavy metals undergo an adaptive response (probably genotypic) to such conditions. We therefore recommend active rather than passive biomonitoring of air quality in industrial environments because atmospheric deposition could be underestimated, and also recommend further investigation into the mechanisms involved in this response. PMID:23756214

  19. Bridging models for the terrestrial cryosphere and the atmosphere - The CryoMET project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Etzelmueller, Bernd; Westermann, Sebastian; Berntsen, Terje; Gisnås, Kjersti; Ove Hagen, Jon; Egill Kristjansson, Jon; Isaksen, Ketil; Schuler, Dagrun V.; Schuler, Thomas V.; Stordal, Frode; Aas, Kjetil S.

    2013-04-01

    Predictions of the future climate are generally based on atmospheric models operating on coarse spatial scales. However, the impact of a changing climate on most elements of the cryosphere becomes manifest on much smaller scales, which complicates sound predictions e.g. on glacier and permafrost development. CryoMET is a collaborative project between atmospheric modeling, glacier and permafrost research groups, seeking to bridge the scale gap between coarsely-resolved Earth System Models and the process and impact scales on the ground for the variables snow depth and snow water equivalent for sites in Norway and Svalbard. Snow is a crucial factor both for the thermal regime of permafrost and the mass balance on glaciers. However, the snow depth and properties can vary considerably on small scales due to wind redistribution, which for instance leads to distinctly different soil temperatures in permafrost areas on distances of tens of meters. CryoMET explores a seamless downscaling procedure to improve the representation in complex terrain: in a first step, we use the regional model PolarWRF to downscale atmospheric variables, including precipitation, air temperature and wind speed, to the so-called interface scale of 1 km to 3 km resolution, where these variables are constant to a good approximation. In a second step, we employ probabilistic downscaling of the average snow water equivalent at the interface scale (as delivered by PolarWRF) using snow redistribution models. With probability density functions of snow depth, the distribution of environmental parameters affected by snow, e.g. of permafrost temperatures, can be inferred for each grid cell at the interface scale. We present here first results demonstrating the capacity of the scheme in delivering the distribution of permafrost-relevant variables.

  20. Global N2O cycles--terrestrial emissions, atmospheric accumulation and biospheric effects.

    PubMed

    Banin, A; Lawless, J G; Whitten, R C

    1984-01-01

    Tropospheric nitrous oxide concentration has increased by 0.2-0.4% per year over the period 1975 to 1982, amounting to net addition to the atmosphere of 2.8-5.6 Tg N2O-N per year. This perturbation, if continued into the future, will affect stratospheric chemical cycles, and the thermal balance of the Earth. In turn it will have direct and indirect global effects on the biosphere. Though the budget and cycles of N2O on Earth are not yet fully resolved, accumulating information and recent modelling efforts enable a more complete evaluation and better definition of gaps in our knowledge. PMID:11537777

  1. Future NASA plans for the exploration of the terrestrial and planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bauer, S.

    1974-01-01

    A brief outline of NASA's space exploration plans for the 1970s is given. Research of the upper atmosphere and near-earth space will slack off in comparison with that which was done in the past, although now missions with very specific tasks will be launched, instead of those intended to get a general picture of these regions. Space Shuttle and Spacelab will open up the possibility of using the ionosphere as a huge plasma laboratory without walls. Exploration of other planets will continue with the Mars Lander and Viking Lander, the Pioneer-Venus program, and flybys of Jupiter and Saturn.

  2. The National Ecological Observatory Network's Atmospheric and Terrestrial Instrumentation: Quality Control Approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, J. R.; Luo, H.; Ayres, E.; Metzger, S. R.; Loescher, H. W.

    2012-12-01

    The National Ecological Observatory Network's Fundamental Instrument Unit (NEON-FIU) is responsible for making automated terrestrial observations at 60 different sites across the continent. FIU will provide data on key local physical, chemical, and climate forcing, as well as associated biotic responses (CO2, H2O, and energy exchanges). The sheer volume of data that will be generated far exceeds that of any other observatory network or agency, (i.e., > 45 Tb/year from 10's of thousands of remotely deployed sensors). We address the question of how to develop and implement a large ecological observatory that can accommodate such a large volume of data while maintaining high quality. Here, we describe our quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) program to produce quality data while leveraging cyber infrastructure tools and optimizing technician time. Results focus on novel approaches that advance the quality control techniques that have been historically employed in other networks (DOE-ARM, AmeriFlux, USDA ARS, OK Mesonet) to new state-of-the-art functionality. These automated and semi-automated approaches are also used to inform automated problem tracking to efficiently deploy field staff. Ultimately, NEON will define its own standards for QA/QC and maintenance by building upon these existing frameworks. The overarching philosophy relies on attaining the highest levels of accuracy, precision, and operational time, while efficiently optimizing the effort needed to produce quality data products. Our preliminary results address the challenges associated with automated implementation of sensor command/control, plausibility testing, despiking, and data verification of FIU observations.

  3. The calculation of vibrational populations of O2 Herzberg states in the atmospheres of terrestrial planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirillov, Andrey S.

    The calculated quenching rate constants of the c1, A'3, A3 states of O2 by molecules in [Kirillov, 2014, Chem. Phys. Lett., v.592, p.103] are applied in the simulation of vibrational populations of the Herzberg states in the nightglow of upper atmosphere of Venus and Mars where carbon dioxide is the main gas and in the mixture of molecular oxygen with CO2, CO, N2 gases for laboratory conditions. The results of the simulation show very important role of electronic-vibrational (EV) energy transfer processes in the redistribution of electronic excitation energy on vibrational levels of the states. The main aim of the simulation is an attempt to explain the high intensities of the Herzberg II band system observed in laboratory experiments with high CO2 concentrations [Lawrence et al., 1977, Science, v.195, p.573; Slanger, 1978, J. Chem. Phys., v.69, p.4779] and registered with spacecraft spectrometers in the nightglow of the Venus atmosphere [Krasnopolsky et al., 1977, Cosmic Res., v.14, p.687; Gerard et al., 2013, Icarus, v.223, p.602].

  4. On the emission of amines from terrestrial vegetation in the context of atmospheric new particle formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neftel, Albrecht; Sintermann, Jörg

    2015-04-01

    Airborne amines, specifically methylamines (MAs), play a key role in atmospheric new particle formation (NPF) by stabilising small molecule clusters. Agricultural emissions are assumed to constitute the most important MA source, but given the short atmospheric residence time of MAs, they can hardly have a direct impact on NFP events observed in remote regions. High MA contents as well as emissions by plants have already been described in the 19th century. Strong MA emissions predominantly occur during flowering as part of a pollination strategy. The behaviour is species specific, but examples of such species are common and widespread. In addition, vegetative plant tissue exhibiting high amounts of MAs might potentially lead to significant emissions, and the decomposition of organic material could constitute another source for airborne MAs. These mechanisms would provide sources, which could be crucial for the amine's role in NPF, especially in remote regions. Knowledge about vegetation-related amine emissions is, however, very limited and thus it is also an open question how Global Change and the intensified cycling of reactive nitrogen over the last 200 years have altered amine emissions from vegetation with a corresponding effect on NPF.

  5. Oxygen Isotopic Anomaly in Terrestrial Atmospheric Carbonates and its Implications to Understand the Role of Water on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiemens, M. H.; Shaheen, R.

    2010-12-01

    Mineral aerosols produced from wind-blown soils are an important component of the earth system and comprise about 1000-3000 Tg.yr-1 compared to 400 Tg.yr-1 of secondary aerosols (e.g. carbonaceous substances, organics, sulfate and nitrates). Aerosols have important consequences for health, visibility and the hydrological cycle as they provide reactive surfaces for heterogeneous chemical transformation that may influence gas phase chemistry in the atmosphere. Tropospheric ozone produced in a cascade of chemical reactions involving NOx and VOC’s, can interact with aerosol surfaces to produce new compounds. Oxygen triple isotopic compositions of atmospheric carbonates have been used for the first time to track heterogeneous chemistry at the aerosol surfaces and to resolve a chemical mechanism that only occurs on particle surfaces. Fine and coarse aerosol samples were collected on filter papers in La Jolla, CA for one week. Aerosol samples were digested with phosphoric acid and released CO2 was purified chromatographically and analyzed for O isotopes after fluorination. Data indicated oxygen isotopic anomaly (Δ17O = δ17O - 0.524 δ18O) ranging from 0.9 to 3.9 per mill. Laboratory experiments revealed that adsorbed water on particle surfaces facilitates the interaction of the gaseous CO2 and O3 with formation of anomalous hydrogen peroxide and carbonates. This newly identified chemical reaction scenario provides a new explanation for production of the isotopically anomalous carbonates found in the SNC Martian meteorites and terrestrial atmospheric carbonates and it also amplifies understanding of water related processes on the surface of Mars. The formation of peroxide via this heterogeneous reaction on aerosols surface suggests a new oxidative process of utility in understanding ozone and oxygen chemistry both at Mars and Earth.

  6. Modeling coupled interactions of carbon, water, and ozone exchange between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. I: model description.

    PubMed

    Nikolov, Ned; Zeller, Karl F

    2003-01-01

    A new biophysical model (FORFLUX) is presented to study the simultaneous exchange of ozone, carbon dioxide, and water vapor between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. The model mechanistically couples all major processes controlling ecosystem flows trace gases and water implementing recent concepts in plant eco-physiology, micrometeorology, and soil hydrology. FORFLUX consists of four interconnected modules-a leaf photosynthesis model, a canopy flux model, a soil heat-, water- and CO2- transport model, and a snow pack model. Photosynthesis, water-vapor flux and ozone uptake at the leaf level are computed by the LEAFC3 sub-model. The canopy module scales leaf responses to a stand level by numerical integration of the LEAFC3model over canopy leaf area index (LAI). The integration takes into account (1) radiative transfer inside the canopy, (2) variation of foliage photosynthetic capacity with canopy depth, (3) wind speed attenuation throughout the canopy, and (4) rainfall interception by foliage elements. The soil module uses principles of the diffusion theory to predict temperature and moisture dynamics within the soil column, evaporation, and CO2 efflux from soil. The effect of soil heterogeneity on field-scale fluxes is simulated employing the Bresler-Dagan stochastic concept. The accumulation and melt of snow on the ground is predicted using an explicit energy balance approach. Ozone deposition is modeled as a sum of three fluxes- ozone uptake via plant stomata, deposition to non-transpiring plant surfaces, and ozone flux into the ground. All biophysical interactions are computed hourly while model projections are made at either hourly or daily time step. FORFLUX represents a comprehensive approach to studying ozone deposition and its link to carbon and water cycles in terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:12713923

  7. Intercomparison of atmospheric reanalysis data in the Arctic region: To derive site-specific forcing data for terrestrial models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mori, J.; Saito, K.; Machiya, H.; Yabuki, H.; Ikawa, H.; Ohta, T.; Iijima, Y.; Kotani, A.; Suzuki, R.; Miyazaki, S.; Sato, A.; Hajima, T.; Sueyoshi, T.

    2015-12-01

    An intercomparison project for the Arctic terrestrial (physical and ecosystem) models, GTMIP, is conducted, targeting at improvements in the existing terrestrial schemes, as an activity of the Terrestrial Ecosystem research group in the Arctic of Japan GRENE Arctic Climate Change Research Project (GRENE-TEA). For site simulations for four GRENE-TEA sites (i.e., Fairbanks/AK, Kevo/Finland, Tiksi and Yakutsk/Siberia), we needed to prepare continuous, site-fit forcing data ready to drive the models. Due to scarcity of site observations in the region, however, it was difficult to make such data directly from the observations. Therefore, we decided to create a backbone dataset (Level 0 or Lv0) first by utilizing the reanalysis data to derive the site-specific data (Level 1 or Lv1). For selection of the best dataset for our purpose, we compared four atmospheric reanalysis datasets, i.e., ERA Interim, JRA-55, NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis 1, and NCEP-DOE Reanalysis 2, in terms of the climatic reproducibility (w.r.t. temperature at 2 m and precipitation) in the region north of 60°N. CRU for temperature and GPCP for precipitation were also used for monthly-mean ground-level climate. As we will show ERA-Interim showed the smallest bias for both the parameters in terms of RMSE. Especially, air temperature in the cold period was reproduced better in ERA-Interim than is in JRA-55 or other reanalysis products. Therefore, we created Lv0 from ERA-Interim. Comparison between the site observations and Lv0 showed good agreement except for wind speed at all sites and air temperature at Tiksi, a coastal site in the eastern Siberia. Air temperature of ERA-Interim showed significantly continental characteristics while the site observation more coastal. The 34-year-long, hourly, site-fit continuous data (Lv1) for each of the GRENE-TEA sites was then created from the Lv0 values at the grid point closest to the site, by merging with the observations.

  8. Transit Observations of Venus's Atmosphere in 2012 from Terrestrial and Space Telescopes as Exoplanet Analogs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.; Schneider, G.; Babcock, B. A.; Lu, M.; Penn, M. J.; Jaeggli, S. A.; Galayda, E.; Reardon, K. P.; Widemann, T.; Tanga, P.; Ehrenreich, D.; Vidal-Madjar, A.; Nicholson, P. D.; Dantowitz, R.

    2013-06-01

    We extensively observed the 8 June 2012 transit of Venus from several sites on Earth; we provide this interim status report about this and about two subsequent ToVs observed from space. From Haleakala Obs., we observed the entire June transit over almost 7 h with a coronagraph of the Venus Twilight Experiment B filter) and with a RED Epic camera to compare with simultaneous data from ESA's Venus Express, to study the Cytherean mesosphere; from Kitt Peak, we have near-IR spectropolarimetry at 1.6 µm from the aureole and during the disk crossing that compare well with carbon dioxide spectral models; from Sac Peak/IBIS we have high-resolution imaging of the Cytherean aureole for 22 min, starting even before 1st contact; from Big Bear, we have high-resolution imaging of Venus's atmosphere and the black-drop effect through 2nd contact; and we had 8 other coronagraphs around the world. For the Sept 21 ToV as seen from Jupiter, we had 14 orbits of HST to use Jupiter's clouds as a reflecting surface to search for an 0.01% diminution in light and a differential drop that would result from Venus's atmosphere by observing in both IR/UV, for which we have 170 HST exposures. As of this writing, preliminary data reduction indicates that variations in Jovian clouds and the two periods of Jupiter's rotation will be too great to allow extraction of the transit signal. For the December 20 ToV as seen from Saturn, we had 22 hours of observing time with VIMS on Cassini, for which we are looking for a signal of the 10-hr transit in total solar irradiance and of Venus's atmosphere in IR as an exoplanet-transit analog. Our Maui & Sac Peak expedition was sponsored by National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration; HST data reduction by NASA: HST-GO-13067. Some of the funds for the carbon dioxide filter for Sac Peak provided by NASA through AAS's Small Research Grant Program. We thank Rob Ratkowski of Haleakala Amateur Astronomers; Rob Lucas, Aram Friedman, Eric

  9. The oxidation state of Hadean magmas and implications for early Earth's atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Trail, Dustin; Watson, E Bruce; Tailby, Nicholas D

    2011-12-01

    Magmatic outgassing of volatiles from Earth's interior probably played a critical part in determining the composition of the earliest atmosphere, more than 4,000 million years (Myr) ago. Given an elemental inventory of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and sulphur, the identity of molecular species in gaseous volcanic emanations depends critically on the pressure (fugacity) of oxygen. Reduced melts having oxygen fugacities close to that defined by the iron-wüstite buffer would yield volatile species such as CH(4), H(2), H(2)S, NH(3) and CO, whereas melts close to the fayalite-magnetite-quartz buffer would be similar to present-day conditions and would be dominated by H(2)O, CO(2), SO(2) and N(2) (refs 1-4). Direct constraints on the oxidation state of terrestrial magmas before 3,850 Myr before present (that is, the Hadean eon) are tenuous because the rock record is sparse or absent. Samples from this earliest period of Earth's history are limited to igneous detrital zircons that pre-date the known rock record, with ages approaching ∼4,400 Myr (refs 5-8). Here we report a redox-sensitive calibration to determine the oxidation state of Hadean magmatic melts that is based on the incorporation of cerium into zircon crystals. We find that the melts have average oxygen fugacities that are consistent with an oxidation state defined by the fayalite-magnetite-quartz buffer, similar to present-day conditions. Moreover, selected Hadean zircons (having chemical characteristics consistent with crystallization specifically from mantle-derived melts) suggest oxygen fugacities similar to those of Archaean and present-day mantle-derived lavas as early as ∼4,350 Myr before present. These results suggest that outgassing of Earth's interior later than ∼200 Myr into the history of Solar System formation would not have resulted in a reducing atmosphere. PMID:22129728

  10. Can we reconcile atmospheric estimates of the Northern terrestrial carbon sink with land-based accounting?

    SciTech Connect

    Ciais, Philippe; Luyssaert, Sebastiaan; Chevallier, Fredric; Poussi, Zegbeu; Peylin, Philippe; Breon, Francois-Marie; Canadell, J.G.; Shvidenko, Anatoly; Jonas, Matthias; King, Anthony Wayne; Schulze, E.-D.; Roedenbeck, Christian; Piao, Shilong; Peters, Wouter

    2010-10-01

    We estimatethenorthernhemisphere(NH)terrestrialcarbon sink bycomparingfourrecentatmosphericinversionswith land-based Caccountingdataforsixlargenorthernregions. The meanNHterrestrialCO2 sink fromtheinversionmodelsis 1.7 PgCyear1 over theperiod2000 2004. Theuncertaintyof this estimateisbasedonthetypicalindividual(1-sigma) precision ofoneinversion(0.9PgCyear1) andisconsistent with themin max rangeofthefourinversionmeanestimates (0.8 PgCyear1). Inversionsagreewithintheiruncertaintyfor the distributionoftheNHsinkofCO2 in longitude,withRussia being thelargestsink.Theland-basedaccountingestimateof NH carbonsinkis1.7PgCyear1 for thesumofthesixregions studied. The1-sigmauncertaintyoftheland-basedestimate (0.3 PgCyear1) issmallerthanthatofatmosphericinversions, but noindependentland-basedfluxestimateisavailableto derive a betweenaccountingmodel uncertainty. Encouragingly, thetop-downatmosphericandthebottom-up land-based methodsconvergetoconsistentmeanestimates within theirrespectiveerrors,increasingtheconfidenceinthe overall budget.Theseresultsalsoconfirmthecontinuedcritical role ofNHterrestrialecosystemsinslowingdownthe atmospheric accumulationofanthropogenicCO2

  11. Solar Terrestrial Influences on the D Region as Shown by the Level of Atmospheric Radio Noise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Satori, G.; Schaning, B.

    1984-01-01

    Measurements of the integrated atmospheric radio noise field strength at 27 kHz, used here, were made from 1965 to 1975 at Uppsala, Kuhlungsborn, and Prague-Panska Ves. The large scale meteorological situation was considered by comparing solar disturbed and undisturbed periods under similar weather situations. In order to show the effects of the precipitating high energy particle (HEP) flux and of the Forbush decrease on the noise level between pairs of stations were computed as deviations from the monthly median. Delta E (dB), day by day for all six periods was studied. The correlation coefficients for noon as well as for night values were computed. The correlation coefficients were compared with those for solar undisturbed periods.

  12. ATCOM: accelerated image processing for terrestrial long-range imaging through atmospheric effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curt, Petersen F.; Paolini, Aaron

    2013-05-01

    Long-range video surveillance performance is often severely diminished due to atmospheric turbulence. The larger apertures typically used for video-rate operation at long-range are particularly susceptible to scintillation and blurring effects that limit the overall diffraction efficiency and resolution. In this paper, we present research progress made toward a digital signal processing technique which aims to mitigate the effects of turbulence in real-time. Our previous work in this area focused on an embedded implementation for portable applications. Our more recent research has focused on functional enhancements to the same algorithm using general-purpose hardware. We present some techniques that were successfully employed to accelerate processing of high-definition color video streams and study performance under nonideal conditions involving moving objects and panning cameras. Finally, we compare the real-time performance of two implementations using a CPU and a GPU.

  13. The production of trace gases by photochemistry and lightning in the early atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levine, J. S.; Tennille, G. M.; Towe, K. M.; Khanna, R. K.

    1986-01-01

    Recent atmospheric calculation suggest that the prebiological atmosphere was most probably composed of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and water vapor, resulting from volatile outgassing, as opposed to the older view of a strongly reducing early atmosphere composed of methane, ammonia, and hydrogen. Photochemical calculations indicate that methane would have been readily destroyed via reaction with the hydroxyl radical produced from water vapor and that ammonia would have been readily lost via photolysis and rainout. The rapid loss of methane and ammonia, coupled with the absence of a significant source of these gases, suggest that atmospheric methane and ammonia were very short lived, if they were present at all. An early atmosphere of N2, CO2, and H2O is stable and leads to the chemical production of a number of atmospheric species of biological significance, including oxygen, ozone, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and hydrogen cyanide. Using a photochemical model of the early atmosphere, the chemical productionof these species over a wide range of atmospheric parameters were investigated. These calculations indicate that early atmospheric levels of O3 were significantly below the levels needed to provide UV shielding. The fate of volcanically emitted sulfur species, e.g., sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide, was investigated in the early atmosphere to assess their UV shielding properties. The photochemical calculations show that these species were of insufficient levels, due in part to their short photochemical lifetimes, to provide UV shielding.

  14. Terrestrial Vegetation Response to Climate Change Over North America from Increased Atmospheric CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ming, M.; Mao, H.; Talbot, R.

    2005-12-01

    We used a regional climate version of the MM5 mesoscale atmospheric modeling system that was asynchronically and simultaneously coupled with the biogeographical model BIOME to explore vegetation-climate interactions over North America. The impact of climate change due to increased greenhouse gases on potential ecosystem evolution was assessed, and a future scenario of vegetation distribution was explored. Doubled CO2 conditions induced strong high-latitude warming, while the southern U.S. became cooler in winter. Across almost all of the model domain precipitation tended to increase in all seasons with the highest intensification found over the Northeast, Southeast, and the Great Plains. In response to this future climate scenario, vegetation migrated northward systematically in the eastern United States. In particular, the sparsely vegetated area around Hudson Bay was predicted to be covered by cool conifer forests. Over the Great Plains and parts of the Midwest, the supply of water from precipitation was found to be a crucial factor affecting the natural evolution of vegetation; more precipitation under doubled CO2 led to temperate deciduous forests extending northward and to the northwest. Grasslands in the northern half of the Great Plains are expected to be replaced by cool conifer and mixed forests due to increased precipitation. Over the Cascade and Rocky Mountain ranges in the western U.S., no systematic changes in vegetation are predicted, due to the complex terrain and unsystematic changes in temperature and precipitation. Averaged over the whole model domain, 39% of areas are projected to have vegetation type changes under doubled CO2. The above results were obtained with model simulations using 108 km resolution, and they will be compared with runs using 50 km resolution to study the potential impact of model resolution on regional ecosystem response to climate change.

  15. Effect of the shrinking dipole on solar-terrestrial energy input to the Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McPherron, R. L.

    2011-12-01

    The global average temperature of the Earth is rising rapidly. This rise is primarily attributed to the release of greenhouse gases as a result of human activity. However, it has been argued that changes in radiation from the Sun might play a role. Most energy input to the Earth is light in the visible spectrum. Our best measurements suggest this power input has been constant for the last 40 years (the space age) apart from a small 11-year variation due to the solar cycle of sunspot activity. Another possible energy input from the Sun is the solar wind. The supersonic solar wind carries the magnetic field of the Sun into the solar system. As it passes the Earth it can connect to the Earth's magnetic field whenever it is antiparallel t the Earth's field. This connection allows mass, momentum, and energy from the solar wind to enter the magnetosphere producing geomagnetic activity. Ultimately much of this energy is deposited at high latitudes in the form of particle precipitation (aurora) and heating by electrical currents. Although the energy input by this process is miniscule compared to that from visible radiation it might alter the absorption of visible radiation. Two other processes affected by the solar cycle are atmospheric entry of galactic cosmic rays (GCR) and solar energetic protons (SEP). A weak solar magnetic field at sunspot minimum facilitates GCR entry which has been implicated in creation of clouds. Large coronal mass ejections and solar flares create SEP at solar maximum. All of these alternative energy inputs and their effects depend on the strength of the Earth's magnetic field. Currently the Earth's field is decreasing rapidly and conceivably might reverse polarity in 1000 years. In this paper we describe the changes in the Earth's magnetic field and how this might affect GCR, SEP, electrical heating, aurora, and radio propagation. Whether these effects are important in global climate change can only be determined by detailed physical models.

  16. Carbon residence time dominates uncertainty in terrestrial vegetation responses to future climate and atmospheric CO2

    PubMed Central

    Friend, Andrew D.; Lucht, Wolfgang; Rademacher, Tim T.; Keribin, Rozenn; Betts, Richard; Cadule, Patricia; Ciais, Philippe; Clark, Douglas B.; Dankers, Rutger; Falloon, Pete D.; Ito, Akihiko; Kahana, Ron; Kleidon, Axel; Lomas, Mark R.; Nishina, Kazuya; Ostberg, Sebastian; Pavlick, Ryan; Peylin, Philippe; Schaphoff, Sibyll; Vuichard, Nicolas; Warszawski, Lila; Wiltshire, Andy; Woodward, F. Ian

    2014-01-01

    Future climate change and increasing atmospheric CO2 are expected to cause major changes in vegetation structure and function over large fractions of the global land surface. Seven global vegetation models are used to analyze possible responses to future climate simulated by a range of general circulation models run under all four representative concentration pathway scenarios of changing concentrations of greenhouse gases. All 110 simulations predict an increase in global vegetation carbon to 2100, but with substantial variation between vegetation models. For example, at 4 °C of global land surface warming (510–758 ppm of CO2), vegetation carbon increases by 52–477 Pg C (224 Pg C mean), mainly due to CO2 fertilization of photosynthesis. Simulations agree on large regional increases across much of the boreal forest, western Amazonia, central Africa, western China, and southeast Asia, with reductions across southwestern North America, central South America, southern Mediterranean areas, southwestern Africa, and southwestern Australia. Four vegetation models display discontinuities across 4 °C of warming, indicating global thresholds in the balance of positive and negative influences on productivity and biomass. In contrast to previous global vegetation model studies, we emphasize the importance of uncertainties in projected changes in carbon residence times. We find, when all seven models are considered for one representative concentration pathway × general circulation model combination, such uncertainties explain 30% more variation in modeled vegetation carbon change than responses of net primary productivity alone, increasing to 151% for non-HYBRID4 models. A change in research priorities away from production and toward structural dynamics and demographic processes is recommended. PMID:24344265

  17. Carbon residence time dominates uncertainty in terrestrial vegetation responses to future climate and atmospheric CO2.

    PubMed

    Friend, Andrew D; Lucht, Wolfgang; Rademacher, Tim T; Keribin, Rozenn; Betts, Richard; Cadule, Patricia; Ciais, Philippe; Clark, Douglas B; Dankers, Rutger; Falloon, Pete D; Ito, Akihiko; Kahana, Ron; Kleidon, Axel; Lomas, Mark R; Nishina, Kazuya; Ostberg, Sebastian; Pavlick, Ryan; Peylin, Philippe; Schaphoff, Sibyll; Vuichard, Nicolas; Warszawski, Lila; Wiltshire, Andy; Woodward, F Ian

    2014-03-01

    Future climate change and increasing atmospheric CO2 are expected to cause major changes in vegetation structure and function over large fractions of the global land surface. Seven global vegetation models are used to analyze possible responses to future climate simulated by a range of general circulation models run under all four representative concentration pathway scenarios of changing concentrations of greenhouse gases. All 110 simulations predict an increase in global vegetation carbon to 2100, but with substantial variation between vegetation models. For example, at 4 °C of global land surface warming (510-758 ppm of CO2), vegetation carbon increases by 52-477 Pg C (224 Pg C mean), mainly due to CO2 fertilization of photosynthesis. Simulations agree on large regional increases across much of the boreal forest, western Amazonia, central Africa, western China, and southeast Asia, with reductions across southwestern North America, central South America, southern Mediterranean areas, southwestern Africa, and southwestern Australia. Four vegetation models display discontinuities across 4 °C of warming, indicating global thresholds in the balance of positive and negative influences on productivity and biomass. In contrast to previous global vegetation model studies, we emphasize the importance of uncertainties in projected changes in carbon residence times. We find, when all seven models are considered for one representative concentration pathway × general circulation model combination, such uncertainties explain 30% more variation in modeled vegetation carbon change than responses of net primary productivity alone, increasing to 151% for non-HYBRID4 models. A change in research priorities away from production and toward structural dynamics and demographic processes is recommended. PMID:24344265

  18. The terrestrial plant and herbivore arms race -- A major control of Phanerozoic atmospheric CO[sub 2

    SciTech Connect

    Olsen, P.E. )

    1993-03-01

    Much recent work points to chemical weathering of continental silicates as the principal control of atmospheric CO[sub 2]. Presently, chemical weathering is mediated by plants. Vascular plants increase chemical weathering by drastically increasing acid leaching through respiration, decay, and microbial symbionts. Through the Phanerozoic the continuing evolution of terrestrial plant communities must have had a major effect on weathering rates. However, the efficacy of plant-induced-weathering is decreased by herbivory, which in turn decreases the invasion of soil by roots and leads to increased physical weathering. The author proposes that the major ice house--hot house cycles of the Devonian-Quaternary were caused by the lag between plant innovations and complete compensation by herbivore-detritivore response. In this way, it seems possible that: (1) the Carboniferous coals are a consequence of limited herbivory and soil litter decomposition and the Permo-Carboniferous glaciations were caused by dramatically increased chemical weathering caused by the previous global spread of vascular plants; (2) the Mesozoic hot house was brought on by massive increases in megaherbivores and litter decomposers; and (3) Cenozoic cooling and Quaternary glaciations resulted from the spread of herbaceous angiosperms and most recently grasslands. Earth's own superherbivory, if continued for tens of millions of years, will brings one back to mid-Mesozoic hot house conditions, not by the burning of fossil fuels, but rather by a global increase in physical over chemical weathering.

  19. Studies of Constraints from the Terrestrial Planets, Asteroid Belt and Giant Planet Obliquities on the Early Solar System Instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nesvorny, David

    The planetary instability has been invoked as a convenient way to explain several observables in the present Solar System. This theory, frequently referred to under a broad and somewhat ill-defined umbrella as the ‘Nice model’, postulates that at least one of the ice giants suffered scattering encounters with Jupiter and Saturn. This could explain several things, including the excitation of the proper eccentric mode in Jupiter's orbit, survival of the terrestrial planets during giant planet migration, and, if the instability was conveniently delayed, also the Late Heavy Bombardment of the Moon. These properties/events would be unexpected if the migration histories of the outer planets were ideally smooth (at least no comprehensive model has yet been fully developed to collectively explain them). Additional support for the planetary instability comes from the dynamical properties of the asteroid and Kuiper belts, Trojans, and planetary satellites. We created a large database of dynamical evolutions of the outer planets through and 100 Myr past the instability (Nesvorny and Morbidelli 2012. Many of these dynamical histories have been found to match constraints from the orbits of the outer planets themselves. We now propose to test these different scenarios using constraints from the terrestrial planets, asteroid belt and giant planet obliquities. As we explain in the proposal narrative, we will bring all these constraints together in an attempt to develop a comprehensive model of early Solar System's evolution. This will be a significant improvement over the past work, where different constraints were considered piecewise and in various approximations. Our work has the potential to generate support for the Nice-type instability, or to rule it out, which could help in sparking interest in developing better models. RELEVANCE The proposed research is fundamental to understanding the formation and early evolution of the Solar System. This is a central theme of NASA

  20. Biospheric-atmospheric coupling on the early Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levine, J. S.

    1991-01-01

    Theoretical calculations performed with a one-dimensional photochemical model have been performed to assess the biospheric-atmospheric transfer of gases. Ozone reached levels to shield the Earth from biologically lethal solar ultraviolet radiation (220-300 nm) when atmospheric oxygen reached about 1/10 of its present atmospheric level. In the present atmosphere, about 90 percent of atmospheric nitrous oxide is destroyed via solar photolysis in the stratosphere with about 10 percent destroyed via reaction with excited oxygen atoms. The reaction between nitrous oxide and excited oxygen atoms leads to the production of nitric oxide in the stratosphere, which is responsible for about 70 percent of the global destruction of oxygen in the stratosphere. In the oxygen/ozone deficient atmosphere, solar photolysis destroyed about 100 percent of the atmospheric nitrous oxide, relegating the production of nitric oxide via reaction with excited oxygen to zero. Our laboratory and field measurements indicate that atmospheric oxygen promotes the biogenic production of N2O and NO via denitrification and the biogenic production of methane by methanogenesis.

  1. Impacts and atmospheric erosion on the early Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vickery, A. M.

    1991-01-01

    It was suggested that heating and/or vaporization of accreting carbonaceous-chondrite-type planetestimals could result in the release of their volatile components. Modeling of this process strongly suggests that substantial atmospheres/hydrospheres could develop this way. During most of the accretionary process, impact velocities generally differed from the escape velocity of the growing proto-planet because most of the collisions were between bodies in nearly matching orbits. Toward the end of accretion, however, collisions were rarer but more energetic, involving large planetestimals and higher impact velocities. Such impacts result in a net loss of atmosphere from a planet, and the cumulative effect impacts during the period of heavy bombardment might have dramatically depleted the original atmospheres. Models developed to study atmospheric erosion by impacts on Mars and the interaction of the vapor plume produced by KT impactor on Earth are applied to the case of the evolution of Earth's atmosphere.

  2. Nonlinear Interactions between Climate and Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Drivers of Terrestrial and Marine Carbon Cycle Changes from 1850 to 2300

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffman, F. M.; Randerson, J. T.; Moore, J. K.; Goulden, M.; Lindsay, K. T.; Munoz, E.; Fu, W.; Swann, A. L. S.; Koven, C. D.; Mahowald, N. M.; Bonan, G. B.

    2015-12-01

    Quantifying feedbacks between the global carbon cycle and Earth's climate system is important for predicting future atmospheric CO2 levels and informing carbon management and energy policies. We applied a feedback analysis framework to three sets of Historical (1850-2005), Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (2006-2100), and its extension (2101-2300) simulations from the Community Earth System Model version 1.0 (CESM1(BGC)) to quantify drivers of terrestrial and ocean responses of carbon uptake. In the biogeochemically coupled simulation (BGC), the effects of CO2 fertilization and nitrogen deposition influenced marine and terrestrial carbon cycling. In the radiatively coupled simulation (RAD), the effects of rising temperature and circulation changes due to radiative forcing from CO2, other greenhouse gases, and aerosols were the sole drivers of carbon cycle changes. In the third, fully coupled simulation (FC), both the biogeochemical and radiative coupling effects acted simultaneously. We found that climate-carbon sensitivities derived from RAD simulations produced a net ocean carbon storage climate sensitivity that was weaker and a net land carbon storage climate sensitivity that was stronger than those diagnosed from the FC and BGC simulations. For the ocean, this nonlinearity was associated with warming-induced weakening of ocean circulation and mixing that limited exchange of dissolved inorganic carbon between surface and deeper water masses. For the land, this nonlinearity was associated with strong gains in gross primary production in the FC simulation, driven by enhancements in the hydrological cycle and increased nutrient availability. We developed and applied a nonlinearity metric to rank model responses and driver variables. The climate-carbon cycle feedback gain at 2300 was 42% higher when estimated from climate-carbon sensitivities derived from the difference between FC and BGC than when derived from RAD. These differences are important to

  3. Early terrestrial impact events: Archean spherule layers in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozdemir, Seda; Koeberl, Christian; Schulz, Toni; Reimold, W. Uwe; Hofmann, Axel

    2015-04-01

    In addition to the oldest known impact structure on Earth, the 2.02-billion-year-old Vredefort Structure in South Africa, the evidence of Early Earth impact events are Archean spherule beds in South Africa and Australia. These spherules have been interpreted as condensation products from impact plumes and molten impact ejecta or/and impact ejecta that were melted during atmospheric re-entry [e.g., 1,2]. The 3.2-3.5 Ga spherule layers in the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa currently represent the oldest known remnants of impact deposits on Earth. Aiming at identification of extraterrestrial components and to determine the diagenetic and metamorphic history of spherule layer intersections recently recovered in the CT3 drill core from the northeastern part of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, we have studied samples from these layers in terms of petrography and geochemistry. All samples, including spherule layer intersections and intercalating country rocks, were studied for mineral identification by optical and electron microscopy, as well as electron microprobe analysis (EPMA) at Natural History Museum Vienna and Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (MfN). Major and trace element compositions were determined via X-ray fluorescence spectrometry at MfN and instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) at University of Vienna. Os isotopes were measured by thermal ionization mass spectrometry (N-TIMS) at University of Vienna. Eighteen spherule beds are distributed over 150 meter drill core in CT3. Spherules are variably, deformed or undeformed. The high number of these layers may have been caused by tectonic duplication. Spherule beds are intercalated with shale, chert, carbonate, and/or sulfide deposits (country rocks). The size range of spherules is 0.5 to 2 mm, and some layers exhibit gradation. Shapes of spherules differ from spherical to ovoid, as well as teardrops, and spherules commonly show off-center vesicles, which have been interpreted as a primary

  4. A Study of the Abundance and 13C/12C Ratio of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide to Advance the Scientific Understanding of Terrestrial Processes Regulating the Global Carbon Cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Stephen C. Piper

    2005-10-15

    The primary goal of our research program, consistent with the goals of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and funded by the terrestrial carbon processes (TCP) program of DOE, has been to improve understanding of changes in the distribution and cycling of carbon among the active land, ocean and atmosphere reservoirs, with particular emphasis on terrestrial ecosystems. Our approach is to systematically measure atmospheric CO2 to produce time series data essential to reveal temporal and spatial patterns. Additional measurements of the 13C/12C isotopic ratio of CO2 provide a basis for distinguishing organic and inorganic processes. To pursue the significance of these patterns further, our research also involved interpretations of the observations by models, measurements of inorganic carbon in sea water, and of CO2 in air near growing land plants.

  5. Photochemistry of methane and the formation of hydrocyanic acid (HCN) in the earth's early atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zahnle, K. J.

    1986-01-01

    A one-dimensional photochemical model is used to analyze the photochemistries of CH4 and HCN in the primitive terrestrial atmosphere. CH4, N2, and HCN photolysis are examined. The background atmosphere and boundary conditions applied in the analysis are described. The formation of HCN as a by-product of N2 and CH4 photolysis is investigated; the effects of photodissociation and rainfall on HCN is discussed. The low and high CH4 mixing ratios and radical densities are studied.

  6. Composition of early planetary atmospheres - I. Connecting disc astrochemistry to the formation of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cridland, A. J.; Pudritz, R. E.; Alessi, M.

    2016-09-01

    We present a model of the early chemical composition and elemental abundances of planetary atmospheres based on the cumulative gaseous chemical species that are accreted on to planets forming by core accretion from evolving protoplanetary discs. The astrochemistry of the host disc is computed using an ionization-driven, non-equilibrium chemistry network within viscously evolving disc models. We accrete gas giant planets whose orbital evolution is controlled by planet traps using the standard core accretion model and track the chemical composition of the material that is accreted on to the protoplanet. We choose a fiducial disc model and evolve planets in three traps - water ice line, dead zone and heat transition. For a disc with a lifetime of 4.1 Myr, we produce two hot Jupiters (M = 1.43, 2.67 MJupiter, r = 0.15, 0.11 au) in the heat transition and ice line trap and one failed core (M = 0.003 MJupiter, r = 3.7 au) in the dead zone. These planets are found with mixing ratios for CO and H2O of 1.99 × 10-4 and 5.0 × 10-4, respectively, for both hot Jupiters. Additionally, for these planets we find CO2 and CH4, with mixing ratios of 1.8 × 10-6 → 9.8 × 10-10 and 1.1 × 10-8 → 2.3 × 10-10, respectively. These ranges correspond well with the mixing ratio ranges that have been inferred through the detection of emission spectra from hot Jupiters by multiple authors. We compute a carbon-to-oxygen ratio of 0.227 for the ice line planet and 0.279 for the heat transition planet. These planets accreted their gas inside the ice line, hence the sub-solar C/O.

  7. Seasonal exchange of carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the terrestrial biosphere: extrapolation from site-specific models to regional models

    SciTech Connect

    King, A.W.

    1986-01-01

    Ecological models of the seasonal exchange of carbon dioxide (CO/sub 2/) between the atmosphere and the terrestrial biosphere are needed in the study of changes in atmospheric CO/sub 2/ concentration. In response to this need, a set of site-specific models of seasonal terrestrial carbon dynamics was assembled from open-literature sources. The collection was chosen as a base for the development of biome-level models for each of the earth's principal terrestrial biomes or vegetation complexes. The primary disadvantage of this approach is the problem of extrapolating the site-specific models across large regions having considerable biotic, climatic, and edaphic heterogeneity. Two methods of extrapolation were tested. The first approach was a simple extrapolation that assumed relative within-biome homogeneity, and generated CO/sub 2/ source functions that differed dramatically from published estimates of CO/sub 2/ exchange. The second extrapolation explicitly incorporated within-biome variability in the abiotic variables that drive seasonal biosphere-atmosphere CO/sub 2/ exchange.

  8. Removal of CO2 from the terrestrial atmosphere to curtail global warming: From methodology to laboratory prototype

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orton, Andrea E.

    This research has focused on the initial phase of required investigations in pursuit of a global scale methodology for reduction of CO 2 in terrestrial air for the purpose of curtailment of global warming. This methodology was initially presented by Agee, Orton, and Rogers (2013), and has provided the basis for pursuing this thesis research. The first objective of the research project was to design and build a laboratory prototype system, capable of depleting CO2 from terrestrial air at 1 bar of pressure through LN2 refrigeration. Design considerations included a 26.5L cylindrical Pyrex glass sequestration chamber, a container to hold a reservoir of LN2 and an interface between the two to allow for cooling and instrumentation ports for measurements inside the sequestration chamber. Further, consideration was given to the need for appropriate insulating material to enclose the assembled apparatus to help achieve efficient cooling and the threshold depositional temperature of 135 K. The Amy Facility in the Department of Chemistry provided critical expertise to machine the apparatus to specifications, especially the stainless steel interface plate. Research into available insulating materials resulted in the adaption of TRYMER RTM 2500 Polyisocyanurate, effective down to 90 K. The above described DAC prototype designed for CO2 sequestration accomplished two of the initial research objectives investigated: 1) conduct refrigeration experiments to achieve CO2 terrestrial deposition temperature of 135 K (uniformly) and 2) deplete CO2 from the chamber air at 1 bar of pressure, documented by appropriate measurements. It took approximately 5.5 hours for the chamber to be completely uniform in temperature of 135 K (and below) through the use of LN2 poured into the container sitting on an aluminum interface on top of the sequestration Pyrex chamber. As expected, Rayleigh-Taylor instability (more dense fluid over less dense fluid) was observed through the duration of the

  9. Climatic consequences of very high carbon dioxide levels in the earth's early atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Kasting, J F; Ackerman, T P

    1986-12-12

    The possible consequences of very high carbon dioxide concentrations in the earth's early atmosphere have been investigated with a radiative-convective climate model. The early atmosphere would apparently have been stable against the onset of a runaway greenhouse (that is, the complete evaporation of the oceans) for carbon dioxide pressures up to at least 100 bars. A 10- to 20-bar carbon dioxide atmosphere, such as may have existed during the first several hundred million years of the earth's history, would have had a surface temperature of approximately 85 degrees to 110 degrees C. The early stratosphere should have been dry, thereby precluding the possibility of an oxygenic prebiotic atmosphere caused by photodissociation of water vapor followed by escape of hydrogen to space. Earth's present atmosphere also appears to be stable against a carbon dioxide-induced runaway greenhouse. PMID:11539665

  10. Long-range atmospheric transport of terrestrial biomarkers by the Asian winter monsoon: Evidence from fresh snow from Sapporo, northern Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamamoto, Shinya; Kawamura, Kimitaka; Seki, Osamu

    2011-07-01

    Molecular distributions of terrestrial biomarkers were investigated in fresh snow samples from Sapporo, northern Japan, to better understand the long-range atmospheric transport of terrestrial organic matter by the Asian winter monsoon. Stable carbon (δ 13C) and hydrogen (δD) isotope ratios of C 22-C 28n-alkanoic acids were also measured to decipher their source regions. The snow samples are found to contain higher plant-derived n-alkanes, n-alkanols and n-alkanoic acids as major components. Relative abundances of these three biomarker classes suggest that they are likely derived from higher plants in the Asian continent. The C 27/C 31 ratios of terrestrial n-alkanes in the snow samples range from 1.3 to 5.5, being similar to those of the plants growing in the latitudes >40°N of East Asia. The δ 13C values of the n-alkanoic acids in the snow samples (-33.4 to -27.6‰) are similar to those of typical C 3 gymnosperm from Sapporo (-34.9 to -29.3‰). However, the δD values of the n-alkanoic acids (-208 to -148‰) are found to be significantly depleted with deuterium (by ˜72‰) than those of plant leaves from Sapporo. Such depletion can be most likely interpreted by the long-range atmospheric transport of the n-alkanoic acids from vegetation in the latitudes further north of Sapporo because the δD values of terrestrial higher plants tend to decrease northward in East Asia reflecting the δD of precipitation. Together with the results of backward trajectory analyses, this study suggests that the terrestrial biomarkers in the Sapporo snow samples are likely transported from Siberia, Russian Far East and northeast China to northern Japan by the Asian winter monsoon.

  11. Early harvest: The upper atmosphere and cosmic rays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    Achievements in space science through 1958 are summarized. Topics discussed are: the scheduling of V-2 flights; the development of newer rockets; the testing of spaceborne instruments; the seeking of financial support for space research; and the problems of international cooperation. Special emphasis is placed on atmospheric sounding.

  12. Beyond the atmosphere: Early years of space science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newell, H. E.

    1980-01-01

    From the rocket measurements of the upper atmosphere and Sun that began in 1946, space science gradually emerged as a new field of scientific activity. The course of the United State space program is viewed in an historical context. Major emphasis is on NASA and its programs. The funding, staffing, organization, and priorities of the space program were reviewed.

  13. Biological modulation of planetary atmospheres: The early Earth scenario

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schidlowski, M.

    1985-01-01

    The establishment and subsequent evolution of life on Earth had a profound impact on the chemical regime at the planet's surface and its atmosphere. A thermodynamic gradient was imposed on near-surface environments that served as the driving force for a number on important geochemical transformations. An example is the redox imbalance between the modern atmosphere and the material of the Earth's crust. Current photochemical models predict extremely low partial pressures of oxygen in the Earth's prebiological atmosphere. There is widespread consensus that any large-scale oxygenation of the primitive atmosphere was contingent on the advent of biological (autotrophic) carbon fixation. It is suggested that photoautotrophy existed both as a biochemical process and as a geochemical agent since at least 3.8 Ga ago. Combining the stoichiometry of the photosynthesis reaction with a carbon isotope mass balance and current concepts for the evolution of the stationary sedimentary mass as a funion of time, it is possible to quantify, the accumulation of oxygen and its photosynthetic oxidation equivalents through Earth history.

  14. Water loss from Venus: Implications for the Earth's early atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richardson, S. M.; Pollack, J. B.; Reynolds, R. T.

    1985-01-01

    The atmosphere of Venus outgassed rapidly as a result of planetary heating during accretion, resulting in massive water loss. The processes affecting atmospheric chemistry following accretion have consisted largely of hydrogen escape and internal re-equilibrium. The initial bulk composition of Venus and Earth are assumed to have been roughly similar. Chemical speciation on Venus was controlled by the temperature and oxygen buffering capacity of the surface magma. It is also assumed that the surfaces of planetary bodies of the inner solar system were partly or wholly molten during accretion with a temperature estimated at 1273 to 1573 K. To investigate the range of reasonable initial atmospheric compositions on Venus, limits have to be set for the proportion of total hydrogen and the buffered fugacity of oxygen. Using the C/H ratio of 0.033 set for Earth, virtually all of the water generated during outgassing must later have been lost in order to bring the current CO2/H2O ratio for Venus up to its observed value of 10 sup 4 to 10 sup 5. The proportion of H2O decreases in model atmospheres with successfully higher C/H values, ultimately approaching the depleted values currently observed on Venus. Increasing C/H also results in a rapid increase in CO/H2O and provides an efficient mechanism for water loss by the reaction CO+H2O = CO2 + H2. This reaction, plus water loss mechanisms involving crustal iron, could have removed a very large volume of water from the Venusian atmosphere, even at a low C/H value.

  15. Early archean spherule beds in the Barberton mountain land, South Africa: Impact or terrestrial origin?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reimold, Wolf Uwe; Koeberl, Christian; Johnson, Steven; McDonald, Iain

    The origin of multiple spherule-rich layers of millimeter to meter width, all occurring within the transition from the Fig Tree to the Onverwacht Group of the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa, has been strongly debated during the last decade. One school subscribes to an origin by large meteorite impact, whereas others have preferred terrestrial processes. In particular, strong enrichments in siderophile elements, especially Ir, and chondrite-like PGE patterns for spherule layer samples have been cited as evidence favoring an impact origin. Recently, Cr isotopic signatures obtained for samples from two spherule layers have provided further support for this hypothesis. In contrast, our group has emphasized that secondary hydrothermal processes have pervasively overprinted the whole stratigraphy at this transition. Ir concentrations up to 5 times chondritic are suspect as primary impact-produced signatures. Here, we report new petrographic and geochemical data for samples from spherulitic horizons marking the S2 layer and from interlayered BIF, chert, and mudstone strata. In contrast to earlier work, the new samples were obtained from outside of the gold-sulfide mineralized ore zone on Agnes Mine. Both spherule and country rock samples are enriched in siderophile elements, with up to >1500 ppb Ir. Some of the highest values are related to clearly secondary fault and shear zone deposits. Chrome-spinel in spherule layers is often zoned. A proton microprobe study identified in one case the mineral gersdorffite, of likely secondary origin, as a carrier phase for Ir, whereas in other samples Ir must be contained in matrix silicates. New PGE analyses for more or less sulfidemineralized samples yielded uniformly flat, near-chondritic patterns.

  16. Differentiating pedogenesis from diagenesis in early terrestrial paleoweathering surfaces formed on granitic composition parent materials

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Driese, S.G.; Medaris, L.G., Jr.; Ren, M.; Runkel, Anthony C.; Langford, R.P.

    2007-01-01

    Unconformable surfaces separating Precambrian crystalline basement and overlying Proterozoic to Cambrian sedimentary rocks provide an exceptional opportunity to examine the role of primitive soil ecosystems in weathering and resultant formation of saprolite (weathered rock retaining rock structure) and regolith (weathered rock without rock structure), but many appear to have been affected by burial diagenesis and hydrothermal fluid flow, leading some researchers to discount their suitability for such studies. We examine one modern weathering profile (Cecil series), four Cambrian paleoweathering profiles from the North American craton (Squaw Creek, Franklin Mountains, Core SQ-8, and Core 4), one Neoproterozoic profile (Sheigra), and one late Paleoproterozoic profile (Baraboo), to test the hypothesis that these paleoweathering profiles do provide evidence of primitive terrestrial weathering despite their diagenetic and hydrothermal overprinting, especially additions of potassium. We employ an integrated approach using (1) detailed thin-section investigations to identify characteristic pedogenic features associated with saprolitization and formation of well-drained regoliths, (2) electron microprobe analysis to identify specific weathered and new mineral phases, and (3) geochemical mass balance techniques to characterize volume changes during weathering and elemental gains and losses of major and minor elements relative to the inferred parent materials. There is strong pedogenic evidence of paleoweathering, such as clay illuviation, sepic-plasmic fabrics, redoximorphic features, and dissolution and alteration of feldspars and mafic minerals to kaolinite, gibbsite, and Fe oxides, as well as geochemical evidence, such as whole-rock losses of Na, Ca, Mg, Si, Sr, Fe, and Mn greater than in modern profiles. Evidence of diagenesis includes net additions of K, Ba, and Rb determined through geochemical mass balance, K-feldspar overgrowths in overlying sandstone sections, and

  17. Early results from a terrestrial-marine BGC coupling study in Southeast Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fatland, D. R.; Vermilyea, A.; Spencer, R. G.; Hood, E. W.; Stubbins, A.

    2010-12-01

    In 2010 we began a long-term comparative study of watershed contributions to coastal marine nutrients in the northeast Pacific from a modest deployment of sensors combined with sample analysis. The preliminary results presented here establish a baseline for defining and subsequently tracking physical system parameters relevant to marine productivity over two decades, in two contexts: First in the context of research by Hood and others: Comparing glacier-covered to un-glaciated watershed output in a Lagrangian sense of particle and parcel transport. Second, in a more Eulerian sense: How will impact on coastal marine ecosystems from changing terrestrial freshwater input compare over decades to that of changes in physical parameters like pH, upwelling nutrient supply along the continental shelf and temperature? In our initial efforts we trolled two estuary plumes pulling samples for laboratory analysis and operating in situ sensors in tandem with GPS while other in situ sensors collected data from within source rivers (Eagle River and Peterson Creek near Juneau, AK, in respectively glaciated and forested watersheds). The strategy is to produce comparable synoptic datasets across the freshwater-marine mixing regime of the plume using salinity as a mixing proxy. Initial datasets include CDOM, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, chlorophyll-A, and (from samples) total organic carbon, total nitrogen, absorption spectra and excitation-emission matrices. Future work will expand this list to include mass spectrometer and NMR data. In working with this synoptic dataset we are faced with both curation and interpretation challenges; hence a primary objective of the project is to use the trans-disciplinary and data-intensive nature of the research problem set to motivate technology adoption. We have in mind here the notion of electronic publication (exemplified in this AGU poster) that permits collaborators and readers to reach back into source data and trace the origins and processes

  18. Contributions of icy planetesimals to the Earth's early atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Owen, T C; Bar-Nun, A

    2001-01-01

    Laboratory experiments on the trapping of gases by ice forming at low temperatures implicate comets as major carriers of the heavy noble gases to the inner planets. These icy planetesimals may also have brought the nitrogen compounds that ultimately produced atmospheric N2. However, if the sample of three comets analyzed so far is typical, the Earth's oceans cannot have been produced by comets alone, they require an additional source of water with low D/H. The highly fractionated neon in the Earth's atmosphere may also indicate the importance of non-icy carriers of volatiles. The most important additional carrier is probably the rocky material comprising the bulk of the mass of these planets. Venus may require a contribution from icy planetesimals formed at the low temperatures characteristic of the Kuiper Belt. PMID:11599179

  19. Radiative transfer in CO2-rich atmospheres: 1. Collisional line mixing implies a colder early Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozak, N.; Aharonson, O.; Halevy, I.

    2016-06-01

    Fast and accurate radiative transfer methods are essential for modeling CO2-rich atmospheres, relevant to the climate of early Earth and Mars, present-day Venus, and some exoplanets. Although such models already exist, their accuracy may be improved as better theoretical and experimental constraints become available. Here we develop a unidimensional radiative transfer code for CO2-rich atmospheres, using the correlated k approach and with a focus on modeling early Mars. Our model differs from existing models in that it includes the effects of CO2 collisional line mixing in the calculation of the line-by-line absorption coefficients. Inclusion of these effects results in model atmospheres that are more transparent to infrared radiation and, therefore, in colder surface temperatures at radiative-convective equilibrium, compared with results of previous studies. Inclusion of water vapor in the model atmosphere results in negligible warming due to the low atmospheric temperatures under a weaker early Sun, which translate into climatically unimportant concentrations of water vapor. Overall, the results imply that sustained warmth on early Mars would not have been possible with an atmosphere containing only CO2 and water vapor, suggesting that other components of the early Martian climate system are missing from current models or that warm conditions were not long lived.

  20. Early public impressions of terrestrial carbon capture and storage in a coal-intensive state.

    PubMed

    Carley, Sanya R; Krause, Rachel M; Warren, David C; Rupp, John A; Graham, John D

    2012-07-01

    While carbon capture and storage (CCS) is considered to be critical to achieving long-term climate-protection goals, public concerns about the CCS practice could pose significant obstacles to its deployment. This study reports findings from the first state-wide survey of public perceptions of CCS in a coal-intensive state, with an analysis of which factors predict early attitudes toward CCS. Nearly three-quarters of an Indiana sample (N = 1001) agree that storing carbon underground is a good approach to protecting the environment, despite 80% of the sample being unaware of CCS prior to participation in the two-wave survey. The majority of respondents do not hold strong opinions about CCS technology. Multivariate analyses indicate that support for CCS is predicted by a belief that humankind contributes to climate change, a preference for increased use of renewable energy, and egalitarian and individualistic worldviews, while opposition to CCS is predicted by self-identified political conservatism and by selective attitudes regarding energy and climate change. Knowledge about early impressions of CCS can help inform near-term technology decisions at state regulatory agencies, utilities, and pipeline companies, but follow-up surveys are necessary to assess how public sentiments evolve in response to image-building efforts with different positions on coal and CCS. PMID:22681614

  1. Early Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystems in East Asia based on food-web and energy-flow models

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Matsukawa, M.; Saiki, K.; Ito, M.; Obata, I.; Nichols, D.J.; Lockley, M.G.; Kukihara, R.; Shibata, K.

    2006-01-01

    In recent years, there has been global interest in the environments and ecosystems around the world. It is helpful to reconstruct past environments and ecosystems to help understand them in the present and the future. The present environments and ecosystems are an evolving continuum with those of the past and the future. This paper demonstrates the contribution of geology and paleontology to such continua. Using fossils, we can make an estimation of past population density as an ecosystem index based on food-web and energy-flow models. Late Mesozoic nonmarine deposits are distributed widely on the eastern Asian continent and contain various kinds of fossils such as fishes, amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, mammals, bivalves, gastropods, insects, ostracodes, conchostracans, terrestrial plants, and others. These fossil organisms are useful for late Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystem reconstruction using food-web and energy-flow models. We chose Early Cretaceous fluvio-lacustrine basins in the Choyr area, southeastern Mongolia, and the Tetori area, Japan, for these analyses and as a potential model for reconstruction of other similar basins in East Asia. The food-web models are restored based on taxa that occurred in these basins. They form four or five trophic levels in an energy pyramid consisting of rich primary producers at its base and smaller biotas higher in the food web. This is the general energy pyramid of a typical ecosystem. Concerning the population densities of vertebrate taxa in 1 km2 in these basins, some differences are recognized between Early Cretaceous and the present. For example, Cretaceous estimates suggest 2.3 to 4.8 times as many herbivores and 26.0 to 105.5 times the carnivore population. These differences are useful for the evaluation of past population densities of vertebrate taxa. Such differences may also be caused by the different metabolism of different taxa. Preservation may also be a factor, and we recognize that various problems occur in

  2. Early MAVEN Results on the Mars Upper Atmosphere and Atmospheric Loss to Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakosky, Bruce; Grebowsky, Joe; Luhmann, Janet

    2015-04-01

    The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft went into orbit around Mars on 21 September 2014. After a commissioning phase that included science observations of Mars and of Comet Siding Spring during its close approach, its primary science phase began on 16 November 2014 and will run for a full Earth year, until November 2015.The science objectives of the MAVEN mission are to characterize the upper atmosphere and ionospheric structure and composition, the interactions of the sun and the solar wind with the planet, and the processes driving loss of gas from the atmosphere to space. Our goal is to understand the chain of processes leading to escape today, learn how to extrapolate back in time, and determine the integrated escape of atmosphere over Martian history.MAVEN has nine instrument sensors collected into eight separate instruments. The first group of instruments measures the properties of the solar wind and of the sun that drive the processes in the upper atmosphere. The second group measures the structure and composition of the upper atmosphere and of the ions in the ionosphere, and also measures isotope ratios that can tell us about the integrated escape to space. In this group, NGIMS measures properties in situ at the location of the spacecraft, and IUVS measures them remotely, providing a powerful combination of local and global measurements. The third group measures the properties of the ionosphere that both drive escape and determine the composition and properties of the escaping ions.The spacecraft and all science instruments are functioning nominally, and science data is being collected utilizing our planned observing scenarios. The first deep-dip campaign is scheduled for the second week of February 2015.By the time of the TESS meeting, we expect to have a preliminary understanding of the instrument behavior, operations, and calibrations. We also expect to have sufficient data collected to allow us to reach preliminary conclusions

  3. Seasonal exchange of carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the terrestrial biosphere: extrapolation from site-specific models to regional models

    SciTech Connect

    King, A.W.

    1986-01-01

    Ecological models of the seasonal exchange of carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the terrestrial biosphere are needed in the study of changes in atmospheric CO/sub 2/ concentration. In response to this need, a set of site-specific models of seasonal terrestrial carbon dynamics was assembled from open-literature sources. The collection was chosen as a base for the development of biome-level models for each of the earth's principal terrestrial biomes or vegetation complexes. Two methods of extrapolation were tested. The first approach was a simple extrapolation that assumed relative within-biome homogeneity, and generated CO/sub 2/ source functions that differed dramatically from published estimates of CO/sub 2/ exchange. The differences were so great that the simple extrapolation was rejected as a means of incorporating site-specific models in a global CO/sub 2/ source function. The second extrapolation explicitly incorporated within-biome variability in the abiotic variables that drive seasonal biosphere-atmosphere CO/sub 2/ exchange. Simulated site-specific CO/sub 2/ dynamics were treated as a function of multiple random variables. The predicated regional CO/sub 2/ exchange is the computed expected value of simulated site-specific exchanges for that region times the area of the region. The test involved the regional extrapolation of tundra and a coniferous forest carbon exchange model. Comparisons between the CO/sub 2/ exchange estimated by extrapolation and published estimates of regional exchange for the latitude belt support the appropriateness of extrapolation by expected value.

  4. Model atmospheres for novae during the early stages

    SciTech Connect

    Wehrse, R.; Hauschildt, P.H. . Inst. fuer Theoretische Astrophysik); Shaviv, G. . Dept. of Physics); Starrfield, S. Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ . Dept. of Physics)

    1989-01-01

    Continuum and line blanketing models for the photospheres of novae in the early stages of their outbursts are presented. The expanding envelopes are characterized by a very slow increase of density with decreasing radius which leads to very large geometrical extensions and large temperature differences between the inner and outer parts. The spectra show a large IR excess and a small Balmer jump which may be either in absorption or in emission. For the parameters considered (T{sub eff} = 10{sup 4}, 1.5 {times} 10{sup 4}, 2 {times} 10{sup 4}K, R = 10{sup 11} cm, solar composition), most lines are in absorption. The effects of both modifications in the temperature structure (e.g. by heating from shock fronts) and changes in the abundances of the heavy elements on the emergent spectra are briefly discussed. 13 refs., 11 figs.

  5. LONG-RANGE ATMOSPHERIC TRANSPORT AND DEPOSITION OF ANTHROPOGENIC CONTAMINANTS AND THEIR POTENTIAL EFFECTS ON TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Through the processes of atmospheric transport and deposition, many anthropogenic contaminants such as industrial organics, pesticides, and trace metals have become widely distributed around the globe. ue to the phenomenon of long-range atmospheric transport, even the most remote...

  6. Early hominin diet included diverse terrestrial and aquatic animals 1.95 Ma in East Turkana, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Braun, David R; Harris, John W K; Levin, Naomi E; McCoy, Jack T; Herries, Andy I R; Bamford, Marion K; Bishop, Laura C; Richmond, Brian G; Kibunjia, Mzalendo

    2010-06-01

    The manufacture of stone tools and their use to access animal tissues by Pliocene hominins marks the origin of a key adaptation in human evolutionary history. Here we report an in situ archaeological assemblage from the Koobi Fora Formation in northern Kenya that provides a unique combination of faunal remains, some with direct evidence of butchery, and Oldowan artifacts, which are well dated to 1.95 Ma. This site provides the oldest in situ evidence that hominins, predating Homo erectus, enjoyed access to carcasses of terrestrial and aquatic animals that they butchered in a well-watered habitat. It also provides the earliest definitive evidence of the incorporation into the hominin diet of various aquatic animals including turtles, crocodiles, and fish, which are rich sources of specific nutrients needed in human brain growth. The evidence here shows that these critical brain-growth compounds were part of the diets of hominins before the appearance of Homo ergaster/erectus and could have played an important role in the evolution of larger brains in the early history of our lineage. PMID:20534571

  7. Early hominin diet included diverse terrestrial and aquatic animals 1.95 Ma in East Turkana, Kenya

    PubMed Central

    Braun, David R.; Harris, John W. K.; Levin, Naomi E.; McCoy, Jack T.; Herries, Andy I. R.; Bamford, Marion K.; Bishop, Laura C.; Richmond, Brian G.; Kibunjia, Mzalendo

    2010-01-01

    The manufacture of stone tools and their use to access animal tissues by Pliocene hominins marks the origin of a key adaptation in human evolutionary history. Here we report an in situ archaeological assemblage from the Koobi Fora Formation in northern Kenya that provides a unique combination of faunal remains, some with direct evidence of butchery, and Oldowan artifacts, which are well dated to 1.95 Ma. This site provides the oldest in situ evidence that hominins, predating Homo erectus, enjoyed access to carcasses of terrestrial and aquatic animals that they butchered in a well-watered habitat. It also provides the earliest definitive evidence of the incorporation into the hominin diet of various aquatic animals including turtles, crocodiles, and fish, which are rich sources of specific nutrients needed in human brain growth. The evidence here shows that these critical brain-growth compounds were part of the diets of hominins before the appearance of Homo ergaster/erectus and could have played an important role in the evolution of larger brains in the early history of our lineage. PMID:20534571

  8. Greenhouse warming by CH4 in the atmosphere of early Earth.

    PubMed

    Pavlov, A A; Kasting, J F; Brown, L L; Rages, K A; Freedman, R

    2000-05-25

    Earth appears to have been warm during its early history despite the faintness of the young Sun. Greenhouse warming by gaseous CO2 and H2O by itself is in conflict with constraints on atmospheric CO2 levels derived from paleosols for early Earth. Here we explore whether greenhouse warming by methane could have been important. We find that a CH4 mixing ratio of 10(-4) (100 ppmv) or more in Earth's early atmosphere would provide agreement with the paleosol data from 2.8 Ga. Such a CH4 concentration could have been readily maintained by methanogenic bacteria, which are thought to have been an important component of the biota at that time. Elimination of the methane component of the greenhouse by oxidation of the atmosphere at about 2.3-2.4 Ga could have triggered the Earth's first widespread glaciation. PMID:11543544

  9. Terrestrial Planets: Comparative Planetology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    Papers were presented at the 47th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting on the Comparative planetology of Terrestrial Planets. Subject matter explored concerning terrestrial planets includes: interrelationships among planets; plaentary evolution; planetary structure; planetary composition; planetary Atmospheres; noble gases in meteorites; and planetary magnetic fields.

  10. Role of land atmosphere interactions in WCRP - overview of the terrestrial component of GEWEX and the observing networks and field campaigns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Try, P.

    2002-06-01

    ). A West African campaign is also in the planning stages. All of these GEWEX components have elements that consider and address the carbon aspects of the land-atmosphere interactions and GEWEX has two integrating projects to facilitate these activities: the International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Project (ISLSCP) and the Global Land Atmosphere System Study (GLASS). ISLSCP focuses on the field campaigns, data sets and role of carbon exchange in the land-atmosphere coupling while GLASS focuses on the integration and parameterization of key land-atmosphere features in the full range of modelling activities. The major focus of ISLSCP is to improve our understanding of how carbon, energy and water are exchanged between the atmosphere and the terrestrial biosphere as an important component in understanding and predicting climate change. This is done by ISLSCP with the following objectives: -- Demonstrate the types of surface and near-surface satellite measurements that are relevant to climate and global change studies. -- Develop and improve algorithms for the interpretation of satellite measurements of land-surface features. -- Develop methods to validate area-averaged quantities derived from satellite measurements for climate simulation models. -- Prepare the groundwork for future operational production of landsurface data sets, which can be directly applied to climate problems. GEWEX also plays a vital role in the new WCRP-IGBP-IHDP joint Carbon Initiative and there are a series of new developments that impact the new carbon studies related to the interdisciplinary aspects of coupled land-atmosphere-ocean modelling and global observations. The new satellite spectrometer-interferometer instrumentation, improved land-atmosphere coupling in models and new carbon treatment and transport within global atmospheric models, all relate to the overall need for an improved integrated view of the global carbon-ocean-land-atmosphere interactions based on new observations and

  11. Effect of O3 on the atmospheric temperature structure of early Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Paris, P.; Selsis, F.; Godolt, M.; Grenfell, J. L.; Rauer, H.; Stracke, B.

    2015-09-01

    Ozone is an important radiative trace gas in the Earth's atmosphere and has also been detected on Venus and Mars. The presence of ozone can significantly influence the thermal structure of an atmosphere due to absorption of stellar UV radiation, and by this e.g. cloud formation. Photochemical studies suggest that ozone can form in carbon dioxide-rich atmospheres. Therefore, we investigate the effect of ozone on the temperature structure of simulated early martian atmospheres. With a 1D radiative-convective model, we calculate temperature-pressure profiles for a 1 bar carbon dioxide atmosphere containing various amounts of ozone. These ozone profiles are fixed, parameterized profiles. We vary the location of the ozone layer maximum and the concentration at this maximum. The maximum is placed at different pressure levels in the upper and middle atmosphere (1-10 mbar). Results suggest that the impact of ozone on surface temperatures is relatively small. However, the planetary albedo significantly decreases at large ozone concentrations. Throughout the middle and upper atmospheres, temperatures increase upon introducing ozone due to strong UV absorption. This heating of the middle atmosphere strongly reduces the zone of carbon dioxide condensation, hence the potential formation of carbon dioxide clouds. For high ozone concentrations, the formation of carbon dioxide clouds is inhibited in the entire atmosphere. In addition, due to the heating of the middle atmosphere, the cold trap is located at increasingly higher pressures when increasing ozone. This leads to wetter stratospheres hence might increase water loss rates on early Mars. However, increased stratospheric H2O would lead to more HOx, which could efficiently destroy ozone by catalytic cycles, essentially self-limiting the increase of ozone. This result emphasizes the need for consistent climate-chemistry calculations to assess the feedback between temperature structure, water content and ozone chemistry

  12. Climatic effects of enhanced CO2 levels in Mars early atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, James F.

    1987-01-01

    Results are presented of one-dimensional radiation convection modeling of the early Mars atmosphere. Up to 5 bars of CO2 would have been required to raise the surface temperature (orbitally and globally averaged) above the freezing point, although at the equator at perihelion, 1 bar would have sufficed. Such an atmospheric CO2 invertory, the author argued, is not inconsistent with any known constraint on Mars' degassed volatile inventory.

  13. Integrated Estimates of Global Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration

    SciTech Connect

    Thomson, Allison M.; Izaurralde, R Cesar; Smith, Steven J.; Clarke, Leon E.

    2008-02-01

    Assessing the contribution of terrestrial carbon sequestration to international climate change mitigation requires integration across scientific and disciplinary boundaries. As part of a scenario analysis for the US Climate Change Technology Program, measurements and geographic data were used to develop terrestrial carbon sequestration estimates for agricultural soil carbon, reforestation and pasture management. These estimates were then applied in the MiniCAM integrated assessment model to evaluate mitigation strategies within policy and technology scenarios aimed at achieving atmospheric CO2 stabilization by 2100. Adoption of terrestrial sequestration practices is based on competition for land and economic markets for carbon. Terrestrial sequestration reach a peak combined rate of 0.5 to 0.7 Gt carbon yr-1 in mid-century with contributions from agricultural soil (0.21 Gt carbon yr-1), reforestation (0.31 Gt carbon yr-1) and pasture (0.15 Gt carbon yr-1). Sequestration rates vary over time period and with different technology and policy scenarios. The combined contribution of terrestrial sequestration over the next century ranges from 31 to 41 GtC. The contribution of terrestrial sequestration to mitigation is highest early in the century, reaching up to 20% of total carbon mitigation. This analysis provides insight into the behavior of terrestrial carbon mitigation options in the presence and absence of climate change mitigation policies.

  14. Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackwell, Stephen J.; Simon-Miller, Amy A.; Harder, Jerald W.; Bullock, Mark A.

    Public awareness of climate change on Earth is currently very high, promoting significant interest in atmospheric processes. We are fortunate to live in an era where it is possible to study the climates of many planets, including our own, using spacecraft and groundbased observations as well as advanced computational power that allows detailed modeling. Planetary atmospheric dynamics and structure are all governed by the same basic physics. Thus differences in the input variables (such as composition, internal structure, and solar radiation) among the known planets provide a broad suite of natural laboratory settings for gaining new understanding of these physical processes and their outcomes. Diverse planetary settings provide insightful comparisons to atmospheric processes and feedbacks on Earth, allowing a greater understanding of the driving forces and external influences on our own planetary climate. They also inform us in our search for habitable environments on planets orbiting distant stars, a topic that was a focus of Exoplanets, the preceding book in the University of Arizona Press Space Sciences Series. Quite naturally, and perhaps inevitably, our fascination with climate is largely driven toward investigating the interplay between the early development of life and the presence of a suitable planetary climate. Our understanding of how habitable planets come to be begins with the worlds closest to home. Venus, Earth, and Mars differ only modestly in their mass and distance from the Sun, yet their current climates could scarcely be more divergent. Our purpose for this book is to set forth the foundations for this emerging science and to bring to the forefront our current understanding of atmospheric formation and climate evolution. Although there is significant comparison to be made to atmospheric processes on nonterrestrial planets in our solar system — the gas and ice giants — here we focus on the terrestrial planets, leaving even broader comparisons

  15. Xenological constraints on the impact erosion of the early Martian atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zahnle, K. J.

    1993-06-01

    This paper considers impact erosion as the agent of the early Martian atmophere escape, by examining xenon-related constraints imposed on the impact erosion. It is found that, if impact erosion of a planetary atmosphere is important, the remnant atmosphere is likely to fall into one of two qualitatively distinct categories: (1) cometary xenon has an unexpected isotopic composition or (2) factors other than impacts, such as outgassing or recycling, are needed. Neither of these categories can readily account for the present Martian atmosphere.

  16. Paleoceanographic Implications of the Terrestrial Carbon-Isotope Record of the Early Toarcian (Jurassic) Oceanic Anoxic Event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hesselbo, S.; Jenkyns, H. C.; Duarte, L. V.

    2005-12-01

    Macrofossil wood in two European sections representing the Toarcian (Early Jurassic) Oceanic Anoxic Event (OAE) have previously been shown to exhibit a large (~ -6 to -7 %) shift in d13C values which has been interpreted as a massive and geologically short-lived perturbation to the global carbon cycle. This interpretation has recently been challenged on the basis of a compilation of carbon-isotope data from belemnites collected from sections in northern Europe that exhibit carbon isotope values that are heavier than expected at the peak of the OAE. Here we present new carbon isotope measurements from wood collected from a marine record of the early Toarcian at Peniche, Portugal, a section currently under consideration as a GSSP for the base of the Toarcian. A large negative excursion (~ -7%) is confirmed for the OAE in these samples. These cannot have been severely impregnated by hydrocarbons of marine origin and the ages are well defined by ammonite biostratigraphy and by Sr-isotope stratigraphy. Carbon-isotope data is also presented for an early diagenetic silica nodule that formed within jet from the Toarcian of the Yorkshire coast, northeast England; values are indistinguishable from those of stratigraphically equivalent jet samples from which solvent extractable hydrocarbons had been removed. Thus, the early Toarcian negative carbon-isotope excursion is confirmed as a phenomenon of the global shallow-ocean, biosphere and atmosphere. It is likely that the anomalously heavy values obtained from belemnites from the OAE interval derive their isotopic signature from localized and possibly seasonal water masses characterized by dissolved inorganic carbon strongly enriched in heavy carbon by very high organic productivity.

  17. Study of the Role of Terrestrial Processes in the Carbon Cycle Based on Measurements of the Abundance and Isotopic Composition of Atmospheric CO2

    SciTech Connect

    Piper, Stephen C; Keeling, Ralph F

    2012-01-03

    The main objective of this project was to continue research to develop carbon cycle relationships related to the land biosphere based on remote measurements of atmospheric CO2 concentration and its isotopic ratios 13C/12C, 18O/16O, and 14C/12C. The project continued time-series observations of atmospheric carbon dioxide and isotopic composition begun by Charles D. Keeling at remote sites, including Mauna Loa, the South Pole, and eight other sites. Using models of varying complexity, the concentration and isotopic measurements were used to study long-term change in the interhemispheric gradients in CO2 and 13C/12C to assess the magnitude and evolution of the northern terrestrial carbon sink, to study the increase in amplitude of the seasonal cycle of CO2, to use isotopic data to refine constraints on large scale changes in isotopic fractionation which may be related to changes in stomatal conductance, and to motivate improvements in terrestrial carbon cycle models. The original proposal called for a continuation of the new time series of 14C measurements but subsequent descoping to meet budgetary constraints required termination of measurements in 2007.

  18. Production of nitrogen oxides by lightning in a methane-rich early atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Navarro, Karina; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; McKay, Christopher

    2013-04-01

    The composition of the early Earth's atmosphere is not known. Assuming that rapid weathering of fragments from impacts took placed and efficient sequestration of carbon occurred in the Earth's mantle, the early atmosphere would have been mostly composed of molecular nitrogen with low concentrations of carbon dioxide (less than percent). In order preserve the existence of oceans, it is required to warm up the atmosphere almost exclusively with methane [1]. Predicted methane concentrations in the distant past range from few ppm to several thousand ppm. Photochemical models predict a production rate of hydrogen cyanide of the order of 6 Tg/yr in a 3 percent carbon dioxide atmosphere with 1000 ppm of methane [2]. When the atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide dropped to 0.3 percent but with the methane levels of 1000 ppm, the production rate of hydrogen cyanide increased up to 20 Tg/yr [2]. The nitrogen fixation rate by lightning in atmospheres dominated bymolecula nitrogen, less than 10 percent carbon dioxide, and the absence of methane has been reported by Navarro-Gonzalez et al. [3]. Here we report an experimental study of the effects of lightning discharges on the nitrogen fixation rate during the evolution of the Earth's early atmosphere from 10 to 0.5percent of carbon dioxide with methane concentrations from 0 to 10,000 ppm in molecular nitrogen. Our results show that the main nitrogen fixation products by lightning are nitric oxide, nitrous oxide and methyl nitrite. Preliminary estimates indicate that the production of nitric oxide is not dependent on the initial concentration of methane and that its production rate decreases from about 0.02 Tg/yr to about 0.003 Tg/yr in atmospheres ranging from 10 to 0.5 percent of carbon dioxide, respectively. Nitrous oxide is produced by lightning is the contemporaneous oxygenated Earth's atmosphere [4], but has not been detected in nitrogen-carbon dioxide mixtures in the absence of oxygen [5]. This is the first report for the

  19. The observational influence of the North Atlantic SST tripole on the early spring atmospheric circulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Zhe; Luo, Feifei; Wan, Jianghua

    2016-03-01

    This study investigated the forcing of the North Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) tripole on the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)-like circulation in early spring (February-April) in observations. Corresponding to an SST tripole forcing in early spring, the atmospheric circulation is very weak and insignificant. However, further analyses indicate that the observational effect of the SST anomalies on the NAO-like circulation is disturbed by the concomitant sea ice anomalies. With the linear effects of sea ice anomalies removed, there is an equivalent barotropic NAO-like circulation in early spring related to a North Atlantic SST tripole.

  20. MODIS-Derived Terrestrial Primary Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Maosheng; Running, Steven; Heinsch, Faith Ann; Nemani, Ramakrishna

    Temporal and spatial changes in terrestrial biological productivity have a large impact on humankind because terrestrial ecosystems not only create environments suitable for human habitation, but also provide materials essential for survival, such as food, fiber and fuel. A recent study estimated that consumption of terrestrial net primary production (NPP; a list of all the acronyms is available in the appendix at the end of the chapter) by the human population accounts for about 14-26% of global NPP (Imhoff et al. 2004). Rapid global climate change is induced by increased atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration, especially CO2, which results from human activities such as fossil fuel combustion and deforestation. This directly impacts terrestrial NPP, which continues to change in both space and time (Melillo et al. 1993; Prentice et al. 2001; Nemani et al. 2003), and ultimately impacts the well-being of human society (Milesi et al. 2005). Additionally, substantial evidence show that the oceans and the biosphere, especially terrestrial ecosystems, currently play a major role in reducing the rate of the atmospheric CO2 increase (Prentice et al. 2001; Schimel et al. 2001). NPP is the first step needed to quantify the amount of atmospheric carbon fixed by plants and accumulated as biomass. Continuous and accurate measurements of terrestrial NPP at the global scale are possible using satellite data. Since early 2000, for the first time, the MODIS sensors onboard the Terra and Aqua satellites, have operationally provided scientists with near real-time global terrestrial gross primary production (GPP) and net photosynthesis (PsnNet) data. These data are provided at 1 km spatial resolution and an 8-day interval, and annual NPP covers 109,782,756 km2 of vegetated land. These GPP, PsnNet and NPP products are collectively known as MOD17 and are part of a larger suite of MODIS land products (Justice et al. 2002), one of the core Earth System or Climate Data Records (ESDR or

  1. Massive impact-induced release of carbon and sulfur gases in the early Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marchi, S.; Black, B. A.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Bottke, W. F.

    2016-09-01

    Recent revisions to our understanding of the collisional history of the Hadean and early-Archean Earth indicate that large collisions may have been an important geophysical process. In this work we show that the early bombardment flux of large impactors (>100 km) facilitated the atmospheric release of greenhouse gases (particularly CO2) from Earth's mantle. Depending on the timescale for the drawdown of atmospheric CO2, the Earth's surface could have been subject to prolonged clement surface conditions or multiple freeze-thaw cycles. The bombardment also delivered and redistributed to the surface large quantities of sulfur, one of the most important elements for life. The stochastic occurrence of large collisions could provide insights on why the Earth and Venus, considered Earth's twin planet, exhibit radically different atmospheres.

  2. Photochemical consequences of enhanced CO2 levels in earth's early atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, J. F.

    1985-01-01

    Greatly enhanced atmospheric CO2 concentrations are the most likely mechanism for offsetting the effects of reduced solar luminosity early in the earth's history. CO2 levels of 80 to 600 times the present value could have maintained a mean surface temperature of 0 C to 15 C, given a 25 percent decrease in solar output. Such high CO2 levels are at least qualitatively consistent with the present understanding of the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle. The presence of large amounts of CO2 has important implications for the composition of the earth's prebiotic atmosphere. The hydrogen budget of a high-CO2 primitive atmosphere would have been strongly influenced by rainout of H2O2 and H2CO. The reaction of H2O2 with dissolved ferrous iron in the early oceans could have been a major sink for atmospheric oxygen. The requirement that this loss of oxygen be balanced by a corresponding loss of hydrogen (by escape to space and rainout of H2CO) implies that the atmospheric H2 mixing ratio was greater than 2 x 10 to the -5th and the ground level O2 mixing ratio was below 10 to the -12th, even if other surface sources of H2 were small. These results are only weakly dependent on changes in solar UV flux, rainout rates, and vertical mixing rates in the primitive atmosphere.

  3. Multiple States in the Vegetation-Atmosphere System during the Early Eocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Port, U.; Claussen, M.

    2014-12-01

    Model simulations suggest that different initial conditions can lead to multiple stable vegetation-atmosphere states in the present-day Sahara. Here, we explore the stability of the vegetation-atmosphere system in the warm, nearly ice-free early Eocene climate. Using the MPI-ESM, we simulate the early Eocene vegetation starting from two different states: Continents are either completely covered by forest or completely barren, devoid of any vegetation. The soil albedo is similar to vegetation albedo. Hence, the albedo effect of vegetation is negligible. Without the albedo effect, the Charney effect which is suggested to cause multiple stable vegetation states in the present-day Sahara is absent. In our simulations, the hydrological effect of vegetation plays the major role. We perform the same simulations with preindustrial conditions to compare the stability of the vegetation-atmosphere system in both climate states. A desert evolves in Central Asia in both early Eocene simulations. This Asian desert is larger when the simulation starts from bare soil instead forest. Bare soil causes a dry climate in Central Asia in the beginning of the simulation. In the dry climate, vegetation does not establish. Forest enhances evaporation relative to bare soil leading to a stronger Asian monsoon and higher precipitation rates. The increased precipitation sustains plant growth and a smaller Asian desert evolves than in the simulation started from bare soil. Moreover, the stronger Asian monsoon affects global climate. Therefore, the two vegetation states in Central Asia accompany two globally different vegetation-atmosphere states. In the preindustrial climate, the Sahara is larger when the initial vegetation is bare soil instead of forest. The same hydrological effect causes the multiple vegetation states the Sahara as in the early Eocene Asian desert. However, the multiple stable vegetation states in the Sahara do not affect the global climate. This result emphasises that the

  4. Coupled Nd-142, Nd-143 and Hf-176 Isotopic Data from 3.6-3.9 Ga Rocks: New Constraints on the Timing of Early Terrestrial Chemical Reservoirs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Vickie C.; Brandon, alan D.; Hiess, Joe; Nutman, Allen P.

    2007-01-01

    Increasingly precise data from a range of isotopic decay schemes, including now extinct parent isotopes, from samples of the Earth, Mars, Moon and meteorites are rapidly revising our views of early planetary differentiation. Recognising Nd-142 isotopic variations in terrestrial rocks (which can only arise from events occurring during the lifetime of now extinct Sm-146 [t(sub 1/2)=103 myr]) has been an on-going quest starting with Harper and Jacobsen. The significance of Nd-142 variations is that they unequivocally reflect early silicate differentiation processes operating in the first 500 myr of Earth history, the key time period between accretion and the beginning of the rock record. The recent establishment of the existence of Nd-142 variations in ancient Earth materials has opened a new range of questions including, how widespread is the evidence of early differentiation, how do Nd-142 compositions vary with time, rock type and geographic setting, and, combined with other types of isotopic and geochemical data, what can Nd-142 isotopic variations reveal about the timing and mechanisms of early terrestrial differentiation? To explore these questions we are determining high precision Nd-142, Nd-143 and Hf-176 isotopic compositions from the oldest well preserved (3.63- 3.87 Ga), rock suites from the extensive early Archean terranes of southwest Greenland and western Australia.

  5. Complex Spatiotemporal Responses of Global Terrestrial Primary Production to Climate Change and Increasing Atmospheric CO2 in the 21st Century

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Shufen; Tian, Hanqin; Dangal, Shree R. S.; Zhang, Chi; Yang, Jia; Tao, Bo; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Wang, Xiaoke; Lu, Chaoqun; Ren, Wei; Banger, Kamaljit; Yang, Qichun; Zhang, Bowen; Li, Xia

    2014-01-01

    Quantitative information on the response of global terrestrial net primary production (NPP) to climate change and increasing atmospheric CO2 is essential for climate change adaptation and mitigation in the 21st century. Using a process-based ecosystem model (the Dynamic Land Ecosystem Model, DLEM), we quantified the magnitude and spatiotemporal variations of contemporary (2000s) global NPP, and projected its potential responses to climate and CO2 changes in the 21st century under the Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES) A2 and B1 of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We estimated a global terrestrial NPP of 54.6 (52.8–56.4) PgC yr−1 as a result of multiple factors during 2000–2009. Climate change would either reduce global NPP (4.6%) under the A2 scenario or slightly enhance NPP (2.2%) under the B1 scenario during 2010–2099. In response to climate change, global NPP would first increase until surface air temperature increases by 1.5°C (until the 2030s) and then level-off or decline after it increases by more than 1.5°C (after the 2030s). This result supports the Copenhagen Accord Acknowledgement, which states that staying below 2°C may not be sufficient and the need to potentially aim for staying below 1.5°C. The CO2 fertilization effect would result in a 12%–13.9% increase in global NPP during the 21st century. The relative CO2 fertilization effect, i.e. change in NPP on per CO2 (ppm) bases, is projected to first increase quickly then level off in the 2070s and even decline by the end of the 2080s, possibly due to CO2 saturation and nutrient limitation. Terrestrial NPP responses to climate change and elevated atmospheric CO2 largely varied among biomes, with the largest increases in the tundra and boreal needleleaf deciduous forest. Compared to the low emission scenario (B1), the high emission scenario (A2) would lead to larger spatiotemporal variations in NPP, and more dramatic and counteracting impacts from climate and

  6. Complex spatiotemporal responses of global terrestrial primary production to climate change and increasing atmospheric CO2 in the 21st century.

    PubMed

    Pan, Shufen; Tian, Hanqin; Dangal, Shree R S; Zhang, Chi; Yang, Jia; Tao, Bo; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Wang, Xiaoke; Lu, Chaoqun; Ren, Wei; Banger, Kamaljit; Yang, Qichun; Zhang, Bowen; Li, Xia

    2014-01-01

    Quantitative information on the response of global terrestrial net primary production (NPP) to climate change and increasing atmospheric CO2 is essential for climate change adaptation and mitigation in the 21st century. Using a process-based ecosystem model (the Dynamic Land Ecosystem Model, DLEM), we quantified the magnitude and spatiotemporal variations of contemporary (2000s) global NPP, and projected its potential responses to climate and CO2 changes in the 21st century under the Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES) A2 and B1 of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We estimated a global terrestrial NPP of 54.6 (52.8-56.4) PgC yr(-1) as a result of multiple factors during 2000-2009. Climate change would either reduce global NPP (4.6%) under the A2 scenario or slightly enhance NPP (2.2%) under the B1 scenario during 2010-2099. In response to climate change, global NPP would first increase until surface air temperature increases by 1.5 °C (until the 2030s) and then level-off or decline after it increases by more than 1.5 °C (after the 2030s). This result supports the Copenhagen Accord Acknowledgement, which states that staying below 2 °C may not be sufficient and the need to potentially aim for staying below 1.5 °C. The CO2 fertilization effect would result in a 12%-13.9% increase in global NPP during the 21st century. The relative CO2 fertilization effect, i.e. change in NPP on per CO2 (ppm) bases, is projected to first increase quickly then level off in the 2070s and even decline by the end of the 2080s, possibly due to CO2 saturation and nutrient limitation. Terrestrial NPP responses to climate change and elevated atmospheric CO2 largely varied among biomes, with the largest increases in the tundra and boreal needleleaf deciduous forest. Compared to the low emission scenario (B1), the high emission scenario (A2) would lead to larger spatiotemporal variations in NPP, and more dramatic and counteracting impacts from climate and increasing

  7. Sulfur in the early martian atmosphere revisited: Experiments with a 3-D Global Climate Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerber, Laura; Forget, François; Wordsworth, Robin

    2015-11-01

    Volcanic SO2 in the martian atmosphere has been invoked as a way to create a sustained or transient greenhouse during early martian history. Many modeling studies have been performed to test the feasibility of this hypothesis, resulting in a range of conclusions, from highly feasible to highly improbable. In this study we perform a wide range of simulations using the 3-D Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique Generic Global Climate Model (GCM) in order to place earlier results into context and to explore the sensitivity of model outcomes to parameters such as SO2 mixing ratio, atmospheric H2O content, background atmospheric pressure, and aerosol size, abundance, and composition. We conclude that SO2 is incapable of creating a sustained greenhouse on early Mars, and that even in the absence of aerosols, local and daily temperatures rise above 273 K for only for limited periods with favorable background CO2 pressures. In the presence of even small amounts of aerosols, the surface is dramatically cooled for realistic aerosol sizes. Brief, mildly warm conditions require the co-occurrence of many improbable factors, while cooling is achieved for a wide range of model parameters. Instead of causing warming, sulfur in the martian atmosphere may have caused substantial cooling, leading to the end of clement climate conditions on early Mars.

  8. Recharge of the early atmosphere of Mars by impact-induced release of CO2

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carr, Michael H.

    1989-01-01

    Channels on the Martian surface suggest that Mars had an early, relatively thick atmosphere. If the atmosphere was thick enough for water to be stable at the surface, CO2 in the atmosphere would have been fixed as carbonates on a relatively short time scale, previously estimated to be 1 bar every 107 years. This loss must have been offset by some replenishment mechanism to account for the numerous valley networks in the oldest surviving terrains. Impacts could have released CO2 into the atmosphere by burial, by shock-induced release during impact events, and by addition of carbon to Mars from the impacting bolides. Depending on the relationship between the transient cavity diameter and the diameter of the resulting crater, burial rates as a result of impact gardening at the end of heavy bombardment are estimated to range from 20 to 45 m/106 years, on the assumption that cratering rates in Mars were similar to those of the Nectarian Period on the Moon. At these rates 0.1-0.2 bar of CO2 could have been released every 107 years as a result of burial to depths where dissociation temperatures of carbonates were reached. Modeling of large impacts suggests that an additional 0.01 to 0.02 bar of CO2 could have been released every 107 years during the actual impacts. In the unlikely event that all the impacting material was composed of carbonaceous chondrites, a further 0.3 bar of CO2 could have been added to the atmosphere every 107 years by oxidation of meteoritic carbon. Even when supplemented by the volcanically induced release of CO2, these release rates are barely sufficient to sustain an early atmosphere if water were continuously present at the surface. The results suggest that water may have been only intermittently present on the surface early in the planet's history.

  9. Loss of Water in Early Earth's Atmosphere and Its Effects on Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Airapetian, Vladimir; Glocer, Alex; Khazanov, George

    2015-08-01

    The short wavelength emission from the Sun has a profound impact on the Earth’s atmosphere. High energy photons ionize the atmosphere and produce photoelectrons. This process provides a major contribution to the acceleration of atmospheric ions due to the vertical separation of ions and electrons, and the formation of the resulting ambipolar electric field. Observations and theory suggest that even a relatively small fraction of super-thermal electrons (photoelectrons) produced due to photoionization can drive the ”polar wind” that is responsible for the transport of ionospheric constituents to the Earth’s magnetosphere.The young Sun was a magnetically active star generating powerful radiative output from its chromosphere, transition region and corona which was a few hundred times greater than that observed today. What effects would the photoionization processes due to the X-ray-UV solar flux from early Sun have on the loss of water from the early Earth?We use the Fokker-Plank code coupled with 1D hydrodynamic code to model the effect of intensive short-wavelength (X-rays to UV band) emission from the young Sun (3.8 and 4.4 Ga) on Earth's atmosphere. Our simulations include the photoionization processes of the Earth’s atmosphere forming a population of photoelectrons (E<600 eV), the kinetic effects of their propagation associated and their contribution in ionosphere - magnetosphere energy redistribution. Our coupled simulations show that the ambipolar electric field can drag atmospheric ions of oxygen and hydrogen to the magnetosphere and produce significant mass loss that can affect the loss of water from the early Earth in the first half a billion years. This process became less efficient in the next 0.2-0.3 Ga that could have provided a window of opportunity for origin of life.

  10. Shock-induced CO2 loss from CaCO3 - Implications for early planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lange, M. A.; Ahrens, T. J.

    1986-01-01

    Recovered samples from shock recovery experiments on single crystal calcite were subjected to thermogravimetric analysis to determine the amount of post-shock CO2, the decarbonization interval and the activation energy, for the removal of remaining CO2 in shock-loaded calcite. Comparison of post-shock CO2 with that initially present determines shock-induced CO2 loss as a function of shock pressure. Incipient to complete CO2 loss occurs over a pressure range of approximately 10 to approximately 70 GPa. Optical and scanning electron microscopy reveal structural changes which are related to the shock-loading. The occurrence of dark, diffuse areas, which can be resolved as highly vesticular areas as observed with a scanning electron microscope are interpreted as representing quenched partial melts, into which shock-released CO2 was injected. The experimental results are used to constrain models of shock-produced, primary CO2 atmospheres on the accreting terrestrial planets.

  11. Shock-induced CO2 loss from CaCO3: Implications for early planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lange, M. A.; Ahrens, T. J.

    1984-01-01

    Recovered samples from shock recovery experiments on single crystal calcite were subjected to thermogravimetric analysis to determine the amount of post-shock CO2, the decarbonization interval and the activation energy, for the removal of remaining CO2 in shock-loaded calcite. Comparison of post-shock CO2 with that initially present determines shock-induced CO2 loss as a function of shock pressure. Incipient to complete CO2 loss occurs over a pressure range of approximately 10 to approximately 70 GPa. Optical and scanning electron microscopy reveal structural changes, which are related to the shock-loading. The occurrence of dark, diffuse areas, which can be resolved as highly vesicular areas as observed with a scanning electron microscope are interpreted as representing quenched partial melts, into which shock-released CO2 was injected. The experimental results are used to constrain models of shock-produced, primary CO2 atmospheres on the accreting terrestrial planets.

  12. Marine and terrestrial foods as a source of brain-selective nutrients for early modern humans in the southwestern Cape, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Kyriacou, K; Blackhurst, D M; Parkington, J E; Marais, A D

    2016-08-01

    Many attempts have been made to define and reconstruct the most plausible ecological and dietary niche of the earliest members of the human species. While earlier models emphasise big-game hunting in terrestrial, largely savannah environments, more recent scenarios consider the role of marine and aquatic foods as a source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and other brain-selective nutrients. Along the coast of southern Africa, there appears to be an association between the emergence of anatomically modern humans and accumulation of some of the earliest shell middens during the Middle Stone Age (200-40 ka). Fragmentary fossil remains classified as those of anatomically modern humans, along with marine food residues and numerous material cultural indicators of increased social and behavioural complexity have been recovered from coastal sites. In this paper, new information on the nutrient content of marine and terrestrial foods available to early modern humans in the southwestern Cape is presented and compared with existing data on the nutritional value of some wild plant and animal foods in Africa. The results suggest that coastal foraging, particularly the collection of abundant and predictable marine molluscs, would have allowed early modern humans to exploit some of the richest and most accessible sources of protein, micronutrients and longer-chain omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Reliable and accessible sources of omega-3 eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid are considerably more restricted in terrestrial foods. PMID:27457547

  13. Modeling the Response of Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems in the Northeastern U.S. to Changes in Atmospheric Deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, L.; Driscoll, C. T.

    2003-12-01

    As a result of the Clean Air Act, atmospheric deposition of SO42- has declined significantly across the northeastern U.S. The acid-base status of many surface waters across the northeastern U.S. has significantly improved in response to these decreases. The response of soil and surface waters to changes in atmospheric deposition also varies among different subregions due to the different atmospheric deposition rates, soils, land use and other characteristics. In this study, an integrated biogeochemical model (PnET-BGC) was applied to 145 DDRP (Direct/Delayed Response Program) watersheds across the northeastern U.S. to simulate the changes in soil and surface waters in response to changes in atmospheric deposition at the regional scale. Sites of this study span across the Adirondacks, northern Pennsylvania/Catskills, northern New England, southern New England and Maine. The model simulated surface water chemistry was validated against synoptic surveys in 1984 and 2001. Preliminary modeling results indicated that besides the spatial gradients in S deposition, other factors such as wetland retention, seasalt impaction, land use, surficial and bedrock geology affect spatial variability in lake SO42- concentrations. In response to changes in atmospheric deposition, changes in lake SO42- concentrations were affected by amount of changes in S deposition and the ability of watersheds to retain SO42-. For sites in the Adirondacks and southern New England region, model predictions of changes in acid neutralizing capacity were consistent with measured changes.

  14. Evidence for ancient atmospheric xenon in Archean rocks and implications for the early evolution of the atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pujol, M.; Marty, B.; Burnard, P.; Hofmann, A.

    2012-12-01

    The initial atmospheric xenon isotopic composition has been much debated over the last 4 decades. A Non radiogenic Earth Atmospheric xenon (NEA-Xe) composition has been proposed to be the best estimate of the initial signature ([1]). NEA-Xe consists of modern atmospheric Xe without fission (131-136Xe) or radioactive decay (129Xe) products. However, the isotope composition of such non-radiogenic xenon is very different to that of potential cosmochemical precursors such as solar or meteoritic Xe, as it is mass-fractionated by up to 3-4 % per amu relative to the potential precursors, and it is also elementally depleted relative to other noble gases. Because the Xe isotopic composition of the Archean appears to be intermediate between that of these cosmochemical end-members and that of the modern atmosphere, we argued that isotopic fractionation of atmospheric xenon did not occur early in Earth's history by hydrodynamic escape, as postulated by all other models ([1], [2], [3]), but instead was a continuous, long term process that lasted during at least the Hadean and Archean eons. Taken at face value, the decrease of the Xe isotopic fractionation from 1.6-2.1 % amu-1 3.5 Ga ago ([4]) to 1 % amu-1 3.0 Ga ago (Ar-Ar age in fluid inclusions trapped in quartz from the same Dresser Formation, [5]) could reflect a secular variation of the atmospheric Xe signature. Nevertheless, up until now, all data showing an isotopic mass fractionation have been measured in rocks and fluids from the same formation (Dresser Formation, Western Australia, aged 3.5 Ga), and have yet to be confirmed in rocks from different locations. In order to better constrain xenon isotopic fractionation of the atmosphere through time, we decided to analyze barites from different ages, geological environments and metamorphism grade. We started this study with barite from the Fig Tree Formation (South Africa, aged 3.26 Ga). This barite was sampled in old mines so have negligible modern exposure time. It is

  15. Influence of carbonic anhydrase activity in terrestrial vegetation on the 18O content of atmospheric CO2.

    PubMed

    Gillon, J; Yakir, D

    2001-03-30

    The oxygen-18 (18O) content of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important indicator of CO2 uptake on land. It has generally been assumed that during photosynthesis, oxygen in CO2 reaches isotopic equilibrium with oxygen in 18O-enriched water in leaves. We show, however, large differences in the activity of carbonic anhydrase (which catalyzes CO2 hydration and 18O exchange in leaves) among major plant groups that cause variations in the extent of 18O equilibrium (theta(eq)). A clear distinction in theta(eq) between C3 trees and shrubs, and C4 grasses makes atmospheric C18OO a potentially sensitive indicator to changes in C3 and C4 productivity. We estimate a global mean theta(eq) value of approximately 0.8, which reasonably reconciles inconsistencies between 18O budgets of atmospheric O2 (Dole effect) and CO2. PMID:11283366

  16. Influence of Carbonic Anhydrase Activity in Terrestrial Vegetation on the 18O Content of Atmospheric CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillon, Jim; Yakir, Dan

    2001-03-01

    The oxygen-18 (18O) content of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important indicator of CO2 uptake on land. It has generally been assumed that during photosynthesis, oxygen in CO2 reaches isotopic equilibrium with oxygen in 18O-enriched water in leaves. We show, however, large differences in the activity of carbonic anhydrase (which catalyzes CO2 hydration and 18O exchange in leaves) among major plant groups that cause variations in the extent of 18O equilibrium (θeq). A clear distinction in θeq between C3 trees and shrubs, and C4 grasses makes atmospheric C18OO a potentially sensitive indicator to changes in C3 and C4 productivity. We estimate a global mean θeq value of ~0.8, which reasonably reconciles inconsistencies between 18O budgets of atmospheric O2 (Dole effect) and CO2.

  17. Habitability of terrestrial-mass planets in the HZ of M Dwarfs - I. H/He-dominated atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owen, James E.; Mohanty, Subhanjoy

    2016-07-01

    The ubiquity of M dwarfs, combined with the relative ease of detecting terrestrial-mass planets around them, has made them prime targets for finding and characterizing planets in the `habitable zone' (HZ). However, Kepler finds that terrestrial-mass exoplanets are often born with voluminous H/He envelopes, comprising mass-fractions (Menv/Mcore) ≳1 per cent. If these planets retain such envelopes over Gyr time-scales, they will not be `habitable' even within the HZ. Given the strong X-ray/UV fluxes of M dwarfs, we study whether sufficient envelope mass can be photoevaporated away for these planets to become habitable. We improve upon previous work by using hydrodynamic models that account for radiative cooling as well as the transition from hydrodynamic to ballistic escape. Adopting a template active M dwarf XUV spectrum, including stellar evolution, and considering both evaporation and thermal evolution, we show that: (1) the mass-loss is (considerably) lower than previous estimates that use an `energy-limited' formalism and ignore the transition to Jeans escape; (2) at the inner edge of the HZ, planets with core mass ≲ 0.9 M⊕ can lose enough H/He to become habitable if their initial envelope mass-fraction is ˜1 per cent; (3) at the outer edge of the HZ, evaporation cannot remove a ˜1 per cent H/He envelope even from cores down to 0.8 M⊕. Thus, if planets form with bulky H/He envelopes, only those with low-mass cores may eventually be habitable. Cores ≳1 M⊕, with ≳1 per cent natal H/He envelopes, will not be habitable in the HZ of M dwarfs.

  18. Habitability of Terrestrial-Mass Planets in the HZ of M Dwarfs. I. H/He-Dominated Atmospheres.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owen, James E.; Mohanty, Subhanjoy

    2016-04-01

    The ubiquity of M dwarfs, combined with the relative ease of detecting terrestrial-mass planets around them, has made them prime targets for finding and characterising planets in the "Habitable Zone" (HZ). However, Kepler finds that terrestrial-mass exoplanets are often born with voluminous H/He envelopes, comprising mass-fractions (Menv/Mcore) ≳ 1%. If these planets retain such envelopes over Gyr timescales, they will not be "habitable" even within the HZ. Given the strong X-ray/UV fluxes of M dwarfs, we study whether sufficient envelope mass can be photoevaporated away for these planets to become habitable. We improve upon previous work by using hydrodynamic models that account for radiative cooling as well as the transition from hydrodynamic to ballistic escape. Adopting a template active M dwarf XUV spectrum, including stellar evolution, and considering both evaporation and thermal evolution, we show that: (1) the mass-loss is (considerably) lower than previous estimates that use an "energy-limited" formalism and ignore the transition to Jeans escape; (2) at the inner edge of the HZ, planets with core mass ≲ 0.9 M⊕ can lose enough H/He to become habitable if their initial envelope mass-fraction is ˜1%; (3) at the outer edge of the HZ, evaporation cannot remove a ˜1% H/He envelope even from cores down to 0.8 M⊕. Thus, if planets form with bulky H/He envelopes, only those with low-mass cores may eventually be habitable. Cores ≳ 1 M⊕, with ≳1% natal H/He envelopes, will not be habitable in the HZ of M dwarfs.

  19. Early Eocene carbon isotope excursions: Evidence from the terrestrial coal seam in the Fushun Basin, Northeast China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Zuoling; Ding, Zhongli; Tang, Zihua; Wang, Xu; Yang, Shiling

    2014-05-01

    A series of transient global warming events between 56 and 50 Ma are characterized by a pronounced negative carbon isotope excursion (CIE). However, the documents of these hyperthermals, such as Eocene Thermal Maximum 2 and H2 events, have come chiefly from marine sediments, and their expression in terrestrial organic carbon is still poorly constrained. Here we yield a high-resolution carbon isotope record of terrestrial organic material from the Fushun Basin, which displays four prominent CIEs with magnitudes larger than 2.5‰. Based on age constraint and comparisons with deep-sea records, our data provide the first evidence of the four hyperthermals in coal seams and suggest a global significance of these events. Moreover, the difference of CIE magnitudes between marine and terrestrial records shows a significant linear correlation with the marine carbonate CIE, implying that these events are likely attributable to recurring injections of 13C-depleted carbon from submarine methane hydrates and/or permafrost.

  20. Solar XUV and ENA-driven water loss from early Venus' steam atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lichtenegger, H. I. M.; Kislyakova, K. G.; Odert, P.; Erkaev, N. V.; Lammer, H.; Gröller, H.; Johnstone, C. P.; Elkins-Tanton, L.; Tu, L.; Güdel, M.; Holmström, M.

    2016-05-01

    We present a study on the influence of the upper atmosphere hydrodynamic escape of hydrogen, driven by the solar soft X-ray and extreme ultraviolet radiation (XUV), on an expected outgassed steam atmosphere of early Venus. By assuming that the young Sun was either a weak or moderately active young G star, we estimated the water loss from a hydrogen dominated thermosphere due to the absorption of the solar XUV flux and the precipitation of solar wind produced energetic hydrogen atoms (ENAs). The production of ENAs and their interaction with the hydrodynamic extended upper atmosphere, including collision-related feedback processes, have been calculated by means of Monte Carlo models. ENAs that collide in the upper atmosphere deposit their energy and heat the surrounding atmosphere mainly above the main XUV energy deposition layer. It is shown that precipitating ENAs modify the thermal structure of the upper atmosphere, but the enhancement of the thermal escape rates caused by these energetic hydrogen atoms is negligible. Our results also indicate that the majority of oxygen arising from dissociated H2O molecules is left behind during the first 100 Myr. It is thus suggested that the main part of the remaining oxygen has been absorbed by crustal oxidation.

  1. Latitudinal distribution of terrestrial lipid biomarkers and n-alkane compound-specific stable carbon isotope ratios in the atmosphere over the western Pacific and Southern Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bendle, James; Kawamura, Kimitaka; Yamazaki, Koji; Niwai, Takeji

    2007-12-01

    We investigated the latitudinal changes in atmospheric transport of organic matter to the western Pacific and Southern Ocean (27.58°N-64.70°S). Molecular distributions of lipid compound classes (homologous series of C 15 to C 35n-alkanes, C 8 to C 34n-alkanoic acids, C 12 to C 30n-alkanols) and compound-specific stable isotopes (δ 13C of C 29 and C 31n-alkanes) were measured in marine aerosol filter samples collected during a cruise by the R/V Hakuho Maru. The geographical source areas for each sample were estimated from air-mass back-trajectory computations. Concentrations of TC and lipid compound classes were several orders of magnitude lower than observations from urban sites in Asia. A stronger signature of terrestrial higher plant inputs was apparent in three samples collected under conditions of strong terrestrial winds. Unresolved complex mixtures (UCM) showed increasing values in the North Pacific, highlighting the influence of the plume of polluted air exported from East Asia. n-Alkane average chain length (ACL) distribution had two clusters, with samples showing a relation to latitude between 28°N and 47°S (highest ACL values in the tropics), whilst a subset of southern samples had anomalously high ACL values. Compound-specific carbon isotopic analysis of the C 29 (-25.6‰ to -34.5‰) and C 31n-alkanes (-28.3‰ to -37‰) revealed heavier δ 13C values in the northern latitudes with a transition to lighter values in the Southern Ocean. By comparing the isotopic measurements with back-trajectory analysis it was generally possible to discriminate between different source areas. The terrestrial vegetation source for a subset of the southernmost Southern Ocean is enigmatic; the back-trajectories indicate eastern Antarctica as the only intercepted terrestrial source area. These samples may represent a southern hemisphere background of well mixed and very long range transported higher plant organic material.

  2. Terrestrial atmospheric responses on Svalbard to the 20 March 2015 Arctic total solar eclipse under extreme conditions.

    PubMed

    Pasachoff, J M; Peñaloza-Murillo, M A; Carter, A L; Roman, M T

    2016-09-28

    This article reports on the near-surface atmospheric response at the High Arctic site of Svalbard, latitude 78° N, as a result of abrupt changes in solar insolation during the 20 March 2015 equinox total solar eclipse and notifies the atmospheric science community of the availability of a rare dataset. Svalbard was central in the path of totality, and had completely clear skies. Measurements of shaded air temperature and atmospheric pressure show only weak, if any, responses to the reduced insolation. A minimum in the air temperature at 1.5 m above the ground occurred starting 2 min following the end of totality, though this drop was only slightly beyond the observed variability for the midday period. Eclipse-produced variations in surface pressure, if present, were less than 0.3 hPa.This article is part of the themed issue 'Atmospheric effects of solar eclipses stimulated by the 2015 UK eclipse'. PMID:27550756

  3. Studies of the airglow, the aurora, the ion and neutral composition, and the chemistry of the terrestrial atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zipf, E. C., Jr.

    1974-01-01

    Results obtained by rocket-borne optical spectrometry are presented. Composition measurements and auroral studies are reported. The production of N (D-2) atoms by photo-absorption processes, and by electron impact excitation of N2 are discussed along with vibrationally excited CO2(+) ions in planetary atmospheres.

  4. ROLE OF LEAF SURFACE WATER IN THE BI-DIRECTIONAL AMMONIA EXCHANGE BETWEEN THE ATMOSPHERE AND TERRESTRIAL BIOSPHERE

    EPA Science Inventory

    A field experiment was conducted to study the ammonia exchange between plants and the atmosphere in a soybean field in Duplin County, North Carolina during the summer of 2002. Measurements indicate that the net canopy-scale ammonia exchange is bi-directional and has a significant...

  5. Martian supergene enrichment in Shalbatana Valley: Implications for Mars Early atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popa, Ciprian; Carrozzo, Giacomo; DiAchille, Gaetano; Silvestro, Simone; Espostio, Francesca; Mennella, Vito

    2015-04-01

    The present work focuses on the detailed description of the first ever-identified supergene enrichment zone on Mars. The mineral paragenesis present at the site sets constrains on the characteristics of early Martian atmosphere. A chrysocolla/malachite bearing unit in the largest of Shalbatana Valley paleolacustrine sediment accumulation constitutes the proof for this process. The water permanence at the formation time is the main implication of this finding. Furthermore, the potential biogenic involvement at the mineralization stage adds scientific importance to the site. The latter implication could set the site as a high priority choice for future Martian in-situ robotic roving/sample-return missions. The relative age of the area (˜3.7 Ba) adds weight to this finding for purposes of planetary atmosphere evolution comparison. No Earth supergene deposit has survived that long, making this site extremely important to address the problem of the oxidative conditions of the primordial Earth and Mars atmospheres.

  6. Antarctic ice sheet sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 variations in the early to mid-Miocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levy, Richard; Harwood, David; Florindo, Fabio; Sangiorgi, Francesca; Tripati, Robert; von Eynatten, Hilmar; Gasson, Edward; Kuhn, Gerhard; Tripati, Aradhna; DeConto, Robert; Fielding, Christopher; Field, Brad; Golledge, Nicholas; McKay, Robert; Naish, Timothy; Olney, Matthew; Pollard, David; Schouten, Stefan; Talarico, Franco; Warny, Sophie; Willmott, Veronica; Acton, Gary; Panter, Kurt; Paulsen, Timothy; Taviani, Marco; SMS Science Team; Acton, Gary; Askin, Rosemary; Atkins, Clifford; Bassett, Kari; Beu, Alan; Blackstone, Brian; Browne, Gregory; Ceregato, Alessandro; Cody, Rosemary; Cornamusini, Gianluca; Corrado, Sveva; DeConto, Robert; Del Carlo, Paola; Di Vincenzo, Gianfranco; Dunbar, Gavin; Falk, Candice; Field, Brad; Fielding, Christopher; Florindo, Fabio; Frank, Tracy; Giorgetti, Giovanna; Grelle, Thomas; Gui, Zi; Handwerger, David; Hannah, Michael; Harwood, David M.; Hauptvogel, Dan; Hayden, Travis; Henrys, Stuart; Hoffmann, Stefan; Iacoviello, Francesco; Ishman, Scott; Jarrard, Richard; Johnson, Katherine; Jovane, Luigi; Judge, Shelley; Kominz, Michelle; Konfirst, Matthew; Krissek, Lawrence; Kuhn, Gerhard; Lacy, Laura; Levy, Richard; Maffioli, Paola; Magens, Diana; Marcano, Maria C.; Millan, Cristina; Mohr, Barbara; Montone, Paola; Mukasa, Samuel; Naish, Timothy; Niessen, Frank; Ohneiser, Christian; Olney, Mathew; Panter, Kurt; Passchier, Sandra; Patterson, Molly; Paulsen, Timothy; Pekar, Stephen; Pierdominici, Simona; Pollard, David; Raine, Ian; Reed, Joshua; Reichelt, Lucia; Riesselman, Christina; Rocchi, Sergio; Sagnotti, Leonardo; Sandroni, Sonia; Sangiorgi, Francesca; Schmitt, Douglas; Speece, Marvin; Storey, Bryan; Strada, Eleonora; Talarico, Franco; Taviani, Marco; Tuzzi, Eva; Verosub, Kenneth; von Eynatten, Hilmar; Warny, Sophie; Wilson, Gary; Wilson, Terry; Wonik, Thomas; Zattin, Massimiliano

    2016-03-01

    Geological records from the Antarctic margin offer direct evidence of environmental variability at high southern latitudes and provide insight regarding ice sheet sensitivity to past climate change. The early to mid-Miocene (23-14 Mya) is a compelling interval to study as global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations were similar to those projected for coming centuries. Importantly, this time interval includes the Miocene Climatic Optimum, a period of global warmth during which average surface temperatures were 3-4 °C higher than today. Miocene sediments in the ANDRILL-2A drill core from the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica, indicate that the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) was highly variable through this key time interval. A multiproxy dataset derived from the core identifies four distinct environmental motifs based on changes in sedimentary facies, fossil assemblages, geochemistry, and paleotemperature. Four major disconformities in the drill core coincide with regional seismic discontinuities and reflect transient expansion of grounded ice across the Ross Sea. They correlate with major positive shifts in benthic oxygen isotope records and generally coincide with intervals when atmospheric CO2 concentrations were at or below preindustrial levels (˜280 ppm). Five intervals reflect ice sheet minima and air temperatures warm enough for substantial ice mass loss during episodes of high (˜500 ppm) atmospheric CO2. These new drill core data and associated ice sheet modeling experiments indicate that polar climate and the AIS were highly sensitive to relatively small changes in atmospheric CO2 during the early to mid-Miocene.

  7. Atmospheric 14C variations derived from tree rings during the early Younger Dryas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hua, Quan; Barbetti, Mike; Fink, David; Kaiser, Klaus Felix; Friedrich, Michael; Kromer, Bernd; Levchenko, Vladimir A.; Zoppi, Ugo; Smith, Andrew M.; Bertuch, Fiona

    2009-12-01

    Atmospheric radiocarbon variations over the Younger Dryas interval, from ˜13,000 to 11,600 cal yr BP, are of immense scientific interest because they reveal crucial information about the linkages between climate, ocean circulation and the carbon cycle. However, no direct and reliable atmospheric 14C records based on tree rings for the entire Younger Dryas have been available. In this paper, we present (1) high-precision 14C measurements on the extension of absolute tree-ring chronology from 12,400 to 12,560 cal yr BP and (2) high-precision, high-resolution atmospheric 14C record derived from a 617-yr-long tree-ring chronology of Huon pine from Tasmania, Australia, spanning the early Younger Dryas. The new tree-ring 14C records bridge the current gap in European tree-ring radiocarbon chronologies during the early Younger Dryas, linking the floating Lateglacial Pine record to the absolute tree-ring timescale. A continuous and reliable atmospheric 14C record for the past 14,000 cal yr BP including the Younger Dryas is now available. The new records indicate that the abrupt rise in atmospheric Δ 14C associated with the Younger Dryas onset occurs at ˜12,760 cal yr BP, ˜240 yrs later than that recorded in Cariaco varves, with a smaller magnitude of ˜40‰ followed by several centennial Δ 14C variations of 20-25‰. Comparing the tree-ring Δ 14C to marine-derived Δ 14C and modelled Δ 14C based on ice-core 10Be fluxes, we conclude that changes in ocean circulation were mainly responsible for the Younger Dryas onset, while a combination of changes in ocean circulation and 14C production rate were responsible for atmospheric Δ 14C variations for the remainder of the Younger Dryas.

  8. Thermodynamic limits set relevant constraints to the soil-plant-atmosphere system and to optimality in terrestrial vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleidon, Axel; Renner, Maik

    2016-04-01

    The soil-plant-atmosphere system is a complex system that is strongly shaped by interactions between the physical environment and vegetation. This complexity appears to demand equally as complex models to fully capture the dynamics of the coupled system. What we describe here is an alternative approach that is based on thermodynamics and which allows for comparatively simple formulations free of empirical parameters by assuming that the system is so complex that its emergent dynamics are only constrained by the thermodynamics of the system. This approach specifically makes use of the second law of thermodynamics, a fundamental physical law that is typically not being considered in Earth system science. Its relevance to land surface processes is that it fundamentally sets a direction as well as limits to energy conversions and associated rates of mass exchange, but it requires us to formulate land surface processes as thermodynamic processes that are driven by energy conversions. We describe an application of this approach to the surface energy balance partitioning at the diurnal scale. In this application the turbulent heat fluxes of sensible and latent heat are described as the result of a convective heat engine that is driven by solar radiative heating of the surface and that operates at its thermodynamic limit. The predicted fluxes from this approach compare very well to observations at several sites. This suggests that the turbulent exchange fluxes between the surface and the atmosphere operate at their thermodynamic limit, so that thermodynamics imposes a relevant constraint to the land surface-atmosphere system. Yet, thermodynamic limits do not entirely determine the soil-plant-atmosphere system because vegetation affects these limits, for instance by affecting the magnitude of surface heating by absorption of solar radiation in the canopy layer. These effects are likely to make the conditions at the land surface more favorable for photosynthetic activity

  9. The adsorption of fungal ice-nucleating proteins on mineral dusts: a terrestrial reservoir of atmospheric ice-nucleating particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Sullivan, Daniel; Murray, Benjamin J.; Ross, James; Webb, Michael E.

    2016-04-01

    The occurrence of ice-nucleating particles (INPs) in our atmosphere has a profound impact on the properties and lifetime of supercooled clouds. However, the identities, sources and abundances of airborne particles capable of efficiently nucleating ice at relatively low supercoolings (T > -15 °C) remain enigmatic. Recently, several studies have suggested that unidentified biogenic residues in soil dusts are likely to be an important source of these efficient atmospheric INPs. While it has been shown that cell-free proteins produced by common soil-borne fungi are exceptional INPs, whether these fungi are a source of ice-nucleating biogenic residues in soils has yet to be shown. In particular, it is unclear whether upon adsorption to soil mineral particles, the activity of fungal ice-nucleating proteins is retained or is reduced, as observed for other soil enzymes. Here we show that proteins from a common soil fungus (Fusarium avenaceum) do in fact preferentially bind to and impart their ice-nucleating properties to the common clay mineral kaolinite. The ice-nucleating activity of the proteinaceous INPs is found to be unaffected by adsorption to the clay, and once bound the proteins do not readily desorb, retaining much of their activity even after multiple washings with pure water. The atmospheric implications of the finding that nanoscale fungal INPs can effectively determine the nucleating abilities of lofted soil dusts are discussed.

  10. The adsorption of fungal ice-nucleating proteins on mineral dusts: a terrestrial reservoir of atmospheric ice-nucleating particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Sullivan, Daniel; Murray, Benjamin J.; Ross, James F.; Webb, Michael E.

    2016-06-01

    The occurrence of ice-nucleating particles (INPs) in our atmosphere has a profound impact on the properties and lifetime of supercooled clouds. To date, the identities, sources and abundances of particles capable of nucleating ice at relatively low supercoolings (T > -15 °C) remain enigmatic. While biomolecules such as proteins and carbohydrates have been implicated as important high-temperature INPs, the lack of knowledge on the environmental fates of these species makes it difficult to assess their potential atmospheric impacts. Here we show that such nanoscale ice-nucleating proteins from a common soil-borne fungus (Fusarium avenaceum) preferentially bind to and confer their ice-nucleating properties to kaolinite. The ice-nucleating activity of the proteinaceous INPs is unaffected by adsorption to the clay, and once bound the proteins do not readily desorb, retaining much of the activity even after multiple washings with pure water. The atmospheric implications of the finding that biological residues can confer their ice-nucleating ability to dust particles are discussed.

  11. CRYOMET - Concept and Results for Bridging Models Between the Atmosphere and the Terrestrial Cryosphere (Glacier and Permafrost)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Etzelmuller, B.; Westermann, S.; Berntsen, T.; Dunse, T.; Gisnas, K.; Hagen, J.; Kristjansson, J. E.; Isaksen, K.; Schuler, D. V.; Schuler, T.; Stordal, F.; Aas, K. S.

    2013-12-01

    Predictions of the future climate are generally based on atmospheric models operating on coarse spatial scales. The impact of a changing climate on most elements of the cryosphere, however, becomes manifest on much smaller scales, which complicates sound predictions on glacier and permafrost development. CryoMET is a collaborative project between atmospheric modeling, glacier and permafrost research groups, seeking to bridge the scale gap between coarsely-resolved Earth System Models and the process and impact scales on the ground. This is done especially for snow-related variables, as (1) snow is a crucial factor both for the thermal regime of permafrost and the mass balance on glaciers, and (2) the snow depth and properties can vary considerably on small scales, which a.o. lead to distinctly different soil temperatures in permafrost areas on distances of tens of meters. To address this problem we use WRF to downscale atmospheric variables to an 'interface scale' of 1 km to 3 km resolution, where these variables are constant to a good approximation. In a second step, we employ probabilistic downscaling of the average snow water equivalent at the 'interface scale' (as delivered by WRF) using snow redistribution models. With probability density functions of snow depth, the distribution of environmental parameters affected by snow, e.g. of permafrost temperatures, are inferred for each grid cell at the interface scale. We present here results from Svalbard and southern Norway, demonstrating the capacity of the scheme in delivering the distribution of permafrost-relevant variables.

  12. Atmosphere and water loss from early Mars under extreme solar wind and extreme ultraviolet conditions.

    PubMed

    Terada, Naoki; Kulikov, Yuri N; Lammer, Helmut; Lichtenegger, Herbert I M; Tanaka, Takashi; Shinagawa, Hiroyuki; Zhang, Tielong

    2009-01-01

    The upper limits of the ion pickup and cold ion outflow loss rates from the early martian atmosphere shortly after the Sun arrived at the Zero-Age-Main-Sequence (ZAMS) were investigated. We applied a comprehensive 3-D multi-species magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model to an early martian CO(2)-rich atmosphere, which was assumed to have been exposed to a solar XUV [X-ray and extreme ultraviolet (EUV)] flux that was 100 times higher than today and a solar wind that was about 300 times denser. We also assumed the late onset of a planetary magnetic dynamo, so that Mars had no strong intrinsic magnetic field at that early period. We found that, due to such extreme solar wind-atmosphere interaction, a strong magnetic field of about approximately 4000 nT was induced in the entire dayside ionosphere, which could efficiently protect the upper atmosphere from sputtering loss. A planetary obstacle ( approximately ionopause) was formed at an altitude of about 1000 km above the surface due to the drag force and the mass loading by newly created ions in the highly extended upper atmosphere. We obtained an O(+) loss rate by the ion pickup process, which takes place above the ionopause, of about 1.5 x 10(28) ions/s during the first < or =150 million years, which is about 10(4) times greater than today and corresponds to a water loss equivalent to a global martian ocean with a depth of approximately 8 m. Consequently, even if the magnetic protection due to the expected early martian magnetic dynamo is neglected, ion pickup and sputtering were most likely not the dominant loss processes for the planet's initial atmosphere and water inventory. However, it appears that the cold ion outflow into the martian tail, due to the transfer of momentum from the solar wind to the ionospheric plasma, could have removed a global ocean with a depth of 10-70 m during the first < or =150 million years after the Sun arrived at the ZAMS. PMID:19216683

  13. EUV-VUV photochemistry in the upper atmospheres of Titan and the early Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imanaka, H.; Smith, M. A.

    2010-12-01

    Titan, the organic-rich moon of Saturn, possesses a thick atmosphere of nitrogen, globally covered with organic haze layers. The recent Cassini’s INMS and CAPS observations clearly demonstrate the importance of complex organic chemistry in the ionosphere. EUV photon radiation is the major driving energy source there. Our previous laboratory study of the EUV-VUV photolysis of N2/CH4 gas mixtures demonstrates a unique role of nitrogen photoionization in the catalytic formation of complex hydrocarbons in Titan’s upper atmosphere (Imanaka and Smith, 2007, 2009). Such EUV photochemistry could also have played important roles in the formation of complex organic molecules in the ionosphere of the early Earth. It has been suggested that the early Earth atmosphere may have contained significant amount of reduced species (CH4, H2, and CO) (Kasting, 1990, Pavlov et al., 2001, Tian et al., 2005). Recent experimental study, using photon radiation at wavelengths longer than 110 nm, demonstrates that photochemical organic haze could have been generated from N2/CO2 atmospheres with trace amounts of CH4 or H2 (Trainer et al., 2006, Dewitt et al., 2009). However, possible EUV photochemical processes in the ionosphere are not well understood. We have investigated the effect of CO2 in the possible EUV photochemical processes in simulated reduced early Earth atmospheres. The EUV-VUV photochemistry using wavelength-tunable synchrotron light between 50 - 150 nm was investigated for gas mixtures of 13CO2/CH4 (= 96.7/3.3) and N2/13CO2/CH4 (= 90/6.7/3.3). The onsets of unsaturated hydrocarbon formation were observed at wavelengths shorter than the ionization potentials of CO2 and N2, respectively. This correlation indicates that CO2 can play a similar catalytic role to N2 in the formation of heavy organic species, which implies that EUV photochemistry might have significant impact on the photochemical generation of organic haze layers in the upper atmosphere of the early Earth.

  14. The Solubility of Rock in Steam Atmospheres of the Early Earth and Hot Rocky Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fegley, Bruce

    2016-07-01

    Extensive experimental studies show all major rock-forming elements (e.g., Si, Mg, Fe, Ca, Al, Na, K) dissolve in steam to a greater or lesser extent. We use these results to compute chemical equilibrium abundances of rocky element - bearing gases in steam atmospheres equilibrated with silicate magma oceans. Rocky elements partition into steam atmospheres as volatile hydroxide gases (e.g., Si(OH)4, Mg(OH)2, Fe(OH)2, Ni(OH)2, Al(OH)3, Ca(OH)2, NaOH, KOH) and via reaction with HF and HCl as volatile halide gases (e.g., NaCl, KCl, CaFOH, CaClOH, FAl(OH)2) in much larger amounts than expected from their vapor pressures over volatile-free solid or molten rock at high temperatures expected for steam atmospheres on the early Earth and hot rocky exoplanets. We quantitatively compute the extent of fractional vaporization by defining gas/magma distribution coefficients and show Earth's sub-solar Si/Mg ratio may be due to loss of a primordial steam atmosphere. We conclude hot rocky exoplanets that are undergoing or have undergone escape of steam-bearing atmospheres may experience fractional vaporization and loss of Si, Mg, Fe, Ni, Al, Ca, Na, and K. This loss can modify their bulk composition, density, heat balance, and interior structure. This work was supported by NSF Astronomy Program Grant AST-1412175.

  15. Methane fluxes between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere at northern high latitudes during the past century: A retrospective analysis with a process-based biogeochemistry model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhuang, Q.; Melillo, J.M.; Kicklighter, D.W.; Prinn, R.G.; McGuire, A.D.; Steudler, P.A.; Felzer, B.S.; Hu, S.

    2004-01-01

    We develop and use a new version of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM) to study how rates of methane (CH4) emissions and consumption in high-latitude soils of the Northern Hemisphere have changed over the past century in response to observed changes in the region's climate. We estimate that the net emissions of CH4 (emissions minus consumption) from these soils have increased by an average 0.08 Tg CH4 yr-1 during the twentieth century. Our estimate of the annual net emission rate at the end of the century for the region is 51 Tg CH4 yr-1. Russia, Canada, and Alaska are the major CH4 regional sources to the atmosphere, responsible for 64%, 11%, and 7% of these net emissions, respectively. Our simulations indicate that large interannual variability in net CH4 emissions occurred over the last century. Our analyses of the responses of net CH4 emissions to the past climate change suggest that future global warming will increase net CH4 emissions from the Pan-Arctic region. The higher net CH4 emissions may increase atmospheric CH 4 concentrations to provide a major positive feedback to the climate system. Copyright 2004 by the American Geophysical Union.

  16. Modeled responses of terrestrial ecosystems to elevated atmospheric CO2: A comparison of simulations by the biogeochemistry models of the Vegetation/Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis Project (VEMAP)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pan, Y.; Melillo, J.M.; McGuire, A.D.; Kicklighter, D.W.; Pitelka, L.F.; Hibbard, K.; Pierce, L.L.; Running, S.W.; Ojima, D.S.; Parton, W.J.; Schimel, D.S.; Borchers, J.; Neilson, R.; Fisher, H.H.; Kittel, T.G.F.; Rossenbloom, N.A.; Fox, S.; Haxeltine, A.; Prentice, I.C.; Sitch, S.; Janetos, A.; McKeown, R.; Nemani, R.; Painter, T.; Rizzo, B.; Smith, T.; Woodward, F.I.

    1998-01-01

    Although there is a great deal of information concerning responses to increases in atmospheric CO2 at the tissue and plant levels, there are substantially fewer studies that have investigated ecosystem-level responses in the context of integrated carbon, water, and nutrient cycles. Because our understanding of ecosystem responses to elevated CO2 is incomplete, modeling is a tool that can be used to investigate the role of plant and soil interactions in the response of terrestrial ecosystems to elevated CO2. In this study, we analyze the responses of net primary production (NPP) to doubled CO2 from 355 to 710 ppmv among three biogeochemistry models in the Vegetation/Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis Project (VEMAP): BIOME-BGC (BioGeochemical Cycles), Century, and the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM). For the conterminous United States, doubled atmospheric CO2 causes NPP to increase by 5% in Century, 8% in TEM, and 11% in BIOME-BGC. Multiple regression analyses between the NPP response to doubled CO2 and the mean annual temperature and annual precipitation of biomes or grid cells indicate that there are negative relationships between precipitation and the response of NPP to doubled CO2 for all three models. In contrast, there are different relationships between temperature and the response of NPP to doubled CO2 for the three models: there is a negative relationship in the responses of BIOME-BGC, no relationship in the responses of Century, and a positive relationship in the responses of TEM. In BIOME-BGC, the NPP response to doubled CO2 is controlled by the change in transpiration associated with reduced leaf conductance to water vapor. This change affects soil water, then leaf area development and, finally, NPP. In Century, the response of NPP to doubled CO2 is controlled by changes in decomposition rates associated with increased soil moisture that results from reduced evapotranspiration. This change affects nitrogen availability for plants, which influences NPP. In

  17. Investigating CO2 Reservoirs at Gale Crater and Evidence for a Dense Early Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niles, P. B.; Archer, P. D.; Heil, E.; Eigenbrode, J.; McAdam, A.; Sutter, B.; Franz, H.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; Ming, D.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Martin-Torres, F. J.; Zorzano, M.

    2015-01-01

    One of the most compelling features of the Gale landing site is its age. Based on crater counts, the formation of Gale crater is dated to be near the beginning of the Hesperian near the pivotal Hesperian/Noachian transition. This is a time period on Mars that is linked to increased fluvial activity through valley network formation and also marks a transition from higher erosion rates/clay mineral formation to lower erosion rates with mineralogies dominated by sulfate minerals. Results from the Curiosity mission have shown extensive evidence for fluvial activity within the crater suggesting that sediments on the floor of the crater and even sediments making up Mt. Sharp itself were the result of longstanding activity of liquid water. Warm/wet conditions on early Mars are likely due to a thicker atmosphere and increased abundance of greenhouse gases including the main component of the atmosphere, CO2. Carbon dioxide is minor component of the Earth's atmosphere yet plays a major role in surface water chemistry, weathering, and formation of secondary minerals. An ancient martian atmosphere was likely dominated by CO2 and any waters in equilibrium with this atmosphere would have different chemical characteristics. Studies have noted that high partial pressures of CO2 would result in increased carbonic acid formation and lowering of the pH so that carbonate minerals are not stable. However, if there were a dense CO2 atmosphere present at the Hesperian/Noachian transition, it would have to be stored in a carbon reservoir on the surface or lost to space. The Mt. Sharp sediments are potentially one of the best places on Mars to investigate these CO2 reservoirs as they are proposed to have formed in the early Hesperian, from an alkaline lake, and record the transition to an aeolian dominated regime near the top of the sequence. The total amount of CO2 in the Gale crater soils and sediments is significant but lower than expected if a thick atmosphere was present at the

  18. Coupled noble gas-hydrocarbon evolution of the early Earth atmosphere upon solar UV irradiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hébrard, E.; Marty, B.

    2014-01-01

    Using a new photochemical model of the Earth's early atmosphere, the relationship between noble gas photoionization and organic photochemistry has been investigated from the Archean eon to the present day. We have found that the enhanced UV emission of the young Sun triggered a peculiar atmospheric chemistry in a CH4-rich early atmosphere that resulted in the increased formation of an organic haze, similar to the preliminary results of a previous study (Ribas et al., 2010). We have investigated the interaction between this haze and noble gases photoionized by the UV light from the younger Sun. Laboratory experiments have shown indeed that ionized xenon trapping into organics (1) is more efficient that other ionized noble gases trapping and (2) results in a significant enrichment of heavy xenon isotopes relative to the light ones (e.g., Frick et al., 1979; Marrocchi et al., 2011). We find moreover preferential photoionization of xenon that peaks at an altitude range comparable to that of the organic haze formation, in contrast to other noble gases. Trapping and fractioning of ionized xenon in the organic haze could therefore have been far more efficient than for other noble gases, and could have been particularly effective throughout the Archean eon, since the UV irradiation flux from the young Sun was expected to be substantially higher than today (Ribas et al., 2010; Claire et al., 2012). Thus we suspect that the unique isotopic fractionation of atmospheric xenon and its elemental depletion in the atmosphere relative to other noble gases, compared to potential cosmochemical components, could have resulted from a preferential incorporation of the heaviest xenon isotopes into organics. A fraction of atmospheric xenon could have been continuously trapped in the forming haze and enriched in its heavy isotopes, while another fraction would have escaped from the atmosphere to space, with, or without isotope selection of the lightest isotopes. The combination of these

  19. Simulation of the capabilities of an orbiter for monitoring the entry of interplanetary matter into the terrestrial atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouquet, Alexis; Baratoux, David; Vaubaillon, Jérémie; Gritsevich, Maria I.; Mimoun, David; Mousis, Olivier; Bouley, Sylvain

    2014-11-01

    In comparison with existing ground-based camera networks for meteors monitoring, a space-based optical system would escape dependency on weather and atmospheric conditions and would offer a wide spatial coverage and an unrestricted and extinction-free spectral domain. The potential rates of meteor detections by such systems are evaluated in this paper as a function of observations parameters (optical system capabilities, orbital parameters) and considering a reasonable range of meteoroids properties (e.g., mass, velocity, composition) determining their luminosity. A numerical tool called SWARMS (Simulator for Wide Area Recording of Meteors from Space) has been developed. SWARMS is also intended to be used in an operational phase to facilitate the comparison of observations with up-do-date constraints on the flux and characteristics of the interplanetary matter entering our planet's atmosphere. The laws governing the conversion of a fraction of the meteor kinetic energy into radiation during atmospheric entry have been revisited and evaluated based on an analysis of previously published meteor trajectories. Rates of detection were simulated for two different systems: the SPOSH (Smart Panoramic Optical Sensor Head) camera optimized for the observation of transient luminous events, and the JEM-EUSO (Japanese Experiment Module-Extreme Universe Space Observatory) experiment on the ISS (International Space Station). We conclude that up to 6 events per hour in the case of SPOSH, and up to 0.67 events in the case of JEM-EUSO may be detected. The optimal orbit for achieving such rates of detections depends on the mass index of the meteoroid populations. The determination of this parameter appears therefore critical before an optimal orbiting system might be designed for meteors monitoring.

  20. Middle atmosphere electrodynamics: Report of the Workshop on the Role of the Electrodynamics of the Middle Atmosphere on Solar Terrestrial Coupling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    The middle atmosphere (MA), which is defined as the region bounded below by the tropopause near 10 km and above by the mesopause near 90 to 100 km, is regarded as a passive medium through which electric fields and currents are transmitted from sources above and below. A scientific background is given for: sources of MA electric fields; MA conductivity and currents; and MA plasma characteristics. Recommendations are given for research in MA electrodynamics in the following areas: (1) MA electrodynamical parameters; (2) models and supportive laboratory measurements; and (3) investigation of specific problems in the coupled systems.

  1. Centennial to millennial variations of atmospheric methane during the early Holocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Ji-Woong; Ahn, Jinho; Brook, Edward

    2015-04-01

    Atmospheric CH4 is one of the most important greenhouse gases. Ice core studies revealed strong correlations between millennial CH4 variations and Greenland climate during the last glacial period. However, millennial to sub-millennial CH4 variations during interglacial periods are not well studied. Recently, several high-resolution data sets have been produced for the late Holocene, but it is difficult to distinguish natural- from anthropogenic changes. In contrast, the methane budget of the early Holocene is not affected by anthropogenic disturbances, thus may help us better understand natural CH4 control mechanisms under interglacial climate boundary conditions. Here we present our new high-precision and high-resolution atmospheric CH4 record from Siple Dome ice core, Antarctica that covers the early Holocene. We used our new wet extraction system at Seoul National University that shows a good precision of ~1 ppb. Our data show several tens of ppb of centennial- to millennial CH4 variations and an anti-correlative evolution with Greenland climate on the millennial time scale. The CH4 record could have been affected by many different types of forcing, including temperature, precipitation (monsoon intensity), biomass burning, sea surface temperature, and solar activity. According to our data, early Holocene CH4 is well correlated with records of hematite stained grains (HSG) in North Atlantic sediment records, within age uncertainties. A red-noise spectral analysis yields peaks at frequencies of ~1270 and ~80 years, which are similar to solar frequencies, but further investigations are needed to determine major controlling factor of atmospheric CH4during the early Holocene.

  2. Turbulent atmospheric plumes above line sources with an application to volcanic fissure eruptions on the terrestrial planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stothers, Richard B.

    1989-01-01

    The theory of turbulent plumes maintained above steady line sources of buoyancy is worked out in detail within the limitations of Taylor's entrainment assumption. It is applied to the structure of a pure plume injected into a stably stratified atmosphere. Volcanic basalt eruptions that develop from long, narrow vents create line source plumes, which rise well above the magmatic fire fountains playing near the ground level. The eruption of Laki in 1783 may provide an example of this style of eruption. Flood basalts are more ancient examples. Evidence of enormous fissure eruptions that occurred in the past on Mars and Venus also exists. Owing to the different properties of the atmospheres on these two planets from those on the earth, heights of line source plumes are expected to vary in the ratios 1:6:0.6 (earth:Mars:Venus). It is very unlikely that the observed increase of sulfur dioxide above the Venusian cloud deck in 1978 could have been due to a line source volcanic eruption, even if it had been a flood basalt eruption.

  3. Ideas and Perspectives: On the emission of amines from terrestrial vegetation in the context of atmospheric new particle formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sintermann, J.; Neftel, A.

    2015-02-01

    In this article we summarise recent science, which shows how airborne amines, specifically methylamines (MAs), play a key role in atmospheric new particle formation (NPF) by stabilising small molecule clusters. Agricultural emissions are assumed to constitute the most important MA source, but given the short atmospheric residence time of MAs, they can hardly have a direct impact on NFP events observed in remote regions. This leads us to the presentation of existing knowledge focussing on natural vegetation-related MA sources. High MA contents as well as emissions by plants have already been described in the 19th century. Strong MA emissions predominantly occur during flowering as part of a pollination strategy. The behaviour is species specific, but examples of such species are common and widespread. In addition, vegetative plant tissue exhibiting high amounts of MAs might potentially lead to significant emissions, and the decomposition of organic material could constitute another source for airborne MAs. These mechanisms would provide sources, which could be crucial for the amine's role in NPF, especially in remote regions. Knowledge about vegetation-related amine emissions is, however, very limited and thus it is also an open question how Global Change and the intensified cycling of reactive nitrogen over the last 200 years have altered amine emissions from vegetation with a corresponding effect on NPF.

  4. Ideas and perspectives: on the emission of amines from terrestrial vegetation in the context of new atmospheric particle formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sintermann, J.; Neftel, A.

    2015-06-01

    In this article we summarise recent science which shows how airborne amines, specifically methylamines (MAs), play a key role in new atmospheric particle formation (NPF) by stabilising small molecule clusters. Agricultural emissions are assumed to constitute the most important MA source, but given the short atmospheric residence time of MAs, they can hardly have a direct impact on NPF events observed in remote regions. This leads us to the presentation of existing knowledge focussing on natural vegetation-related MA sources. High MA contents as well as emissions by plants was already described in the 19th century. Strong MA emissions predominantly occur during flowering as part of a pollination strategy. The behaviour is species-specific, but examples of such species are common and widespread. In addition, vegetative plant tissue exhibiting high amounts of MAs might potentially lead to significant emissions. The decomposition of organic material constitutes another, potentially ubiquitous, source of airborne MAs. These mechanisms would provide sources, which could be crucial for the amine's role in NPF, especially in remote regions. Knowledge about vegetation-related amine emissions is, however, very limited, and thus it is also an open question how global change and the intensified cycling of reactive nitrogen over the last 200 years have altered amine emissions from vegetation with a corresponding effect on NPF.

  5. Stability of the vegetation-atmosphere system in the early Eocene climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Port, U.; Claussen, M.

    2015-05-01

    We explore the stability of the atmosphere-vegetation system in the warm, almost ice-free early Eocene climate and in the interglacial, pre-industrial climate by analysing the dependence of the system on the initial vegetation cover. The Earth system model of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology is initialised with either dense forests or bare deserts on all continents. Starting with desert continents, an extended desert remains in Central Asia in early Eocene climate. Starting with dense forest coverage, this desert is much smaller because the initially dense vegetation cover enhances water recycling in Central Asia relative to the simulation with initial deserts. With a smaller Asian desert, the Asian monsoon is stronger than in the case with a larger desert. The stronger Asian monsoon shifts the global tropical circulation leading to coastal subtropical deserts in North and South America which are significantly larger than with a large Asian desert. This result indicates a global teleconnection of the vegetation cover in several regions. In present-day climate, a bi-stability of the atmosphere-vegetation system is found for Northern Africa only. A global teleconnection of bi-stabilities in several regions is absent highlighting that the stability of the vegetation-atmosphere system depends on climatic and tectonic boundary conditions.

  6. Radionuclides in the terrestrial ecosystem near a Canadian uranium mill -- Part 3: Atmospheric deposition rates (pilot test)

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, P.A.

    2000-06-01

    Atmospheric deposition rates of uranium series radionuclides were directly measured at three sites near the operating Key Lake uranium mill in northern Saskatchewan. Sites impacted by windblown tailings and mill dusts had elevated rates of uranium deposition near the mill and elevated {sup 226}Ra deposition near the tailings compared to a control site. Rainwater collectors, dust jars, and passive vinyl collectors previously used at the Ranger Mine in Australia were pilot-tested. Adhesive vinyl surfaces (1 m{sup 2}) were oriented horizontally, vertically, and facing the ground as a means of measuring gravitational settling, wind impaction, and soil resuspension, respectively. Although the adhesive glue on the vinyls proved difficult to digest, relative differences in deposition mode were found among radionuclides and among sites. Dry deposition was a more important transport mechanism for uranium, {sup 226}Ra, and {sup 210}Pb than rainfall, while more {sup 210}Po was deposited with rainfall.

  7. The young sun, the early earth and the photochemistry of oxygen, ozone and formaldehyde in the early atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Canuto, V. M.; Levine, J. S.; Augustsson, T. R.; Imhoff, C. L.; Goldman, I.; Hubickyj, O.

    1986-01-01

    Recent work on the evolution of the solar nebula and the subsequent formation of planets is reviewed, and the stages of star formation thought to lead to a protosun and an accompanying solar nebula are considered. Photochemical results suggest that concentrations of O2, O3, and H2CO, and the ratio of CO/CO2 in the prebiological paleoatmosphere are very sensitive to atmospheric levels of H2O and CO2 and to the flux of incident solar ultraviolet. For enhanced levels of CO2 and solar UV, surface levels of O2 may have approached the parts per billion level in the prebiological paleoatmosphere. It is suggested that 10 percent or more of the enhanced H2CO production could have been rained out of the atmosphere into the early oceans where synthesis into more complex organic molecules could have taken place. CO/CO2 values of greater than unity could have been possible for enhanced levels of solar UV flux.

  8. Atmospheric COS measurements and satellite-derived vegetation fluorescence data to evaluate the terrestrial gross primary productivity of CMIP5 model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peylin, Philippe; MacBean, Natasha; Launois, Thomas; Belviso, Sauveur; Cadule, Patricia; Maignan, Fabienne

    2016-04-01

    Predicting the fate of the ecosystem carbon stocks and their sensitivity to climate change strongly relies on our ability to accurately model the gross carbon fluxes, i.e. photosynthesis and respiration. The Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) simulated by the different terrestrial models used in CMIP5 show large differences however, not only in terms of mean value but also in terms of phase and amplitude, thus hampering accurate investigations into carbon-climate feedbacks. While the net C flux of an ecosystem (NEE) can be measured in situ with the eddy covariance technique, the GPP is not directly accessible at larger scales and usually estimates are based on indirect measurements combining different tracers. Recent measurements of a new atmospheric tracer, the Carbonyl sulphide (COS), as well as the global measurement of Solar Induced Fluorescence (SIF) from satellite instruments (GOSAT, GOME2) open a new window for evaluating the GPP of earth system models. The use of COS relies on the fact that it is absorbed by the leaves in a similar manner to CO2, while there seems to be nothing equivalent to respiration for COS. Following recent work by Launois et al. (ACP, 2015), there is a potential to evaluate model GPP from atmospheric COS and CO2 measurements, using a transport model and recent parameterizations for the non-photosynthetic sinks (oxic soils, atmospheric oxidation) and biogenic sources (oceans and anoxic soils) of COS. Vegetation uptake of COS is modeled as a linear function of GPP and the ratio of COS to CO2 rate of uptake by plants. For the fluorescence, recent measurements of SIF from space appear to be highly correlated with monthly variations of data-driven GPP estimates (Guanter et al., 2012), following a strong dependence of vegetation SIF on photosynthetic activity. These global measurements thus provide new indications on the timing of canopy carbon uptake. In this work, we propose a dual approach that combines the strength of both COS and SIF

  9. Isotopic and anatomical evidence of an herbivorous diet in the Early Tertiary giant bird Gastornis. Implications for the structure of Paleocene terrestrial ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angst, D.; Lécuyer, C.; Amiot, R.; Buffetaut, E.; Fourel, F.; Martineau, F.; Legendre, S.; Abourachid, A.; Herrel, A.

    2014-04-01

    The mode of life of the early Tertiary giant bird Gastornis has long been a matter of controversy. Although it has often been reconstructed as an apex predator feeding on small mammals, according to other interpretations, it was in fact a large herbivore. To determine the diet of this bird, we analyze here the carbon isotope composition of the bone apatite from Gastornis and contemporaneous herbivorous mammals. Based on 13C-enrichment measured between carbonate and diet of carnivorous and herbivorous modern birds, the carbonate δ13C values of Gastornis bone remains, recovered from four Paleocene and Eocene French localities, indicate that this bird fed on plants. This is confirmed by a morphofunctional study showing that the reconstructed jaw musculature of Gastornis was similar to that of living herbivorous birds and unlike that of carnivorous forms. The herbivorous Gastornis was the largest terrestrial tetrapod in the Paleocene biota of Europe, unlike the situation in North America and Asia, where Gastornis is first recorded in the early Eocene, and the largest Paleocene animals were herbivorous mammals. The structure of the Paleocene terrestrial ecosystems of Europe may have been similar to that of some large islands, notably Madagascar, prior to the arrival of humans.

  10. Isotopic and anatomical evidence of an herbivorous diet in the Early Tertiary giant bird Gastornis. implications for the structure of Paleocene terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Angst, D; Lécuyer, C; Amiot, R; Buffetaut, E; Fourel, F; Martineau, F; Legendre, S; Abourachid, A; Herrel, A

    2014-04-01

    The mode of life of the early Tertiary giant bird Gastornis has long been a matter of controversy. Although it has often been reconstructed as an apex predator feeding on small mammals, according to other interpretations, it was in fact a large herbivore. To determine the diet of this bird, we analyze here the carbon isotope composition of the bone apatite from Gastornis and contemporaneous herbivorous mammals. Based on (13)C-enrichment measured between carbonate and diet of carnivorous and herbivorous modern birds, the carbonate δ(13)C values of Gastornis bone remains, recovered from four Paleocene and Eocene French localities, indicate that this bird fed on plants. This is confirmed by a morphofunctional study showing that the reconstructed jaw musculature of Gastornis was similar to that of living herbivorous birds and unlike that of carnivorous forms. The herbivorous Gastornis was the largest terrestrial tetrapod in the Paleocene biota of Europe, unlike the situation in North America and Asia, where Gastornis is first recorded in the early Eocene, and the largest Paleocene animals were herbivorous mammals. The structure of the Paleocene terrestrial ecosystems of Europe may have been similar to that of some large islands, notably Madagascar, prior to the arrival of humans. PMID:24563098

  11. NOx in the Atmosphere of Early Earth as Electron Acceptors for Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, M. L.; Charnay, B.; Gao, P.; Yung, Y. L.; Russell, M. J.

    2015-12-01

    We quantify the amount of NOx produced in the Hadean atmosphere and available in the Hadean ocean for the emergence of life. Atmospherically generated nitrate (NO3-) and nitrite (NO2-) are the most attractive high-potential electron acceptors for driving the highly endergonic reactions at the entry points to autotrophic metabolic pathways at submarine alkaline hydrothermal vents (Ducluzeau, 2008; Russell, 2014). The Hadean atmosphere, dominated by CO2 and N2, will produce nitric oxide (NO) when shocked by lightning and impacts (Ducluzeau, 2008; Nna Mvondo, 2001). Photochemical reactions involving NO and H2O vapor will then produce acids such as HNO3 and HNO2 that rain into the ocean and dissociate into NO3- and NO2-. Previous work suggests that 1018 g of NOx can be produced in a million years or so, satisfying the need for micromolar concentrations of NO3- and NO2- in the ocean (Ducluzeau, 2008). But because this number is controversial, we present new calculations based on a novel combination of early-Earth GCM and photochemical modeling, calculating the sources and sinks for fixed nitrogen. Finally, it is notable that lightning has been detected on Venus and Mars along with evidence of atmospheric NO; in the distant past, could NOx have been created and available for the emergence of life on numerous wet, rocky worlds?

  12. Solution of Time-dependent Hydrodynamic Equations and application in Early Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, F.; Toon, O. B.; Pavlov, A. A.; Sterck, H. D.

    2003-12-01

    Hydrodynamic escape has important applications in the formation and evolution of planetary atmospheres. Watson et. al. (1981) treated the time-independent hydrodynamic equations by assuming single layer heating and this approach has been followed by researches in this field since then. Solutions to the time-independent hydrodynamic equations are difficult to find due to the existence of a singularity point. In our work, the Lax-Friedrichs scheme is used to solve the 1D time-dependent hydrodynamic equations without the single layer heating approximation. Our results show that variables such as energy input rate at the top of the atmosphere, density and temperature at the homopause have a non-linear impact on the escape flux. In our preliminary calculations, for the same hydrogen mixing ratio near homopause in Earth's atmosphere, hydrodynamic escape flux driven by intense solar EUV heating is much smaller than the diffusion limited escape flux. This escape rate suggests that the huge amount of H2 outgassing from interior of the Earth to compensate the previously assumed large scale escape may not be necessary to support substantial CH4 mixing ratios in the early Earth's atmosphere. FT is supported by the CU Astrobiology Institute.

  13. Friis Hills Drilling Project - Coring an Early to mid-Miocene terrestrial sequence in the Transantarctic Mountains to examine climate gradients and ice sheet variability along an inland-to-offshore transect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, A. R.; Levy, R. H.; Naish, T.; Gorman, A. R.; Golledge, N.; Dickinson, W. W.; Kraus, C.; Florindo, F.; Ashworth, A. C.; Pyne, A.; Kingan, T.

    2015-12-01

    The Early to mid-Miocene is a compelling interval to study Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) sensitivity. Circulation patterns in the southern hemisphere were broadly similar to present and reconstructed atmospheric CO2 concentrations were analogous to those projected for the next several decades. Geologic records from locations proximal to the AIS are required to examine ice sheet response to climate variability during this time. Coastal and offshore drill core records recovered by ANDRILL and IODP provide information regarding ice sheet variability along and beyond the coastal margin but they cannot constrain the extent of inland retreat. Additional environmental data from the continental interior is required to constrain the magnitude of ice sheet variability and inform numerical ice sheet models. The only well-dated terrestrial deposits that register early to mid-Miocene interior ice extent and climate are in the Friis Hills, 80 km inland. The deposits record multiple glacial-interglacial cycles and fossiliferous non-glacial beds show that interglacial climate was warm enough for a diverse biota. Drifts are preserved in a shallow valley with the oldest beds exposed along the edges where they terminate at sharp erosional margins. These margins reveal drifts in short stratigraphic sections but none is more than 13 m thick. A 34 m-thick composite stratigraphic sequence has been produced from exposed drift sequences but correlating beds in scattered exposures is problematic. Moreover, much of the sequence is buried and inaccessible in the basin center. New seismic data collected during 2014 reveal a sequence of sediments at least 50 m thick. This stratigraphic package likely preserves a detailed and more complete sedimentary sequence for the Friis Hills that can be used to refine and augment the outcrop-based composite stratigraphy. We aim to drill through this sequence using a helicopter-transportable diamond coring system. These new cores will allow us to obtain

  14. Recharge of the early atmosphere of Mars by impact-induced release of CO2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carr, Michael H.

    1989-01-01

    The question as to whether high impact rates early in the history of Mars could have aided in maintaining a relatively thick CO2 atmosphere is discussed. Such impacts could have released CO2 into the atmosphere by burial, by shock-induced release during impact events, and by the addition of carbon to Mars from the impacting bolides. On the assumption that cratering rates on Mars were comparable to those of the moon's Nectarial period, burial rates are a result of 'impact gardening' at the end of heavy bombardment are estimated to have ranged from 20 to 45 m/million years; at these rates, 0.1-0.2 bar of CO2 would have been released every 10 million years as a result of burial to depths at which carbonate dissociation temperatures are encountered.

  15. A Reducing Atmosphere From Out-gassing of the Early Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaefer, L.; Fegley, B., Jr.

    2005-08-01

    Earth's present atmosphere originated from out-gassing of volatile-bearing grains. We calculated the composition of volatiles out-gassed from chondritic planetary bodies. We present results for average CI, CM, CV, H, L, and EH chondrites, which are the building blocks of the Earth. From the oxygen-isotope mixing (OIM) model, we calculated a composition of 70% EH, 21% H, 5% CV, and 4% CI chondritic matter for the early Earth. The major out-gassed volatiles for these starting compositions are CH4, N2, NH3, H2, and H2O. The Miller-Urey experiment demonstrated that a reducing atmosphere like this generates amino acids and other organic compounds that are essential for the formation of life. This work is supported by the NASA Astrobiology Program. \\leavevmode \\epsfxsize=0.9\\hsize \\epsfbox{49.eps}

  16. A model atmosphere analysis of the faint early-type halo star PHL 346

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keenan, F. P.; Lennon, D. J.; Brown, P. J. F.; Dufton, P. L.

    1986-08-01

    Stellar equivalent widths and hydrogen line profiles, measured from high-resolution optical spectra obtained with the 2.5 m Issac Newton Telescope, are used in conjunction with model atmosphere calculations to determine the atmospheric parameters and chemical composition of the faint, high galactic latitude early-type star PHL 346. The effective temperature (Teff = 22,600 + or - 1000 K) and surface gravity (log g = 3.6 + or - 0.2), as well as the chemical composition, are found to be similar to those of normal OB stars. Therefore, it is concluded that PHL 346 is an ordinary Population I object, at a z distance of 8.7 + or - 1.5 kpc. The relatively small stellar velocity in the z-direction (Vz = +56 + or - 10 km/s) then implies that PHL 346 must have been formed in the halo, possibly from galactic fountain material at a z distance of about 6 kpc.

  17. Filling-in of far-red and near-Infrared solar lines by terrestrial and atmospheric effects: simulations and space-based observations from SCIAMACHY and GOSAT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joiner, J.; Yoshida, Y.; Vasilkov, A. P.; Middleton, E. M.; Campbell, P. K. E.; Yoshida, Y.; Kuze, A.; Corp, L. A.

    2012-01-01

    Global mapping of terrestrial vegetation fluorescence from space has recently been accomplished with high spectral resolution (ν/Δν>35 000) measurements from the Japanese Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT). These data are of interest because they can potentially provide global information on the functional status of vegetation including light use efficiency and global primary productivity that can be used for global carbon cycle modeling. Quantifying the impact of fluorescence on the O2-A band is important as this band is used for cloud- and aerosol-characterization for other trace-gas retrievals including CO2. Here, we explore whether fluorescence information can be derived from space using potentially lower-cost hyperspectral instrumentation, i.e., more than an order of magnitude less spectral resolution (ν/Δν ∼1600) than GOSAT, with a relatively simple algorithm. We simulate the filling-in, from various atmospheric and terrestrial effects, of one of the few wide and deep solar Fraunhofer lines in the long-wave tail of the fluorescence emission region, the calcium (Ca) II line near 866 nm. We then examine filling-in of this line using the SCanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY (SCIAMACHY) satellite instrument. We develop and apply methodology to correct for various instrumental artifacts that produce false filling-in of solar lines in satellite radiance measurements. We then compare the derived additive near-InfraRed (NIR) signal at 866 nm, that fills in the Ca II line, with larger signals retrieved at 758 and 770 nm on the shoulders of the O2-A feature from GOSAT that are presumably due primarily to vegetation fluorescence. Finally, we compare temporal and spatial variations of GOSAT and SCIAMACHY additive signals with those of the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) from the MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Although the observed filling-in signal from SCIAMACHY is extremely weak at 866 nm, the

  18. Antarctic ice sheet sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 variations in the early to mid-Miocene

    PubMed Central

    Levy, Richard; Harwood, David; Florindo, Fabio; Sangiorgi, Francesca; Tripati, Robert; von Eynatten, Hilmar; Tripati, Aradhna; DeConto, Robert; Fielding, Christopher; Field, Brad; Golledge, Nicholas; McKay, Robert; Naish, Timothy; Olney, Matthew; Pollard, David; Schouten, Stefan; Talarico, Franco; Warny, Sophie; Willmott, Veronica; Acton, Gary; Panter, Kurt; Paulsen, Timothy; Taviani, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Geological records from the Antarctic margin offer direct evidence of environmental variability at high southern latitudes and provide insight regarding ice sheet sensitivity to past climate change. The early to mid-Miocene (23–14 Mya) is a compelling interval to study as global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations were similar to those projected for coming centuries. Importantly, this time interval includes the Miocene Climatic Optimum, a period of global warmth during which average surface temperatures were 3–4 °C higher than today. Miocene sediments in the ANDRILL-2A drill core from the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica, indicate that the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) was highly variable through this key time interval. A multiproxy dataset derived from the core identifies four distinct environmental motifs based on changes in sedimentary facies, fossil assemblages, geochemistry, and paleotemperature. Four major disconformities in the drill core coincide with regional seismic discontinuities and reflect transient expansion of grounded ice across the Ross Sea. They correlate with major positive shifts in benthic oxygen isotope records and generally coincide with intervals when atmospheric CO2 concentrations were at or below preindustrial levels (∼280 ppm). Five intervals reflect ice sheet minima and air temperatures warm enough for substantial ice mass loss during episodes of high (∼500 ppm) atmospheric CO2. These new drill core data and associated ice sheet modeling experiments indicate that polar climate and the AIS were highly sensitive to relatively small changes in atmospheric CO2 during the early to mid-Miocene. PMID:26903644

  19. Antarctic ice sheet sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 variations in the early to mid-Miocene.

    PubMed

    Levy, Richard; Harwood, David; Florindo, Fabio; Sangiorgi, Francesca; Tripati, Robert; von Eynatten, Hilmar; Gasson, Edward; Kuhn, Gerhard; Tripati, Aradhna; DeConto, Robert; Fielding, Christopher; Field, Brad; Golledge, Nicholas; McKay, Robert; Naish, Timothy; Olney, Matthew; Pollard, David; Schouten, Stefan; Talarico, Franco; Warny, Sophie; Willmott, Veronica; Acton, Gary; Panter, Kurt; Paulsen, Timothy; Taviani, Marco

    2016-03-29

    Geological records from the Antarctic margin offer direct evidence of environmental variability at high southern latitudes and provide insight regarding ice sheet sensitivity to past climate change. The early to mid-Miocene (23-14 Mya) is a compelling interval to study as global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations were similar to those projected for coming centuries. Importantly, this time interval includes the Miocene Climatic Optimum, a period of global warmth during which average surface temperatures were 3-4 °C higher than today. Miocene sediments in the ANDRILL-2A drill core from the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica, indicate that the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) was highly variable through this key time interval. A multiproxy dataset derived from the core identifies four distinct environmental motifs based on changes in sedimentary facies, fossil assemblages, geochemistry, and paleotemperature. Four major disconformities in the drill core coincide with regional seismic discontinuities and reflect transient expansion of grounded ice across the Ross Sea. They correlate with major positive shifts in benthic oxygen isotope records and generally coincide with intervals when atmospheric CO2 concentrations were at or below preindustrial levels (∼280 ppm). Five intervals reflect ice sheet minima and air temperatures warm enough for substantial ice mass loss during episodes of high (∼500 ppm) atmospheric CO2 These new drill core data and associated ice sheet modeling experiments indicate that polar climate and the AIS were highly sensitive to relatively small changes in atmospheric CO2 during the early to mid-Miocene. PMID:26903644

  20. Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackwell, Stephen J.; Simon-Miller, Amy A.; Harder, Jerald W.; Bullock, Mark A.

    Public awareness of climate change on Earth is currently very high, promoting significant interest in atmospheric processes. We are fortunate to live in an era where it is possible to study the climates of many planets, including our own, using spacecraft and groundbased observations as well as advanced computational power that allows detailed modeling. Planetary atmospheric dynamics and structure are all governed by the same basic physics. Thus differences in the input variables (such as composition, internal structure, and solar radiation) among the known planets provide a broad suite of natural laboratory settings for gaining new understanding of these physical processes and their outcomes. Diverse planetary settings provide insightful comparisons to atmospheric processes and feedbacks on Earth, allowing a greater understanding of the driving forces and external influences on our own planetary climate. They also inform us in our search for habitable environments on planets orbiting distant stars, a topic that was a focus of Exoplanets, the preceding book in the University of Arizona Press Space Sciences Series. Quite naturally, and perhaps inevitably, our fascination with climate is largely driven toward investigating the interplay between the early development of life and the presence of a suitable planetary climate. Our understanding of how habitable planets come to be begins with the worlds closest to home. Venus, Earth, and Mars differ only modestly in their mass and distance from the Sun, yet their current climates could scarcely be more divergent. Our purpose for this book is to set forth the foundations for this emerging science and to bring to the forefront our current understanding of atmospheric formation and climate evolution. Although there is significant comparison to be made to atmospheric processes on nonterrestrial planets in our solar system — the gas and ice giants — here we focus on the terrestrial planets, leaving even broader comparisons

  1. Century-scale shifts in early holocene atmospheric CO2 concentration

    PubMed

    Wagner; Bohncke; Dilcher; Kurschner; van Geel B; Visscher

    1999-06-18

    The inverse relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and stomatal frequency in tree leaves provides an accurate method for detecting and quantifying century-scale carbon dioxide fluctuations. Stomatal frequency signatures of fossil birch leaves reflect an abrupt carbon dioxide increase at the beginning of the Holocene. A succeeding carbon dioxide decline matches the Preboreal Oscillation, a 150-year cooling pulse that occurred about 300 years after the onset of the Holocene. In contrast to conventional ice core estimates of 270 to 280 parts per million by volume (ppmv), the stomatal frequency signal suggests that early Holocene carbon dioxide concentrations were well above 300 ppmv. PMID:10373111

  2. Arctic Climate and Terrestrial Vegetation Responses During the Middle to Late Eocene and Early Oligocene: Colder Winters Preceded Cool-Down.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenwood, D. R.; Eldrett, J.

    2006-12-01

    The late Eocene to early Oligocene is recognized as an interval of substantial change in the global climate, with isotopic proxies of climate indicating a significant drop in sea surface temperatures. Other studies have shown, however that at middle latitudes that terrestrial mean annual temperature did not change significantly over this interval, and that the major change was likely a shift towards a greater range of seasonal temperatures; colder winters and warmer summers. Previous analyses of high latitude (Arctic) middle Eocene climate using both leaf physiognomic analysis and qualitative analysis of identified nearest living relatives of terrestrial floras indicated upper microthermal environments (mean annual temp. or MAT ca 10°C but perhaps as high as 15°C, coldest month mean temp. or CMMT ca 0°C) for Axel Heiberg Island in the Arctic Archipelago, but did not address precipitation nor provide data on the Eocene-Oligocene transition in the Arctic. Presented here are new estimates of temperature and precipitation (annual and season amounts) for the Arctic based on NLR analysis of terrestrial plant palynomorphs (spores and pollen) from the ODP 913B and 985 cores from near Greenland. The record of climate for the Greenland cores show a similar climate in the middle Eocene to that previously estimated for Axel Heiberg Island further to the west, with MAT 10- 15°C but with CMMT >5°C. Precipitation was high (mean annual precip. or MAP >180 cm/yr), although with large uncertainties attached to the estimate. The climate proxy record for the late Eocene to early Oligocene shows a lack of change in MAT and MAP over the time interval. Consistent with other published records at middle latitudes, however, winter temperatures (as CMMT) show greater variability leading up to the E-O boundary, and consistently cooler values in the early Oligocene (CMMT <5°C) than recorded for most of the middle to late Eocene record (CMMT >5°C). Plant groups sensitive to freezing such

  3. Reconciling estimates of the contemporary North American carbon balance among an inventory-based approach, terrestrial biosphere models, and atmospheric inversions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes, D. J.; Turner, D. P.; Stinson, G.; McGuire, A. D.; Wei, Y.; West, T. O.; Heath, L. S.; De Jong, B. H.; McConkey, B. G.; Birdsey, R.; Kurz, W. A.; Jacobson, A. R.; Huntzinger, D. N.; Pan, Y.; Post, W. M.; Cook, R. B.

    2011-12-01

    Although the exact contribution is uncertain, North American (NA) ecosystems are thought to have a significant influence on the global carbon budget by acting as a large sink of atmospheric CO2 in recent decades. Assessments of the continental carbon balance have been based on various scaling approaches, including top-down atmospheric inverse models (AIMs) and bottom-up terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs), which vary widely in their estimates of the magnitude, timing and spatial pattern of sources and sinks of atmospheric CO2. A suite of results on NA ecosystem carbon flux from extant model simulations (based on both AIMs and TBMs) have been organized by the North American Carbon Program (NACP). Here, we assemble and analyze available inventory-based data on NA ecosystem carbon cycle components as an additional perspective alongside the NACP models. We develop an inventory-based approach for estimating net ecosystem exchange (NEE) over NA that notably retains information on the spatial distribution of the vertical fluxes as well as accounting for lateral transfers. The total inventory-based NEE estimate of a -327 ± 252 TgC yr-1 sink for NA was driven primarily by CO2 uptake in the Forest Lands (-248 TgC yr-1) and in the Crop Lands (-297 TgC yr-1) sectors. These sinks are counteracted by the CO2 source estimated for the Other Lands sector (+218 TgC yr-1), where much of the forest and crop products are returned to the atmosphere through consumption and decay. The ecosystems of Mexico are estimated to be a small net source (+18 TgC yr-1) due to land use change. We compare these inventory-based estimates with results from the TBMs and AIMs, where the mean continental-scale NEE estimate for each ensemble is -511 TgC yr-1 and -931 TgC yr-1, respectively. Additional fluxes not measured by the inventories, though highly uncertain, could add an additional -239 TgC yr-1 to the inventory-based NA sink estimate, thus suggesting some convergence with the modeling approaches

  4. Solar terrestrial observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    Eight basic solar-terrestrial scientific objectives that benefit from the Shuttle/Platform approach and a program of measurements for each are discussed. The objectives are to understand: (1) solar variability, (2) wave-particle processes, (3) magnetosphere-ionosphere mass transport, (4) the global electric circuit, (5) upper atmospheric dynamics, (6) middle atmospheric chemistry and energetics, (7) lower atmospheric turbidity, and (8) planetary atmospheric waves. A two stage approach to a multidisciplinary payload is developed: an initial STO, that uses a single platform in a low-Earth orbit, and an advanced STO that uses two platforms in differing orbits.

  5. Large-scale travelling atmospheric disturbances in the night ionosphere during the solar terrestrial event of 23 May 2002

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lynn, K. J. W.; Gardiner-Garden, R.; Sjarifudin, M.; Terkildsen, M.; Shi, J.; Harris, T. J.

    2008-12-01

    This paper examines the night of 23 May 2002 as observed by a large number of Australian ionosondes (19) as well as others situated in New Guinea, Indonesia and China. The arrival of a solar Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) and subsequent negative Bz turnings in the solar wind resulted in a magnetic storm with two bursts of energy inputs into the auroral zones. The energy depositions produced two successive rise and falls in ionospheric height over a 300 km height range within the period 12.30-21.00 UT. The two events were seen in the night-side hemisphere by all ionosondes at Southeast Asian longitudes in the southern hemisphere, as well as in the northern hemisphere. In this paper, the simultaneity and spatial variability of these events is investigated. The first event, after an initial expansion towards the equator, ended with a retreat in the area of height rise back towards the auroral zone. The second event was of greater complexity and did not show such a steady variation in rise and fall times with latitude. Such events are often described as large-scale travelling atmospheric/ionospheric disturbances (LTADs or LTIDs). In the southern hemisphere, the front of the initial height rise was found to move at a speed up to 1300 m/s as was also measured by Tsugawa et al. [2006. Geomagnetic conjugate observations of large-scale travelling ionospheric disturbances using GPS networks in Japan and Australia. Journal of Geophysical Research 111, A02302] from small changes in GPS TEC. The front was uniform across the widest longitudinal range of observation (52° or 5360 km).The relationship between the subsequent fall in ionospheric height and an associated temporary increase in foF2 was found to be consistent with previous observations. Ionospheric drivers that move ionization up and down magnetic field lines are suggested as the common cause of the relationship between foF2 and height.

  6. An analytic approach to estimate global terrestrial carbon influx and storage associated with an increase in atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration

    SciTech Connect

    Luo, Y.; Sims, D.A.; Ball, J.T.

    1995-06-01

    We derived a leaf-level factor (L) from a mechanistic model of C{sub 3} photosynthesis: the relative photosynthetic response to a small change in atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration (C{sub a}). The mathematical derivation suggests that L is insensitive to either abiotic or biotic variables but a function of C{sub a}. We used seven sets of experimental data to test this proposition. Despite wide variation in photosynthesis with growth and measurement light levels, growth and measurement temperatures, nitrogen availability, growth CO{sub 2} concentration, and various species, derived values of the L factor converged into a narrow band, confirming that L is an approximate constant at a given C{sub a}. Since C{sub 3} plants are the vast majority in the earth system, the L factor enables us to cut across spatial heterogeneities to bound the increment of global photosynthetic carbon influx (P{sub G}) as stimulated by a C{sub a} increase. We estimated that the increment was between 0.21 and 0.45 Gt (1 Gt = 10{sup 15} g) in 1993, given P{sub G} = 120 Gt yr{sup -1}, due to a 1.5-ppm C{sub a} increase in that year. Using global mean residence time and the increment of P{sub G} we are able to estimate potential global terrestrial carbon sequestration.

  7. Dynamics of Water Yield From China's Terrestrial Ecosystems in the 20th Century: Impact of Climate Change, Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, Tropospheric Ozone, and Land- Use

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, M.; Tian, H.; Zhang, C.; Ren, W.; Liu, J.

    2006-05-01

    The availability of freshwater resources is critical to China's economic development and human's health. Water yield, the runoff from the drainage basin, is one important index of ecosystem service that directly controls the total freshwater availability and rain erosity. The monsoon climate system and the complexity of natural geography in China lead to substantially spatial and temporal variability in water resources. It has been argued that intensively human activity and air pollution have altered the terrestrial water cycle in the last century. However, little is known about the magnitude and historical trend of water yield across China as well as underlying mechanisms. This study used a process-based Dynamic Land Ecosystem Model (DLEM) to address the effects of multiple stressors on water yield nationwide during 1900 to 2000. These multiple stressors include changes in climate, atmospheric CO2 concentration, tropospheric ozone, and land-use (including cropland expansion, cropland abandonment, urbanization, and irrigation). By using optimal fingerprinting statistical techniques and factorial simulation experiments, we determined the relative contribution of these multiple stressors to water yield for the study period. The simulated results were evaluated against river's runoff records and watershed observations. Our simulated results suggest that the land-use change and precipitation appear to be two primary factors controlling water yield in China.

  8. Sensitivity of terrestrial ecosystems to elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2}: Comparisons of model simulation studies to CO{sub 2} effect

    SciTech Connect

    Pan, Y.

    1995-06-01

    In the context of a project to compare terrestrial ecosystem models, the Vegetation/Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis Project (VEMAP), we have analyzed how three biogeochemistry models link plant growth to doubled atmospheric CO{sub 2}. A common set of input data was used to drive three biogeochemistry models, BIOME-BGC, CENTURY and TEM. For the continental United States the simulation results show that with doubled CO{sub 2}, NPP increased by 8.7%, 5.0% and 10.8% for TEM, CENTURY and BIOME-BGC, respectively. At the biome level the range of NPP estimates varied considerably among models. TEM-simulated enhancement of NPP ranged from 2% to 28%; CENTURY, from 2% to 9%; and BIOME-BGC, from 4% to 27%. A transect analysis across several biomes along a latitude at 41.5 N shows that the TEM-simulated CO{sub 2} enhancement of NPP ranged from 0% to 22%; CENTURY, from 1% to 10% and BIOME-BGC, from 1% to 63%. In this study, we have investigated the underlying mechanisms of the three models to reveal how increased CO{sub 2} affects photosynthesis rate, water using efficiency and nutrient cycles. The relative importance of these mechanisms in each of the three biogeochemistry models will be discussed.

  9. The Chlorine Abundance of Earth: Evidence for Early Atmospheric Loss and Creation of a Life-Supporting Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharp, Z. D.; Draper, D. S.

    2009-12-01

    The Earth abundance of the heavier halogens, Cl, Br and I, are significantly depleted relative to expected values based on CI chondrites and solar abundances. The cause of these ‘selective’ depletions may be related to 1) far greater volatility than previously assumed; 2) a hidden reservoir on Earth; 3) selective loss of the halogens during planetary accretion. The volatility of an element is related to its temperature of condensation from the cooling solar nebula. The high condensation temperature of Cl is based on sodalite crystallization at ~800 K (10-4 bar), but even if sodalite formation is kinetically impeded at such low pressures, NaCl (g) should condense to NaCl (s) at only slightly lower temperatures. An unreasonably low condensation temperature of ~200 K would be needed to explain Earth’s concentration of halogens. A second possibility for the apparent Earth depletion is that Cl is strongly partitioned into the core. We tested this hypothesis by experimentally measuring Cl partitioning between basalt and Fe (and Fe95.5S4.5) at high pressures and temperatures. Samples were doped with trace FeCl2 as a Cl source. The measured D (Cl) metal-basalt is less than 0.01 under all conditions, ruling out the possibility of a Cl sink in the core. We propose instead that the halogens were lost during the late giant bombardment stage of planetary accretion. The selective loss of the halogens relative to other elements with similar condensation temperatures is explained by their unique hydrophilic character. Early in Earth’s history, halogens were strongly partitioned into the ocean/surficial environment. They were then removed by atmospheric erosion associated with giant impacts towards the end of planetary accretion. Our results provide independent evidence for multiple atmospheric-loss events, a controversial conclusion that is at odds with some geophysical studies. Over 90% of Cl was lost in early Earth history. Today, the oceans host nearly half of Earth

  10. High but not Super High Atmospheric CO2 During the Early Cenozoic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anagnostou, E.; John, E. H.; Edgar, K. M.; Pearson, P. N.; Ridgwell, A. J.; Palike, H.; Foster, G. L.

    2014-12-01

    The early Cenozoic (~53-33Ma) marks the most recent climatic shift in Earth's history from a greenhouse to an icehouse world. This interval is characterized by a gradual deep-sea [1] and high-latitude [2, 3] cooling of ~10oC, and only moderate cooling of the tropics [e.g. 2] leading to the Eocene/Oligocene transition (EOT) marked by widespread continental Antarctic glaciation. The cause of long-term Eocene cooling is currently poorly known but a gradual decline in the concentration of atmospheric CO2 is most frequently invoked. However, the majority of available early Eocene CO2 records are uncertain and only weakly correlated with climate variability. The exception to that is the final transition into the icehouse [4] where a decline in the CO2 content of the atmosphere has been suggested as the trigger. Therefore we generated new records of boron isotopes (δ11B) in planktonic foraminifera, a proven proxy of seawater pH [e.g. 5], using multicollector ICPMS [6]. We utilised depth profiles of very well preserved multi-species planktonic foraminifera recovered by the Tanzanian Drilling Project for five time slices spanning 53-37 Ma. Additionlly, we generated approximately 0.8My resolution planktonic foraminifera δ11B records from the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Sites 865 and 1258/1260. Our new records show consistent results of elevated atmospheric CO2 in the early Eocene that decreases through to the late Eocene. We will discuss our new reconstructions of seawater pH and derived atmospheric CO2 concentrations, not only in view of diagenesis, but also of estimates of seawater δ11B composition and alkalinity and their significance for Eocene Antarctic glaciation, in light of potential mechanisms for modulating climate. [1] Zachos et al. (2001) Science 292. [2] Bijl et al. (2009) Nature 461. [3] Brassell (2014) Paleoceanography 29. [4] Pearson et al. (2009) Nature 461. [5] Sanyal et al. (1996) Paleoceanography 11. [6] Foster (2008) EPSL 271.

  11. Abiotic production of NO3 in the atmosphere of Early Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gronoff, Guillaume; Airapetian, Vladimir; Hebrard, Eric

    2015-11-01

    Recent Curiosity/SAM measurements of Martian sediments have shown the presence of NO3 trapped in the samples. The ratio of nitrate to perchlorate has been suggested to be an indicator for habitability (Stern et al. 2015). However, the efficiency of the production of nitrate in the atmosphere has never been studied for the case of the active young Sun. To evaluate the effect of the abiotic production of nitrates, we apply our 1D atmospheric photochemical collisional model for the nitrogen-rich and CO2 atmosphere of early Mars, and calculate the production rate of NO3 mediated by the precipitation of energetic particles associated with the coronal mass ejections from the young Sun.We propose a method to check the hypothesis of the abiotic production: if the production is driven by the precipitating particles, then the magnetic shielding would reduce the NO3 production at the equator. Thus, samples collected at high latitudes should contain greater concentration of nitrates if the weathering did not homogenize it.

  12. Early stages in the evolution of the atmosphere and climate on the Earth-group planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moroz, V. I.; Mukhin, L. M.

    1977-01-01

    The early evolution of the atmospheres and climate of the Earth, Mars and Venus is discussed, based on a concept of common initial conditions and main processes (besides known differences in chemical composition and outgassing rate). It is concluded that: (1) liquid water appeared on the surface of the earth in the first few hundred million years; the average surface temperature was near the melting point for about the first two eons; CO2 was the main component of the atmosphere in the first 100-500 million years; (2) much more temperate outgassing and low solar heating led to the much later appearance of liquid water on the Martian surface, only one to two billion years ago; the Martian era of rivers, relatively dense atmosphere and warm climate ended as a result of irreversible chemical bonding of CO2 by Urey equilibrium processes; (3) a great lack of water in the primordial material of Venus is proposed; liquid water never was present on the surface of the planet, and there was practically no chemical bonding of CO2; the surface temperature was over 600 K four billion years ago.

  13. How do we solve the Faint Young Sun Paradox? Examining diverse proposed atmospheres for Early Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldblatt, C.

    2010-12-01

    The canonical problem in Early Earth climatology is the Faint Young Sun Paradox (FYSP): despite receiving much less energy from the Sun than today, the Earth was at least as warm during the Archean Eon as it is today. Clearly, Early Earth had stronger greenhouse effect or lower albedo, yet despite four decades of study, there is no consensus on the solution. The FYSP requires consideration of very different climate regimes to the present day, so provides a great learning tool for diverse and undiscovered climates in Earth's past and future. I will discuss old and new ideas of enhanced greenhouse gas solutions, present a recent proposal that pressure broadening by a thicker nitrogen atmosphere contributed to the solution [1], and a new analysis of what role clouds could have in resolving the FYSP [2]. Various strong greenhouse gas enhancements have been suggested, but all are subject to some problems. A nitrogen inventory greater than the present level was likely in the Archean atmosphere. This would have given a temperature increase of 3 to 8°C by pressure broadening the absorption lines of greenhouse gases. Cloud changes are evaluated relative to the required radiative forcing of +50 Wm-2 to resolve the FYSP. Plausible changes to low clouds (reducing albedo) or high cloud (strengthening the greenhouse effect) could both contribute at most +15Wm-2, so neither fewer low clouds nor more high clouds can provide enough forcing to resolve the FYSP. Decreased surface albedo can contribute no more than +5 Wm-2 forcing. [1] Goldblatt, C. et al., 2009, Nitrogen-enhanced greenhouse warming on early Earth, Nature Geosci., 2, 891 - 896. doi:10.1038/ngeo692 [2] Goldblatt, C. and Zahnle, K. J., 2010, Clouds and the Faint Young Sun Paradox, Clim. Past Discuss., 6, 1337-1350. doi:10.5194/cpd-6-1337-2010

  14. Deficit irrigation strategies combined with controlled atmosphere preserve quality in early peaches.

    PubMed

    Falagán, Natalia; Artés, Francisco; Gómez, Perla A; Artés-Hernández, Francisco; Conejero, Wenceslao; Aguayo, Encarna

    2015-10-01

    Due to the water scarcity in the Mediterranean countries, irrigation must be optimized while keeping fruit quality. The effect of deficit irrigation strategies on changes in quality parameters of the early "Flordastar" peaches was studied. The deficit irrigation was programmed according to signal intensity of the maximum daily trunk shrinkage; deficit irrigation plants were irrigated to maintain maximum daily trunk shrinkage signal intensity values close to 1.4 or 1.3 in the case of DI1 or DI2 plants, respectively. Results were compared to a control watered at 150% crop evapotranspiration. Fruits were stored up to 14 days at 0 ℃ and 95% Relative Humidity (RH) in air or in controlled atmosphere (controlled atmosphere; 3-4 kPa O2 and 12-14 kPa CO2), followed by a retail sale period of 4 days at 15 ℃ and 90-95% Relative Humidity in air. Weight losses were lower in controlled atmosphere stored peaches from deficit irrigation. Air-stored fruits developed a more intense red color due to a faster ripening, which was not affected by the type of watering. At harvest, deficit irrigation peaches showed higher soluble solids content, which provided a better sensory evaluation. The soluble phenolic content was initially higher (55.26 ± 0.18 mg gallic acid equivalents/100 g fresh weight) and more stable throughout postharvest life in DI1 fruits than in those from the other irrigation treatments. Concerning vitamin C, control fruits at harvest showed higher ascorbic acid than dehydroascorbic acid content (5.43 versus 2.43 mg/100 g fresh weight, respectively), while water stressed peaches showed the opposite results. The combination of DI2 and controlled atmosphere storage allowed saving a significant amount of water and provided peaches with good overall quality, maintaining the bioactive compounds analyzed. PMID:25280939

  15. Oceanic and atmospheric forcing of early Holocene ice shelf retreat, George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctica Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, James A.; Bentley, Michael J.; Hodgson, Dominic A.; Roberts, Stephen J.; Leng, Melanie J.; Lloyd, Jeremy M.; Barrett, Melissa S.; Bryant, Charlotte; Sugden, David E.

    2007-02-01

    We use lake sediment records from an epishelf lake on Alexander Island to provide a detailed picture of the Holocene history of George VI Ice Shelf (GVI-IS). Core analyses included; micropaleontology (diatoms/foraminifera), stable isotope (δ18O, δ13C), geochemistry (total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen (TN), C/N ratios) and grain-size analyses. These data provide robust evidence for one period of past ice shelf absence during the early Holocene. The timing of this period has been constrained by 10 AMS 14C dates performed on mono-specific foraminifera samples. These dates suggest that GVI-IS was absent between c 9600 cal yr BP and c 7730 cal yr BP. This early Holocene collapse immediately followed a period of maximum Holocene warmth that is recorded in some Antarctic ice cores and coincides with an influx of warmer ocean water onto the western Antarctic Peninsula (AP) shelf at c 9000 cal yr BP. The absence of a currently extant ice shelf during this time interval suggests that early Holocene ocean-atmosphere variability in the AP was greater than that measured in recent decades.

  16. An early warning indicator for atmospheric blocking events using transfer operators

    SciTech Connect

    Tantet, Alexis Burgt, Fiona R. van der; Dijkstra, Henk A.

    2015-03-15

    The existence of persistent midlatitude atmospheric flow regimes with time-scales larger than 5–10 days and indications of preferred transitions between them motivates to develop early warning indicators for such regime transitions. In this paper, we use a hemispheric barotropic model together with estimates of transfer operators on a reduced phase space to develop an early warning indicator of the zonal to blocked flow transition in this model. It is shown that the spectrum of the transfer operators can be used to study the slow dynamics of the flow as well as the non-Markovian character of the reduction. The slowest motions are thereby found to have time scales of three to six weeks and to be associated with meta-stable regimes (and their transitions) which can be detected as almost-invariant sets of the transfer operator. From the energy budget of the model, we are able to explain the meta-stability of the regimes and the existence of preferred transition paths. Even though the model is highly simplified, the skill of the early warning indicator is promising, suggesting that the transfer operator approach can be used in parallel to an operational deterministic model for stochastic prediction or to assess forecast uncertainty.

  17. Sulfur in the Early Martian Atmosphere Revisited: Experiments with a 3-D Global Climate Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerber, L.; Forget, F.; Wordsworth, R.

    2013-09-01

    Data returned from the surface of Mars during the 1970s revealed intriguing geological evidence for a warmer and wetter early martian climate. Dendritic valley networks were discovered by Mariner 9 on ancient Noachian terrain [1], indicating that liquid water had flowed across the surface in the distant past. Since this time, geological investigations into early Martian history have attempted to ascertain the nature and level of activity of the early Martian hydrological cycle [e.g. 2-5] while atmospheric modeling efforts have focused on how the atmosphere could be warmed to temperatures great enough to sustain such activity [see 6-7 for reviews]. Geological and spectroscopic investigations have refined the history and chronology of Noachian Mars over time, and circulation of liquid water has been invoked to explain several spatially and temporally distinct morphological and chemical signatures found in the geological record. Detections of iron and magnesium-rich clays are widespread in the oldest Martian terrains, suggesting a period of pH-neutral aqueous alteration [e.g., 8]. Valley network incision also took place during the Noachian period [9]. Some chains of river valleys and craters lakes extend for thousands of kilometers, suggesting temperatures at least clement enough for sustained ice-covered flow [3,10]. The commencement of valley network incision is not well constrained, but the period of Mg/Fe clay formation appears to have ended before the termination of valley network formation, as the visible fluvial systems appear to have remobilized existing clays rather than forming them [5,8]. There is also evidence that the cessation of valley network formation was abrupt [11]. Towards the end of the Noachian, erosion rates appear to have been significantly higher than during subsequent periods, a process that has also been attributed to aqueous processes [12]. A period of sulfate formation followed, likely characterized by acidic, evaporitic playa environments

  18. Terrestrial sequestration

    SciTech Connect

    Charlie Byrer

    2008-03-10

    Terrestrial sequestration is the enhancement of CO2 uptake by plants that grow on land and in freshwater and, importantly, the enhancement of carbon storage in soils where it may remain more permanently stored. Terrestrial sequestration provides an opportunity for low-cost CO2 emissions offsets.

  19. Terrestrial sequestration

    ScienceCinema

    Charlie Byrer

    2010-01-08

    Terrestrial sequestration is the enhancement of CO2 uptake by plants that grow on land and in freshwater and, importantly, the enhancement of carbon storage in soils where it may remain more permanently stored. Terrestrial sequestration provides an opportunity for low-cost CO2 emissions offsets.

  20. Terrestrial Gravity Fluctuations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harms, Jan

    2015-12-01

    Different forms of fluctuations of the terrestrial gravity field are observed by gravity experiments. For example, atmospheric pressure fluctuations generate a gravity-noise foreground in measurements with super-conducting gravimeters. Gravity changes caused by high-magnitude earthquakes have been detected with the satellite gravity experiment GRACE, and we expect high-frequency terrestrial gravity fluctuations produced by ambient seismic fields to limit the sensitivity of ground-based gravitational-wave (GW) detectors. Accordingly, terrestrial gravity fluctuations are considered noise and signal depending on the experiment. Here, we will focus on ground-based gravimetry. This field is rapidly progressing through the development of GW detectors. The technology is pushed to its current limits in the advanced generation of the LIGO and Virgo detectors, targeting gravity strain sensitivities better than 10^-23 Hz^-1/2 above a few tens of a Hz. Alternative designs for GW detectors evolving from traditional gravity gradiometers such as torsion bars, atom interferometers, and superconducting gradiometers are currently being developed to extend the detection band to frequencies below 1 Hz. The goal of this article is to provide the analytical framework to describe terrestrial gravity perturbations in these experiments. Models of terrestrial gravity perturbations related to seismic fields, atmospheric disturbances, and vibrating, rotating or moving objects, are derived and analyzed. The models are then used to evaluate passive and active gravity noise mitigation strategies in GW detectors, or alternatively, to describe their potential use in geophysics. The article reviews the current state of the field, and also presents new analyses especially with respect to the impact of seismic scattering on gravity perturbations, active gravity noise cancellation, and time-domain models of gravity perturbations from atmospheric and seismic point sources. Our understanding of

  1. Filling-In of Broad Far-Red Solar Lines by Terrestrial Fluorescence and Atmospheric Raman Scattering as Detected by SCIAMACHY Satellite Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Joiner, J.; Yoshida, Y.; Vasilkov, A. P.; Middleton, E. M.; Campbell, P. K. E.; Yoshida, Y.; Kuze, A.; Corp, L. A.

    2011-01-01

    Global mapping of terrestrial vegetation fluorescence from space has recently been accomplished with high spectral resolution measurements from the Japanese Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT). These data are of interest because they can potentially provide global information on the functional status of vegetation including light use efficiency and global primary productivity that can be used for global carbon cycle modeling. Quantifying the impact of fluorescence on the O2-A band is important as this band is used for cloud- and aerosol-characterization for other trace-gas retrievals including CO2. Here, we demonstrate that fluorescence information can be derived from space using potentially lower-cost hyperspectral instrumentation, i.e., more than an order of magnitude less spectral resolution than GOSAT, with a relatively simple algorithm. As a demonstration, we use the filling-in of one of the few wide and deep solar Fraunhofer lines in the red and far-red chlorophylla fluorescence bands, the calcium II line near 866 nm, to retrieve fluorescence with the SCanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY (SCIAMACHY) satellite instrument. Although the signal from vegetation fluorescence is extremely weak at 866 nm, our results suggest that useful information may be obtained after adjustments are made to the observed spectra to correct for instrumental artifacts. We compare fluorescence from SCIAMACHY with that retrieved at 758 and 770 nm from similarly-corrected GOSAT data as well with the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) from the MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). We also show that filling-in occurs at 866 nm over barren areas, possibly originating from luminescent minerals in rock and soil.

  2. Influences of Forest Tree Species and Early Spring Temperature on Surface-Atmosphere Transfers of Water and Carbon in the Northeastern U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hadley, J. L.; Kuzeja, P.; Mulcahy, T.; Singh, S.

    2008-12-01

    Influences of Forest Tree Species and Early Spring Temperature on Surface-Atmosphere Transfers of Water and Carbon in the Northeastern U.S. Julian Hadley, Paul Kuzeja, Safina Singh and Thomas Mulcahy Transfers of water vapor from terrestrial ecosystems to the atmosphere affect regional hydrology, weather and climate over short time scales, and forest-atmosphere CO2 exchange affects global climate over long timescales. To better understand these effects for forests dominated by two very different tree species, we measured forest-atmosphere water vapor and CO2 transfers by the eddy flux technique to at two sites in central Massachusetts USA for three years. Average annual evapotranspiration (ET) for a young deciduous forest dominated by red oak (Quercus rubra L., the most abundant tree species in the area), was about 430 mm or 25 percent greater than for a coniferous forest dominated by 100 to 230 year old eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis L.). The difference in ET was most pronounced in July and August when the deciduous forest lost about 50 percent more water by ET in the average year (192 mm for oak forest versus 130 mm for hemlock). These data indicate that if deciduous trees with similar physiology to red oak replace hemlocks, summertime ET will increase while summer streamflow, soil water content and the extent of year- round wetlands will decrease. Increased summertime ET should also lead to slightly higher regional atmospheric humidity and precipitation. Hemlock-to-deciduous forest conversion has occurred from North Carolina to southern New England and is continuing northward as a lethal insect pest, the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand) continues to kill hemlocks. Average annual carbon storage for the old hemlock forest in our study was about 3.3 Mg C/ha, nearly equal to the average for the deciduous forest, 3.5 Mg C/ha. This calls into question ecological theory that predicts large declines in the rate of carbon uptake for old forests, and

  3. Earth's early atmosphere as seen from carbon and nitrogen isotopic analysis of Archean sediments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gibson, E. K., Jr.; Carr, L. P.; Gilmour, I.; Pillinger, C. T.

    1986-01-01

    The origin and evolution of the Earth's early atmosphere has long been a topic of great interest but determination of actual compositions over geologic time is a difficult problem. However, recent systematic studies of stromatolite deposits (Precambrian Paleobiology Research Group) has extended our knowledge of Archean ecosystems. It has been shown that many stromatolite deposits have undergone negligible alteration since their time of formation. The discovery of primary fluid inclusions within unaltered 3.5 b.y. old Archiean sediments and the observation that the 3.3 b.y. old Barberton cherts have remained closed to argon loss and have not been subjected to thermal metamorphism suggests that an opportunity exists for the direct measurement of the volatile constituents present at their time of formation. Of primary interest to this study was the possibility that the stromatolites and other Archean sediments might retain a vestige of the atmosphere and thus afford an indication of the variations in carbon dioxide and nitrogen isotopic compositions with time. A suite of essentially unaltered Archean stromatolites and the cherts of different ages and geologic sites have been analyzed for their trapped carbon dioxide and nitrogen compositions by the stepped combustion extraction tech nique utilizing static mass spectrometers for the isotope measurements.

  4. Toward understanding early Earth evolution: Prescription for approach from terrestrial noble gas and light element records in lunar soils

    PubMed Central

    Ozima, Minoru; Yin, Qing-Zhu; Podosek, Frank A.; Miura, Yayoi N.

    2008-01-01

    Because of the almost total lack of geological record on the Earth's surface before 4 billion years ago, the history of the Earth during this period is still enigmatic. Here we describe a practical approach to tackle the formidable problems caused by this lack. We propose that examinations of lunar soils for light elements such as He, N, O, Ne, and Ar would shed a new light on this dark age in the Earth's history and resolve three of the most fundamental questions in earth science: the onset time of the geomagnetic field, the appearance of an oxygen atmosphere, and the secular variation of an Earth–Moon dynamical system. PMID:19001263

  5. Workshop on Oxygen in the Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Lunar Metal Grains: Solar, Lunar or Terrestrial Origin? 22) Isotopic Zoning in the Inner Solar System; 23) Redox Conditions on Small Bodies; 24) Determining the Oxygen Fugacity of Lunar Pyroclastic Glasses Using Vanadium Valence - An Update; 25) Mantle Redox Evolution and the Rise of Atmospheric O2; 26) Variation of Kd for Fe-Mg Exchange Between Olivine and Melt for Compositions Ranging from Alkaline Basalt to Rhyolite; 27) Determining the Partial Pressure of Oxygen (PO,) in Solutions on Mars; 28) The Influence of Oxygen Environment on Kinetic Properties of Silicate Rocks and Minerals; 29) Redox Evolution of Magmatic Systems; 30) The Constancy of Upper Mantlefo, Through Time Inferred from V/Sc Ratios in Basalts: Implications for the Rise in Atmospheric 0 2; 31) Nitrogen Solubility in Basaltic Melt. Effects of Oxygen Fugacity, Melt Composition and Gas Speciation; 32) Oxygen Isotope Anomalies in the Atmospheres of Earth and Mars; 33) The Effect of Oxygen Fugacity on Interdiffusion of Iron and Magnesium in Magnesiowiistite 34) The Calibration of the Pyroxene Eu-Oxybarometer for the Martian Meteorites; 35) The Europium Oxybarometer: Power and Pitfalls; 36) Oxygen Fugacity of the Martian Mantle from PigeoniteMelt Partitioning of Samarium, Europium and Gadolinium; 37) Oxidation-Reduction Processes on the Moon: Experimental Verification of Graphite Oxidation in the Apollo 17 Orange Glasses; 38) Oxygen and Core Formation in the Earth; 39) Geologic Record of the Atmospheric Sulfur Chemistry Before the Oxygenation of the Early Earth s Atmosphere; 40) Comparative Planetary Mineralogy: V/(CrCAl) Systematics in Chromite as an Indicator of Relative Oxygen Fugacity; 41) How Well do Sulfur Isotopes Constrain Oxygen Abundance in the Ancient Atmospheres? 42) Experimental Constraints on the Oxygen Isotope (O-18/ O-16) Fractionation in the Ice vapor and Adsorbant vapor Systems of CO2 at Conditions Relevant to the Surface of Mars; 43) Micro-XANES Measurements on Experimental Spinels andhe

  6. A simplified model for calculating atmospheric radionuclide transport and early health effects from nuclear reactor accidents

    SciTech Connect

    Madni, I.K.; Cazzoli, E.G.; Khatib-Rahbar, M.

    1995-11-01

    During certain hypothetical severe accidents in a nuclear power plant, radionuclides could be released to the environment as a plume. Prediction of the atmospheric dispersion and transport of these radionuclides is important for assessment of the risk to the public from such accidents. A simplified PC-based model was developed that predicts time-integrated air concentration of each radionuclide at any location from release as a function of time integrated source strength using the Gaussian plume model. The solution procedure involves direct analytic integration of air concentration equations over time and position, using simplified meteorology. The formulation allows for dry and wet deposition, radioactive decay and daughter buildup, reactor building wake effects, the inversion lid effect, plume rise due to buoyancy or momentum, release duration, and grass height. Based on air and ground concentrations of the radionuclides, the early dose to an individual is calculated via cloudshine, groundshine, and inhalation. The model also calculates early health effects based on the doses. This paper presents aspects of the model that would be of interest to the prediction of environmental flows and their public consequences.

  7. Aqueous Chemical Modeling of Sedimentation on Early Mars with Application to Surface-Atmosphere Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Catling, David C.

    2004-01-01

    This project was to investigate models for aqueous sedimentation on early Mars from fluid evaporation. Results focused on three specific areas: (1) First, a fluid evaporation model incorporating iron minerals was developed to compute the evaporation of a likely solution on early Mars derived from the weathering of mafic rock. (2) Second, the fluid evaporation model was applied to salts within Martian meteorites, specifically salts in the nakhlites and ALH84001. Evaporation models were found to be consistent with the mineralogy of salt assemblages-anhydrite, gypsum, Fe-Mg-Ca carbonates, halite, clays-- and the concentric chemical fractionation of Ca-to Mg-rich carbonate rosettes in ALH84001. We made progress in further developing our models of fluid concentration by contributing to updating the FREZCHEM model. (3) Third, theoretical investigation was done to determine the thermodynamics and kinetics involved in the formation of gray, crystalline hematite. This mineral, of probable ancient aqueous origin, has been observed in several areas on the surface of Mars by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer on Mars Global Surveyor. The "Opportunity" Mars Exploration Rover has also detected gray hematite at its landing site in Meridiani Planum. We investigated how gray hematite can be formed via atmospheric oxidation, aqueous precipitation and subsequent diagenesis, or hydrothermal processes. We also studied the geomorphology of the Aram Chaos hematite region using Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) images.

  8. Arctic terrestrial biota: paleomagnetic evidence of age disparity with mid-northern latitudes during the late cretaceous and early tertiary.

    PubMed

    Hickey, L J; West, R M; Dawson, M R; Choi, D K

    1983-09-16

    Magnetostratigraphic correlation of the Eureka Sound Formation in the Canadian high Arctic reveals profound difference between the time of appearance of fossil land plants and vertebrates in the Arctic and in mid-northern latitudes. Latest Cretaceous plant fossils in the Arctic predate mid-latitude occurrences by as much as 18 million years, while typical Eocene vertebrate fossils appear some 2 to 4 million years early. PMID:17811507

  9. The (146,147)Sm-(142,143)Nd systematics of early terrestrial differentiation and the lost continents of the early Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harper, Charles L., Jr.; Jacobsen, Stein B.

    1992-01-01

    The very early history of the Earth has been one of the great enduring puzzles in the history of geology. We report evidence which clearly can be described as a vestige of a beginning, because the evidence that we report cannot be interpreted in any other way except as a geochemical signal of processes active in the very early history of the Earth. The evidence itself is a very small anomaly in the abundance of SM-146. The primary aims of this study were to: (1) verify the existence of the 'lost continents' of the Hadean era; and (2) determine their mean age.

  10. Atmospheric CO2 Amplification of Orbitally Forced Changes in the Hydrological Cycle in the Early Mesozoic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, P. E.; Schaller, M. F.; Kent, D. V.

    2015-12-01

    Models of increasing atmospheric CO2 predict an intensification of the hydrological cycle coupled with warming, possibly amplifying effects of orbitally-forced fluctuations. While there is some Pleistocene evidence of this, CO2 concentrations were much lower than projected for the future. For the potentially more relevant Early Mesozoic, with CO2 >1000 ppm, we observe that both the soil carbonate and stomatal proxies for CO2 strongly and positively correlate with climatic-precession variance in correlative continental and marine strata of both eastern North America and Europe with temporal correlation robustly supported by magneto-, astro-, and U-Pb zircon geochronology. Eastern North American lacustrine and paleosol strata are generally characterized by >3000 ppm CO2 over most of the Norian (228-207 Ma) dropping to ~1000-3000 ppm during the succeeding latest Norian to late Rhaetian (207 to 201.6 Ma) correlative with a dramatic drop in the amplitude of the response to orbital forcing. This is followed by an extraordinary doubling to nearly tripling of CO2 (~2000-5000 ppm) in the latest Rhaetian to Early Jurassic (201.6 to 200.6 Ma) and a concurrent profound increase in the amplitude of the apparent climatic-precession variance during the eruption of the massive Central Atlantic Magmatic Province. Decreasing CO2 (~1000-2000 ppm) afterward is tracked by decreasing amplitude in the orbitally-paced cyclicity. Likewise, in the UK, high amplitude cyclicity in the lacustrine to paralic Twyning Md. Fm. gives way upward into the paralic Blue Anchor and marine Rhaetian Westbury fms in which lithological cyclicity is muted. Again, the amplitude of the orbitially-paced lithological cyclicity dramatically increases into the paralic to marine late Rhaetian Lilstock Fm. and marine latest Rhaetian to Early Jurassic Blue Lias. Parallel and correlative transitions are seen in at least western Germany. The agreement between the continental eastern US and paralic to marine European

  11. Early atmospheric detection of carbon dioxide from carbon capture and storage sites

    PubMed Central

    Pak, Nasrin Mostafavi; Rempillo, Ofelia; Norman, Ann-Lise; Layzell, David B.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The early atmospheric detection of carbon dioxide (CO2) leaks from carbon capture and storage (CCS) sites is important both to inform remediation efforts and to build and maintain public support for CCS in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. A gas analysis system was developed to assess the origin of plumes of air enriched in CO2, as to whether CO2 is from a CCS site or from the oxidation of carbon compounds. The system measured CO2 and O2 concentrations for different plume samples relative to background air and calculated the gas differential concentration ratio (GDCR = −ΔO2/ΔCO2). The experimental results were in good agreement with theoretical calculations that placed GDCR values for a CO2 leak at 0.21, compared with GDCR values of 1–1.8 for the combustion of carbon compounds. Although some combustion plume samples deviated in GDCR from theoretical, the very low GDCR values associated with plumes from CO2 leaks provided confidence that this technology holds promise in providing a tool for the early detection of CO2 leaks from CCS sites.  Implications: This work contributes to the development of a cost-effective technology for the early detection of leaks from sites where CO2 has been injected into the subsurface to enhance oil recovery or to permanently store the gas as a strategy for mitigating climate change. Such technology will be important in building public confidence regarding the safety and security of carbon capture and storage sites. PMID:27111469

  12. Terrestrial nest-building by wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): implications for the tree-to-ground sleep transition in early hominins.

    PubMed

    Koops, Kathelijne; McGrew, William C; Matsuzawa, Tetsuro; Knapp, Leslie A

    2012-07-01

    Nest-building is a great ape universal and arboreal nesting in chimpanzees and bonobos suggests that the common ancestor of Pan and Homo also nested in trees. It has been proposed that arboreal nest-building remained the prevailing pattern until Homo erectus, a fully terrestrial biped, emerged. We investigated the unusual occurrence of ground-nesting in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), which may inform on factors influencing the tree-to-ground sleep transition in the hominin lineage. We used a novel genetic approach to examine ground-nesting in unhabituated chimpanzees at Seringbara in the Nimba Mountains, Guinea. Previous research showed that ground-nesting at Seringbara was not ecologically determined. Here, we tested a possible mate-guarding function of ground-nesting by analyzing DNA from shed hairs collected from ground nests and tree nests found in close proximity. We examined whether or not ground-nesting was a group-level behavioral pattern and whether or not it occurred in more than one community. We used multiple genetic markers to identify sex and to examine variation in mitochondrial DNA control region (HV1, HV2) sequences. Ground-nesting was a male-biased behavior and males constructed more elaborate ("night") nests than simple ("day") nests on the ground. The mate-guarding hypothesis was not supported, as ground and associated tree nests were built either by maternally-related males or possibly by the same individuals. Ground-nesting was widespread and likely habitual in two communities. We suggest that terrestrial nest-building may have already occurred in arboreally-adapted early hominins before the emergence of H. erectus. PMID:22460549

  13. Neoarchean paleoweathering of tonalite and metabasalt: Implications for reconstructions of 2.69Ga early terrestrial ecosystems and paleoatmospheric chemistry

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Driese, S.G.; Jirsa, M.A.; Ren, M.; Brantley, S.L.; Sheldon, N.D.; Parker, Dana C.; Schmitz, M.

    2011-01-01

    primitive microbial community) during weathering. Cu metal in the profile may document lower pO2 than present day at the surface. Comparison with previous studies of weathered tonalite and basalt (Denison, 2.45-2.22Ga) in Ontario, Canada, reveal general similarities in paleoweathering with our study, as well as important differences related to lower paleoatmospheric pO2 and terrestrial biosignature for the older Minnesota profile. A falling water table in the Alpine Lake locality is presumed to have promoted formation of this gossan-like deep-weathering system that extends to 50-m depth. ?? 2011 Elsevier B.V.

  14. XUV-Exposed, Non-Hydrostatic Hydrogen-Rich Upper Atmospheres of Terrestrial Planets. Part II: Hydrogen Coronae and Ion Escape

    PubMed Central

    Lammer, Helmut; Holmström, Mats; Panchenko, Mykhaylo; Odert, Petra; Erkaev, Nikolai V.; Leitzinger, Martin; Khodachenko, Maxim L.; Kulikov, Yuri N.; Güdel, Manuel; Hanslmeier, Arnold

    2013-01-01

    Abstract We studied the interactions between the stellar wind plasma flow of a typical M star, such as GJ 436, and the hydrogen-rich upper atmosphere of an Earth-like planet and a “super-Earth” with a radius of 2 REarth and a mass of 10 MEarth, located within the habitable zone at ∼0.24 AU. We investigated the formation of extended atomic hydrogen coronae under the influences of the stellar XUV flux (soft X-rays and EUV), stellar wind density and velocity, shape of a planetary obstacle (e.g., magnetosphere, ionopause), and the loss of planetary pickup ions on the evolution of hydrogen-dominated upper atmospheres. Stellar XUV fluxes that are 1, 10, 50, and 100 times higher compared to that of the present-day Sun were considered, and the formation of high-energy neutral hydrogen clouds around the planets due to the charge-exchange reaction under various stellar conditions was modeled. Charge-exchange between stellar wind protons with planetary hydrogen atoms, and photoionization, lead to the production of initially cold ions of planetary origin. We found that the ion production rates for the studied planets can vary over a wide range, from ∼1.0×1025 s−1 to ∼5.3×1030 s−1, depending on the stellar wind conditions and the assumed XUV exposure of the upper atmosphere. Our findings indicate that most likely the majority of these planetary ions are picked up by the stellar wind and lost from the planet. Finally, we estimated the long-time nonthermal ion pickup escape for the studied planets and compared them with the thermal escape. According to our estimates, nonthermal escape of picked-up ionized hydrogen atoms over a planet's lifetime within the habitable zone of an M dwarf varies between ∼0.4 Earth ocean equivalent amounts of hydrogen (EOH) to <3 EOH and usually is several times smaller in comparison to the thermal atmospheric escape rates. Key Words: Stellar activity—Low-mass stars—Early atmospheres—Earth-like exoplanets—Energetic neutral

  15. Insights into the early Eocene hydrological cycle from an ensemble of atmosphere-ocean GCM simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carmichael, M. J.; Lunt, D. J.; Huber, M.; Heinemann, M.; Kiehl, J.; LeGrande, A.; Loptson, C. A.; Roberts, C. D.; Sagoo, N.; Shields, C.; Valdes, P. J.; Winguth, A.; Winguth, C.; Pancost, R. D.

    2015-07-01

    Recent studies, utilising a range of proxies, indicate that a significant perturbation to global hydrology occurred at the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM; ~56 Ma). An enhanced hydrological cycle for the warm early Eocene is also suggested to have played a key role in maintaining high-latitude warmth during this interval. However, comparisons of proxy data to General Circulation Model (GCM) simulated hydrology are limited and inter-model variability remains poorly characterised, despite significant differences in simulated surface temperatures. In this work, we undertake an intercomparison of GCM-derived precipitation and P-E distributions within the EoMIP ensemble (Lunt et al., 2012), which includes previously-published early Eocene simulations performed using five GCMs differing in boundary conditions, model structure and precipitation relevant parameterisation schemes. We show that an intensified hydrological cycle, manifested in enhanced global precipitation and evaporation rates, is simulated for all Eocene simulations relative to preindustrial. This is primarily due to elevated atmospheric paleo-CO2, although the effects of differences in paleogeography/ice sheets are also of importance in some models. For a given CO2 level, globally-averaged precipitation rates vary widely between models, largely arising from different simulated surface air temperatures. Models with a similar global sensitivity of precipitation rate to temperature (dP/dT) display different regional precipitation responses for a given temperature change. Regions that are particularly sensitive to model choice include the South Pacific, tropical Africa and the Peri-Tethys, which may represent targets for future proxy acquisition. A comparison of early and middle Eocene leaf-fossil-derived precipitation estimates with the GCM output illustrates that a number of GCMs underestimate precipitation rates at high latitudes. Models which warm these regions, either via elevated CO2 or by varying

  16. Insights into the early Eocene hydrological cycle from an ensemble of atmosphere-ocean GCM simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carmichael, Matthew; Lunt, Daniel; Pancost, Richard

    2015-04-01

    Recent studies utilising a range of geochemical proxies have indicated that a significant perturbation to global hydrology occurred at the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM; ~56 Ma). An enhanced hydrological cycle for the warm early Eocene is also suggested to have played a key role in maintaining high-latitude warmth during this interval. Comparisons of proxy data to General Circulation Model (GCM) simulated hydrology have not widely been made however, and inter-model variability remains poorly characterised despite significant differences in simulated surface temperatures. In this work, we address this by undertaking an intercomparison of GCM-derived precipitation distributions within the EoMIP ensemble (Lunt et al., 2012), which includes previously-published early Eocene simulations performed using five GCMs differing in boundary conditions, model structure and precipitation-relevant parameterisation schemes. We show that an intensified hydrological cycle is simulated for all Eocene simulations relative to preindustrial. This is primarily due to elevated atmospheric paleo-CO2, although the effects of differences in paleogeography/ice sheets are also of importance in some models. For a given CO2 level, globally-averaged precipitation rates vary widely between models, largely as a result of different climate sensitivities (dT/dCO2) and differing parameterisation schemes. Despite this, models with similar global precipitation sensitivities (dP/dT) display different regional responses for a given temperature change. Regions which are particularly model sensitive include the South Pacific, tropical Africa and the Tethys and may represent targets for future proxy acquisition. A comparison of leaf-fossil-derived precipitation estimates with GCM data illustrates that models tend to unanimously underestimate early Eocene precipitation rates at high latitudes. Models which warm these regions via elevated CO2 or by utilising alternative parameterisations are most

  17. Combined147,146Sm-143,142Nd constraints on the longevity and residence time of early terrestrial crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roth, Antoine S. G.; Bourdon, Bernard; Mojzsis, Stephen J.; Rudge, John F.; Guitreau, Martin; Blichert-Toft, Janne

    2014-06-01

    silicate differentiation controlled the composition of Earth's oldest crust. Inherited 142Nd anomalies in Archean rocks are vestiges of the mantle-crust differentiation before ca. 4300 Ma. Here we report new whole-rock 147,146Sm-143,142Nd data for the Acasta Gneiss Complex (AGC; Northwest Territories, Canada). Our 147Sm-143Nd data combined with literature data define an age of 3371 ± 141 Ma (2 SD) and yield an initial ɛ143Nd of -5.6 ± 2.1. These results are at odds with the Acasta zircon U-Pb record, which comprises emplacement ages of 3920-3960 Ma. Ten of our thirteen samples show 142Nd deficits of -9.6 ± 4.8 ppm (2 SD) relative to the modern Earth. The discrepancy between 142Nd anomalies and a mid-Archean 147Sm-143Nd age can be reconciled with Nd isotope reequilibration of the AGC during metamorphic perturbations at ca. 3400 Ma. A model age of ca. 4310 Ma is derived for the early enrichment of the Acasta source. Two compositional end-members can be identified: a felsic component with 142Nd/144Nd identical to the modern Earth and a mafic component with 142Nd/144Nd as low as -14.1 ppm. The ca. 4310 Ma AGC source is ˜200 Myr younger than those estimated for Nuvvuagittuq (northern Québec) and Isua (Itsaq Gneiss Complex, West Greenland). The AGC does not have the same decoupled Nd-Hf isotope systematics as these other two terranes, which have been attributed to the crystallization of an early magma ocean. The Acasta signature rather is ascribed to the formation of Hadean crust that was preserved for several hundred Myr. Its longevity can be linked to 142Nd evolution in the mantle and does not require slow mantle stirring times nor modification of its convective mode.

  18. Filling-in of Far-Red and Near-Infrared Solar Lines by Terrestrial and Atmospheric Effects: Simulations and Space-Based Observations from SCIAMACHY and GOSAT

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Joiner, J.; Yoshida, Y.; Vasilkov, A. P.; Middleton, E. M.; Campbell, P. K. E.; Yoshida, Y.; Kuse, A.; Corp, L. A.

    2012-01-01

    Mapping of terrestrial vegetation fluorescence from space is of interest because it can potentially provide global information on the functional status of vegetation including light use efficiency and global primary productivity that can be used for global carbon cycle modeling. Space-based measurement of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence is challenging, because its signal is small as compared with the much larger reflectance signal. Ground- and aircraft-based approaches have made use of the dark and spectrally-wide O2-A ( approx 760 nm) and O2-B (approx 690 nm) atmospheric features to detect the weak fluorescence signal. More recently, Joiner et al. and Frankenberg et al. focused on longer-wavelength solar Fraunhofer lines that can be observed with space-based instruments such as the currently operational GOSAT. They showed that fluorescence can be detected using Fraunhofer lines away from the far-red chlorophyll-a fluorescence peak even when the surface is relatively bright. Here, we build on that work by developing methodology to correct for instrumental artifacts that produce false filling-in signals that can bias fluorescence retrievals. We also examine other potential sources of filling-in at far-red and NIR wavelengths. Another objective is to explore the possibility of making fluorescence measurements from space with lower spectral resolution instrumentation than the GOSAT interferometer. We focus on the 866nm Ca II solar Fraunhofer line. Very few laboratory and ground-based measurements of vegetation fluorescence have been reported at wavelengths longer than 800 nm. Some results of fluorescence measurements of corn leaves acquired in the laboratory using polychromatic excitation at wavelengths shorter than 665nm show that at 866 nm, the measured signal is of the order of 0.1-0.2 mW/sq m/nm/sr. In this work, we use the following satellite observations: We use SCIAMACHY channel 5 in nadir mode that covers wavelengths between 773 and 1063nm at a spectral

  19. Speciation and solubility of reduced C-O-H-N volatiles in mafic melt: Implications for volcanism, atmospheric evolution, and deep volatile cycles in the terrestrial planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armstrong, Lora S.; Hirschmann, Marc M.; Stanley, Ben D.; Falksen, Emily G.; Jacobsen, Steven D.

    2015-12-01

    Using vibrational spectroscopy and SIMS, we determined the solubility and speciation of C-O-H-N dissolved volatiles in mafic glasses quenched from high pressure under reduced conditions, with fO2 from -3.65 to +1.46 relative to the iron-wüstite buffer (IW). Experiments were performed on martian and terrestrial basalts at 1.2 GPa and 1400 °C in graphite containers with variable availability of H2O, and in the presence of FePt alloys or Fe-C liquids. The dominant C-O-H-N species varies systematically with fO2 and H2O content: the carbonate ion prevails above IW + 1, but for dry conditions between IW-2 and IW + 1, Ctbnd O species are most important. Below IW, reduced NH-bearing species are present. At the most reducing and hydrous (∼0.5 wt% H2O) conditions, small amounts of CH4 are present. Concentrations of C diminish as conditions become more reduced, amounting to 10 s to ∼100 ppm in the interval ∼IW-2 to IW + 1 where Ctbnd O species dominate, and as little as 1-3 ppm at more reduced conditions. Concentrations of non-carbonate carbon, dominated by Ctbnd O species, correlate with CO fugacities along a trend implying that the species stoichiometry has just one Ctbnd O group and suggesting that carbonyl complexes (transition metals with multiple carbon monoxide ligands) are not important species under these conditions. C partition coefficients between Fe-C liquid and silicate melt increase with decreasing fO2 , becoming as great as 104 for the most reducing conditions investigated. The low solubility of C in silicate liquids under reducing conditions means that most C during the magma ocean stage of planetary differentiation is either segregated to the core or in the overlying atmosphere. Precipitation of C-rich phases in a carbon-saturated magma ocean is also possible, and is one mechanism by which some C can be retained in the mantle of a planet. The predominant magmatic carbonaceous species for both martian and lunar volcanism is likely Ctbnd O.

  20. Filling-in of Far-Red and Near-Infrared Solar Lines by Terrestrial and Atmospheric Effects: Simulations and Space-Based Observations from SCHIAMACHY and GOSAT

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Joiner, J.; Yoshida, Y.; Vasilkov, A. P.; Middleton, E. M.; Campbell, P. K. E.; Kuze, A.; Corp, L. A.

    2012-01-01

    Mapping of terrestrial vegetation fluorescence from space is of interest because it can potentially provide global information on the functional status of vegetation including light use efficiency and global primary productivity that can be used for global carbon cycle modeling. Space-based measurement of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence is challenging, because its signal is small as compared with the much larger reflectance signal. Ground- and aircraft-based approaches have made use of the dark and spectrally-wide 02-A (approx 760 nm) and O2-B (approx 690 nm) atmospheric features to detect the weak fluorescence signal. More recently, Joiner et a1. and Frankenberg et a1. focused on longer-wavelength solar Fraunhofer lines that can be observed with space-based instruments such as the currently operational GOSAT. They showed that fluorescence can be detected using Fraunhofer lines away from the far-red chlorophyll-a fluorescence peak even when the surface is relatively bright. Here, we build on that work by developing methodology to correct for instrumental artifacts that produce false filling-in signals that can bias fluorescence retrievals. We also examine other potential sources of filling-in at far-red and NIR wavelengths. Another objective is to explore the possibility of making fluorescence measurements from space with lower spectral resolution instrumentation than the GOSAT interferometer. We focus on the 866 nm Ca II solar Fraunhofer line. Very few laboratory and ground-based measurements of vegetation fluorescence have been reported at wavelengths longer than 800 mn. Some results of fluorescence measurements of corn leaves acquired in the laboratory using polychromatic excitation at wavelengths shorter than 665 nm show that at 866 nm, the measured signal is of the order of 0.1-0.2 mw/sq m/nm/sr. In this work we use the following satellite observations: We use SCIAMACHY channel 5 in nadir mode that covers wavelengths between 773 and 1063 nm at a

  1. The terrestrial silica pump.

    PubMed

    Carey, Joanna C; Fulweiler, Robinson W

    2012-01-01

    Silicon (Si) cycling controls atmospheric CO(2) concentrations and thus, the global climate, through three well-recognized means: chemical weathering of mineral silicates, occlusion of carbon (C) to soil phytoliths, and the oceanic biological Si pump. In the latter, oceanic diatoms directly sequester 25.8 Gton C yr(-1), accounting for 43% of the total oceanic net primary production (NPP). However, another important link between C and Si cycling remains largely ignored, specifically the role of Si in terrestrial NPP. Here we show that 55% of terrestrial NPP (33 Gton C yr(-1)) is due to active Si-accumulating vegetation, on par with the amount of C sequestered annually via marine diatoms. Our results suggest that similar to oceanic diatoms, the biological Si cycle of land plants also controls atmospheric CO(2) levels. In addition, we provide the first estimates of Si fixed in terrestrial vegetation by major global biome type, highlighting the ecosystems of most dynamic Si fixation. Projected global land use change will convert forests to agricultural lands, increasing the fixation of Si by land plants, and the magnitude of the terrestrial Si pump. PMID:23300825

  2. The Terrestrial Silica Pump

    PubMed Central

    Carey, Joanna C.; Fulweiler, Robinson W.

    2012-01-01

    Silicon (Si) cycling controls atmospheric CO2 concentrations and thus, the global climate, through three well-recognized means: chemical weathering of mineral silicates, occlusion of carbon (C) to soil phytoliths, and the oceanic biological Si pump. In the latter, oceanic diatoms directly sequester 25.8 Gton C yr−1, accounting for 43% of the total oceanic net primary production (NPP). However, another important link between C and Si cycling remains largely ignored, specifically the role of Si in terrestrial NPP. Here we show that 55% of terrestrial NPP (33 Gton C yr−1) is due to active Si-accumulating vegetation, on par with the amount of C sequestered annually via marine diatoms. Our results suggest that similar to oceanic diatoms, the biological Si cycle of land plants also controls atmospheric CO2 levels. In addition, we provide the first estimates of Si fixed in terrestrial vegetation by major global biome type, highlighting the ecosystems of most dynamic Si fixation. Projected global land use change will convert forests to agricultural lands, increasing the fixation of Si by land plants, and the magnitude of the terrestrial Si pump. PMID:23300825

  3. A comparison of lyman alpha and He lambda 10830 line structures and variations in early-type star atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meisel, D. D.

    1974-01-01

    Line profiles were first obtained at maximum velocity separation of the spectroscopic binary Spica (alpha Vir), and then high resolution spectrophotometric images of selected features in the 1.1 micron spectrum of Comet Kohoutek were obtained in order to gain insight into the structures and variations in early-type star atmospheres.

  4. Differential Expression of Metallothionein Isoforms in Terrestrial Snail Embryos Reflects Early Life Stage Adaptation to Metal Stress

    PubMed Central

    Baurand, Pierre-Emmanuel; Pedrini-Martha, Veronika; de Vaufleury, Annette; Niederwanger, Michael; Capelli, Nicolas; Scheifler, Renaud; Dallinger, Reinhard

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyze the expression of three metallothionein (MT) isoform genes (CdMT, CuMT and Cd/CuMT), already known from adults, in the Early Life Stage (ELS) of Cantareus aspersus. This was accomplished by detection of the MT isoform-specific transcription adopting Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) amplification and quantitative Real Time (qRT)-PCR of the three MT genes. Freshly laid eggs were kept for 24 hours under control conditions or exposed to three cadmium (Cd) solutions of increasing concentration (5, 10, and 15 mg Cd/L). The transcription of the three MT isoform genes was detected via PCR in 1, 6 and 12-day-old control or Cd-exposed embryos. Moreover, the transcription of this isoform genes during development was followed by qRT-PCR in 6 and 12-day-old embryos. Our results showed that the CdMT and Cd/CuMT genes, but not the CuMT gene, are expressed in embryos at the first day of development. The transcription of the 3 MT genes in control embryos increased with development time, suggesting that the capacities of metal regulation and detoxification may have gradually increased throughout embryogenesis. However in control embryos, the most highly expressed MT gene was that of the Cd/CuMT isoform, whose transcription levels greatly exceeded those of the other two MT genes. This contrasts with the minor significance of this gene in adult snails and suggests that in embryos, this isoform may play a comparatively more important role in metal physiology compared to adult individuals. This function in adult snails appears not to be related to Cd detoxification. Instead, snail embryos responded to Cd exposure by over-expression of the CdMT gene in a concentration-dependent manner, whereas the expression of the Cd/CuMT gene remained unaffected. Moreover, our study demonstrates the ability of snail embryos to respond very early to Cd exposure by up-regulation of the CdMT gene. PMID:25706953

  5. Satellite derived 30-year trends in terrestrial frozen and non-frozen seasons and associated impacts to vegetation and atmospheric CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Y.; Kimball, J. S.; McDonald, K. C.; Glassy, J. M.

    2010-12-01

    Approximately 66 million km2 (52.5 %) of the global vegetated land area experiences seasonally frozen temperatures as a major constraint to ecosystem processes. The freeze-thaw (F/T) status of the landscape as derived from satellite microwave remote sensing is closely linked to surface energy budget and hydrological activity, vegetation phenology, terrestrial carbon budgets and land-atmosphere trace gas exchange. We utilized a seasonal threshold algorithm based temporal change classification of 37GHz frequency, vertically polarized brightness temperatures (Tb) from the Nimbus-7 Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) pathfinder and Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) to classify daily F/T status for all global land areas where seasonal frozen temperatures are a major constraint to ecosystem processes. A temporally consistent, long-term (30 year) daily F/T record was created by pixel-wise correction of the SMMR Tb record based on empirical analyses of overlapping SMMR and SSM/I measurements acquired during 1987. The resulting combined F/T record was validated against in situ temperature measurements from the global weather station network and applied to quantify regional patterns and trends in timing and length of frozen and non-frozen seasons. The F/T results were compared against other surrogate measures of biosphere activity including satellite AVHRR (GIMMS) based vegetation greenness (NDVI) and atmospheric CO2 concentrations over northern (>50N) land areas. The resulting F/T record showed mean annual classification accuracies of 91 (+/-1.0) and 84 (+/- 0.9) percent for PM and AM overpass retrievals relative to in situ weather station records. The F/T record showed significant (P=0.008) long-term trends in non-frozen period (0.207 days/yr) that were largely driven by earlier onset of spring thaw (-0.121 days/yr) and a small, delayed trend the arrival of the frozen period (0.107 days/yr). These results coincide with 0.025 C/yr warming trends in

  6. On the early processing of terrestrial organic matter released to (sub-)Arctic coastal waters as deduced from biomarkers, isotopes and a simple model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gustafsson, Örjan; Vonk, Jorien; van Dongen, Bart; Dudarev, Oleg; Semiletov, Igor

    2010-05-01

    The surface layer of the vast sub-Arctic and Arctic tundra and taiga holds over a third of the global soil carbon and this area is now experiencing among the largest climate warming of anywhere on Earth. Yet, there is a shortage of investigations of the biogeochemical fate of coastally exported terrestrial organic matter (terrOM) from these systems, in part due to the inaccessibility of the large Eurasian-Arctic shelves. This paper seeks to synthesize initial findings from a large-scale survey of single surface sediments outside the five Great Russian Arctic Rivers (GRARs; Ob,Yenisey, Lena, Kolyma and Indigirka) and from detailed process-studies of a water column and surface sediment transect off pristine sub-Arctic Kalix River, one of the largest unregulated rivers in Europe draining into the northernmost Baltic Sea. There is at present a discrepancy in the literature of how the early (water column) fate of terrestrial organic matter is believed to occur between the northern Baltic Sea and the Eurasian Arctic shelf seas. For the Baltic, one suggests substantial DOC degradation but no consideration of POC degradation. For the Arctic, terrestrial DOC is believed to be conservatively mixed while POC is assumed to follow a generic "global" average degradation. Our studies to date show that terrOM entering sub-Arctic Baltic and Eurasian-Arctic seas follows continent-scale trends in molecular and isotopic composition. Sphagnum is a key contributor to the pre-aged (1000s of 14C years) terrOM in these coastal waters with greatest Sphagnum contribution but youngest terrOM toward the west. The Kalix-Baltic transect revealed rapid degradation of acyl lipids along the 80 km distance from river mouth to the open bay. For instance, the ratio of HMW n-alkanoic acids to HMW n-alkanes in surface water suspended particles dropped from 2.7 to 1.2. There was also rapid degradation during settling and in the surface sediment as the same ratio in sediments dropped between the estuary

  7. On the early processing of terrestrial organic matter released to (sub-)Arctic coastal waters as deduced from biomarkers, isotopes and a simple model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gustafsson, Ö.; Vonk, J.; van Dongen, B.; Dudarev, O.; Semiletov, I.

    2009-04-01

    The surface layer of the vast sub-Arctic and Arctic tundra and taiga holds over a third of the global soil carbon and this area is now experiencing among the largest climate warming of anywhere on Earth. Yet, there is a shortage of investigations of the biogeochemical fate of coastally exported terrestrial organic matter (terrOM) from these systems, in part due to the inaccessibility of the large Eurasian-Arctic shelves. This paper seeks to synthesize initial findings from a large-scale survey of single surface sediments outside the five Great Russian Arctic Rivers (GRARs; Ob,Yenisey, Lena, Kolyma and Indigirka) and from detailed process-studies of a water column and surface sediment transect off pristine sub-Arctic Kalix River, one of the largest unregulated rivers in Europe draining into the northernmost Baltic Sea. There is at present a discrepancy in the literature of how the early (water column) fate of terrestrial organic matter is believed to occur between the northern Baltic Sea and the Eurasian Arctic shelf seas. For the Baltic, one suggests substantial DOC degradation but no consideration of POC degradation. For the Arctic, terrestrial DOC is believed to be conservatively mixed while POC is assumed to follow a "global" average degradation. Our studies to date show that terrOM entering sub-Arctic Baltic and Eurasian-Arctic seas follows continent-scale trends in molecular and isotopic composition. Sphagnum is a key contributor to the pre-aged (1000s of 14C years) terrOM in these coastal waters with greatest Sphagnum contribution but youngest terrOM toward the west. The Kalix-Baltic transect revealed rapid degradation of acyl lipids along the 80 km distance from river mouth to the open bay. For instance, the ratio of HMW n-alkanoic acids to HMW n-alkanes in surface water suspended particles dropped from 2.7 to 1.2. There was also rapid degradation during settling and in the surface sediment as the same ratio in sediments dropped between the estuary - open

  8. Changing atmospheric CO2 concentration was the primary driver of early Cenozoic climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anagnostou, Eleni; John, Eleanor H.; Edgar, Kirsty M.; Foster, Gavin L.; Ridgwell, Andy; Inglis, Gordon N.; Pancost, Richard D.; Lunt, Daniel J.; Pearson, Paul N.

    2016-05-01

    The Early Eocene Climate Optimum (EECO, which occurred about 51 to 53 million years ago), was the warmest interval of the past 65 million years, with mean annual surface air temperature over ten degrees Celsius warmer than during the pre-industrial period. Subsequent global cooling in the middle and late Eocene epoch, especially at high latitudes, eventually led to continental ice sheet development in Antarctica in the early Oligocene epoch (about 33.6 million years ago). However, existing estimates place atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels during the Eocene at 500–3,000 parts per million, and in the absence of tighter constraints carbon–climate interactions over this interval remain uncertain. Here we use recent analytical and methodological developments to generate a new high-fidelity record of CO2 concentrations using the boron isotope (δ11B) composition of well preserved planktonic foraminifera from the Tanzania Drilling Project, revising previous estimates. Although species-level uncertainties make absolute values difficult to constrain, CO2 concentrations during the EECO were around 1,400 parts per million. The relative decline in CO2 concentration through the Eocene is more robustly constrained at about fifty per cent, with a further decline into the Oligocene. Provided the latitudinal dependency of sea surface temperature change for a given climate forcing in the Eocene was similar to that of the late Quaternary period, this CO2 decline was sufficient to drive the well documented high- and low-latitude cooling that occurred through the Eocene. Once the change in global temperature between the pre-industrial period and the Eocene caused by the action of all known slow feedbacks (apart from those associated with the carbon cycle) is removed, both the EECO and the late Eocene exhibit an equilibrium climate sensitivity relative to the pre-industrial period of 2.1 to 4.6 degrees Celsius per CO2 doubling (66 per cent confidence), which is similar to the

  9. Changing atmospheric CO2 concentration was the primary driver of early Cenozoic climate.

    PubMed

    Anagnostou, Eleni; John, Eleanor H; Edgar, Kirsty M; Foster, Gavin L; Ridgwell, Andy; Inglis, Gordon N; Pancost, Richard D; Lunt, Daniel J; Pearson, Paul N

    2016-05-19

    The Early Eocene Climate Optimum (EECO, which occurred about 51 to 53 million years ago), was the warmest interval of the past 65 million years, with mean annual surface air temperature over ten degrees Celsius warmer than during the pre-industrial period. Subsequent global cooling in the middle and late Eocene epoch, especially at high latitudes, eventually led to continental ice sheet development in Antarctica in the early Oligocene epoch (about 33.6 million years ago). However, existing estimates place atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels during the Eocene at 500-3,000 parts per million, and in the absence of tighter constraints carbon-climate interactions over this interval remain uncertain. Here we use recent analytical and methodological developments to generate a new high-fidelity record of CO2 concentrations using the boron isotope (δ(11)B) composition of well preserved planktonic foraminifera from the Tanzania Drilling Project, revising previous estimates. Although species-level uncertainties make absolute values difficult to constrain, CO2 concentrations during the EECO were around 1,400 parts per million. The relative decline in CO2 concentration through the Eocene is more robustly constrained at about fifty per cent, with a further decline into the Oligocene. Provided the latitudinal dependency of sea surface temperature change for a given climate forcing in the Eocene was similar to that of the late Quaternary period, this CO2 decline was sufficient to drive the well documented high- and low-latitude cooling that occurred through the Eocene. Once the change in global temperature between the pre-industrial period and the Eocene caused by the action of all known slow feedbacks (apart from those associated with the carbon cycle) is removed, both the EECO and the late Eocene exhibit an equilibrium climate sensitivity relative to the pre-industrial period of 2.1 to 4.6 degrees Celsius per CO2 doubling (66 per cent confidence), which is similar to the

  10. Phosphorus Redox on the Early Earth: First Identification of Low-Oxidation State Phosphorus Compounds in Terrestrial Samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Block, K. M.; Pasek, M. A.

    2008-12-01

    Phosphorus is one of the key elements in biochemical systems, playing an important role in metabolism as ATP and other coenzymes, in replication as DNA and RNA, and in cellular structure as phospholipids. The geochemical cycling of phosphorus on the Earth is usually confined to the rock cycle- redox reactions of phosphorus are never considered. However, it has been proposed that redox reactions of phosphorus were important on the early Earth (Pasek, PNAS 2008). Indeed, such a suggestion is buttressed by the discovery of condensed phosphate formation linked to the oxidation of reduced P compounds. However, prior to the present work, there has been no report of these P compounds in geologic samples. Here we report the first occurrence of reduced P in samples of fulgurites, the glassy material resulting from the fusion of sand, soil, or rock during a lightning strike. On average, lightning strikes the Earth's surface at a rate of approximately 65 times per second (Krider et al., J. Geophys. Res.,1968) exposing target areas to extreme energy dissipation and temperatures. Through electron microprobe analyses and NMR we have identified naturally formed metal droplets containing Fe and P within several fulgurite samples and Ca-phosphite compounds. These droplets are highly reduced compared to the original material and are not naturally present in the target area, rather they were formed through the rapid, intense heating and quenching experienced during fulgurite formation. This process provides a natural means to create localized environments with greater than normal abundances of reduced Fe and P, less commonly found on Earth's surface than their oxidized counterparts. In particular, small areas that receive repeated lightning strikes due to topography or local weather patterns (e.g. hilltops) could potentially house unique microhabitats with reduced elements available for biological use.

  11. Mercury cycling in terrestrial watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shanley, James B.; Bishop, Kevin

    2012-01-01

    This chapter discusses mercury cycling in the terrestrial landscape, including inputs from the atmosphere, accumulation in soils and vegetation, outputs in streamflow and volatilization, and effects of land disturbance. Mercury mobility in the terrestrial landscape is strongly controlled by organic matter. About 90% of the atmospheric mercury input is retained in vegetation and organic matter in soils, causing a buildup of legacy mercury. Some mercury is volatilized back to the atmosphere, but most export of mercury from watersheds occurs by streamflow. Stream mercury export is episodic, in association with dissolved and particulate organic carbon, as stormflow and snowmelt flush organic-rich shallow soil horizons. The terrestrial landscape is thus a major source of mercury to downstream aquatic environments, where mercury is methylated and enters the aquatic food web. With ample organic matter and sulfur, methylmercury forms in uplands as well—in wetlands, riparian zones, and other anoxic sites. Watershed features (topography, land cover type, and soil drainage class) are often more important than atmospheric mercury deposition in controlling the amount of stream mercury and methylmercury export. While reductions in atmospheric mercury deposition may rapidly benefit lakes, the terrestrial landscape will respond only over decades, because of the large stock and slow turnover of legacy mercury. We conclude with a discussion of future scenarios and the challenge of managing terrestrial mercury.

  12. ESR dating evidence for early man at a Lower Palaeolithic cave-site in the Northern Caucasus as derived from terrestrial mollusc shells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molodkov, Anatoly

    2001-12-01

    Eight terrestrial shell samples from recent excavations at Treugolnaya (Triangular) Cave (Northern Caucasus) were analysed by electron spin resonance (ESR) to produce a chronology for the most ancient Acheulian-bearing layers of the cave-site. The lifetime of the 2.0012 centre used for dating is about 3×10 8 at 5°C that allows to date the multi-level sequence of the cave-site at least in the range of the last one million years. The dating results obtained suggest that the first (from the bottom) archaeological layer, 7a, is likely to be about 583,000a old, and the next, 5b, is some 393,000 a old. These layers can be correlated with oxygen isotope stages 15 and 11, respectively. The estimates obtained imply that man presumably reached the Northern Caucasus at least as early as the beginning of stage 15, i.e. much earlier than generally recognised. The leaving of the cave by ancient man due to development of glacial environment during the subsequent stage(s) can probably be linked with the penetration of man to the southern areas of the East European Plain.

  13. Paleoclimatic and paleoecological reconstruction of early Miocene terrestrial equatorial deposits, Rusinga and Mfangano Islands, Lake Victoria, Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michel, L. A.; Peppe, D. J.; McNulty, K. P.; Driese, S. G.; Lutz, J.; Nightingale, S.; Maxbauer, D. P.; Horner, W. H.; DiPietro, L. M.; Lehmann, T.; Dunsworth, H. M.; Harcourt-Smith, W. E.; Ogondo, J.

    2012-12-01

    Biological responses to climatic shifts are often studied to inform us on future anthropogenic-driven climate change. However, few of these climatic shifts occur over time scales appropriate to modern change and few occur with biota similar to modern. The Miocene Climatic Optimum is an ideal interval to study because of its rapid duration and because it occurred during the rise and proliferation of apes. The sediments on Rusinga and Mfangano Islands, Lake Victoria, Kenya were deposited between 18 and 20 Ma and record a changing equatorial climate just prior to the Miocene Climate Optimum. This location also offers an opportunity to use multiple proxies to constrain climate and landscape, including paleosol geochemistry, paleobotany and paleontology. Additionally, due to the rich fossil preservation on the islands, climatic shifts are framed within the context of early caterrhine evolution. Here, we report a climate shift recorded through three time slices spanning two formations over ~2 myr. The oldest unit, the Wayando Formation, records an arid, probably open ecosystem with pedogenic calcite rhizoliths, a high groundwater table, poorly-formed paleosols and permineralized sedges. The middle time slice, the Grit Member-Fossil Bed Member contact of the Hiwegi Formation, shows evidence of a local saline lake, with desiccation features, satin-spar after gypsum deposits and salt hoppers. Paleobotanical and sedimentological data from roughly contemporaneous strata indicate a warm, highly seasonal environment that supported a mixture of woodland and forested elements across the landscape. The youngest unit, which is within the Kibanga Member of the Hiwegi Formation, displays demonstrable evidence for a closed-canopy multistoried forest with the presence of tree-stump casts and permineralized root systems within a red-brown paleosol. Within the same paleosol horizon, the dental remains of the catarrhines Proconsul and Dendropithecus have been discovered in situ. This

  14. Magnetostratigraphy of the Lowermost Paleocene Fort Union Formation in the Williston Basin of North Dakota: Base of a Terrestrial Reference Section for Early Cenozoic Global Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peppe, D. J.; Evans, D. D.

    2006-05-01

    lead to more accurate and detailed correlations of the terrestrial and marine climate records through the early Cenozoic.

  15. Terrestrial Biomarkers for Early Life on Earth as Analogs for Possible Martian Life Forms: Examples of Minerally Replaced Bacteria and Biofilms From the 3.5 - 3.3-Ga Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westall, F.; McKay, D. S.; Gibson, E. K.; deWit, M. J.; Dann, J.; Gerneke, D.; deRonde, C. E. J.

    1998-01-01

    The search for extraterrestrial life and especially martian life hinges on a variety of methods used to identify vestiges of what we could recognize as life, including chemical signatures, morphological fossils, and biogenic precipitates. Although the possibility of extant life on Mars (subsurface) is being considered, most exploration efforts may be directed toward the search for fossil life. Geomorphological evidence points to a warmer and wetter Mars early on in its history, a scenario that encourages comparison with the early Earth. For this reason, study of the early terrestrial life forms and environment in which they lived may provide clues as to how to search for extinct martian life. As a contribution to the early Archean database of terrestrial microfossils, we present new data on morphological fossils from the 3.5-3.3-Ga Barberton greenstone belt (BGB), South Africa. This study underlines the variety of fossil types already present in some of the oldest, best-preserved terrestrial sediments, ranging from minerally replaced bacteria and bacteria molds of vaRious morphologies (coccoid, coccobacillus, bacillus) to minerally replaced biofilm. Biofilm or extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) is produced by bacteria and appears to be more readily fossilisable than bacteria themselves. The BGB fossils occur in shallow water to subaerial sediments interbedded with volcanic lavas, the whole being deposited on oceanic crust. Penecontemporaneous silicification of sediments and volcanics resulted in the chertification of the rocks, which were later subjected to low-grade metamorphism (lower greenschist).

  16. Evidence for a (15)N positive excursion in terrestrial foodwebs at the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition in south-western France: Implications for early modern human palaeodiet and palaeoenvironment.

    PubMed

    Bocherens, Hervé; Drucker, Dorothée G; Madelaine, Stéphane

    2014-04-01

    The Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition around 35,000 years ago coincides with the replacement of Neanderthals by anatomically modern humans in Europe. Several hypotheses have been suggested to explain this replacement, one of them being the ability of anatomically modern humans to broaden their dietary spectrum beyond the large ungulate prey that Neanderthals consumed exclusively. This scenario is notably based on higher nitrogen-15 amounts in early Upper Palaeolithic anatomically modern human bone collagen compared with late Neanderthals. In this paper, we document a clear increase of nitrogen-15 in bone collagen of terrestrial herbivores during the early Aurignacian associated with anatomically modern humans compared with the stratigraphically older Châtelperronian and late Mousterian fauna associated with Neanderthals. Carnivores such as wolves also exhibit a significant increase in nitrogen-15, which is similar to that documented for early anatomically modern humans compared with Neanderthals in Europe. A shift in nitrogen-15 at the base of the terrestrial foodweb is responsible for such a pattern, with a preserved foodweb structure before and after the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition in south-western France. Such an isotopic shift in the terrestrial ecosystem may be due to an increase in aridity during the time of deposition of the early Aurignacian layers. If it occurred across Europe, such a shift in nitrogen-15 in terrestrial foodwebs would be enough to explain the observed isotopic trend between late Neanderthals and early anatomically modern humans, without any significant change in the diet composition at the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition. PMID:24630359

  17. Solution of the comoving-frame equation of transfer in spherically symmetric flows. V - Multilevel atoms. [in early star atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mihalas, D.; Kunasz, P. B.

    1978-01-01

    The coupled radiative transfer and statistical equilibrium equations for multilevel ionic structures in the atmospheres of early-type stars are solved. Both lines and continua are treated consistently; the treatment is applicable throughout a transonic wind, and allows for the presence of background continuum sources and sinks in the transfer. An equivalent-two-level-atoms approach provides the solution for the equations. Calculations for simplified He (+)-like model atoms in parameterized isothermal wind models indicate that subordinate line profiles are sensitive to the assumed mass-loss rate, and to the assumed structure of the velocity law in the atmospheres.

  18. TERRESTRIAL ECOTOXICOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Terrestrial ecotoxicology is the study of how environmental pollutants affect land-dependent organisms and their environment. It requires three elements: (1) a source, (2) a receptor, and (3) an exposure pathway. This article reviews the basic principles of each of each element...

  19. Evolution of ore deposits on terrestrial planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burns, R. G.

    1991-01-01

    Ore deposits on terrestrial planets materialized after core formation, mantle evolution, crustal development, interactions of surface rocks with the hydrosphere and atmosphere, and, where life exists on a planet, the involvement of biological activity. Core formation removed most of the siderophilic and chalcophilic elements, leaving mantles depleted in many of the strategic and noble metals relative to their chondritic abundances. Basaltic magma derived from partial melting of the mantle transported to the surface several metals contained in immiscible silicate and sulfide melts. Magmatic ore deposits were formed during cooling, fractional crystallization and density stratification from the basaltic melts. Such ore deposits found in earth's Archean rocks were probably generated during early histories of all terrestrial planets and may be the only types of igneous ores on Mars. Where plate tectonic activity was prevalent on a terrestrial planet, temporal evolution of ore deposits took place. Repetitive episodes of subduction modified the chemical compositions of the crust and upper mantles, leading to porphyry copper and molybdenum ores in calc-alkaline igneous rocks and granite-hosted tin and tungsten deposits. Such plate tectonic-induced mineralization in relatively young igneous rocks on earth may also have produced hydrothermal ore deposits on Venus in addition to the massive sulfide and cumulate chromite ores associated with Venusian mafic igneous rock. Sedimentary ore deposits resulting from mechanical and chemical weathering in reducing atmospheres in Archean earth included placer deposits (e.g., uraninite, gold, pyrite ores). Chromite, ilmenite, and other dense unreactive minerals could also be present on channel floors and in valley networks on Mars, while banded iron formations might underlie the Martian northern plains regions. As oxygen evolved in earth's atmosphere, so too did oxide ores. By analogy, gossans above sulfide ores probably occur on Mars

  20. Atmosphere-ocean linkages in the eastern equatorial Pacific over the early Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Povea, Patricia; Cacho, Isabel; Moreno, Ana; Pena, Leopoldo D.; Menéndez, Melisa; Calvo, Eva; Canals, Miquel; Robinson, Rebecca S.; Méndez, Fernando J.; Flores, Jose-Abel

    2016-05-01

    Here we present a new set of high-resolution early Pleistocene records from the eastern equatorial Pacific (EEP). Sediment composition from Ocean Drilling Program Sites 1240 and 1238 is used to reconstruct past changes in the atmosphere-ocean system. Particularly remarkable is the presence of laminated diatom oozes (LDOs) during glacial periods between 1.85 and 2.25 Ma coinciding with high fluxes of opal and total organic carbon. Relatively low lithic particles (coarse and poorly sorted) and iron fluxes during these glacial periods indicate that the increased diatom productivity did not result from dust-stimulated fertilization events. We argue that glacial fertilization occurred through the advection of nutrient-rich waters from the Southern Ocean. In contrast, glacial periods after 1.85 Ma are characterized by enhanced dust transport of finer lithic particles acting as a new source of nutrients in the EEP. The benthic ecosystem shows dissimilar responses to the high productivity recorded during glacial periods before and after 1.85 Ma, which suggests that the transport processes delivering organic matter to the deep sea also changed. Different depositional processes are interpreted to be the result of two distinct glacial positions of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Before 1.85 Ma, the ITCZ was above the equator, with weak local winds and enhanced wet deposition of dust. After 1.85 Ma, the glacial ITCZ was displaced northward, thus bringing stronger winds and stimulating upwelling in the EEP. The glacial period at 1.65 Ma with the most intense LDOs supports a rapid southward migration of the ITCZ comparable to those glacial periods before 1.85 Ma.

  1. Atmospheric control on ground and space based early warning system for hazard linked to ash injection into the atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caudron, Corentin; Taisne, Benoit; Whelley, Patrick; Garces, Milton; Le Pichon, Alexis

    2014-05-01

    Violent volcanic eruptions are common in the Southeast Asia which is bordered by active subduction zones with hundreds of active volcanoes. The physical conditions at the eruptive vent are difficult to estimate, especially when there are only a few sensors distributed around the volcano. New methods are therefore required to tackle this problem. Among them, satellite imagery and infrasound may rapidly provide information on strong eruptions triggered at volcanoes which are not closely monitored by on-site instruments. The deployment of an infrasonic array located at Singapore will increase the detection capability of the existing IMS network. In addition, the location of Singapore with respect to those volcanoes makes it the perfect site to identify erupting blasts based on the wavefront characteristics of the recorded signal. There are ~750 active or potentially active volcanoes within 4000 kilometers of Singapore. They have been combined into 23 volcanic zones that have clear azimuth with respect to Singapore. Each of those zones has been assessed for probabilities of eruptive styles, from moderate (Volcanic Explosivity Index of 3) to cataclysmic (VEI 8) based on remote morphologic analysis. Ash dispersal models have been run using wind velocity profiles from 2010 to 2012 and hypothetical eruption scenarios for a range of eruption explosivities. Results can be used to estimate the likelihood of volcanic ash at any location in SE Asia. Seasonal changes in atmospheric conditions will strongly affect the potential to detect small volcanic eruptions with infrasound and clouds can hide eruption plumes from satellites. We use the average cloud cover for each zone to estimate the probability of eruption detection from space, and atmospheric models to estimate the probability of eruption detection with infrasound. Using remote sensing in conjunction with infrasound improves detection capabilities as each method is capable of detecting eruptions when the other is 'blind

  2. Estimating Seasonal Cycles of Atmospheric CO2 and APO Resulting from Terrestrial NEE and Air-Sea O2 Fluxes using the Transcom T3L2 Pulse-Response Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nevison, C. D.

    2011-12-01

    We present a method for translating modeled terrestrial net ecosystem exchange (NEE) fluxes of carbon into the corresponding annual mean cycles in atmospheric CO2. The method is based on the pulse-response functions from the Transcom 3 atmospheric tracer transport model (ATM) intercomparison. An oceanic version of the method is applied to air-sea O2 fluxes to estimate the corresponding annual mean cycles in atmospheric potential oxygen (APO). The estimated atmospheric seasonal cycles can be evaluated against observed atmospheric CO2 and APO data, which are measured at high precision at a wide range of monitoring sites and reflect the integrated impact of surface CO2 and O2 fluxes, respectively, across broad regions. The pulse-response function method is considerably faster than a full forward ATM simulation, allowing seasonal cycles from 13 different ATMS to be computed in minutes, rather than the days or weeks required for a single forward simulation. We evaluate the method against the results of full forward ATM simulations and examine the uncertainties associated with neglecting additional surface fluxes, e.g., from fossil fuel combustion, that may contribute to the observed seasonal cycles of CO2 and APO.

  3. Reconciling estimates of the contemporary North American carbon balance among terrestrial biosphere models, atmospheric inversions and a new approach for estimating net ecosystem exchange from inventory-based data

    SciTech Connect

    Hayes, D. J.; Turner, D. P.; Stinson, Graham; McGuire, A. David; Wei, Yaxing; West, Tristram O.; Heath, L.; deJong, B.; McConkey, Brian; Birdsey, Richard A.; Kurz, Werner; Jacobson, Andy; Huntzinger, Deborah N.; Pan, Y.; Post, W. M.; Cook, R. B.

    2012-04-02

    While fossil fuel emissions are calculated with relatively high precision, understanding the fate of those emissions with respect to sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems requires data and methods that can reduce uncertainties in the diagnosis of land-based CO2 sinks. The wide range in the land surface flux estimates is related to a number of factors, but most generally because of the different methodologies used to develop estimates of carbon stocks and flux, and the uncertainties inherent in each approach. The alternative approaches to estimating continental scale carbon fluxes that we explored here can be broadly classified as applying a top-down or bottom-up perspective. Top-down approaches calculate land-atmosphere carbon fluxes based on atmospheric budgets and inverse modeling. Bottom-up approaches rely primarily on measurements of carbon stock changes (the inventory approach) or on spatially distributed simulations of carbon stocks and/or fluxes using process-based modeling (the forward modelapproach).

  4. Forsterite/melt partitioning of argon and iodine: Implications for atmosphere formation by outgassing of an early Martian magma ocean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Musselwhite, Donald S.; Drake, Michael J.; Swindle, Timothy D.

    1992-01-01

    Argon and Xe in the Martian atmosphere are radiogenic relative to the Martian mantle if the SNC meteorites are from Mars. Decay of the short lived isotope I-129 to Xe-129 (t sub 1/2 = 16 m.y.) is the most plausible source of the radiogenic Xe. This short half life constrains any process responsible for the elevated Xe-129/Xe-132 ratio of the Martian atmosphere to occur very early in solar system history. Musselwhite et al. proposed that the differential solubility of I and Xe in liquid water played a key role in producing the radiogenic signature in the Martian atmosphere. Here we explore an alternative hypothesis involving purely igneous processes, and motivated in part by new experimental results on the partitioning of I and Xe between minerals and melt.

  5. Mercury in the Canadian Arctic terrestrial environment: an update.

    PubMed

    Gamberg, Mary; Chételat, John; Poulain, Alexandre J; Zdanowicz, Christian; Zheng, Jiancheng

    2015-03-15

    Contaminants in the Canadian Arctic have been studied over the last twenty years under the guidance of the Northern Contaminants Program. This paper provides the current state of knowledge on mercury (Hg) in the Canadian Arctic terrestrial environment. Snow, ice, and soils on land are key reservoirs for atmospheric deposition and can become sources of Hg through the melting of terrestrial ice and snow and via soil erosion. In the Canadian Arctic, new data have been collected for snow and ice that provide more information on the net accumulation and storage of Hg in the cryosphere. Concentrations of total Hg (THg) in terrestrial snow are highly variable but on average, relatively low (<5 ng L(-1)), and methylmercury (MeHg) levels in terrestrial snow are also generally low (<0.1 ng L(-1)). On average, THg concentrations in snow on Canadian Arctic glaciers are much lower than those reported on terrestrial lowlands or sea ice. Hg in snow may be affected by photochemical exchanges with the atmosphere mediated by marine aerosols and halogens, and by post-depositional redistribution within the snow pack. Regional accumulation rates of THg in Canadian Arctic glaciers varied little during the past century but show evidence of an increasing north-to-south gradient. Temporal trends of THg in glacier cores indicate an abrupt increase in the early 1990 s, possibly due to volcanic emissions, followed by more stable, but relatively elevated levels. Little information is available on Hg concentrations and processes in Arctic soils. Terrestrial Arctic wildlife typically have low levels of THg (<5 μg g(-1) dry weight) in their tissues, although caribou (Rangifer tarandus) can have higher Hg because they consume large amounts of lichen. THg concentrations in the Yukon's Porcupine caribou herd vary among years but there has been no significant increase or decrease over the last two decades. PMID:24861531

  6. Terrestrial planet formation

    PubMed Central

    Righter, K.; O’Brien, D. P.

    2011-01-01

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (∼106 y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few × 106 y), and finally embryos to planets (107–108 y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids. PMID:21709256

  7. Terrestrial planet formation.

    PubMed

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P

    2011-11-29

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (~10(6) y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few 10(6) y), and finally embryos to planets (10(7)-10(8) y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids. PMID:21709256

  8. Terrestrial ecosystems and climatic change

    SciTech Connect

    Emanuel, W.R. ); Schimel, D.S. . Natural Resources Ecology Lab.)

    1990-01-01

    The structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems depend on climate, and in turn, ecosystems influence atmospheric composition and climate. A comprehensive, global model of terrestrial ecosystem dynamics is needed. A hierarchical approach appears advisable given currently available concepts, data, and formalisms. The organization of models can be based on the temporal scales involved. A rapidly responding model describes the processes associated with photosynthesis, including carbon, moisture, and heat exchange with the atmosphere. An intermediate model handles subannual variations that are closely associated with allocation and seasonal changes in productivity and decomposition. A slow response model describes plant growth and succession with associated element cycling over decades and centuries. These three levels of terrestrial models are linked through common specifications of environmental conditions and constrain each other. 58 refs.

  9. The terrestrial ionosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schunk, R. W.

    1983-01-01

    The theory relating to the basic physics governing the behavior of the terrestrial ionosphere is reviewed. The review covers the coupling of the ionosphere to both the neutral atmosphere and magnetosphere, the creation and transport of ionization in the ionosphere, and the ionospheric thermal structure. The review also covers the variation of the ionosphere with altitude, latitude, longitude, universal time, season, solar cycle, and geomagnetic activity. In addition, some unique ionospheric features are discussed, such as the polar ionization hole, the main electron density trough, the ion temperature hot spots, the high-latitude ionization tongue, the equatorial fountain, Appleton's peaks, and the polar wind.

  10. 3D modelling of the early martian climate under a denser CO2 atmosphere: Temperatures and CO2 ice clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forget, F.; Wordsworth, R.; Millour, E.; Madeleine, J.-B.; Kerber, L.; Leconte, J.; Marcq, E.; Haberle, R. M.

    2013-01-01

    On the basis of geological evidence, it is often stated that the early martian climate was warm enough for liquid water to flow on the surface thanks to the greenhouse effect of a thick atmosphere. We present 3D global climate simulations of the early martian climate performed assuming a faint young Sun and a CO2 atmosphere with surface pressure between 0.1 and 7 bars. The model includes a detailed radiative transfer model using revised CO2 gas collision induced absorption properties, and a parameterisation of the CO2 ice cloud microphysical and radiative properties. A wide range of possible climates is explored using various values of obliquities, orbital parameters, cloud microphysic parameters, atmospheric dust loading, and surface properties. Unlike on present day Mars, for pressures higher than a fraction of a bar, surface temperatures vary with altitude because of the adiabatic cooling and warming of the atmosphere when it moves vertically. In most simulations, CO2 ice clouds cover a major part of the planet. Previous studies had suggested that they could have warmed the planet thanks to their scattering greenhouse effect. However, even assuming parameters that maximize this effect, it does not exceed +15 K. Combined with the revised CO2 spectroscopy and the impact of surface CO2 ice on the planetary albedo, we find that a CO2 atmosphere could not have raised the annual mean temperature above 0 °C anywhere on the planet. The collapse of the atmosphere into permanent CO2 ice caps is predicted for pressures higher than 3 bar, or conversely at pressure lower than 1 bar if the obliquity is low enough. Summertime diurnal mean surface temperatures above 0 °C (a condition which could have allowed rivers and lakes to form) are predicted for obliquity larger than 40° at high latitudes but not in locations where most valley networks or layered sedimentary units are observed. In the absence of other warming mechanisms, our climate model results are thus consistent

  11. The Geology of the Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carr, M. H. (Editor); Saunders, R. S.; Strom, R. G.; Wilhelms, D. E.

    1984-01-01

    The geologic history of the terrestrial planets is outlined in light of recent exploration and the revolution in geologic thinking. Among the topics considered are planet formation; planetary craters, basins, and general surface characteristics; tectonics; planetary atmospheres; and volcanism.

  12. Space Vehicle Terrestrial Environment Design Requirements Guidelines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Dale L.; Keller, Vernon W.; Vaughan, William W.

    2006-01-01

    The terrestrial environment is an important driver of space vehicle structural, control, and thermal system design. NASA is currently in the process of producing an update to an earlier Terrestrial Environment Guidelines for Aerospace Vehicle Design and Development Handbook. This paper addresses the contents of this updated handbook, with special emphasis on new material being included in the areas of atmospheric thermodynamic models, wind dynamics, atmospheric composition, atmospheric electricity, cloud phenomena, atmospheric extremes, and sea state. In addition, the respective engineering design elements are discussed relative to terrestrial environment inputs that require consideration. Specific lessons learned that have contributed to the advancements made in the application and awareness of terrestrial environment inputs for aerospace engineering applications are presented.

  13. Local response to warm Antarctic terrestrial temperatures in the Eocene: evidence from terrestrial biomarkers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toney, J. L.; Bendle, J. A.; Inglis, G.; Bijl, P.; Pross, J.; Contreras, L.; van de Flierdt, T.; Huck, C. E.; Jamieson, S.; Huber, M.; Schouten, S.; Roehl, U.; Bohaty, S. M.; Brinkhuis, H.

    2011-12-01

    The early Eocene (~55 to 49 Ma) was characterized by long-term, high global temperatures and elevated atmospheric pCO2 levels (ca. 1000 ppm to more than 2000 ppm). Superimposed on top of this long-term warmth were a series of abrupt high pCO2 (>2000 ppm) and high temperature events. This greenhouse world may be used as an analogue for the future response of the biosphere and global carbon cycle to recent anthropogenic, atmospheric CO2 emissions. A major uncertainty, however, is the response of high polar latitudes to these climate conditions. Here we show evidence of early Eocene warmth measured from terrestrial, bacteria-derived tetraethers at IODP Site U1356, situated along the Wilkes Land margin in East Antarctica. The presence of soil bacteria-derived hopanes and higher plant n-alkanes in drillcores obtained from this site are also used to help understand the terrestrial Antarctic climate evolution in a warmer world. Methyl-branched and cyclised tetraether compounds are derived from terrestrial, soil bacteria. The number of branches and cycles are related directly to the environmental temperature and pH. These compounds indicate that temperatures on Eastern Antarctica likely exceeded 22°C during the Eocene. These temperatures reflect locally sourced terrestrial material input from a variety of elevations along the coastal plain and from the hinterland. A local source region is supported by the palynological and neodymium isotope records and by the presence of hopanes that suggest input from terrigenous soil and/or wetland environments. In particular, the existence of the C31 (17α,21β) homohopane within a relatively immature hopane assemblage is reported at Site U1356 and suggests the presence of methane-producing, wetland environments on Antarctica. Compound-specific carbon isotopes analyzed on the bacterial derived hopanes are used to characterize changes in wetland carbon cycling and methanogenesis. Local adiabatic lapse rate and precipitation amount

  14. New insight into the physics of atmospheres of early type stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lamers, H. J. G. L. M.

    1981-01-01

    The phenomenon of mass loss and stellar winds from hot stars are discussed. The mass loss rate of early type stars increases by about a factor of 100 to 1000 during their evolution. This seems incompatible with the radiation driven wind models and may require another explanation for the mass loss from early type stars. The winds of early type stars are strongly variable and the stars may go through active phases. Eclipses in binary systems by the stellar winds can be used to probe the winds. A few future IUE studies are suggested.

  15. Bolide impacts and the oxidation state of carbon in the Earth's early atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, J. F.

    1992-01-01

    A one-dimensional photochemical model was used to examine the effect of bolide impacts on the oxidation state of Earth's primitive atmosphere. The impact rate should have been high prior to 3.8 Ga before present, based on evidence derived from the Moon. Impacts of comets or carbonaceous asteroids should have enhanced the atmospheric CO/CO2 ratio by bringing in CO ice and/or organic carbon that can be oxidized to CO in the impact plume. Ordinary chondritic impactors would contain elemental iron that could have reacted with ambient CO2 to give CO. Nitric oxide (NO) should also have been produced by reaction between ambient CO2 and N2 in the hot impact plumes. High NO concentrations increase the atmospheric CO/CO2 ratio by increasing the rainout rate of oxidized gases. According to the model, atmospheric CO/CO2 ratios of unity or greater are possible during the first several hundred million years of Earth's history, provided that dissolved CO was not rapidly oxidized to bicarbonate in the ocean. Specifically, high atmospheric CO/CO2 ratios are possible if either: (1) the climate was cool (like today's climate), so that hydration of dissolved CO to formate was slow, or (2) the formate formed from CO was efficiently converted into volatile, reduced carbon compounds, such as methane. A high atmospheric CO/CO2 ratio may have helped to facilitate prebiotic synthesis by enhancing the production rates of hydrogen cyanide and formaldehyde. Formaldehyde may have been produced even more efficiently by photochemical reduction of bicarbonate and formate in Fe(++)-rich surface waters.

  16. Bolide impacts and the oxidation state of carbon in the Earth's early atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Kasting, J F

    1992-01-01

    A one-dimensional photochemical model was used to examine the effect of bolide impacts on the oxidation state of Earth's primitive atmosphere. The impact rate should have been high prior to 3.8 Ga before present, based on evidence derived from the Moon. Impacts of comets or carbonaceous asteroids should have enhanced the atmospheric CO/CO2 ratio by bringing in CO ice and/or organic carbon that can be oxidized to CO in the impact plume. Ordinary chondritic impactors would contain elemental iron that could have reacted with ambient CO2 to give CO. Nitric oxide (NO) should also have been produced by reaction between ambient CO2 and N2 in the hot impact plumes. High NO concentrations increase the atmospheric CO/CO2 ratio by increasing the rainout rate of oxidized gases. According to the model, atmospheric CO/CO2 ratios of unity or greater are possible during the first several hundred million years of Earth's history, provided that dissolved CO was not rapidly oxidized to bicarbonate in the ocean. Specifically, high atmospheric CO/CO2 ratios are possible if either: (1) the climate was cool (like today's climate), so that hydration of dissolved CO to formate was slow, or (2) the formate formed from CO was efficiently converted into volatile, reduced carbon compounds, such as methane. A high atmospheric CO/CO2 ratio may have helped to facilitate prebiotic synthesis by enhancing the production rates of hydrogen cyanide and formaldehyde. Formaldehyde may have been produced even more efficiently by photochemical reduction of bicarbonate and formate in Fe(++)-rich surface waters. PMID:11537523

  17. Carbon Dioxide Clouds at High Altitude in the Tropics and in an Early Dense Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colaprete, Anthony; Toon, Owen B.

    2001-01-01

    We use a time dependent, microphysical cloud model to study the formation of carbon dioxide clouds in the Martian atmosphere. Laboratory studies by Glandor et al. show that high critical supersaturations are required for cloud particle nucleation and that surface kinetic growth is not limited. These conditions, which are similar to those for cirrus clouds on Earth, lead to the formation of carbon dioxide ice particles with radii greater than 500 micrometers and concentrations of less than 0.1 cm(exp -3) for typical atmospheric conditions. Within the current Martian atmosphere, CO2 cloud formation is possible at the poles during winter and at high altitudes in the tropics during periods of increased atmospheric dust loading. In both cases, temperature perturbations of several degrees below the CO2 saturation temperature are required to nucleate new cloud particles suggesting that dynamical processes are the most common initiators of carbon dioxide clouds rather than diabatic cooling. The microphysical cloud model, coupled to a two-stream radiative transfer model, is used to reexamine the impact of CO2 clouds on the surface temperature within a dense CO2 atmosphere. The formation of carbon dioxide clouds leads to a warmer surface than what would be expected for clear sky conditions. The amount of warming is sensitive to the presence of dust and water vapor in the atmosphere, both of which act to dampen cloud effects. The radiative warming associated with cloud formation, as well as latent heating, work to dissipate the clouds when present. Thus, clouds never last for periods much longer than several days, limiting their overall effectiveness for warming the surface. The time average cloud optical depth is approximately unity leading to a 5-10 K warming, depending on the surface pressure. However, the surface temperature does not rise about the freezing point of liquid water even for pressures as high as 5 bars, at a solar luminosity of 75% the current value.

  18. Nature and evolution of the early Martian atmosphere: Evidence from highland crater populations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Craddock, Robert A.; Maxwell, Ted A.

    1992-01-01

    Release of water in a CO2 rich atmosphere by precipitation and channel forming processes has led to speculation on the creation of Martian carbonate deposits. On Mars water probably was not on the surface long enough to allow eroded material to concentrate, raise the pH, and induce the formation of carbonates. This suggests that the Martian primordial atmosphere could be thinner (approximately 5 bars) and still allow highland degradation to occur over a long period of time (.45 to 1.2 billion years).

  19. Next-generation terrestrial carbon monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Running, Steven W.; Nemani, Ramakrishna R.; Townshend, John R. G.; Baldocchi, Dennis D.

    The first glimpse for humanity of global carbon monitoring was the invaluable record of atmospheric carbon dioxide measurements on the summit of Mauna Loa, initiated in 1958 by Charles David Keeling. Terrestrial carbon monitoring at the global scale only became possible with the advent of earth observation satellites in the early 1980s. Current science now allows an integration of satellite data, ground stations, and field observations integrated by mechanistic carbon cycle models. However this observational potential has not been realized by current systems, and international investments and coordination are needed. Future policy decisions on mitigating climate change, monitoring carbon credits, and developing biofuels will put a high demand on accurate monitoring and understanding of the global carbon cycle.

  20. Titan's surface and atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes, Alexander G.; Soderblom, Jason M.; Ádámkovics, Máté

    2016-05-01

    Since its arrival in late 2004, the NASA/ESA Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn has revealed Titan to be a world that is both strange and familiar. Titan is the only extraterrestrial body known to support standing bodies of stable liquid on its surface and, along with Earth and early Mars, is one of three places in the Solar System known to have had an active hydrologic cycle. With atmospheric pressures of 1.5 bar and temperatures of 90-95 K at the surface, methane and ethane condense out of Titan's nitrogen-dominated atmosphere and flow as liquids on the surface. Despite vast differences in environmental conditions and materials from Earth, Titan's methane-based hydrologic cycle drives climatic and geologic processes which generate landforms that are strikingly similar to their terrestrial counterparts, including vast equatorial dunes, well-organized channel networks that route material through erosional and depositional landscapes, and lakes and seas of liquid hydrocarbons. These similarities make Titan a natural laboratory for studying the processes that shape terrestrial landscapes and drive climates, probing extreme conditions impossible to recreate in earthbound laboratories. Titan's exotic environment ensures that even rudimentary measurements of atmospheric/surface interactions, such as wind-wave generation or aeolian dune development, provide valuable data to anchor physical models.

  1. Multiple sulfur-isotope signatures in Archean sulfates and their implications for the chemistry and dynamics of the early atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Muller, Élodie; Philippot, Pascal; Rollion-Bard, Claire; Cartigny, Pierre

    2016-07-01

    Sulfur isotopic anomalies (∆(33)S and ∆(36)S) have been used to trace the redox evolution of the Precambrian atmosphere and to document the photochemistry and transport properties of the modern atmosphere. Recently, it was shown that modern sulfate aerosols formed in an oxidizing atmosphere can display important isotopic anomalies, thus questioning the significance of Archean sulfate deposits. Here, we performed in situ 4S-isotope measurements of 3.2- and 3.5-billion-year (Ga)-old sulfates. This in situ approach allows us to investigate the diversity of Archean sulfate texture and mineralogy with unprecedented resolution and from then on to deconvolute the ocean and atmosphere Archean sulfur cycle. A striking feature of our data is a bimodal distribution of δ(34)S values at ∼+5‰ and +9‰, which is matched by modern sulfate aerosols. The peak at +5‰ represents barite of different ages and host-rock lithology showing a wide range of ∆(33)S between -1.77‰ and +0.24‰. These barites are interpreted as primary volcanic emissions formed by SO2 photochemical processes with variable contribution of carbonyl sulfide (OCS) shielding in an evolving volcanic plume. The δ(34)S peak at +9‰ is associated with non-(33)S-anomalous barites displaying negative ∆(36)S values, which are best interpreted as volcanic sulfate aerosols formed from OCS photolysis. Our findings confirm the occurrence of a volcanic photochemical pathway specific to the early reduced atmosphere but identify variability within the Archean sulfate isotope record that suggests persistence throughout Earth history of photochemical reactions characteristic of the present-day stratosphere. PMID:27330111

  2. Multiple sulfur-isotope signatures in Archean sulfates and their implications for the chemistry and dynamics of the early atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muller, Élodie; Philippot, Pascal; Rollion-Bard, Claire; Cartigny, Pierre

    2016-07-01

    Sulfur isotopic anomalies (∆33S and ∆36S) have been used to trace the redox evolution of the Precambrian atmosphere and to document the photochemistry and transport properties of the modern atmosphere. Recently, it was shown that modern sulfate aerosols formed in an oxidizing atmosphere can display important isotopic anomalies, thus questioning the significance of Archean sulfate deposits. Here, we performed in situ 4S-isotope measurements of 3.2- and 3.5-billion-year (Ga)-old sulfates. This in situ approach allows us to investigate the diversity of Archean sulfate texture and mineralogy with unprecedented resolution and from then on to deconvolute the ocean and atmosphere Archean sulfur cycle. A striking feature of our data is a bimodal distribution of δ34S values at ˜+5‰ and +9‰, which is matched by modern sulfate aerosols. The peak at +5‰ represents barite of different ages and host-rock lithology showing a wide range of ∆33S between ‑1.77‰ and +0.24‰. These barites are interpreted as primary volcanic emissions formed by SO2 photochemical processes with variable contribution of carbonyl sulfide (OCS) shielding in an evolving volcanic plume. The δ34S peak at +9‰ is associated with non–33S-anomalous barites displaying negative ∆36S values, which are best interpreted as volcanic sulfate aerosols formed from OCS photolysis. Our findings confirm the occurrence of a volcanic photochemical pathway specific to the early reduced atmosphere but identify variability within the Archean sulfate isotope record that suggests persistence throughout Earth history of photochemical reactions characteristic of the present-day stratosphere.

  3. Cooperative research in terrestrial planetary geology and geophysics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    This final report for the period of July 1991 to August 1994 covered a variety of topics concerning the study of Earth and Mars. The Earth studies stressed the interpretation of the MAGSAT crustal magnetic anomalies in order to determine the geological structure, mineralogical composition, magnetic nature, and the historical background of submarine features, and also featured work in the area of terrestrial remote sensing. Mars research included the early evolution of the Martian atmosphere and hydrosphere and the investigations of the large Martian impact basins. Detailed summaries of the research is included, along with lists of the publications resulting from this research.

  4. The terrestrial impact cratering record.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grieve, R. A. F.; Pesonen, L. J.

    1992-12-01

    Approximately 130 terrestrial hypervelocity impact craters are currently known. The rate of discovery of new craters is 3 - 5 craters per year. Although modified by erosion, terrestrial impact craters exhibit the range of morphologies observed for craters on other terrestrial planetary bodies. Due to erosion and its effects on form, terrestrial craters are recognized primarily by the occurrence of shock metamorphic effects. Terrestrial craters have a set of geophysical characteristics which are largely the result of the passage of a shock wave and impact-induced fracturing. Much current work is focused on the effects of impact on Earth evolution. Previous work on shock metamorphism and the contamination of impact melt rocks by meteoritic siderophile elements provides a basis for the interpretation of the physical and chemical evidence from Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary sites as resulting from a major impact. By analogy with the lunar record and modelling of the effects of very large impacts, it has been proposed that biological and atmospheric evolution of the Earth could not stabilize before the end of the late heavy bombardment ≡3.8 Ga ago. The present terrestrial cratering rate is 5.4±2.7×10-15 km-2a-1 for a diameter ≥20 km. On a gobal scale, a major impact sufficient to cripple human civilization severely will occur on time scales of ≡106a.

  5. Solar Wind Interaction with the Martian Upper Atmosphere at Early Mars/Extreme Solar Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, C.; Bougher, S. W.; Ma, Y.; Toth, G.; Lee, Y.; Nagy, A. F.; Tenishev, V.; Pawlowski, D. J.; Combi, M. R.

    2014-12-01

    The investigation of ion escape fluxes from Mars, resulting from the solar wind interaction with its upper atmosphere/ionosphere, is important due to its potential impact on the long-term evolution of Mars atmosphere (e.g., loss of water) over its history. In the present work, we adopt the 3-D Mars cold neutral atmosphere profiles (0 ~ 300 km) from the newly developed and validated Mars Global Ionosphere Thermosphere Model (M-GITM) and the 3-D hot oxygen profiles (100 km ~ 5 RM) from the exosphere Monte Carlo model Adaptive Mesh Particle Simulator (AMPS). We apply these 3-D model output fields into the 3-D BATS-R-US Mars multi-fluid MHD (MF-MHD) model (100 km ~ 20 RM) that can simulate the interplay between Mars upper atmosphere and solar wind by considering the dynamics of individual ion species. The multi-fluid MHD model solves separate continuity, momentum and energy equations for each ion species (H+, O+, O2+, CO2+). The M-GITM model together with the AMPS exosphere model take into account the effects of solar cycle and seasonal variations on both cold and hot neutral atmospheres. This feature allows us to investigate the corresponding effects on the Mars upper atmosphere ion escape by using a one-way coupling approach, i.e., both the M-GITM and AMPS model output fields are used as the input for the multi-fluid MHD model and the M-GITM is used as input into the AMPS exosphere model. In this study, we present M-GITM, AMPS, and MF-MHD calculations (1-way coupled) for 2.5 GYA conditions and/or extreme solar conditions for present day Mars (high solar wind velocities, high solar wind dynamic pressure, and high solar irradiance conditions, etc.). Present day extreme conditions may result in MF-MHD outputs that are similar to 2.5 GYA cases. The crustal field orientations are also considered in this study. By comparing estimates of past ion escape rates with the current ion loss rates to be returned by the MAVEN spacecraft (2013-2016), we can better constrain the

  6. Effective hydrodynamic hydrogen escape from an early Earth atmosphere inferred from high-accuracy numerical simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuramoto, Kiyoshi; Umemoto, Takafumi; Ishiwatari, Masaki

    2013-08-01

    Hydrodynamic escape of hydrogen driven by solar extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation heating is numerically simulated by using the constrained interpolation profile scheme, a high-accuracy scheme for solving the one-dimensional advection equation. For a wide range of hydrogen number densities at the lower boundary and solar EUV fluxes, more than half of EUV heating energy is converted to mechanical energy of the escaping hydrogen. Less energy is lost by downward thermal conduction even giving low temperature for the atmospheric base. This result differs from a previous numerical simulation study that yielded much lower escape rates by employing another scheme in which relatively strong numerical diffusion is implemented. Because the solar EUV heating effectively induces hydrogen escape, the hydrogen mixing ratio was likely to have remained lower than 1 vol% in the anoxic Earth atmosphere during the Archean era.

  7. Early evolution of the earth - Accretion, atmosphere formation, and thermal history

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abe, Yutaka; Matsui, Takafumi

    1986-01-01

    The thermal and atmospheric evolution of the earth growing planetesimal impacts are studied. The generation of an H2O protoatmosphere is examined, and the surface temperatures are estimated. The evolution of an impact-induced H2O atmosphere is analyzed. Consideration is given to the formation time of a 'magma ocean'and internal water budgets. The thermal history of an accreting earth is reviewed. The wet convection and greenhouse effects are discussed, and the role of Fe oxidation on the evolution of an impact-induced H2O atmopshere is described. The relationship between differentiation processes and core segregation, the H2O and FeO content of the mantle, and the origin of the hydrosphere is also examined.

  8. The composition of the primitive atmosphere and the synthesis of organic compounds on the early Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bada, J. L.; Miller, S. L.

    1985-01-01

    The generally accepted theory for the origin of life on the Earth requires that a large variety of organic compounds be present to form the first living organisms and to provide the energy sources for primitive life either directly or through various fermentation reactions. This can provide a strong constraint on discussions of the formation of the Earth and on the composition of the primitive atmosphere. In order for substantial amounts of organic compounds to have been present on the prebiological Earth, certain conditions must have existed. There is a large body of literature on the prebiotic synthesis of organic compounds in various postulated atmospheres. In this mixture of abiotically synthesized organic compounds, the amino acids are of special interest since they are utilized by modern organisms to synthesize structural materials and a large array of catalytic peptides.

  9. Large-scale atmospheric forcing of recent trends toward early snowmelt runoff in California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dettinger, Michael D.; Cayan, Daniel R.

    1995-01-01

    Weather stations in central California, including the central Sierra Nevada, have shown trends toward warmer winters since the 1940s. A series of regression analyses indicate that runoff timing responds equally to the observed decadal-scale trends in winter temperature and interannual temperature variations of the same magnitude, suggesting that the temperature trend is sufficient to explain the runoff-timing trends. The immediate cause of the trend toward warmer winters in California is a concurrent, long-term fluctuation in winter atmospheric circulations over the North Pacific Ocean and North America that is not immediately distinguishable from natural atmospheric variability. The fluctuation began to affect California in the 1940s, when the region of strongest low-frequency variation of winter circulations shifted to a part of the central North Pacific Ocean that is teleconnected to California temperatures. Since the late 1940s, winter wind fields have been displaced progressively southward over the central North Pacific and northward over the west coast of North America. These shifts in atmospheric circulations are associated with concurrent shifts in both West Coast air temperatures and North Pacific sea surface temperatures.

  10. Early Results from the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elphic, Richard C.; Hine, Butler; Delory, Gregory T.; Mahaffy, Paul; Benna, Mehdi; Horanyi, Mihaly; Colaprete, Anthony; Noble, Sarah

    2014-05-01

    On 6 September, 2013, a near-perfect launch of the first Minotaur V rocket success-fully carried NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) into a high-eccentricity geocentric orbit. After 30 days of phasing, LADEE arrived at the Moon on 6 October, 2013. LADEE's science objectives are twofold: (1) Determine the composition of the lunar atmosphere, investigate processes controlling its distribution and variability, including sources, sinks, and surface interactions; (2) Characterize the lunar exospheric dust environment, measure its spatial and temporal variability, and effects on the lunar atmosphere, if any. After a successful commissioning phase, the three science instruments have made systematic observations of the lunar dust and exospheric environment. These include initial observations of argon, neon and helium exospheres, and their diurnal variations; the lunar micrometeoroid impact ejecta cloud and its variations; spatial and temporal variations of the sodium exosphere; and the search for sunlight extinction caused by dust. LADEE also made observations of the effects of the Chang'e 3 landing on 14 December 2013.

  11. Early Results from the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elphic, R. C.; Hine, B.; Delory, G. T.; Mahaffy, Paul; Benna, Mehdi; Horanyi, Mihaly; Colaprete, Anthony; Noble, Sarah

    2014-01-01

    On 6 September, 2013, a near-perfect launch of the first Minotaur V rocket successfully carried NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) into a high-eccentricity geocentric orbit. After 30 days of phasing, LADEE arrived at the Moon on 6 October, 2013. LADEE's science objectives are twofold: (1) Determine the composition of the lunar atmosphere, investigate processes controlling its distribution and variability, including sources, sinks, and surface interactions; (2) Characterize the lunar exospheric dust environment, measure its spatial and temporal variability, and effects on the lunar atmosphere, if any. After a successful commissioning phase, the three science instruments have made systematic observations of the lunar dust and exospheric environment. These include initial observations of argon, neon and helium exospheres, and their diurnal variations; the lunar micrometeoroid impact ejecta cloud and its variations; spatial and temporal variations of the sodium exosphere; and the search for sunlight extinction caused by dust. LADEE also made observations of the effects of the Chang'e 3 landing on 14 December 2013.

  12. Terrestrial carbon cycle responses to drought and climate stress: New insights using atmospheric observations of CO2 and delta13C

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alden, Caroline B.

    Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) continue to rise well into the second decade of the new millennium, in spite of broad-scale human understanding of the impacts of fossil fuel emissions on the earth's climate. Natural sinks for CO2 that are relevant on human time scales---the world's oceans and land biosphere---appear to have kept pace with emissions. The continuously increasing strength of the land biosphere sink for CO2 is surpassing expectations given our understanding of the CO2 fertilization and warming effects on the balance between photosynthesis and respiration, especially in the face of ongoing forest degradation. The climate and carbon cycle links between the atmosphere and land biosphere are not well understood, especially at regional (100 km to 10,000 km) scales. The climate modulating effects of changing plant stomatal conductance in response to temperature and water availability is a key area of uncertainty. Further, the differential response to climate change of C3 and C4 plant functional types is not well known at regional scales. This work outlines the development of a novel application of atmospheric observations of delta13C of CO2 to investigate the links between climate and water and carbon cycling and the integrated responses of C3 and C4 ecosystems to climate variables. A two-step Bayesian batch inversion for 3-hourly, 1x1º CO2 fluxes (step one), and for 3-hourly 1x1º delta13C of recently assimilated carbon (step two) is created here for the first time, and is used to investigate links between regional climate indicators and changes in delta13C of the biosphere. Results show that predictable responses of regional-scale, integrated plant discrimination to temperature, precipitation and relative humidity anomalies can be recovered from atmospheric signals. Model development, synthetic data simulations to test sensitivity, and results for the year 2010 are presented here. This dissertation also includes two other applications

  13. FINAL REPORT: A Study of the Abundance and 13C/12C Ratio of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide to Advance the Scientific Understanding of Terrestrial Processes Regulating the GCC

    SciTech Connect

    Keeling, R. F.; Piper, S. C.

    2008-12-23

    The main objective of this project was to continue research to develop carbon cycle relationships related to the land biosphere based on remote measurements of atmospheric CO2 concentration and its isotopic composition. The project continued time-series observations of atmospheric carbon dioxide and isotopic composition begun by Charles D. Keeling at remote sites, including Mauna Loa, the South Pole, and eight other sites. The program also included the development of methods for measuring radiocarbon content in the collected CO2 samples and carrying out radiocarbon measurements in collaboration with Tom Guilderson of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LLNL). The radiocarbon measurements can provide complementary information on carbon exchange rates with the land and oceans and emissions from fossil-fuel burning. Using models of varying complexity, the concentration and isotopic measurements were used to establish estimates of the spatial and temporal variations in the net CO2 exchange with the atmosphere, the storage of carbon in the land and oceans, and variable isotopic discrimination of land plants.

  14. Venus: A search for clues to early biological possibilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colin, Larry; Kasting, James F.

    1992-01-01

    The extensive evidence that there is no extant life on Venus is summarized. The current atmospheric environment, which is far too hostile by terrestrial standards to support life, is described. However, exobiologists are interested in the possibility of extinct life on Venus. The early history of Venus is discussed in terms of its ability to sustain life that may now be extinct.

  15. Assessing the impact of elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} and climate change scenarios of two and three dimensional general circulation models on primary production and toatl carbon storage of global terrestrial ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Xiao, X.; Kicklighter, D.W.; Melillo, J.M.

    1995-09-01

    The Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM version 4) was applied to simulate primary production and total carbon storage for two atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations (315ppm and 630ppm) and three climate scenarios (contemporary, 2-dimensional MIT L-O climate model and 3-dimensional GISS). For contemporary climate (Cramer & Leemans dataset) at 315ppm CO{sub 2}, global annual NPP was 47.9 Pg C.yr{sup {minus}1} and total carbon storage was 1658.2 Pg C. Under atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration of 630ppm and projected double CO{sub 2} climate by the MIT L-O climate model, global annual NPP increased by 12%, and total carbon storage increased by 11%. Global annual NPP and total carbon storage under the GISS were about 1% to 2% higher than those under the MIT L-O model. The difference in annual NPP and total carbon storage between the GISS and MIT L-O models varied among the 18 biomes, in the range of 0% to 20%. The differences were greatest in the high latitude ecosystems.

  16. ADEOS-II/GLI ocean-color atmospheric correction: early phase result

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukushima, Hajime; Toratani, Mitsuhiro; Tanaka, Akihiko; Chen, Wen-Zhong; Murakami, Hiroshi; Frouin, Robert J.; Mitchell, B. G.; Kahru, Mati

    2003-11-01

    The paper presents initial results of atmospherically corrected ocean color data from the Global Imager (GLI), a moderate resolution spectrometer launched in December 2002 aboard ADEOS-II satellite. The standard GLI atmospheric correction algorithm, which includes an iterative procedure based on in-water optical modeling is first described, followed by brief description of standard in-water algorithms for output geophysical parameters. Ship/buoy-observed and satellite-derived marine reflectances, or normalized water-leaving radiance, are then compared, under vicarious calibration correction factors based on global GLI-SeaWiFS data comparison. The results, over 15 water-leaving radiance match-up data collected mostly off California and off Baja California, show standard errors in GLI estimate of 0.1 to 0.36 μW/cm2/nm/sr for 412, 443, 490, and 565 nm bands, with improved standard errors of 0.09 to 0.14 μW/cm2/nm/sr if in situ data set is limited to those obtained by in-water radiance measurement. Under provisional de-striping procedure, satellite-derived chlorophyll a estimates compares well with 35 ship-measured data collected off California within one day difference from the satellite observation, showing standard error factor of 1.73 (+73% or -43% error).

  17. Anomalous Xenon in the Precambrian Nuclear Reactor in Okelobondo (Gabon): A Possible Connection to the Fission Component in the Terrestrial Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meshik, A. P.; Kehm, K.; Hohenberg, C. M.

    1999-01-01

    Some CFF-Xe (Chemically Fractionated Fission Xenon), whose isotopic composition is established by simultaneous decay and migration of radioactive fission products, is probably present in the Earth's lithosphere, a conclusion based on available Xe data from various crustal and mantle rocks . Our recent isotopic analysis of Xe in alumophosphate from zone 13 of Okelobondo (southern extension of Oklo), along with the independent estimation of the isotopic composition of atmospheric fission Xe , supports the hypothesis that CFF-Xe was produced on a planetary scale. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  18. XUV-exposed, non-hydrostatic hydrogen-rich upper atmospheres of terrestrial planets. Part II: hydrogen coronae and ion escape.

    PubMed

    Kislyakova, Kristina G; Lammer, Helmut; Holmström, Mats; Panchenko, Mykhaylo; Odert, Petra; Erkaev, Nikolai V; Leitzinger, Martin; Khodachenko, Maxim L; Kulikov, Yuri N; Güdel, Manuel; Hanslmeier, Arnold

    2013-11-01

    We studied the interactions between the stellar wind plasma flow of a typical M star, such as GJ 436, and the hydrogen-rich upper atmosphere of an Earth-like planet and a "super-Earth" with a radius of 2 R(Earth) and a mass of 10 M(Earth), located within the habitable zone at ∼0.24 AU. We investigated the formation of extended atomic hydrogen coronae under the influences of the stellar XUV flux (soft X-rays and EUV), stellar wind density and velocity, shape of a planetary obstacle (e.g., magnetosphere, ionopause), and the loss of planetary pickup ions on the evolution of hydrogen-dominated upper atmospheres. Stellar XUV fluxes that are 1, 10, 50, and 100 times higher compared to that of the present-day Sun were considered, and the formation of high-energy neutral hydrogen clouds around the planets due to the charge-exchange reaction under various stellar conditions was modeled. Charge-exchange between stellar wind protons with planetary hydrogen atoms, and photoionization, lead to the production of initially cold ions of planetary origin. We found that the ion production rates for the studied planets can vary over a wide range, from ∼1.0×10²⁵ s⁻¹ to ∼5.3×10³⁰ s⁻¹, depending on the stellar wind conditions and the assumed XUV exposure of the upper atmosphere. Our findings indicate that most likely the majority of these planetary ions are picked up by the stellar wind and lost from the planet. Finally, we estimated the long-time nonthermal ion pickup escape for the studied planets and compared them with the thermal escape. According to our estimates, nonthermal escape of picked-up ionized hydrogen atoms over a planet's lifetime within the habitable zone of an M dwarf varies between ∼0.4 Earth ocean equivalent amounts of hydrogen (EO(H)) to <3 EO(H) and usually is several times smaller in comparison to the thermal atmospheric escape rates. PMID:24283926

  19. Measurements of the CO_2 15 μm Band System Broadened by Air, N_2 and CO_2 at Terrestrial Atmospheric Temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, M. A. H.; Devi, V. Malathy; Benner, D. Chris; Blake, T. A.; Sams, R. L.

    2009-06-01

    In earth remote sensing, retrievals of atmospheric temperature profiles are often based on observed radiances in infrared spectral regions where emission from atmospheric CO_2 predominates. To achieve improved retrieval accuracy, systematic errors in the forward model must be reduced, especially those associated with errors in the spectroscopic line calculation. We have recorded more than 110 new high-resolution infrared spectra of the 15-μm band system of CO_2 to accurately determine line intensities, self-, air- and N_2-broadened widths and pressure-induced line shifts, along with their temperature dependences. The spectra were recorded with the Bruker IFS 120 HR Fourier transform spectrometer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and temperature-controlled sample cells. Sample temperatures were between 206K and 298K. Maximum total pressures were 15 Torr for self-broadening and 613 Torr for air- and N_2-broadening. Analysis is done using a multispectrum fitting technique to retrieve the spectroscopic parameters. Line mixing and other non-Lorentz, non-Voigt line shapes are also assessed. The resulting line parameters are compared with the HITRAN database and with other measurements. D. Chris Benner, C.P. Rinsland, V. Malathy Devi, M.A.H. Smith, and D. Atkins, J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer 53, 705-721 (1995) L.S. Rothman et al., J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer 96, 139-204 (2005) L.S. Rothman et al., J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, in press (2009)

  20. Atmospheric and terrestrial water budgets: sensitivity and performance of configurations and global driving data for long term continental scale WRF simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fersch, Benjamin; Kunstmann, Harald

    2014-05-01

    Driving data and physical parametrizations can significantly impact the performance of regional dynamical atmospheric models in reproducing hydrometeorologically relevant variables. Our study addresses the water budget sensitivity of the Weather Research and Forecasting Model System WRF (WRF-ARW) with respect to two cumulus parametrizations (Kain-Fritsch, Betts-Miller-Janjić), two global driving reanalyses (ECMWF ERA-INTERIM and NCAR/NCEP NNRP), time variant and invariant sea surface temperature and optional gridded nudging. The skill of global and downscaled models is evaluated against different gridded observations for precipitation, 2 m-temperature, evapotranspiration, and against measured discharge time-series on a monthly basis. Multi-year spatial deviation patterns and basin aggregated time series are examined for four globally distributed regions with different climatic characteristics: Siberia, Northern and Western Africa, the Central Australian Plane, and the Amazonian tropics. The simulations cover the period from 2003 to 2006 with a horizontal mesh of 30 km. The results suggest a high sensitivity of the physical parametrizations and the driving data on the water budgets of the regional atmospheric simulations. While the global reanalyses tend to underestimate 2 m-temperature by 0.2-2 K, the regional simulations are typically 0.5-3 K warmer than observed. Many configurations show difficulties in reproducing the water budget terms, e.g. with long-term mean precipitation biases of 150 mm month-1 and higher. Nevertheless, with the water budget analysis viable setups can be deduced for all four study regions.

  1. Early atmospheric metal pollution provides evidence for Chalcolithic/Bronze Age mining and metallurgy in Southwestern Europe.

    PubMed

    Martínez Cortizas, Antonio; López-Merino, Lourdes; Bindler, Richard; Mighall, Tim; Kylander, Malin E

    2016-03-01

    Although archaeological research suggests that mining/metallurgy already started in the Chalcolithic (3rd millennium BC), the earliest atmospheric metal pollution in SW Europe has thus far been dated to ~3500-3200 cal.yr. BP in paleo-environmental archives. A low intensity, non-extensive mining/metallurgy and the lack of appropriately located archives may be responsible for this mismatch. We have analysed the older section (>2100 cal.yr. BP) of a peat record from La Molina (Asturias, Spain), a mire located in the proximity (35-100 km) of mines which were exploited in the Chalcolithic/Bronze Age, with the aim of assessing evidence of this early mining/metallurgy. Analyses included the determination of C as a proxy for organic matter content, lithogenic elements (Si, Al, Ti) as markers of mineral matter, and trace metals (Cr, Cu, Zn, Pb) and stable Pb isotopes as tracers of atmospheric metal pollution. From ~8000 to ~4980 cal.yr. BP the Pb composition is similar to that of the underlying sediments (Pb 15 ± 4 μg g(-1); (206)Pb/(207)Pb 1.204 ± 0.002). A sustained period of low (206)Pb/(207)Pb ratios occurred from ~4980 to ~2470 cal.yr. BP, which can be divided into four phases: Chalcolithic (~4980-3700 cal.yr. BP), (206)Pb/(207)Pb ratios decline to 1.175 and Pb/Al ratios increase; Early Bronze Age (~3700-3500 cal.yr. BP), (206)Pb/(207)Pb increase to 1.192 and metal/Al ratios remain stable; Late Bronze Age (~3500-2800 cal.yr. BP), (206)Pb/(207)Pb decline to their lowest values (1.167) while Pb/Al and Zn/Al increase; and Early Iron Age (~2800-2470 cal.yr. BP), (206)Pb/(207)Pb increase to 1.186, most metal/Al ratios decrease but Zn/Al shows a peak. At the beginning of the Late Iron Age, (206)Pb/(207)Pb ratios and metal enrichments show a rapid return to pre-anthropogenic values. These results provide evidence of regional/local atmospheric metal pollution triggered by the earliest phases of mining/metallurgy in the area, and reconcile paleo-environmental and

  2. Terrestrial soil pH and MAAT records based on the MBT/CBT in the southern South China Sea: implications for the atmospheric CO2 evolution in Southeast Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, L.; Li, L.; Li, Q.; Zhang, C.

    2013-12-01

    Liang Dong1, Li Li1, Qianyu Li1,2, Chuanlun L. Zhang1,3 1State Key Laboratory of Marine Geology, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China 2School of Earth and Environment Sciences, University of Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia 3Department of Marine Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA The methylation index of branched tetraethers (MBT) and/or the cyclization ratio of branched tetraethers (CBT) are derived from the branched glycerol dialkyl Glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) of bacterial origin and are widely used to reconstruct the terrestrial soil pH and mean annual air temperature (MAAT); however, these proxies are less frequently used in the oceanic settings. Here we provide the first high resolution records of soil pH and MAAT since the last glacial maximum based on the sedimentary core of MD05-2896 in the southern South China Sea. The MAAT record exhibited typical glacial and interglacial cycles and was consistent with the winter insolation variation. The pH values were lower (6.4-7) in the glacial time and higher (7-8.4) in the interglacial time. Changes in soil pH allowed the evaluation of changes in soil CO2 based on the atmosphere-soil CO2 balance. The results imply that the lower winter MAAT variation with a lower winter atmospheric CO2 concentration might have resulted in a higher pH in the interglacial period. Our records provide a new insight into the evolution of atmospheric CO2 between glacial and interglacial cycles in East Asia. Key words: South China Sea, MBT/CBT, b-GDGTs, MAAT, pH

  3. Reconciling estimates of the contemporary North American carbon balance among terrestrial biosphere models, atmospheric inversions, and a new approach for estimating net ecosystem exchange from inventory-based data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hayes, Daniel J.; Turner, David P.; Stinson, Graham; McGuire, A. David; Wei, Yaxing; West, Tristram O.; Heath, Linda S.; de Jong, Bernardus; McConkey, Brian G.; Birdsey, Richard A.; Kurz, Werner A.; Jacobson, Andrew R.; Huntzinger, Deborah N.; Pan, Yude; Post, W. Mac; Cook, Robert B.

    2012-01-01

    We develop an approach for estimating net ecosystem exchange (NEE) using inventory-based information over North America (NA) for a recent 7-year period (ca. 2000–2006). The approach notably retains information on the spatial distribution of NEE, or the vertical exchange between land and atmosphere of all non-fossil fuel sources and sinks of CO2, while accounting for lateral transfers of forest and crop products as well as their eventual emissions. The total NEE estimate of a -327 ± 252 TgC yr-1 sink for NA was driven primarily by CO2 uptake in the Forest Lands sector (-248 TgC yr-1), largely in the Northwest and Southeast regions of the US, and in the Crop Lands sector (-297 TgC yr-1), predominantly in the Midwest US states. These sinks are counteracted by the carbon source estimated for the Other Lands sector (+218 TgC yr-1), where much of the forest and crop products are assumed to be returned to the atmosphere (through livestock and human consumption). The ecosystems of Mexico are estimated to be a small net source (+18 TgC yr-1) due to land use change between 1993 and 2002. We compare these inventory-based estimates with results from a suite of terrestrial biosphere and atmospheric inversion models, where the mean continental-scale NEE estimate for each ensemble is -511 TgC yr-1 and -931 TgC yr-1, respectively. In the modeling approaches, all sectors, including Other Lands, were generally estimated to be a carbon sink, driven in part by assumed CO2 fertilization and/or lack of consideration of carbon sources from disturbances and product emissions. Additional fluxes not measured by the inventories, although highly uncertain, could add an additional -239 TgC yr-1 to the inventory-based NA sink estimate, thus suggesting some convergence with the modeling approaches.

  4. Reconciling estimates of the contemporary North American carbon balance among terrestrial biosphere models, atmospheric inversions and a new approach for estimating net ecosystem exchange from inventory-based data

    SciTech Connect

    Hayes, Daniel J; Turner, David P; Stinson, Graham; Mcguire, David; Wei, Yaxing; West, Tristram O.; Heath, Linda S.; De Jong, Bernardus; McConkey, Brian G.; Birdsey, Richard A.; Kurz, Werner; Jacobson, Andrew; Huntzinger, Deborah; Pan, Yude; Post, Wilfred M; Cook, Robert B

    2012-01-01

    We develop an approach for estimating net ecosystem exchange (NEE) using inventory-based information over North America (NA) for a recent 7-year period (ca. 2000 2006). The approach notably retains information on the spatial distribution of NEE, or the vertical exchange between land and atmosphere of all non-fossil fuel sources and sinks of CO2, while accounting for lateral transfers of forest and crop products as well as their eventual emissions. The total NEE estimate of a 327 252 TgC yr1 sink for NA was driven primarily by CO2 uptake in the Forest Lands sector (248 TgC yr1), largely in the Northwest and Southeast regions of the US, and in the Crop Lands sector (297 TgC yr1), predominantly in the Midwest US states. These sinks are counteracted by the carbon source estimated for the Other Lands sector (+218 TgC yr1), where much of the forest and crop products are assumed to be returned to the atmosphere (through livestock and human consumption). The ecosystems of Mexico are estimated tobe a small net source (+18 TgC yr1) due to land use change between 1993 and 2002. We compare these inventorybased estimates with results from a suite of terrestrial biosphere and atmospheric inversion models, where the mean continental-scale NEE estimate for each ensemble is 511 TgC yr1 and 931 TgC yr1, respectively. In the modeling approaches, all sectors, including Other Lands, were generally estimated to be a carbon sink, driven in part by assumed CO2 fertilization and/or lack of consideration of carbon sources from disturbances and product emissions. Additional fluxes not measured by the inventories, although highly uncertain, could add an additional 239 TgC yr1 to the inventory-based NA sink estimate, thus suggesting some convergence with the modeling approaches.

  5. Statistical equilibrium calculations for silicon in early-type model stellar atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kamp, L. W.

    1976-01-01

    Line profiles of 36 multiplets of silicon (Si) II, III, and IV were computed for a grid of model atmospheres covering the range from 15,000 to 35,000 K in effective temperature and 2.5 to 4.5 in log (gravity). The computations involved simultaneous solution of the steady-state statistical equilibrium equations for the populations and of the equation of radiative transfer in the lines. The variables were linearized, and successive corrections were computed until a minimal accuracy of 1/1000 in the line intensities was reached. The common assumption of local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) was dropped. The model atmospheres used also were computed by non-LTE methods. Some effects that were incorporated into the calculations were the depression of the continuum by free electrons, hydrogen and ionized helium line blocking, and auto-ionization and dielectronic recombination, which later were found to be insignificant. Use of radiation damping and detailed electron (quadratic Stark) damping constants had small but significant effects on the strong resonance lines of Si III and IV. For weak and intermediate-strength lines, large differences with respect to LTE computations, the results of which are also presented, were found in line shapes and strengths. For the strong lines the differences are generally small, except for the models at the hot, low-gravity extreme of our range. These computations should be useful in the interpretation of the spectra of stars in the spectral range B0-B5, luminosity classes III, IV, and V.

  6. Evaporative Control on Soil Water Isotope Ratios: Implications for Atmosphere-Land Surface Water Fluxes and Interpretation of Terrestrial Proxy Records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaushik, A.; Noone, D. C.; Berkelhammer, M. B.; O'Neill, M.

    2014-12-01

    The moisture balance of the continental boundary layer plays an important role in regulating the exchange of water and energy between the land surface and atmosphere. Near-surface moisture balance is controlled by a number of factors including precipitation, infiltration and evapotranspiration. Measurements of stable isotope ratios in water can be exploited to better understand the mechanisms controlling atmosphere-land surface water fluxes. Understanding the processes that set sub-surface water isotope ratios can prove useful for refining paleoclimate interpretations of stable oxygen and hydrogen isotope-based proxies. We present in situ tower-based measurements of stable isotope ratios of water (δD and δ18O) in vapor, precipitation and soil from the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory, a semi-arid tall-tower site in Erie, Colorado, from July 2012 to September 2014. Near surface profiles from 0 to 10 m were measured approximately every ninety minutes. Soil profiles from 0 to 30 cm, the region of maximum variability, were sampled on a weekly basis and cryogenically extracted for stable water isotope measurement. Evaporation-proof bulk rain collectors provided precipitation samples at this site. Results show disequilibrium exists between surface vapor and soil water isotopes, with the top 10 cm of soil water approaching equilibrium with the surface vapor right after a rain event because of high infiltration and saturation at the surface. At this semi-arid site with little vegetation, evaporative exchange is the main driver for soil water fluxes as the soil dries, corroborated by soil Dexcess profiles showing progressive enrichment through evaporation. In addition, when nighttime surface temperatures are cooler than deep soil, as is the case in many arid and semi-arid environments, upward vapor diffusion from the soil leads to dew formation at the surface which then contributes to surface vapor values. We use these observations to constrain a Craig-Gordon evaporation

  7. Global changes to atmospheric chemistry

    SciTech Connect

    Brasseur, G.P.; Holland, E.A.

    1995-06-01

    Changes in atmospheric concentrations of trace gases provided early evidence of widespread changes within the biosphere. Trace gas production by plants and in soils increased in response to human pressures. Long lived trace gases like nitrous oxide and methane are greenhouse gases and play an important role in stratospheric chemistry. Photochemically active compounds, isoprene, nitric oxide, and carbon monoxide, are determinants of tropospheric ozone concentrations and thus regulate the oxidizing capacity of the troposphere. Inclusion of isoprene produced by plants in 3-D chemical transport models increases atmospheric concentrations of ozone and carbon monoxide substantially. In return, terrestrial ecosystems are sensitive to atmospheric composition, responding to increased N deposition with increased C uptake, and soil acidification, and responding to increased ozone concentrations and UV-B with decreased plant production.

  8. Ontong Java volcanism initiated long-term climate warming that caused substantial changes in terrestrial vegetation several tens of thousand years before the onset of OAE1a (Early Aptian, Cretaceous)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, Christina E.; Hochuli, Peter A.; Giorgioni, Martino; Garcia, Therese I.; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Weissert, Helmut

    2010-05-01

    During Cretaceous times, several intense volcanic episodes are proposed as trigger for episodic climate warming, for changes in marine circulation patterns and for elevated marine productivity, which resulted in the widespread black shale deposits of the Oceanic Anoxic Events (OAE). In the sediments underlying the early Aptian OAE1a black shales, a prominent negative carbon isotope excursion is recorded. Its origin had long been controversial (e.g. Arthur, 2000; Jahren et al., 2001) before recent studies attributed it to the Ontong Java volcanism (Méhay et al., 2009; Tejada et al., 2009). Volcanic outgassing results in an increased pCO2 and should lead to a rise in global temperatures. We therefore investigated if the volcanically-induced increase in pCO2 at the onset of OAE1a in the early Aptian led to a temperature rise that was sufficient to affect terrestrial vegetation assemblages. In order to analyse changes in terrestrial palynomorph assemblages, we examined 15 samples from 12 black shale horizons throughout the early Aptian negative C-isotope spike interval of the Pusiano section (Maiolica Formation; N-Italy). These sediments were deposited at the southern continental margin of the alpine Tethys Ocean and have been bio- and magnetostratigraphically dated by Channell et al. (1995). In order to obtain a continuous palynological record of the negative C-isotope spike interval and the base of OAE1a, we combined this pre-OAE1a interval of Pusiano with the OAE1a interval of the nearby Cismon section (Hochuli et al., 1999). The sporomorph assemblages at the base of this composite succession feature abundant bisaccate pollen, which reflects a warm-temperate climate. Rather arid conditions are inferred from low trilete spore percentages. Several tens of thousand years before the onset of OAE1a, C-isotope values started to decrease. Some thousand years later, bisaccate pollen began to decrease, whereas an increase of Classopollis spp. and Araucariacites spp

  9. Composition of LHB Comets and Their Influence on the Early Earth Atmosphere Composition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tornow, C.; Kupper, S.; Ilgner, M.; Kuehrt, E.; Motschmann, U.

    2011-01-01

    Two main processes were responsible for the composition of this atmosphere: chemical evolution of the volatile fraction of the accretion material forming the planet and the delivery of gasses to the planetary surface by impactors during the late heavy bombardment (LHB). The amount and composition of the volatile fraction influences the outgassing of the Earth mantle during the last planetary formation period. A very weakened form of outgassing activity can still be observed today by examining the composition of volcanic gasses. An enlightenment of the second process is based on the sparse records of the LHB impactors resulting from the composition of meteorites, observed cometary comas, and the impact material found on the Moon. However, for an assessment of the influence of the outgassing on the one hand and the LHB event on the other, one has to supplement the observations with numerical simulations of the formation of volatiles and their incorporation into the accretion material which is the precursors of planetary matter, comets and asteroids. These simulations are performed with a combined hydrodynamic-chemical model of the solar nebula (SN). We calculate the chemical composition of the gas and dust phase of the SN. From these data, we draw conclusions on the upper limits of the water content and the amount of carbon and nitrogen rich volatiles incorporated later into the accretion material. Knowing these limits we determine the portion of major gas compounds delivered during the LHB and compare it with the related quantities of the outgassed species.

  10. Polar front shift and atmospheric CO2 during the glacial maximum of the Early Paleozoic Icehouse

    PubMed Central

    Vandenbroucke, Thijs R. A.; Armstrong, Howard A.; Williams, Mark; Paris, Florentin; Zalasiewicz, Jan A.; Sabbe, Koen; Nõlvak, Jaak; Challands, Thomas J.; Verniers, Jacques; Servais, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    Our new data address the paradox of Late Ordovician glaciation under supposedly high pCO2 (8 to 22× PAL: preindustrial atmospheric level). The paleobiogeographical distribution of chitinozoan (“mixed layer”) marine zooplankton biotopes for the Hirnantian glacial maximum (440 Ma) are reconstructed and compared to those from the Sandbian (460 Ma): They demonstrate a steeper latitudinal temperature gradient and an equatorwards shift of the Polar Front through time from 55°–70° S to ∼40° S. These changes are comparable to those during Pleistocene interglacial-glacial cycles. In comparison with the Pleistocene, we hypothesize a significant decline in mean global temperature from the Sandbian to Hirnantian, proportional with a fall in pCO2 from a modeled Sandbian level of ∼8× PAL to ∼5× PAL during the Hirnantian. Our data suggest that a compression of midlatitudinal biotopes and ecospace in response to the developing glaciation was a likely cause of the end-Ordovician mass extinction. PMID:20696937

  11. Effects of high CO2 levels on surface temperature and atmospheric oxidation state of the early earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, J. F.; Pollack, J. B.; Crisp, D.

    1984-01-01

    One-dimensional radiative and photochemical models are used to determine how much CO2 must have been present to maintain a temperate early climate and to examine the consequences that are implied for the controls on atmospheric oxidation state. It is shown that CO2 concentrations of the order of 1000 PAL are required to keep the average surface temperature close to the present value, if albedo changes and heating by reduced greenhouse gases were relatively unimportant. The oxidation state of such a high-CO2, prebiotic atmosphere should have been largely determined by the balance between the H2O2 rainout rate and the rate at which hydrogen escaped to space, with only a weak dependence on the volcanic outgassing rate or on other speculative sources of H2. The implied upper limit on the ground-level O2 mixing ratio is approximately 10 to the -11th and is subject to less uncertainty than the results of previous models.

  12. Atmospheric CO2 from the late Oligocene to early Miocene reconstructed from photosynthesis data and leaf characteristics of fossil plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grein, Michaela; Oehm, Christoph; Konrad, Wilfried; Utescher, Torsten; Kunzmann, Lutz; Roth-Nebelsick, Anita

    2013-04-01

    In the Cenozoic era, global climate changed from greenhouse to icehouse conditions. During the Oligocene, the comparatively cool phase in the earlier part of the late Oligocene is followed by the Late Oligocene Warming and a major glaciation event at the Oligocene-Miocene transition (Mi-1). Various studies indicate that these climate events were coupled to changes in atmospheric CO2 levels. In this study, atmospheric CO2 from the late Oligocene to the early Miocene was reconstructed by using photosynthesis data and fossil leaf characteristics. We used plant material from various sites located in Germany and Austria comprising fossil leaves of four angiosperm plant species: Platanus neptuni (Platanaceae), Quercus rhenana, Q. praerhenana and Eotrigonobalanus furcinervis (all Fagaceae). A mechanistic-theoretical approach based on stomatal parameters, photosynthesis data and gas exchange parameters was applied to model palaeoatmospheric CO2 levels. Detailed climate data of the considered sites were reconstructed as well since the mechanistic-theoretical approach requires climate data as input parameters for calculating both assimilation rate and transpiration rate. Our results indicate a steady CO2 level of about 400 ppm for all sites and therefore suggest a decoupling of CO2 and cooling/warming events for the considered time slices.

  13. Fossil Worm Burrows Reveal Very Early Terrestrial Animal Activity and Shed Light on Trophic Resources after the End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction

    PubMed Central

    Chin, Karen; Pearson, Dean; Ekdale, A. A.

    2013-01-01

    The widespread mass extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous caused world-wide disruption of ecosystems, and faunal responses to the one-two punch of severe environmental perturbation and ecosystem collapse are still unclear. Here we report the discovery of in situ terrestrial fossil burrows from just above the impact-defined Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary in southwestern North Dakota. The crisscrossing networks of horizontal burrows occur at the interface of a lignitic coal and silty sandstone, and reveal intense faunal activity within centimeters of the boundary clay. Estimated rates of sedimentation and coal formation suggest that the burrows were made less than ten thousand years after the end-Cretaceous impact. The burrow characteristics are most consistent with burrows of extant earthworms. Moreover, the burrowing and detritivorous habits of these annelids fit models that predict the trophic and sheltering lifestyles of terrestrial animals that survived the K/Pg extinction event. In turn, such detritus-eaters would have played a critical role in supporting secondary consumers. Thus, some of the carnivorous vertebrates that radiated after the K/Pg extinction may owe their evolutionary success to thriving