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Sample records for earth atmosphere

  1. Earth's changeable atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2016-06-01

    Billions of years ago, high atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations were vital to life's tenuous foothold on Earth. Despite new constraints, the composition and evolution of Earth's early atmosphere remains hazy.

  2. Earth atmosphere grazing meteors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozak, P.

    2017-06-01

    An overview of described in literature earth atmosphere grazing meteors observed with optic methods is proposed. Results of observations of such a meteor detected in Kyiv on 23 September 2003 with super-isocon TV cameras are described. Kinematic parameters of the meteor trajectory in earth atmosphere and its heliocentric orbit elements are given. The comparative analysis of other meteor catalogues for presence in them and a number of such anomalous meteors is carried out.

  3. Earth's early atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Kasting, J F

    1993-02-12

    Ideas about atmospheric composition and climate on the early Earth have evolved considerably over the last 30 years, but many uncertainties still remain. It is generally agreed that the atmosphere contained little or no free oxygen initially and that oxygen concentrations increased markedly near 2.0 billion years ago, but the precise timing of and reasons for its rise remain unexplained. Likewise, it is usually conceded that the atmospheric greenhouse effect must have been higher in the past to offset reduced solar luminosity, but the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases required remain speculative. A better understanding of past atmospheric evolution is important to understanding the evolution of life and to predicting whether Earth-like planets might exist elsewhere in the galaxy.

  4. Earth's earliest atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Zahnle, Kevin; Schaefer, Laura; Fegley, Bruce

    2010-10-01

    Earth is the one known example of an inhabited planet and to current knowledge the likeliest site of the one known origin of life. Here we discuss the origin of Earth's atmosphere and ocean and some of the environmental conditions of the early Earth as they may relate to the origin of life. A key punctuating event in the narrative is the Moon-forming impact, partly because it made Earth for a short time absolutely uninhabitable, and partly because it sets the boundary conditions for Earth's subsequent evolution. If life began on Earth, as opposed to having migrated here, it would have done so after the Moon-forming impact. What took place before the Moon formed determined the bulk properties of the Earth and probably determined the overall compositions and sizes of its atmospheres and oceans. What took place afterward animated these materials. One interesting consequence of the Moon-forming impact is that the mantle is devolatized, so that the volatiles subsequently fell out in a kind of condensation sequence. This ensures that the volatiles were concentrated toward the surface so that, for example, the oceans were likely salty from the start. We also point out that an atmosphere generated by impact degassing would tend to have a composition reflective of the impacting bodies (rather than the mantle), and these are almost without exception strongly reducing and volatile-rich. A consequence is that, although CO- or methane-rich atmospheres are not necessarily stable as steady states, they are quite likely to have existed as long-lived transients, many times. With CO comes abundant chemical energy in a metastable package, and with methane comes hydrogen cyanide and ammonia as important albeit less abundant gases.

  5. History of the Earth's atmosphere.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Budyko, M. I.; Ronov, A. B.; Yanshin, A. L.

    This book is an English translation of the Russian original "Istoriya atmosferi", published in 1985 by Gidrometeoizdat, Moscow. Contents: 1. Introduction: The modern atmosphere. Cycles of atmospheric gases. Studies of the evolution of the atmosphere. 2. Methods for determining changes in thecomposition of the atmosphere: Sedimentary layer of the Earth's crust. Carbon in the sedimentary layer. The dependence of amounts of CO2 and O2 in the atmosphere on carbon mass in sediments. 3. The evolution of the chemical composition of the atmosphere: Carbon dioxide. Oxygen. Past and future of the atmosphere. Conclusion.

  6. 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.

  7. GEOPHYSICS: Atmosphere Drives Earth's Tipsiness.

    PubMed

    Kerr, R A

    2000-08-04

    For more than a century, geophysicists who track Earth's rotation have sensed a rhythmic unsteadiness about the planet, an ever-so-slight wobbling whose source remained frustratingly mysterious. But researchers have been homing in on the roots of the so-called Chandler wobble, and now a report in the 1 August issue of Geophysical Research Letters fingers the shifting pressures of the deep sea and ultimately the fickle winds of the atmosphere.

  8. Meteors in the Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murad, Edmond; Williams, Iwan P.

    2002-09-01

    1. Introduction Iwan Williams and Edmond Murad; 2. The evolution of meteoroid streams Iwan Williams; 3. Space dust measurements Eberhard Grun, Valeri Dikarev, Harald Kruger and Markus Landgraf; 4. Extraterrestrial dust in the near-Earth environment George Flynn; 5. Detection and analysis procedures for visual photographic and image intensified CCD meteor observations Robert Hawkes; 6. Radar observations W. Jack Baggaley; 7. Meteor trails as observed by Lidar Ulf von Zahn, J. Hoffner and William McNeil; 8. In situ measurements of meteoritic ions Joseph Grebowsky and Arthur Aikin; 9. Collected extraterrestrial materials: interplanetary dust particles, micrometeorites, meteorites, and meteoritic dust Frans Rietmeijer; 10. Meteoroid impacts on spacecraft; Luigi Foschini; 11. Models of meteoritic metals in the atmosphere William McNeil, Edmond Murad and John Plane; 12. Laboratory studies of meteoritic metal chemistry John Plane; 13. Summary and future outlook Edmond Murad and Iwan Williams.

  9. Shuttle Atlantis enters Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-07-21

    ISS028-E-018216 (21 July 2011) --- This unprecedented view of the space shuttle Atlantis, appearing like a bean sprout against the darkness of space, a faint line of airglow over a dark cloud-covered Earth, on its way home, was photographed by the crew of the International Space Station. Airglow over Earth can be seen in the background.

  10. Shuttle Atlantis enters Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-07-21

    ISS028-E-018199 (21 July 2011) --- This unprecedented view of the space shuttle Atlantis, appearing like a bean sprout against clouds and city lights, on its way home, was photographed by the Expedition 28 crew of the International Space Station. Airglow over Earth can be seen in the background.

  11. Shuttle Atlantis enters Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-07-21

    ISS028-E-018218 (21 July 2011) --- This unprecedented view of the space shuttle Atlantis, appearing like a bean sprout against clouds and city lights, on its way home, was photographed by the Expedition 28 crew of the International Space Station. Airglow over Earth can be seen in the background.

  12. Shuttle Atlantis enters Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-07-21

    ISS028-E-018177 (21 July 2011) --- This unprecedented view of the space shuttle Atlantis, appearing like a bean sprout against clouds and city lights, on its way home, was photographed by the Expedition 28 crew of the International Space Station. Airglow over Earth can be seen in the background.

  13. Shuttle Atlantis enters Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-07-21

    ISS028-E-018217 (21 July 2011) --- This unprecedented view of the space shuttle Atlantis, appearing like a bean sprout against clouds and city lights, on its way home, was photographed by the Expedition 28 crew on the International Space Station. Airglow over Earth can be seen in the background.

  14. Shuttle Atlantis enters Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-07-21

    ISS028-E-018200 (21 July 2011) --- This unprecedented view of the space shuttle Atlantis, appearing like a bean sprout against clouds and city lights, on its way home, was photographed by the Expedition 28 crew of the International Space Station. Airglow over Earth can be seen in the background.

  15. Shuttle Atlantis enters Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-07-21

    ISS028-E-018221 (21 July 2011) --- This unprecedented view of the space shuttle Atlantis, appearing like a bean sprout against clouds and city lights, on its way home, was photographed by the Expedition 28 crew of the International Space Station. Airglow over Earth can be seen in the background.

  16. Shuttle Atlantis enters Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-07-21

    ISS028-E-018188 (21 July 2011) --- This unprecedented view of the space shuttle Atlantis, appearing like a bean sprout against clouds and city lights, on its way home, was photographed by the Expedition 28 crew of the International Space Station. Airglow over Earth can be seen in the background.

  17. Simulating super earth atmospheres in the laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Claudi, R.; Erculiani, M. S.; Galletta, G.; Billi, D.; Pace, E.; Schierano, D.; Giro, E.; D'Alessandro, M.

    2016-01-01

    Several space missions, such as JWST, TESS and the very recently proposed ARIEL, or ground-based experiments, as SPHERE and GPI, have been proposed to measure the atmospheric transmission, reflection and emission spectra of extrasolar planets. The planet atmosphere characteristics and possible biosignatures will be inferred by studying planetary spectra in order to identify the emission/absorption lines/bands from atmospheric molecules such as water (H2O), carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH4), ammonia (NH3), etc. In particular, it is important to know in detail the optical characteristics of gases in the typical physical conditions of the planetary atmospheres and how these characteristics could be affected by radiation driven photochemical and biochemical reaction. The main aim of the project `Atmosphere in a Test Tube' is to provide insights on exoplanet atmosphere modification due to biological intervention. This can be achieved simulating planetary atmosphere at different pressure and temperature conditions under the effects of radiation sources, used as proxies of different bands of the stellar emission. We are tackling the characterization of extrasolar planet atmospheres by mean of innovative laboratory experiments described in this paper. The experiments are intended to reproduce the conditions on warm earths and super earths hosted by low-mass M dwarfs primaries with the aim to understand if a cyanobacteria population hosted on a Earth-like planet orbiting an M0 star is able to maintain its photosynthetic activity and produce traceable signatures.

  18. Earth Global Reference Atmospheric Model 2007 (Earth-GRAM07)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leslie, Fred

    Engineering models of the atmosphere are used extensively by the aerospace community for design issues related to vehicle ascent and descent. The Earth Global Reference Atmosphere Model version 2007 (Earth-GRAM07) is the latest in this series and includes a number of new features. Like previous versions, Earth-GRAM07 provides both mean values and perturbations for density, temperature, pressure, and winds, as well as monthlyand geographically-varying trace constituent concentrations. From 0 km to 27 km, thermodynamics and winds are based on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Global Upper Air Climatic Atlas (GUACA) climatology. For altitudes between 20 km and 120 km, the model uses data from the Middle Atmosphere Program (MAP). Above 120 km, Earth-GRAM07 now provides users with a choice of three thermosphere models: the Marshall Engineering Thermosphere (MET-2007) model; the Jacchia-Bowman 2006 thermosphere model (JB2006); and the Naval Research Labs Mass Spectrometer, Incoherent Scatter Radar Extended Model (NRL MSIS E-00) with the associated Harmonic Wind Model (HWM-93). In place of the GUACA and MAP datasets, Earth-GRAM07 has the option of using the new 2006 revised Range Reference Atmosphere (RRA) data, the earlier (1983) RRA data, or the user may provide their own data as an auxiliary profile. Refinements of the perturbation model are also discussed which produce wind shears more similar to those observed at the Kennedy Space Center than the previous version Earth-GRAM99. In addition, the dispersions are more normally distributed, especially at the extremes.

  19. Earth Atmosphere Observatory Formation at L2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mettler, Edward; Acikmese, A. Behcet; Breckenridge, William G.; Mecenka, Steven A.; Tubbs, Eldred F.

    2004-01-01

    This paper is a product of research supported by NASA under RASC (the Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts) program. It presents an overall system architecture, and covers issues of deployment, navigation, and control related to a formation of two spacecraft in the neighborhood of the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point (on the Sun-Earth line), that serves as an observatory of Earth's atmosphere. The observatory concept definition study was a multi-center NASA effort conducted in 2003, and covered a much wider scope than is presented in this focused paper.The Earth observatory at L2 is a unique design concept that can improve the knowledge and understanding of dynamic, chemical and radiative mechanisms that cause changes in the atmosphere, and can lead to the development of models and techniques to predict short and long-term climate changes.

  20. ATMOSPHERES OF HOT SUPER-EARTHS

    SciTech Connect

    Castan, Thibaut; Menou, Kristen

    2011-12-20

    Hot super-Earths likely possess minimal atmospheres established through vapor saturation equilibrium with the ground. We solve the hydrodynamics of these tenuous atmospheres at the surface of CoRot-7b, Kepler-10b, and 55 Cnc-e, including idealized treatments of magnetic drag and ohmic dissipation. We find that atmospheric pressures remain close to their local saturation values in all cases. Despite the emergence of strongly supersonic winds which carry sublimating mass away from the substellar point, the atmospheres do not extend much beyond the day-night terminators. Ground temperatures, which determine the planetary thermal (infrared) signature, are largely unaffected by exchanges with the atmosphere and thus follow the effective irradiation pattern. Atmospheric temperatures, however, which control cloud condensation and thus albedo properties, can deviate substantially from the irradiation pattern. Magnetic drag and ohmic dissipation can also strongly impact the atmospheric behavior, depending on atmospheric composition and the planetary magnetic field strength. We conclude that hot super-Earths could exhibit interesting signatures in reflection (and possibly in emission) which would trace a combination of their ground, atmospheric, and magnetic properties.

  1. A hydrogen-rich early Earth atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Tian, Feng; Toon, Owen B; Pavlov, Alexander A; De Sterck, H

    2005-05-13

    We show that the escape of hydrogen from early Earth's atmosphere likely occurred at rates slower by two orders of magnitude than previously thought. The balance between slow hydrogen escape and volcanic outgassing could have maintained a hydrogen mixing ratio of more than 30%. The production of prebiotic organic compounds in such an atmosphere would have been more efficient than either exogenous delivery or synthesis in hydrothermal systems. The organic soup in the oceans and ponds on early Earth would have been a more favorable place for the origin of life than previously thought.

  2. Homeostatic tendencies of the earth's atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lovelock, J. E.; Margulis, L.

    1974-01-01

    The concept is developed that the atmosphere of the earth flows in a closed system controlled by and for the biosphere. The environmental factors delimiting the biosphere are examined. It is found that neither oxygen nor pressure per se limit the distribution of life as a whole. Rather the major physical variables determining the distribution of organisms are solar radiation, temperature, water abundance, and the concentrations of hydrogen and other ions and elements. An attempt is made to model temperature and atmospheric composition of a lifeless earth.

  3. Atmospheric nitrogen evolution on Earth and Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wordsworth, R. D.

    2016-08-01

    Nitrogen is the most common element in Earth's atmosphere and also appears to be present in significant amounts in the mantle. However, its long-term cycling between these two reservoirs remains poorly understood. Here a range of biotic and abiotic mechanisms are evaluated that could have caused nitrogen exchange between Earth's surface and interior over time. In the Archean, biological nitrogen fixation was likely strongly limited by nutrient and/or electron acceptor constraints. Abiotic fixation of dinitrogen becomes efficient in strongly reducing atmospheres, but only once temperatures exceed around 1000 K. Hence if atmospheric N2 levels really were as low as they are today 3.0-3.5 Ga, the bulk of Earth's mantle nitrogen must have been emplaced in the Hadean, most likely at a time when the surface was molten. The elevated atmospheric N content on Venus compared to Earth can be explained abiotically by a water loss redox pump mechanism, where oxygen liberated from H2O photolysis and subsequent H loss to space oxidises the mantle, causing enhanced outgassing of nitrogen. This mechanism has implications for understanding the partitioning of other Venusian volatiles and atmospheric evolution on exoplanets.

  4. Where does Earth's atmosphere get its energy?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kren, Andrew C.; Pilewskie, Peter; Coddington, Odele

    2017-03-01

    The Sun is Earth's primary source of energy. In this paper, we compare the magnitude of the Sun to all other external (to the atmosphere) energy sources. These external sources were previously identified in Sellers (1965); here, we quantify and update them. These external sources provide a total energy to the Earth that is more than 3700 times smaller than that provided by the Sun, a vast majority of which is provided by heat from the Earth's interior. After accounting for the fact that 71% of incident solar radiation is deposited into the earth system, the Sun provides a total energy to Earth that is still more than 2600 times larger than the sum of all other external sources.

  5. Earth's Atmospheric CO2 Saturated IR Absorption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wall, Ernst

    2008-10-01

    Using the on-line SpectraCalc IR absorption simulator, the amount of IR absorption by the 15 μ line of the current atmospheric CO2 was obtained and compared with that of twice the amount of CO2. The simulation required a fixed density equivalent for the atmospheric path length. This was obtained by numerically integrating the NOAA Standard Atmospheric model. While the current line is saturated, doubling the CO2 will cause a slight width increase. Using this and the blackbody radiation curve plus considering the effects of water vapor, the temperature rise of the Earth will be less than 2.5 deg. C. Integrating a NASA Martian atmospheric model, we find that the Martian atmosphere has 45 times more CO2 to penetrate than Earth, and yet, the Martian diurnal temperature swings exceed those of the Sahara desert. I.e., large amounts of CO2 alone do not necessarily cause planetary warming. As the oceans warm from any cause, more CO2 is boiled out, but if they cool, they will absorb more CO2 just as a carbonated drink does, so that temperature and CO2 density will correlate. It is to be noted that the Earth's known petroleum reserves contain only enough CO2 to increase the atmospheric CO2 by some 15%.

  6. Energetic Particle Influence on the Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mironova, Irina A.; Aplin, Karen L.; Arnold, Frank; Bazilevskaya, Galina A.; Harrison, R. Giles; Krivolutsky, Alexei A.; Nicoll, Keri A.; Rozanov, Eugene V.; Turunen, Esa; Usoskin, Ilya G.

    2015-11-01

    This manuscript gives an up-to-date and comprehensive overview of the effects of energetic particle precipitation (EPP) onto the whole atmosphere, from the lower thermosphere/mesosphere through the stratosphere and troposphere, to the surface. The paper summarizes the different sources and energies of particles, principally galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), solar energetic particles (SEPs) and energetic electron precipitation (EEP). All the proposed mechanisms by which EPP can affect the atmosphere are discussed, including chemical changes in the upper atmosphere and lower thermosphere, chemistry-dynamics feedbacks, the global electric circuit and cloud formation. The role of energetic particles in Earth's atmosphere is a multi-disciplinary problem that requires expertise from a range of scientific backgrounds. To assist with this synergy, summary tables are provided, which are intended to evaluate the level of current knowledge of the effects of energetic particles on processes in the entire atmosphere.

  7. Life and the evolution of Earth's atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Kasting, James F; Siefert, Janet L

    2002-05-10

    Harvesting light to produce energy and oxygen (photosynthesis) is the signature of all land plants. This ability was co-opted from a precocious and ancient form of life known as cyanobacteria. Today these bacteria, as well as microscopic algae, supply oxygen to the atmosphere and churn out fixed nitrogen in Earth's vast oceans. Microorganisms may also have played a major role in atmosphere evolution before the rise of oxygen. Under the more dim light of a young sun cooler than today's, certain groups of anaerobic bacteria may have been pumping out large amounts of methane, thereby keeping the early climate warm and inviting. The evolution of Earth's atmosphere is linked tightly to the evolution of its biota.

  8. Oxidants and oxidation in the Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    The 1994 BOC Priestley Conference was held at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, from June 24 through June 27, 1994. This conference, managed by the American Chemical Society (ACS), was a joint celebration with the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) commemorating Joseph Priestley's arrival in the U.S. and his discovery of oxygen. The basic theme of the conference was 'Oxidants and Oxidation in the Earth's Atmosphere,' with a keynote lecture on the history of ozone. A distinguished group of U.S. and international atmospheric chemists addressed the issues dominating current research and policy agendas. Topics crucial to the atmospheric chemistry of global change and local and regional air pollution were discussed. The program for the conference included four technical sessions on the following topics: (1) Oxidative Fate of Atmospheric Pollutants; (2) Photochemical Smog and Ozone; (3) Stratospheric Ozone; and (4) Global Tropospheric Ozone.

  9. Earth's Climate: The Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lifland, Jonathan

    2004-11-01

    A new AGU book, Earth's Climate: The Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction, edited by Chunzai Wang, Shang-Ping Xie, and James A. Carton, presents current observations, theories, and models of ocean-atmosphere interaction that helps shape climate and its variations over the global ocean. The book represents the climate community's first effort to summarize the modern science of ocean-atmosphere interaction and the roles that the interaction play in climate variability in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans as well as interactions across basins and between the tropics and extratropics. In this issue, Eos talks with lead editor Chunzai Wang. Wang is a research oceanographer at the Physical Oceanography Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, in Miami, Florida.

  10. Atmospheric excitation of the Earth's rotation rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merriam, J. B.

    Modern techniques for the determination of the Earth's rotation rate: long-baseline interferometry, satellite laser ranging, and lunar laser ranging, now permit the orientation of the Earth to be determined with an accuracy of 5 cm, which corresponds to about 10-4 sec in Universal Time. This nearly order-of-magnitude improvement over what was available ten years ago makes it feasible to look at variations in the length-of-day on much shorter time-scales. At the same time, the requirements of operational weather forecasting have resulted in more detailed knowledge of the variations of the angular momentum of the atmosphere. The result has been a convincing demonstration over the last several years that virtually all of the random variations in the length-of-day, at periods between a few years and a day, are due to atmospheric variations. Geophysicists and meteorologists have both exploited this discovery. Removal of the atmospheric signal from the length-of-day, results in a data set in which other interesting phenomena of geophysical interest can be studied. Meteorologists have had some success in using the rotation data to deduce the angular momentum of the atmosphere at times in the past when sufficient global coverage was not available to do this directly. Outstanding problems are: the low frequency variations in atmospheric angular momentum, which the passage of time will correct, and the details of the mechanism by which angular momentum is exchanged with the mantle.

  11. Biological modulation of the earth's atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Margulis, L.; Lovelock, J. E.

    1974-01-01

    Review of the evidence that the earth's atmosphere is regulated by life on the surface so that the probability of growth of the entire biosphere is maximized. Acidity, gas composition including oxygen level, and ambient temperature are enormously important determinants for the distribution of life. The earth's atmosphere deviates greatly from that of the other terrestrial planets in particular with respect to acidity, composition, redox potential and temperature history as predicted from solar luminosity. These deviations from predicted steady state conditions have apparently persisted over millions of years. These anomalies may be evidence for a complex planet-wide homeostasis that is the product of natural selection. Possible homeostatic mechanisms that may be further investigated by both theoretical and experimental methods are suggested.

  12. [How did the earth's oxygen atmosphere originate?].

    PubMed

    Schäfer, G

    2004-09-01

    The planet earth did not carry an oxygen atmosphere from the beginning. Though oxygen could arise from radiation mediated water splitting, these processes were not efficient enough to create a global gas atmosphere. Oxygen in the latter is a product of the photosynthetic activity of early green organisms. Only after biological mass-formation of oxygen the UV-protective ozone layer could develop, then enabeling life to move from water onto land. This took billions of years. The basics of the processes of biological oxygen liberation and utilization are described in the following as well as the importance of their steady state equilibrium. Also a hint is given to oxygen as a toxic compound though being a chemical prerequisite for aerobic life on earth.

  13. Background Lamb waves in the Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishida, K.; Kobayashi, N.; Fukao, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Lamb waves of the Earth's atmosphere in the millihertz band have been considered as transient phenomena excited only by large events [e.g. the major volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in 1833, the impact of Siberian meteorite in 1908, the testing of large nuclear tests and the huge earthquakes, Garrett1969]. In a case of the solid Earth, observation of background free oscillations in the millihertz band-now known as Earth's background free oscillations or seismic hum, has been firmly established. Above 5 mHz, their dominant excitation sources are oceanic infragravity waves. At 3.7 and 4.4 mHz an elasto-acoustic resonance between the solid Earth and the atmosphere was observed [Nishida et al., 2000]. These seismic observations show that the contribution of atmospheric disturbances to the seismic hum is dominant below 5 mHz. Such contribution implies background excitations of acoustic-gravity waves in this frequency range. For direct detection of the background acoustic-gravity waves, our group conducted observations using an array of barometers [Nishida et al. 2005]. However, the spatial scale of the array of about 10 km was too small to detect acoustic modes below 10 mHz. Since then, no direct observations of these waves have been reported. In 2011, 337 high-resolution microbarometers were installed on a continental scale at USArray Transportable Array. The large and dense array enables us to detect the background atmospheric waves. Here, we show the first evidence of background Lamb waves in the Earth's atmosphere from 0.2 to 10 mHz, based on the array analysis of microbarometer data from the USArray in 2012. The observations suggest that the excitation sources are atmospheric disturbances in the troposphere. Theoretically, their energy in the troposphere tunnels into the thermosphere at a resonant frequency via thermospheric gravity wave, where the observed amplitudes indeed take a local minimum. The energy leak through the frequency window could partly contribute to

  14. Atmospheric tides in Earth-like planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Auclair-Desrotour, P.; Laskar, J.; Mathis, S.

    2017-07-01

    Context. Atmospheric tides can strongly affect the rotational dynamics of planets. In the family of Earth-like planets, which includes Venus, this physical mechanism coupled with solid tides makes the angular velocity evolve over long timescales and determines the equilibrium configurations of their spin. Aims: Unlike the solid core, the atmosphere of a planet is subject to both tidal gravitational potential and insolation flux coming from the star. The complex response of the gas is intrinsically linked to its physical properties. This dependence has to be characterized and quantified for application to the wide variety of extrasolar planetary systems. Methods: We develop a theoretical global model where radiative losses, which are predominant in slowly rotating atmospheres, are taken into account. We analytically compute the perturbation of pressure, density, temperature, and velocity field caused by a thermogravitational tidal perturbation. From these quantities, we deduce the expressions of atmospheric Love numbers and tidal torque exerted on the fluid shell by the star. The equations are written for the general case of a thick envelope and the simplified one of a thin isothermal atmosphere. Results: The dynamics of atmospheric tides depends on the frequency regime of the tidal perturbation: the thermal regime near synchronization and the dynamical regime characterizing fast-rotating planets. Gravitational and thermal perturbations imply different responses of the fluid, i.e. gravitational tides and thermal tides, which are clearly identified. The dependence of the torque on the tidal frequency is quantified using the analytic expressions of the model for Earth-like and Venus-like exoplanets and is in good agreement with the results given by global climate models (GCM) simulations.Introducing dissipative processes such as radiation regularizes the tidal response of the atmosphere, otherwise it is singular at synchronization. Conclusions: We demonstrate the

  15. Cosmic dust in the earth's atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Plane, John M C

    2012-10-07

    This review discusses the magnitude of the cosmic dust input into the earth's atmosphere, and the resulting impacts from around 100 km to the earth's surface. Zodiacal cloud observations and measurements made with a spaceborne dust detector indicate a daily mass input of interplanetary dust particles ranging from 100 to 300 tonnes, which is in agreement with the accumulation rates of cosmic-enriched elements (Ir, Pt, Os and super-paramagnetic Fe) in polar ice cores and deep-sea sediments. In contrast, measurements in the middle atmosphere - by radar, lidar, high-flying aircraft and satellite remote sensing - indicate that the input is between 5 and 50 tonnes per day. There are two reasons why this huge discrepancy matters. First, if the upper range of estimates is correct, then vertical transport in the middle atmosphere must be considerably faster than generally believed; whereas if the lower range is correct, then our understanding of dust evolution in the solar system, and transport from the middle atmosphere to the surface, will need substantial revision. Second, cosmic dust particles enter the atmosphere at high speeds and undergo significant ablation. The resulting metals injected into the atmosphere are involved in a diverse range of phenomena, including: the formation of layers of metal atoms and ions; the nucleation of noctilucent clouds, which are a sensitive marker of climate change; impacts on stratospheric aerosols and O(3) chemistry, which need to be considered against the background of a cooling stratosphere and geo-engineering plans to increase sulphate aerosol; and fertilization of the ocean with bio-available Fe, which has potential climate feedbacks.

  16. First Super-Earth Atmosphere Analysed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-12-01

    The atmosphere around a super-Earth exoplanet has been analysed for the first time by an international team of astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope. The planet, which is known as GJ 1214b, was studied as it passed in front of its parent star and some of the starlight passed through the planet's atmosphere. We now know that the atmosphere is either mostly water in the form of steam or is dominated by thick clouds or hazes. The results will appear in the 2 December 2010 issue of the journal Nature. The planet GJ 1214b was confirmed in 2009 using the HARPS instrument on ESO's 3.6-metre telescope in Chile (eso0950) [1]. Initial findings suggested that this planet had an atmosphere, which has now been confirmed and studied in detail by an international team of astronomers, led by Jacob Bean (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), using the FORS instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope. "This is the first super-Earth to have its atmosphere analysed. We've reached a real milestone on the road toward characterising these worlds," said Bean. GJ 1214b has a radius of about 2.6 times that of the Earth and is about 6.5 times as massive, putting it squarely into the class of exoplanets known as super-Earths. Its host star lies about 40 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Ophiuchus (the Serpent Bearer). It is a faint star [2], but it is also small, which means that the size of the planet is large compared to the stellar disc, making it relatively easy to study [3]. The planet travels across the disc of its parent star once every 38 hours as it orbits at a distance of only two million kilometres: about seventy times closer than the Earth orbits the Sun. To study the atmosphere, the team observed the light coming from the star as the planet passed in front of it [4]. During these transits, some of the starlight passes through the planet's atmosphere and, depending on the chemical composition and weather on the planet, specific wavelengths of light are

  17. Atmospheric heat engines on earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philip, J. R.

    1987-06-01

    The character of the earth's atmospheric heat engine depends, inter alia, on the relatively tight linkage between surface fluxes of energy and of H2O. On Mars, on the other hand, H2O-based latent heat fluxes are only a trivial fraction of total surface energy fluxes, and the dominant component of the working fluid is CO2. These considerations are made quantitative through evaluation of Lambda, the equivalent temperature excess at the surface for a particular component of the working fluid. The very different values (and latitudinal distribution) of Lambda on the two planets signalize vividly their different meteorology. Preliminary study of the climatology of Lambda on earth brings out, in particular, the tightness of the H2O-energy linkage in the tropics.

  18. Dynamic model of the Earth's upper atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slowey, J. W.

    1984-01-01

    An initial modification to the MSF/J70 Thermospheric Model, in which the variations due to sudden geomagnetic disturbances upon the Earth's upper atmospheric density structure were modeled is presented. This dynamic model of the geomagnetic variation included is an improved version of one which SAO developed from the analysis of the ESRO 4 mass spectrometer data that was incorporated in the Jacchia 1977 model. The variation with geomagnetic local time as well as with geomagnetic latitude are included, and also the effects due to disturbance of the temperature profiles in the region of energy deposition.

  19. Observations of the Earth's atmosphere: Introductory remarks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barlier, François

    2010-04-01

    The Earth is surrounded by a layer of relatively thin gas, the mass of which is mainly concentrated in the first kilometres. With an exponential decrease of the density of the atmosphere as a function of altitude, 99.9% of this mass is located in the first 50 km. In addition, the composition of major species is homogeneous up to about 85 km, contrarily to what happens beyond. This is the homosphere. This layer of atmosphere, considered in this special issue, is also that which we breathe and which we unfortunately often pollute. All this justifies considering it as of vital importance, in the most basic sense of the word. However, in studying it, it is not possible to ignore what is happening beyond, from where comes, in particular, solar radiation, just as we cannot ignore what happens below the continents and the oceans, where solar radiation is absorbed, diffused and re-emitted to the top by the Earth's surface as infrared radiation. We must therefore keep in mind what are the layers that surround the homosphere, the importance of observing them and also give some examples of possible interactions which may exist with the surrounding layers; these are the objectives of these introductory remarks. Another general consideration must be made here, concerning the problems, which have existed until the middle of the 20th century, of how to observe the atmosphere in situ at all the altitudes. However, since then, the development of engineering involving balloons, rockets, aircrafts and artificial satellites has revolutionized our knowledge of this observational atmosphere; this is the second message of these remarks.

  20. NASA Now Minute: Earth’s Atmosphere: Earth Science Week

    NASA Image and Video Library

    Dr. Kenneth Pickering talks about the composition of Earth’s atmosphere,how it protects life on Earth, and how it is interconnected with theEarth system. Pickering discusses findings from the D...

  1. NASA Now: Earth’s Atmosphere: Earth Science Week

    NASA Image and Video Library

    Dr. Kenneth Pickering talks about the composition of Earth’s atmosphere, how it protects life on Earth, and how it is interconnected with the Earth system. Pickering discusses findings from the D...

  2. Evolution of Earth&'s Atmosphere and Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasting, J. F.

    2004-12-01

    Earth's climate prior to 2.5 Ga seems to have been, if anything, warmer than today (1,2), despite the faintness of the young Sun (3). The idea that the young Sun was 25-30 percent less bright has been bolstered by data on mass loss from young, solar-type stars (4). Sagan and Mullen (1) suggested many years ago that the warming required to offset low solar luminosity was provided by high concentrations of reduced greenhouse gases. Ammonia has since been shown to be photochemically unstable in low-O2 atmospheres (5), but methane is a viable candidate. Methane photolyzes only at wavelengths shorter than 145 nm, so it is long-lived in the absence of O2 and O3. Furthermore, it is produced by anaerobic bacteria (methanogens) that are thought to have evolved early in Earth history (6). A biological methane flux comparable to today's flux, ~500 Tg CH4/yr, could have been generated by methanogens living in an anaerobic early ocean and sediments (7). This flux should have increased once oxygenic photosynthesis evolved because of increased production and recycling of organic matter (8). An Archean methane flux equal to today's flux could have generated atmospheric CH4 concentrations in excess of 1000 ppmv (9). This, in turn, could have provided 30 degrees or more of greenhouse warming (10) enough to have kept the early Earth warm even if atmospheric CO2 was no higher than today. All of this does not imply that CO2 concentrations must have been low throughout the Archean. Indeed, siderite-coated stream pebbles imply that pCO2 was greater than 2.5,e10-3 bar, or ~7 times present, at 3.2 Ga (11). Atmospheric CO2 could have been much higher than this if the continents had formed slowly (12) and/or if subduction of carbonates was inhibited (13). The rise in O2 at ~2.3 Ga (14,15) brought an end to the methane greenhouse and may have triggered the Huronian glaciation (10). Although methane concentrations declined with the rise of O2, they may still have remained much higher than

  3. 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

  4. Laboratory investigation on super-Earths atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erculiani, M. S.; Claudi, R. U.; Lessio, L.; Farisato, G.; Giro, E.; Cocola, L.; Billi, D.; D'alessandro, M.; Pace, E.; Schierano, D.; Benatti, S.; Bonavita, M.; Galletta, G.

    2014-04-01

    In the framework of Atmosphere in a Test Tube, at the Astronomical Observatory of Padova (INAF) we are going to perform experiments aimed to understand the possible modification of the atmosphere by photosynthetic biota present on the planet surface. This goal can be achieved simulating M star planetary environmental conditions. The bacteria that are being studied are Acaryochloris marina, Chroococcidiopsis spp. and Halomicronema hingdechloris. Tests will be performed with LISA or MINI-LISA ambient simulator in the laboratory of the Padova Astronomic Observatory. In this paper we describe the whole road map to follow in order to perform experiments and to obtain useful data to be compared with the real ones that will be obtained by the future space missions. Starting by a fiducial experiment we will modify either environmental and thermodynamical properties in order to simulate both real irradiation by an M star and gas mixture mimicing super earths atmospheres. These laboratory tests could be used as a guideline in order to understand whether chemical disequilibrium of O2, CO2 and CH4 could be ascribed to biotic life forms.

  5. Atmospheric breakup of a small comet in the Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teterev, A. V.; Misychenko, N. I.; Rudak, L. V.; Romanov, G. S.; Smetannikov, A. S.; Nemchinov, I. V.

    1993-01-01

    The aerodynamic stresses can lead to the deformation and even to destruction of the meteoroids during their flight through the atmosphere. The pressure at the blunt nose of the cosmic body moving at very high speed through the dense layers of the atmosphere may be much larger than the tensile or the compressive strength of the body. So the usage of the hydrodynamics theory is validated. The estimates show that the transverse velocity of the substance of the body U is of the order of (rho(sub a)/rho(sub o))(sup 1/2)V where V is the velocity of the body and rho(sub o) is its density, rho(sub a) is the density of the atmosphere. The separation of the fragments is larger than the diameter of the body D if D is less than D(sub c) = 2H(square root of rho(sub a)/rho(sub o)), where H is the characteristic scale of the atmosphere. For an icy body one obtains U = 1/30(V) and critical diameter D(sub C) = 500 m. The process of the disintegration of the body is still not fully understood and so one can use the numerical simulation to investigate it. Such simulations where conducted for the Venusian atmosphere and the gaseous equation of state of the body was used. For the Earth atmosphere for the velocity V = 50 km/s the pressure at the blunt nose of the body is 25 kbar, and is of the order of bulk modulus of compressibility of the water or ice. The realistic EOS of water in tabular form was used. It was assumed that the initial shape of the body was spherical and the initial diameter D(sub o) of the body is 200 m and so it is smaller than the critical diameter D(sub C). The initial kinetic energy of the icy body is equivalent to the energy of the explosion 1200 Mt of TNT. The results of the simulation of the deformation of the body during its vertical flight through the atmosphere and during its impact into the ocean are presented.

  6. Simulation of ablation in Earth atmospheric entry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keenan, James A.; Candler, Graham V.

    1993-01-01

    The process of ablation for Earth atmospheric entry is simulated using a computational approach that allows thermo-chemical nonequilibrium of the flow field and ablation gases. The heat pulse into the heat shield is modeled. The flowfield and graphite heat shield are coupled through surface mass and energy balances. The surface thermochemistry involves the oxidation of graphite and allows for catalytic recombination of diatomic oxygen. Steady-state simulations are performed on a one meter nose radius sphere at an altitude of 65/km and at freestream velocities of 8 km/s and 10 km/s. A transient simulation is performed at 65 km altitude and a freestream velocity of 10 km/s.

  7. Earth Atmosphere Observations taken by the Expedition 35 Crew

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-04-03

    Earth atmosphere observation taken by the Expedition 35 crew aboard the ISS. The colors roughly denote the layers of the atmosphere (the orange troposphere, the white stratosphere, and the blue mesosphere).

  8. Steam Atmosphere — Magma Ocean Chemistry on the Early Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fegley, B.; Lodders, K.

    2016-08-01

    We use experimental data from the literature to calculate chemistry of the steam atmosphere — magma ocean system on the early Earth. Our results show partitioning of rocky elements into the steam atmosphere.

  9. Cosmic Ray Abundance at Aircraft Altitudes in the Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, D.

    1999-08-01

    Recent investigations of cosmic ray primaries and secondaries at aviation altitudes in the Earth's atmosphere include the study of Z≥2 particles along the London-New York flight routes on supersonic aircraft. Preliminary charge spectra will be presented for these nuclei and comparisons will be made with the predictions of cosmic ray transport models in the Earth's atmosphere.

  10. Extraterrestrial matter in the Earth atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popova, Olga

    The Sub-Millimetre Radiometer (SMR) on board the Odin satellite, launched in February 2001, observes thermal emissions of stratospheric nitric oxide (NO) at the Earth limb in a band centred at 551.7GHz. As member of the NOx family, this species plays an important role in stratospheric ozone chemistry. At high altitudes in the thermosphere, NO is formed when N2 is dissociated by solar radiation and through energetic particle precipitation (e.g. auroral activity). Its spatio-temporal distribution is influenced by the global meridional circulation, in particular during polar night when the lifetime of NOx species is long enough that downward transported NOx can contribute to the NOy budget in the mesosphere and stratosphere. Global measurements of NO were performed by Odin/SMR on approximately one observation day per month from October 2003 to April 2007 and on a nearly weekly basis thereafter. This presentation focuses on a detailed description of the characteristics of the Odin observations. The derived Odin NO climatology is then analysed in relation to observed variability of middle atmospheric transport and solar radiation. Odin is a Swedish-led satellite project funded jointly by Sweden (SNSB), Canada (CSA), Fin-land (TEKES), and France (CNES), with support by the 3rd party mission programme of the European Space Agency (ESA).

  11. Interferometric Characterization of the Earth's Atmosphere from Lagrange Point 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herman, J. R.; Einaudi, Franco (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Part of the NASA plans for future Earth-Science missions calls for observations using novel vantage points that can produce science products otherwise unobtainable. Observations of the Earth from the Lagrange-2 point, L-2, (1.5 million kilometers behind the Earth on the Earth-Sun line) affords a unique vantage point for atmospheric science. Special observation of the Earth's atmosphere using solar occultation techniques in the near infrared (1 to 4 microns) provides one of the most accurate method of passively sensing altitude profiles of the major species (CO2, O3, O2, CH4, H2O, N2O). In addition to observation of the Earth's atmosphere, it will be possible to observe a portion of the solar disk at moderate spatial resolution without interference from the Earth.

  12. Global Change in Earth's Atmosphere: Natural and Anthropogenic Factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lean, J.

    2013-12-01

    To what extent is human activity, such as the emission of carbon dioxide and other 'greenhouse' gases, influencing Earth's atmosphere, compared with natural variations driven by, for example, the Sun or volcanoes? Why has Earth's surface warmed barely, if at all, in the last decade? Why is the atmosphere at just 20 km above the surface cooling instead of warming? When - and will - the ozone layer recover from its two-decade decline due to chlorofluorocarbon depletion? Natural and anthropogenic factors are changing Earth's atmosphere, each with distinct temporal, geographical and altitudinal signatures. Increasing greenhouse gases, for example, warm the surface but cool the stratosphere and upper atmosphere. Aerosols injected into the stratosphere during a volcanic eruption warm the stratosphere but cool the surface. Increases in the Sun's brightness warm Earth's atmosphere, throughout. This talk will quantify and compare a variety of natural and human influences on the Earth's atmosphere, extracted statistically from multiple datasets with the goal of understanding how and why Earth's atmosphere is changing. The extent to which responses to natural influences are presently masking or exacerbating ongoing responses to human activity is examined. Scenarios for future levels of anthropogenic gases and solar activity are then used to speculate how Earth's atmosphere might evolve in future decades, according to both statistical models of the databases and physical general circulation models.

  13. Telescope Formation at L2 for Observing Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mettler, Edward; Acikmese, Behcet; Breckenridge, William; Macenka, Steven; Hein, Randall; Tubbs, Eldred

    2007-01-01

    Two documents describe a proposed Earth-atmosphere observatory to orbit the Sun at the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point -- a point of unstable equilibrium in the shadow of the Earth, about 1.5 million km from the Earth along an outward projection of the Earth-Sun axis. The observatory would comprise two spacecraft flying in precision formation: (1) a primary-aperture spacecraft, from which would be deployed a 25-m diameter membrane primary mirror aimed at the Earth, and (2) a secondary-telescope spacecraft at the focal plane of the primary mirror, 125-m distant along the axis towards the Earth. The secondary telescope would be aimed at the primary mirror and slowly rotated to scan the focused annular image of the visible illuminated portion of the Earth's atmosphere during continuous occultation of the Sun.

  14. Atmospheres and evolution. [of microbial life on earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Margulis, L.; Lovelock, J. E.

    1981-01-01

    Studies concerning the regulation of the earth atmosphere and the relation of atmospheric changes to the evolution of microbial life are reviewed. The improbable nature of the composition of the earth atmosphere in light of the atmospheric compositions of Mars and Venus and equilibrium considerations is pointed out, and evidence for the existence of microbial (procaryotic) life on earth as far back as 3.5 billion years ago is presented. The emergence of eucaryotic life in the Phanerozoic due to evolving symbioses between different procaryotic species is discussed with examples given of present-day symbiotic relationships between bacteria and eucaryotes. The idea that atmospheric gases are kept in balance mainly by the actions of bacterial cells is then considered, and it is argued that species diversity is necessary for the maintenance and origin of life on earth in its present form.

  15. ATMOS: Long term atmospheric measurements for mission to planet Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    A long-term, space-based measurement program, together with continued balloon and aircraft-borne investigations, is essential to monitor the predicted effects in the atmosphere, to determine to what extent the concentration measurements agree with current models of stratospheric chemistry, and to determine the condition of the ozone layer. The Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy (ATMOS) Experiment is currently making comprehensive, global measurements of Earth's atmosphere as part of the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science (ATLAS) program on the Space Shuttle. Part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth, ATLAS is a continuing series of missions to study Earth and the Sun and provide a more fundamental understanding of the solar influences on Earth's atmosphere. The ATMOS program, instruments, and science results are presented.

  16. Atmospheres and evolution. [of microbial life on earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Margulis, L.; Lovelock, J. E.

    1981-01-01

    Studies concerning the regulation of the earth atmosphere and the relation of atmospheric changes to the evolution of microbial life are reviewed. The improbable nature of the composition of the earth atmosphere in light of the atmospheric compositions of Mars and Venus and equilibrium considerations is pointed out, and evidence for the existence of microbial (procaryotic) life on earth as far back as 3.5 billion years ago is presented. The emergence of eucaryotic life in the Phanerozoic due to evolving symbioses between different procaryotic species is discussed with examples given of present-day symbiotic relationships between bacteria and eucaryotes. The idea that atmospheric gases are kept in balance mainly by the actions of bacterial cells is then considered, and it is argued that species diversity is necessary for the maintenance and origin of life on earth in its present form.

  17. ON THE STABILITY OF SUPER-EARTH ATMOSPHERES

    SciTech Connect

    Heng, Kevin; Kopparla, Pushkar

    2012-07-20

    We investigate the stability of super-Earth atmospheres around M stars using a seven-parameter, analytical framework. We construct stability diagrams in the parameter space of exoplanetary radius versus semimajor axis and elucidate the regions in which the atmospheres are stable against the condensation of their major constituents, out of the gas phase, on their permanent nightside hemispheres. We find that super-Earth atmospheres that are nitrogen-dominated (Earth-like) occupy a smaller region of allowed parameter space, compared to hydrogen-dominated atmospheres, because of the dual effects of diminished advection and enhanced radiative cooling. Furthermore, some super-Earths which reside within the habitable zones of M stars may not possess stable atmospheres, depending on the mean molecular weight and infrared photospheric pressure of their atmospheres. We apply our stability diagrams to GJ 436b and GJ 1214b, and demonstrate that atmospheric compositions with high mean molecular weights are disfavored if these exoplanets possess solid surfaces and shallow atmospheres. Finally, we construct stability diagrams tailored to the Kepler data set, for G and K stars, and predict that about half of the exoplanet candidates are expected to harbor stable atmospheres if Earth-like conditions are assumed. We include 55 Cancri e and CoRoT-7b in our stability diagram for G stars.

  18. Radical-water complexes in Earth's atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Aloisio, S; Francisco, J S

    2000-12-01

    In the atmosphere, many chemical processes are controlled by open-shell radical species. While these species are present in relatively small number densities, they initiate many of the cycles that control the chemistry of the atmosphere. The purpose of this Account is to examine recent studies of radical-water complexes that are composed of atmospherically important species. We hope this Account will provide a report on the status of this topical field, while encouraging new research directions.

  19. Crossing the Boundaries in Planetary Atmospheres - From Earth to Exoplanets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simon-Miller, Amy A.; Genio, Anthony Del

    2013-01-01

    The past decade has been an especially exciting time to study atmospheres, with a renaissance in fundamental studies of Earths general circulation and hydrological cycle, stimulated by questions about past climates and the urgency of projecting the future impacts of humankinds activities. Long-term spacecraft and Earth-based observation of solar system planets have now reinvigorated the study of comparative planetary climatology. The explosion in discoveries of planets outside our solar system has made atmospheric science integral to understanding the diversity of our solar system and the potential habitability of planets outside it. Thus, the AGU Chapman Conference Crossing the Boundaries in Planetary Atmospheres From Earth to Exoplanets, held in Annapolis, MD from June 24-27, 2013 gathered Earth, solar system, and exoplanet scientists to share experiences, insights, and challenges from their individual disciplines, and discuss areas in which thinking broadly might enhance our fundamental understanding of how atmospheres work.

  20. Space Science in Action: Earth's Atmosphere [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1999

    In this videotape recording, students learn about the layers of the atmosphere and why each is important to the survival of life on the planet. Students discover why the atmosphere is responsible for weather and see how special aircraft actually fly into hurricanes. Students build their own working barometer in a hands-on activity. Contents…

  1. Space Science in Action: Earth's Atmosphere [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1999

    In this videotape recording, students learn about the layers of the atmosphere and why each is important to the survival of life on the planet. Students discover why the atmosphere is responsible for weather and see how special aircraft actually fly into hurricanes. Students build their own working barometer in a hands-on activity. Contents…

  2. The thermodynamic effect of atmospheric mass on early Earth's temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chemke, R.; Kaspi, Y.; Halevy, I.

    2016-11-01

    Observations suggest that Earth's early atmospheric mass differed from the present day. The effects of a different atmospheric mass on radiative forcing have been investigated in climate models of variable sophistication, but a mechanistic understanding of the thermodynamic component of the effect of atmospheric mass on early climate is missing. Using a 3-D idealized global circulation model (GCM), we systematically examine the thermodynamic effect of atmospheric mass on near-surface temperature. We find that higher atmospheric mass tends to increase the near-surface temperature mostly due to an increase in the heat capacity of the atmosphere, which decreases the net radiative cooling effect in the lower layers of the atmosphere. Additionally, the vertical advection of heat by eddies decreases with increasing atmospheric mass, resulting in further near-surface warming. As both net radiative cooling and vertical eddy heat fluxes are extratropical phenomena, higher atmospheric mass tends to flatten the meridional temperature gradient.

  3. Atmospherics: A Look at the Earth's Airy Shell.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Byalko, A. V.

    1991-01-01

    Describes differences in the composition, pressure, and temperature at distinct altitudes of the Earth's atmosphere from the point of view of physical laws. Discusses the genesis and importance of ozone, thermal radiation and the "layer cake" arrangement of the atmosphere, and solar energy in connection with thermal equilibrium. (JJK)

  4. Atmospherics: A Look at the Earth's Airy Shell.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Byalko, A. V.

    1991-01-01

    Describes differences in the composition, pressure, and temperature at distinct altitudes of the Earth's atmosphere from the point of view of physical laws. Discusses the genesis and importance of ozone, thermal radiation and the "layer cake" arrangement of the atmosphere, and solar energy in connection with thermal equilibrium. (JJK)

  5. Characterizing atmospheric waves on Venus, Earth, and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Colin F.; Piccialli, Arianna

    2012-06-01

    Atmospheric Waves Workshop; Noordwijk, Netherlands, 9-10 November 2011 Experts in observations and modeling of atmospheric waves from the Earth and planetary atmospheric science communities came together at a November 2011 workshop held at the European Space Agency's (ESA) European Space Research and Technology Centre ( ESTEC) site in the Netherlands to discuss the nature of waves observed in Venus's atmosphere and their comparison to those on Earth and Mars. ESA's Venus Express (VEx) satellite and ground-based observers find atmospheric waves at many scales. Migrating solar tides and other planetary- scale waves are observed in cloud- tracking wind vectors and temperature fields. Mesoscale gravity waves (GWs) can also be seen at a variety of levels from the cloud base up to the thermosphere, evident in imagery and in vertical profiles of temperature, density, and aerosol abundance. This workshop focused particularly on GWs, as their role in the atmospheric circulation is still poorly understood.

  6. CHEMISTRY OF SILICATE ATMOSPHERES OF EVAPORATING SUPER-EARTHS

    SciTech Connect

    Schaefer, Laura; Fegley, Bruce E-mail: bfegley@levee.wustl.ed

    2009-10-01

    We model the formation of silicate atmospheres on hot volatile-free super-Earths. Our calculations assume that all volatile elements such as H, C, N, S, and Cl have been lost from the planet. We find that the atmospheres are composed primarily of Na, O{sub 2}, O, and SiO gas, in order of decreasing abundance. The atmospheric composition may be altered by fractional vaporization, cloud condensation, photoionization, and reaction with any residual volatile elements remaining in the atmosphere. Cloud condensation reduces the abundance of all elements in the atmosphere except Na and K. We speculate that large Na and K clouds such as those observed around Mercury and Io may surround hot super-Earths. These clouds would occult much larger fractions of the parent star than a closely bound atmosphere, and may be observable through currently available methods.

  7. 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.

  8. The effect of aerosols on the earth-atmosphere albedo

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herman, B. M.; Browning, S. R.

    1975-01-01

    The paper presents calculations of the change in reflected flux by the earth-atmosphere system in response to increases in the atmospheric aerosol loading for a range of complex indices of refraction, solar elevation angle and ground albedo. Results show that, for small values of ground albedo, the reflected solar flux may either increase or decrease with increasing aerosol loadings, depending upon the complex part of the index of refraction of the aerosols. For high ground albedos, an increase in aerosol levels always results in a decrease of reflected flux (i.e., a warming of the earth-atmosphere system).

  9. 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.

  10. Propagation of sound through the Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meredith, R. W.; Becher, J.

    1983-01-01

    The data collected at a pressure of one atmosphere for the different temperatures and relative humidities of the air-water vapor mixtures is summarized. The dew point hygrometer used in these measurements did not give reliable results for dew points much above the ambient room temperature. For this reason measurements were not attempted at the higher temperatures and humidities. Viscous wall losses in the resonant tube at 0 C so dominate the molecular relaxation of nitrogen, in the air-water vapor mixture, that reliable data could not be obtained using the free decay method in a resonant tube at one atmosphere. In an effort to obtain viable data at these temperatures, measurements were performed at a pressure of 10 atmospheres. Since the molecular relaxation peak is proportional to the pressure and the viscous losses are proportional to the inverse square root of the pressure the peak height should be measurable at the higher pressure. The tradeoff here is that at 10 atmospheres; the highest relative humidity attainable is 10 percent. The data collected at 10 atmospheres is also summarized.

  11. Optical Instability of the Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kucherov, N. I. (Editor)

    1966-01-01

    The atmosphere is not stationary: it changes continuously and its optical properties are inherently unstable. This optical instability of the air medium is of considerable significance in various fields of research and observation where light transmission through the atmosphere plays a basic role. Under the category of optical instabilities we mainly have the different atmospheric perturbations whose integrated effect constitutes the astroclimate: these are image pulsation, scintillation, and the blurring of the diffraction disk. The artificial satellites and space probes collected a great amount of new data on the upper atmosphere and on the outer space environment. New interesting and important problems arose, which attracted the attention of many geophysicists and astronomers. This shift in the center of gravity of scientific interests and efforts is observed mainly among scientists specializing in atmospheric physics. Recently, scientific organizations engaged on optical instability research switched to astroclimatic topics. Twelve scientific organizations were represented at the Soviet astronomers have recently been charged with a very difficult and responsible task: to select suitable sites for the erection of new observatories, including an astrophysical observatory with the largest telescope in the USSR. A considerable number of research groups were dispatched into various areas of the Soviet Union, and many astronomical observatories took part in the astroclimatic survey. The work of these expeditions remains un-paralleled by any other country in the world. On the other hand, these researches aroused a definite interest in astroclimate in Soviet astronomical observatories. International astronomical circles pay an ever growing attention to the problems of astroclimate.

  12. WATER FORMATION IN THE UPPER ATMOSPHERE OF THE EARLY EARTH

    SciTech Connect

    Fleury, Benjamin; Carrasco, Nathalie; Marcq, Emmanuel; Vettier, Ludovic; Määttänen, Anni

    2015-07-10

    The water concentration and distribution in the early Earth's atmosphere are important parameters that contribute to the chemistry and the radiative budget of the atmosphere. If the atmosphere above the troposphere is generally considered as dry, photochemistry is known to be responsible for the production of numerous minor species. Here we used an experimental setup to study the production of water in conditions simulating the chemistry above the troposphere of the early Earth with an atmospheric composition based on three major molecules: N{sub 2}, CO{sub 2}, and H{sub 2}. The formation of gaseous products was monitored using infrared spectroscopy. Water was found as the major product, with approximately 10% of the gas products detected. This important water formation is discussed in the context of the early Earth.

  13. Earth Observation for Land-Atmosphere Interaction Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marconcini, M.; Fernandez-Prieto, D.; Reissell, A.; Ellis, M.; Blyth, E. M.; Burrows, J. P.; de Leeuw, G.; Gerard, F. F.; Houweling, S.; Kaminski, T.; Krol, M.; Muller, J.-P.; North, P. R. J.; Palmer, P.; Pinty, B.; Plummer, S.; Quegan, S.; Reichstein, M.; Remedios, J. J.; Roberts, G. J.; Shvidenko, A.; Scipal, K.; Sobrino, J. A.; Teuling, A. J.; van der Werf, G. R.

    2011-01-01

    The European Space Agency (ESA), iLEAPS (Integrated Land Ecosystem-Atmosphere Processes Study, i.e. the land-atmosphere core project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme), and the European Geosciences Union (EGU) jointly organized the “Earth Observation for Land-Atmosphere Interaction Science” conference, which took place from 3rd to 5th November 2010 at the Italian premises of ESA in Frascati (Rome). The event represented an attempt to effectively draw together Earth-Observation (EO) and Earth-system scientists investigating land-atmosphere processes in order to better understand the current gaps in science and derive recommendations to advance in the use of EO technology in the context of this important topic. Around 200 people from more than 30 countries world- wide met and discussed for three intensive days. This paper reports key points and the main recommendations of the conference for each of the key themes addressed.

  14. Earth Global Reference Atmospheric Model (GRAM99): Short Course

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leslie, Fred W.; Justus, C. G.

    2007-01-01

    Earth-GRAM is a FORTRAN software package that can run on a variety of platforms including PC's. For any time and location in the Earth's atmosphere, Earth-GRAM provides values of atmospheric quantities such as temperature, pressure, density, winds, constituents, etc.. Dispersions (perturbations) of these parameters are also provided and have realistic correlations, means, and variances - useful for Monte Carlo analysis. Earth-GRAM is driven by observations including a tropospheric database available from the National Climatic Data Center. Although Earth-GRAM can be run in a "stand-alone" mode, many users incorporate it into their trajectory codes. The source code is distributed free-of-charge to eligible recipients.

  15. Evolution of a steam atmosphere during earth's accretion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zahnle, Kevin J.; Kasting, James F.; Pollack, James B.

    1988-01-01

    The evolution of an impact-generated steam atmosphere around an accreting earth is presently modeled under the assumption of Safronov (1978) accretion, in a scheme that encompasses the degassing of planetesimals on impact, thermal blanketing by the steam atmosphere, surface-to-interior water exchange, the shock heating and convective cooling of the earth's interior, and hydrogen escape due both to solar EUV-powered planetary wind and impact erosion. The model yields four distinct classes of impact-generated atmospheres: the first, on which emphasis is placed, has as its salient feature a molten surface that is maintained by the opacity of a massive water vapor atmosphere; the second occurs when the EUV-limited escape exceeds the impact degassing rate, while the third is dominated by impact erosion and the fourth is characterized by an atmosphere more massive than any thus far encountered.

  16. Clouds in Super-Earth Atmospheres: Chemical Equilibrium Calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mbarek, Rostom; Kempton, Eliza M.-R.

    2016-08-01

    Recent studies have unequivocally proven the existence of clouds in super-Earth atmospheres. Here we provide a theoretical context for the formation of super-Earth clouds by determining which condensates are likely to form under the assumption of chemical equilibrium. We study super-Earth atmospheres of diverse bulk composition, which are assumed to form by outgassing from a solid core of chondritic material, following Schaefer & Fegley. The super-Earth atmospheres that we study arise from planetary cores made up of individual types of chondritic meteorites. They range from highly reducing to oxidizing and have carbon to oxygen (C:O) ratios that are both sub-solar and super-solar, thereby spanning a range of atmospheric composition that is appropriate for low-mass exoplanets. Given the atomic makeup of these atmospheres, we minimize the global Gibbs free energy of formation for over 550 gases and condensates to obtain the molecular composition of the atmospheres over a temperature range of 350-3000 K. Clouds should form along the temperature-pressure boundaries where the condensed species appear in our calculation. We find that the composition of condensate clouds depends strongly on both the H:O and C:O ratios. For the super-Earth archetype GJ 1214b, KCl and ZnS are the primary cloud-forming condensates at solar composition, in agreement with previous work. However, for oxidizing atmospheres, K2SO4 and ZnO condensates are favored instead, and for carbon-rich atmospheres with super-solar C:O ratios, graphite clouds appear. For even hotter planets, clouds form from a wide variety of rock-forming and metallic species.

  17. Ranges of AGW propagation in the Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lizunov, G. V.; Leont'ev, A. Yu.

    2014-11-01

    The propagation of atmospheric gravity waves (AGWs) is studied in the context of geometrical optics in the nonisothermal, viscous, and thermal-conductive atmosphere of Earth in the presence of wind shifts. Parametric diagrams are plotted, determining the regions of allowed frequencies and horizontal phase velocities of AGWs depending on the altitude. It is shown that a part of the spectrum of AGWs propagates in stationary air in an altitude range from the Earth's surface through the ionospheric F1 layer. AGW from nearearth sources attenuate below 250 km, while waves generated at altitudes of about 300 km and higher do not reach the Earth's surface because of the inner reflection from the thermosphere base. The pattern changes under strong thermospheric winds. AGW dissipation decreases with an adverse wind shift and, hence, a part of the wave spectrum penetrated from the lower atmosphere to the altitudes of F2 layer.

  18. Clouds Composition in Super-Earth Atmospheres: Chemical Equilibrium Calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kempton, Eliza M.-R.; Mbarek, Rostom

    2015-12-01

    Attempts to determine the composition of super-Earth atmospheres have so far been plagued by the presence of clouds. Yet the theoretical framework to understand these clouds is still in its infancy. For the super-Earth archetype GJ 1214b, KCl, Na2S, and ZnS have been proposed as condensates that would form under the condition of chemical equilibrium, if the planet’s atmosphere has a bulk composition near solar. Condensation chemistry calculations have not been presented for a wider range of atmospheric bulk composition that is to be expected for super-Earth exoplanets. Here we provide a theoretical context for the formation of super-Earth clouds in atmospheres of varied composition by determining which condensates are likely to form, under the assumption of chemical equilibrium. We model super-Earth atmospheres assuming they are formed by degassing of volatiles from a solid planetary core of chondritic material. Given the atomic makeup of these atmospheres, we minimize the global Gibbs free energy of over 550 gases and condensates to obtain the molecular composition of the atmospheres over a temperature range of 350-3,000 K. Clouds should form along the temperature-pressure boundaries where the condensed species appear in our calculations. The super-Earth atmospheres that we study range from highly reducing to oxidizing and have carbon to oxygen (C:O) ratios that are both sub-solar and super-solar, thereby spanning a diverse range of atmospheric composition that is appropriate for low-mass exoplanets. Some condensates appear across all of our models. However, the majority of condensed species appear only over specific ranges of H:O and C:O ratios. We find that for GJ 1214b, KCl is the primary cloud-forming condensate at solar composition, in agreement with previous work. However, for oxidizing atmospheres, where H:O is less than unity, K2SO4 clouds form instead. For carbon-rich atmospheres with super-solar C:O ratios, graphite clouds additionally appear. At

  19. Explosions of small Spacewatch objects in the Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chyba, Christopher F.

    1993-01-01

    It is shown here that explosions due to Spacewatch objects with diameters less than 50 m typically occur too high in the atmosphere to cause substantial surface damage. Exclusive of relatively rare iron objects, no comet or asteroid with an energy below about 2 megatons threatens the Earth's surface. The high flux of small Earth-crossing objects identified by Spacewatch therefore does not imply a greater terrestrial hazard.

  20. Meteoroids Interaction With The Earth Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turchak, Leonid I.; Gritsevich, Maria I.

    2014-12-01

    In this study we evaluate meteoroid mass and its other properties based on the observed atmospheric trajectory. With account for aerodynamics, we formulate a problem by introducing key dimensionless parameters in the model, responsible for the drag, mass loss and rotation of meteoroid. The proposed model is suitable to categorize various impact events in terms of meteor survivability and impact damage and thus, to analyze consequences that accompany collisions of cosmic bodies with planetary atmosphere and surface. The different types of events, namely, formation of a massive single crater (Barringer, Lonar Lake), dispersion of craters and meteorites over a large area (Sikhote-Alin), absent of craters and meteorites, but huge damage (Tunguska) are considered as illustrative examples. The proposed approach helps to summarize the data on existing terrestrial impacts and to formulate recommendations for further studies valuable for planetary defence. It also significantly increases chances of successful meteorite recoveries in future. In other words, the study represents a 'cheap' possibility to probe cosmic matter reaching planetary surface and it complements results of sample-return missions bringing back pristine samples of the materials.

  1. VAPORIZATION OF THE EARTH: APPLICATION TO EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERES

    SciTech Connect

    Schaefer, Laura; Lodders, Katharina; Fegley, Bruce E-mail: lschaefer@cfa.harvard.edu E-mail: bfegley@wustl.edu

    2012-08-10

    Currently, there are about three dozen known super-Earths (M < 10 M{sub Circled-Plus }), of which eight are transiting planets suitable for atmospheric follow-up observations. Some of the planets are exposed to extreme temperatures as they orbit close to their host stars, e.g., CoRot-7b, and all of these planets have equilibrium temperatures significantly hotter than the Earth. Such planets can develop atmospheres through (partial) vaporization of their crustal and/or mantle silicates. We investigated the chemical equilibrium composition of such heated systems from 500 to 4000 K and total pressures from 10{sup -6} to 10{sup +2} bars. The major gases are H{sub 2}O and CO{sub 2} over broad temperature and pressure ranges, and Na, K, O{sub 2}, SiO, and O at high temperatures and low pressures. We discuss the differences in atmospheric composition arising from vaporization of SiO{sub 2}-rich (i.e., felsic) silicates (like Earth's continental crust) and MgO-, FeO-rich (i.e., mafic) silicates (like the bulk silicate Earth). The computational results will be useful in planning spectroscopic studies of the atmospheres of Earth-like exoplanets.

  2. Multi-Wavelength Spectroscopy of Super-Earth Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dragomir, Diana; Benneke, Björn; Crossfield, Ian; Lothringer, Joshua; Knutson, Heather

    2017-01-01

    The Kepler mission has revealed that super-Earths (planets with radii between 1 and 4 R_Earth) are the most common class of planets in the Galaxy, though none are known in our own Solar System. These planets can theoretically have a wide range of compositions which we are just beginning to explore observationally. While studies based on Kepler data have revolutionized many areas of exoplanet research, the relative faintness of most of the host stars in the Kepler field means that atmospheric characterization of these super-Earths with currently available instruments is extremely challenging. However, a handful of transiting super-Earths are within reach of existing facilities. We have pointed both the HST and Spitzer toward these systems in an effort to paint a thorough picture of their atmospheres. Our transmission spectroscopy observations explore the transition region between terrestrial planets and miniature gas giants, and contribute to distinguishing between low-density hydrogen-dominated atmospheres and compact high-metallicity atmospheres. Transmission spectroscopy over a wide wavelength range is also essential to understanding the properties and effects of clouds in these atmospheres. The results of this program will inform the direction to be taken by future multi-wavelength studies of these worlds, in particular those enabled when the HST joins forces with the upcoming JWST.

  3. Earth Global Reference Atmospheric Model 2007 (Earth-GRAM07) Applications for the NASA Constellation Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leslie, Fred W.; Justus, C. G.

    2008-01-01

    Engineering models of the atmosphere are used extensively by the aerospace community for design issues related to vehicle ascent and descent. The Earth Global Reference Atmosphere Model version 2007 (Earth-GRAM07) is the latest in this series and includes a number of new features. Like previous versions, Earth-GRAM07 provides both mean values and perturbations for density, temperature, pressure, and winds, as well as monthly- and geographically-varying trace constituent concentrations. From 0 km to 27 km, thermodynamics and winds are based on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Global Upper Air Climatic Atlas (GUACA) climatology. For altitudes between 20 km and 120 km, the model uses data from the Middle Atmosphere Program (MAP). Above 120 km, EarthGRAM07 now provides users with a choice of three thermosphere models: the Marshall Engineering Thermosphere (MET-2007) model; the Jacchia-Bowman 2006 thermosphere model (JB2006); and the Naval Research Labs Mass Spectrometer, Incoherent Scatter Radar Extended Model (NRL MSIS E-OO) with the associated Harmonic Wind Model (HWM-93). In place of these datasets, Earth-GRAM07 has the option of using the new 2006 revised Range Reference Atmosphere (RRA) data, the earlier (1983) RRA data, or the user may also provide their own data as an auxiliary profile. Refinements of the perturbation model are also discussed which include wind shears more similar to those observed at the Kennedy Space Center than the previous version Earth-GRAM99.

  4. Compositions of Hot Super-earth Atmospheres: Exploring Kepler Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miguel, Y.; Kaltenegger, L.; Fegley, B.; Schaefer, L.

    2011-12-01

    This paper outlines a simple approach to evaluate the atmospheric composition of hot rocky planets by assuming different types of planetary composition and using corresponding model calculations. To explore hot atmospheres above 1000 K, we model the vaporization of silicate magma and estimate the range of atmospheric compositions according to the planet's radius and semi-major axis for the Kepler 2011 February data release. Our results show five atmospheric types for hot, rocky super-Earth atmospheres, strongly dependent on the initial composition and the planet's distance to the star. We provide a simple set of parameters that can be used to evaluate atmospheric compositions for current and future candidates provided by the Kepler mission and other searches.

  5. COMPOSITIONS OF HOT SUPER-EARTH ATMOSPHERES: EXPLORING KEPLER CANDIDATES

    SciTech Connect

    Miguel, Y.; Kaltenegger, L.; Fegley, B.; Schaefer, L.

    2011-12-15

    This paper outlines a simple approach to evaluate the atmospheric composition of hot rocky planets by assuming different types of planetary composition and using corresponding model calculations. To explore hot atmospheres above 1000 K, we model the vaporization of silicate magma and estimate the range of atmospheric compositions according to the planet's radius and semi-major axis for the Kepler 2011 February data release. Our results show five atmospheric types for hot, rocky super-Earth atmospheres, strongly dependent on the initial composition and the planet's distance to the star. We provide a simple set of parameters that can be used to evaluate atmospheric compositions for current and future candidates provided by the Kepler mission and other searches.

  6. Using Radio Occultation to probe Earth Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Engeln, Axel; Marquardt, Christian

    Radio occultation uses GPS satellite signals to determine atmospheric temperature, pressure, and water vapor profiles. From the first proof of concept mission in the mid 1990s, it has become one of the most successful remote sensing instruments recently added to operational weather forecasting and to the global observing system. The limb sounding geometry provides a high vertical resolution and the measure of time it is based on removes the need for calibration of the data. The assimilation of this kind of data into numerical weather prediction models has identified and removed the bias introduced by several other remote sensing techniques. Within this talk, the concept of radio occultation is introduced and some of its highlights are presented. We focus first on the benefit in numerical weather prediction, but also touch on the potential for climate monitoring. The current constellation of radio occultation instruments and the possible future one are discussed in the final part of the presentation.

  7. Atmospheric circulation and climate of terrestrial exoplanets and super Earths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showman, A. P.; Kaspi, Y.

    2014-03-01

    The recent discovery of super Earths and terrestrial exoplanets extending over a broad region of orbital and physical parameter space suggests that these planets will span a wide range of climatic regimes. Characterization of the atmospheres of warm super Earths has already begun and will be extended to smaller and more distant planets over the coming decade. The habitability of these worlds may be strongly affected by their three-dimensional atmospheric circulation regimes, since the global climate feedbacks that control the inner and outer edges of the habitable zone--including transitions to Snowball-like states and runaway-greenhouse feedbacks--depend on the equator-to-pole temperature differences, pattern of relative humidity, and other aspects of the dynamics. Here, using an idealized moist atmospheric general circulation model (GCM) including a hydrological cycle, we study the dynamical principles governing the atmospheric dynamics on such planets. In this presentation we will review how the planetary rotation rate, planetary mass, heat flux from a parent star and atmospheric mass affect the atmospheric circulation and temperature distribution on such planets. We will elucidate the possible climatic regimes and diagnose the mechanisms controlling the formation of atmospheric jet streams, Hadley cells, and the equator-to-pole temperature differences. Finally, we will discuss the implications for understanding how the atmospheric circulation influences the global-scale climate feedbacks that control the width of the habitable zone.

  8. Water inventories on Earth and Mars: Clues to atmosphere formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carr, M. H.

    1992-01-01

    Water is distributed differently on Earth and on Mars and the differences may have implications for the accretion of the two planets and the formation of their atmospheres. The Earth's mantle appears to contain at least several times the water content of the Martian mantle even accounting for differences in plate tectonics. One explanation is that the Earth's surface melted during accretion, as a result of development of a steam atmosphere, thereby allowing impact-devolitalized water at the surface to dissolve into the Earth's interior. In contrast, because of Mars' smaller size and greater distance from the Sun, the Martian surface may not have melted, so that the devolatilized water could not dissolve into the surface. A second possibility is suggested by the siderophile elements in the Earth's mantle, which indicates the Earth acquired a volatile-rich veneer after the core formed. Mars may have acquired a late volatile-rich veneer, but it did not get folded into the interior as with the Earth, but instead remained as a water rich veneer. This perception of Mars with a wet surface but dry interior is consistent with our knowledge of Mars' geologic history.

  9. Water inventories on Earth and Mars: Clues to atmosphere formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carr, M. H.

    1992-01-01

    Water is distributed differently on Earth and on Mars and the differences may have implications for the accretion of the two planets and the formation of their atmospheres. The Earth's mantle appears to contain at least several times the water content of the Martian mantle even accounting for differences in plate tectonics. One explanation is that the Earth's surface melted during accretion, as a result of development of a steam atmosphere, thereby allowing impact-devolitalized water at the surface to dissolve into the Earth's interior. In contrast, because of Mars' smaller size and greater distance from the Sun, the Martian surface may not have melted, so that the devolatilized water could not dissolve into the surface. A second possibility is suggested by the siderophile elements in the Earth's mantle, which indicates the Earth acquired a volatile-rich veneer after the core formed. Mars may have acquired a late volatile-rich veneer, but it did not get folded into the interior as with the Earth, but instead remained as a water rich veneer. This perception of Mars with a wet surface but dry interior is consistent with our knowledge of Mars' geologic history.

  10. Atmospheric effects on earth rotation and polar motion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salstein, David A.

    1988-01-01

    The variability in the earth's rotation rate not due to known solid body tides is dominated on time scales of about four years and less by variations in global atmospheric angular momentum (M) as derived from the zonal wind distribution. Among features seen in the length of day record produced by atmospheric forcing are the strong seasonal cycle, quasi-periodic fluctuations around 40-50 days, and an interannual signal forced by a strong Pacific warming event known as the El Nino. Momentum variations associated with these time scales arise in different latitudinal regions. Furthermore, winds in the stratosphere make a particularly important contribution to seasonal variability. Other related topics discussed here are: (1) comparisons of the M series from wind fields produced at different weather centers; (2) the torques that dynamically link the atmosphere and earth; and (3) longer-term nonatmospheric effects that can be seen upon removal of the atmospheric signal.an interestigapplication for climatological purposes is the use of the historical earth rotation series as a proxy for atmospheric wind variability prior to the era of upper-air data. Lastly, results pertaining to the role of atmospheric pressure systems in exciting rapid polar motion are presented.

  11. Atmospheric effects on earth rotation and polar motion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salstein, David A.

    1988-01-01

    The variability in the earth's rotation rate not due to known solid body tides is dominated on time scales of about four years and less by variations in global atmospheric angular momentum (M) as derived from the zonal wind distribution. Among features seen in the length of day record produced by atmospheric forcing are the strong seasonal cycle, quasi-periodic fluctuations around 40-50 days, and an interannual signal forced by a strong Pacific warming event known as the El Nino. Momentum variations associated with these time scales arise in different latitudinal regions. Furthermore, winds in the stratosphere make a particularly important contribution to seasonal variability. Other related topics discussed here are: (1) comparisons of the M series from wind fields produced at different weather centers; (2) the torques that dynamically link the atmosphere and earth; and (3) longer-term nonatmospheric effects that can be seen upon removal of the atmospheric signal.an interestigapplication for climatological purposes is the use of the historical earth rotation series as a proxy for atmospheric wind variability prior to the era of upper-air data. Lastly, results pertaining to the role of atmospheric pressure systems in exciting rapid polar motion are presented.

  12. Computer modeling of the Earth's atmosphere via reflectionless layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batcyna, E.; Petruhin, N.; Pelinovsky, E.

    2012-04-01

    The Earth's atmosphere is highly inhomogeneous and nonisothermal, and waves in inhomogeneous media are known to be reflected and not able to propagate over a long distance generally. However, it is known that in an incompressible inhomogeneous fluid there exist surface and internal traveling waves, which are not reflected on inhomogeneities when the environment parameters satisfy specific conditions. In this paper we study the existence of such waves in a strongly inhomogeneous compressible atmosphere. The mathematical approach for obtaining of such solutions is connected with a transformational change of arguments and functions using the symmetry and the Lie algebra. For example, in this approach the wave equation with variable coefficients is reduced to an equation of hyperbolic type with constant coefficients, so that the existence of traveling waves becomes obvious. We have derived the ordinary differential equations for the vertical distribution of sound speed (temperature) at which the waves are not reflected. Their solutions are obtained analytically and numerically. It is shown that the Standard Earth Atmosphere is modeled by four piecewise reflectionless profiles. Approximation of the real profiles in geophysics will simplify the calculation of wave dynamics, reducing them to solving of algebraic equations in the "junction" of reflectionless profiles. These results can be used for interpretation of the dynamic processes in the Earth's atmosphere, particularly for the interpretation of abnormally large waves in the upper atmosphere, which could be called the "atmospheric rogue waves".

  13. GCM simulations of cold dry Snowball Earth atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voigt, A.; Held, I.; Marotzke, J.

    2009-12-01

    We use the full-physics atmospheric general circulation model ECHAM5 to investigate cold and virtually dry Snowball Earth atmospheres. These result from specifying sea ice as the surface boundary condition everywhere, corresponding to a frozen aquaplanet, while keeping total solar irradiance at its present-day value of 1365 Wm-2 and setting atmospheric carbon dioxide to 300 ppmv. Here, we present four simulations corresponding to the four possible combinations of enabled or disabled diurnal and seasonal cycles. The aim of this study is twofold. First, we focus on the zonal-mean circulation of Snowball Earth atmospheres, which, due to missing moisture, might constitute an ideal though yet unexplored testbed for theories of atmospheric dynamics. Second, we investigate tropical surface temperatures with an emphasis on the impact of the diurnal and seasonal cycles. This will indicate whether the presence of the diurnal or seasonal cycle would facilitate or anticipate the escape from Snowball Earth conditions when total solar irradiance or atmospheric CO2 levels were increased. The dynamics of the tropical circulation in Snowball Earth atmospheres differs substantially from that in the modern atmosphere. The analysis of the mean zonal momentum budget reveals that the mean flow meridional advection of absolute vorticity is primarily balanced by vertical diffusion of zonal momentum. The contribution of eddies is found to be even smaller than the contribution of mean flow vertical advection of zonal momentum, the latter being usually neglected in theories for the Hadley circulation, at least in its upper tropospheric branch. Suppressing vertical diffusion of horizontal momentum above 850 hPa leads to a stronger Hadley circulation. This behaviour cannot be understood from axisymmetric models of the atmosphere, nor idealized atmospheric general circulation models, which both predict a weakening of the Hadley circulation when the vertical viscosity is decreased globally. We

  14. Meteoroids captured into Earth orbit by grazing atmospheric encounters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hills, Jack G.; Goda, M. Patrick

    1997-05-01

    Some meteoroids, such as the one that produced the daytime fireball of August 10, 1972 that passed over the western United States and the European fireball of October 13, 1990, graze the atmosphere of Earth before returning to space (at reduced speed). Other grazing meteoroids, such as Peekskill, penetrate deeper into the atmosphere and lose enough energy to plunge to ground. It is evident that if a grazing meteoroid is within some critical range of closest approach distance and speed, it is captured into a gravitationally bound orbit around Earth. It must ultimately plunge to ground after further orbital dissipation in subsequent atmospheric passages unless the gravitational pull of the Moon and Sun or other intervention raise its perigee above the atmosphere. A spherical atmospheric model is used to integrate the passage of meteoroids in grazing atmospheric encounters. It is found that the corridor for capture narrows with increasing values of V∞, the approach velocity of the meteoroid prior to gravitational acceleration by Earth. As an example, if V∞= 5 km s -1, stony meteoroids with closest-approach distances of h = 40 km above the Earth are captured if their radii, R, are between 3 and 9 m while if V∞ = 15 km s -1 and h = 40 km, they are only captured if R is between 1.5 and 2m. Irons with V∞ = 5 km s -1 and h = 40 km, are captured if R is between 1 and 3.5 m, while if V∞ = 15 km s -1, they are captured if R is between 0.6 and 0.9 m. The cross section for orbital capture of iron meteoroids and small stony meteoroids is about 0.001 that for directly hitting Earth. Large stones are never captured except at very low impact velocities because of the large increase in drag resulting from fragmentation.

  15. Hadamard transform spectrometry of the atmospheres of Earth and Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, P. G.; Briotta, D. A., Jr.

    1973-01-01

    A Hadamard-transform spectrometer was used to obtain a spectrum of Jupiter from 880-770/cm. Three ammonia absorption features stood out at 870, 851, and 833/cm. The general shape of the spectrum implied an atmosphere with a monotonically decreasing temperature profile up to the 125 K level. Transmission profiles of the earth's atmosphere were taken between 16 microns and 25 for five consecutive nights under varying amounts of atmospheric water and air mass. There are many saturated lines, but nightly variations were fairly constant and agreed well with a theoretical profile. These results show that the Hadamard-transform technique is a useful method for obtaining astronomical spectra.

  16. Comment on "A hydrogen-rich early Earth atmosphere".

    PubMed

    Catling, David C

    2006-01-06

    Tian et al. (Reports, 13 May 2005, p. 1014) proposed a hydrogen-rich early atmosphere with slow hydrogen escape from a cold thermosphere. However, their model neglects the ultraviolet absorption of all gases other than H2. The model also neglects Earth's magnetic field, which affects the temperature and density of ions and promotes nonthermal escape of neutral hydrogen.

  17. Earth's Mysterious Atmosphere: Atlas 1 Teacher's Guide with Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Essex Corp., Huntsville, AL.

    This atmospheric studies teacher's guide for use with middle school students blends lessons in chemistry, physics, and the life, earth, and space sciences in an attempt to accomplish the following: to nurture students' natural curiosity and excitement about science, mathematics, and technology; to encourage career exploration in science,…

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Earth's Early Atmosphere in the Light of Exoplanet Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shematovich, V. I.

    2017-05-01

    Review of current approaches to the study of formation and evolution of early Earth's atmosphere is presented basing on the data of comparative planetology. Recent intensive studies of the atmospheres of the planets in the Solar and extrasolar planetary systems have led to the improvement of our knowledge about the formation and evolution of protoatmospheres of celestial bodies at the earliest stages of the planetary system formation [Massol et al., 2016]. Proto- or primary atmosphere of planet now is associated with the following scenario of the formation. When the protoplanetary core accretes the matter and grows in side a gaseous disk, it can capture the basic - H2, He, and the admixture gases from the disk. When the gas is evaporated from the disk, the planetary core, surrounded by an gas envelope of H2 and He, is exposed to the intense fluxes of stellar radiation in the X-ray and extreme ultraviolet wavelength's ranges and stellar wind plasma from the young host star. This time period can be considered as a beginning of the dissipation of the primary atmosphere. The main role is played by the processes of thermal escape in the modes of evaporation and/or hydrodynamic outflow of the atmospheric gas. The modern models of thermal and non-thermal escape used to study the loss of the Earth's primary atmosphere and the formation and evolution of the secondary atmosphere are discussed in this review

  1. Earth orientation parameters: excitation by atmosphere, oceans and geomagnetic jerks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vondrak, Jan; Ron, Cyril

    2015-08-01

    It is well known that geophysical fluids (atmosphere, oceans) excite Earth orientation. The influence is known to be dominant for polar motion, partly responsible for length-of-day changes, and very small effects are now observable also in nutation. Very recently several authors (Holme and de Viron 2005, Gibert and le Mouel 2008, Malkin 2013) noted that sudden changes of Earth's speed of rotation and phase/amplitude of the free motions of its spin axis (Chandler wobble, Free core nutation) occur near the epochs of geomagnetic jerks (GMJ - rapid changes of the secular variations of geomagnetic field). By using the numerical integration of broad-band Liouville equations (Brzezinski 1994) we demonstrate that if non-periodical bell-like excitations of limited length (app. 1 year) around the epochs of GMJ are added to atmospheric and oceanic excitations, the agreement between observed and calculated Earth orientation parameters is improved significantly.

  2. Earth's mysterious atmosphere. ATLAS 1: Teachers guide with activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1991-11-01

    One of our mission's primary goals is to better understand the physics and chemistry of our atmosphere, the thin envelope of air that provides for human life and shields us from the harshness of space. The Space Shuttle Atlantis will carry the ATLAS 1 science instruments 296 km above Earth, so that they can look down into and through the various layers of the atmosphere. Five solar radiometers will precisely measure the amount of energy the Sun injects into Earth's environment. The chemistry at different altitudes will be measured very accurately by five other instruments called spectrometers. Much of our time in the cockpit of Atlantis will be devoted to two very exciting instruments that measure the auroras and the atmosphere's electrical characteristics. Finally, our ultraviolet telescope will probe the secrets of fascinating celestial objects. This Teacher's Guide is designed as a detective story to help you appreciate some of the many questions currently studied by scientists around the world. Many complex factors affect our atmosphere today, possibly even changing the course of global climate. All of us who live on Earth must recognize that we play an ever-growing role in causing some of these changes. We must solve this great atmospheric mystery if we are to understand all these changes and know what to do about them.

  3. Earth's mysterious atmosphere. ATLAS 1: Teachers guide with activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    One of our mission's primary goals is to better understand the physics and chemistry of our atmosphere, the thin envelope of air that provides for human life and shields us from the harshness of space. The Space Shuttle Atlantis will carry the ATLAS 1 science instruments 296 km above Earth, so that they can look down into and through the various layers of the atmosphere. Five solar radiometers will precisely measure the amount of energy the Sun injects into Earth's environment. The chemistry at different altitudes will be measured very accurately by five other instruments called spectrometers. Much of our time in the cockpit of Atlantis will be devoted to two very exciting instruments that measure the auroras and the atmosphere's electrical characteristics. Finally, our ultraviolet telescope will probe the secrets of fascinating celestial objects. This Teacher's Guide is designed as a detective story to help you appreciate some of the many questions currently studied by scientists around the world. Many complex factors affect our atmosphere today, possibly even changing the course of global climate. All of us who live on Earth must recognize that we play an ever-growing role in causing some of these changes. We must solve this great atmospheric mystery if we are to understand all these changes and know what to do about them.

  4. Earth's mysterious atmosphere. ATLAS 1: Teachers guide with activities

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-11-01

    One of our mission's primary goals is to better understand the physics and chemistry of our atmosphere, the thin envelope of air that provides for human life and shields us from the harshness of space. The Space Shuttle Atlantis will carry the ATLAS 1 science instruments 296 km above Earth, so that they can look down into and through the various layers of the atmosphere. Five solar radiometers will precisely measure the amount of energy the Sun injects into Earth's environment. The chemistry at different altitudes will be measured very accurately by five other instruments called spectrometers. Much of our time in the cockpit of Atlantis will be devoted to two very exciting instruments that measure the auroras and the atmosphere's electrical characteristics. Finally, our ultraviolet telescope will probe the secrets of fascinating celestial objects. This Teacher's Guide is designed as a detective story to help you appreciate some of the many questions currently studied by scientists around the world. Many complex factors affect our atmosphere today, possibly even changing the course of global climate. All who live on Earth must recognize that they play an ever-growing role in causing some of these changes. People must solve this great atmospheric mystery if they are to understand all these changes and know what to do about them.

  5. Earth-atmosphere evolution based on new determination of Devonian atmosphere Ar isotopic composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stuart, Finlay M.; Mark, Darren F.; Gandanger, Pierre; McConville, Paul

    2016-07-01

    The isotopic composition of the noble gases, in particular Ar, in samples of ancient atmosphere trapped in rocks and minerals provides the strongest constraints on the timing and rate of Earth atmosphere formation by degassing of the Earth's interior. We have re-measured the isotopic composition of argon in the Rhynie chert from northeast Scotland using a high precision mass spectrometer in an effort to provide constraints on the composition of Devonian atmosphere. Irradiated chert samples yield 40Ar/36Ar ratios that are often below the modern atmosphere value. The data define a 40Ar/36Ar value of 289.5 ± 0.4 at K/36Ar = 0. Similarly low 40Ar/36Ar are measured in un-irradiated chert samples. The simplest explanation for the low 40Ar/36Ar is the preservation of Devonian atmosphere-derived Ar in the chert, with the intercept value in 40Ar-39Ar-36Ar space representing an upper limit. In this case the Earth's atmosphere has accumulated only 3% (5.1 ± 0.4 ×1016 mol) of the total 40Ar inventory since the Devonian. The average accumulation rate of 1.27 ± 0.09 ×108 mol40Ar/yr overlaps the rate over the last 800 kyr. This implies that there has been no resolvable temporal change in the outgassing rate of the Earth since the mid-Palaeozoic despite the likely episodicity of Ar degassing from the continental crust. Incorporating the new Devonian atmosphere 40Ar/36Ar into the Earth degassing model of Pujol et al. (2013) provides the most precise constraints on atmosphere formation so far. The atmosphere formed in the first ∼100 Ma after initial accretion during a catastrophic degassing episode. A significant volume of 40Ar did not start to accumulate in the atmosphere until after 4 Ga which implies that stable K-rich continental crust did not develop until this time.

  6. Atmospheric circulation of hot Jupiters and super Earths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kataria, Tiffany

    This dissertation explores the atmospheric circulation of extrasolar planets ranging from hot Jupiters to super Earths. For each of these studies, I utilize a three-dimensional circulation model coupled to a state-of-the-art, plane-parallel, two-stream, non-grey radiative transfer model dubbed the SPARC/MITgcm. First, I present models of the atmospheric circulation of eccentric hot Jupiters, a population which undergoes large variations in flux throughout their orbits. I demonstrate that the eccentric hot Jupiter regime is qualitatively similar to that of planets on circular orbits. For a select number of model integrations, I generate full-orbit lightcurves and find that the timing of transit and secondary eclipse viewed from Earth with respect to periapse and apoapse can greatly affect what is seen in infrared (IR) lightcurves. Next, I present circulation models of WASP-43b, a transiting hot Jupiter that is joining the ranks of HD 189733b and HD 209458b as a 'benchmark' hot Jupiter, with a wide array of observational constraints from the ground and space. Here I utilize the robust dataset of spectrophotometric observations taken with the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) aboard the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to interpret my model results. I find that an atmospheric composition of 5x solar provides the best match to the data, particularly in emission. Lastly, I present atmospheric simulations of the super Earth GJ 1214b, exploring the planet's circulation as a function of atmospheric metallicity and composition. I find that atmospheres with a low mean-molecular weight have strong day-night temperature variations at pressures above the infrared photosphere that lead to equatorial superrotation. For these atmospheres, the enhancement of atmospheric opacities with increasing metallicity leads to shallower atmospheric heating, larger day-night temperature variations and hence stronger superrotation. In comparison, atmospheres with a high mean-molecular weight have larger

  7. Atmospheric CO2: principal control knob governing Earth's temperature.

    PubMed

    Lacis, Andrew A; Schmidt, Gavin A; Rind, David; Ruedy, Reto A

    2010-10-15

    Ample physical evidence shows that carbon dioxide (CO(2)) is the single most important climate-relevant greenhouse gas in Earth's atmosphere. This is because CO(2), like ozone, N(2)O, CH(4), and chlorofluorocarbons, does not condense and precipitate from the atmosphere at current climate temperatures, whereas water vapor can and does. Noncondensing greenhouse gases, which account for 25% of the total terrestrial greenhouse effect, thus serve to provide the stable temperature structure that sustains the current levels of atmospheric water vapor and clouds via feedback processes that account for the remaining 75% of the greenhouse effect. Without the radiative forcing supplied by CO(2) and the other noncondensing greenhouse gases, the terrestrial greenhouse would collapse, plunging the global climate into an icebound Earth state.

  8. Atmospheric CO2: Principal Control Knob Governing Earth's Temperature

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lacis, Andrew A.; Schmidt, Gavin A.; Rind, David; Ruedy, Reto A.

    2010-01-01

    Ample physical evidence shows that carbon dioxide (CO2) is the single most important climate-relevant greenhouse gas in Earth s atmosphere. This is because CO2, like ozone, N2O, CH4, and chlorofluorocarbons, does not condense and precipitate from the atmosphere at current climate temperatures, whereas water vapor can and does. Noncondensing greenhouse gases, which account for 25% of the total terrestrial greenhouse effect, thus serve to provide the stable temperature structure that sustains the current levels of atmospheric water vapor and clouds via feedback processes that account for the remaining 75% of the greenhouse effect. Without the radiative forcing supplied by CO2 and the other noncondensing greenhouse gases, the terrestrial greenhouse would collapse, plunging the global climate into an icebound Earth state.

  9. Evolution of Earth-like Extrasolar Planetary Atmospheres: Assessing the Atmospheres and Biospheres of Early Earth Analog Planets with a Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemical Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gebauer, S.; Grenfell, J. L.; Stock, J. W.; Lehmann, R.; Godolt, M.; von Paris, P.; Rauer, H.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of Earth and potentially habitable Earth-like worlds is essential to fathom our origin in the Universe. The search for Earth-like planets in the habitable zone and investigation of their atmospheres with climate and photochemical models is a central focus in exoplanetary science. Taking the evolution of Earth as a reference for Earth-like planets, a central scientific goal is to understand what the interactions were between atmosphere, geology, and biology on early Earth. The Great Oxidation Event in Earth's history was certainly caused by their interplay, but the origin and controlling processes of this occurrence are not well understood, the study of which will require interdisciplinary, coupled models. In this work, we present results from our newly developed Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemistry model in which atmospheric O2 concentrations are fixed to values inferred by geological evidence. Applying a unique tool (Pathway Analysis Program), ours is the first quantitative analysis of catalytic cycles that governed O2 in early Earth's atmosphere near the Great Oxidation Event. Complicated oxidation pathways play a key role in destroying O2, whereas in the upper atmosphere, most O2 is formed abiotically via CO2 photolysis. The O2 bistability found by Goldblatt et al. (2006) is not observed in our calculations likely due to our detailed CH4 oxidation scheme. We calculate increased CH4 with increasing O2 during the Great Oxidation Event. For a given atmospheric surface flux, different atmospheric states are possible; however, the net primary productivity of the biosphere that produces O2 is unique. Mixing, CH4 fluxes, ocean solubility, and mantle/crust properties strongly affect net primary productivity and surface O2 fluxes. Regarding exoplanets, different "states" of O2 could exist for similar biomass output. Strong geological activity could lead to false negatives for life (since our analysis suggests that reducing gases remove O2 that

  10. Argon isotopic composition of Archaean atmosphere probes early Earth geodynamics.

    PubMed

    Pujol, Magali; Marty, Bernard; Burgess, Ray; Turner, Grenville; Philippot, Pascal

    2013-06-06

    Understanding the growth rate of the continental crust through time is a fundamental issue in Earth sciences. The isotopic signatures of noble gases in the silicate Earth (mantle, crust) and in the atmosphere afford exceptional insight into the evolution through time of these geochemical reservoirs. However, no data for the compositions of these reservoirs exists for the distant past, and temporal exchange rates between Earth's interior and its surface are severely under-constrained owing to a lack of samples preserving the original signature of the atmosphere at the time of their formation. Here, we report the analysis of argon in Archaean (3.5-billion-year-old) hydrothermal quartz. Noble gases are hosted in primary fluid inclusions containing a mixture of Archaean freshwater and hydrothermal fluid. Our analysis reveals Archaean atmospheric argon with a (40)Ar/(36)Ar value of 143 ± 24, lower than the present-day value of 298.6 (for which (40)Ar has been produced by the radioactive decay of the potassium isotope (40)K, with a half-life of 1.25 billion years; (36)Ar is primordial in origin). This ratio is consistent with an early development of the felsic crust, which might have had an important role in climate variability during the first half of Earth's history.

  11. Origin and evolution of the Earth's atmosphere and hydrosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Akbari, G.E.

    1984-01-01

    The composition of the outgassed fluid has been a point of serious debate. A model developed by Melton and Giardini has been used. In this model, the fluid inclusions in diamonds have been taken as original samples of the outgassed fluids. The model uses first order kinetics of the degassing processes of H2, CH4, N2, CO and Ar, and zero order kinetics for the degassing processes of H2O and CO2. Samples with compositions similar to the fluid included in diamonds were exposed to electric discharge, UV radiation and gamma radiation to formulate the equilibrium composition of the Earth's atmosphere. Small amounts of organic and inorganic compounds were formed in the samples by the radiation. The Melton/Giardini model was used to calculate the composition and pressure of primitive atmosphere of the Earth as a function of time, beginning 4.5 b.y. ago. Since light gases such as H2 and He escape from the Earth, and other degassed material undergoes numerous chemical and physical reactions, the Earth's atmosphere was quite different from the predicted composition using the uncorrected Melton/Giardini model.

  12. Tidal heating of young super-Earth atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ginzburg, Sivan; Sari, Re'em

    2017-02-01

    Short-period Earth to Neptune-sized exoplanets (super-Earths) with voluminous gas envelopes seem to be very common. These gas atmospheres are thought to have originated from the protoplanetary disc in which the planets were embedded during their first few million years. The accretion rate of gas from the surrounding nebula is determined by the ability of the gas to cool and radiate away its gravitational energy. Here, we demonstrate that heat from the tidal interaction between the star and the young (and therefore inflated) planet can inhibit the gas cooling and accretion. Quantitatively, we find that the growth of super-Earth atmospheres halts for planets with periods of about 10 d, provided that their initial eccentricities are of the order of 0.2. Thus, tidal heating provides a robust and simple mechanism that can simultaneously explain why these planets did not become gas giants and account for the deficit of low-density planets closer to the star, where the tides are even stronger. We suggest that tidal heating may be as important as other factors (such as the nebula's lifetime and atmosphere evaporation) in shaping the observed super-Earth population.

  13. Life of the Earth in the solar atmosphere (multimedia manual)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kononovich, E. V.; Smirnova, O. B.; Matveychuk, T. V.; Jakunina, G. V.; Krasotkin, S. A.

    2006-08-01

    The purpose of this manual is to illustrate the major physical processes occurring in the Sun - Earth system and ecology of the planet life. The material includes three individual parts: "The Earth", "The Sun" and "The solar-terrestrial connections". Sections do not require cross-references since each of them is self-complete. Inside the sections the material is located in sequences based on the principle: from simple to complex. The material is designed for students of the senior classes of high school and junior university level interested by the problem. The section "The Earth" is devoted to the description of the basic characteristics of the planet: internal structure, magnetic field, lithosphere and an atmosphere together with various occurring in them tectonic, hydro- and atmospheric processes. The top layers of an atmosphere, an ionosphere, a zone of polar lights, radiating belts, magnetosphere are also considered. The section "The Sun" includes the following subsections: the Sun as a star, internal structure of the Sun, Solar atmosphere, solar activity, cyclicity of the solar activity, helioseismology. In the section "The solar-terrestrial connections" the previous material is used to present the influence of the active solar processes on the most various aspects of a terrestrial life: ecological, biological, mental, social, economic and so forth. The problem of forecasting of the solar activity as the key parameter determining a condition of the so-called space weather is considered.

  14. STS-39 Earth observation of Earth's limb at sunset shows atmospheric layers

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1991-05-06

    STS039-610-037 (28 April-6 May 1991) --- Numerous atmospheric scattering layers over Earth are apparent in this frame. The layers consist of fine particles suspended in very stable layers of the atmosphere. This photo was taken with a 70mm Rolliflex camera during the Space Shuttle Discovery's eight day mission. Crew members onboard were astronauts Michael L. Coats, L. Blaine Hammond, Guion S. Bluford, Richard J. Hieb, Gregory J. Harbaugh, Donald R. McMonagle and Charles L. (Lacy) Veach.

  15. Radiography of Earth's core and mantle with atmospheric neutrinos.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Garcia, M C; Halzen, Francis; Maltoni, Michele; Tanaka, Hiroyuki K M

    2008-02-15

    A measurement of the absorption of neutrinos with energies in excess of 10 TeV when traversing the Earth is capable of revealing its density distribution. Unfortunately, the existence of beams with sufficient luminosity for the task has been ruled out by the AMANDA South Pole neutrino telescope. In this Letter we point out that, with the advent of second-generation kilometer-scale neutrino detectors, the idea of studying the internal structure of Earth may be revived using atmospheric neutrinos instead.

  16. Constraining Archean Earth's Atmosphere with the Geological Record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horan, A. M.; Domagal-Goldman, S. D.; Claire, M.

    2014-12-01

    A warm, water-bearing Archean Earth, when the Sun was young and faint, remains a paradox to the scientific world. Abundant geological data suggests that Archean Earth had standing water at the surface, despite the fainter Sun. An explanation of this paradox is vital to the understanding of Earth's history and coevolution with life. If the surface of the planet was not being kept warm by the Sun, which was 25% less luminous than now, it must have been kept warm a different way—by an atmospheric composition high in greenhouse gases. Constraints on these gases come from the geological record, which have provided proxies for the redox state of the atmosphere (limiting H2 and O2), the total atmospheric pressure, and the partial pressure of certain gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Previous attempts at solutions to the paradox are consistent with some, but not all, of the geological proxies. The constraints are used as inputs for a 1-D photochemical code, which calculates atmospheric composition and predicts the abundances of atmospheric gases that affect climate, particularly methane (CH4) and gaseous hydrogen (H2). A coupled 1-D radiative-convective climate code is then used to calculate the corresponding surface temperature. Critically, the improved photochemical code maintains strict redox boundary conditions, and is being further updated to ensure that the redox fluxes from volcanoes and mid-ocean ridge vents are consistent with both each other and the redox state of the mantle. These code improvements will lead to changes in both the inputs to the atmosphere from volcanoes and the sink for oxidants at mid-ocean ridges, in turn affecting the abundance of redox-sensitive greenhouse gases such as CH4 and H2. The main purpose of this project is to extend simulations of the Archean surface environment down into the mantle, and to search for a solution to the faint young sun paradox that is consistent with the geological proxies. Beyond having

  17. Nonlinear dynamics of global atmospheric and earth system processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhang, Taiping; Verbitsky, Mikhail; Saltzman, Barry; Mann, Michael E.; Park, Jeffrey; Lall, Upmanu

    1995-01-01

    During the grant period, the authors continued ongoing studies aimed at enhancing their understanding of the operation of the atmosphere as a complex nonlinear system interacting with the hydrosphere, biosphere, and cryosphere in response to external radiative forcing. Five papers were completed with support from the grant, representing contributions in three main areas of study: (1) theoretical studies of the interactive atmospheric response to changed biospheric boundary conditions measurable from satellites; (2) statistical-observational studies of global-scale temperature variability on interannual to century time scales; and (3) dynamics of long-term earth system changes associated with ice sheet surges.

  18. Photochemical production of formaldehyde in earth's primitive atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pinto, J. P.; Gladstone, G. R.; Yung, Y. L.

    1980-01-01

    Formaldehyde could have been produced by photochemical reactions in the earth's primitive atmosphere, at a time when it consisted mainly of molecular nitrogen, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and trace amounts of molecular hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Removal of formaldehyde from the atmosphere by precipitation can provide a source of organic carbon to the oceans at the rate of 100 billion moles per year. Subsequent reactions of formaldehyde in primeval aquatic environments would have implications for the abiotic synthesis of complex organic molecules and the origin of life.

  19. Interactions of CH4 and CO in the earth's atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wofsy, S. C.

    1976-01-01

    Global distributions, sources, and sinks of methane and carbon monoxide in upper and lower levels of the earth's atmosphere, and the global budgets of methane and carbon monoxide, are studied, with emphasis on cumulative pollution. Stratospheric contents, vertical profiles of concentrations, simulation of vertical transport through the atmosphere, and latitudinal distributions are examined. Diffuse and localized (urban) concentrations of CO as pollutant are studied, and anthropogenic sources and sinks for CH4 and CO are considered. Perturbation of the CH4-CO-CO2 cycle, crucial to self-cleansing mechanisms of the troposphere, by anthropogenic CO emissions, and the effect of CO long life as global pollutant, are investigated.

  20. Photochemical production of formaldehyde in earth's primitive atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pinto, J. P.; Gladstone, G. R.; Yung, Y. L.

    1980-01-01

    Formaldehyde could have been produced by photochemical reactions in the earth's primitive atmosphere, at a time when it consisted mainly of molecular nitrogen, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and trace amounts of molecular hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Removal of formaldehyde from the atmosphere by precipitation can provide a source of organic carbon to the oceans at the rate of 100 billion moles per year. Subsequent reactions of formaldehyde in primeval aquatic environments would have implications for the abiotic synthesis of complex organic molecules and the origin of life.

  1. Microwave emission and scattering from Earth surface and atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kong, J. A.; Lee, M. C.

    1986-01-01

    Nonlinear Electromagnetic (EM) wave interactions with the upper atmosphere were investigated during the period 15 December 1985 to 15 June 1986. Topics discussed include: the simultaneous excitation of ionospheric density irregularities and Earth's magnetic field fluctuations; the electron acceleration by Langmuir wave turbulence; and the occurrence of artificial spread F. The role of thermal effects in generating ionospheric irregularities by Whistler waves, intense Quasi-DC electric fields, atmospheric gravity waves, and electrojets was investigated. A model was developed to explain the discrete spectrum of the resonant ultralow frequency (ULF) waves that are commonly observed in the magnetosphere.

  2. Evolution of Earth-like Extrasolar Planetary Atmospheres: Assessing the Atmospheres and Biospheres of Early Earth Analog Planets with a Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemical Model.

    PubMed

    Gebauer, S; Grenfell, J L; Stock, J W; Lehmann, R; Godolt, M; von Paris, P; Rauer, H

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of Earth and potentially habitable Earth-like worlds is essential to fathom our origin in the Universe. The search for Earth-like planets in the habitable zone and investigation of their atmospheres with climate and photochemical models is a central focus in exoplanetary science. Taking the evolution of Earth as a reference for Earth-like planets, a central scientific goal is to understand what the interactions were between atmosphere, geology, and biology on early Earth. The Great Oxidation Event in Earth's history was certainly caused by their interplay, but the origin and controlling processes of this occurrence are not well understood, the study of which will require interdisciplinary, coupled models. In this work, we present results from our newly developed Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemistry model in which atmospheric O2 concentrations are fixed to values inferred by geological evidence. Applying a unique tool (Pathway Analysis Program), ours is the first quantitative analysis of catalytic cycles that governed O2 in early Earth's atmosphere near the Great Oxidation Event. Complicated oxidation pathways play a key role in destroying O2, whereas in the upper atmosphere, most O2 is formed abiotically via CO2 photolysis. The O2 bistability found by Goldblatt et al. ( 2006 ) is not observed in our calculations likely due to our detailed CH4 oxidation scheme. We calculate increased CH4 with increasing O2 during the Great Oxidation Event. For a given atmospheric surface flux, different atmospheric states are possible; however, the net primary productivity of the biosphere that produces O2 is unique. Mixing, CH4 fluxes, ocean solubility, and mantle/crust properties strongly affect net primary productivity and surface O2 fluxes. Regarding exoplanets, different "states" of O2 could exist for similar biomass output. Strong geological activity could lead to false negatives for life (since our analysis suggests that reducing gases remove O2 that

  3. 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.

  4. Observing atmospheric tides in Earth rotation parameters with VLBI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Girdiuk, Anastasiia; Böhm, Johannes; Schindelegger, Michael

    2015-04-01

    In this study, we assess the contribution of diurnal (S1) and semi-diurnal (S2) atmospheric tides to variations in Earth rotation by analyzing Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) observations. Particular emphasis is placed on the dependency of S1 and S2 estimates on varying settings in the a priori delay model. We use hourly Earth rotation parameters (ERP) of polar motion and UT1 as determined with the Vienna VLBI Software (VieVS) from 25 years of VLBI observations and we adjust diurnal and semi-diurnal amplitudes to the hourly ERP estimates after disregarding the effect of high-frequency ocean tides. Prograde and retrograde polar motion coefficients are obtained for several solutions differing in processing strategies (with/without thermal deformation, time span of observations, choice of a priori ERP model and celestial pole offsets) and we compare the corresponding harmonics with those derived from atmospheric and non-tidal oceanic angular momentum estimates.

  5. Atmospheric evaporation in super-Earth exoplanet systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moller, Spencer; Miller, Brendan P.; Gallo, Elena; Wright, Jason; Poppenhaeger, Katja

    2017-01-01

    We investigate the influence of stellar activity on atmospheric heating and evaporation in four super-Earth exoplanets: HD 97658 b, GJ 1214 b, 55 Cnc e, and CoRoT-7 b. We use X-ray observations of the host stars to estimate planetary mass loss. We extracted net count rates from a soft band image, converted it to flux using PIMMS for a standard coronal model, calculated the intrinsic stellar luminosity, and estimated the current-epoch mass-loss rate and the integrated mass lost. Our aim is to determine under what circumstances current super-Earths will have experienced significant mass loss through atmospheric irradiation over the system lifetime. We hypothesize that closely-orbiting exoplanets receiving the greatest amount of high-energy stellar radiation will also tend to be sculpted into lower mass and more dense remnant cores.

  6. Hydrogen-nitrogen greenhouse warming in Earth's early atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Wordsworth, Robin; Pierrehumbert, Raymond

    2013-01-04

    Understanding how Earth has sustained surface liquid water throughout its history remains a key challenge, given that the Sun's luminosity was much lower in the past. Here we show that with an atmospheric composition consistent with the most recent constraints, the early Earth would have been significantly warmed by H(2)-N(2) collision-induced absorption. With two to three times the present-day atmospheric mass of N(2) and a H(2) mixing ratio of 0.1, H(2)-N(2) warming would be sufficient to raise global mean surface temperatures above 0°C under 75% of present-day solar flux, with CO(2) levels only 2 to 25 times the present-day values. Depending on their time of emergence and diversification, early methanogens may have caused global cooling via the conversion of H(2) and CO(2) to CH(4), with potentially observable consequences in the geological record.

  7. Do energetic heavy nuclei penetrate deeply into Earth's atmosphere?

    PubMed Central

    Price, P. B.; Askary, F.; Tarlé, G.

    1980-01-01

    We calculate the expected fluxes of cosmic ray nuclei with charge 5 ≤ Z ≤ 28 at various depths in the earth's atmosphere, taking into account the initial charge distribution, ionization loss, and various modes of fragmentation. The flux of surviving heavy nuclei is too low by a factor ≈10-10 to account for the ultra-high-energy Centauro events. We describe an experiment to search for highly ionizing particles that may or may not be nuclei. Images PMID:16592759

  8. Do energetic heavy nuclei penetrate deeply into Earth's atmosphere?

    PubMed

    Price, P B; Askary, F; Tarlé, G

    1980-01-01

    We calculate the expected fluxes of cosmic ray nuclei with charge 5 earth's atmosphere, taking into account the initial charge distribution, ionization loss, and various modes of fragmentation. The flux of surviving heavy nuclei is too low by a factor approximately 10(-10) to account for the ultra-high-energy Centauro events. We describe an experiment to search for highly ionizing particles that may or may not be nuclei.

  9. Nonlinear dynamics of global atmospheric and Earth system processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saltzman, Barry

    1993-01-01

    During the past eight years, we have been engaged in a NASA-supported program of research aimed at establishing the connection between satellite signatures of the earth's environmental state and the nonlinear dynamics of the global weather and climate system. Thirty-five publications and four theses have resulted from this work, which included contributions in five main areas of study: (1) cloud and latent heat processes in finite-amplitude baroclinic waves; (2) application of satellite radiation data in global weather analysis; (3) studies of planetary waves and low-frequency weather variability; (4) GCM studies of the atmospheric response to variable boundary conditions measurable from satellites; and (5) dynamics of long-term earth system changes. Significant accomplishments from the three main lines of investigation pursued during the past year are presented and include the following: (1) planetary atmospheric waves and low frequency variability; (2) GCM studies of the atmospheric response to changed boundary conditions; and (3) dynamics of long-term changes in the global earth system.

  10. Greenhouse gases and ozone depleting compounds in the earth`s atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Khalil, M.A.K.

    1996-12-31

    Global warming and ozone depletion are the main environmental problems caused by changes in atmospheric composition. These changes come from human activities that add to the natural cycles of atmospheric gases or put entirely new compounds into the earth`s atmosphere. At present only a few gases play a major role in global climate change and ozone depletion. These are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, trichlorofluoromethane (F-11), and dichlorofluoromethane (F-12). There are other gases that also add to these problems but to a lesser extent. This paper is about global warming, ozone depletion and the trends and budgets of the gases that can change the climate or deplete the ozone layer. 8 refs., 3 tabs.

  11. Atmospheric Production of Perchlorate on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Claire, M.; Catling, D. C.; Zahnle, K. J.

    2009-12-01

    Natural production and preservation of perchlorate on Earth occurs only in arid environments. Isotopic evidence suggests a strong role for atmospheric oxidation of chlorine species via pathways including ozone or its photochemical derivatives. As the Martian atmosphere is both oxidizing and drier than the driest places on Earth, we propose an atmospheric origin for the Martian perchlorates measured by NASA's Phoenix Lander. A variety of hypothetical formation pathways can be proposed including atmospheric photochemical reactions, electrostatic discharge, and gas-solid reactions. Here, we investigate gas phase formation pathways using a 1-D photochemical model (Catling et al. 2009, accepted by JGR). Because perchlorate-rich deposits in the Atacama desert are closest in abundance to perchlorate measured at NASA's Phoenix Lander site, we start with a study of the means to produce Atacama perchlorate. We found that perchlorate can be produced in sufficient quantities to explain the abundance of perchlorate in the Atacama from a proposed gas phase oxidation of chlorine volatiles to perchloric acid. These results are sensitive to estimated reaction rates for ClO3 species. The feasibility of gas phase production for the Atacama provides justification for further investigations of gas phase photochemistry as a possible source for Martian perchlorate. In addition to the Atacama results, we will present a preliminary study incorporating chlorine chemistry into an existing Martian photochemical model (Zahnle et al. JGR 2008).

  12. The radiative effect of aerosols in the earth's atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, W.-C.; Domoto, G. A.

    1974-01-01

    A modified two-flux approximation is employed to compute the transfer of radiation in a finite, inhomogeneous, turbid atmosphere. A perturbation technique is developed to allow the treatment of nongray gaseous absorption with multiple scattering. The perturbation method, which employs a backscatter factor as a parameter, can be used with anisotropic particle scattering as well as Rayleigh scattering. This method is used to study the effect of aerosols on radiative solar heating and infrared cooling as well as the radiative-convective temperature distribution in the earth's atmosphere. It is found that the effect of aerosols in the infrared cannot be neglected; while in the visible, the effect can be of the same order as that due to absorption by water vapor. For a high surface albedo (greater than 0.30) heating of the earth-atmosphere system results due to the presence of aerosols. The aerosols also reduce the amount of convection needed to maintain a stable atmosphere. For the case of a dense haze a temperature inversion is found to exist close to the ground.

  13. Efficient disruption of small asteroids by Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bland, P. A.; Artemieva, N. A.

    2003-07-01

    Accurate modelling of the interaction between the atmosphere and an incoming bolide is a complex task, but crucial to determining the fraction of small asteroids that actually hit the Earth's surface. Most semi-analytical approaches have simplified the problem by considering the impactor as a strengthless liquid-like object (`pancake' models), but recently a more realistic model has been developed that calculates motion, aerodynamic loading and ablation for each separate particle or fragment in a disrupted impactor. Here we report the results of a large number of simulations in which we use both models to develop a statistical picture of atmosphere-bolide interaction for iron and stony objects with initial diameters up to ~1km. We show that the separated-fragments model predicts the total atmospheric disruption of much larger stony bodies than previously thought. In addition, our data set of >1,000 simulated impacts, combined with the known pre-atmospheric flux of asteroids with diameters less than 1km, elucidates the flux of small bolides at the Earth's surface. We estimate that bodies >220m in diameter will impact every 170,000 years.

  14. Solar Variability, Lunar Spectroscopy and Earth's Upper Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Judge, Philip G.

    Solar EUV radiation and its variability is of central importance to the earths upper atmosphere. Variability of the earths upper atmosphere is a major concern to NASAs satellite missions. This LARGE PROJECT (2 year) proposal asks for continued measurments of solar EUV variability using EUVE to observe solar light scattered from the moon. Existing EUVE data prove that we can enhance ourunderstanding of the physics of the upper atmosphere at a time when solar EUV measurements are scarce. Our aims include: (i) to understand the phase and polarization dependence of solar light scattered from the moon, (ii) to quantify variations in solar EUV irradiance, (iii) to calibrate these data with a rocket--launched EUV payload, and (iv) to use these data with simultaneous UV measurements from UARS as inputs to upper atmospheric models. Very short exposures (<30 min) are required. We request TYPE 2 observations twice a lunar month, and a variety of TYPE 1 observations to permit us to take the necessary steps towards converting lunar intensity data to absolute solar irradiances.

  15. Chemical effects of large impacts on the Earth's primitive atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Fegley, B; Prinn, R G; Hartman, H; Watkins, G H

    1986-01-23

    Intense bombardment of the moon and terrestrial planets approximately 3.9-4.0 x 10(9) years ago could have caused the chemical reprocessing of the Earth's primitive atmosphere. In particular, the shock heating and rapid quenching caused by the impact of large bodies into the atmosphere could produce molecules such as HCN and H2CO4 which are important precursors for the abiotic synthesis of complex organic molecules. Here we model the production of HCN and H2CO by thermochemical equilibrium and chemical kinetic calculations of the composition of shocked air parcels for a wide range of temperatures, pressures and initial compositions. For atmospheres with C/O > or = 1, our results suggest that bolide impacts cause HCN volume mixing ratios of approximately 10(-3) to 10(-5) in the impact region and global average ratios of 10(-5) to 10(-12). The corresponding H2CO mixing ratios in the impact region are 10(-7) to 10(-9); no-global mixing can occur, however, as H2CO is rapidly destroyed or rained out of the atmosphere within days to hours. Rainout to the oceans of 3-15% of the HCN produced can provide approximately (3-14) x 10(11) mol HCN per year. This is somewhat larger than other predicted sources of HCN and H2CO on the primitive Earth.

  16. Exploring High-Energy Phenomena in Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chilingarian, Ashot A.

    2013-12-01

    The study of high-energy phenomena in the atmosphere provides unique information about particle acceleration and multiplication in the lower and upper atmosphere during thunderstorms. Generation and propagation of large fluxes of electrons, positrons, gamma rays, and neutrons in the atmosphere and in near space are related to the development of thunderstorms and may be used for monitoring dangerous consequences of extreme weather. Electromagnetic emissions connected with thunderstorms trigger various dynamic processes in the Earth's magnetosphere, causing global geomagnetic storms and changing electrodynamics properties of the ionosphere. The large fluences of energetic electrons, photons, and neutrons produced by runaway electron avalanches can potentially be a danger to aircraft crews, passengers, and onboard electronic systems.

  17. Global-scale teleconnections in the Earth's middle atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shepherd, T. G.

    2009-05-01

    The global-scale circulation of the Earth's middle atmosphere is driven by angular momentum transfers effected by waves propagating up from the more turbulent, thermally-driven troposphere. The resulting effects on the middle atmosphere are largest in polar regions. This 'mechanical forcing' is an indirect response to the direct thermal forcing of the atmosphere by the Sun, and can act in a thermally-indirect manner, i.e. as a refrigerator. As it involves wave propagation, it can also act anti-diffusively, and non-locally. The basic physics of the process is described and examples given of how it can lead to global-scale teleconnections, both vertically and latitudinally. Parallels with the dynamics of the Sun will be mentioned.

  18. The cosmic dust input to the earth's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plane, John

    2013-04-01

    This paper will address a fundamental problem - the size of the cosmic dust input to the earth's atmosphere. Zodiacal cloud observations and spaceborne dust detectors indicate a daily input of 100 - 300 tonnes, in agreement with the accumulation rates of cosmic elements (Ir, Pt, Os and super-paramagnetic Fe) in polar ice cores and deep-sea sediments. In contrast, measurements in the middle and upper atmosphere - by radars, lidars, high-flying aircraft and satellite remote sensing - indicate that the input is only 2 - 30 tonnes. There are two major reasons why this huge discrepancy matters. First, if the upper range of estimates is correct, then vertical transport in the middle atmosphere must be considerably faster than generally believed; whereas if the lower range is correct, then our understanding of dust production and evolution in the solar system, and transport from the middle atmosphere to the surface, will need substantial revision. Second, cosmic dust particles enter the atmosphere at high speeds and in most cases completely ablate. The resulting metals injected into the atmosphere are involved in a diverse range of phenomena, including: formation of layers of metal atoms and ions; nucleation of noctilucent clouds; impacts on stratospheric aerosols and O3 chemistry; and fertilization of the ocean with bio-available Fe, which has potential climate feedbacks.

  19. The role of impacting processes in the chemical evolution of the atmosphere of primordial Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mukhin, Lev M.; Gerasimov, M. V.

    1991-01-01

    The role of impacting processes in the chemical evolution of the atmosphere of primordial Earth is discussed. The following subject areas are covered: (1) Earth's initial atmosphere; (2) continuous degassing; (3) impact processes and the Earth's protoatmosphere; and (4) the evolution of an impact-generated atmosphere.

  20. Quantifying Atmospheric Moist Processes from Earth Observations. Really?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephens, G. L.

    2015-12-01

    The amount of water in the Earth's atmosphere is tiny compared to all other sources of water on our planet, fresh or otherwise. However, this tiny amount of water is fundamental to most aspects of human life. The tiny amount of water that cycles from the Earth's surface, through condensation into clouds in the atmosphere returning as precipitation falling is not only natures way of delivering fresh water to land-locked human societies but it also exerts a fundamental control on our climate system producing the most important feedbacks in the system. The representation of these processes in Earth system models contain many errors that produce well now biases in the hydrological cycle. Surprisingly the parameterizations of these important processes are not well validated with observations. Part of the reason for this situation stems from the fact that process evaluation is difficult to achieve on the global scale since it has commonly been assumed that the static observations available from snap-shots of individual parameters contain little information on processes. One of the successes of the A-Train has been the development of multi-parameter analysis based on the multi-sensor data produced by the satellite constellation. This has led to new insights on how water cycles through the Earth's atmosphere. Examples of these insights will be highlighted. It will be described how the rain formation process has been observed and how this has been used to constrain this process in models, with a huge impact. How these observations are beginning to reveal insights on deep convection and examples of the use these observations applied to models will also be highlighted as will the effects of aerosol on clouds on radiation.

  1. Origin of the oceans and the atmosphere of the Earth

    SciTech Connect

    Delsemme, A.H. )

    1992-01-01

    In the terrestrial zone of the Solar Nebula, the temperature of the dusty particles that sedimented from the gas phase to form the Earth cannot be directly established. However, it can be deduced from the known accretion temperature of chondrites, combined with any reasonable temperature gradient from 2.6 to 1 A.U. The authors find that it had to be close to 1,000 K, implying complete degassing of the grains. In particular, all carbon was in gaseous CO and all H[sub 2]O was steam (no silicates were hydrated). The subsequent agglomeration of planetesimals into the Earth was therefore completely devoid of volatiles. A more recent process must exist to bring carbon, nitrogen and water to the Earth. A [open quotes]primary[close quotes] atmosphere has not been captured later (by gravitation) from the nebular gas, as established by the present abundances of the rare gas isotopes. There remains therefore a single possible source for our oceans and our atmosphere: during the following 500 million years, the formation of the giant (comets). A testimony of this bombardment is still visible in the numerous craters of the Moon. A model for the orbital diffusion of those icy planetesimals that Chiba's (1991) estimates deduced from the lunar craters. Our model produces ten times too much water for our present oceans, and one thousand times too much atmosphere. This is consistent with the very large losses implied by the numerous impacts of larger and larger bodies in the final stages of accretion. At the end, a large amount of very fine dust reached the ground by floating gently through the upper atmosphere; it came from the tails of those numberless comets that visited our inner solar system. This dust was able to seed the primitive oceans with organic compounds without destroying them. Hence life was able to start early, as soon as accretion ended.

  2. The Effect of the Earth's Atmosphere on LSST Photometry

    SciTech Connect

    Rahlin, Alexandra S.; /MIT /SLAC

    2006-08-30

    The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), a ground-based telescope currently under development, will allow a thorough study of dark energy by measuring, more completely and accurately than previously, the rate of expansion of the universe and the large-scale structure of the matter in it. The telescope utilizes a broadband photometric system of six wavelength bands to measure the redshifts of distant objects. The earth's atmosphere makes it difficult to acquire accurate data, since some of the light passing through the atmosphere is scattered or absorbed due to Rayleigh scattering, molecular absorption, and aerosol scattering. Changes in the atmospheric extinction distribution due to each of these three processes were simulated by altering the parameters of a sample atmospheric distribution. Spectral energy distributions of standard stars were used to simulate data acquired by the telescope. The effects of changes in the atmospheric parameters on the photon flux measurements through each wavelength band were observed in order to determine which atmospheric conditions must be monitored most closely to achieve the desired 1% uncertainty on flux values. It was found that changes in the Rayleigh scattering parameter produced the most significant variations in the data; therefore, the molecular volume density (pressure) must be measured with at most 8% uncertainty. The molecular absorption parameters produced less significant variations and could be measured with at most 62% uncertainty. The aerosol scattering parameters produced almost negligible variations in the data and could be measured with > 100% uncertainty. These atmospheric effects were found to be almost independent of the redshift of the light source. The results of this study will aid the design of the atmospheric monitoring systems for the LSST.

  3. Interferometric Characterization of the Earth's Atmosphere from Lagrange Point 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herman, Jay R.; Komar, George (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Part of the NASA plans for future Earth Science missions calls for observations using novel vantage points that can produce science products otherwise unobtainable. Observations of the Earth from the Lagrange-2 point, L-2, (1.5 million km behind the Earth on the Earth-Sun line) affords a unique vantage point for atmospheric science. Spectral observation of the Earth's atmosphere using solar occultation techniques in the near infrared (1 to 4 microns) provides one of the most accurate methods of passively sensing attitude profiles of the major species (CO2, O3, O2, CH4, H2O N2O). While traditional polar orbiting occultation measurements can obtain about 14 measurements per day (2 per orbit), solar occultation observations from the Lagrange-2 point will yield hourly profile measurements at all latitudes. The expected spatial resolution is 2 km in altitude, 0.5 degrees in latitude, and 2 degrees in longitude. The result from 24 hours of observations will be a three-dimensional map of atmospheric composition. To accomplish this task from L-2 requires the development of a large moderate spectral resolution instrument whose entrance aperture is about 10 meters. Use of a standard telescope design with a 10-meter circular mirror or a 10-meter strip mirror would be prohibitively expensive and excessively massive. Instead, we are proposing the development of a 10-meter linear interferometer coupled to a Fourier transform imaging spectrometer. The result will be a highly efficient design with sufficient sensitivity, while having both spatial and spectral resolution to produce the desired results. Preliminary calculations show that seven species (CO2, O3, O2, CH4, H2O N2O) have clearly separated spectral features in the I to 4 microns range with sufficient absorption to produce profile information from near the Earth's surface to the middle stratosphere. For CO2 the estimated sensitivity to change is 0.33% or 1 part in 330. This should be sufficient to detect changes that are

  4. Interferometric Characterization of the Earth's Atmosphere from Lagrange Point 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herman, Jay R.; Komar, George (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Part of the NASA plans for future Earth Science missions calls for observations using novel vantage points that can produce science products otherwise unobtainable. Observations of the Earth from the Lagrange-2 point, L-2, (1.5 million km behind the Earth on the Earth-Sun line) affords a unique vantage point for atmospheric science. Spectral observation of the Earth's atmosphere using solar occultation techniques in the near infrared (1 to 4 microns) provides one of the most accurate methods of passively sensing attitude profiles of the major species (CO2, O3, O2, CH4, H2O N2O). While traditional polar orbiting occultation measurements can obtain about 14 measurements per day (2 per orbit), solar occultation observations from the Lagrange-2 point will yield hourly profile measurements at all latitudes. The expected spatial resolution is 2 km in altitude, 0.5 degrees in latitude, and 2 degrees in longitude. The result from 24 hours of observations will be a three-dimensional map of atmospheric composition. To accomplish this task from L-2 requires the development of a large moderate spectral resolution instrument whose entrance aperture is about 10 meters. Use of a standard telescope design with a 10-meter circular mirror or a 10-meter strip mirror would be prohibitively expensive and excessively massive. Instead, we are proposing the development of a 10-meter linear interferometer coupled to a Fourier transform imaging spectrometer. The result will be a highly efficient design with sufficient sensitivity, while having both spatial and spectral resolution to produce the desired results. Preliminary calculations show that seven species (CO2, O3, O2, CH4, H2O N2O) have clearly separated spectral features in the I to 4 microns range with sufficient absorption to produce profile information from near the Earth's surface to the middle stratosphere. For CO2 the estimated sensitivity to change is 0.33% or 1 part in 330. This should be sufficient to detect changes that are

  5. 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.

  6. Which Solar and Geomagnetic Drivers Control Earth's Upper Atmosphere Thermostat?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knipp, D.; Mlynczak, M. G.; McGranaghan, R. M.; Kilcommons, L. M.

    2015-12-01

    Nitric Oxide (NO) is a trace component of Earth's upper atmosphere that allows Earth's thermosphere to cool in response to energy input from solar extreme ultraviolet (EUV) photons and geomagnetic activity. When created and excited, NO molecules provide a natural thermostat via infrared radiative emissions [Kockarts, 1980]. A record of this cooling over the last 13 years has been provided by Mlynczak et al. [2014]. Nitric Oxide emissions in concert with EUV photons, auroral particles, and neutral thermosphere circulation determine if geomagnetic storms will deliver a sudden powerful upheaval of Earth's upper atmosphere or a damped event. In this talk I will review recent findings about the forecastability of solar and magnetospheric control of this important thermospheric trace constituent. In particular, I will discuss the role of pseudo-streamers and helmet streamers in the solar wind, and the possible role of magnetic cloud orientation, in determining the extent of thermospheric NO storm response. Anticipating the thermospheric NO response to geomagnetic storms is a next step in improving satellite drag forecasting.

  7. 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

  8. Notes on Earth Atmospheric Entry for Mars Sample Return Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rivell, Thomas

    2006-01-01

    The entry of sample return vehicles (SRVs) into the Earth's atmosphere is the subject of this document. The Earth entry environment for vehicles, or capsules, returning from the planet Mars is discussed along with the subjects of dynamics, aerodynamics, and heat transfer. The material presented is intended for engineers and scientists who do not have strong backgrounds in aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics and flight mechanics. The document is not intended to be comprehensive and some important topics are omitted. The topics considered in this document include basic principles of physics (fluid mechanics, dynamics and heat transfer), chemistry and engineering mechanics. These subjects include: a) fluid mechanics (aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics, compressible fluids, shock waves, boundary layers, and flow regimes from subsonic to hypervelocity; b) the Earth s atmosphere and gravity; c) thermal protection system design considerations; d) heat and mass transfer (convection, radiation, and ablation); e) flight mechanics (basic rigid body dynamics and stability); and f) flight- and ground-test requirements; and g) trajectory and flow simulation methods.

  9. Potential Biosignatures in Super-Earth Atmospheres II. Photochemical Responses

    PubMed Central

    Gebauer, S.; Godolt, M.; Palczynski, K.; Rauer, H.; Stock, J.; von Paris, P.; Lehmann, R.; Selsis, F.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Spectral characterization of super-Earth atmospheres for planets orbiting in the habitable zone of M dwarf stars is a key focus in exoplanet science. A central challenge is to understand and predict the expected spectral signals of atmospheric biosignatures (species associated with life). Our work applies a global-mean radiative-convective-photochemical column model assuming a planet with an Earth-like biomass and planetary development. We investigated planets with gravities of 1g and 3g and a surface pressure of 1 bar around central stars with spectral classes from M0 to M7. The spectral signals of the calculated planetary scenarios have been presented by in an earlier work by Rauer and colleagues. The main motivation of the present work is to perform a deeper analysis of the chemical processes in the planetary atmospheres. We apply a diagnostic tool, the Pathway Analysis Program, to shed light on the photochemical pathways that form and destroy biosignature species. Ozone is a potential biosignature for complex life. An important result of our analysis is a shift in the ozone photochemistry from mainly Chapman production (which dominates in Earth's stratosphere) to smog-dominated ozone production for planets in the habitable zone of cooler (M5–M7)-class dwarf stars. This result is associated with a lower energy flux in the UVB wavelength range from the central star, hence slower planetary atmospheric photolysis of molecular oxygen, which slows the Chapman ozone production. This is important for future atmospheric characterization missions because it provides an indication of different chemical environments that can lead to very different responses of ozone, for example, cosmic rays. Nitrous oxide, a biosignature for simple bacterial life, is favored for low stratospheric UV conditions, that is, on planets orbiting cooler stars. Transport of this species from its surface source to the stratosphere where it is destroyed can also be a key process

  10. Fractures as Advective Conduits at the Earth Atmosphere Interface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dragila, M. I.; Weisbrod, N.; Nachshon, U.; Kamai, T.

    2012-12-01

    Understanding gas exchange between the Earth's upper crust and the atmosphere is vital and necessary because this phenomenon controls to a large extent many important processes including, the water cycle, agricultural activities, greenhouse gas emissions and more. From a hydrological aspect, water vapor transport is an extremely important process related to Earth-atmosphere gas exchange because it affects above ground water vapor concentration, soil water content and soil salinity. Traditionally, diffusion was considered the main mechanism of gas exchange between the atmosphere and vadose zone, driven by gas concentration gradients. While this assumption may be correct for many porous media, our laboratory and field-scale studies have shown that advective gas transport mechanisms are governing these fluxes in fractured rocks and cracked soils. Convection driven by thermal gradients (free convection) and wind induced (forced convection) were explored and both were found to play a major role in Earth-atmosphere gas exchange. Long-term laboratory experiments using fracture simulators in a customized climate controlled laboratory have shown that thermal convection occurs when nighttime thermal conditions prevail. This convective venting significantly enhances evaporation and subsequently salt precipitation on the fracture walls. Experiment results were used to develop an empirical relationship between temperature gradients, fracture aperture and convective gas flux through the fracture. Theoretical calculations show that thermal convection is indeed likely to play a major role in evaporation from fractures and can explain enhanced salt accumulation observed in surface-exposed fractures. Long-term field measurements, carried out continuously for 5+ years in a single fracture in the Israeli Negev Desert, verified the development of air convection cycles of 10-18 hours duration on a daily basis, with a peak in both convective flux and duration during the winter. During

  11. Earth Rotation and Coupling to Changes in Atmospheric Angular Momentum

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosen, Richard D.; Frey, H. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The research supported under the contract dealt primarily with: (a) the mechanisms responsible for the exchange of angular momentum between the solid Earth and atmosphere; (b) the quality of the data sets used to estimate atmospheric angular momentum; and (c) the ability of these data and of global climate models to detect low-frequency signals in the momentum and, hence, circulation of the atmosphere. Three scientific papers reporting on the results of this research were produced during the course of the contract. These papers identified the particular torques responsible for the peak in atmospheric angular momentum and length-of-day during the 1982-93 El Nino event, and, more generally, the relative roles of torques over land and ocean in explaining the broad spectrum of variability in the length-of-day. In addition, a tendency for interannual variability in atmospheric angular momentum to increase during the last several decades of the 20th century was found in both observations and a global climate model experiment.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Integrating the Earth, Atmospheric, and Ocean Sciences at Millersville University

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, R. D.

    2005-12-01

    For nearly 40 years, the Department of Earth Sciences at Millersville University (MU-DES) of Pennsylvania has been preparing students for careers in the earth, atmospheric, and ocean sciences by providing a rigorous and comprehensive curricula leading to B.S. degrees in geology, meteorology, and oceanography. Undergraduate research is a hallmark of these earth sciences programs with over 30 students participating in some form of meritorious research each year. These programs are rich in applied physics, couched in mathematics, and steeped in technical computing and computer languages. Our success is measured by the number of students that find meaningful careers or go on to earn graduate degrees in their respective fields, as well as the high quality of faculty that the department has retained over the years. Student retention rates in the major have steadily increased with the introduction of a formal learning community and peer mentoring initiatives, and the number of new incoming freshmen and transfer students stands at an all-time high. Yet until recently, the disciplines have remained largely disparate with only minor inroads made into integrating courses that seek to address the Earth as a system. This is soon to change as the MU-DES unveils a new program leading to a B.S. in Integrated Earth Systems. The B.S. in Integrated Earth Systems (ISS) is not a reorganization of existing courses to form a marketable program. Instead, it is a fully integrated program two years in development that borrows from the multi-disciplinary backgrounds and experiences of faculty, while bringing in resources that are tailored to visualizing and modeling the Earth system. The result is the creation of a cross-cutting curriculum designed to prepare the 21st century student for the challenges and opportunities attending the holistic study of the Earth as a system. MU-DES will continue to offer programs leading to degrees in geology, meteorology, and ocean science, but in addition

  15. ACE infrared spectral atlases of the Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, Ryan; Bernath, Peter; Boone, Chris

    2014-11-01

    Five infrared atmospheric atlases are presented using solar occultation spectra from the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment Fourier Transform Spectrometer (ACE-FTS) in low earth orbit. The spectral atlases were created for Arctic summer, Arctic winter, mid-latitude summer, mid-latitude winter and the tropics. Each covers the spectral range from 700 to 4400 cm-1 and consists of 31 spectra that span an altitude range of 6-126 km in 4-km altitude intervals. To improve the signal-to-noise ratio, each spectrum in the atlas is an average of at least several hundred individual ACE-FTS limb transmission spectra. Representative plots in pdf format at 10 km (troposphere), 30 km (stratosphere), 70 km (mesosphere), and 110 km (lower thermosphere) are also available.

  16. Potential biosignatures in super-Earth atmospheres II. Photochemical responses.

    PubMed

    Grenfell, J L; Gebauer, S; Godolt, M; Palczynski, K; Rauer, H; Stock, J; von Paris, P; Lehmann, R; Selsis, F

    2013-05-01

    Spectral characterization of super-Earth atmospheres for planets orbiting in the habitable zone of M dwarf stars is a key focus in exoplanet science. A central challenge is to understand and predict the expected spectral signals of atmospheric biosignatures (species associated with life). Our work applies a global-mean radiative-convective-photochemical column model assuming a planet with an Earth-like biomass and planetary development. We investigated planets with gravities of 1g and 3g and a surface pressure of 1 bar around central stars with spectral classes from M0 to M7. The spectral signals of the calculated planetary scenarios have been presented by in an earlier work by Rauer and colleagues. The main motivation of the present work is to perform a deeper analysis of the chemical processes in the planetary atmospheres. We apply a diagnostic tool, the Pathway Analysis Program, to shed light on the photochemical pathways that form and destroy biosignature species. Ozone is a potential biosignature for complex life. An important result of our analysis is a shift in the ozone photochemistry from mainly Chapman production (which dominates in Earth's stratosphere) to smog-dominated ozone production for planets in the habitable zone of cooler (M5-M7)-class dwarf stars. This result is associated with a lower energy flux in the UVB wavelength range from the central star, hence slower planetary atmospheric photolysis of molecular oxygen, which slows the Chapman ozone production. This is important for future atmospheric characterization missions because it provides an indication of different chemical environments that can lead to very different responses of ozone, for example, cosmic rays. Nitrous oxide, a biosignature for simple bacterial life, is favored for low stratospheric UV conditions, that is, on planets orbiting cooler stars. Transport of this species from its surface source to the stratosphere where it is destroyed can also be a key process. Comparing 1g with

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1983-01-01

    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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1983-01-01

    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.

  19. Particle motion in atmospheric boundary layers of Mars and Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, B. R.; Iversen, J. D.; Greeley, R.; Pollack, J. B.

    1975-01-01

    To study the eolian mechanics of saltating particles, both an experimental investigation of the flow field around a model crater in an atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnel and numerical solutions of the two- and three-dimensional equations of motion of a single particle under the influence of a turbulent boundary layer were conducted. Two-dimensional particle motion was calculated for flow near the surfaces of both Earth and Mars. For the case of Earth both a turbulent boundary layer with a viscous sublayer and one without were calculated. For the case of Mars it was only necessary to calculate turbulent boundary layer flow with a laminar sublayer because of the low values of friction Reynolds number; however, it was necessary to include the effects of slip flow on a particle caused by the rarefied Martian atmosphere. In the equations of motion the lift force functions were developed to act on a single particle only in the laminar sublayer or a corresponding small region of high shear near the surface for a fully turbulent boundary layer. The lift force functions were developed from the analytical work by Saffman concerning the lift force acting on a particle in simple shear flow.

  20. An atmosphere around the super-Earth 55 Cancri e

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsiaras, Angelos; Rocchetto, Marco; Waldmann, Ingo; Venot, Olivia; Varley, Rayan; Morello, Giuseppe; Damiano, Mario; Tinetti, Giovanna; Barton, Emma; Yurchenko, Sergey; Tennyson, Jonathan; ExoLights, ExoMol

    2016-10-01

    One of the most successful instruments for observing exoplanetary atmospheres is the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) onboard the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). In particular, the use of the spatial scanning technique has given us the opportunity for even more efficient observations of the brightest targets, achieving the necessary precision of 10 - 100 ppm. With such data and new advanced reduction and statistical techniques, we were able to detect modulations in the spectrum of the hot super-Earth 55 Cancri e, which suggest the existence of a light-weight atmosphere around this planet. Given the brightness of 55 Cancri, the observers adopted a very long scanning length and a very high scanning speed. We took these effects into account, as they can introduce systematics when coupled with the geometrical distortions of the instrument. Our fully Bayesian spectral retrieval code, T-REx, has identified HCN to be the most likely molecular candidate able to explain the features at 1.42 and 1.54 μm. While additional spectroscopic observations in a broader wavelength range in the infrared will be needed to confirm the HCN detection, we used a chemical model, developed with combustion specialists, to explain its pressence. This model indicates that relatively high mixing ratios of HCN may be caused by a high C/O ratio, suggesting this super-Earth is a carbon-rich environment even more exotic than previously thought.

  1. Formation of the Aerosol of Space Origin in Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kozak, P. M.; Kruchynenko, V. G.

    2011-01-01

    The problem of formation of the aerosol of space origin in Earth s atmosphere is examined. Meteoroids of the mass range of 10-18-10-8 g are considered as a source of its origin. The lower bound of the mass range is chosen according to the data presented in literature, the upper bound is determined in accordance with the theory of Whipple s micrometeorites. Basing on the classical equations of deceleration and heating for small meteor bodies we have determined the maximal temperatures of the particles, and altitudes at which they reach critically low velocities, which can be called as velocities of stopping . As a condition for the transformation of a space particle into an aerosol one we have used the condition of non-reaching melting temperature of the meteoroid. The simplified equation of deceleration without earth gravity and barometric formula for the atmosphere density are used. In the equation of heat balance the energy loss for heating is neglected. The analytical solution of the simplified equations is used for the analysis.

  2. Non-linear processes in the Earth atmosphere boundary layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grunskaya, Lubov; Valery, Isakevich; Dmitry, Rubay

    2013-04-01

    The work is connected with studying electromagnetic fields in the resonator Earth-Ionosphere. There is studied the interconnection of tide processes of geophysical and astrophysical origin with the Earth electromagnetic fields. On account of non-linear property of the resonator Earth-Ionosphere the tides (moon and astrophysical tides) in the electromagnetic Earth fields are kinds of polyharmonic nature. It is impossible to detect such non-linear processes with the help of the classical spectral analysis. Therefore to extract tide processes in the electromagnetic fields, the method of covariance matrix eigen vectors is used. Experimental investigations of electromagnetic fields in the atmosphere boundary layer are done at the distance spaced stations, situated on Vladimir State University test ground, at Main Geophysical Observatory (St. Petersburg), on Kamchatka pen., on Lake Baikal. In 2012 there was continued to operate the multichannel synchronic monitoring system of electrical and geomagnetic fields at the spaced apart stations: VSU physical experimental proving ground; the station of the Institute of Solar and Terrestrial Physics of Russian Academy of Science (RAS) at Lake Baikal; the station of the Institute of volcanology and seismology of RAS in Paratunka; the station in Obninsk on the base of the scientific and production society "Typhoon". Such investigations turned out to be possible after developing the method of scanning experimental signal of electromagnetic field into non- correlated components. There was used a method of the analysis of the eigen vectors ofthe time series covariance matrix for exposing influence of the moon tides on Ez. The method allows to distribute an experimental signal into non-correlated periodicities. The present method is effective just in the situation when energetical deposit because of possible influence of moon tides upon the electromagnetic fields is little. There have been developed and realized in program components

  3. Cosmic Dust and the Earth's Atmosphere (Vilhelm Bjerknes Medal Lecture)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plane, John M. C.

    2017-04-01

    Cosmic dust particles are produced in the solar system from the sublimation of comets as they orbit close to the sun, and also from collisions between asteroids in the belt between Mars and Jupiter. Dust particles enter the atmosphere at hyperthermal velocities (11 - 72 km s-1), and ablate at heights between 80 and 120 km in the mesosphere/lower thermosphere (MLT). The resulting metallic vapours (Fe, Mg, Si and Na etc.) then oxidize and recondense to form nm-size particles, termed "meteoric smoke particles (MSPs)". MSPs are too small to sediment downwards and so are transported by the general circulation of the atmosphere, taking roughly 4 years to reach the surface. Smoke particles play a potentially important role as condensation nuclei of noctilucent ice clouds in the mesosphere, and polar stratospheric clouds in the lower stratosphere, where they also facilitate freezing of the clouds. There are also potential implications for climate, as the input of bio-available cosmic Fe in the Southern Ocean can increase biological productivity and stimulate CO2 drawdown from the atmosphere. However, current estimates of the magnitude of the cosmic dust mass input rate into the Earth's atmosphere range from 2 to over 200 tonnes per day, depending on whether the measurements are made in space, in the middle atmosphere, or in polar ice cores. This nearly 2 order-of-magnitude discrepancy indicates that there must be serious flaws in the interpretation of observations that have been used to make the estimates. Furthermore, given this degree of uncertainty, the significance of these potential atmospheric impacts remains speculative. In this lecture I will describe the results of a large study designed to determine the size of the cosmic dust input rate using a self-consistent treatment of cosmic dust from the outer solar system to the Earth's surface. An astronomical model which tracks the evolution of dust from various sources into the inner solar system was combined with a

  4. The NASA MSFC Earth Global Reference Atmospheric Model-2007 Version

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leslie, F.W.; Justus, C.G.

    2008-01-01

    Reference or standard atmospheric models have long been used for design and mission planning of various aerospace systems. The NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Global Reference Atmospheric Model (GRAM) was developed in response to the need for a design reference atmosphere that provides complete global geographical variability, and complete altitude coverage (surface to orbital altitudes) as well as complete seasonal and monthly variability of the thermodynamic variables and wind components. A unique feature of GRAM is that, addition to providing the geographical, height, and monthly variation of the mean atmospheric state, it includes the ability to simulate spatial and temporal perturbations in these atmospheric parameters (e.g. fluctuations due to turbulence and other atmospheric perturbation phenomena). A summary comparing GRAM features to characteristics and features of other reference or standard atmospheric models, can be found Guide to Reference and Standard Atmosphere Models. The original GRAM has undergone a series of improvements over the years with recent additions and changes. The software program is called Earth-GRAM2007 to distinguish it from similar programs for other bodies (e.g. Mars, Venus, Neptune, and Titan). However, in order to make this Technical Memorandum (TM) more readable, the software will be referred to simply as GRAM07 or GRAM unless additional clarity is needed. Section 1 provides an overview of the basic features of GRAM07 including the newly added features. Section 2 provides a more detailed description of GRAM07 and how the model output generated. Section 3 presents sample results. Appendices A and B describe the Global Upper Air Climatic Atlas (GUACA) data and the Global Gridded Air Statistics (GGUAS) database. Appendix C provides instructions for compiling and running GRAM07. Appendix D gives a description of the required NAMELIST format input. Appendix E gives sample output. Appendix F provides a list of available

  5. Importance of polarization for remote sensing of the Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kochenova, S.; Lerot, C.; De Maziere, M.; Letocart, V.

    2012-04-01

    Solar radiation entering the top of the Earth's atmosphere becomes polarized due to its interaction with atmospheric molecules and particles. The degree of polarization depends on the type of scattering event. Numerous studies show that the use of scalar radiation transfer (RT) can lead to significant errors in simulated top-of-atmosphere radiances: more than 10% for a molecular atmosphere, about 5% for an aerosol atmosphere, and up to 6% for a mixed (aerosol + molecular) atmosphere. Radiation can also be significantly polarized by land surfaces such as snow (5-25%), ice (0-40%), sand (0-15%) and vegetation (2-23%). Accounting for radiation polarization requires the utilization of rigorous vector RT equations based on the Stokes parameters formalism. Despite that accurate vector RT codes are much slower than their scalar counterparts, more and more researchers acknowledge the necessity of using a vector RT code when dealing with the UV or visible spectral ranges. We will demonstrate the importance of accounting for polarization with the help of the sophisticated RT package comprised of several codes, namely, VLIDORT v2.5 (R. Spurr, RT solutions, USA), SPHER and T-MATRIX (M. Mishchenko, NASA GISS, USA), and an auxiliary atmospheric model. VLIDORT is an advanced linearized RT body for solving vector/scalar RT problems of various degree of complexity through the accurate computation of all Stokes components. It also contains a set of different BRDF (Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Functions) subroutines allowing one to easily model different anisotropic surfaces. Aerosol physical properties, such as extinction cross-section, single scattering albedo and scattering matrix coefficients, for spherical and non-spherical particles are calculated by SPHER and T-MATRIX. The auxiliary atmospheric part includes the options to use one of the six standard models (subarctic summer/winter, midlatitude summer/winter, tropical and US standard 1976) or to enter a user

  6. Comparative analysis of the atmospheres of early earth and early Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Durham, R.; Schmunk, R. B.; Chamberlain, J. W.

    1989-01-01

    Assuming that the primitive atmospheres of Mars and earth were similar and that present differences in atmospheres of earth and Mars are a result of their different distances from the sun and their different masses, the atmospheres of the early earth and early Mars were analyzed. A one-dimensional radiative-convective model derived from that of Kasting et al. (1984) and Kasting and Ackerman (1986) was then used to determine if a 1.3-bar CO2 partial pressure on Mars (which is equivalent to about 9 bars on earth) is consistent with the climatic conditions thought to have existed on earth four billion years ago. Results indicate that a dense CO2 atmosphere on early Mars at perihelion is consistent with conditions expected to have existed four billion years ago on earth. Earth would then have had a stable atmosphere with temperatures warm enough to support liquid water on the surface.

  7. Microwave atmospheric sounder for earth limb observations from space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    The Microwave Atmospheric Sounder (MAS) experiment which will be performed from a Spacelab pallet on board the Shuttle to study the dynamic structure of the mesosphere and stratosphere is described. The MAS package is the 4th mode of the microwave remote sensing experiment and comprises a SAR, a frequency scatterometer, and a passive radiometer. An elevation scan mode will involve observing through the elevation angle range of 10-16 deg at a constant velocity of 1.25 deg/sec. In a pointing mode, the pallet will operate at a fixed angle which can be changed by telemetered command to within 0.04 deg accuracy. A parabolic antenna receives the earth limb radiation at 62, 184, and 204 GHz. Radiometers down-convert the signal to around 10 GHz for spectral analysis based on chirp compressive receivers with 138 channels, each having 10 bit resolution.

  8. Sources of cosmic dust in the Earth's atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Carrillo-Sánchez, J D; Nesvorný, D; Pokorný, P; Janches, D; Plane, J M C

    2016-12-16

    There are four known sources of dust in the inner solar system: Jupiter Family comets, asteroids, Halley Type comets, and Oort Cloud comets. Here we combine the mass, velocity, and radiant distributions of these cosmic dust populations from an astronomical model with a chemical ablation model to estimate the injection rates of Na and Fe into the Earth's upper atmosphere, as well as the flux of cosmic spherules to the surface. Comparing these parameters to lidar observations of the vertical Na and Fe fluxes above 87.5 km, and the measured cosmic spherule accretion rate at South Pole, shows that Jupiter Family Comets contribute (80 ± 17)% of the total input mass (43 ± 14 t d(-1)), in good accord with Cosmic Background Explorer and Planck observations of the zodiacal cloud.

  9. Sources of cosmic dust in the Earth's atmosphere

    PubMed Central

    Carrillo‐Sánchez, J. D.; Nesvorný, D.; Pokorný, P.; Janches, D.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract There are four known sources of dust in the inner solar system: Jupiter Family comets, asteroids, Halley Type comets, and Oort Cloud comets. Here we combine the mass, velocity, and radiant distributions of these cosmic dust populations from an astronomical model with a chemical ablation model to estimate the injection rates of Na and Fe into the Earth's upper atmosphere, as well as the flux of cosmic spherules to the surface. Comparing these parameters to lidar observations of the vertical Na and Fe fluxes above 87.5 km, and the measured cosmic spherule accretion rate at South Pole, shows that Jupiter Family Comets contribute (80 ± 17)% of the total input mass (43 ± 14 t d−1), in good accord with Cosmic Background Explorer and Planck observations of the zodiacal cloud. PMID:28275286

  10. Sources of cosmic dust in the Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrillo-Sánchez, J. D.; Nesvorný, D.; Pokorný, P.; Janches, D.; Plane, J. M. C.

    2016-12-01

    There are four known sources of dust in the inner solar system: Jupiter Family comets, asteroids, Halley Type comets, and Oort Cloud comets. Here we combine the mass, velocity, and radiant distributions of these cosmic dust populations from an astronomical model with a chemical ablation model to estimate the injection rates of Na and Fe into the Earth's upper atmosphere, as well as the flux of cosmic spherules to the surface. Comparing these parameters to lidar observations of the vertical Na and Fe fluxes above 87.5 km, and the measured cosmic spherule accretion rate at South Pole, shows that Jupiter Family Comets contribute (80 ± 17)% of the total input mass (43 ± 14 t d-1), in good accord with Cosmic Background Explorer and Planck observations of the zodiacal cloud.

  11. Radiation Transfer Model for Aerosol Events in the Earth Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukai, Sonoyo; Yokomae, Takuma; Nakata, Makiko; Sano, Itaru

    Recently large scale-forest fire, which damages the Earth environment as biomass burning and emission of carbonaceous particles, frequently occurs due to the unstable climate and/or global warming tendency. It is also known that the heavy soil dust is transported from the China continent to Japan on westerly winds, especially in spring. Furthermore the increasing emis-sions of anthropogenic particles associated with continuing economic growth scatter serious air pollutants. Thus atmospheric aerosols, especially in Asia, are very complex and heavy loading, which is called aerosol event. In the case of aerosol events, it is rather difficult to do the sun/sky photometry from the ground, however satellite observation is an effective for aerosol monitoring. Here the detection algorithms from space for such aerosol events as dust storm or biomass burn-ing are dealt with multispectral satellite data as ADEOS-2/GLI, Terra/Aqua/MODIS and/or GOSAT/CAI first. And then aerosol retrieval algorithms are examined based on new radiation transfer code for semi-infinite atmosphere model. The derived space-based results are validated with ground-based measurements and/or model simulations. Namely the space-or surface-based measurements, multiple scattering calculations and model simulations are synthesized together for aerosol retrieval in this work.

  12. LAWS (Laser Atmospheric Wind Sounder) earth observing system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    Wind profiles can be measured from space using current technology. These wind profiles are essential for answering many of the interdisciplinary scientific questions to be addressed by EOS, the Earth Observing System. This report provides guidance for the development of a spaceborne wind sounder, the Laser Atmospheric Wind Sounder (LAWS), discussing the current state of the technology and reviewing the scientific rationale for the instrument. Whether obtained globally from the EOS polar platform or in the tropics and subtropics from the Space Station, wind profiles from space will provide essential information for advancing the skill of numerical weather prediction, furthering knowledge of large-scale atmospheric circulation and climate dynamics, and improving understanding of the global biogeochemical and hydrologic cycles. The LAWS Instrument Panel recommends that it be given high priority for new instrument development because of the pressing scientific need and the availability of the necessary technology. LAWS is to measure wind profiles with an accuracy of a few meters per second and to sample at intervals of 100 km horizontally for layers km thick.

  13. Catching Comet's Particles in the Earth's Atmosphere by Using Balloons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potashko, Oleksandr; Viso, Michel

    The project is intended to catch cometary particles in the atmosphere by using balloons. The investigation is based upon knowledge that the Earth crosses the comet’s tails during the year. One can catch these particles at different altitudes in the atmosphere. So, we will be able to gradually advance in the ability to launch balloons from low to high altitudes and try to catch particles from different comet tails. The maximum altitude that we have to reach is 40 km. Both methods - distance observation and cometary samples from mission Stardust testify to the presence of organic components in comet’s particles. It would be useful to know more details about this organic matter for astrobiology; besides, the factor poses danger to the Earth. Moreover, it is important to prove that it is possible to get fundamental scientific results at low cost. In the last 5 years launching balloons has become popular and this movement looks like hackers’ one - as most of them occur without launch permission to airspace. The popularity of ballooning is connected with low cost of balloon, GPS unit, video recording unit. If you use iPhone, you have a light solution with GPS, video, picture and control function in one unit. The price of balloon itself begins from $50; it depends on maximum altitude, payload weight and material. Many university teams realized balloon launching and reached even stratosphere at an altitude of 33 km. But most of them take only video and picture. Meanwhile, it is possible to carry out scientific experiments by ballooning, for example to collect comet particles. There is rich experience at the moment of the use of mineral, chemical and isotopic analysis techniques and data of the comet’s dust after successful landing of StarDust capsule with samples in 2006. Besides, we may use absolutely perfect material to catch particles in the atmosphere, which was used by cosmic missions such as Stardust and Japanese Hayabusa. As to balloon launches, we could use

  14. Photoevaporation of Earth and Super-Earth Atmospheres in the Habitable Zones of M Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohanty, Subhanjoy

    2015-08-01

    Kepler data show that multiple terrestrial-sized planets (i.e., Earths / super-Earths), packed in very close to the central star, are the norm in exoplanetary systems around low-mass stars. Around M dwarfs, a significant fraction of these planets reside within the Habitable Zone (HZ). This has kindled intense excitement about the possibility of finding habitable planets around these cool red stars. However, M dwarfs also remain extremely magnetically active for much longer than solar-type stars: e.g., an M3 dwarf evinces saturated levels of coronal and chromospheric activity over Gyr timescales, compared to ~100 Myr for solar-mass stars. Thus, basal levels of coronal/chromospheric X-ray/EUV emission from M dwarfs, integrated over their saturated activity lifetimes, may severely photoevaporate the atmospheres of terrestrial planets in M dwarf HZs; this would only be exacerbated by flares (which are correspondingly more intense in active M dwarfs). Here we present detailed hydrodynamic calculations of such photoevaporation for planets spanning a range of Earth/super-Earth sizes, residing in the HZ of M dwarfs of various spectral sub-types, over Gyr evolutionary timescales. Our calculations include the effects of: (1) simultaneous X-ray and EUV heating, using state-of-the-art stellar XUV SED models; (2) the change in the stellar XUV SED over evolutionary timescales; (3) realistic radiative losses (which can both dominate and vary in time); (4) thermal evolution of the planetary core; and (5) a range of initial planetary entropies (i.e.,`hot' or `cold' start) and core compositions. The analysis yields the location and extent of the HZ as a function of planetary mass, core composition, initial conditions and M sub-type. We will focus on H/He dominated (i.e., solar abundance) atmospheres; however, we will also discuss qualtitative trends for CO2 / H2O dominated atmospheres, which we are beginning to explore by coupling a detailed photochemical code with our hydrodynamic

  15. The equilibrium of atmospheric sodium. [in atmospheres of Earth, Io, Mercury and Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hunten, Donald M.

    1992-01-01

    We now have four examples of planetary objects with detectable sodium (and potassium) in their atmospheres: Earth, Io, Mercury and the moon. After a summary of the observational data, this survey discusses proposed sources and sinks. It appears that Io's surface material is rich in frozen SO2, but with around 1 percent of some sodium compound. The Io plasma torus contains ions of S, O and Na, also with at least one molecular ion containing Na. In turn, impact by these ions probably sustains the torus, as well as an extended neutral corona. A primary source for the Earth, Mercury and the moon is meteoroidal bombardment; at Mercury and perhaps the moon it may be supplemented by degassing of atoms from the regolith. Photoionization is important everywhere, although hot electrons are dominant at Io.

  16. Three-Dimensional Orbits of Earth Satellites, Including Effects of Earth Oblateness and Atmospheric Rotation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nielsen, Jack N.; Goodwin, Frederick K.; Mersman, William A.

    1958-01-01

    The principal purpose of the present paper is to present sets of equations which may be used for calculating complete trajectories of earth satellites from outer space to the ground under the influence of air drag and gravity, including oblateness effects, and to apply these to several examples of entry trajectories starting from a circular orbit. Equations of motion, based on an "instantaneous ellipse" technique, with polar angle as independent variable, were found suitable for automatic computation of orbits in which the trajectory consists of a number of revolutions. This method is suitable as long as the trajectory does not become nearly vertical. In the terminal phase of the trajectories, which are nearly vertical, equations of motion in spherical polar coordinates with time as the independent variable were found to be more suitable. In the first illustrative example the effects of the oblateness component of the earth's gravitational field and of atmospheric rotation were studied for equatorial orbits. The satellites were launched into circular orbits at a height of 120 miles, an altitude sufficiently high that a number of revolutions could be studied. The importance of the oblateness component of the earth's gravitational field is shown by the fact that a satellite launched at circular orbital speed, neglecting oblateness, has a perigee some 67,000 feet lower when oblateness forces are included in the equations of motion than when they are not included. Also, the loss in altitude per revolution is double that of a satellite following an orbit not subject to oblateness. The effect of atmospheric rotation on the loss of altitude per revolution was small. As might be surmised, the regression of the line of nodes as predicted by celestial mechanics is unchanged when drag is included. It is clear that the inclination of the orbital plane to the equator will be relatively unaffected by drag for no atmospheric rotation since the drag lies in the orbital plane in

  17. National Chemistry Week 2003: Earth's Atmosphere and Beyond. JCE Resources for Chemistry and the Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobsen, Erica K.

    2003-10-01

    This annotated bibliography collects the best that past issues of the Journal of Chemical Education have to offer for use with this year's National Chemistry Week theme: Earth's Atmosphere and Beyond. Each article has been characterized as a demonstration, experiment, activity, informational, or software/video item; several fit in more than one classification. The most recent articles are listed first. Also included is an evaluation as to which levels the article may serve. Articles that appeared adaptable to other levels, but are not designed explicitly for those levels, are labeled "poss. h.s." "poss. elem.", and so forth.

  18. ATMOSPHERIC RETRIEVAL FOR SUPER-EARTHS: UNIQUELY CONSTRAINING THE ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION WITH TRANSMISSION SPECTROSCOPY

    SciTech Connect

    Benneke, Bjoern; Seager, Sara

    2012-07-10

    We present a retrieval method based on Bayesian analysis to infer the atmospheric compositions and surface or cloud-top pressures from transmission spectra of exoplanets with general compositions. In this study, we identify what can unambiguously be determined about the atmospheres of exoplanets from their transmission spectra by applying the retrieval method to synthetic observations of the super-Earth GJ 1214b. Our approach to inferring constraints on atmospheric parameters is to compute their joint and marginal posterior probability distributions using the Markov Chain Monte Carlo technique in a parallel tempering scheme. A new atmospheric parameterization is introduced that is applicable to general atmospheres in which the main constituent is not known a priori and clouds may be present. Our main finding is that a unique constraint of the mixing ratios of the absorbers and two spectrally inactive gases (such as N{sub 2} and primordial H{sub 2}+ He) is possible if the observations are sufficient to quantify both (1) the broadband transit depths in at least one absorption feature for each absorber and (2) the slope and strength of the molecular Rayleigh scattering signature. A second finding is that the surface pressure or cloud-top pressure can be quantified if a surface or cloud deck is present at low optical depth. A third finding is that the mean molecular mass can be constrained by measuring either the Rayleigh scattering slope or the shapes of the absorption features, thus enabling one to distinguish between cloudy hydrogen-rich atmospheres and high mean molecular mass atmospheres. We conclude, however, that without the signature of molecular Rayleigh scattering-even with robustly detected infrared absorption features (>10{sigma})-there is no reliable way to tell from the transmission spectrum whether the absorber is a main constituent of the atmosphere or just a minor species with a mixing ratio of X{sub abs} < 0.1%. The retrieval method leads us to a

  19. Solar activity impact on the Earth's upper atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kutiev, Ivan; Tsagouri, Ioanna; Perrone, Loredana; Pancheva, Dora; Mukhtarov, Plamen; Mikhailov, Andrei; Lastovicka, Jan; Jakowski, Norbert; Buresova, Dalia; Blanch, Estefania; Andonov, Borislav; Altadill, David; Magdaleno, Sergio; Parisi, Mario; Miquel Torta, Joan

    2013-02-01

    The paper describes results of the studies devoted to the solar activity impact on the Earth's upper atmosphere and ionosphere, conducted within the frame of COST ES0803 Action. Aim: The aim of the paper is to represent results coming from different research groups in a unified form, aligning their specific topics into the general context of the subject. Methods: The methods used in the paper are based on data-driven analysis. Specific databases are used for spectrum analysis, empirical modeling, electron density profile reconstruction, and forecasting techniques. Results: Results are grouped in three sections: Medium- and long-term ionospheric response to the changes in solar and geomagnetic activity, storm-time ionospheric response to the solar and geomagnetic forcing, and modeling and forecasting techniques. Section 1 contains five subsections with results on 27-day response of low-latitude ionosphere to solar extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) radiation, response to the recurrent geomagnetic storms, long-term trends in the upper atmosphere, latitudinal dependence of total electron content on EUV changes, and statistical analysis of ionospheric behavior during prolonged period of solar activity. Section 2 contains a study of ionospheric variations induced by recurrent CIR-driven storm, a case-study of polar cap absorption due to an intense CME, and a statistical study of geographic distribution of so-called E-layer dominated ionosphere. Section 3 comprises empirical models for describing and forecasting TEC, the F-layer critical frequency foF2, and the height of maximum plasma density. A study evaluates the usefulness of effective sunspot number in specifying the ionosphere state. An original method is presented, which retrieves the basic thermospheric parameters from ionospheric sounding data.

  20. The atmospheric excitation of earth orientation changes during MERIT

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eubanks, T. M.; Steppe, J. A.; Dickey, J. O.

    1986-01-01

    Geodetic estimates of earth orientation variations detected during the MERIT campaign (September 1983-November 1984) are compared with corresponding meteorological data. The geodetic data were obtained using VLBI, lunar laser ranging, and satellite laser ranging and the meteorological data were from the NMC in the U.S. and the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMRWF) in the U.K. The effects of changes in pressure, wind, and the inverted barometer ocean response on the excitation of the polar motion and the length of day are examined. The comparison between the meteorological and geodetic data reveals that the equatorial vector component of the atmospheric angular momentum (AAM) has significant annual and semiannual variations. Good correlation is detected between the geodetic polar motion data and the NMC pressure inverted barometer data combined with the ECMRWF wind estimates and semiannual agreement with the NMC pressure data is observed. There is also good correlation between the ECMRWF and NMC polar vector component of the AAM data and the geodetic length of day estimates, and good semiannual agreement with NMC pressure data is noted.

  1. The atmospheric excitation of earth orientation changes during MERIT

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eubanks, T. M.; Steppe, J. A.; Dickey, J. O.

    1986-01-01

    Geodetic estimates of earth orientation variations detected during the MERIT campaign (September 1983-November 1984) are compared with corresponding meteorological data. The geodetic data were obtained using VLBI, lunar laser ranging, and satellite laser ranging and the meteorological data were from the NMC in the U.S. and the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMRWF) in the U.K. The effects of changes in pressure, wind, and the inverted barometer ocean response on the excitation of the polar motion and the length of day are examined. The comparison between the meteorological and geodetic data reveals that the equatorial vector component of the atmospheric angular momentum (AAM) has significant annual and semiannual variations. Good correlation is detected between the geodetic polar motion data and the NMC pressure inverted barometer data combined with the ECMRWF wind estimates and semiannual agreement with the NMC pressure data is observed. There is also good correlation between the ECMRWF and NMC polar vector component of the AAM data and the geodetic length of day estimates, and good semiannual agreement with NMC pressure data is noted.

  2. Discovery of interstellar dust entering the Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, A. D.; Baggaley, W. J.; Steel, D. I.

    1996-03-01

    ALL known asteroids and comets are believed to have been gravitationally bound to the Sun since they formed (together with the Sun and planets) from the solar nebula. This is because no such object has been observed with a speed exceeding the solar escape velocity, although some comets have been close to this limit1. As comets are occasionally ejected from the Solar System, interstellar comets might be expected to arrive every few centuries, having been ejected from similar systems around other stars2. The flux of interstellar dust into the Solar System should be much higher, but its detection poses significant technological challenges. Recently, the Ulysses spacecraft detected a population of dust particles near Jupiter, identified as being of interstellar origin on the basis of their speeds and trajectories3,4. Here we report the radar detection of interstellar particles in the Earth's atmosphere. From intra-annual variations in particle flux, we infer the existence of two discrete sources, one associated with nearby A-type stars, and the other with the Sun's motion about the Galactic Centre. The data also suggest the presence of a third source, possibly associated with local B-type stars and young stellar clusters.

  3. Simulation of Celestial-Body Disruption in the Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korobeinikov, V. P.; Gusev, S. B.; Semenov, I. V.

    The disruption of celestial bodies such as meteoroids, cometary fragments, and asteroids is inves tigated. The velocity of the body and its ablation in the upper atmosphere are determined on the basis of the solution of the system of equations of the physical theory of meteors. In flight, the body is affected by aerody namic and inertia forces. The stressstrain state of the body is supposed to be quasi-static and is determined by numerically solving the equations of thermoelasticity. The method of finite elements is used for calculations. Various disruption criteria are used, and the braking-acceleration values corresponding to the disruption heights of the body are also determined. Basic calculations simulate the flight and disruption of an icy (Tun guska) body and a metallic (Sikhote-Alin) meteorite. A simple model of the impact of a body onto the Earth's surface covered by a water layer is also investigated. The celestial body is modeled with a sandstone plate. For small time intervals, the impact parameters of all media are determined. The solution is obtained by a finite-difference method.

  4. Changes in the Earth's Spin Rotation due to the Atmospheric Effects and Reduction in Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Na, Sung-Ho; Cho, Jungho; Kim, Tu-Hwan; Seo, Kiweon; Youm, Kookhyoun; Yoo, Sung-Moon; Choi, Byungkyu; Yoon, Hasu

    2016-12-01

    The atmosphere strongly affects the Earth's spin rotation in wide range of timescale from daily to annual. Its dominant role in the seasonal perturbations of both the pole position and spinning rate of the Earth is once again confirmed by a comparison of two recent data sets; i) the Earth orientation parameter and ii) the global atmospheric state. The atmospheric semi-diurnal tide has been known to be a source of the Earth's spin acceleration, and its magnitude is re-estimated by using an enhanced formulation and an up-dated empirical atmospheric S2 tide model. During the last twenty years, an unusual eastward drift of the Earth's pole has been observed. The change in the Earth's inertia tensor due to glacier mass redistribution is directly assessed, and the recent eastward movement of the pole is ascribed to this change. Furthermore, the associated changes in the length of day and UT1 are estimated.

  5. Ultraviolet radiation climatology of the Earth`s surface and lower atmosphere. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Madronich, S.; Stamnes, K.

    1999-03-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the driving force of tropospheric chemistry and is furthermore detrimental to most living tissues. A three year modeling program was carried out to characterize the UV radiation in the lower atmosphere, with the objective of development a climatology of UV biologically active radiation, and of photo-dissociation reaction rates that are key to tropospheric chemistry. A comprehensive model, the Tropospheric Ultraviolet-Visible (TUV) model, was developed and made available to the scientific community. The model incorporates updated spectroscopic data, recent advances in radiative transfer theory, and allows flexible customization for the needs of different users. The TUV model has been used in conjunction with satellite-derived measurements of total atmospheric ozone and cloud amount, to develop a global climatology of UV radiation reaching the surface of the Earth. Initial validation studies are highly encouraging, showing that model predictions agree with direct measurements to ca. 5--10% at times when environmental conditions are well known, and to 10--30% for monthly averages when local environmental conditions can only be estimated remotely from satellite-based measurements. Additional validation studies are continuing.

  6. Runaway greenhouse atmospheres: Applications to Earth and Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, James F.

    1991-01-01

    Runaway greenhouse atmospheres are discussed from a theoretical standpoint and with respect to various practical situation in which they might occur. The following subject areas are covered: (1) runaway greenhouse atmospheres; (2) moist greenhouse atmospheres; (3) loss of water from Venus; (4) steam atmosphere during accretion; and (5) the continuously habitable zone.

  7. The Third Tibetan Plateau Atmospheric Scientific Experiment for Understanding the Earth-Atmosphere Coupled System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, P.; Xu, X.; Chen, F.; Guo, X.; Zheng, X.; Liu, L. P.; Hong, Y.; Li, Y.; La, Z.; Peng, H.; Zhong, L. Z.; Ma, Y.; Tang, S. H.; Liu, Y.; Liu, H.; Li, Y. H.; Zhang, Q.; Hu, Z.; Sun, J. H.; Zhang, S.; Dong, L.; Zhang, H.; Zhao, Y.; Yan, X.; Xiao, A.; Wan, W.; Zhou, X.

    2016-12-01

    The Third Tibetan Plateau atmospheric scientific experiment (TIPEX-III) was initiated jointly by the China Meteorological Administration, the National Natural Scientific Foundation, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. This paper presents the background, scientific objectives, and overall experimental design of TIPEX-III. It was designed to conduct an integrated observation of the earth-atmosphere coupled system over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) from land surface, planetary boundary layer (PBL), troposphere, and stratosphere for eight to ten years by coordinating ground- and air-based measurement facilities for understanding spatial heterogeneities of complex land-air interactions, cloud-precipitation physical processes, and interactions between troposphere and stratosphere. TIPEX-III originally began in 2014, and is ongoing. It established multiscale land-surface and PBL observation networks over the TP and a tropospheric meteorological radiosonde network over the western TP, and executed an integrated observation mission for cloud-precipitation physical features using ground-based radar systems and aircraft campaigns and an observation task for atmospheric ozone, aerosol, and water vapor. The archive, management, and share policy of the observation data are also introduced herein. Some TIPEX-III data have been preliminarily applied to analyze the features of surface sensible and latent heat fluxes, cloud-precipitation physical processes, and atmospheric water vapor and ozone over the TP, and to improve the local precipitation forecast. Furthermore, TIPEX-III intends to promote greater scientific and technological cooperation with international research communities and broader organizations. Scientists working internationally are invited to participate in the field campaigns and to use the TIPEX-III data for their own research.

  8. What Do We Really Know About the Earth's Early Atmosphere?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catling, D. C.; Krissansen-Totton, J.; Zahnle, K. J.

    2016-12-01

    Theory suggests that oceans collapsed from a steam atmosphere and CO2 was lost into the seafloor by 108 yrs after the Moon-forming impact [1]. Afterwards, zircons suggest continents, oceans, and even life, but the Hadean atmosphere remains obscure. Gas proportions in modern outgassing tentatively suggest that Hadean air was probably N2 and CO2 with minor CO, H2 and CH4, but little direct evidence confirms this. In contrast, evidence for oceans, an atmosphere, and land becomes unambiguous by 3.8 Ga [2], with suggestive signs of life [3]. Biological modulation, a faint Sun, and a lack of O2 all circumscribe any model of Archean air. Glacial rocks (3.5, 2.9 and 2.7 Ga) indicate climates below a global mean 20°C. Even with little land, control of CO2 by seafloor weathering should have moderated climate. Probably CO2 was always an important greenhouse gas, as indicated by new paleosol estimates [4]. Estimates of pN2< 0.5 bar at 2.7 Ga [5] would lower pressure broadening of IR absorption, which demands high concentrations of greenhouse gases. Low pN2 could occur in an anoxic N cycle. Today, long-term N sources are outgassing and oxidative weathering of organics. In the Archean, the N source from oxidative weathering was absent, so pN2 was plausibly lower and would have risen at the Great Oxidation Event (GOE) [5]. Archean mass independent fractionation of S isotopes requires >20 ppmv CH4 [6]. But evidence of hydrogen escape to space (lighter ocean D/H [7] and Xe isotopes that become lighter in time [8]), suggest 2H2+CH4 levels 103 ppmv. Polar H escape that drags Xe+ions could explain the Xe isotope trend. The GOE relied upon long-term oxidation of the surface environment by removing reductants. We continue to argue that removal by H escape (the biggest net redox flux over time) pushed towards oxygenation by shifting the balance of oxygen sources and sinks [9]. [1] Zahnle K. et al. (2010) CSH Perspect. Biol. 2, doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a004895. [2] Nutman A. P. (2006

  9. Analyzing early exo-Earths with a coupled atmosphere biogeochemical model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gebauer, Stefanie; Grenfell, John Lee; Stock, Joachim; Lehmann, Ralph; Godolt, Mareike; von Paris, Philip; Rauer, Heike

    2017-04-01

    Investigating Earth-like extrasolar planets with atmospheric models is a central focus in planetary science. Taking the development of Earth as a reference for Earth-like planets we investigate interactions between the atmosphere, planetary surface and organisms. The Great Oxidation Event (GOE) is related to feedbacks between these three. Its origin and controlling mechanisms are not well defined - requiring interdisciplinary, coupled models. We present results from our newly-developed Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemistry (CAB) model which is unique in the literature. Applying a unique tool (Pathway Analysis Program), ours is the first quantitative analysis of catalytic cycles governing O2 in early Earth's atmosphere near the GOE. Complicated oxidation pathways play a key role in destroying O2 whereas in the upper atmosphere, most O2 is formed abiotically via CO2 photolysis.

  10. THERMAL ESCAPE FROM SUPER EARTH ATMOSPHERES IN THE HABITABLE ZONES OF M STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Tian Feng

    2009-09-20

    A fundamental question for exoplanet habitability is the long-term stability of the planet's atmosphere. We numerically solve a one-dimensional multi-component hydrodynamic thermosphere/ionosphere model to examine the thermal and chemical responses of the primary CO{sub 2} atmospheres of heavy super Earths (6-10 Earth masses) in the habitable zones of typical low-mass M stars to the enhanced soft X-ray and ultraviolet (XUV) fluxes associated with the prolonged high-activity levels of M stars. The results show that such atmospheres are stable against thermal escape, even for M stars XUV enhancements as large as 1000 compared to the present Earth. It is possible that the CO{sub 2}-dominant atmospheres of super Earths in the habitable zones of M stars could potentially contain modest amount of free oxygen as a result of more efficient atmosphere escape of carbon than oxygen instead of photosynthesis.

  11. Effects of Superthermal Electrons in The Young Earth Atmosphere and Its Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Airapetian, V.; Khazanov, G. V.

    2014-12-01

    In this presentation, we use the Fokker-Plank code to model the effect of intensive short-wavelength (X-rays to UV band) emission from the young Sun on Earth's atmosphere. Our simulations include the photoionization processes of the Earth's atmosphere forming a population of superthermal electrons (E<600 eV), the kinetic effects of their propagation associated and their contribution in ionosphere-magnetosphere energy redistribution. We also evaluated associated non-thermal atmospheric mass loss due to induced ambipolar electric field and its effect on the habitability of early Earth.

  12. Oxidants and oxidation in the Earth`s atmosphere. Final technical report, 1 June 1994-30 May 1995

    SciTech Connect

    1995-02-01

    The 1994 BOC Priestley Conference was held at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, from June 24 through June 27, 1994. This conference, managed by the American Chemical Society (ACS), was a joint celebration with the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) commemorating Joseph Priestley`s arrival in the U.S. and his discovery of oxygen. The basic theme of the conference was `Oxidants and Oxidation in the Earth`s Atmosphere,` with a keynote lecture on the history of ozone. A distinguished group of U.S. and international atmospheric chemists addressed the issues dominating current research and policy agendas. Topics crucial to the atmospheric chemistry of global change and local and regional air pollution were discussed. The program for the conference included four technical sessions on the following topics: (1) Oxidative Fate of Atmospheric Pollutants; (2) Photochemical Smog and Ozone; (3) Stratospheric Ozone; and (4) Global Tropospheric Ozone.

  13. The atmospheres of the earth and the other planets: Origin, evolution and composition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levine, Joel S.

    1988-01-01

    The current understanding of the composition, chemistry, and structure of the atmospheres of the other planets and the origin, early history, and evolution of the earth's atmosphere is reviewed. The information on the atmospheres of the other planets is based on the successful Mariner, Viking, Pioneer, and Voyager missions to these planets. The information on the origin, early history, and evolution of the atmosphere, which is somewhat speculative, is largely based on numerical studies with geochemical and photochemical models.

  14. The Origin and Evolution of the Atmospheres of Venus, Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denlinger, Michael C.

    2005-04-01

    The chemical compositions of the primordial atmospheres of Venus, Earth and Mars have long been a topic of debate between the experts. Some believe that the original atmospheres were a product of outgassed volatiles from the newly accreted terrestrial planets and that these atmospheres consisted primarily of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, water vapor and residual hydrogen and helium (e.g., Lewis and Prinn, Planets and their Atmospheres, Academic Press, Orlando, FL, 1984, pp. 62 63, 81 84, 228 231, 383). Still others think the earliest atmospheres were composed of the gas components of the solar nebula from which the solar system formed (i.e., hydrogen, helium, methane, ammonia and water). I consider the latter to be the correct scenario. Presented herein is a proposed mechanism by which the original atmospheres of Venus, Earth and Mars were transformed to atmospheres rich in carbon dioxide and nitrogen. An explanation is proposed for why water is so common on the surface of Earth and so scarce on the surfaces of Venus and Mars. Also presented are the effects the “great impact” (single cataclysmic event that was responsible for producing the Earth Moon system) had upon the early atmosphere of Earth. The origin, structure and composition of the impacting object are determined through deductive analyses.

  15. Modeling of atmospheric-coupled Rayleigh waves on planets with atmosphere: From Earth observation to Mars and Venus perspectives.

    PubMed

    Lognonné, Philippe; Karakostas, Foivos; Rolland, Lucie; Nishikawa, Yasuhiro

    2016-08-01

    Acoustic coupling between solid Earth and atmosphere has been observed since the 1960s, first from ground-based seismic, pressure, and ionospheric sensors and since 20 years with various satellite measurements, including with global positioning system (GPS) satellites. This coupling leads to the excitation of the Rayleigh surface waves by local atmospheric sources such as large natural explosions from volcanoes, meteor atmospheric air-bursts, or artificial explosions. It contributes also in the continuous excitation of Rayleigh waves and associated normal modes by atmospheric winds and pressure fluctuations. The same coupling allows the observation of Rayleigh waves in the thermosphere most of the time through ionospheric monitoring with Doppler sounders or GPS. The authors review briefly in this paper observations made on Earth and describe the general frame of the theory enabling the computation of Rayleigh waves for models of telluric planets with atmosphere. The authors then focus on Mars and Venus and give in both cases the atmospheric properties of the Rayleigh normal modes and associated surface waves compared to Earth. The authors then conclude on the observation perspectives especially for Rayleigh waves excited by atmospheric sources on Mars and for remote ionospheric observations of Rayleigh waves excited by quakes on Venus.

  16. 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.

  17. Impact Induced Aerial Bursts in the Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shuvalov, V. V.; Trubetskaya, I.

    2008-03-01

    Aerial bursts are produced by comets and asteroids with sizes ranging from tens of meters to about one kilometer (energies from 10 Mt to 100 Gt of TNT equivalents). They produce strong devastation and fires on the Earth's surface.

  18. Lightning-made Waves in Earth's Atmosphere Leak Into Space

    NASA Image and Video Library

    As lightning flashes, it creates low frequency waves that circle Earth, a phenomenon known as Schumann resonance. Much of the energy from the waves is trapped between the ground and the ionosphere ...

  19. Earth curvature and atmospheric refraction effects on radar signal propagation.

    SciTech Connect

    Doerry, Armin Walter

    2013-01-01

    The earth isnt flat, and radar beams dont travel straight. This becomes more noticeable as range increases, particularly at shallow depression/grazing angles. This report explores models for characterizing this behavior.

  20. Atmosphere, ocean, and land: Critical gaps in Earth system models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prinn, Ronald G.; Hartley, Dana

    1992-01-01

    We briefly review current knowledge and pinpoint some of the major areas of uncertainty for the following fundamental processes: (1) convection, condensation nuclei, and cloud formation; (2) oceanic circulation and its coupling to the atmosphere and cryosphere; (3) land surface hydrology and hydrology-vegetation coupling; (4) biogeochemistry of greenhouse gases; and (5) upper atmospheric chemistry and circulation.

  1. Thermochemistry and Photochemistry in Thick Atmospheres on Super Earths and Mini Neptunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, R.; Seager, S.

    2013-12-01

    Dectection and characterization of low-mass exoplanets is poised to accelerate in the coming decade. Some low-mass exoplanets, namely super Earths and some mini Neptunes, will likely have thick atmospheres that are not H2-dominated. We have developed a photochemistry-thermochemistry model for exploring the compositions of thick atmospheres on super Earths and mini Neptunes, applicable for both H2-dominated atmospheres and non-H2-dominated atmospheres. Using this model, we have simulated the molecular composition of thick atmospheres on warm and hot super Earths/mini Neptunes, and classified thick atmospheres into hydrogen-rich atmospheres, water-rich atmospheres, oxygen-rich atmospheres, and hydrocarbon-rich atmospheres, depending on the hydrogen abundance and the carbon to oxygen abundance ratio. We find that carbon has to be in the form of CO2 rather than CH4 or CO in an H2-depleted water-dominated thick atmosphere, and that the preferred loss of light elements from an oxygen-poor carbon-rich atmosphere leads to formation of unsaturated hydrocarbons. For future observations, we find for GJ 1214b that (1) C2H2 features at 1.0 and 1.5 μm in transmission are diagnostic for hydrocarbon-rich atmospheres; (2) a constraint on the thermal emission at 4.5 μm could differentiate water-rich atmospheres versus hydrocarbon-rich atmospheres; (3) a detection of water-vapor features and a confirmation of nonexistence of methane features would provide sufficient evidence for a water-dominated atmosphere. For a hot super Earth like 55 Cnc e, the diagnostic features of water-rich atmospheres (H2O) and the diagnostic features of hydrocarbon-rich atmospheres (CO and C2H2) are well separated in transmission spectra at 0.6-5 μm, which would enable straightforward characterization. In general, our simulations show that chemical stability has to be taken into account when interpreting the spectrum of a super Earth/mini Neptune. Theoretical transmission spectra and thermal emission

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, James F.; Ackerman, Thomas P.

    1986-01-01

    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 to 110 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, James F.; Ackerman, Thomas P.

    1986-01-01

    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 to 110 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Impact of atmospheric refraction: how deeply can we probe exo-earth's atmospheres during primary eclipse observations?

    SciTech Connect

    Bétrémieux, Yan; Kaltenegger, Lisa

    2014-08-10

    Most models used to predict or fit exoplanet transmission spectra do not include all the effects of atmospheric refraction. Namely, the angular size of the star with respect to the planet can limit the lowest altitude, or highest density and pressure, probed during primary eclipses as no rays passing below this critical altitude can reach the observer. We discuss this geometrical effect of refraction for all exoplanets and tabulate the critical altitude, density, and pressure for an exoplanet identical to Earth with a 1 bar N{sub 2}/O{sub 2} atmosphere as a function of both the incident stellar flux (Venus, Earth, and Mars-like) at the top of the atmosphere and the spectral type (O5-M9) of the host star. We show that such a habitable exo-Earth can be probed to a surface pressure of 1 bar only around the coolest stars. We present 0.4-5.0 μm model transmission spectra of Earth's atmosphere viewed as a transiting exoplanet, and show how atmospheric refraction modifies the transmission spectrum depending on the spectral type of the host star. We demonstrate that refraction is another phenomenon that can potentially explain flat transmission spectra over some spectral regions.

  6. Gamma-ray Emission of the Earth's Upper Atmosphere in Geographical Coordinates with Fermi-LAT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madlee, S.; Mitthumsiri, W.; Digel, S.; Ruffolo, D. J.

    2016-12-01

    The Earth is extremely bright in gamma rays as viewed by the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT). This gamma-ray emission of the Earth is produced by the interactions of cosmic rays (CRs), high-energy particles in space, with the Earth's upper atmosphere. Here we analyze the Earth's photons in the geographical coordinate system (latitude and longitude) from 58 months of data, using the latest version of the LAT event selection (Pass 8). Preliminary results of our analysis, which are the gamma-ray intensity maps of the Earth at energies from 1 to 10 GeV, will be presented. This study provides a better understanding of the geomagnetic field, the Earth's upper atmosphere, and CRs. This project is partially supported by the Thailand Research Fund (Grant TRG5880173 and RTA5980003).

  7. Our life is protected by the Earth's atmosphere and magnetic field: what aurora research tells us.

    PubMed

    Kamide, Y

    2001-01-01

    Our sun is an average middle-aged star. Without the sun, there would be no atmosphere, no water, and no life on the Earth. The sun is constantly changing, providing the Earth with energy through a complicated chain of processes that occur in space surrounding the Earth. This paper demonstrates that life on Earth is protected by two barriers, i.e., the atmosphere and the magnetic field, against otherwise menacing events in space. Because of these shielding effects, we, peacefully sitting on the Earth's surface, are not aware of a number of critical and potentially dangerous episodes that are taking place only 100 km above the Earth's surface. The aurora, which dances in the polar sky also because of the two barriers, is sending us a crucial hint about what is happening in space.

  8. Ionization in Earth's atmosphere following the solar storm on January 20, 2005

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seripienlert, A.; Mitthumsiri, W.; Saiz, A.; Ruffolo, D. J.; Mangeard, P. S.; Tortermpun, U.

    2014-12-01

    To estimate possible effects of atmospheric ionization on clouds and Earth's climate as well as radiation exposure of air travelers and aircraft electronics due to space weather, relativistic solar ions are the only solar particles of concern because the less energetic particles do not penetrate to cloud/aircraft altitudes. Some solar storms produce relativistic ions that lead to showers of secondary particles in Earth's atmosphere and generate signals in ground-based detectors such as neutron monitors at a rate that can be observed above the background due to galactic cosmic rays, hence the term ground-level enhancements (GLEs). In this work we study the January 20, 2005 event, one of the most intense GLEs ever observed. From the bare counter to neutron monitor count rate ratio at South Pole, we estimate a spectral index in rigidity of 5.0. From the Spaceship Earth network, supplemented to comprise 13 polar neutron monitors, we model the time profile of relativistic solar ions impinging on Earth's atmosphere in the polar regions. We then perform Monte Carlo simulations using a realistic atmospheric model to determine ionization as a function of altitude and time in Earth's atmosphere. The results will allow us to investigate a possible connection between solar activity and Earth's climate as mediated by the cosmic ray flux, atmospheric ionization, and cloud formation. This work is partially supported by Thailand Research Fund and a Postdoctoral Fellowship from Mahidol University.

  9. 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.

  10. Determining How Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentrations Have Changed during the History of the Earth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Badger, Marcus P. S.; Pancost, Richard D.; Harrison, Timothy G.

    2011-01-01

    The reconstruction of ancient atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations is essential to understanding the history of the Earth and life. It is also an important guide to identifying the sensitivity of the Earth system to this greenhouse gas and, therefore, constraining its future impact on climate. However, determining the concentration of…

  11. Atmospheric radiative flux divergence from Clouds and Earth Radiant Energy System (CERES)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Louis G.; Charlock, Thomas P.; Crommelynk, D.; Rutan, David; Gupta, Shashi

    1990-01-01

    A major objective of the Clouds and Earth Radiant Energy System (CERES) is the computation of vertical profiles through the atmosphere of the divergence of radiation flux, with global coverage. This paper discusses the need for radiation divergence and presents some options for its inference from CERES measurements and other data from the Earth Observating System.

  12. L2 Earth atmosphere observatory : formation guidance, metrology, and control synthesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Acikmese, Behcet A.; Mettler, Edward; Breckenridge, William G.; Macenka, Steven A.; Tubbs, Eldred F.

    2004-01-01

    This paper discusses the results of research sponsored by the NASA Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts (RASC) program, and includes the synthesis and analysis of the guidance, metrology and control for a two-spacecraft formation in a unique continuously powered orbit near the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point observing the illuminated atmosphere of the Earth while it is continuously occulting the Sun.

  13. Determining How Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentrations Have Changed during the History of the Earth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Badger, Marcus P. S.; Pancost, Richard D.; Harrison, Timothy G.

    2011-01-01

    The reconstruction of ancient atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations is essential to understanding the history of the Earth and life. It is also an important guide to identifying the sensitivity of the Earth system to this greenhouse gas and, therefore, constraining its future impact on climate. However, determining the concentration of…

  14. Atmospheric radiative flux divergence from Clouds and Earth Radiant Energy System (CERES)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Louis G.; Charlock, Thomas P.; Crommelynk, D.; Rutan, David; Gupta, Shashi

    1990-01-01

    A major objective of the Clouds and Earth Radiant Energy System (CERES) is the computation of vertical profiles through the atmosphere of the divergence of radiation flux, with global coverage. This paper discusses the need for radiation divergence and presents some options for its inference from CERES measurements and other data from the Earth Observating System.

  15. L2 Earth atmosphere observatory : formation guidance, metrology, and control synthesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Acikmese, Behcet A.; Mettler, Edward; Breckenridge, William G.; Macenka, Steven A.; Tubbs, Eldred F.

    2004-01-01

    This paper discusses the results of research sponsored by the NASA Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts (RASC) program, and includes the synthesis and analysis of the guidance, metrology and control for a two-spacecraft formation in a unique continuously powered orbit near the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point observing the illuminated atmosphere of the Earth while it is continuously occulting the Sun.

  16. The atmospheric circulation of the super Earth GJ 1214b: Dependence on composition and metallicity

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-04-20

    We present three-dimensional atmospheric circulation models of GJ 1214b, a 2.7 Earth-radius, 6.5 Earth-mass super Earth detected by the MEarth survey. Here we explore the planet's circulation as a function of atmospheric metallicity and atmospheric composition, modeling atmospheres with a low mean molecular weight (MMW; i.e., H{sub 2}-dominated) and a high MMW (i.e., water- and CO{sub 2}-dominated). We find that atmospheres with a low MMW have strong day-night temperature variations at pressures above the infrared photosphere that lead to equatorial superrotation. For these atmospheres, the enhancement of atmospheric opacities with increasing metallicity lead to shallower atmospheric heating, larger day-night temperature variations, and hence stronger superrotation. In comparison, atmospheres with a high MMW have larger day-night and equator-to-pole temperature variations than low MMW atmospheres, but differences in opacity structure and energy budget lead to differences in jet structure. The circulation of a water-dominated atmosphere is dominated by equatorial superrotation, while the circulation of a CO{sub 2}-dominated atmosphere is instead dominated by high-latitude jets. By comparing emergent flux spectra and light curves for 50× solar and water-dominated compositions, we show that observations in emission can break the degeneracy in determining the atmospheric composition of GJ 1214b. The variation in opacity with wavelength for the water-dominated atmosphere leads to large phase variations within water bands and small phase variations outside of water bands. The 50× solar atmosphere, however, yields small variations within water bands and large phase variations at other characteristic wavelengths. These observations would be much less sensitive to clouds, condensates, and hazes than transit observations.

  17. Advancing Solid Earth Science through Improved Atmosphere Modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niell, A. E.

    2004-01-01

    We proposed to investigate and develop better models for the effect of the hydrostatic and water vapor components of the neutral atmosphere on delay for VLBI and GPS by using a Numerical Weather Model to better simulate realistic atmosphere conditions. By using a raytrace calculation through the model atmosphere at the times of actual VLBI observations, the potential improvement in geodetic results can be evaluated. Also, by calculating the actual variation of delays with elevation and azimuth, the errors in current mapping function models can be assessed. The VLBI data to be initially analyzed are the fifteen days of the CONT02 sessions of 2002 October which included eight stations. There are three segments to the research. 1) The PSU/NCAR fifth generation mesoscale numerical weather model (MM5) will be used to provide the state of the atmosphere with highest horizontal resolution of 3 km. 2) A three-dimensional raytrace program will be developed to determine the delays through the model atmosphere at the times and in the directions of the VLBI observations for each of the sites. 3) The VLBI data will be analyzed using both standard models for the atmosphere mapping functions and the mapping functions derived from the NWM raytracing.

  18. Atmospheric Effect on Remote Sensing of the Earth's Surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fraser, R. S.; Kaufman, Y. J. (Principal Investigator)

    1985-01-01

    Radiative transfer theory (RT) for an atmosphere with a nonuniform surface is the basis for understanding and correcting for the atmospheric effect on remote sensing of surface properties. In the present work the theory is generalized and tested successfully against laboratory and field measurements. There is still a need to generalize the RT approximation for off-nadir directions and to take into account anisotropic reflectance at the surface. The reflectance at the surface. The adjacency effect results in a significant modification of spectral signatures of the surface, and therefore results in modification of classifications, of separability of field classes, and of spatial resolution. For example, the 30 m resolution of the Thematic Mapper is reduced to 100 m by a hazy atmosphere. The adjacency effect depends on several optical parameters of aerosols: optical thickness, depth of aerosol layer, scattering phase function, and absorption. Remote sensing in general depends on these parameter, not just adjacency effects, but they are not known well enough for making accurate atmospheric corrections. It is important to establish methods for estimating these parameters in order to develop correction methods for atmospheric effects. Such estimations can be based on climatological data, which are not available yet, correlations between the optical parameters and meteorological data, and the same satellite measurements of radiances that are used for estimating surface properties. Knowledge about the atmospheric parameters important for remote sensing is being enlarged with current measurements of them.

  19. Atmospheric Correction Prototype Algorithm for High Spatial Resolution Multispectral Earth Observing Imaging Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pagnutti, Mary

    2006-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the creation of a prototype algorithm for atmospheric correction using high spatial resolution earth observing imaging systems. The objective of the work was to evaluate accuracy of a prototype algorithm that uses satellite-derived atmospheric products to generate scene reflectance maps for high spatial resolution (HSR) systems. This presentation focused on preliminary results of only the satellite-based atmospheric correction algorithm.

  20. The effects from high-altitude storm discharges in Earth atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozak, L.; Odzimek, A.; Ivchenko, V.; Kozak, P.; Gala, I.; Lapchuk, V.

    2016-06-01

    The regularities of appearance of transient luminous effects in Earth atmosphere and features of their ground-based observations are considered. Using video-observations obtained in the Institution of Geophysics of Poland Academy of Sciences the energy of atmospheric afterglow from these processes in visual wavelength range has been determined. Calibrating curve was plotted using unfocal images of Vega. The star spectrum,atmosphere absorption coefficient and characteristics of the observational camera were used.

  1. On the abundances of carbon dioxide isotopologues in the atmospheres of mars and earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shved, G. M.

    2016-03-01

    The isotopic composition of carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere from the measurements of Mars Science Laboratory have been used to estimate the relative abundances of CO2 isotopologues in the Martian atmosphere. Concurrently, this study has revealed long-standing errors in the amounts of some of low-abundance CO2 isotopologues in the Earth's atmosphere in the databases of spectroscopic parameters of gases (HITRAN, etc.).

  2. Transfer of diffuse astronomical light and airglow in scattering Earth atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, S. S.; Kwon, S. M.; Park, Y.-S.; Park, C.

    1998-06-01

    To understand an observed distribution of atmospheric diffuse light (ADL) over an entire meridian, we have solved rigorously, with the quasi-diffusion method, the problem of radiative transfer in an anisotropically scattering spherical atmosphere of the earth. In addition to the integrated starlight and the zodiacal light we placed a narrow layer of airglow emission on top of the scattering earth atmosphere. The calculated distribution of the ADL brightness over zenith distance shows good agreement with the observed one. The agreement can be utilized in deriving the zodiacal light brightness at small solar elongations from the night sky brightness observed at large zenith distances.

  3. 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.

  4. 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., Jr.

    2016-12-01

    Atmospheric and surface conditions during the first billion years of Earth's history are poorly understood due to the paucity of geological and geochemical constraints. Early atmospheric models indicate that the Earth could have been in a frozen state for hundreds of millions of years due to the reduced luminosity of the young Sun, which was approximately 20-30% less intense than today at visible wavelengths. However, the oldest terrestrial zircons dating back to 4.3-4.4 Gyr ago hint at protoliths that interacted with liquid water at or near the surface of the Earth based on deviation of stable oxygen isotope ratios (δ18O) from mantle values. Recent developments in scientific understanding of the collisional history of the Hadean and early-Archean Earth indicate that large collisions may have been a fundamental geophysical process. In addition to altering the near surface environment by excavation and melting of large volumes of terrestrial rocks, these energetic events may also have resulted in massive release of volatiles to the primordial atmosphere. In this work we show that the early bombardment flux of large impactors ( >100 km) facilitated the atmospheric release of greenhouse gases from Earth's mantle. The picture emerging is one in which after the transient havoc of hot, silicate-rich atmospheres has passed, impact-generated melt outgassing could have substantially altered surface conditions. Release of greenhouse gases such as CO2 may have been sufficient to temporarily offset weaker insolation from the faint young Sun. Depending on the timescale for atmospheric CO2 drawdown, impact-induced outgassing could have sustained clement surface conditions episodically (1-10 Myr) or for a protracted time (100s of Myr). 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

  5. Evaluation of upwelling infrared radiance from earth's atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gupta, S. K.; Tiwari, S. N.

    1975-01-01

    Basic equations for calculating the upwelling atmospheric radiation are presented which account for various sources of radiation coming out at the top of the atmosphere. The theoretical formulation of the transmittance models (line-by-line and quasi-random band model) and the computational procedures used for the evaluation of the transmittance and radiance are discussed in detail. By employing the Lorentz line-by-line and quasi-random computer programs, model calculations were made to determine the upwelling radiance and signal change in the wave number interval of CO fundamental band. These results are useful in determining the effects of different interfering molecules, water vapor profiles, ground temperatures, and ground emittances on the upwelling radiance and signal change. This information is of vital importance in establishing the feasibility of measuring the concentrations of pollutants in the atmosphere from a gas filter correlation instrument flown on an aircraft or mounted on a satellite.

  6. Analysis of longwave radiation for the Earth-atmosphere system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tiwari, S. N.; Venuru, C. S.; Subramanian, S. V.

    1983-01-01

    Accurate radiative transfer models are used to determine the upwelling atmospheric radiance and net radiative flux in the entire longwave spectral range. The validity of the quasi-random band model is established by comparing the results of this model with those of line-by-line formulations and with available theoretical and experimental results. Existing radiative transfer models and computer codes are modified to include various surface and atmospheric effects (surface reflection, nonequilibrium radiation, and cloud effects). The program is used to evaluate the radiative flux in clear atmosphere, provide sensitivity analysis of upwelling radiance in the presence of clouds, and determine the effects of various climatological parameters on the upwelling radiation and anisotropic function. Homogeneous and nonhomogeneous gas emissivities can also be evaluated under different conditions.

  7. Investigating Earth's Atmospheric Electricity: a Role Model for Planetary Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aplin, K. L.; Harrison, R. G.; Rycroft, M. J.

    The historical development of terrestrial atmospheric electricity is described, from its beginnings with the first observations of the potential gradient to the global electric circuit model proposed by C.T.R. Wilson in the early 20th century. The properties of the terrestrial global circuit are summarised. Concepts originally needed to develop the idea of a global circuit are identified as "central tenets", for example, the importance of radio science in establishing the conducting upper layer. The central tenets are distinguished from additional findings that merely corroborate, or are explained by, the global circuit model. Using this analysis it is possible to specify which observations are preferable for detecting global circuits in extraterrestrial atmospheres. Schumann resonances, the extremely low frequency signals generated by excitation of the surface-ionosphere cavity by electrical discharges, are identified as the most useful single measurement of electrical activity in a planetary atmosphere.

  8. Investigating Earth's Atmospheric Electricity: a Role Model for Planetary Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aplin, K. L.; Harrison, R. G.; Rycroft, M. J.

    2008-06-01

    The historical development of terrestrial atmospheric electricity is described, from its beginnings with the first observations of the potential gradient to the global electric circuit model proposed by C.T.R. Wilson in the early 20th century. The properties of the terrestrial global circuit are summarised. Concepts originally needed to develop the idea of a global circuit are identified as “central tenets”, for example, the importance of radio science in establishing the conducting upper layer. The central tenets are distinguished from additional findings that merely corroborate, or are explained by, the global circuit model. Using this analysis it is possible to specify which observations are preferable for detecting global circuits in extraterrestrial atmospheres. Schumann resonances, the extremely low frequency signals generated by excitation of the surface-ionosphere cavity by electrical discharges, are identified as the most useful single measurement of electrical activity in a planetary atmosphere.

  9. X-38: Artist Concept of Re-Entering Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This is an artist's depiction of NASA's proposed Crew Return Vehicle (CRV) re-entering the earth's atmosphere. A team of NASA researchers began free flight tests of the X-38, a technology demonstrator for the CRV, at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, in 1998. The CRV is being designed as a 'lifeboat' for the International Space Station The X-38 Crew Return Vehicle (CRV) research project is designed to develop the technology for a prototype emergency crew return vehicle, or lifeboat, for the International Space Station. The project is also intended to develop a crew return vehicle design that could be modified for other uses, such as a joint U.S. and international human spacecraft that could be launched on the French Ariane-5 Booster. The X-38 project is using available technology and off-the-shelf equipment to significantly decrease development costs. Original estimates to develop a capsule-type crew return vehicle were estimated at more than $2 billion. X-38 project officials have estimated that development costs for the X-38 concept will be approximately one quarter of the original estimate. Off-the-shelf technology is not necessarily 'old' technology. Many of the technologies being used in the X-38 project have never before been applied to a human-flight spacecraft. For example, the X-38 flight computer is commercial equipment currently used in aircraft and the flight software operating system is a commercial system already in use in many aerospace applications. The video equipment for the X-38 is existing equipment, some of which has already flown on the space shuttle for previous NASA experiments. The X-38's primary navigational equipment, the Inertial Navigation System/Global Positioning System, is a unit already in use on Navy fighters. The X-38 electromechanical actuators come from previous joint NASA, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Navy research and development projects. Finally, an existing special coating developed by NASA will be used

  10. X-38: Artist Concept of Re-Entering Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This is an artist's depiction of NASA's proposed Crew Return Vehicle (CRV) re-entering the earth's atmosphere. A team of NASA researchers began free flight tests of the X-38, a technology demonstrator for the CRV, at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, in 1998. The CRV is being designed as a 'lifeboat' for the International Space Station The X-38 Crew Return Vehicle (CRV) research project is designed to develop the technology for a prototype emergency crew return vehicle, or lifeboat, for the International Space Station. The project is also intended to develop a crew return vehicle design that could be modified for other uses, such as a joint U.S. and international human spacecraft that could be launched on the French Ariane-5 Booster. The X-38 project is using available technology and off-the-shelf equipment to significantly decrease development costs. Original estimates to develop a capsule-type crew return vehicle were estimated at more than $2 billion. X-38 project officials have estimated that development costs for the X-38 concept will be approximately one quarter of the original estimate. Off-the-shelf technology is not necessarily 'old' technology. Many of the technologies being used in the X-38 project have never before been applied to a human-flight spacecraft. For example, the X-38 flight computer is commercial equipment currently used in aircraft and the flight software operating system is a commercial system already in use in many aerospace applications. The video equipment for the X-38 is existing equipment, some of which has already flown on the space shuttle for previous NASA experiments. The X-38's primary navigational equipment, the Inertial Navigation System/Global Positioning System, is a unit already in use on Navy fighters. The X-38 electromechanical actuators come from previous joint NASA, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Navy research and development projects. Finally, an existing special coating developed by NASA will be used

  11. Atmospheric Infrared Sounder on the Earth Observing System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Aumann, H. H.

    1995-01-01

    The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) is a high spectral resolution IR spectrometer. AIRS, together with the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) and the Microwave Humidity Sounder (MHS), is designed to meet the operational weather prediction requirements of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the global change research objectives of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The three instruments will be launched in the year 2000 on the EOS-PM spacecraft. Testing of the AIRS engineering model will start in 1996.

  12. Chemical Characterization of Extrasolar Super-Earths - Interiors, Atmospheres, and Formation Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madhusudhan, Nikku; Lee, K.; Uts, I.; Mousis, O.

    2013-01-01

    Recent observations are allowing unprecedented measurements of masses and radii of low-mass transiting extrasolar planets, particularly super-Earths which are defined as planets with masses between 1 and 10 Earth masses. The observed masses, radii, and temperatures of super-Earths provide constraints on their interior structures, geophysical conditions, as well as their atmospheric compositions. Some of the most recently detected super-Earths span a wide gamut of possible compositions, from super-Mercuries and lava planets to water worlds with thick volatile envelopes. In this work, we report joint constraints on the interior and atmospheric compositions of several super-Earths and discuss their possible formation scenarios using new and comprehensive hybrid models of their interiors, non-gray atmospheres, and formation conditions. Our model constraints are based on the masses and visible radii, as well as the latest infrared measurements of transmission and emission spectrophotometry where available, in addition to revised estimates of the stellar parameters. We will present a comparative analysis of several transiting super-Earths currently known and will discuss in detail two super-Earths (GJ 1214b and 55 Cancri e) which have atmospheric data available and which represent two distinct end members in the thermo-chemical phase space of super-Earth conditions. We will also discuss the implications of our results for the diversity of geochemical and geophysical conditions on super-Earths. We will conclude with comments on new observational, theoretical, and experimental efforts that are critical to detailed characterization of super-Earths.

  13. Nonlinear dynamics of global atmospheric and Earth-system processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saltzman, Barry; Ebisuzaki, Wesley; Maasch, Kirk A.; Oglesby, Robert; Pandolfo, Lionel

    1991-01-01

    General Circulation Model (GCM) studies of the atmospheric response to change boundary conditions are discussed. Results are reported on an extensive series of numerical studies based on the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Climate Model (CCM) general circulation model. In these studies the authors determined the response to systematic changes in atmospheric CO2 ranging from 100 to 1000 ppm; to changes in the prescribed sea surface temperature (SST) in the Gulf of Mexico, such as occurred during the deglaciation phase of the last ice age; to changes in soil moisture over North America; and to changes in sea ice extent in the Southern Hemisphere. Study results show that the response of surface temperature and other variables is nearly logarithmic, with lower levels of CO2 implying greater sensitivity of the atmospheric state to changes in CO2. It was found that the surface temperature of the Gulf of Mexico exerts considerable control over the storm track and behavior of storm systems over the North Atlantic through its influence on evaporation and the source of latent heat. It was found that reductions in soil moisture can play a significant role in amplifying and maintaining North American drought, particularly when a negative soil moisture anomaly prevails late in the spring.

  14. Models of earth's atmosphere (90 to 2500 km)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    This monograph replaces a monograph on the upper atmosphere which was a computerized version of Jacchia's model. The current model has a range from 90 to 2500 km. In addition to the computerized model, a quick-look prediction method is given that may be used to estimate the density for any time and spatial location without using a computer.

  15. (abstract) Odd Hydrogen in the Atmospheres of Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nair, Hari; Allen, Mark; Yung, Yuk L.

    1994-01-01

    The Martian atmosphere has many features in common with the terrestrial mesosphere. Both share similar pressure and temperature ranges, and much of the same chemistry operates in each. For example, the radical species H, OH, and H(sub 2)O, which comprise the odd hydrogen family, are of central importance in the catalytic destruction of CO and O(sub 3) in both atmospheres. The inclusion of recent chemical kinetics data, specifically temperature dependent CO(sub 2) absorption cross-sections, into our one dimensional photochemical model of the Martial atmosphere shows that oxidation of CO by odd hydrogen is too efficient. The incorporation of smaller cross sections for CO(sub 2) leads to an enhanced photolysis rate of water vapor, increasing odd hydrogen to the point where the predicted mixing ratio of CO in our model is substantially less than the observed value of 6.5 x 10(sup -4). Interestingly, most photochemical models of the terrestrial mesosphere underestimate the CO and O(sub 3) densities using currently accepted photodissociation and kinetic rate coefficients. This has also been attributed to an overabundance of odd hydrogen in the models. We shall show that agreement between models and observations of CO in the Martian atmosphere as well as of CO and O(sub 3) in the terrestrial mesosphere can be achieved by revising the rate constants for the reactions OH + HO(sub 2) and CO + OH within their published uncertainties. The fact that similar revisions alleviate discrepancies in both the terrestrial and Martian atmospheres warrants a re-evaluation of these key rate constants at the appropriate temperatures and pressures.

  16. Comparing atmospheric chemical disequilibrium of Earth and Mars to detect the traces of Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simoncini, Eugenio; Brucato, John Robert; Grassi, Tommaso

    Thanks to rover explorations, satellite mapping and in loco measurements, there are many evidence nowadays that early Mars could have hold extended oceans of liquid water. This makes early Mars similar to early Earth, and a deeper understanding of the conditions which led to the emergence of Life on Earth is needed. It has long been observed that Earth's atmosphere is uniquely far from its thermochemical equilibrium state in terms of its chemical composition. Studying this state of disequilibrium is important for its potential role in the detection of life on other suitable planets [1][2][3]. We developed a methodology to calculate the extent of atmospheric chemical disequilibrium [3][4]. This tool allows us to understand, on a thermodynamic basis, how life affected - and still affects - geochemical processes on Earth, and if other planetary atmospheres are habitable or have a disequilibrium similar to the Earth's one. A new computational framework called KROME has been applied to atmospheric models in order to give a correct computation of reactionś kinetics [5]. In this work we present a first computation of the extent of disequilibrium for the present and early Earth and Mars atmospheres, considering the specific contribution of the different atmospheric processes, such as thermochemical reactions, eddy diffusion, photochemistry, deposition, and the effect of the biosphere. We then assess the effect of life on atmospheric disequilibrium of the Earth and provide a comparison between “alive” and “dead” Earth, present and (plausible) early Mars. Our results provide a comprehensive analysis of atmospheric disequilibrium for rocky and habitable planets, which can be also used for the detection of habitable conditions on farther planetary bodies. [1] Lovelock, J. E.: A physical basis for life detection experiments, Nature, 207, 568 (1965) [2] Kleidon, A., Physics of Life Reviews, 7, 424 (2010) [3] Simoncini E., Grassi T., Disequilibrium in planetary

  17. Secondary Cosmic Ray Particles Due to GCR Interactions in the Earth's Atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Battistoni, G.; Cerutti, F.; Fasso, A.; Ferrari, A.; Garzelli, M.V.; Lantz, M.; Muraro, S. Pinsky, L.S.; Ranft, J.; Roesler, S.; Sala, P.R.; /Milan U. /INFN, Milan

    2009-06-16

    Primary GCR interact with the Earth's atmosphere originating atmospheric showers, thus giving rise to fluxes of secondary particles in the atmosphere. Electromagnetic and hadronic interactions interplay in the production of these particles, whose detection is performed by means of complementary techniques in different energy ranges and at different depths in the atmosphere, down to the Earth's surface. Monte Carlo codes are essential calculation tools which can describe the complexity of the physics of these phenomena, thus allowing the analysis of experimental data. However, these codes are affected by important uncertainties, concerning, in particular, hadronic physics at high energy. In this paper we shall report some results concerning inclusive particle fluxes and atmospheric shower properties as obtained using the FLUKA transport and interaction code. Some emphasis will also be given to the validation of the physics models of FLUKA involved in these calculations.

  18. NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS): Observing the Atmosphere, Land, Oceans, and Ice from Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    King, Michael D.

    2005-01-01

    The Earth Observing System (EOS) is a space-based observing system comprised of a series of satellite sensors by whch scientists can monitor the Earth, a Data and Information System (EOSDIS) enabling researchers worldwide to access the satellite data, and an interdisciplinary science research program to interpret the satellite data. During this year, the last of the first series of EOS missions, Aura, was launched. Aura is designed exclusively to conduct research on the composition, chemistry, and dynamics of the Earth's upper and lower atmosphere, employing multiple instruments on a single spacecraft. Aura is the third in a series of major Earth observing satellites to study the environment and climate change and is part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise. The first and second missions, Terra and Aqua, are designed to study the land, oceans, atmospheric constituents (aerosols, clouds, temperature, and water vapor), and the Earth's radiation budget. The other seven EOS spacecraft include satellites to study (i) land cover & land use change, (ii) solar irradiance and solar spectral variation, (iii) ice volume, (iv) ocean processes (vector wind and sea surface topography), and (v) vertical variations of clouds, water vapor, and aerosols up to and including the stratosphere. Aura's chemistry measurements will also follow up on measurements that began with NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite and continue the record of satellite ozone data collected from the TOMS missions. In this presentation I will describe how scientists are using EOS data to examine the health of the earth's atmosphere, including atmospheric chemistry, aerosol properties, and cloud properties, with a special look at the latest earth observing mission, Aura.

  19. NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS): Observing the Atmosphere, Land, Oceans, and Ice from Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    King, Michael D.

    2004-01-01

    The Earth Observing System (EOS) is a space-based observing system comprised of a series of satellite sensors by which scientists can monitor the Earth, a Data and Information System (EOSDIS) enabling researchers worldwide to access the satellite data, and an interdisciplinary science research program to interpret the satellite data. During this year, the last of the first series of EOS missions, Aura, was launched. Aura is designed exclusively to conduct research on the composition, chemistry, and dynamics of the Earth's upper and lower atmosphere, employing multiple instruments on a single spacecraft. Aura is the third in a series of major Earth observing satellites to study the environment and climate change and is part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise. The first and second missions, Terra and Aqua, are designed to study the land, oceans, atmospheric constituents (aerosols, clouds, temperature, and water vapor), and the Earth's radiation budget. The other seven EOS spacecraft include satellites to study (i) land cover & land use change, (ii) solar irradiance and solar spectral variation, (iii) ice volume, (iv) ocean processes (vector wind and sea surface topography), and (v) vertical variations of clouds, water vapor, and aerosols up to and including the stratosphere. Aura's chemistry measurements will also follow up on measurements that began with NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite and continue the record of satellite ozone data collected from the TOMS missions. In this presentation I will describe how scientists are using EOS data to examine the health of the earth's atmosphere, including atmospheric chemistry, aerosol properties, and cloud properties, with a special but not exclusive look at the latest earth observing mission, Aura.

  20. NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS): Observing the Atmosphere, Land, Oceans, and Ice from Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    King, Michael D.

    2004-01-01

    The Earth Observing System (EOS) is a space-based observing system comprised of a series of satellite sensors by which scientists can monitor the Earth, a Data and Information System (EOSDIS) enabling researchers worldwide to access the satellite data, and an interdisciplinary science research program to interpret the satellite data. During this year, the last of the first series of EOS missions, Aura, was launched. Aura is designed exclusively to conduct research on the composition, chemistry, and dynamics of the Earth's upper and lower atmosphere, employing multiple instruments on a single spacecraft. Aura is the third in a series of major Earth observing satellites to study the environment and climate change and is part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise. The first and second missions, Terra and Aqua, are designed to study the land, oceans, atmospheric constituents (aerosols, clouds, temperature, and water vapor), and the Earth's radiation budget. The other seven EOS spacecraft include satellites to study (i) land cover & land use change, (ii) solar irradiance and solar spectral variation, (iii) ice volume, (iv) ocean processes (vector wind and sea surface topography), and (v) vertical variations of clouds, water vapor, and aerosols up to and including the stratosphere. Aura's chemistry measurements will also follow up on measurements that began with NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite and continue the record of satellite ozone data collected from the TOMS missions. In this presentation I will describe how scientists are using EOS data to examine the health of the earth's atmosphere, including atmospheric chemistry, aerosol properties, and cloud properties, with a special but not exclusive look at the latest earth observing mission, Aura.

  1. NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS): Observing the Atmosphere, Land, Oceans, and Ice from Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    King, Michael D.

    2005-01-01

    The Earth Observing System (EOS) is a space-based observing system comprised of a series of satellite sensors by whch scientists can monitor the Earth, a Data and Information System (EOSDIS) enabling researchers worldwide to access the satellite data, and an interdisciplinary science research program to interpret the satellite data. During this year, the last of the first series of EOS missions, Aura, was launched. Aura is designed exclusively to conduct research on the composition, chemistry, and dynamics of the Earth's upper and lower atmosphere, employing multiple instruments on a single spacecraft. Aura is the third in a series of major Earth observing satellites to study the environment and climate change and is part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise. The first and second missions, Terra and Aqua, are designed to study the land, oceans, atmospheric constituents (aerosols, clouds, temperature, and water vapor), and the Earth's radiation budget. The other seven EOS spacecraft include satellites to study (i) land cover & land use change, (ii) solar irradiance and solar spectral variation, (iii) ice volume, (iv) ocean processes (vector wind and sea surface topography), and (v) vertical variations of clouds, water vapor, and aerosols up to and including the stratosphere. Aura's chemistry measurements will also follow up on measurements that began with NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite and continue the record of satellite ozone data collected from the TOMS missions. In this presentation I will describe how scientists are using EOS data to examine the health of the earth's atmosphere, including atmospheric chemistry, aerosol properties, and cloud properties, with a special look at the latest earth observing mission, Aura.

  2. Revised Atmospheric Angular Momentum Series Related to Earth's Variable Rotation under Consideration of Surface Topography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhou, Y. H.; Salstein, D. A.; Chen, J. L.

    2006-01-01

    The atmospheric angular momentum is closely related to variations in the Earth rotation. The atmospheric excitation function (AEF), or namely atmospheric effective angular momentum function, is introduced in studying the atmospheric excitation of the Earth's variable rotation. It may be separated into two portions, i.e, the "wind" terms due to the atmospheric motion relative to the mantle and the "pressure" terms due to the variations of atmospheric mass distribution evident through surface pressure changes. The AEF wind terms during the period of 1948-2004 are re-processed from the NCEP/NCAR (National Centers for Environmental Prediction-National Center for Atmospheric Research) reanalysis 6-hourly wind and pressure fields. Some previous calculations were approximate, in that the wind terms were integrated from an isobaric lower boundary of 1000 hPa. To consider the surface topography effect, however, the AEF is computed by integration using the winds from the Earth's surface to 10 hPa, the top atmospheric model level, instead of from 1000 hPa. For these two cases, only a minor difference, equivalent to approx. 0.004 milliseconds in length-of-day variation, exists with respect to the axial wind term. However, considerable differences, equivalent to 5-6 milliarcseconds in polar motion, are found regarding equatorial wind terms. We further compare the total equatorial AEF (with and without the topographic effect) with the polar motion excitation function (PMEF) during the period of 1980-2003. The equatorial AEF gets generally closer to the PMEF, and improved coherences are found between them when the topography effect is included. Keywords: Atmospheric angular momentum, Atmospheric excitation function, Earth rotation, Topography, Wind, Pressure.

  3. Revised Atmospheric Angular Momentum Series Related to Earth's Variable Rotation under Consideration of Surface Topography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhou, Y. H.; Salstein, D. A.; Chen, J. L.

    2006-01-01

    The atmospheric angular momentum is closely related to variations in the Earth rotation. The atmospheric excitation function (AEF), or namely atmospheric effective angular momentum function, is introduced in studying the atmospheric excitation of the Earth's variable rotation. It may be separated into two portions, i.e, the "wind" terms due to the atmospheric motion relative to the mantle and the "pressure" terms due to the variations of atmospheric mass distribution evident through surface pressure changes. The AEF wind terms during the period of 1948-2004 are re-processed from the NCEP/NCAR (National Centers for Environmental Prediction-National Center for Atmospheric Research) reanalysis 6-hourly wind and pressure fields. Some previous calculations were approximate, in that the wind terms were integrated from an isobaric lower boundary of 1000 hPa. To consider the surface topography effect, however, the AEF is computed by integration using the winds from the Earth's surface to 10 hPa, the top atmospheric model level, instead of from 1000 hPa. For these two cases, only a minor difference, equivalent to approx. 0.004 milliseconds in length-of-day variation, exists with respect to the axial wind term. However, considerable differences, equivalent to 5-6 milliarcseconds in polar motion, are found regarding equatorial wind terms. We further compare the total equatorial AEF (with and without the topographic effect) with the polar motion excitation function (PMEF) during the period of 1980-2003. The equatorial AEF gets generally closer to the PMEF, and improved coherences are found between them when the topography effect is included. Keywords: Atmospheric angular momentum, Atmospheric excitation function, Earth rotation, Topography, Wind, Pressure.

  4. Chemistry of atmospheres - An introduction to the chemistry of the atmospheres of earth, the planets, and their satellites (2nd revised and enlarged edition)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wayne, Richard P.

    An introduction to the chemistry of the atmospheres of the earth, the planets, and their satellites is presented, with particular attention given to the application of photochemistry and kinetics to atmospheres, ozone in the earth's stratosphere, the earth's troposphere, ions in the atmosphere, the airglow, and evolution and change in atmospheres and climates. This book presents the principles of atmospheric chemistry and provides the necessary background for more detailed study. New developments are covered, including the discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole. Information gathered by the Voyager 2 and other space missions is also discussed.

  5. The oxygen and carbon dioxide balance in the earth's atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, F. S.

    1975-01-01

    The oxygen-carbon dioxide cycle is described in detail, and steps which are sensitive to perturbation or instability are identified. About half of the carbon dioxide consumption each year in photosynthesis occurs in the oceans. Phytoplankton, which are the primary producers, have been shown to assimilate insecticides and herbicides. The impact of such materials on phytoplankton photosynthesis, both direct and as the indirect result of detrimental effects higher up in the food chain, cannot be assessed. Net oxygen production is very small in comparison with the total production and occurs almost exclusively in a few ocean areas with anoxic bottom conditions and in peat-forming marshes which are sensitive to anthropogenic disturbances. The carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere is increasing at a relatively rapid rate as the result of fossil fuel combustion. Increases in photosynthesis as the result of the hothouse effect may in turn reduce the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere, leading to global cooling.

  6. Interactions of Earth's atmospheric oxygen and fuel moisture in smouldering wildfires.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xinyan; Rein, Guillermo

    2016-12-01

    Vegetation, wildfire and atmospheric oxygen on Earth have changed throughout geological times, and are dependent on each other, determining the evolution of ecosystems, the carbon cycle, and the climate, as found in the fossil record. Previous work in the literature has only studied flaming wildfires, but smouldering is the most persistent type of fire phenomena, consuming large amounts of biomass. In this study, the dependence of smouldering fires in peatlands, the largest wildfires on Earth, with atmospheric oxygen is investigated. A physics-based computational model of reactive porous media for peat fires, which has been previously validated against experiments, is used. Simulations are conducted for wide ranges of atmospheric oxygen concentrations and fuel moisture contents to find thresholds for ignition and extinction. Results show that the predicted rate of spread increases in oxygen-rich atmospheres, while it decreases over wetter fuels. A novel nonlinear relationship between critical oxygen and critical moisture is found. More importantly, we show that compared to previous work on flaming fires, smouldering fires can be ignited and sustained at substantially higher moisture contents (up to 100% MC vs. 40% for 21% oxygen level), and lower oxygen concentrations (down to 13% vs. 16%). This defines a new atmospheric oxygen threshold for wildfires (13%), even lower than previously thought in Earth Sciences (16%). This finding should lead to reinterpretation of how the char remains observed in the fossil record constrain the lower concentration of oxygen in Earth's atmosphere in geological timescale.

  7. Cosmic rays intensity and atmosphere humidity at near earth surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oskomov, V. V.; Sedov, A. N.; Saduyev, N. O.; Kalikulov, O. A.; Naurzbayeva, A. Zh; Alimgazinova, N. Sh; Kenzhina, I. E.

    2016-08-01

    Experimental studies of estimation the mutual influence of humidity and flux of cosmic rays in first approximation were carried out. Normalized cross-correlation function of time series of neutron monitors count rate and level of relative atmosphere humidity near cosmic rays registration point is studied. Corrected and uncorrected on pressure minute and hour data of 6NM64 neutron monitor count rate were used for the study. Neutron monitor is located in Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, at an altitude of 850 m above sea level. Also, data from NM64 neutron monitor of Tien Shan mountain research station of Institute of Ionosphere, located at an altitude of 3340 m above sea level were used. Uncorrected on pressure cosmic rays intensity better reflects the changes in relative atmosphere humidity. Average and sometimes strong relationship is often observed by time changes of atmosphere humidity near the point of cosmic rays detection and their intensity: the value of normalized cross-correlation function of respective signals, even in case of their long duration and a large number of data (eg, for minute changes at intervals of up to several months) covers 0.5 - 0.75 range, sometimes falling to ∼⃒ 0.4.

  8. Tracing the oxygen isotope composition of the upper Earth's atmosphere using cosmic spherules

    PubMed Central

    Pack, Andreas; Höweling, Andres; Hezel, Dominik C.; Stefanak, Maren T.; Beck, Anne-Katrin; Peters, Stefan T. M.; Sengupta, Sukanya; Herwartz, Daniel; Folco, Luigi

    2017-01-01

    Molten I-type cosmic spherules formed by heating, oxidation and melting of extraterrestrial Fe,Ni metal alloys. The entire oxygen in these spherules sources from the atmosphere. Therefore, I-type cosmic spherules are suitable tracers for the isotopic composition of the upper atmosphere at altitudes between 80 and 115 km. Here we present data on I-type cosmic spherules collected in Antarctica. Their composition is compared with the composition of tropospheric O2. Our data suggest that the Earth's atmospheric O2 is isotopically homogenous up to the thermosphere. This makes fossil I-type micrometeorites ideal proxies for ancient atmospheric CO2 levels. PMID:28569769

  9. Tracing the oxygen isotope composition of the upper Earth's atmosphere using cosmic spherules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pack, Andreas; Höweling, Andres; Hezel, Dominik C.; Stefanak, Maren T.; Beck, Anne-Katrin; Peters, Stefan T. M.; Sengupta, Sukanya; Herwartz, Daniel; Folco, Luigi

    2017-06-01

    Molten I-type cosmic spherules formed by heating, oxidation and melting of extraterrestrial Fe,Ni metal alloys. The entire oxygen in these spherules sources from the atmosphere. Therefore, I-type cosmic spherules are suitable tracers for the isotopic composition of the upper atmosphere at altitudes between 80 and 115 km. Here we present data on I-type cosmic spherules collected in Antarctica. Their composition is compared with the composition of tropospheric O2. Our data suggest that the Earth's atmospheric O2 is isotopically homogenous up to the thermosphere. This makes fossil I-type micrometeorites ideal proxies for ancient atmospheric CO2 levels.

  10. The effect of atmospheric pressure on Snowball Earth deglaciation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edkins, Nicholas; Davies, Roger

    2017-02-01

    The most common explanation for the escape from a Snowball Earth state involves, among other factors, a strong greenhouse effect caused by a large partial pressure of CO2. This leads to an increase in surface pressure, which most models do not account for. With a higher surface pressure, pressure broadening increases, and convection reaches a deeper layer, both of which result in higher surface temperatures. The latter mechanism, which has not previously been reported, is found to be a greater source of warming than pressure broadening in the normal range of CO2 partial pressures at the point of deglaciation.

  11. Possible viruses from outer space fall into the Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steklov, A. F.; Dashkiev, G. N.; Vidmachenko, A. P.

    2017-05-01

    Statistical data show that sometime after the passage of the Earth along its orbit through the tail of a comet, a number of epidemics and pandemics occurred. This indicated a possible invasion of viruses, which could be in cometary dust. K.I. Churyumov proposed to develop special traps. They need to be placed under the wings of high-altitude aircraft. And with their help it is necessary to catch, accumulate and examine in the laboratories those particles, which are captured in traces of invasions. The main purpose of such experiments is to reveal, or prove the absence of cosmic viruses in the tracks from the intrusions of fragments of cometary nuclei.

  12. The early Earth atmosphere and early life catalysts.

    PubMed

    Ramírez Jiménez, Sandra Ignacia

    2014-01-01

    Homochirality is a property of living systems on Earth. The time, the place, and the way in which it appeared are uncertain. In a prebiotic scenario two situations are of interest: either an initial small bias for handedness of some biomolecules arouse and progressed with life, or an initial slight excess led to the actual complete dominance of the known chiral molecules. A definitive answer can probably never be given, neither from the fields of physics and chemistry nor biology. Some arguments can be advanced to understand if homochirality is necessary for the initiation of a prebiotic homochiral polymer chemistry, if this homochirality is suggesting a unique origin of life, or if a chiral template such as a mineral surface is always required to result in an enantiomeric excess. A general description of the early Earth scenario will be presented in this chapter, followed by a general description of some clays, and their role as substrates to allow the concentration and amplification of some of the building blocks of life.

  13. Clouds in the atmosphere of the super-Earth exoplanet GJ 1214b.

    PubMed

    Kreidberg, Laura; Bean, Jacob L; Désert, Jean-Michel; Benneke, Björn; Deming, Drake; Stevenson, Kevin B; Seager, Sara; Berta-Thompson, Zachory; Seifahrt, Andreas; Homeier, Derek

    2014-01-02

    Recent surveys have revealed that planets intermediate in size between Earth and Neptune ('super-Earths') are among the most common planets in the Galaxy. Atmospheric studies are the next step towards developing a comprehensive understanding of this new class of object. Much effort has been focused on using transmission spectroscopy to characterize the atmosphere of the super-Earth archetype GJ 1214b (refs 7 - 17), but previous observations did not have sufficient precision to distinguish between two interpretations for the atmosphere. The planet's atmosphere could be dominated by relatively heavy molecules, such as water (for example, a 100 per cent water vapour composition), or it could contain high-altitude clouds that obscure its lower layers. Here we report a measurement of the transmission spectrum of GJ 1214b at near-infrared wavelengths that definitively resolves this ambiguity. The data, obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope, are sufficiently precise to detect absorption features from a high mean-molecular-mass atmosphere. The observed spectrum, however, is featureless. We rule out cloud-free atmospheric models with compositions dominated by water, methane, carbon monoxide, nitrogen or carbon dioxide at greater than 5σ confidence. The planet's atmosphere must contain clouds to be consistent with the data.

  14. Gamma rays from grazing incidence cosmic rays in the earth's atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ulmer, Andrew

    1994-01-01

    Interactions of grazing incidence, ultra high-energy cosmic rays with the earth's atmosphere may provide a new method of studying energetic cosmic rays with gamma-ray satellites. It is found that these cosmic ray interactions may produce gamma-rays on millisecond timescales which may be detectable by satellites. An extremely low gamma-ray background for transient gamma-ray events and a large area of interaction, the earth's surface, make the scheme plausible. The effective cross section of detection of interactions for cosmic rays above 10(exp 20) eV is found to be more than two orders of magnitude higher than Earth-based detection techniques. This method may eventually offer an efficient way of probing this region of the cosmic-ray energy spectrum where events are scarce. In this paper, a conceptual model is presented for the production of short bursts of gamma-rays based on these grazing incidence encounters with the Earth's atmosphere.

  15. Investigating The Ionization of The Earth's Atmosphere At Large Energetic Particle Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolff, E.; Burrows, J.; Kallenrode, M.-B.; von König, M.; Künzi, K. F.; Quack, M.

    To investigate the influence of energetic particle events on the terrestrial atmosphere (e.g. due to ionization and/or hadronic interaction) a number of aspects are under consideration, such as the species of the precipitating particles, their energies, fluences as well as a repetition rate of events. In preparation of a refined model of precipitating charged particle interactions with the atmosphere, we calculate the ionization in the earth's atmosphere for well- known recent events (e.g. the Bastille Day event on July 14, 2000) of high particle fluences by using computer simulations of the earth's atmosphere and in situ measured particle intensities. The changes in atmospheric chemistry derieved from this ionization are described in the accompanying contribution of M. von König et al. (Modelling the influence of large energetic particle events on the chemical composition of the middle and upper atmosphere). Although very effective for atmospheric chemistry, these events are too rare and too short-lived to contribute significantly to the atmospheric NOx budget on a long-time basis. However, McCracken et al. (2001) suggests from nitrate depositions in ice- cores that solar particle events have occured more frequently and with a higher in- tensity in historical times, and thus may have led to a greater impact than the events discussed above. Therefore, we evaluate the influence of large historical energetic particle events, such as NOx and Ozone behaviour due to atmospheric ionization at Carrington's white light flare in 1859.

  16. Abiotic ozone and oxygen in atmospheres similar to prebiotic Earth

    SciTech Connect

    Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D.; Segura, Antígona; Claire, Mark W.; Robinson, Tyler D.; Meadows, Victoria S.

    2014-09-10

    The search for life on planets outside our solar system will use spectroscopic identification of atmospheric biosignatures. The most robust remotely detectable potential biosignature is considered to be the detection of oxygen (O{sub 2}) or ozone (O{sub 3}) simultaneous to methane (CH{sub 4}) at levels indicating fluxes from the planetary surface in excess of those that could be produced abiotically. Here we use an altitude-dependent photochemical model with the enhanced lower boundary conditions necessary to carefully explore abiotic O{sub 2} and O{sub 3} production on lifeless planets with a wide variety of volcanic gas fluxes and stellar energy distributions. On some of these worlds, we predict limited O{sub 2} and O{sub 3} buildup, caused by fast chemical production of these gases. This results in detectable abiotic O{sub 3} and CH{sub 4} features in the UV-visible, but no detectable abiotic O{sub 2} features. Thus, simultaneous detection of O{sub 3} and CH{sub 4} by a UV-visible mission is not a strong biosignature without proper contextual information. Discrimination between biological and abiotic sources of O{sub 2} and O{sub 3} is possible through analysis of the stellar and atmospheric context—particularly redox state and O atom inventory—of the planet in question. Specifically, understanding the spectral characteristics of the star and obtaining a broad wavelength range for planetary spectra should allow more robust identification of false positives for life. This highlights the importance of wide spectral coverage for future exoplanet characterization missions. Specifically, discrimination between true and false positives may require spectral observations that extend into infrared wavelengths and provide contextual information on the planet's atmospheric chemistry.

  17. DORIS applications for solid earth and atmospheric sciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willis, Pascal; Soudarin, Laurent; Jayles, Christian; Rolland, Lucie

    2007-12-01

    DORIS is a French precise orbit determination system. However, in the past four years, through the creation of the International DORIS Service, a larger international cooperation was involved. Furthermore, the precision of its scientific applications (geodesy, geophysics) gradually improved and expanded to new fields (atmospheric sciences), leading, for example, to the publication of a special issue of the Journal of Geodesy. The goal of this manuscript is to present and explain these changes and to put them in perspective with current results obtained with other space geodetic techniques, such as GPS or Satellite Laser Ranging.

  18. A statistical look at the retrieval of exoplanetary atmospheres of super Earths and giant planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rocchetto, Marco; Waldmann, Ingo Peter; Tinetti, Giovanna; Yurchenko, Sergey; Tennyson, Jonathan

    2015-08-01

    Over the past decades transit spectroscopy has become one of the pioneering methods to characterise exoplanetary atmospheres. With the increasing number of observations, and the advent of new ground and spaced based instruments, it is now crucial to find the most optimal and objective methodologies to interpret these data, and understand the information content they convey. This is particularly true for smaller and fainter super Earth type planets.In this conference we will present a new take on the spectral retrieval of transiting planets, with particular focus on super Earth atmospheres. TauREx (Waldmann et al. 2015a,b.) is a new line-by-line radiative transfer atmospheric retrieval framework for transmission and emission spectroscopy of exoplanetary atmospheres, optimised for hot Jupiters and super Earths. The code has been built from scratch with the ideas of scalability, flexibility and automation. This allows to run retrievals with minimum user input that can be scaled to large cluster computing. Priors on the number and types of molecules considered are automatically determined using a custom built pattern recognition algorithm able to identify the most likely absorbers/emitters in the exoplanetary spectra, minimising the human bias in selecting the major atmospheric constituents.Using these tools, we investigate the impact of signal to noise, spectral resolution and wavelength coverage on the retrievability of individual model parameters from transit spectra of super Earths, and put our models to test (Rocchetto et al. 2015). Characterisation of the atmospheres of super Earths through transit spectroscopy is paramount, as it can provide an indirect - and so far unique - way to probe the nature of these planets. For the first time we analyse in a systematic way large grids of spectra generated for different observing scenarios. We perform thousands of retrievals aimed to fully map the degeneracies and understand the statistics of current exoplanetary

  19. Oxygen and ozone in the early earth's atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Canuto, V. M.; Levine, J. S.; Augustsson, T. R.; Imhoff, C. L.

    1983-01-01

    The precise amount of O2 and O3 in the earth's prebiological paleoatmosphere has been a topic of considerable discussion in the past. Since the photolysis of H2O and CO2, the prebiological mechanisms to produce O2, depends on the ultraviolet flux from the Sun, a reliable quantification of the problem requires detailed knowledge of such flux. Using the most recent astronomical observation of young stars from the International Ultraviolet Explorer, as well as a detailed photochemical model of the paleoatmosphere, it is found that the amount of O2 in the prebiological paleoatmosphere may have been as much as a million times greater than previously estimated. Some of the implications of this new value are discussed.

  20. High-energy cosmic ray muons in the Earth's atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Kochanov, A. A.; Sinegovskaya, T. S.; Sinegovsky, S. I.

    2013-03-15

    We present the calculations of the atmospheric muon fluxes at energies 10-10{sup 7} GeV based on a numerical-analytical method for solving the hadron-nucleus cascade equations. It allows the non-power-law behavior of the primary cosmic ray (PCR) spectrum, the violation of Feynman scaling, and the growth of the total inelastic cross sections for hadron-nucleus collisions with increasing energy to be taken into account. The calculations have been performed for a wide class of hadron-nucleus interaction models using directly the PCR measurements made in the ATIC-2 and GAMMA experiments and the parameterizations of the primary spectrum based on a set of experiments. We study the dependence of atmospheric muon flux characteristics on the hadronic interaction model and the influence of uncertainties in the PCR spectrum and composition on the muon flux at sea level. Comparison of the calculated muon energy spectra at sea level with the data from a large number of experiments shows that the cross sections for hadron-nucleus interactions introduce the greatest uncertainty in the energy region that does not include the knee in the primary spectrum.

  1. Earth Orientation and Its Excitations by Atmosphere, Oceans, and Geomagnetic Jerks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vondrák, J.; Ron, C.

    2015-12-01

    In addition to torques exerted by the Moon, Sun, and planets, changes of the Earth orientation parameters (EOP) are known to be caused also by excitations by the atmosphere and oceans. Recently appeared studies, hinting that geomagnetic jerks (GMJ, rapid changes of geomagnetic field) might be associated with sudden changes of phase and amplitude of EOP (Holme and de Viron 2005, 2013, Gibert and Le Mouël 2008, Malkin 2013). We (Ron et al. 2015) used additional excitations applied at the epochs of GMJ to derive its influence on motion of the spin axis of the Earth in space (precession-nutation). We demonstrated that this effect, if combined with the influence of the atmosphere and oceans, improves substantially the agreement with celestial pole offsets observed by Very Long-Baseline Interferometry. Here we concentrate our efforts to study possible influence of GMJ on temporal changes of all five Earth orientation parameters defining the complete Earth orientation in space. Numerical integration of Brzeziński's broad-band Liouville equations (Brzeziński 1994) with atmospheric and oceanic excitations, combined with expected GMJ effects, is used to derive EOP and compare them with their observed values. We demonstrate that the agreement between all five Earth orientation parameters integrated by this method and those observed by space geodesy is improved substantially if the influence of additional excitations at GMJ epochs is added to excitations by the atmosphere and oceans.

  2. An Instrument Concept for Atmospheric Infrared Sounding from Medium Earth Orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pagano, Thomas S.; Baron, Richard l.

    2004-01-01

    Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) offers a unique vantage point for atmospheric infrared sounding. The orbit allows the entire globe to be covered each day with one satellite. The orbit is slow enough to allow multiple views of a single target to be made on each pass. this paper discusses the advantages in coverage and revisit rate from MEO for a particular concept for a Medium Earth Orbit Infrared Atmospheric Sounder (MIRIS). The requirements for this instrument in terms of spectral range, spatial resolution, field of view, and calibration are presented as well as the radiometric performance expectations.

  3. Apollo 13 Service Module and Lunar Module as entering Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1970-04-18

    S70-17646 (18 April 1970) --- An unidentified airline passenger snapped these bright objects, believed to be the Apollo 13 Service Module (SM) and Lunar Module (LM) as they entered Earth's atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean on April 18, 1970. The aircraft, an Air New Zealand DC-8 was midway between the Fiji Islands (Nandi Island to be specific) and Auckland, New Zealand, when the photograph was taken. The crew men of the problem plagued Apollo 13 mission jettisoned the LM and SM prior to entering Earth's atmosphere in the Apollo 13 Command Module (CM).

  4. An Instrument Concept for Atmospheric Infrared Sounding from Medium Earth Orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pagano, Thomas S.; Baron, Richard l.

    2004-01-01

    Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) offers a unique vantage point for atmospheric infrared sounding. The orbit allows the entire globe to be covered each day with one satellite. The orbit is slow enough to allow multiple views of a single target to be made on each pass. this paper discusses the advantages in coverage and revisit rate from MEO for a particular concept for a Medium Earth Orbit Infrared Atmospheric Sounder (MIRIS). The requirements for this instrument in terms of spectral range, spatial resolution, field of view, and calibration are presented as well as the radiometric performance expectations.

  5. Emergence of global scaling behaviour in the coupled Earth-atmosphere interaction

    PubMed Central

    Fallah, Bijan; Saberi, Abbas Ali; Sodoudi, Sahar

    2016-01-01

    Scale invariance property in the global geometry of Earth may lead to a coupled interactive behaviour between various components of the climate system. One of the most interesting correlations exists between spatial statistics of the global topography and the temperature on Earth. Here we show that the power-law behaviour observed in the Earth topography via different approaches, resembles a scaling law in the global spatial distribution of independent atmospheric parameters. We report on observation of scaling behaviour of such variables characterized by distinct universal exponents. More specifically, we find that the spatial power-law behaviour in the fluctuations of the near surface temperature over the lands on Earth, shares the same universal exponent as of the global Earth topography, indicative of the global persistent role of the static geometry of Earth to control the steady state of a dynamical atmospheric field. Such a universal feature can pave the way to the theoretical understanding of the chaotic nature of the atmosphere coupled to the Earth’s global topography. PMID:27666675

  6. Emergence of global scaling behaviour in the coupled Earth-atmosphere interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fallah, Bijan; Saberi, Abbas Ali; Sodoudi, Sahar

    2016-09-01

    Scale invariance property in the global geometry of Earth may lead to a coupled interactive behaviour between various components of the climate system. One of the most interesting correlations exists between spatial statistics of the global topography and the temperature on Earth. Here we show that the power-law behaviour observed in the Earth topography via different approaches, resembles a scaling law in the global spatial distribution of independent atmospheric parameters. We report on observation of scaling behaviour of such variables characterized by distinct universal exponents. More specifically, we find that the spatial power-law behaviour in the fluctuations of the near surface temperature over the lands on Earth, shares the same universal exponent as of the global Earth topography, indicative of the global persistent role of the static geometry of Earth to control the steady state of a dynamical atmospheric field. Such a universal feature can pave the way to the theoretical understanding of the chaotic nature of the atmosphere coupled to the Earth’s global topography.

  7. Nitrogen speciation in upper mantle fluids and the origin of Earth's nitrogen-rich atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikhail, Sami; Sverjensky, Dimitri A.

    2014-11-01

    Volatile elements stored in the mantles of terrestrial planets escape through volcanic degassing, and thereby influence planetary atmospheric evolution and habitability. Compared with the atmospheres of Venus and Mars, Earth's atmosphere is nitrogen-rich relative to primordial noble gas concentrations. The compatibility of volatile elements in mantle minerals versus melts and fluids controls how readily these elements are degassed. However, the speciation of nitrogen in mantle fluids is not well constrained. Here we present thermodynamic calculations that establish the speciation of nitrogen in aqueous fluids under upper mantle conditions. We find that, under the relatively oxidized conditions of Earth's mantle wedges at convergent plate margins, nitrogen is expected to exist predominantly as N2 in fluids and, therefore, be degassed easily. In contrast, under more reducing conditions elsewhere in the Earth's upper mantle and in the mantles of Venus and Mars, nitrogen is expected predominantly in the form of ammonium (NH4+) in aqueous fluids. Ammonium is moderately compatible in upper mantle minerals and unconducive to nitrogen degassing. We conclude that Earth's oxidized mantle wedge conditions--a result of subduction and hence plate tectonics--favour the development of a nitrogen-enriched atmosphere, relative to the primordial noble gases, whereas the atmospheres of Venus and Mars have less nitrogen because they lack plate tectonics.

  8. CMIP5 Simulations with the Community Earth System Model - Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mills, M. J.; Marsh, D. R.; CalvoFernandez, N.; Kinnison, D. E.; Lamarque, J.

    2011-12-01

    We have used the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM) to simulate the Earth's climate from pre-industrial conditions to the end of the 21st Century in several experiments following the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) protocols. We present preliminary analysis of these coupled experiments, highlighting the effects of chemistry and physics above the troposphere on climate. WACCM was developed to understand the couplings between atmospheric layers, the role of chemical and physical processes in defining these couplings, and the interaction between the Earth's atmosphere and the Sun. The current version of WACCM spans the range of altitude from the Earth's surface to the lower thermosphere (~140 km) and is based on version 1 of the Community Earth System Model (CESM-1). WACCM has been used to predict the evolution of ozone and other radiatively active species in the middle and upper atmosphere; to study effects of the stratosphere on tropospheric climate, including the response to increased greenhouse gases; and for independent investigations. We compare climate trends in CMIP5 experiments from WACCM to those in the low-top version of CESM. We examine the coupling between the upper and lower atmosphere, including the quasi-biennial oscillation, sudden stratospheric warmings, the solar cycle, and surface climate.

  9. Prebiotic Chemistry and Atmospheric Warming of Early Earth by an Active Young Sun

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

    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, C02 and CH, 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.

  10. Climatic effects due to halogenated compounds in the earth's atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, W.-C.; Pinto, J. P.; Yung, Y. L.

    1980-01-01

    Using a one-dimensional radiative-convective model, a sensitivity study is performed of the effect of ozone depletion in the stratosphere on the surface temperature. There could be a cooling of the surface temperature by approximately 0.2 K due to chlorofluoromethane-induced ozone depletion at steady state (assuming 1973 release rates). This cooling reduces significantly the greenhouse effect due to the presence of chlorofluoromethanes. Carbon tetrafluoride has a strong nu sub 3 band at 7.8 microns, and the atmospheric greenhouse effect is shown to be 0.07 and 0.12 K/ppbv with and without taking into account overlap with CH4 and N2O bands. At concentrations higher than 1 ppbv, absorption by the nu sub 3 band starts to saturate and the greenhouse effect becomes less efficient.

  11. Atmospheric excitation of the earth's annual wobble - 1980-1988

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chao, B. Fong; Au, Andrew Y.

    1991-01-01

    Global meteorological analyses from the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts are employed to compute the atmospheric excitation psi of the polar motion for the 9-year period of 1980-1988. Both the matter component psi(matter) and the motion component psi (motion) are computed, the former with and without the oceanic inverted barometer (IB) effect. It is found that psi(motion) contributes significantly to the total excitation psi overall and nonnegligibly to the annual signal in psi, or the annual wobble excitation in particular. The results for the annual wobble excitation, in terms of the prograde component psi(t) and the retrogade component phsi(-) for January 1, are within the (rather large) range of previous estimates. The IB effect has a small impact on psi(+), whereas its impact on psi(-) is considerable.

  12. Atmospheric excitation of the earth's annual wobble - 1980-1988

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chao, B. Fong; Au, Andrew Y.

    1991-01-01

    Global meteorological analyses from the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts are employed to compute the atmospheric excitation psi of the polar motion for the 9-year period of 1980-1988. Both the matter component psi(matter) and the motion component psi (motion) are computed, the former with and without the oceanic inverted barometer (IB) effect. It is found that psi(motion) contributes significantly to the total excitation psi overall and nonnegligibly to the annual signal in psi, or the annual wobble excitation in particular. The results for the annual wobble excitation, in terms of the prograde component psi(t) and the retrogade component phsi(-) for January 1, are within the (rather large) range of previous estimates. The IB effect has a small impact on psi(+), whereas its impact on psi(-) is considerable.

  13. Combined 2-micron Dial and Doppler Lidar: Application to the Atmosphere of Earth or Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singh, Upendra N.; Koch, Grady J.; Ismail, Syed; Kavaya, Michael; Yu, Jirong; Wood, Sidney A.; Emmitt, G. David

    2006-01-01

    A concept is explored for combining the Doppler and DIAL techniques into a single, multifunctional instrument. Wind, CO2 concentration, and aerosol density can all be measured. Technology to build this instrument is described, including the demonstration of a prototype lidar. Applications are described for use in the Earth science. The atmosphere of Mars can also be studied, and results from a recently-developed simulation model of performance in the Martian atmosphere are presented.

  14. The mechanism of temperature and pressure changes in the Earth's atmosphere during solar flares

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reshetov, V. D.

    1979-01-01

    The effect of solar flares on the weather on Earth is examined. It is concluded that the processes which arise in the atmosphere are so intricate that a single calculation of solar activity is insufficient for long-range forecasting. However, combined consideration of processes dependent upon the dynamic instability of the atmosphere and the effect of solar activity will contribute to the improvement of long-range forecasts.

  15. A parameterization for the absorption of solar radiation by water vapor in the earth's atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, W.-C.

    1976-01-01

    A parameterization for the absorption of solar radiation as a function of the amount of water vapor in the earth's atmosphere is obtained. Absorption computations are based on the Goody band model and the near-infrared absorption band data of Ludwig et al. A two-parameter Curtis-Godson approximation is used to treat the inhomogeneous atmosphere. Heating rates based on a frequently used one-parameter pressure-scaling approximation are also discussed and compared with the present parameterization.

  16. Comparing the Atmospheres of Mercury and the Earth's Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morgan, Thomas H.; Killen, Rosemary M.; Hurley, Dana M.

    2012-01-01

    The exospheres of Mercury and the Earth's Moon are fundamentally similar, but the differences that do exist between them can help us to develop a better understanding of the processes at work on the two bodies that produce and remove volatiles. The major differences are derived from (1) the different compositions of the two surfaces, (2) the different particle and field em'ironments above the surface of each body (particularly the presence of intrinsic magnetic field of Mercury), and (3) the larger flux of interplanetary dust incident at the orbit of Mercury. The first difference, surface composition, is the most intractable problem, but the most challenging part of that problem, the composition of the Hermean regolith, may be at least partially addressed as the MESSENGER mission completes work over the next year. Much progress has been made with respect to exploring the second difference above--spacecraft such as Helios, Ulysses, WIND, and ACE have measured the solar wind and its composition both in Earth orbit and at distances encompassing the orbit of Mercury. While our knowledge of the solar wind is incomplete, again it is far more detailed than a simple 1/R(sup 2) law would predict. Another problem is that of the flux of charged particles to the surfaces. While Mercury's magnetosphere is the subject of current study with MESSENGER, the influx of charged particles on the Moon has gone beyond a cos (psi) picture, where psi is the solar zenith angle. We know that the influx of ions at the Moon is affected by magnetic anomalies, by craters, and by surface charging. The third external difference is the differing flux of interplanetary dust incident on the two surfaces. In this talk we will consider: (1) the species that one can compare now for these two exospheres (Na, K, and He); (2) the species that you might be able to compare with future measurements (Ca and Mg); arid (3) how intensive ground-based observations of the easiest lunar species to observe from the

  17. Three-dimensional Atmospheric Circulation and Climate of Terrestrial Exoplanets and Super Earths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaspi, Yohai; Showman, A. P.

    2012-10-01

    The recent discovery of super Earths and terrestrial exoplanets extending over a broad region of orbital and physical parameter space suggests that these planets will span a wide range of climatic regimes. Characterization of the atmospheres of warm super Earths has already begun and will be extended to smaller and more distant planets over the coming decade. The habitability of these worlds may be strongly affected by their three-dimensional atmospheric circulation regimes, since the global climate feedbacks that control the inner and outer edges of the habitable zone--including transitions to Snowball-like states and runaway-greenhouse feedbacks--depend on the equator-to-pole temperature differences, pattern of relative humidity, and other aspects of the dynamics. Here, using an idealized moist atmospheric general circulation model (GCM) including a hydrological cycle, we study the dynamical principles governing the atmospheric dynamics on such planets. In this presentation we will review how the planetary rotation rate, planetary mass, heat flux from a parent star and atmospheric mass affect the atmospheric circulation and temperature distribution on such planets. We will elucidate the possible climatic regimes and diagnose the mechanisms controlling the formation of atmospheric jet streams, Hadley cells, and the equator-to-pole temperature differences. Finally, we will discuss the implications for understanding how the atmospheric circulation influences the global-scale climate feedbacks that control the width of the habitable zone.

  18. Atmospheric Ar and Ne returned from mantle depths to the Earth's surface by forearc recycling.

    PubMed

    Baldwin, Suzanne L; Das, J P

    2015-11-17

    In subduction zones, sediments, hydrothermally altered lithosphere, fluids, and atmospheric gases are transported into the mantle, where ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphism takes place. However, the extent to which atmospheric noble gases are trapped in minerals crystallized during UHP metamorphism is unknown. We measured Ar and Ne trapped in phengite and omphacite from the youngest known UHP terrane on Earth to determine the composition of Ar and Ne returned from mantle depths to the surface by forearc recycling. An (40)Ar/(39)Ar age [7.93 ± 0.10 My (1σ)] for phengite is interpreted as the timing of crystallization at mantle depths and indicates that (40)Ar/(39)Ar phengite ages reliably record the timing of UHP metamorphism. Both phengite and omphacite yielded atmospheric (38)Ar/(36)Ar and (20)Ne/(22)Ne. Our study provides the first documentation, to our knowledge, of entrapment of atmospheric Ar and Ne in phengite and omphacite. Results indicate that a subduction barrier for atmospheric-derived noble gases does not exist at mantle depths associated with UHP metamorphism. We show that the crystallization age together with the isotopic composition of nonradiogenic noble gases trapped in minerals formed during subsolidus crystallization at mantle depths can be used to unambiguously assess forearc recycling of atmospheric noble gases. The flux of atmospheric noble gas entering the deep Earth through subduction and returning to the surface cannot be fully realized until the abundances of atmospheric noble gases trapped in exhumed UHP rocks are known.

  19. The origin and degassing history of the Earth's atmosphere revealed by Archean xenon

    PubMed Central

    Avice, Guillaume; Marty, Bernard; Burgess, Ray

    2017-01-01

    Xenon (Xe) is an exceptional tracer for investigating the origin and fate of volatile elements on Earth. The initial isotopic composition of atmospheric Xe remains unknown, as do the mechanisms involved in its depletion and isotopic fractionation compared with other reservoirs in the solar system. Here we present high precision analyses of noble gases trapped in fluid inclusions of Archean quartz (Barberton, South Africa) that reveal the isotopic composition of the paleo-atmosphere at ≈3.3 Ga. The Archean atmospheric Xe is mass-dependently fractionated by 12.9±2.4 ‰ u−1 (± 2σ, s.d.) relative to the modern atmosphere. The lower than today 129Xe excess requires a degassing rate of radiogenic Xe from the mantle higher than at present. The primordial Xe component delivered to the Earth's atmosphere is distinct from Solar or Chondritic Xe but similar to a theoretical component called U-Xe. Comets may have brought this component to the Earth's atmosphere during the last stages of terrestrial accretion. PMID:28516958

  20. The origin and degassing history of the Earth's atmosphere revealed by Archean xenon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avice, Guillaume; Marty, Bernard; Burgess, Ray

    2017-05-01

    Xenon (Xe) is an exceptional tracer for investigating the origin and fate of volatile elements on Earth. The initial isotopic composition of atmospheric Xe remains unknown, as do the mechanisms involved in its depletion and isotopic fractionation compared with other reservoirs in the solar system. Here we present high precision analyses of noble gases trapped in fluid inclusions of Archean quartz (Barberton, South Africa) that reveal the isotopic composition of the paleo-atmosphere at ~3.3 Ga. The Archean atmospheric Xe is mass-dependently fractionated by 12.9+/-2.4 ‰ u-1 (+/- 2σ, s.d.) relative to the modern atmosphere. The lower than today 129Xe excess requires a degassing rate of radiogenic Xe from the mantle higher than at present. The primordial Xe component delivered to the Earth's atmosphere is distinct from Solar or Chondritic Xe but similar to a theoretical component called U-Xe. Comets may have brought this component to the Earth's atmosphere during the last stages of terrestrial accretion.

  1. Monitoring the Earth's Atmosphere with the Global IMS Infrasound Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brachet, Nicolas; Brown, David; Mialle, Pierrick; Le Bras, Ronan; Coyne, John; Given, Jeffrey

    2010-05-01

    The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) is tasked with monitoring compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) which bans nuclear weapon explosions underground, in the oceans, and in the atmosphere. The verification regime includes a globally distributed network of seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound and radionuclide stations which collect and transmit data to the International Data Centre (IDC) in Vienna, Austria shortly after the data are recorded at each station. The infrasound network defined in the Protocol of the CTBT comprises 60 infrasound array stations. Each array is built according to the same technical specifications, it is typically composed of 4 to 9 sensors, with 1 to 3 km aperture geometry. At the end of 2000 only one infrasound station was transmitting data to the IDC. Since then, 41 additional stations have been installed and 70% of the infrasound network is currently certified and contributing data to the IDC. This constitutes the first global infrasound network ever built with such a large and uniform distribution of stations. Infrasound data at the IDC are processed at the station level using the Progressive Multi-Channel Correlation (PMCC) method for the detection and measurement of infrasound signals. The algorithm calculates the signal correlation between sensors at an infrasound array. If the signal is sufficiently correlated and consistent over an extended period of time and frequency range a detection is created. Groups of detections are then categorized according to their propagation and waveform features, and a phase name is assigned for infrasound, seismic or noise detections. The categorization complements the PMCC algorithm to avoid overwhelming the IDC automatic association algorithm with false alarm infrasound events. Currently, 80 to 90% of the detections are identified as noise by the system. Although the noise detections are not used to build events in the context of CTBT monitoring

  2. Modelling the Earth system nitrogen cycle: feedbacks between biology, plate tectonics, and atmospheric evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, B. W.; Goldblatt, C.

    2016-12-01

    The evolution of the N cycle in the Earth System is poorly constrained over time. While there have been efforts to understand both the biologic and geologic cycles of this element at certain time periods and at certain settings, very little work has taken a holistic view. In addition, recent work suggests that large changes in atmospheric pressure may have occurred in the geologic past, with important climatic and biologic ramifications. The distribution of N between various reservoirs in the Earth system (atmosphere, oceans, lithosphere) over time is poorly understood. We have constructed a box model, which includes biogeochemical, ocean circulation, air-sea gas exchange, subduction, and degassing of N and runs over the full 4.6 Ga of Earth history. Biologic reactions include primary production, N-fixing, nitrification, and denitrification. Geologic fluxes include sedimentation, hydrothermal alteration, subduction, continental crust growth, weathering, arc degassing, and mid-ocean ridge volcanism. The model is driven by mantle cooling histories, which govern plate speed. Importantly, we include PO4 and O2 in the biologic cycle, and K and Ar as inorganic tracers. This combined approach allows more thorough investigation of the history of the N cycle. Preliminary findings suggest that when nutrient limitation exists, little change in atmospheric or mantle N is observed. However, given ample PO4, major changes in atmospheric and mantle N are seen. This suggests that biology is the key mediator of N exchange throughout Earth history. Efficient N-fixing can cause significant drawdown of atmospheric N over time, in one run from 2.5 present atmospheric N (PAN) to 0.1 PAN over 4.6 Ga. Nitrogen is stored in either the mantle or the continental crust. Our work indicates that N is a geochemically active species, and can move between various reservoirs in the Earth System over time.

  3. Application of the DSMC Method in Modeling Earth's Rarefied Upper Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoey, W.; Walker, A. C.; Goldstein, D. B.; Varghese, P. L.; Trafton, L. M.

    2014-12-01

    Improving the accuracy and robustness of simulations of Earth's upper atmosphere is a priority for satellite drag and space weather applications. The Direct Simulation Monte Carlo [DSMC] method is well-suited to modeling the dynamics of such rarefied and non-equilibrium regimes, where continuum techniques break down. Here, we apply DSMC in three-dimensional, transient, and self-consistent neutral density simulations of Earth's rarefied upper atmosphere.An existing planetary-science code base, established in the modeling of the lunar and Ionian environs, is extended to reflect the physics of Earth's upper atmosphere. Comprehensive atmospheric simulations are computed in parallel on a domain extending from the mid-thermosphere, below the continuum-rarefied transition, through 1000 km altitude. The simulation code includes multi-species neutral- and photo-chemistry, tracking of particle rotational and vibrational states, and non-equilibrium radiation transport. Substantial model development is demonstrated in application to the Earth's atmosphere, including the incorporation of lower-boundary conditions consistent with the NRLMSISE-00 semi-empirical model, ultraviolet radiation and photo-chemistry rates modeled with reference to space weather indices, and radiative absorption attenuated by integrated column density.Comparisons with results drawn from existing upper atmospheric models and from indirect satellite mass density measurements are employed in benchmarking model accuracy. Avenues for further development include hybridization with continuum global circulation models in the mid-thermosphere, and the extension of the planetary code's magnetic field and charged-particle models to the Earth case.Research supported by the Los Alamos Space Weather Summer School, LANL Institutional Computing, and the Institute of Geophysics, Planetary Physics, and Signatures (IGPPS) at LANL.

  4. Super-Earth Atmospheres: Self-consistent Gas Accretion and Retention

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ginzburg, Sivan; Schlichting, Hilke E.; Sari, Re'em

    2016-07-01

    Some recently discovered short-period Earth- to Neptune-sized exoplanets (super-Earths) have low observed mean densities that can only be explained by voluminous gaseous atmospheres. Here, we study the conditions allowing the accretion and retention of such atmospheres. We self-consistently couple the nebular gas accretion onto rocky cores and the subsequent evolution of gas envelopes following the dispersal of the protoplanetary disk. Specifically, we address mass-loss due to both photo-evaporation and cooling of the planet. We find that planets shed their outer layers (dozens of percent in mass) following the disk's dispersal (even without photo-evaporation), and their atmospheres shrink in a few Myr to a thickness comparable to the radius of the underlying rocky core. At this stage, atmospheres containing less particles than the core (equivalently, lighter than a few percent of the planet's mass) can be blown away by heat coming from the cooling core, while heavier atmospheres cool and contract on a timescale of Gyr at most. By relating the mass-loss timescale to the accretion time, we analytically identify a Goldilocks region in the mass-temperature plane in which low-density super-Earths can be found: planets have to be massive and cold enough to accrete and retain their atmospheres, but not too massive or cold, such that they do not enter runaway accretion and become gas giants (Jupiters). We compare our results to the observed super-Earth population and find that low-density planets are indeed concentrated in the theoretically allowed region. Our analytical and intuitive model can be used to investigate possible super-Earth formation scenarios.

  5. The Formation of Haze During the Rise of Oxygen in the Atmosphere of the Early Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horst, S. M.; Jellinek, M.; Pierrehumbert, R.; Tolbert, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    also provide a wealth of organic material to the surface. Photochemical hazes are abundant in reducing atmospheres, such as the N2/CH4 atmosphere of Titan, but are unlikely to form in oxidizing atmospheres, such as the N2/O2 atmosphere of present day Earth. However, information about haze formation in mildly oxidizing atmospheres is lacking. Understanding haze formation in mildly oxidizing atmospheres is necessary for models that wish to investigate the atmosphere of the Early Earth as O2 first appeared and then increased in abundance. Previous studies of the atmosphere of the Early Earth have focused on haze formation in N2/CO2/CH4 atmospheres. In this work, we experimentally investigate the effect of the addition of O2 on the formation and composition of aerosols. Using a High-Resolution Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) (see e.g. [1]) we have obtained in situ composition measurements of aerosol particles produced in N2/CO2/CH4/O2 gas mixtures subjected to FUV radiation (deuterium lamp, 115-400 nm) for a range of initial CO2/CH4/O2 mixing ratios. In particular, we studied the effect of O2 ranging from 2 ppm to 2%. The particles were also investigated using a Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS), which measures particle size, number density and mass loading. A comparison of the composition of the aerosols will be presented. The effect of variation of O2 mixing ratio on aerosol production, size, and composition will also be discussed. [1] Trainer, M.G., et al. (2012) Astrobiology, 12, 315-326.

  6. Xenon isotopes in 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko show that comets contributed to Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marty, B.; Altwegg, K.; Balsiger, H.; Bar-Nun, A.; Bekaert, D. V.; Berthelier, J.-J.; Bieler, A.; Briois, C.; Calmonte, U.; Combi, M.; De Keyser, J.; Fiethe, B.; Fuselier, S. A.; Gasc, S.; Gombosi, T. I.; Hansen, K. C.; Hässig, M.; Jäckel, A.; Kopp, E.; Korth, A.; Le Roy, L.; Mall, U.; Mousis, O.; Owen, T.; Rème, H.; Rubin, M.; Sémon, T.; Tzou, C.-Y.; Waite, J. H.; Wurz, P.

    2017-06-01

    The origin of cometary matter and the potential contribution of comets to inner-planet atmospheres are long-standing problems. During a series of dedicated low-altitude orbits, the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis (ROSINA) on the Rosetta spacecraft analyzed the isotopes of xenon in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The xenon isotopic composition shows deficits in heavy xenon isotopes and matches that of a primordial atmospheric component. The present-day Earth atmosphere contains 22 ± 5% cometary xenon, in addition to chondritic (or solar) xenon.

  7. Research at the earth's edge. [tethered satellite study of upper atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, John L.; Wood, George M., Jr.; Siemers, Paul M.

    1988-01-01

    The Space Shuttle Orbiter-deployed Tethered Satellite System (TSS) could allow an Orbiter at a 200 km orbital altitude to reach down to atmospheric altitudes of 90 km, in order to study weather phenomena, pollutant transport, 'nuclear winter' smoke transport, atmospheric physics and dynamics, sun-earth interactions, ecosystem interactions, and radio communications. The TSS satellite, a 1.5-m diameter sphere, would carry scientific instrumentation which could initially be dedicated to the investigation of energy and momentum transfer between a tethered system and the upper atmosphere.

  8. Xenon isotopes in 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko show that comets contributed to Earth's atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Marty, B; Altwegg, K; Balsiger, H; Bar-Nun, A; Bekaert, D V; Berthelier, J-J; Bieler, A; Briois, C; Calmonte, U; Combi, M; De Keyser, J; Fiethe, B; Fuselier, S A; Gasc, S; Gombosi, T I; Hansen, K C; Hässig, M; Jäckel, A; Kopp, E; Korth, A; Le Roy, L; Mall, U; Mousis, O; Owen, T; Rème, H; Rubin, M; Sémon, T; Tzou, C-Y; Waite, J H; Wurz, P

    2017-06-09

    The origin of cometary matter and the potential contribution of comets to inner-planet atmospheres are long-standing problems. During a series of dedicated low-altitude orbits, the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis (ROSINA) on the Rosetta spacecraft analyzed the isotopes of xenon in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The xenon isotopic composition shows deficits in heavy xenon isotopes and matches that of a primordial atmospheric component. The present-day Earth atmosphere contains 22 ± 5% cometary xenon, in addition to chondritic (or solar) xenon. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  9. Research at the earth's edge. [tethered satellite study of upper atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, John L.; Wood, George M., Jr.; Siemers, Paul M.

    1988-01-01

    The Space Shuttle Orbiter-deployed Tethered Satellite System (TSS) could allow an Orbiter at a 200 km orbital altitude to reach down to atmospheric altitudes of 90 km, in order to study weather phenomena, pollutant transport, 'nuclear winter' smoke transport, atmospheric physics and dynamics, sun-earth interactions, ecosystem interactions, and radio communications. The TSS satellite, a 1.5-m diameter sphere, would carry scientific instrumentation which could initially be dedicated to the investigation of energy and momentum transfer between a tethered system and the upper atmosphere.

  10. Energy deposition in the earth's atmosphere due to impact of solar activity-generated disturbances

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, S. T.; Kan, L. C.; Tandberg-Hanssen, E.; Dryer, M.

    1979-01-01

    Energy deposition in and dynamic responses of the terrestrial atmosphere to solar flare-generated shocks and other physical processes - such as particle precipitation and local heating - are investigated self-consistently in the context of hydrodynamics, the problem being treated as an initial boundary-value problem. It is extremely difficult to construct a general model for the line solar activity-magnetosphere-atmosphere; however, a limited model for this link is possible. The paper describes such a model, and presents some results on energy deposition into the earth's atmosphere due to solar activity-generated disturbances. Results from the present calculations are presented and discussed.

  11. High-resolution numerical simulation of Venus atmosphere by AFES (Atmospheric general circulation model For the Earth Simulator)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sugimoto, Norihiko; AFES project Team

    2016-10-01

    We have developed an atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) for Venus on the basis of AFES (AGCM For the Earth Simulator) and performed a high-resolution simulation (e.g., Sugimoto et al., 2014a). The highest resolution is T639L120; 1920 times 960 horizontal grids (grid intervals are about 20 km) with 120 vertical layers (layer intervals are about 1 km). In the model, the atmosphere is dry and forced by the solar heating with the diurnal and semi-diurnal components. The infrared radiative process is simplified by adopting Newtonian cooling approximation. The temperature is relaxed to a prescribed horizontally uniform temperature distribution, in which a layer with almost neutral static stability observed in the Venus atmosphere presents. A fast zonal wind in a solid-body rotation is given as the initial state.Starting from this idealized superrotation, the model atmosphere reaches a quasi-equilibrium state within 1 Earth year and this state is stably maintained for more than 10 Earth years. The zonal-mean zonal flow with weak midlatitude jets has almost constant velocity of 120 m/s in latitudes between 45°S and 45°N at the cloud top levels, which agrees very well with observations. In the cloud layer, baroclinic waves develop continuously at midlatitudes and generate Rossby-type waves at the cloud top (Sugimoto et al., 2014b). At the polar region, warm polar vortex surrounded by a cold latitude band (cold collar) is well reproduced (Ando et al., 2016). As for horizontal kinetic energy spectra, divergent component is broadly (k > 10) larger than rotational component compared with that on Earth (Kashimura et al., in preparation). We will show recent results of the high-resolution run, e.g., small-scale gravity waves attributed to large-scale thermal tides. Sugimoto, N. et al. (2014a), Baroclinic modes in the Venus atmosphere simulated by GCM, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, Vol. 119, p1950-1968.Sugimoto, N. et al. (2014b), Waves in a Venus general

  12. Comparing Unique Title Coverage of Web of Science and Scopus in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnett, Philip; Lascar, Claudia

    2012-01-01

    The current journal titles in earth and atmospheric sciences, that are unique to each of two databases, Web of Science and Scopus, were identified using different methods. Comparing by subject category shows that Scopus has hundreds of unique titles, and Web of Science just 16. The titles unique to each database have low SCImago Journal Rank…

  13. A Special Assignment from NASA: Understanding Earth's Atmosphere through the Integration of Science and Mathematics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fox, Justine E.; Glen, Nicole J.

    2012-01-01

    Have your students ever wondered what NASA scientists do? Have they asked you what their science and mathematics lessons have to do with the real world? This unit about Earth's atmosphere can help to answer both of those questions. The unit described here showcases "content specific integration" of science and mathematics in that the lessons meet…

  14. Comparing Unique Title Coverage of Web of Science and Scopus in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnett, Philip; Lascar, Claudia

    2012-01-01

    The current journal titles in earth and atmospheric sciences, that are unique to each of two databases, Web of Science and Scopus, were identified using different methods. Comparing by subject category shows that Scopus has hundreds of unique titles, and Web of Science just 16. The titles unique to each database have low SCImago Journal Rank…

  15. Soyuz TMA-05M beginning to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-11-19

    ISS034-E-005034 (18 Nov. 2012) --- Soyuz TMA-05M (descent module) beginning to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere on Nov. 19 (real time, Nov. 18, U.S. time) leaving a plasma trail as the Expedition 33 crew streaked toward a pre-dawn landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan northeast of Arkalyk.

  16. Soyuz TMA-05M beginning to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-11-19

    ISS034-E-005049 (18 Nov. 2012) --- Soyuz TMA-05M (descent module) beginning to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere on Nov. 19 (real time, Nov. 18, U.S. time) leaving a plasma trail as the Expedition 33 crew streaked toward a pre-dawn landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan northeast of Arkalyk.

  17. Soyuz TMA-05M beginning to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-11-19

    ISS034-E-005039 (18 Nov. 2012) --- Soyuz TMA-05M (descent module) beginning to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere on Nov. 19 (real time, Nov. 18, U.S. time) leaving a plasma trail as the Expedition 33 crew streaked toward a pre-dawn landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan northeast of Arkalyk.

  18. Soyuz TMA-05M beginning to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-11-19

    ISS034-E-005037 (18 Nov. 2012) --- Soyuz TMA-05M (descent module) beginning to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere on Nov. 19 (real time, Nov. 18, U.S. time) leaving a plasma trail as the Expedition 33 crew streaked toward a pre-dawn landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan northeast of Arkalyk.

  19. Effects of atmospheric aerosols on scattering reflected visible light from earth resource features

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Noll, K. E.; Tschantz, B. A.; Davis, W. T.

    1972-01-01

    The vertical variations in atmospheric light attenuation under ambient conditions were identified, and a method through which aerial photographs of earth features might be corrected to yield quantitative information about the actual features was provided. A theoretical equation was developed based on the Bouguer-Lambert extinction law and basic photographic theory.

  20. Airglow of Earth's atmosphere as seen by the STS-114 crew

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2005-08-06

    S114-E-7558 (6 August 2005) --- This view featuring a distant Moon and a line of airglow of Earth’s atmosphere was photographed by an STS-114 crewmember onboard the Space Shuttle Discovery after departure from the international space station.

  1. Runaway and moist greenhouse atmospheres and the evolution of Earth and Venus.

    PubMed

    Kasting, J F

    1988-01-01

    A one-dimensional climate model is used to study the response of an Earth-like atmosphere to large increases in solar flux. For fully saturated, cloud-free conditions, the critical solar flux at which a runaway greenhouse occurs, that is, the oceans evaporate entirely, is found to be 1.4 times the present flux at Earth's orbit (S0). This value is close to the flux expected at Venus' orbit early in solar system history. Is is nearly independent of the amount of CO2 present in the atmosphere, but is sensitive to the H2O absorption coefficient in the 8- to 12-micrometers window region. Clouds should tend to depress the surface temperature on a warm, moist planet; thus, Venus may originally have had oceans if its initial water endowment was close to that of Earth. It lost them early in its history, however, because of rapid photodissociation of water vapor followed by escape of hydrogen to space. The critical solar flux above which water is rapidly lost could be as low as 1.1S0. The surface temperature of a runaway greenhouse atmosphere containing a full ocean's worth of water would have been in excess of 1500 degrees K--above the solidus for silicate rocks. The presence of such a steam atmosphere during accretion may have significantly influenced the early thermal evolution of both Earth and Venus.

  2. Sulfur Isotopes in Swaziland System Barites and the Evolution of the Earth's Atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Perry, E C; Monster, J; Reimer, T

    1971-03-12

    Sedimentary barites from the Swaziland System of South Africa (more than 3000 million years old) have sulfur-34 ratios that are enriched by only 2.5 per mil with respect to contemporary sulfides. To explain this small fractionation, it is proposed that oxygen pressure in the earth's atmosphere was very low and that local oxidation occurred in a photosynthetic layer of the ocean.

  3. A Special Assignment from NASA: Understanding Earth's Atmosphere through the Integration of Science and Mathematics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fox, Justine E.; Glen, Nicole J.

    2012-01-01

    Have your students ever wondered what NASA scientists do? Have they asked you what their science and mathematics lessons have to do with the real world? This unit about Earth's atmosphere can help to answer both of those questions. The unit described here showcases "content specific integration" of science and mathematics in that the lessons meet…

  4. Heterogeneous Chemical Transformation of Incident Exogenous Organic Material in Earth's Upper Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belle, C. L.; Kress, M. E.; Iraci, L. T.

    2009-12-01

    On average, 10^8 g of solar system debris impinges on the Earth system each day. It is estimated that a few percent of this material is carbonaceous in nature, yet the fate of this organic material once it enters our atmosphere is unexplored. Much of this incoming material arrives in the form of micrometeoroids which are large enough to suffer drag heating and volatilize their organic material. Preliminary work shows that the organic material contained in particles with diameters on the order of 10-100 um is expected to be volatilized at altitudes of 100-120 km. Observed species include aromatic compounds such as alkybenzenes, phenol, benzonitrile, naphthalene, and styrene. Once liberated, these molecules may be transformed by processes at the boundary of space, or may survive to be mixed throughout the atmosphere. Sulfuric acid particles exist in Earth's upper atmosphere, and organic compounds often react strongly with this acid. We will report the results of laboratory and theoretical investigations of the interaction of aromatic compounds with surrogate matrices which mimic upper atmospheric particles. These studies will explore how exogenous organic compounds are altered after liberation at altitudes near 100 km and will determine if they survive to reach the surface of the Earth, where they may have provided the starting materials for the evolution of life on Earth or on other bodies.

  5. Apollo 13 Service Module and Lunar Module as entering Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1970-01-01

    An unidentified airline passenger snapped these bright objects, believed to be the Apollo 13 Service Module and Lunar Module as they entered Earth's atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean on April 18, 1970. The aircraft, an Air New Zealand DC-8, was midway between the Fiji Islands (Nandi Island, to be specific) and Aukland, New Zealand when the photograph was taken.

  6. 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.

  7. The composition of the primitive atmosphere and the synthesis of organic compounds on the early Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bada, J. L.; Miller, S. L.

    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.

  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. Ionizing Radiation in Earth’s Atmosphere and in Space Near Earth

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-05-01

    Federal Aviation Administration NOTICE This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of... neutrons , protons, alpha particles, pions, muons), and (b) photons, which are packets of electromagnetic energy (e.g., visible light, ultraviolet...electromagnetism. Neutrons cannot ionize directly, but they can ionize indirectly. On impacting the nucleus of an atom (e.g., atmospheric nitrogen or oxygen), a

  10. Earth history. Low mid-Proterozoic atmospheric oxygen levels and the delayed rise of animals.

    PubMed

    Planavsky, Noah J; Reinhard, Christopher T; Wang, Xiangli; Thomson, Danielle; McGoldrick, Peter; Rainbird, Robert H; Johnson, Thomas; Fischer, Woodward W; Lyons, Timothy W

    2014-10-31

    The oxygenation of Earth's surface fundamentally altered global biogeochemical cycles and ultimately paved the way for the rise of metazoans at the end of the Proterozoic. However, current estimates for atmospheric oxygen (O2) levels during the billion years leading up to this time vary widely. On the basis of chromium (Cr) isotope data from a suite of Proterozoic sediments from China, Australia, and North America, interpreted in the context of data from similar depositional environments from Phanerozoic time, we find evidence for inhibited oxidation of Cr at Earth's surface in the mid-Proterozoic (1.8 to 0.8 billion years ago). These data suggest that atmospheric O2 levels were at most 0.1% of present atmospheric levels. Direct evidence for such low O2 concentrations in the Proterozoic helps explain the late emergence and diversification of metazoans.

  11. An objective frequency domain method for quantifying confined aquifer compressible storage using Earth and atmospheric tides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Acworth, R. Ian; Halloran, Landon J. S.; Rau, Gabriel C.; Cuthbert, Mark O.; Bernardi, Tony L.

    2016-11-01

    The groundwater hydraulic head response to the worldwide and ubiquitous atmospheric tide at 2 cycles per day (cpd) is a direct function of confined aquifer compressible storage. The ratio of the responses of hydraulic head to the atmospheric pressure change is a measure of aquifer barometric efficiency, from which formation compressibility and aquifer specific storage can be determined in situ rather than resorting to laboratory or aquifer pumping tests. The Earth tide also impacts the hydraulic head response at the same frequency, and a method is developed here to quantify and remove this interference. As a result, the barometric efficiency can be routinely calculated from 6-hourly hydraulic head, atmospheric pressure, and modeled Earth tide records where available for a minimum of 15 days duration. This new approach will be of critical importance in assessing worldwide problems of land subsidence or groundwater resource evaluation that both occur due to groundwater abstraction.

  12. Synthesis of nitrous oxide by lightning in the early anoxic Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Navarro, K. F.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; McKay, C. P.

    2013-12-01

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) was the main atmospheric component of the early Earth's atmosphere and exerted a key role in climate by maintaining a hydrosphere during a primitive faint Sun [1]; however, CO2 was eventually removed from the atmosphere by rock weathering and sequestered in the Earth's crust and mantle [1]. Nitric oxide (NO) was fixed by lightning discharges at a rate of 1×1016 molecules J-1 in CO2 (50-80%) rich atmospheres [2]. As the levels of atmospheric CO2 dropped to 20%, the production rate of NO by lightning rapidly decreased to 2×1014 molecules J-1 and then slowly diminished to 1×1014 molecules J-1 at CO2 levels of about 2.5% [2]. In order to maintain the existence of liquid water in the early Earth, it is required to warm up the planet with other greenhouse gases such as methane (CH4) [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 0.8 percent of carbon dioxide with methane concentrations from 0 to 1,000 ppm in molecular nitrogen. Lightning was simulated in the laboratory by a plasma generated with a pulsed Nd-YAG laser [2]. Our results show that the production of NO by lightning is independent of the presence of methane but drops from 3×1014 molecules J-1 in 10% CO2 to 5×1013 molecules J-1 in 1% CO2. Surprisingly, nitrous oxide (N2O) is also produced at a rate of 4×1013 molecules J-1 independent of the levels of CH4 and CO2. N2O is produced by lightning in the contemporaneous oxygenated Earth's atmosphere at a comparable rate of (0.4-1.5)×1013 molecules J-1 [4, 5], but was not detected in nitrogen-carbon dioxide mixtures in the absence of oxygen [6]. The only previously reported abiotic synthesis of N2O was by corona discharges in rich CO2 atmospheres (20-80%) with a production rate of 8×1012 molecules J-1 [6]; however at lower CO2 (<20%) levels, N2O is no longer produced. Therefore, lightning in the early Earth

  13. Improving Estimates of Atmosphere-Ocean Greenhouse Gas Fluxes for Earth-System Modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vieira, V. M. N. C. S.; Sahlee, E.; Jurus, P.; Clementi, E.; Pettersson, H.; Mateus, M.

    2016-08-01

    Accurate estimates of atmosphere-ocean balances and fluxes of greenhouse gases and aerosols are fundamental for Earth-System models forecasting the climate change, and for Earth Observation estimates of oceanic sinks and sources coupling satellite imagery with reverse modelling. The standard formulations are 24 and 36 years old, and recent alternatives have emerged. We developed a framework congregating the geophysical processes involved, customizable with alternative formulations, and that can be used as basis for novel couplers of atmospheric and oceanographic model components. We tested it with fine resolution data from the European coastal ocean. Although the solubility formulations agreed well, their minor divergences yielded differences of many tons of greenhouse gases dissolved at the ocean surface. The transfer velocities largely mismatched their estimates, in part consequence of the standard formulation not considering factors that were proved determinant at the coastal ocean. Climate Change research requires further calibration and validation of atmosphere-ocean interactions.

  14. Contributions of high-altitude winds and atmospheric moment of inertia to the atmospheric angular momentum-earth rotation relationship

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, H. A., Jr.; Mayr, H. G.; Kramer, L.

    1985-01-01

    For many years it has been recognized that recurrent modulations occur in the time series of the earth's rotation rate or, alternatively, the change in the length of the day (Delta-LOD). Studies relating Delta-LOD to global patterns of zonal winds have confirmed that the variability of atmospheric angular momentum (M) is of sufficient magnitude to account for a large portion of the gross periodicities observed in the earth rotation. The present investigation is concerned with the importance of the contributions of the moment of inertia and high-altitude winds to the angular momentum budget. On the basis of an analysis of the various factors, it is found that within the available data, contributions of high-altitude winds and atmospheric moment of inertia reach levels detectable in the atmospheric angular momentum budget. Nevertheless, for the period December 1978 to December 1979 these contributions are not sufficient to resolve the apparent short-term discrepancies which are evident between Delta-LOD and M.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. THE NATURE OF THE ATMOSPHERE OF THE TRANSITING SUPER-EARTH GJ 1214b

    SciTech Connect

    Miller-Ricci, Eliza; Fortney, Jonathan J.

    2010-06-10

    The newly discovered planet GJ 1214b is the first known transiting super-Earth requiring a significant atmosphere to explain its observed mass and radius. Models for the structure of this planet predict that it likely possesses an H-He envelope of at least 0.05% of the total mass of the planet. However, models without a significant H-He atmosphere are not entirely ruled out by the available data. Here, we explore a range of possible atmospheres for the planet, ranging from solar composition gas, to pure CO{sub 2} or water (steam). We present transmission and emission spectra for each of these cases. We find that, if GJ 1214b possesses a hydrogen-rich atmosphere as expected, then the primary transit depth for such an atmosphere would vary at a level of up to 0.3% as a function of wavelength, relative to the background light of its M-dwarf host star. Observations at this level of precision are potentially obtainable with current space-based instrumentation. Successful detection of the transmission signature of this planet at the {approx}0.1% level would therefore provide confirmation of the hydrogen-rich nature of the planetary atmosphere. It follows that transmission spectroscopy at this level of precision could provide a first glimpse into answering the question of whether planets in the super-Earth mass regime (1-10 M{sub +}) more closely resemble large terrestrial planets or small gas giant planets.

  18. Evaluating Land-Atmosphere Moisture Feedbacks in Earth System Models With Spaceborne Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levine, P. A.; Randerson, J. T.; Lawrence, D. M.; Swenson, S. C.

    2016-12-01

    We have developed a set of metrics for measuring the feedback loop between the land surface moisture state and the atmosphere globally on an interannual time scale. These metrics consider both the forcing of terrestrial water storage (TWS) on subsequent atmospheric conditions as well as the response of TWS to antecedent atmospheric conditions. We designed our metrics to take advantage of more than one decade's worth of satellite observations of TWS from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) along with atmospheric variables from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP), and Clouds and the Earths Radiant Energy System (CERES). Metrics derived from spaceborne observations were used to evaluate the strength of the feedback loop in the Community Earth System Model (CESM) Large Ensemble (LENS) and in several models that contributed simulations to Phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). We found that both forcing and response limbs of the feedback loop were generally stronger in tropical and temperate regions in CMIP5 models and even more so in LENS compared to satellite observations. Our analysis suggests that models may overestimate the strength of the feedbacks between the land surface and the atmosphere, which is consistent with previous studies conducted across different spatial and temporal scales.

  19. Constraints on Earth degassing history from the argon isotope composition of Devonian atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stuart, F. M.; Mark, D.

    2012-04-01

    The primordial and radiogenic isotopes of the noble gases combine to make them a powerful tool for determining the time and tempo of the outgassing of the Earth's interior. The outgassing history of the Earth is largely constrained from measurements of the isotopic composition of He, Ne, Ar and Xe in samples of modern mantle, crust and atmosphere. There have been few unequivocal measurement of the isotopic composition of noble gases in ancient atmosphere. We have re-visited whether ancient Ar is trapped in the ~400 Ma Rhynie chert [1]. We have analysed samples of pristine Rhynie chert using the ARGUS multi-collector mass spectrometer calibrated against the new determination of atmospheric Ar isotope ratios [2]. 40Ar/36Ar ratios are low, with many lower than the modern air value (298.8). Importantly these are accompanied by atmospheric 38Ar/36Ar ratios indicating that the low 40Ar/36Ar are not due to mass fractionation. We conclude that the Rhynie chert has captured Devonian atmosphere-derived Ar. The data indicate that the Devonian atmosphere 40Ar/36Ar was at least 3 % lower than the modern air value. Thus the Earth's atmosphere has accumulated at least 5 ± 0.2 x 1016 moles of 40Ar in the last 400 million years, at an average rate of 1.24 ± 0.06 x 108 mol 40Ar/year. This overlaps the rate determined from ice cores for the last 800,000 years [3] and implies that there has been no resolvable temporal change in Earth outgassing rate since mid-Palaeozoic times. The new data require the Earth outgassed early, and suggests that pristine samples of Archaean and Proterozoic chert may prove useful as palaeo-atmosphere tracers. [1] G. Turner, J. Geol. Soc. London 146, 147-154 (1989) [2] D. Mark, F.M. Stuart, M. de Podesta, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 75, 7494-7501 [3] M. Bender et al., Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 105, 8232-8237 (2008)

  20. A new way to Estimate the Earth's Radiation Budget at the top-of-atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Ping; Karatekin, Ozgur; van Ruymbeke, Michel; Dewitte, Steven; Meftah, Mustapha

    2014-05-01

    The Earth's Radiation Budget at the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) is investigated by combining remote sensing data from different Earth observing satellites and the solar radiation monitoring from dedicated missions. Despite the relatively high precision of each individual instruments, the uncertainties in the current net radiation derived at the TOA is still too large to track small energy imbalance associated with forced climate change. A new method to estimate the net energy balance at the TOA is introduced based on nearly three years space experiments from the Bolometric Oscillation Sensor (BOS) onboard PICARD satellite. PICARD satellite is circling the Earth on a heliocentric orbit, the descending and the ascending nodes of the PICARD are around 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. local time, respectively. The BOS sensor onboard PICARD satellite is sensitive to the radiation coming from both the sun and the Earth. Besides solar shortwave electromagnetic radiation, the black-coated BOS sensor measures also the reflected (visible) and reemitted (infrared) terrestrial radiation. The net radiation of the Earth is described as: fnet = fin - (fvis +fir) (1) Where fnet, the net radiation of the Earth at the TOA, fin, the incoming solar irradiance, fvis, the reflected solar radiation at the TOA, fir infrared radiation of the Earth. The energy absorbed by the main detector of the BOS can be approximately written as: fbos = fsun + (fvis + fir) (2) Where fbos, the measurements of the BOS instruments, fvis, the reflected solar radiation at the TOA, fir infrared radiation of the Earth. Frome equation (1) and (2), we can found a new method to estimate the net radiation: fnet = fsun +fin - fbos (3) BOS/PICARD experiment allows us to employ this new approach to study the Earth's Radiation Budget from a single remote sensing instrument. Here we discuss the BOS data between July 2010 and October 2013 and their implication on Earth's Radiation Budget estimate.

  1. Global Reference Atmospheric Models, Including Thermospheres, for Mars, Venus and Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Justh, Hilary L.; Justus, C. G.; Keller, Vernon W.

    2006-01-01

    This document is the viewgraph slides of the presentation. Marshall Space Flight Center's Natural Environments Branch has developed Global Reference Atmospheric Models (GRAMs) for Mars, Venus, Earth, and other solar system destinations. Mars-GRAM has been widely used for engineering applications including systems design, performance analysis, and operations planning for aerobraking, entry descent and landing, and aerocapture. Preliminary results are presented, comparing Mars-GRAM with measurements from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) during its aerobraking in Mars thermosphere. Venus-GRAM is based on the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Venus International Reference Atmosphere (VIRA), and is suitable for similar engineering applications in the thermosphere or other altitude regions of the atmosphere of Venus. Until recently, the thermosphere in Earth-GRAM has been represented by the Marshall Engineering Thermosphere (MET) model. Earth-GRAM has recently been revised. In addition to including an updated version of MET, it now includes an option to use the Naval Research Laboratory Mass Spectrometer Incoherent Scatter Radar Extended Model (NRLMSISE-00) as an alternate thermospheric model. Some characteristics and results from Venus-GRAM and Earth-GRAM thermospheres are also presented.

  2. Climatic consequences of very high CO2 levels in Earth's early atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, J. F.

    1985-01-01

    Earth has approximately 60 bars of carbon dioxide tied up in carbonate rocks, or roughly 2/3 the amount of CO2 of Venus' atmosphere. Two different lines of evidence, one based on thermodynamics and the other on geochemical cycles, indicate that a substantial fraction of this CO2 may have resulted in the atmosphere during the first few hundred million years of the Earth's history. A natural question which arises concerning this hypothesis is whether this would have resulted in a runaway greenhouse affect. One-dimensional radiative/convective model calculations show that the surface temperature of a hypothetical primitive atmosphere containing 20 bars of CO2 would have been less than 100C and no runaway greenhouse should have occurred. The climatic stability of the early atmosphere is a consequence of three factors: (1) reduced solar luminosity at that time; (2) an increase in planetary albedo caused by Rayleigh scattering by CO2; and (3) the stabilizing effects of moist convection. The latter two factors are sufficient to prevent a CO2-induced runaway greenhouse on the present Earth and for CO2 levels up to 100 bars. It is determined whether a runaway greenhouse could have occurred during the latter stages of the accretion process and, if so, whether it would have collapsed once the influx of material slowed down.

  3. Climatic consequences of very high CO2 levels in Earth's early atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Katsing, J. F.

    1986-01-01

    Earth has approximately 60 bars of carbon dioxide tied up in carbonate rocks, or roughly 2/3 the amount of CO2 of the atmosphere of Venus. Two different lines of evidence, one based on thermodynamics and the other on geochemical cycles, indicate that a substantial fraction of thes CO2 may have resided in the atmosphere during the first few hundred million years of the Earth's history. A natural question which arises is whether this much CO2 would have resulted in a runaway greenhouse effect. One dimensional radiative/convective model calculations presented showed that the surface temperature of a hypothetical primitive atmosphere containing 20 bars of CO2 was less than 100 C; thus no runaway greenhouse effect would have occurred. The climatic stability of the early atmosphere is a consequence of three factors: reduced solar luminosity at that time, an increase in planetary albedo caused by Rayleigh scattering by CO2, and the stabilizing effects of a moist convection. The latter two factors are sufficient to prevent a CO2 induced runaway greenhouse effect on the present Earth as well, for CO2 levels up to 100 bars. Further studies are being undertaken to determine whether a runaway greenhouse effect could have occurred during the latter stages of the accretion process and, if so, whether it would have collapsed one the influx of material slowed down.

  4. Surface-atmosphere interactions on Titan compared with those on the pre-biotic Earth.

    PubMed

    Lunine, J I; McKay, C P

    1995-03-01

    The surface and atmosphere of Titan constitute a system which is potentially as complex as that of the Earth, with the possibility of precipitation, surface erosion due to liquids, chemistry in large surface or subsurface hydrocarbon reservoirs, surface expressions of internal activity, and occasional major impacts leading to crustal melting. While none of the above have been observed as yet, the composition, density and thermal properties of Titan's atmosphere make it uniquely suited in the outer solar system as a place where such processes may occur. The one attribute of the Earth not expected on Titan is biological activity, which has had a profound effect on the evolution of the Earth's surface-atmosphere system. The earliest environment of Titan could have been warm enough for liquid ammonia-water solutions to exist on or near surface; pre-biotic organic processes may have taken place in such an environment. After a few hundred million years surface ammonia-water would have disappeared. Therefore, study of Titan through the Cassini-Huygens mission, planned for launch in 1997, primarily affords the opportunity to understand planet-wide surface-atmosphere interactions in the presence of fluids but in the absence of life. More speculative is the possibility that endogenic and exogenic heating continue to provide short-lived environments on Titan wherein pre-biotic organic processes in the presence of water happen.

  5. Climatic consequences of very high CO2 levels in Earth's early atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Katsing, J. F.

    1986-01-01

    Earth has approximately 60 bars of carbon dioxide tied up in carbonate rocks, or roughly 2/3 the amount of CO2 of the atmosphere of Venus. Two different lines of evidence, one based on thermodynamics and the other on geochemical cycles, indicate that a substantial fraction of thes CO2 may have resided in the atmosphere during the first few hundred million years of the Earth's history. A natural question which arises is whether this much CO2 would have resulted in a runaway greenhouse effect. One dimensional radiative/convective model calculations presented showed that the surface temperature of a hypothetical primitive atmosphere containing 20 bars of CO2 was less than 100 C; thus no runaway greenhouse effect would have occurred. The climatic stability of the early atmosphere is a consequence of three factors: reduced solar luminosity at that time, an increase in planetary albedo caused by Rayleigh scattering by CO2, and the stabilizing effects of a moist convection. The latter two factors are sufficient to prevent a CO2 induced runaway greenhouse effect on the present Earth as well, for CO2 levels up to 100 bars. Further studies are being undertaken to determine whether a runaway greenhouse effect could have occurred during the latter stages of the accretion process and, if so, whether it would have collapsed one the influx of material slowed down.

  6. Climatic consequences of very high CO2 levels in Earth's early atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, J. F.

    1985-01-01

    Earth has approximately 60 bars of carbon dioxide tied up in carbonate rocks, or roughly 2/3 the amount of CO2 of Venus' atmosphere. Two different lines of evidence, one based on thermodynamics and the other on geochemical cycles, indicate that a substantial fraction of this CO2 may have resulted in the atmosphere during the first few hundred million years of the Earth's history. A natural question which arises concerning this hypothesis is whether this would have resulted in a runaway greenhouse affect. One-dimensional radiative/convective model calculations show that the surface temperature of a hypothetical primitive atmosphere containing 20 bars of CO2 would have been less than 100C and no runaway greenhouse should have occurred. The climatic stability of the early atmosphere is a consequence of three factors: (1) reduced solar luminosity at that time; (2) an increase in planetary albedo caused by Rayleigh scattering by CO2; and (3) the stabilizing effects of moist convection. The latter two factors are sufficient to prevent a CO2-induced runaway greenhouse on the present Earth and for CO2 levels up to 100 bars. It is determined whether a runaway greenhouse could have occurred during the latter stages of the accretion process and, if so, whether it would have collapsed once the influx of material slowed down.

  7. Pyrolisis of phosphorylated molecules and survivability limits during the atmospheric passage in earth-like planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcano, Vicente; Benitez, Pedro; Campins, Javier; Matheus, Paula; Cedeño, Cesyen; Falcon, Nelson; Palacios-Prü, Ernesto

    2004-06-01

    There is evidence that space energy sources could give place to the appearance of phosphorylated nucleosides outside of Earth. These compounds may have been delivered mainly by interplanetary dust particles due to the lower temperatures experienced during atmospheric deceleration and impacts to the terrestrial surface. In this report, we communicate the results of pyrolytic studies to simulate atmospheric survivability of adenosine-5'-diphosphates (ADP) (and adenosine-5'-monophosphate, adenosine and adenine as degradation products) at temperatures <500°C and at various time intervals. Our results revealed that phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated nucleosides transported by IDPs having sizes of 10 -6- 10 -5 m could resist temperatures up to 500°C generated during atmospheric entry. However, atmospheric passage should not exceed a time >150 s due to the thermal lability of these molecules. Because of the high half-life showed by ADP in the presence of meteoritic powder, it is thought that extraterrestrial delivery of very complex biomolecules is more suitable under such protected conditions. These data indicate that the formation of a Fe 2+- and/or Ca 2+-complex could increase the stability of the molecules in the presence of meteoritic matter. Therefore, if the synthesis of nucleosides, nucleotides or oligonucleotides could take place in icy bodies, then micron-sized dust could have contributed significantly to the availability of phosphorylated nucleosides in the early Earth or in extrasolar early Earth-like planets, and thereby could have allowed the arising of an early biological activity.

  8. Further Analysis of Atmospheric and Oceanic Angular Momentum Datasets for Predictions of Earth Orientation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stamatakos, N. G.; McCarthy, D. D.; Eubanks, T. M.; Salstein, D.

    2015-12-01

    We continue to investigate the use of U.S.-produced atmospheric and oceanic angular momentum (AAM and OAM) estimates to improve the determination of near real-time observations of Earth rotation and polar motion parameters and their short-term predictions. This effort builds on work begun in 2014, presented at the AGU Fall 2014 meeting in San Francisco[1]. The U.S. Navy atmospheric AAM (NAVGEM) and OAM series (HYCOM) are considered, as they are available in near real-time for Earth orientation estimation. Additionally, use of a combination of these series should be internally consistent as the NAVGEM atmospheric analyses are used as forcing for the Navy HYCOM model. A Kalman filter or other optimal combination techniques may be used to enhance and expedite the evaluation process. [1] Salstein, D., Stamatakos, N., New Atmospheric and Oceanic Angular Momentum Datasets for Predictions of Earth Rotation/Polar Motion, G13A-0521 POSTER at the American Geophysical Union Meeting, San Francisco, California, December 2014.

  9. Investigating the Early Atmospheres of Earth and Mars through Rivers, Raindrops, and Lava Flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Som, Sanjoy M.

    2010-11-01

    The discovery of a habitable Earth-like planet beyond our solar-system will be remembered as one of the major breakthroughs of 21st century science, and of the same magnitude as Copernicus' heliocentric model dating from the mid 16th century. The real astrobiological breakthrough will be the added results from atmospheric remote sensing of such planets to determine habitability. Atmospheres, in both concentration and composition are suggestive of processes occurring at the planetary surface and upper crust. Unfortunately, only the modern Earth's atmosphere is known to be habitable. I investigate the density and pressure of our planet's early atmosphere before the rise of oxygen 2.5 billion years ago, because our planet was very much alive microbially. Such knowledge gives us another example of a habitable atmosphere. I also investigates the atmosphere of early Mars, as geomorphic signatures on its surface are suggestive of a past where liquid water may have present in a warmer climate, conditions suitable for the emergence of life, compared with today's 6 mbar CO2-dominated atmosphere. Using tools of fluvial geomorphology, I find that the largest river-valleys on Mars do not record a signature of a sustained hydrological cycle, in which precipitation onto a drainage basin induces many cycles of water flow, substrate incision, water ponding, and return to the atmosphere via evaporation. Rather, I conclude that while episodes of flow did occur in perhaps warmer environments, those periods were short-lived and overprinted onto a dominantly cold and dry planet. For Earth, I develop a new method of investigating atmospheric density and pressure using the size of raindrop imprints, and find that raindrop imprints preserved in the 2.7 billion year old Ventersdorp Supergroup of South Africa are consistent with precipitation falling in an atmosphere of near-surface density < 2 kg/m3 and probably > 0.1 kg/m3, compared to a modern value of 1.2 kg/m3, further suggesting a

  10. L2 Earth Atmosphere Observatory: Formation Guidance, Metrology and Control Synthesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Acikmese, Ahmet Behcet; Mettler, Edward; Breckenridge, William G.; Macenka, Steven A.; Tubbs, Eldred F.

    2004-01-01

    The Earth Observatory Formation at L2, a Lagrange libration point, is a unique large aperture (25 m diameter) space telescope concept that will improve the knowledge and understanding of dynamic, chemical and radiative mechanisms that cause changes in the atmosphere, and can lead to the development of models and techniques to predict short and long-term climate changes. The results of this concept definition study show that the telescope concept is feasible, and can have technology readiness in the 2020 time frame. Further advanced development in several subsystems is needed, such as higher efficiency Xenon ion thrusters with throttling, and optical quality large membrane mirror with active shape control. It presents an analysis and solution of guidance, sensing, control, and propulsion problems for a formation of two spacecraft on the Sun-Earth line in the neighborhood of the Sun-Earth L2 point, that observes Earth s atmosphere during continuous solar occultation by the Earth. A system architecture is described for the observatory, and its components that include unique mission specific metrology. The formation must follow a powered trajectory with strictly limited fuel use to observe solar occultation. A configuration of ion thrusters and reaction wheels for translation and attitude control is designed along with algorithms for orbit following and formation control. Simulation results of the orbital and formation dynamics are presented that verify performance of the control systems.

  11. L2 Earth Atmosphere Observatory: Formation Guidance, Metrology and Control Synthesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Acikmese, Ahmet Behcet; Mettler, Edward; Breckenridge, William G.; Macenka, Steven A.; Tubbs, Eldred F.

    2004-01-01

    The Earth Observatory Formation at L2, a Lagrange libration point, is a unique large aperture (25 m diameter) space telescope concept that will improve the knowledge and understanding of dynamic, chemical and radiative mechanisms that cause changes in the atmosphere, and can lead to the development of models and techniques to predict short and long-term climate changes. The results of this concept definition study show that the telescope concept is feasible, and can have technology readiness in the 2020 time frame. Further advanced development in several subsystems is needed, such as higher efficiency Xenon ion thrusters with throttling, and optical quality large membrane mirror with active shape control. It presents an analysis and solution of guidance, sensing, control, and propulsion problems for a formation of two spacecraft on the Sun-Earth line in the neighborhood of the Sun-Earth L2 point, that observes Earth s atmosphere during continuous solar occultation by the Earth. A system architecture is described for the observatory, and its components that include unique mission specific metrology. The formation must follow a powered trajectory with strictly limited fuel use to observe solar occultation. A configuration of ion thrusters and reaction wheels for translation and attitude control is designed along with algorithms for orbit following and formation control. Simulation results of the orbital and formation dynamics are presented that verify performance of the control systems.

  12. Spectral Characteristic of Tholin Produced from Possible Early Earth Atmospheres and its Role in Antigreenhouse Effect on Early Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Khare, B. N.; Imanaka, H.; Wilhite, P.; McKay, C.; Bakes, E.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Arakawa, E. T.

    2003-01-01

    We have produced organic material simulating a methane photochemical haze in a CO2- rich atmosphere of the early Earth by irradiating gas mixtures in an inductively coupled cold plasma chamber with pressure approx. 0.25 mbar at 100 W total power. The flow rate was 24 cm3 min. We added progressively higher levels of CH, by combining gas mixtures of N2/CH4 (9/1) and N2/CO2 (9/1) to change the ratio of CH4/CO2. Tholin was accumulated for 5 hours in each experiment; the onset of tholin formation is in the range CH4/CO2 = 0.5 to 1. As the mixing ratio of CH, is increased, the production rate of the brownish tholin film increases. IR spectra showed the C-H and N-H bands similar to that of Titan tholin and closely resemble Titan tholin made at 0.13 mbar pressure. A decrease in the CH bonds on decreasing CH4/CO2 is noted. Ether bands (-(2-O-C) were tentatively detected, but no detectable carbonyl (C=O) band was found. The absorption in the UV region for the early Earth tholin is found to be substantially greater than the Titan tholin. Quantitative values of the optical constants of early Earth tholin are currently being measured.

  13. Spectral Characteristic of Tholin Produced from Possible Early Earth Atmospheres and its Role in Antigreenhouse Effect on Early Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Khare, B. N.; Imanaka, H.; Wilhite, P.; McKay, C.; Bakes, E.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Arakawa, E. T.

    2003-01-01

    We have produced organic material simulating a methane photochemical haze in a CO2- rich atmosphere of the early Earth by irradiating gas mixtures in an inductively coupled cold plasma chamber with pressure approx. 0.25 mbar at 100 W total power. The flow rate was 24 cm3 min. We added progressively higher levels of CH, by combining gas mixtures of N2/CH4 (9/1) and N2/CO2 (9/1) to change the ratio of CH4/CO2. Tholin was accumulated for 5 hours in each experiment; the onset of tholin formation is in the range CH4/CO2 = 0.5 to 1. As the mixing ratio of CH, is increased, the production rate of the brownish tholin film increases. IR spectra showed the C-H and N-H bands similar to that of Titan tholin and closely resemble Titan tholin made at 0.13 mbar pressure. A decrease in the CH bonds on decreasing CH4/CO2 is noted. Ether bands (-(2-O-C) were tentatively detected, but no detectable carbonyl (C=O) band was found. The absorption in the UV region for the early Earth tholin is found to be substantially greater than the Titan tholin. Quantitative values of the optical constants of early Earth tholin are currently being measured.

  14. Earth-Atmospheric Coupling During Strong Earthquakes by Analyzing MODIS Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ouzounov, Dimitar; Williams, Robin G.; Freund, Friedemann

    2001-01-01

    Interactions between the Earth and the atmosphere during major earthquakes (M greater than 5) are the subject of this investigation. Recently a mechanism has been proposed predicting the build-up of positive ground potentials prior to strong earthquake activity. Connected phenomena include: transient conductivity of rocks, injection of currents, possibly also electromagnetic emission and light emission from high points at the surface of the Earth. To understand this process we analyze vertical atmospheric profiles, land surface and brightness (temperature) data, using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard NASA's Terra satellite launched in December 1999. MODIS covers the entire Earth every 1-2 days in 36 wavelength bands (20 visible and 16 infrared) at different spatial resolutions (250 m, 500 m, and 1 km). Using MODIS data we look for correlations between the atmospheric dynamics and solid Earth processes for the January 2001 strong earthquakes in San Salvador and India. As part of the build-up of positive grounds potential, an IR luminescence is predicted to occur in the 8-12 micrometer band. We use the MODIS data to differentiate between true "thermal" signals and IR luminescence. Indeed, on the basis of a temporal and spatial distribution analysis, a thermal anomaly pattern is found that appears to be related to the seismic activity. Aerosol content and atmospheric instability parameters also change when ground charges build up causing ion emission and leading to a thin aerosol layer over land. We analyze the aerosol content, atmospheric pressure, moisture profile and lifted index. Anomalous trends have been identified in few days prior to the main shocks. The significance of this observation should be explored further using other data sets.

  15. Development status of the EarthCARE Mission and its atmospheric Lidar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hélière, A.; Wallace, K.; Pereira Do Carmo, J.; Lefebvre, A.; Eisinger, M.; Wehr, T.

    2016-09-01

    The European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are co-operating to develop as part of ESA's Living Planet Programme, the third Earth Explorer Core Mission, EarthCARE, with the fundamental objective of improving the understanding of the processes involving clouds, aerosols and radiation in the Earth's atmosphere. EarthCARE payload consists of two active and two passive instruments: an ATmospheric LIDar (ATLID), a Cloud Profiling Radar (CPR), a Multi-Spectral Imager (MSI) and a Broad-Band Radiometer (BBR). The four instruments data are processed individually and in a synergetic manner to produce a large range of products, which include vertical profiles of aerosols, liquid water and ice, observations of cloud distribution and vertical motion within clouds, and will allow the retrieval of profiles of atmospheric radiative heating and cooling. Operating in the UV range at 355 nm, ATLID provides atmospheric echoes with a vertical resolution up to 100 m from ground to an altitude of 40 km. Thanks to a high spectral resolution filtering, the lidar is able to separate the relative contribution of aerosol (Mie) and molecular (Rayleigh) scattering, which gives access to aerosol optical depth. Co-polarised and cross-polarised components of the Mie scattering contribution are also separated and measured on dedicated channels. This paper gives an overview of the mission science objective, the satellite configuration with its four instruments and details more specifically the implementation and development status of the Atmospheric Lidar. Manufacturing status and first equipment qualification test results, in particular for what concerns the laser transmitter development are presented.

  16. Autonomous Flying Platforms for Atmospheric and Earth Surface Observations (APAESO) - A pioneering research facility in Cyprus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lange, Manfred; Teller, Amit; Keleshis, Christos; Ioannou, Stelios; Philimis, Panayiotis; Lelieveld, Jos; Levin, Zev

    2010-05-01

    The use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) has increased dramatically in the recent decades. UASs are widely used for different civil applications such as land management, earth sciences, contaminant detection and monitoring and commercial use. The Autonomous Flying Platforms for Atmospheric and Earth Surface Observations project (APAESO) of the Energy, Environment and Water Research Center (EEWRC) at the Cyprus Institute is aimed at the dual purpose of carrying out atmospheric and earth-surface observations in the Mediterranean. The APAESO UAS platforms will provide the unique ability to produce 3D measurements for determining: physical, chemical and radiative atmospheric properties, aerosol and dust concentrations and atmospheric dynamics as well as 2D investigations into: surface morphology, vegetation and land use patterns, archaeological site reconnaissance, contaminant detection and ocean surface properties (biology, waves, currents) at high spatial resolution. Through a modular design philosophy, APAESO will be very adaptable for a variety of scientific investigations enabling scientific collaborations between the Cyprus Institute and national and international research organizations. The Cyprus Institute is currently procuring the "Cruiser", which is a medium size Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) that is capable of carrying a payload of up to 10 kg, fly to altitude of 5000 m AGL with an endurance of up to 10 hours. Within the next phase of the project, the "Cruiser" will be equipped with instruments for atmospheric and earth surface observations. The poster will present the different components of the project: the UAS platform, payload to be integrated and scientific challenges that we are about to tackle and solve.

  17. Earth rotation as a proxy for interannual variability in atmospheric circulation, 1860-present

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salstein, David A.; Rosen, Richard D.

    1986-01-01

    Modern atmospheric and geodetic data sets have demonstrated that changes in the axial component of the atmosphere's angular momentum and in the rotation rate of the solid earth are closely coupled on time scales of up to several years. The feasibility of using a historical record of the earth's rotation as a proxy for year-to-year changes in the zonal wind field over the globe is examined. The bulk of the earth rotation series acquired for this purpose is based on telescopic observations of the occultation of stars by the moon; semiannual values of changes in the length of day derived from these observations have acceptably small errors from about 1860 onwards. These values are filtered to remove decade-scale fluctuations, which are driven primarily by nonatmospheric processes, and the resulting proxy series is examined to see if it contains a signal associated with one of the major modes of interannual variability in the atmosphere, namely that due to the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO). According to tests of statistical significance, such a signal is present in the historical earth rotation series, in that the day is typically longer during the year following an ENSO oceanic warm event than otherwise. Therefore other signals of interannual variability in the proxy series are considered. In particular, it is inferred that noteworthy trends in atmospheric interannual variability have occurred over the last century; for example, the decade of the 1920s was marked by much larger year-to-year changes in the zonal circulation over the globe than that of the 1940s. Based on modern atmospheric data, it is suggested that most of these circulation changes have resulted from anomalies in the region between 30 deg N and 30 deg S.

  18. Imaging observation of the Earth's upper atmosphere by Ionosphere, Mesosphere, upper Atmosphere, and Plasmasphere mapping observation (ISS-IMAP) mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, A.; Sakanoi, T.; Yoshikawa, I.; Yamazaki, A.; Abe, T.; Suzuki, M.; Otsuka, Y.; Nakamura, T.; Masayuki, K.; Ejiri, M. K.; Taguchi, M.; Yamamoto, M.; Kawano, H.; Fujiwara, H.; Ishii, M.; Kubota, M.; Sakanoi, K.; Hoshinoo, K.

    2011-12-01

    ISS-IMAP (Ionosphere, Mesosphere, upper Atmosphere, and Plasmasphere mapping) mission is a scientific mission that will make imaging observation of the Earth's upper Atmosphere from the Exposed Facility of Japanese Experiment Module on the International Space Station (EF of ISS-JEM). It will be installed in Multi-mission Consolidated Equipment (MCE) on EF of ISS-JEM, and start the observation in 2012. It consists of two imager sets. Visible-light and infrared spectrum imager (VISI) will detect the airglow emission in the mesosphere and the thermosphere/ionosphere, and extra ultraviolet imager (EUVI) will detect the resonant scattering emission from the ions in the ionosphere and the plasmasphere. The objective of this mission is to clarify the physical mechanism of the following three processes: (1) energy transport process by the atmospheric structures whose horizontal scale is 50-500km in the upper atmosphere (2) process of the plasma transport up to 20,000km altitude (3) effect of the upper atmosphere on the space-borne engineering system. ISS-IMAP will measure the following three parameters in the lower latitude region than 50 degrees: (1) distribution of the atmospheric gravity wave in the mesopause (87km), the ionospheric E-region (95km), and the ionospheric F-region (250km) (2) distribution of the ionized atmosphere in the ionospheric F-region (3) distribution of O+ and He+ ions in the ionosphere and plasmasphere. VISI will observe the airglow of 730nm (OH, Alt. 85km), 762nm (O2, Alt 95km) and 630nm(O, Alt.250km) in the Nadir direction. Its field-of-view is 90-degree width perpendicular to the trajectory of ISS, and direct in two directions, forward and backward. The vertical structure of the airglow will be determined by stereo observation with these two slits. EUVI will measure the resonant scattering of 30.4nm [He+] and 83.4nm [O+] with 15 degrees of field-of-view. It points the limb of the Earth to observe the vertical distribution of the ions. The

  19. Earth's changing global atmospheric energy cycle in response to climate change

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Yefeng; Li, Liming; Jiang, Xun; Li, Gan; Zhang, Wentao; Wang, Xinyue; Ingersoll, Andrew P.

    2017-01-01

    The Lorenz energy cycle is widely used to investigate atmospheres and climates on planets. However, the long-term temporal variations of such an energy cycle have not yet been explored. Here we use three independent meteorological data sets from the modern satellite era, to examine the temporal characteristics of the Lorenz energy cycle of Earth's global atmosphere in response to climate change. The total mechanical energy of the global atmosphere basically remains constant with time, but the global-average eddy energies show significant positive trends. The spatial investigations suggest that these positive trends are concentrated in the Southern Hemisphere. Significant positive trends are also found in the conversion, generation and dissipation rates of energies. The positive trends in the dissipation rates of kinetic energies suggest that the efficiency of the global atmosphere as a heat engine increased during the modern satellite era. PMID:28117324

  20. Wave Coupling in the Earth's Atmosphere: TIME-GCM Simulations of Variable Tidal Effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagan, Maura; Maute, Astrid; Zhang, Xiaoli; Forbes, Jeffrey M.; Roble, Raymond; Oberheide, Jens

    We report on the tidal characteristics and their impact on the Earth's atmosphere as determined from a series of National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) thermosphere-ionosphere-mesosphere-electrodynamics general circulation model (TIME-GCM) simulations. We assess the TIME-GCM performance by comparing the model results with extant observational tidal diagnostics. We also investigate the sensitivity of TIME-GCM performance to variable tro-pospheric forcing schemes with particular attention to their impact on upper atmospheric tidal signatures. Toward this end, we introduce tidal perturbations associated with Interna-tional Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) data, as well as tidal components inferred from Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) satellite observations, at the model lower boundary (ca. 30 km). Finally, we investigate the role of mean winds and wave-wave interactions on the tidal components that propagate into the upper atmosphere by contrasting them with linear tidal model results.

  1. Stratospheric Temperatures and Water Loss from Moist Greenhouse Atmospheres of Earth-like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasting, James F.; Chen, Howard; Kopparapu, Ravi K.

    2015-11-01

    A radiative-convective climate model is used to calculate stratospheric temperatures and water vapor concentrations for ozone-free atmospheres warmer than that of modern Earth. Cold, dry stratospheres are predicted at low surface temperatures, in agreement with recent 3D calculations. However, at surface temperatures above 350 K, the stratosphere warms and water vapor becomes a major upper atmospheric constituent, allowing water to be lost by photodissociation and hydrogen escape. Hence, a moist greenhouse explanation for loss of water from Venus, or some exoplanet receiving a comparable amount of stellar radiation, remains a viable hypothesis. Temperatures in the upper parts of such atmospheres are well below those estimated for a gray atmosphere, and this factor should be taken into account when performing inverse climate calculations to determine habitable zone boundaries using 1D models.

  2. Earth's changing global atmospheric energy cycle in response to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Yefeng; Li, Liming; Jiang, Xun; Li, Gan; Zhang, Wentao; Wang, Xinyue; Ingersoll, Andrew P.

    2017-01-01

    The Lorenz energy cycle is widely used to investigate atmospheres and climates on planets. However, the long-term temporal variations of such an energy cycle have not yet been explored. Here we use three independent meteorological data sets from the modern satellite era, to examine the temporal characteristics of the Lorenz energy cycle of Earth's global atmosphere in response to climate change. The total mechanical energy of the global atmosphere basically remains constant with time, but the global-average eddy energies show significant positive trends. The spatial investigations suggest that these positive trends are concentrated in the Southern Hemisphere. Significant positive trends are also found in the conversion, generation and dissipation rates of energies. The positive trends in the dissipation rates of kinetic energies suggest that the efficiency of the global atmosphere as a heat engine increased during the modern satellite era.

  3. Earth's changing global atmospheric energy cycle in response to climate change.

    PubMed

    Pan, Yefeng; Li, Liming; Jiang, Xun; Li, Gan; Zhang, Wentao; Wang, Xinyue; Ingersoll, Andrew P

    2017-01-24

    The Lorenz energy cycle is widely used to investigate atmospheres and climates on planets. However, the long-term temporal variations of such an energy cycle have not yet been explored. Here we use three independent meteorological data sets from the modern satellite era, to examine the temporal characteristics of the Lorenz energy cycle of Earth's global atmosphere in response to climate change. The total mechanical energy of the global atmosphere basically remains constant with time, but the global-average eddy energies show significant positive trends. The spatial investigations suggest that these positive trends are concentrated in the Southern Hemisphere. Significant positive trends are also found in the conversion, generation and dissipation rates of energies. The positive trends in the dissipation rates of kinetic energies suggest that the efficiency of the global atmosphere as a heat engine increased during the modern satellite era.

  4. STRATOSPHERIC TEMPERATURES AND WATER LOSS FROM MOIST GREENHOUSE ATMOSPHERES OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Kasting, James F.; Kopparapu, Ravi K.; Chen, Howard E-mail: hwchen@bu.edu

    2015-11-01

    A radiative-convective climate model is used to calculate stratospheric temperatures and water vapor concentrations for ozone-free atmospheres warmer than that of modern Earth. Cold, dry stratospheres are predicted at low surface temperatures, in agreement with recent 3D calculations. However, at surface temperatures above 350 K, the stratosphere warms and water vapor becomes a major upper atmospheric constituent, allowing water to be lost by photodissociation and hydrogen escape. Hence, a moist greenhouse explanation for loss of water from Venus, or some exoplanet receiving a comparable amount of stellar radiation, remains a viable hypothesis. Temperatures in the upper parts of such atmospheres are well below those estimated for a gray atmosphere, and this factor should be taken into account when performing inverse climate calculations to determine habitable zone boundaries using 1D models.

  5. LASA (Lidar Atmospheric Sounder and Altimeter) Earth Observing System. Volume 2D: Instrument Panel Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    The Earth Observing System (Eos) will provide an ideal forum in which the stronly synergistic characteristics of the lidar systems can be used in concert with the characteristics of a number of other sensors to better understand the Earth as a system. Progress in the development of more efficient and long-lasting laser systems will insure their availability in the Eos time frame. The necessary remote-sensing techniques are being developed to convert the Lidar Atmospheric Sounder and Altimeter (LASA) observations into the proper scientific parameters. Each of these activities reinforces the promise that LASA and GLRS will be a reality in the Eos era.

  6. Study of the dynamics of meteoroids through the Earth's atmosphere and retrieval of meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guadalupe Cordero Tercero, Maria; Farah-Simon, Alejandro; Velázquez-Villegas, Fernando

    2016-07-01

    When a comet , asteroid or meteoroid impact with a planet several things can happen depending on the mass, velocity and composition of the impactor, if the planet or moon has an atmosphere or not, and the angle of impact. On bodies without an atmosphere like Mercury or the Moon, every object that strikes their surfaces produces impact craters with sizes ranging from centimeters to hundreds and even thousands of kilometers across. On bodies with an atmosphere, this encounter can produce impact craters, meteorites, meteors and fragmentation. Each and every one of these phenomena is interesting because they provide information about the surfaces and the geological evolution of solar system bodies. Meteors (shooting stars) are luminous wakes on the sky due to the interaction between the meteoroid and the Earth's atmosphere. A meteoroid is asteroidal or cometary material ranging in size from 2 mm to a few tens of meters. The smallest tend to evaporate at heights between 80 and 120 km. Objects of less than 2 mm are called micrometeorites. If the meteor brightness exceeds the brightness of Venus, the phenomenon is called a bolide or fireball. If a meteoroid, or a fragment of it, survives atmospheric ablation and it can be recovered on the ground, that piece is called a meteorite. Most meteoroids 2 meters long fragment suddenly into the atmosphere, it produces a shock wave that can affect humans and their environment like the Chelyabinsk event occurred on February 15, 2013 an two less energetic events in Mexico in 2010 and 2011. To understand the whole phenomenon, we proposed a video camera network for observing meteors. The objectives of this network are to: a) contribute to the study of the fragmentation of meteoroids in the Earth's atmosphere, b) determine values of important physical parameters; c ) study seismic waves produced by atmospheric shock waves, d) study the dynamics of meteoroids and f ) recover and study meteorites. During this meeting, the academic

  7. 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.

  8. Galactic cosmic rays - atmosphere clouds effect and bifurcation model of the Earth global climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glushkov, Alexander

    The possible physical linkage between the cosmic rays, atmosphere cloud and indirect aerosol effects is discussed using analysis of first indirect aerosol effect (Twomey effect) and its experimental representation as the dependence of mean cloud droplet effective radius versus aerosol index defining the column aerosol number. It is shown that the main kinetic equation of Earth climate energy-balance model [1] is described by the bifurcation equation (relative to the Earth surface temperature) in the form of fold catastrophe with two controlling parameters defining the variations of insolation and Earth magnetic field (or cosmic rays intensity in the atmosphere) respectively. The results of comparative analysis on the time-dependent solution (time series of global paleotemperature ) of Earth climate energy-balance model taking into account nontrivial role of galactic cosmic rays and the known experimental data on the palaeotemperature from the EPICA Dome C and Vostok ice core are pre-sented. It is discussed the sin-earth mechanism of arising the abnormal temperature breaks which are observed in the EPICA Dome C and Vostok experiments. It has been found its link with the ‘order-chaos' transitions in evolution of the convection in the Earth liquid core which are responsible for mechanism of arising inversions of the magnetic field of the Earth. It should be noted a stabilization role of the slow nuclear burning [1] georeactor with power 30 TW) on the boundary of the liquid and solid phases of the Earth's core in evolution of convection in the Earth liquid core and magnetic field. In the bifurcation model (i) the possibility of abrupt glacial climate changes analogous to the Dansgaard-Oeschger events due to stochastic resonance is theoretically argued, (ii) the concept of the climatic sensitivity of water (vapour and liquid) in the atmosphere is introduced. This concept reveals the property of temperature instability in a form of so-called hysteresis loop. It is

  9. Interaction between common organic acids and trace nucleation species in the Earth's atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yisheng; Nadykto, Alexey B; Yu, Fangqun; Herb, J; Wang, Wei

    2010-01-14

    Atmospheric aerosols formed via nucleation in the Earth's atmosphere play an important role in the aerosol radiative forcing associated directly with global climate changes and public health. Although it is well-known that atmospheric aerosol particles contain organic species, the chemical nature of and physicochemical processes behind atmospheric nucleation involving organic species remain unclear. In the present work, the interaction of common organic acids with molecular weights of 122, 116, 134, 88, 136, and 150 (benzoic, maleic, malic, pyruvic, phenylacetic, and tartaric acids) with nucleation precursors and charged trace species has been investigated. We found a moderate strong effect of the organic species on the stability of neutral and charged ionic species. In most cases, the free energies of the mixed H(2)SO(4)-organic acid dimer formation are within 1-1.5 kcal mol(-1) of the (H(2)SO(4))(NH(3)) formation energy. The interaction of the organic acids with trace ionic species is quite strong, and the corresponding free energies far exceed those of the (H(3)O(+))(H(2)SO(4)) and (H(3)O(+))(H(2)SO(4))(2) formation. These considerations lead us to conclude that the aforementioned organic acids may possess a substantial capability of stabilizing both neutral and positively charged prenucleation clusters, and thus, they should be studied further with regard to their involvement in the gas-to-particle conversion in the Earth's atmosphere.

  10. THEORETICAL EMISSION SPECTRA OF ATMOSPHERES OF HOT ROCKY SUPER-EARTHS

    SciTech Connect

    Ito, Yuichi; Ikoma, Masahiro; Kawahara, Hajime; Nagahara, Hiroko; Kawashima, Yui; Nakamoto, Taishi

    2015-03-10

    Motivated by recent detection of transiting high-density super-Earths, we explore the detectability of hot rocky super-Earths orbiting very close to their host stars. In an environment hot enough for their rocky surfaces to be molten, they would have an atmosphere composed of gas species from the magma oceans. In this study, we investigate the radiative properties of the atmosphere that is in gas/melt equilibrium with the underlying magma ocean. Our equilibrium calculations yield Na, K, Fe, Si, SiO, O, and O{sub 2} as the major atmospheric species. We compile the radiative absorption line data of those species available in the literature and calculate their absorption opacities in the wavelength region of 0.1–100 μm. Using them, we integrate the thermal structure of the atmosphere. Then, we find that thermal inversion occurs in the atmosphere because of the UV absorption by SiO. In addition, we calculate the ratio of the planetary to stellar emission fluxes during secondary eclipse, and we find prominent emission features induced by SiO at 4 μm detectable by Spitzer, and those at 10 and 100 μm detectable by near-future space telescopes.

  11. Possible cometary origin of heavy noble gases in the atmospheres of Venus, Earth and Mars

    PubMed

    Owen, T; Bar-Nun, A; Kleinfeld, I

    1992-07-02

    Models that trace the origin of noble gases in the atmospheres of the terrestrial planets (Venus, Earth and Mars) to the 'planetary component' in chondritic meteorites confront several problems. The 'missing' xenon in the atmospheres of Mars and Earth is one of the most obvious; this gas is not hidden or trapped in surface materials. On Venus, the absolute abundances of neon and argon per gram of rock are higher even than those in carbonaceous chondrites, whereas the relative abundances of argon and krypton are closer to solar than to chondritic values (there is only an upper limit on xenon). Pepin has developed a model that emphasizes hydrodynamic escape of early, massive hydrogen atmospheres to explain the abundances and isotope ratios of noble gases on all three planets. We have previously suggested that the unusual abundances of heavy noble gases on Venus might be explained by the impact of a low-temperature comet. Further consideration of the probable history of the martian atmosphere, the noble-gas data from the (Mars-derived) SNC meteorites and laboratory experiments on the trapping of noble gases in ice lead us to propose here that the noble gases in the atmospheres of all of the terrestrial planets are dominated by a mixture of an internal component and contribution from impacting icy planetesimals (comets). If true, this hypothesis illustrates the importance of impacts in determining the volatile inventories of these planets.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Atmospheric Constituents in GEOS-5: Components for an Earth System Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pawson, Steven; Douglass, Anne; Duncan, Bryan; Nielsen, Eric; Ott, Leslie; Strode, Sarah

    2011-01-01

    The GEOS-S model is being developed for weather and climate processes, including the implementation of "Earth System" components. While the stratospheric chemistry capabilities are mature, we are presently extending this to include predictions of the tropospheric composition and chemistry - this includes CO2, CH4, CO, nitrogen species, etc. (Aerosols are also implemented, but are beyond the scope of this paper.) This work will give an overview of our chemistry modules, the approaches taken to represent surface emissions and uptake of chemical species, and some studies of the sensitivity of the atmospheric circulation to changes in atmospheric composition. Results are obtained through focused experiments and multi-decadal simulations.

  15. Possible cometary origin of heavy noble gases in the atmospheres of Venus, earth, and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Owen, Tobias; Bar-Nun, Akiva; Kleinfeld, Idit

    1992-01-01

    Due consideration of the probable history of the Martian atmosphere, as well as noble-gas data from the Mars-derived SNC meteorites and from laboratory tests on the trapping of noble gases in ice, are the bases of the presently hypothesized domination of noble gases in the atmospheres of all terrestrial planets by a mixture of internal components and a contribution from comets. If verified, this hypothesis would underscore the significance of impacts for these planets' volatile inventories. The sizes of the hypothesized comets are of the order of 120 km for Venus and only 80 km for that which struck the earth.

  16. Distribution functions for energetic oxygen atoms in the earth's lower atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Logan, J. A.; Mcelroy, M. B.

    1977-01-01

    Direct photolysis of O3 and quenching of O(1D) by N2 provide abundant sources of fast oxygen atoms for earth's lower atmosphere. The concentration of atoms with energy above 0.7 eV may exceed the concentration of O(1D) for all altitudes below 18 km, and these atoms may play an important role in lower-atmospheric chemistry. Distribution functions for O(3P) are given for the energy interval 0.1-1.3 eV and a range of altitudes from 0 to 62 km.

  17. Thermal evolution of the earth - Effects of volatile exchange between atmosphere and interior

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgovern, Patrick J.; Schubert, Gerald

    1989-01-01

    The thermal history of the earth is investigated using a parameterized model of mantle convection, that includes the effects of volatile exchange between the mantle and the surface reservoir and the softening of the mantle by the dissolved volatiles. The mantle degassing rate is taken to be directly proportional to the rate of seafloor spreading which depends on the mantle heat flow. It is shown that the dependence of the mantle viscosity on the volatile content has important effects on the thermal evolution of planetary interiors and the evolution of planetary atmospheres. Degassing is compensated by an increase in temperature, while regassing is compensated by a decrease in temperature. Reasonable degassing scenarios can account for an early rapid formation of the earth's atmosphere inferred from noble gas abundances.

  18. The young sun and the atmosphere and photochemistry of the early earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Canuto, V. M.; Levine, J. S.; Augustsson, T. R.; Imhoff, C. L.; Giampapa, M. S.

    1983-01-01

    The origin and evolution of the earth's early atmosphere depend crucially on the dissipation time of the primitive solar nebula (SN). Using different theories of turbulence, the dissipation time of an SN of 0.1 solar mass is estimated as 2.5-8.3 Myr. Because accretion times are usually much longer, it is concluded that most planetary accretion must have occurred in a gas-free environment. Using new IUE data, a wavelength-dependent UV flux is constructed for the young sun which is then used to study the photochemistry and concentrations of O, O2, O3, OH, H, HCO and formaldehyde H2CO in the earth's early prebiological atmosphere.

  19. Atmospheric heating in an irradiated transiting super-Earth and super-Neptune

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Brendan

    2014-09-01

    We propose Chandra observations of HD 97658 (13 ks) and HAT-P-11 (8 ks) to determine the high-energy radiation incident upon their short-period transiting planets. HD 97658 b is a hot super-Earth with a density between Earth and ice giants, while HAT-P-11 b is a hot super-Neptune orbiting an active K4 star. Measurement of the stellar X-ray (and UV; we contribute Swift time) luminosities provides a current epoch estimate of atmospheric heating and constrains whether these planets are likely to experience significant mass loss through atmospheric evaporation over their total lifetimes. These observations provide essential empirical input for understanding and modeling the potential evolutionary transformation of hot gas giants into less massive and more dense remnants.

  20. Atmospheric heating in an irradiated transiting super-Earth and super-Neptune

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Brendan P.; Gallo, Elena; Wright, Jason; Poppenhaeger, Katja

    2016-01-01

    We present new Chandra observations of HD 97658 (13 ks) and HAT-P-11 (8 ks), obtained to determine the high-energy radiation incident upon their short-period transiting planets. HD 97658 b is a hot super-Earth with a density between Earth and ice giants, while HAT-P-11 b is a hot super-Neptune orbiting an active K4 star. Our measurement of the stellar X-ray (and UV, from Swift) luminosities provides a current epoch estimate of atmospheric heating. We discuss whether these planets are likely to have experienced significant mass loss through atmospheric evaporation over their total lifetimes. These observations provide essential empirical input for understanding and modeling the potential evolutionary transformation of hot gas giants into less massive and more dense remnants.

  1. 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.

  2. Impact-generated atmospheric plumes: The threat to satellites in low-earth orbit

    SciTech Connect

    Boslough, M.B.; Crawford, D.A.

    1996-02-01

    Computational simulations of the impacts of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 (SL9) fragments on Jupiter provide a framework for interpreting the observations. A reasonably consistent picture has emerged, along with a more detailed understanding of atmospheric collisional processes. The knowledge gained from the observations and simulations of SL9 has led us to consider the threat of impact-generated plumes to satellites in low-Earth orbit (LEO). Preliminary simulations suggest that impacts of a size that recur about once per century on Earth generate plumes that rise to nearly 1000 km over an area thousands of km in diameter. Detailed modeling of such plumes is needed to quantify this threat to satellites in LEO. Careful observations of high-energy atmospheric entry events using both satellite and ground- based instruments would provide validation for these computational models.

  3. Hadley cell dynamics of a cold and virtually dry Snowball Earth atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voigt, Aiko; Held, Isaac; Marotzke, Jochem

    2010-05-01

    We use the full-physics atmospheric general circulation model ECHAM5 to investigate a cold and virtually dry Snowball Earth atmosphere that results from specifying sea ice as the surface boundary condition everywhere, corresponding to a frozen aquaplanet, while keeping total solar irradiance at its present-day value of 1365 Wm-2. The aim of this study is the investigation of the zonal-mean circulation of a Snowball Earth atmosphere, which, due to missing moisture, might constitute an ideal though yet unexplored testbed for theories of atmospheric dynamics. To ease comparison with theories, incoming solar insolation follows permanent equinox conditions with disabled diurnal cycle. The meridional circulation consists of a thermally direct cell extending from the equator to 45 N/S with ascent in the equatorial region, and a weak thermally indirect cell with descent between 45 and 65 N/S and ascent in the polar region. The former cell corresponds to the present-day Earth's Hadley cell, while the latter can be viewed as an eddy-driven Ferrell cell; the present-day Earth's direct polar cell is missing. The Hadley cell itself is subdivided into a vigorous cell confined to the troposphere and a weak deep cell reaching well into the stratosphere. The dynamics of the vigorous Snowball Earth Hadley cell differ substantially from the dynamics of the present-day Hadley cell. The zonal momentum balance shows that in the poleward branch of the vigorous Hadley cell, mean flow meridional advection of absolute vorticity is not only balanced by eddy momentum flux convergence but also by vertical diffusion. Inside the poleward branch, eddies are more important in the upper part and vertical diffusion is more important in the lower part. Vertical diffusion also contributes to the meridional momentum balance as it decelerates the vigorous Hadley cell by downgradient momentum mixing between its poleward and equatorward branch. Zonal winds, therefore, are not in thermal wind balance in

  4. Observational and Modeling Studies of Radiative, Chemical, and Dynamical Interactions in the Earth''s Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salby, Murry

    1998-01-01

    A 3-dimensional model was developed to support mechanistic studies. The model solves the global primitive equations in isentropic coordinates, which directly characterize diabatic processes forcing the Brewer-Dobson circulation of the middle atmosphere. It's numerical formulation is based on Hough harmonics, which partition horizontal motion into its rotational and divergent components. These computational features, along with others, enable 3D integrations to be performed practically on RISC computer architecture, on which they can be iterated to support mechanistic studies. The model conserves potential vorticity quite accurately under adiabatic conditions. Forced by observed tropospheric structure, in which integrations are anchored, the model generates a diabatic circulation that is consistent with satellite observations of tracer behavior and diabatic cooling rates. The model includes a basic but fairly complete treatment of gas-phase photochemistry that represents some 20 chemical species and 50 governing reactions with diurnally-varying shortwave absorption. The model thus provides a reliable framework to study transport and underlying diabatic processes, which can then be compared against chemical and dynamical structure observed and in GCM integrations. Integrations with the Langley GCM were performed to diagnose feedback between simulated convection and the tropical circulation. These were studied in relation to tropospheric properties controlling moisture convergence and environmental conditions supporting deep convection, for comparison against mechanistic integrations of wave CISK that successfully reproduce the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) of the tropical circulation. These comparisons were aimed at identifying and ultimately improving aspects of the convective simulation, with the objective of recovering a successful simulation of the MJO in the Langley GCM, behavior that should be important to budgets of upper-tropospheric water vapor and

  5. Transmission and total reflection of subhertz electromagnetic waves at the earth-atmosphere interface

    SciTech Connect

    Shiozawa, Toshiyuki

    2010-12-15

    For the purpose of providing for a theoretical background for the study of electromagnetic fields generated by precursory effects of earthquakes, the problem of transmission and total reflection at the earth-atmosphere interface is investigated in detail for a subhertz plane electromagnetic wave incident from the earth's crust. The term ''subhertz'' means 'below 1 Hz'. First, for the special case of normal incidence, the overall power transmission coefficient at the earth-atmosphere interface is found to take a maximum value at a definite frequency f{sub 0} which is inversely proportional to the square of the depth of a virtual hypocenter. A typical value of f{sub 0} falls around 0.01 Hz. For oblique incidence as well, this feature of the overall power transmission coefficient is retained except in the vicinity of the critical angle of incidence for the H-wave. At the critical angle of incidence, the power flow carried by a surface wave along the interface becomes anomalously large for the H-wave. However, over a wide range of angles of incidence greater than the critical angle, the power flow carried by the E-wave exceeds that carried by the H-wave by orders of magnitude. Finally, the energy conservation relations for the incident, reflected, and transmitted waves at the earth-atmosphere interface are discussed. For an incident wave coming from the earth's crust, the interactive power between the incident and reflected waves plays a crucial role for the conservation of energy at the interface.

  6. A new software tool for computing Earth's atmospheric transmission of near- and far-infrared radiation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lord, Steven D.

    1992-01-01

    This report describes a new software tool, ATRAN, which computes the transmittance of Earth's atmosphere at near- and far-infrared wavelengths. We compare the capabilities of this program with others currently available and demonstrate its utility for observational data calibration and reduction. The program employs current water-vapor and ozone models to produce fast and accurate transmittance spectra for wavelengths ranging from 0.8 microns to 10 mm.

  7. 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.

  8. Mapping the downwelling atmospheric radiation at the Earth's surface: A research strategy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raschke, E.

    1986-01-01

    A strategy is presented along with background material for determining downward atmospheric radiation at the Earth's surface on a regional scale but over the entire globe, using available information on the temperature and humidity of the air near the ground and at cloud base altitudes. Most of these parameters can be inferred from satellite radiance measurements. Careful validation of the derived radiances will be required using ground-based direct measurements of radiances, to avoid systematic biases of these derived field quantities.

  9. Concept of a space optoelectronic system for environmental monitoring of the near-earth space, atmosphere, and earth surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eltsov, Anatoli V.; Karasev, Vladimir I.; Kolotkov, Vjacheslav V.; Kondranin, Timothy V.

    1997-06-01

    The sharp increase of the man-induced pressure on the environment and hence the need to predict and monitor natural anomalies makes global monitoring of the ecosphere of planet Earth an issue of vital importance. The notion of the ecosphere covers three basic shells closely interacting with each other: the near-Earth space, the atmosphere and the Earth surface. In the near-Earth space (covering 100 to 2000 km altitudes) the primary objects of monitoring are: functioning artificial space objects, the fragments of their constructions or space rubbish (which by estimation amounts to 3.5 million pieces including 30,000 to 70,000 objects having dimensions sufficient for heavy damaging or even destroying functioning space objects) and objects of space origin (asteroids, meteorites and comets) whose trajectories come closely enough to the Earth. Maximum concentrations of space rubbish observed on orbits with altitudes of 800, 1000 and 1500 km and inclinations of 60 to 100 deg. are related in the first place to spacecraft launch requirements. Taking into account the number of launches implemented by different countries in the framework of their own space programs the probability of collision of functioning spacecraft with space rubbish may be estimation increase from (1.5 - 3.5)% at present to (15 - 40)% by 2020. Besides, registration of space radiation flow intensity and the solar activity is no less important in this space area. Subject to control in the atmosphere are time and space variations in temperature fields, humidity, tracing gas concentrations, first of all ozone and greenhouse gases, the state of the cloud cover, wind velocity, etc. The range of objects to be under environmental management of Earth surface is just as diverse and essentially should include the state of the surface and the near-surface layer of seas and oceans, internal reservoirs, the cryosphere and the land surface along with vegetation cover, natural resources and human activities. No matter

  10. Earth Adventure: Virtual Globe-based Suborbital Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Y.; Landolt, K.; Boyer, A.; Santhana Vannan, S. K.; Wei, Z.; Wang, E.

    2016-12-01

    The Earth Venture Suborbital (EVS) mission is an important component of NASA's Earth System Science Pathfinder program that aims at making substantial advances in Earth system science through measurements from suborbital platforms and modeling researches. For example, the Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) project of EVS-1 collected measurements of greenhouse gases (GHG) on local to regional scales in the Alaskan Arctic. The Atmospheric Carbon and Transport - America (ACT-America) project of EVS-2 will provide advanced, high-resolution measurements of atmospheric profiles and horizontal gradients of CO2 and CH4.As the long-term archival center for CARVE and the future ACT-America data, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center (ORNL DAAC) has been developing a versatile data management system for CARVE data to maximize their usability. One of these efforts is the virtual globe-based Suborbital Atmospheric GHG Exploration application. It leverages Google Earth to simulate the 185 flights flew by the C-23 Sherpa aircraft in 2012-2015 for the CARVE project. Based on Google Earth's 3D modeling capability and the precise coordinates, altitude, pitch, roll, and heading info of the aircraft recorded in every second during each flight, the application provides users accurate and vivid simulation of flight experiences, with an active 3D visualization of a C-23 Sherpa aircraft in view. This application provides dynamic visualization of GHG, including CO2, CO, H2O, and CH4 captured during the flights, at the same pace of the flight simulation in Google Earth. Photos taken during those flights are also properly displayed along the flight paths. In the future, this application will be extended to incorporate more complicated GHG measurements (e.g. vertical profiles) from the ACT-America project. This application leverages virtual globe technology to provide users an integrated framework to interactively explore information

  11. Haze aerosols in the atmosphere of early Earth: manna from heaven.

    PubMed

    Trainer, Melissa G; Pavlov, Alexander A; Curtis, Daniel B; McKay, Christopher P; Worsnop, Douglas R; Delia, Alice E; Toohey, Darin W; Toon, Owen B; Tolbert, Margaret A

    2004-01-01

    An organic haze layer in the upper atmosphere of Titan plays a crucial role in the atmospheric composition and climate of that moon. Such a haze layer may also have existed on the early Earth, providing an ultraviolet shield for greenhouse gases needed to warm the planet enough for life to arise and evolve. Despite the implications of such a haze layer, little is known about the organic material produced under early Earth conditions when both CO(2) and CH(4) may have been abundant in the atmosphere. For the first time, we experimentally demonstrate that organic haze can be generated in different CH(4)/CO(2) ratios. Here, we show that haze aerosols are able to form at CH(4) mixing ratios of 1,000 ppmv, a level likely to be present on early Earth. In addition, we find that organic hazes will form at C/O ratios as low as 0.6, which is lower than the predicted value of unity. We also show that as the C/O ratio decreases, the organic particles produced are more oxidized and contain biologically labile compounds. After life arose, the haze may thus have provided food for biota.

  12. Surface-atmosphere interactions on Titan compared with those on the pre-biotic Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lunine, J. I.; Mckay, C. P.

    1995-01-01

    The surface and atmosphere of Titan constitute a system which is potentially as complex as that of the Earth, with the possibility of precipitation, surface erosion due to liquids, chemistry in large surface or subsurface hydrocarbon resevoirs, surface expressions of internal activity, and occasional major impacts leading to crustal melting. While none of the above have been observed as yet, the composition, density and thermal properties of Titan's atmosphere make it uniquely suited in the outer solar system as a place where such processes may occur. The one attribute of the Earth not expected on Titan is biological activity, which has had a profound effect on the evolution of the Earth's surface-atmosphere system. The earliest environment of Titan could have been warm enough for liquid ammonia-water solutions to exist on or near surface; pre-biotic organic processes may have taken place in such an environment. After a few hundred million years surface ammonia-water would have disappeard. Therefore, study of Titan through Cassini/Huygens mission, planned for launch in 1997, primarily affords the opportunity to understand planet-side surface-atmophsre interactions in the presence of fluids but in the absence of life. More speculative is the possibility that endogenic and exogenic heating continue to provide short-lived environments on Titan wherein pre-biotic organic processes in the presence of water happen.

  13. 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.

  14. Determining the Atmospheric Nature of Super-Earth and Sub-Neptune Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lothringer, Joshua; Crossfield, Ian; Benneke, Bjoern; Knutson, Heather; Dragomir, Diana; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Howard, Andrew; McCullough, Peter R.; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Kempton, Eliza; Morley, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    Proper characterization of the atmospheric composition of super-Earth and sub-Neptune planets will constrain the models that describe the formation and evolution of exoplanetary systems, yet the transition between Earth-mass and Neptune-mass exoplanets is still not well understood. Due to degeneracies between the bulk density and composition of planets in this range, even the basic make-up of many planets is unknown. Transit spectroscopy offers a method to characterize exoplanetary atmospheres and break this compositional degeneracy. We will present preliminary analysis and data reduction techniques for an ongoing large-scale Hubble Space Telescope survey of five planets between 1 and 22 Earth-masses. Using both optical and infrared primary transit spectra from STIS and WFC3, we will measure molecular signatures in the atmospheres of these small, cool planets, as well as any high-altitude clouds and hazes that may dampen such signatures. Results from this investigation will pave the way for future observations of small planets, especially in preparation for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).

  15. 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.

  16. Galactic cosmic rays on extrasolar Earth-like planets. II. Atmospheric implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grießmeier, J.-M.; Tabataba-Vakili, F.; Stadelmann, A.; Grenfell, J. L.; Atri, D.

    2016-03-01

    Context. Theoretical arguments indicate that close-in terrestial exoplanets may have weak magnetic fields. As described in the companion article (Paper I), a weak magnetic field results in a high flux of galactic cosmic rays to the top of the planetary atmosphere. Aims: We investigate effects that may result from a high flux of galactic cosmic rays both throughout the atmosphere and at the planetary surface. Methods: Using an air shower approach, we calculate how the atmospheric chemistry and temperature change under the influence of galactic cosmic rays for Earth-like (N2-O2 dominated) atmospheres. We evaluate the production and destruction rate of atmospheric biosignature molecules. We derive planetary emission and transmission spectra to study the influence of galactic cosmic rays on biosignature detectability. We then calculate the resulting surface UV flux, the surface particle flux, and the associated equivalent biological dose rates. Results: We find that up to 20% of stratospheric ozone is destroyed by cosmic-ray protons. The effect on the planetary spectra, however, is negligible. The reduction of the planetary ozone layer leads to an increase in the weighted surface UV flux by two orders of magnitude under stellar UV flare conditions. The resulting biological effective dose rate is, however, too low to strongly affect surface life. We also examine the surface particle flux: For a planet with a terrestrial atmosphere (with a surface pressure of 1033 hPa), a reduction of the magnetic shielding efficiency can increase the biological radiation dose rate by a factor of two, which is non-critical for biological systems. For a planet with a weaker atmosphere (with a surface pressure of 97.8 hPa), the planetary magnetic field has a much stronger influence on the biological radiation dose, changing it by up to two orders of magnitude. Conclusions: For a planet with an Earth-like atmospheric pressure, weak or absent magnetospheric shielding against galactic cosmic

  17. 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.

  18. Lunar-solar tide effects in the Earth's crust and atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adushkin, V. V.; Riabova, S. A.; Spivak, A. A.

    2017-07-01

    The gravitational interaction in the Earth-Moon-Sun system is considered from the standpoint of influencing the formation of time variations in the geophysical fields and some natural processes. The analysis of the results of instrumental observations revealed the main periodicities and cycles in the time variations of subsoil radon volumetric activity with the same periods as the vertical component of the variations of the tidal force. The amplitude modulation of seismic noise by the lunar-solar tide is demonstrated. It is shown that the intensity of relaxation processes in the Earth's crust has a near-diurnal periodicity, whereas the spectrum of groundwater level fluctuations includes clearly expressed tidal waves. Based on the data on the tilts of the Earth's surface, the role of tidal deformation in the formation of the block motions in the Earth's crust is analyzed. A new approach is suggested for identifying tidal waves in the atmosphere by analyzing micropulsations of the atmospheric pressure with the use of adaptive rejection filters.

  19. Responses of atmospheric electric field and air-earth current to variations of conductivity profiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makino, M.; Ogawa, T.

    1984-05-01

    A global circuit model is constructed to study responses of air-earth current and electric field to a variation of atmospheric electrical conductivity profile. The model includes the orography and the global distribution of thunderstorm generators. The conductivity varies with latitude and exponentially with altitude. The thunderstorm cloud is assumed to be a current generator with a positive source at the top and a negative one at the bottom. The UT diurnal variations of the global current and the ionospheric potential are evaluated considering the local-time dependence of thunderstorm activity. The global distribution of the electric field and the air-earth current are affected by the orography and latitudinal effects. Assuming a variation of conductivity profile, responses of atmospheric electrical parameters are investigated. The nonuniform decrement of the conductivity with altitude increases both the electric field and the air-earth current. The result suggests a possibility that the increment of the electric field and the air-earth current after a solar flare may be caused by this scheme, due to Forbush decrease.

  20. Dynamics of space particles and spacecrafts passing by the atmosphere of the Earth.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Vivian Martins; Prado, Antonio Fernando Bertachini de Almeida; Golebiewska, Justyna

    2013-01-01

    The present research studies the motion of a particle or a spacecraft that comes from an orbit around the Sun, which can be elliptic or hyperbolic, and that makes a passage close enough to the Earth such that it crosses its atmosphere. The idea is to measure the Sun-particle two-body energy before and after this passage in order to verify its variation as a function of the periapsis distance, angle of approach, and velocity at the periapsis of the particle. The full system is formed by the Sun, the Earth, and the particle or the spacecraft. The Sun and the Earth are in circular orbits around their center of mass and the motion is planar for all the bodies involved. The equations of motion consider the restricted circular planar three-body problem with the addition of the atmospheric drag. The initial conditions of the particle or spacecraft (position and velocity) are given at the periapsis of its trajectory around the Earth.

  1. Dynamics of Space Particles and Spacecrafts Passing by the Atmosphere of the Earth

    PubMed Central

    Prado, Antonio Fernando Bertachini de Almeida; Golebiewska, Justyna

    2013-01-01

    The present research studies the motion of a particle or a spacecraft that comes from an orbit around the Sun, which can be elliptic or hyperbolic, and that makes a passage close enough to the Earth such that it crosses its atmosphere. The idea is to measure the Sun-particle two-body energy before and after this passage in order to verify its variation as a function of the periapsis distance, angle of approach, and velocity at the periapsis of the particle. The full system is formed by the Sun, the Earth, and the particle or the spacecraft. The Sun and the Earth are in circular orbits around their center of mass and the motion is planar for all the bodies involved. The equations of motion consider the restricted circular planar three-body problem with the addition of the atmospheric drag. The initial conditions of the particle or spacecraft (position and velocity) are given at the periapsis of its trajectory around the Earth. PMID:24396298

  2. Oxygen dynamics in the aftermath of the Great Oxidation of Earth's atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Canfield, Donald E; Ngombi-Pemba, Lauriss; Hammarlund, Emma U; Bengtson, Stefan; Chaussidon, Marc; Gauthier-Lafaye, François; Meunier, Alain; Riboulleau, Armelle; Rollion-Bard, Claire; Rouxel, Olivier; Asael, Dan; Pierson-Wickmann, Anne-Catherine; El Albani, Abderrazak

    2013-10-15

    The oxygen content of Earth's atmosphere has varied greatly through time, progressing from exceptionally low levels before about 2.3 billion years ago, to much higher levels afterward. In the absence of better information, we usually view the progress in Earth's oxygenation as a series of steps followed by periods of relative stasis. In contrast to this view, and as reported here, a dynamic evolution of Earth's oxygenation is recorded in ancient sediments from the Republic of Gabon from between about 2,150 and 2,080 million years ago. The oldest sediments in this sequence were deposited in well-oxygenated deep waters whereas the youngest were deposited in euxinic waters, which were globally extensive. These fluctuations in oxygenation were likely driven by the comings and goings of the Lomagundi carbon isotope excursion, the longest-lived positive δ(13)C excursion in Earth history, generating a huge oxygen source to the atmosphere. As the Lomagundi event waned, the oxygen source became a net oxygen sink as Lomagundi organic matter became oxidized, driving oxygen to low levels; this state may have persisted for 200 million years.

  3. The Stability of Hydrogen-Rich Atmospheres of Earth-Like Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zahnle, Kevin

    2016-01-01

    Understanding hydrogen escape is essential to understanding the limits to habitability, both for liquid water where the Sun is bright, but also to assess the true potential of H2 as a greenhouse gas where the Sun is faint. Hydrogen-rich primary atmospheres of Earth-like planets can result either from gravitational capture of solar nebular gases (with helium), or from impact shock processing of a wide variety of volatile-rich planetesimals (typically accompanied by H2O, CO2, and under the right circumstances, CH4). Most studies of hydrogen escape from planets focus on determining how fast the hydrogen escapes. In general this requires solving hydro- dynamic equations that take into account the acceleration of hydrogen through a critical transonic point and an energy budget that should include radiative heating and cooling, thermal conduction, the work done in lifting the hydrogen against gravity, and the residual heat carried by the hydrogen as it leaves. But for planets from which hydrogen escape is modest or insignificant, the atmosphere can be approximated as hydrostatic, which is much simpler, and for which a relatively full-featured treatment of radiative cooling by embedded molecules, atoms, and ions such as CO2 and H3+ is straightforward. Previous work has overlooked the fact that the H2 molecule is extremely efficient at exciting non-LTE CO2 15 micron emission, and thus that radiative cooling can be markedly more efficient when H2 is abundant. We map out the region of phase space in which terrestrial planets keep hydrogen-rich atmospheres, which is what we actually want to know for habitability. We will use this framework to reassess Tian et al's hypothesis that H2-rich atmospheres may have been rather long-lived on Earth itself. Finally, we will address the empirical observation that rocky planets with thin or negligible atmospheres are rarely or never bigger than 1.6 Earth radii.

  4. The role of artificial atmospheric CO2 removal in stabilizing Earth's climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zickfeld, K.; Tokarska, K.

    2014-12-01

    The current CO2 emission trend entails a risk that the 2°C target will be missed, potentially causing "dangerous" changes in Earth's climate system. This research explores the role of artificial atmospheric CO2 removal (also referred to as "negative emissions") in stabilizing Earth's climate after overshoot. We designed a range of plausible CO2 emission scenarios, which follow a gradual transition from a fossil fuel driven economy to a zero-emission energy system, followed by a period of negative emissions. The scenarios differ in peak emissions rate and, accordingly, the amount of negative emissions, to reach the same cumulative emissions compatible with the 2°C temperature stabilization target. The climate system components' responses are computed using the University of Victoria Earth System Climate Model of intermediate complexity. Results suggest that negative emissions are effective in reversing the global mean temperature and stabilizing it at a desired level (2°C above pre-industrial) after overshoot. Also, changes in the meridional overturning circulation and sea ice are reversible with the artificial removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. However, sea level continues to rise and is not reversible for several centuries, even under assumption of large amounts of negative emissions. For sea level to decline, atmospheric CO2 needs to be reduced to pre-industrial levels in our simulations. During the negative emission phase, outgassing of CO2 from terrestrial and marine carbon sinks offsets the artificial removal of atmospheric CO2, thereby reducing its effectiveness. On land, the largest CO2 outgassing occurs in the Tropics and is partially compensated by CO2 uptake at northern high latitudes. In the ocean, outgassing occurs mostly in the Southern Ocean, North Atlantic and tropical Pacific. The strongest outgassing occurs for pathways entailing greatest amounts of negative emissions, such that the efficiency of CO2 removal - here defined as the change in

  5. Bolide impacts and the oxidation state of carbon in the earth's early atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, James F.

    1990-01-01

    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.

  6. THE GREAT OXIDATION OF EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE: CONTESTING THE YOYO MODEL VIA TRANSITION STABILITY ANALYSIS

    SciTech Connect

    Cuntz, M.; Roy, D.; Musielak, Z. E. E-mail: dipanjan.roy@etumel.univmed.f

    2009-11-20

    A significant controversy regarding the climate history of the Earth and its relationship to the development of complex life forms concerns the rise of oxygen in the early Earth's atmosphere. Geological records show that this rise occurred about 2.4 Gyr ago, when the atmospheric oxygen increased from less than 10{sup -5} present atmospheric level (PAL) to more than 0.01 PAL and possibly above 0.1 PAL. However, there is a debate whether this rise happened relatively smoothly or with well-pronounced ups and downs (the Yoyo model). In our study, we explore a simplified atmospheric chemical system consisting of oxygen, methane, and carbon that is driven by the sudden decline of the net input of reductants to the surface as previously considered by Goldblatt et al. Based on the transition stability analysis for the system equations, constituting a set of non-autonomous and non-linear differential equations, as well as the inspection of the Lyapunov exponents, it is found that the equations do not exhibit chaotic behavior. In addition, the rise of oxygen occurs relative smoothly, possibly with minor bumps (within a factor of 1.2), but without major jumps. This result clearly argues against the Yoyo model in agreement with recent geological findings.

  7. Bolide impacts and the oxidation state of carbon in the earth's early atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasting, James F.

    1990-05-01

    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.

  8. The Breath of Planet Earth: Atmospheric Circulation. Assimilation of Surface Wind Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Atlas, Robert; Bloom, Stephen; Otterman, Joseph

    2000-01-01

    Differences in air pressure are a major cause of atmospheric circulation. Because heat excites the movement of atoms, warm temperatures cause, air molecules to expand. Because those molecules now occupy a larger space, the pressure that their weight exerts is decreased. Air from surrounding high-pressure areas is pushed toward the low-pressure areas, creating circulation. This process causes a major pattern of global atmosphere movement known as meridional circulation. In this form of convection, or vertical air movement, heated equatorial air rises and travels through the upper atmosphere toward higher latitudes. Air just above the equator heads toward the North Pole, and air just below the equator moves southward. This air movement fills the gap created where increased air pressure pushes down cold air. The ,cold air moves along the surface back toward the equator, replacing the air masses that rise there. Another influence on atmospheric. circulation is the Coriolis force. Because of the Earth's rotation, large-scale wind currents move in the direction of this axial spin around low-pressure areas. Wind rotates counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. just as the Earth's rotation affects airflow, so too does its surface. In the phenomenon of orographic lifting, elevated topographic features such as mountain ranges lift air as it moves up their surface.

  9. Bolide impacts and the oxidation state of carbon in the earth's early atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, James F.

    1990-01-01

    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.

  10. XUV complex refractive indices of aerosols in the atmospheres of Titan and the primitive Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gavilan, Lisseth; Neumann, Maciej; Bulkin, Pavel; Popescu, Horia; Steffan, Martin; Esser, Norbert; Carrasco, Nathalie

    2016-10-01

    The complex refractive indices of tholins, simulating aerosols in the atmosphere of Titan and the primitive earth, have been measured over a wide spectral range, including the soft X-ray, vacuum-ultraviolet (VUV), and UV-Visible. The soft X-ray and VUV spectral ranges are in particular relevant to radiative transfer models of solar irradiation of primitive atmospheres (Lammer et al. 2008) and may elucidate the (anti-)greenhouse potential of photochemical aerosols.Thin films were grown using the PAMPRE capacitively coupled plasma setup (Szopa et al. 2006; Carrasco et al. 2009). Gas mixtures consisting of CH4/N2 with 5:95 ratios were used to simulate Titan's atmospheric composition. For the primitive Earth, gas mixtures of N2/CO2/H2 and N2/CO2/CH4 were used as described in Fleury et al. (2014).State-of-the-art laboratory techniques were used to determine the refractive indices of such tholin films. These include VUV ellipsometry (performed in collaboration with the Metrology Light Source in Berlin) and synchrotron X-ray spectroscopy (performed at the SEXTANTS beamline of the SOLEIL synchrotron). While VUV spectroscopy reveals new electronic transitions due to plasmon resonances in tholins, X-ray spectra reveal the C and O absorption edges of these solids. The refractive indices are compared to results from Khare et al. (1984). Implications on the optical properties of these aerosol analogs on the radiative modeling of primitive atmospheres will be discussed.

  11. A review of carbon monoxide sources, sinks, and concentrations in the earth's atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bortner, M. H.; Kummler, R. H.; Jaffe, L. S.

    1972-01-01

    Carbon monoxide is a toxic pollutant which is continually introduced into the earth's atmosphere in significant quantities. There are apparently some mechanisms operating which destroy most of the CO in the atmosphere, i.e., a carbon monoxide sink. These mechanisms have not as yet been established in a quantitative sense. This report discusses the various possible removal mechanisms which warrant serious consideration. Particular emphasis is given to chemical reactions (especially that with OH), soil bacteria and other biological action, and transport effects. The sources of carbon monoxide, both natural and anthropogenic, are reviewed and it is noted that there is quite possibly a significant undefined natural source. Atmospheric CO concentrations are discussed and their implications on carbon monoxide lifetime, sinks and sources are considered.

  12. On the average temperature of airless spherical bodies and the magnitude of Earth's atmospheric thermal effect.

    PubMed

    Volokin, Den; ReLlez, Lark

    2014-01-01

    The presence of atmosphere can appreciably warm a planet's surface above the temperature of an airless environment. Known as a natural Greenhouse Effect (GE), this near-surface Atmospheric Thermal Enhancement (ATE) as named herein is presently entirely attributed to the absorption of up-welling long-wave radiation by greenhouse gases. Often quoted as 33 K for Earth, GE is estimated as a difference between planet's observed mean surface temperature and an effective radiating temperature calculated from the globally averaged absorbed solar flux using the Stefan-Boltzmann (SB) radiation law. This approach equates a planet's average temperature in the absence of greenhouse gases or atmosphere to an effective emission temperature assuming ATE ≡ GE. The SB law is also routinely employed to estimating the mean temperatures of airless bodies. We demonstrate that this formula as applied to spherical objects is mathematically incorrect owing to Hölder's inequality between integrals and leads to biased results such as a significant underestimation of Earth's ATE. We derive a new expression for the mean physical temperature of airless bodies based on an analytic integration of the SB law over a sphere that accounts for effects of regolith heat storage and cosmic background radiation on nighttime temperatures. Upon verifying our model against Moon surface temperature data provided by the NASA Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment, we propose it as a new analytic standard for evaluating the thermal environment of airless bodies. Physical evidence is presented that Earth's ATE should be assessed against the temperature of an equivalent airless body such as the Moon rather than a hypothetical atmosphere devoid of greenhouse gases. Employing the new temperature formula we show that Earth's total ATE is ~90 K, not 33 K, and that ATE = GE + TE, where GE is the thermal effect of greenhouse gases, while TE > 15 K is a thermodynamic enhancement independent of the

  13. Investigation of the effect of atmospheric dust on the determination of total ozone from the earth's ultraviolet reflectivity measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dave, J. V.

    1977-01-01

    Results are presented on the effect of atmospheric aerosols on the value of total ozone, in an atmospheric column of the terrestrial atmosphere, estimated from the simulated measurements of the ultraviolet radiation back scattered by the earth atmosphere models. Simulated measurements were used in five (configuration of the BUV experiment of Nimbus-4 satellite), and in six (configuration of the TOMS section of the SBUV/TOMS experiment on Nimbus-G) narrow spectral regions in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum.

  14. Kinetic Theory of Meteor Plasma in the Earth's atmosphere: Implications for Radar Head Echo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dimant, Y. S.; Oppenheim, M. M.

    2015-12-01

    Every second millions of tiny meteoroids hit the Earth from space, vast majority too small to be observed visually. However, radars detect the plasma they generate and use the collected data to characterize the incoming meteoroids and the atmosphere in which they disintegrate. This diagnostics requires a detailed quantitative understanding of formation of the meteor plasma and how it interacts with the Earth's atmosphere. Fast-descending meteoroids become detectable to radars after they heat due to collisions with atmospheric molecules sufficiently and start ablating. The ablated material then collides into atmospheric molecules and forms plasma around the meteoroid. Reflection of radar pulses from this plasma produces a localized signal called a head echo often accompanied by a much longer non-specular trail (see the Figure). Using first principles, we have developed a consistent collisional kinetic theory of the near-meteoroid plasma responsible for the radar head echo. This theory produces analytic expressions describing the ion and neutral velocity distributions along with the detailed 3-D spatial structure of the near-meteoroid plasma. These expressions predict a number of unexpected features such as shell-like velocity distributions. This theory shows that the meteoroid plasma develops over a length-scale close to the ion mean free path with a strongly non-Maxwellian velocity distribution. The spatial distribution of the plasma density shows significant deviations from a Gaussian law usually employed in head-echo modeling. This analytical model will serve as a basis for a more accurate quantitative interpretation of radar measurements, estimates of the ionization efficiency, and should help calculate meteoroid and atmosphere parameters from radar head-echo observations. This theory could also help clarify the physical nature of electromagnetic pulses observed during recent meteor showers and associated with the passage of fast-moving meteors through the

  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

    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.

  17. Dynamic model constraints on oxygen-17 depletion in atmospheric O2 after a snowball Earth.

    PubMed

    Cao, Xiaobin; Bao, Huiming

    2013-09-03

    A large perturbation in atmospheric CO2 and O2 or bioproductivity will result in a drastic pulse of (17)O change in atmospheric O2, as seen in the Marinoan Oxygen-17 Depletion (MOSD) event in the immediate aftermath of a global deglaciation 635 Mya. The exact nature of the perturbation, however, is debated. Here we constructed a coupled, four-box, and quick-response biosphere-atmosphere model to examine both the steady state and dynamics of the MOSD event. Our model shows that the ultra-high CO2 concentrations proposed by the "snowball' Earth hypothesis produce a typical MOSD duration of less than 10(6) y and a magnitude of (17)O depletion reaching approximately -35‰. Both numbers are in remarkable agreement with geological constraints from South China and Svalbard. Moderate CO2 and low O2 concentration (e.g., 3,200 parts per million by volume and 0.01 bar, respectively) could produce distinct sulfate (17)O depletion only if postglacial marine bioproductivity was impossibly low. Our dynamic model also suggests that a snowball in which the ocean is isolated from the atmosphere by a continuous ice cover may be distinguished from one in which cracks in the ice permit ocean-atmosphere exchange only if partial pressure of atmospheric O2 is larger than 0.02 bar during the snowball period and records of weathering-derived sulfate are available for the very first few tens of thousands of years after the onset of the meltdown. In any case, a snowball Earth is a precondition for the observed MOSD event.

  18. Dynamic model constraints on oxygen-17 depletion in atmospheric O2 after a snowball Earth

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Xiaobin; Bao, Huiming

    2013-01-01

    A large perturbation in atmospheric CO2 and O2 or bioproductivity will result in a drastic pulse of 17O change in atmospheric O2, as seen in the Marinoan Oxygen-17 Depletion (MOSD) event in the immediate aftermath of a global deglaciation 635 Mya. The exact nature of the perturbation, however, is debated. Here we constructed a coupled, four-box, and quick-response biosphere–atmosphere model to examine both the steady state and dynamics of the MOSD event. Our model shows that the ultra-high CO2 concentrations proposed by the “snowball’ Earth hypothesis produce a typical MOSD duration of less than 106 y and a magnitude of 17O depletion reaching approximately −35‰. Both numbers are in remarkable agreement with geological constraints from South China and Svalbard. Moderate CO2 and low O2 concentration (e.g., 3,200 parts per million by volume and 0.01 bar, respectively) could produce distinct sulfate 17O depletion only if postglacial marine bioproductivity was impossibly low. Our dynamic model also suggests that a snowball in which the ocean is isolated from the atmosphere by a continuous ice cover may be distinguished from one in which cracks in the ice permit ocean–atmosphere exchange only if partial pressure of atmospheric O2 is larger than 0.02 bar during the snowball period and records of weathering-derived sulfate are available for the very first few tens of thousands of years after the onset of the meltdown. In any case, a snowball Earth is a precondition for the observed MOSD event. PMID:23898167

  19. New Atmospheric and Oceanic Angular Momentum Datasets for Predictions of Earth Rotation/Polar Motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salstein, D. A.; Stamatakos, N.

    2014-12-01

    We are reviewing the state of the art in available datasets for both atmospheric angular momentum (AAM) and oceanic angular momentum (OAM) for the purposes of analysis and prediction of both polar motion and length of day series. Both analyses and forecasts of these quantities have been used separately and in combination to aid in short and medium range predictions of Earth rotation parameters. The AAM and OAM combination, with the possible addition of hydrospheric angular momentum can form a proxy index for the Earth rotation parameters themselves due to the conservation of angular momentum in the Earth system. Such a combination of angular momentum of the geophysical fluids has helped in forecasts within periods up to about 10 days, due to the dynamic models, and together with extended statistical predictions of Earth rotation parameters out even as far as 90 days, according to Dill et al. (2013). We assess other dataset combinations that can be used in such analysis and prediction efforts for the Earth rotation parameters, and demonstrate the corresponding skill levels in doing so.

  20. 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.

  1. Defining Top-of-Atmosphere Flux Reference Level for Earth Radiation Budget Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Loeb, N. G.; Kato, S.; Wielicki, B. A.

    2002-01-01

    To estimate the earth's radiation budget at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) from satellite-measured radiances, it is necessary to account for the finite geometry of the earth and recognize that the earth is a solid body surrounded by a translucent atmosphere of finite thickness that attenuates solar radiation differently at different heights. As a result, in order to account for all of the reflected solar and emitted thermal radiation from the planet by direct integration of satellite-measured radiances, the measurement viewing geometry must be defined at a reference level well above the earth s surface (e.g., 100 km). This ensures that all radiation contributions, including radiation escaping the planet along slant paths above the earth s tangent point, are accounted for. By using a field-of- view (FOV) reference level that is too low (such as the surface reference level), TOA fluxes for most scene types are systematically underestimated by 1-2 W/sq m. In addition, since TOA flux represents a flow of radiant energy per unit area, and varies with distance from the earth according to the inverse-square law, a reference level is also needed to define satellite-based TOA fluxes. From theoretical radiative transfer calculations using a model that accounts for spherical geometry, the optimal reference level for defining TOA fluxes in radiation budget studies for the earth is estimated to be approximately 20 km. At this reference level, there is no need to explicitly account for horizontal transmission of solar radiation through the atmosphere in the earth radiation budget calculation. In this context, therefore, the 20-km reference level corresponds to the effective radiative top of atmosphere for the planet. Although the optimal flux reference level depends slightly on scene type due to differences in effective transmission of solar radiation with cloud height, the difference in flux caused by neglecting the scene-type dependence is less than 0.1%. If an inappropriate

  2. Defining Top-of-Atmosphere Flux Reference Level for Earth Radiation Budget Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Loeb, N. G.; Kato, S.; Wielicki, B. A.

    2002-01-01

    To estimate the earth's radiation budget at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) from satellite-measured radiances, it is necessary to account for the finite geometry of the earth and recognize that the earth is a solid body surrounded by a translucent atmosphere of finite thickness that attenuates solar radiation differently at different heights. As a result, in order to account for all of the reflected solar and emitted thermal radiation from the planet by direct integration of satellite-measured radiances, the measurement viewing geometry must be defined at a reference level well above the earth s surface (e.g., 100 km). This ensures that all radiation contributions, including radiation escaping the planet along slant paths above the earth s tangent point, are accounted for. By using a field-of- view (FOV) reference level that is too low (such as the surface reference level), TOA fluxes for most scene types are systematically underestimated by 1-2 W/sq m. In addition, since TOA flux represents a flow of radiant energy per unit area, and varies with distance from the earth according to the inverse-square law, a reference level is also needed to define satellite-based TOA fluxes. From theoretical radiative transfer calculations using a model that accounts for spherical geometry, the optimal reference level for defining TOA fluxes in radiation budget studies for the earth is estimated to be approximately 20 km. At this reference level, there is no need to explicitly account for horizontal transmission of solar radiation through the atmosphere in the earth radiation budget calculation. In this context, therefore, the 20-km reference level corresponds to the effective radiative top of atmosphere for the planet. Although the optimal flux reference level depends slightly on scene type due to differences in effective transmission of solar radiation with cloud height, the difference in flux caused by neglecting the scene-type dependence is less than 0.1%. If an inappropriate

  3. Observations of the Earth's Radiation Budget in relation to atmospheric hydrology. 4: Atmospheric column radiative cooling over the world's oceans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stephens, Graeme L.; Slingo, Anthony; Webb, Mark J.; Minnett, Peter J.; Daum, Peter H.; Kleinman, Lawrence; Wittmeyer, Ian; Randall, David A.

    1994-01-01

    This paper introduces a simple method for deriving climatological values of the longwave flux emitted from the clear sky atmosphere to the ice-free ocean surface. It is shown using both theory and data from simulations how the ratio of the surface to top-of-atmosphere (TOA) flux is a simple function of water vapor (W) and a validation of the simple relationship is presented based on a limited set of surface flux measurements. The rms difference between the retrieved surface fluxes and the simulated surface fluxes is approximately 6 W/sq m. The clear sky column cooling rate of the atmosphere is derived from the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) values of the clear sky TOA flux and the surface flux retrieved using Special Scanning Microwave Imager (SSM/I) measurements of w together with ERBE clear sky fluxes. The relationship between this column cooling rate, w, and the sea surface temperature (SST) is explored and it is shown how the cooling rate systematically increases as both w and SST increase. The uncertainty implied in these estmates of cooling are approximately +/- 0.2 K/d. The effects of clouds on this longwave cooling are also explored by placing bounds on the possible impact of clouds on the column cooling rate based on certain assumptions about the effect of clouds on the longwave flux to the surface. It is shown how the longwave effects of clouds in a moist atmosphere where the column water vapor exceeds approximately 30 kg/sq m may be estimated from presently available satellite data with an uncertainty estimated to be approximately 0.2 K/d. Based on an approach described in this paper, we show how clouds in these relatively moist regions decrease the column cooling by almost 50% of the clear sky values and the existence of significant longitudinal gradients in column radiative heating across the equatorial and subtropical Pacific Ocean.

  4. Observations of the Earth's Radiation Budget in relation to atmospheric hydrology. 4: Atmospheric column radiative cooling over the world's oceans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stephens, Graeme L.; Slingo, Anthony; Webb, Mark J.; Minnett, Peter J.; Daum, Peter H.; Kleinman, Lawrence; Wittmeyer, Ian; Randall, David A.

    1994-01-01

    This paper introduces a simple method for deriving climatological values of the longwave flux emitted from the clear sky atmosphere to the ice-free ocean surface. It is shown using both theory and data from simulations how the ratio of the surface to top-of-atmosphere (TOA) flux is a simple function of water vapor (W) and a validation of the simple relationship is presented based on a limited set of surface flux measurements. The rms difference between the retrieved surface fluxes and the simulated surface fluxes is approximately 6 W/sq m. The clear sky column cooling rate of the atmosphere is derived from the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) values of the clear sky TOA flux and the surface flux retrieved using Special Scanning Microwave Imager (SSM/I) measurements of w together with ERBE clear sky fluxes. The relationship between this column cooling rate, w, and the sea surface temperature (SST) is explored and it is shown how the cooling rate systematically increases as both w and SST increase. The uncertainty implied in these estmates of cooling are approximately +/- 0.2 K/d. The effects of clouds on this longwave cooling are also explored by placing bounds on the possible impact of clouds on the column cooling rate based on certain assumptions about the effect of clouds on the longwave flux to the surface. It is shown how the longwave effects of clouds in a moist atmosphere where the column water vapor exceeds approximately 30 kg/sq m may be estimated from presently available satellite data with an uncertainty estimated to be approximately 0.2 K/d. Based on an approach described in this paper, we show how clouds in these relatively moist regions decrease the column cooling by almost 50% of the clear sky values and the existence of significant longitudinal gradients in column radiative heating across the equatorial and subtropical Pacific Ocean.

  5. Aura Atmospheric Data Products and Their Availability from NASA Goddard Earth Sciences DAAC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahmad, S.; Johnson, J.; Gopalan, A.; Smith, P.; Leptoukh, G.; Kempler, S.

    2004-01-01

    NASA's EOS-Aura spacecraft was launched successfully on July 15, 2004. The four instruments onboard the spacecraft are the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS), the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES), and the High Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder (HBDLS). The Aura instruments are designed to gather earth sciences measurements across the ultraviolet, visible, infra-red, thermal and microwave regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Aura will provide over 70 distinct standard atmospheric data products for use in ozone layer and surface UV-B monitoring, air quality forecast, and atmospheric chemistry and climate change studies (http://eosaura.gsfc.nasa.gov/). These products include earth-atmosphere radiances and solar spectral irradiances; total column, tropospheric, and profiles of ozone and other trace gases, surface W-B flux; clouds and aerosol characteristics; and temperature, geopotential height, and water vapor profiles. The MLS, OMI, and HIRDLS data products will be archived at the NASA Goddard Earth Sciences (GES) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC), while data from TES will be archived at NASA Langley Research Center DAAC. Some of the standard products which have gone through quick preliminary checks are already archived at the GES DAAC (http://daac.nsfc.nasa.gov/) and are available to the Aura science team and data validation team members for data validation; and to the application and visualization software developers, for testing their application modules. Once data are corrected for obvious calibration problems and partially validated using in-situ observations, they would be made available to the broader user community. This presentation will provide details of the whole suite of Aura atmospheric data products, and the time line of the availability of the rest of the preliminary products and of the partially validated provisional products. Software and took available for data access, visualization, and data

  6. Aura Atmospheric Data Products and Their Availability from NASA Goddard Earth Sciences DAAC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahmad, S.; Johnson, J.; Gopalan, A.; Smith, P.; Leptoukh, G.; Kempler, S.

    2004-01-01

    NASA's EOS-Aura spacecraft was launched successfully on July 15, 2004. The four instruments onboard the spacecraft are the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS), the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES), and the High Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder (HBDLS). The Aura instruments are designed to gather earth sciences measurements across the ultraviolet, visible, infra-red, thermal and microwave regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Aura will provide over 70 distinct standard atmospheric data products for use in ozone layer and surface UV-B monitoring, air quality forecast, and atmospheric chemistry and climate change studies (http://eosaura.gsfc.nasa.gov/). These products include earth-atmosphere radiances and solar spectral irradiances; total column, tropospheric, and profiles of ozone and other trace gases, surface W-B flux; clouds and aerosol characteristics; and temperature, geopotential height, and water vapor profiles. The MLS, OMI, and HIRDLS data products will be archived at the NASA Goddard Earth Sciences (GES) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC), while data from TES will be archived at NASA Langley Research Center DAAC. Some of the standard products which have gone through quick preliminary checks are already archived at the GES DAAC (http://daac.nsfc.nasa.gov/) and are available to the Aura science team and data validation team members for data validation; and to the application and visualization software developers, for testing their application modules. Once data are corrected for obvious calibration problems and partially validated using in-situ observations, they would be made available to the broader user community. This presentation will provide details of the whole suite of Aura atmospheric data products, and the time line of the availability of the rest of the preliminary products and of the partially validated provisional products. Software and took available for data access, visualization, and data

  7. Noble Gas Isotopic Evidence for Primordial Evolution of the Earth's Atmosphere in Three Distinct Stages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harper, C. L., Jr.; Jacobsen, S. B.

    1995-09-01

    The deep Earth is the key to understanding the primordial evolution of the Earth's atmosphere. However the atmosphere was not derived by degassing of the Earth, as widely held. Isotopic characterization of mantle noble gases and modeling based on this information [1] suggests the atmosphere experienced a 3-stage early history. This follows from 5 basic observations: (i) Ne in the mantle is solar-like, with light (high) 20Ne/22Ne relative to the atmosphere [2]; (ii) mantle Xe has higher 128Xe/130Xe than the atmosphere [3], which carries an extreme heavy isotope enriched mass fractionation signature of >3%/amu (iii) most of the radiogenic Xe from l29I and 244Pu decay in the Earth is not present either in the mantle or in the atmosphere; (iv) the inferred abundances of noble gases in the deep Earth "plume source" are insufficient to generate the present atmospheric abundances, even for whole mantle degassing; and (v) mantle noble gases indicate a 2 component structure, with solar light gases (He and Ne) and planetary heavy gases [4]. The present day noble gas budgets (and likely also N2) must derive from late accretion of a volatile-rich "veneer." This is stage III. Stage II is a naked (no atmosphere) epoch indicated by evidence for Hadean degassing of 244Pu (T1/2 = 80 Ma) fission Xe from the whole mantle, which was not retained in the present atmosphere. The naked stage must have lasted for more than ~200 Ma, and was supported by the early intense solar EUV luminosity. Stage I, a massive solar-composition protoatmosphere, occurred during the Earth's early accretion phase. Its existence is indicated by the presence of the solar gas component in the Earth. This is not attributable to subduction of solar wind rich cosmic dust, or solar wind irradiation of coagulating objects. It is best explained by accretion of a solar composition atmosphere from the nebula. This provided a thermal blanket supporting a magma ocean in which solar gases dissolved. Under these conditions

  8. Ultraviolet Polarimeter for Studying the Aerosol Component in the Earth Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nevodovskyi, P. V.; Morozhenko, A. V.; Vidmachenko, A. P.; Geraimchuk, M.; Zbrutskyi, A.; Kureniov, Yu.; Sergunin, V.; Hirniak, Yu.; Ivakhiv, O.

    2013-06-01

    The changes of the weather and climate on the Earth depend on the temperature balance of the planet, i.e., on the flow of radiation coming from the Sun and emitted by the Earth into cosmic space. The changes of transparency coefficients (i.e., optical thickness of the atmosphere) and reflection coefficients (i.e., Earth surface) turn out to be decisive factors disrupting this balance. Variations of the gaseous and aerosol components of the atmosphere make an essential contribution into the changeability of the existing balance. The stratosphere and the ozone layer which protects the Earth from a severe ultraviolet radiation are of special importance in the atmosphere. Stratospheric aerosol plays an important role in the formation of a heat regime and in providing a powerful ozone layer (at the altitude of over 30 km). Spectrophotometer investigations made it possible to obtain certain data on the thickness of aerosols on these altitudes. However, its nature (i.e., a real part of the refraction index) and size distribution functions have not be studied so far. Polarization measurements enable one to most correctly determine these characteristics. The leading astronomical observatory of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in collaboration with the National Technical University of Ukraine "Kyiv Polytechnic Institute" have been carrying out research since 2005 till nowadays on the development of on-board polarimeters for the purpose of studying the stratospheric aerosol from the orbit of Earth satellites [1, 2]. Based on this research, an experimental small sized polarimeter for investigation of a stratospheric aerosol from the orbit of the satellite was created. It is a dot one-channel ultraviolet polarimeter with a rotated polarization element. Glen prism is used as a polarization element which is initiated into motion by a miniature piezoelectric motor. "Sun-blind" low-sized photomultiplier R 1893 made by "Hamamatsu" Co. serves as a radiation receiver that

  9. Displacements of the earth's surface due to atmospheric loading - Effects of gravity and baseline measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Van Dam, T. M.; Wahr, J. M.

    1987-01-01

    Atmospheric mass loads and deforms the earth's crust. By performing a convolution sum between daily, global barometric pressure data and mass loading Green's functions, the time dependent effects of atmospheric loading, including those associated with short-term synoptic storms, on surface point positioning measurements and surface gravity observations are estimated. The response for both an oceanless earth and an earth with an inverted barometer ocean is calculated. Load responses for near-coastal stations are significantly affected by the inclusion of an inverted barometer ocean. Peak-to-peak vertical displacements are frequently 15-20 mm with accompanying gravity perturbations of 3-6 micro Gal. Baseline changes can be as large as 20 mm or more. The perturbations are largest at higher latitudes and during winter months. These amplitudes are consistent with the results of Rabbel and Zschau (1985), who modeled synoptic pressure disturbances as Gaussian functions of radius around a central point. Deformation can be adequately computed using real pressure data from points within about 1000 km of the station. Knowledge of local pressure, alone, is not sufficient. Rabbel and Zschau's hypothesized corrections for these displacements, which use local pressure and the regionally averaged pressure, prove accurate at points well inland but are, in general, inadequate within a few hundred kilometers of the coast.

  10. Excitation of Earth's continuous free oscillations by atmosphere-ocean-seafloor coupling.

    PubMed

    Rhie, Junkee; Romanowicz, Barbara

    2004-09-30

    The Earth undergoes continuous oscillations, and free oscillation peaks have been consistently identified in seismic records in the frequency range 2-7 mHz (refs 1, 2), on days without significant earthquakes. The level of daily excitation of this 'hum' is equivalent to that of magnitude 5.75 to 6.0 earthquakes, which cannot be explained by summing the contributions of small earthquakes. As slow or silent earthquakes have been ruled out as a source for the hum (except in a few isolated cases), turbulent motions in the atmosphere or processes in the oceans have been invoked as the excitation mechanism. We have developed an array-based method to detect and locate sources of the excitation of the hum. Our results demonstrate that the Earth's hum originates mainly in the northern Pacific Ocean during Northern Hemisphere winter, and in the Southern oceans during Southern Hemisphere winter. We conclude that the Earth's hum is generated by the interaction between atmosphere, ocean and sea floor, probably through the conversion of storm energy to oceanic infragravity waves that interact with seafloor topography.

  11. Displacements of the earth's surface due to atmospheric loading - Effects of gravity and baseline measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Van Dam, T. M.; Wahr, J. M.

    1987-01-01

    Atmospheric mass loads and deforms the earth's crust. By performing a convolution sum between daily, global barometric pressure data and mass loading Green's functions, the time dependent effects of atmospheric loading, including those associated with short-term synoptic storms, on surface point positioning measurements and surface gravity observations are estimated. The response for both an oceanless earth and an earth with an inverted barometer ocean is calculated. Load responses for near-coastal stations are significantly affected by the inclusion of an inverted barometer ocean. Peak-to-peak vertical displacements are frequently 15-20 mm with accompanying gravity perturbations of 3-6 micro Gal. Baseline changes can be as large as 20 mm or more. The perturbations are largest at higher latitudes and during winter months. These amplitudes are consistent with the results of Rabbel and Zschau (1985), who modeled synoptic pressure disturbances as Gaussian functions of radius around a central point. Deformation can be adequately computed using real pressure data from points within about 1000 km of the station. Knowledge of local pressure, alone, is not sufficient. Rabbel and Zschau's hypothesized corrections for these displacements, which use local pressure and the regionally averaged pressure, prove accurate at points well inland but are, in general, inadequate within a few hundred kilometers of the coast.

  12. Equilibrium Chemistry of the Atmospheres of Hot Earth-like Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaefer, Laura; Lodders, K.; Fegley, B.

    2010-10-01

    The Kepler and COROT missions and Earth-based observations have discovered putative rocky exoplanets and at least some of these are very hot because they orbit their stars at close distance, e.g., CoRot-7b. Here we discuss atmospheric chemistry for an Earth-like planet hot enough to vaporize its crust. We computed the chemical equilibrium composition of a system with elemental abundances of the terrestrial continental crust from 500 - 4000 K as a function of pressure from 10-6 to 10+2.5 bars. Calculations were done with a Gibbs energy minimization code. We will present results for the major volatile elements H, C, N, O, and S, and the lithophile elements Na, K, Fe, Si, Mg, Al, Ca, and Ti at a nominal pressure of 100 bars as a function of temperature. The major gases are H2O and CO2 at low temperatures, and SiO, O, H, and O2 at high temperatures. We also present condensation temperatures for major compounds as a function of pressure, which will be useful in determining cloud composition. These results should be useful in planning spectroscopic studies of the atmospheres of hot Earth-like exoplanets. This work was supported by the NSF Astronomy Program and the NASA Astrobiology Program.

  13. Calculations of cosmogenic nuclide production rates in the Earth's atmosphere and their inventories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Obrien, K.

    1986-01-01

    The production rates of cosmogenic isotopes in the Earth's atmosphere and their resulting terrestrial abundances have been calculated, taking into account both geomagnetic and solar-modulatory effects. The local interstellar flux was assumed to be that of Garcia-Munoz, et al. Solar modulation was accounted for using the heliocentric potential model and expressed in terms of the Deep River neutron monitor count rates. The geomagnetic field was presented by vertical cutoffs calculated by Shea and Smart and the non-vertical cutoffs calculated using ANGRI. The local interstellar particle flux was first modulated using the heliocentric potential field. The modulated cosmic-ray fluxes reaching the earth's orbit then interacted with the geomagnetic field as though it were a high-pass filter. The interaction of the cosmic radiation with the Earth's atmosphere was calculated utilizing the Bolztmann transport equation. Spallation cross sections for isotope production were calculated using the formalism of Silberberg and Tsao and other cross sections were taken from standard sources. Inventories were calculated by accounting from the variation in solar modulation and geomagnetic field strength with time. Results for many isotope, including C-14, Be-7 and Be-10 are in generally good agreement with existing data. The C-14 inventory, for instance, amounts to 1.75/sq cm(e)/s, in excellent agreement with direct estimates.

  14. Modeling the Entry of Micrometeoroids into the Atmospheres of Earth-like Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pevyhouse, A. R.; Kress, M. E.

    2011-01-01

    The temperature profiles of micrometeors entering the atmospheres of Earth-like planets are calculated to determine the altitude at which exogenous organic compounds may be released. Previous experiments have shown that flash-heated micrometeorite analogs release organic compounds at temperatures from roughly 500 to 1000 K [1]. The altitude of release is of great importance because it determines the fate of the compound. Organic compounds that are released deeper in the atmosphere are more likely to rapidly mix to lower altitudes where they can accumulate to higher abundances or form more complex molecules and/or aerosols. Variables that are explored here are particle size, entry angle, atmospheric density profiles, spectral type of the parent star, and planet mass. The problem reduces to these questions: (1) How much atmosphere does the particle pass through by the time it is heated to 500 K? (2) Is the atmosphere above sufficient to attenuate stellar UV such that the mixing timescale is shorter than the photochemical timescale for a particular compound? We present preliminary results that the effect of the planetary and particle parameters have on the altitude of organic release.

  15. Earth-Atmosphere system modeling for acoustic and gravity wave propagation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brissaud, Q.; Garcia, R.; Martin, R.; Komatitsch, D.

    2016-12-01

    Acoustic and gravity waves generated, for example, by seismic surface waves or explosions in the atmosphere could lead to a significant step into the understanding of the atmosphere dynamics but also of the interior structure of planets. Thus an accurate numerical modeling of the solid-fluid coupling and the atmosphere dynamics is thus important to properly understand the coupled solid-fluid system. We therefore introduce a numerical modeling tool that takes into account the propagation of both acoustic and gravity waves in a non-linear atmosphere (Navier-stokes equations) coupled to a linear viscoelastic solid Earth. The implementation is performed based on both discontinuous and continuous Galerkin methods and implemented in the SPECFEM 2D software package. Validation cases are presented by comparison with analytical solutions and with linear wave propagation simulated based on a finite difference technique in time domain. Simulations are presented to illustrate the ability of the tool to infer wave conversions between acoustic and gravity waves in a windy atmosphere, and non linear effects induced by large-amplitude waves.

  16. A new means for observation of small comets and other water-laden bodies entering earth's upper atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Banks, Peter M.

    1989-01-01

    This paper shows that the infrared radiance of comet-associated water vapor clouds described by Frank et al. (1986b) is large relative to natural background emissions. This IR emission arises from scattering of solar radiation and earth-shine and from excitation by upper atmospheric atomic oxygen. As a consequence, observations in space or from high-altitude platforms should provide an unambiguous signature of the entry of such objects into earth's atmosphere.

  17. The interaction of the cretaceous-tertiary extinction bolide with the atmosphere, ocean, and solid earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Okeefe, J. D.; Ahrens, T. J.

    1981-01-01

    A number of investigations, including those reported by Orth et al. (1981), have provided physical evidence for the impact of an extraterrestrial object on earth 65 million years ago. This time corresponds to the end of the cretaceous period. This impact could, therefore, be responsible for the observed extinction of biological species at the end of the Mesozoic era. Among the species becoming extinct are found also flying and walking dinosaurs, which include all land animals that had masses greater than 25 kg. The present investigation is concerned with a study of the possibilities for the collision of earth with 10 km-size object, and the consequences produced by such a collision. It is found that the penetration of the atmosphere by the bolide creates a temporary hole in the atmosphere. The resulting flow fields can inject melt droplets and finely commuted solid particles into the atmosphere. Short-term effects of heating, followed by dust induced worldwide cooling, may provide several mechanisms for the observed extinction of the species.

  18. 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.

  19. Rare earth element components in atmospheric particulates in the Bayan Obo mine region.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lingqing; Liang, Tao; Zhang, Qian; Li, Kexin

    2014-05-01

    The Bayan Obo mine, located in Inner Mongolia, China, is the largest light rare earth body ever found in the world. The research for rare earth elements (REEs) enrichment in atmospheric particulates caused by mining and ore processing is fairly limited so far. In this paper, atmospheric particulates including total suspended particulate (TSP) matter and particles with an equivalent aerodynamic diameter less than 10 μm (PM10) were collected around the Bayan Obo mine region, in August 2012 and March 2013, to analyze the levels and distributions of REEs in particles. The total concentrations of REEs for TSP were 149.8 and 239.6 ng/m(3), and those for PM10 were 42.8 and 68.9 ng/m(3), in August 2012 and March 2013, respectively. Enrichment factor was calculated for all 14 REEs in the TSP and PM10 and the results indicated that REEs enrichment in atmosphere particulates was caused by anthropogenic sources and influenced by the strong wind in springtime. The spatial distribution of REEs in TSP showed a strong gradient concentration in the prevailing wind direction. REE chondrite normalized patterns of TSP and PM10 were similar and the normalized curves inclined to the right side, showing the conspicuous fractionation between the light REEs and heavy REE, which supported by the chondrite normalized concentration ratios calculated for selected elements (La(N)/Yb(N), La(N)/Sm(N), Gd(N)/Yb(N)).

  20. Noble gas patterns in the atmospheres of Mars and Earth: A comparison via the SNC meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pepin, R. O.; Becker, R. H.

    1985-01-01

    Noble gas and nitrogen compositions in the glassy phase of the EETA 79001 shergottite correspond closely with Viking measurements. This direct evidence for the origin of the SNC meteorites on Mars, and for trapping of an unfractionated sample of Martian atmospheric gases in the 79001 glass, provides a reasonable basis for comparing the Martian and terrestrial atmospheres with more precision than that afforded by the Viking data set. Results are that, with one exception, elemental and isotopic compositions of nonradiogenic Martian noble gases are similar to those in the Earth's atmosphere; relatively small isotopic discrepancies in Kr and perhaps Xe may be attributable to different degrees of mass fractionation of a common parent reservoir. The anomaly is in Ar composition, where Martian Ar-36/AR-38 approx. 4 is strikingly lower than the values near 5.3 that characterize both the Earth and major meteoritic gas carriers. Although a primordial Martian ratio of 5.3 could in principle be altered by some planet specific process (e.g., cosmic ray spallation of surface materials) operating over geologic time, one has not been found that works.

  1. The interaction of the cretaceous-tertiary extinction bolide with the atmosphere, ocean, and solid earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Okeefe, J. D.; Ahrens, T. J.

    1981-01-01

    A number of investigations, including those reported by Orth et al. (1981), have provided physical evidence for the impact of an extraterrestrial object on earth 65 million years ago. This time corresponds to the end of the cretaceous period. This impact could, therefore, be responsible for the observed extinction of biological species at the end of the Mesozoic era. Among the species becoming extinct are found also flying and walking dinosaurs, which include all land animals that had masses greater than 25 kg. The present investigation is concerned with a study of the possibilities for the collision of earth with 10 km-size object, and the consequences produced by such a collision. It is found that the penetration of the atmosphere by the bolide creates a temporary hole in the atmosphere. The resulting flow fields can inject melt droplets and finely commuted solid particles into the atmosphere. Short-term effects of heating, followed by dust induced worldwide cooling, may provide several mechanisms for the observed extinction of the species.

  2. Earth System Data Microsets for Education From the Atmospheric Sciences Data Center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phelps, C. S.; Chambers, L. H.; Oots, P. C.; Moore, S. W.; Lorentz, K. E.; Dalton, A. J.

    2004-12-01

    The Atmospheric Sciences Data Center (ASDC) at NASA's Langley Research Center houses over 700 data sets related to Earth's radiation budget, clouds, aerosols and tropospheric chemistry. These data sets were produced to increase academic understanding of the natural and anthropogenic perturbations that influence global climate change. Scientists have been analyzing the extensive data to discover and quantify the complex interactions and feedbacks in the Earth system, communicating conclusions frequently with colleagues, policy makers and the general public. NASA's Science Mission Directorate aims to stimulate public interest in the understanding of these Earth system science findings and to encourage young scholars to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. However, barriers still exist to the use of actual satellite observations in the classroom to energize the educational process. NASA is sponsoring the "Mentoring and inquirY using NASA Data on Atmospheric and earth science for Teachers and Amateurs" (MY NASA DATA) project to systematically support educational activities at all levels of formal and informal education by reducing the ASDC data holdings to `microsets' that will be easily accessible and explored by the K-12 and the citizen scientist communities. The microsets are available via Web site (http://mynasadata.larc.nasa.gov) with associated lesson plans, computer tools, data information pages, and a science glossary. Teacher workshops will be held each summer for five years to help teachers learn about incorporating the microsets in their curriculum. Additionally, a Live Access Server (LAS) has been populated with ASDC data holdings such that users can create custom microsets for desired time series, parameters and geographical regions. Currently, parameters from the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES), the Surface Radiation Budget (SRB), Tropospheric Ozone Residual (TOR) and the International Satellite Cloud

  3. Earthquake lights: Mechanism of energetic coupling of Earth's crust to the lower atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jansky, J.; Pasko, V. P.

    2016-12-01

    Earthquake lights (EQLs) are an atmospheric luminous phenomenon occurring during strong earthquakes and lasting from a fraction of a second to a few minutes [e.g., Theriault et al., Seismol. Res. Lett., 85, 159, 2014]. In accordance with eyewitness reports [Heraud and Lira, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 1025, 2011] one of the types of the EQLs exhibits similarities with the blue glow observed in St. Elmo's fire (corona) occurring during thunderstorms. Laboratory experiments [Freund et al., Phys. Chem. Earth, 31, 389, 2006] demonstrate that rocks subjected to stress force can generate electric currents. During earthquakes these currents can deliver significant amounts of net positive charge to the ground-air interface leading to enhancements in the electric field and corona discharges around tall ground objects [Freund et al., JASTP, 71, 1824, 2009]. It has been suggested recently that the same type of currents can map upward to the ionosphere triggering variations in the total electron content [Kuo et al., JGR, 119, 3189, 2014]. The recently developed global electric circuit (GEC) model [Jansky and Pasko, JGR, 119, 10184, 2014] features finite conductivity of the earth and allows quantitative investigations of the effects of source currents of various configurations placed inside the earth. We have also developed and tested approximate formulation allowing effective solution of the same problems using analytical theory. In the present work the source current is assumed to be a dipole and it is shown that a large scale dipole located at 5 and 15 km below earth's surface requires energy significantly exceeding that available even in major earthquakes. We will present numerical and analytical results providing the most physical scenario allowing to explain experimentally observed features of EQLs. In particular, the most likely setup is found to be when the upper pole of the source current dipole is shifted close to the earth's surface.

  4. Evaluating carbon dioxide variability in the Community Earth System Model against atmospheric observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keppel-Aleks, G.; Randerson, J. T.; Lindsay, K. T.; Stephens, B. B.; Moore, J. K.; Doney, S. C.; Thornton, P. E.; Mahowald, N. M.; Hoffman, F. M.; Sweeney, C.; Tans, P. P.; Wennberg, P. O.; Wofsy, S. C.

    2012-12-01

    Changes in atmospheric CO_2 variability during the 21st century may provide insight on ecosystem responses to climate change and have implications for the design of carbon monitoring programs. We analyzed results from a fully coupled climate-carbon simulation using the Community Earth System Model (CESM1-BGC). We evaluated CO2 simulated for the historical period against surface, aircraft, and column observations. The mean annual cycle in total column atmospheric CO2 was underestimated throughout the northern hemisphere relative to TCCON observations, suggesting that the growing season net flux in the land component of CESM was too weak by 50%. Sampling CESM along HIPPO transects confirmed low growing season uptake, but also showed that spring drawdown in the Northern Hemisphere began too early. The vertical gradients in CESM generally agreed with HIPPO data and with NOAA aircraft profiles outside the growing season, but were too weak during the summer. The seasonal bias suggests that vertical transport in CAM4 (the atmospheric component of CESM) was too weak year round. Model evaluation and improvement based on atmospheric observations is crucial. The simulation of surface exchange and atmospheric transport of CO2 in coupled models such as CESM may help with the design of optimal detection strategies. For example, in the simulations of the 21st century, CESM predicted increases in the mean annual cycle of atmospheric CO2 and larger horizontal gradients. Both north-south and east-west contrasts in CO2 strengthened due to changing patterns in fossil fuel emissions and terrestrial carbon exchange, and northern hemisphere interannual variability increased as well. Our results suggest that using atmospheric observations to gain insight about changing terrestrial and ocean processes over the next several decades may become more challenging as anthropogenic contributions to variability on multiple temporal and spatial scales continue to grow.

  5. The Atmospheric Surface Layer in the Polar Regions of the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovadlo, P. G.; Shikhovtsev, A. Yu.; Yazev, S. A.

    2017-05-01

    As studies of the Earth history show the energy power and amount of catastrophic events during the planet evolution has been decreasing. Gradually the Earth "was adjusted" under the influence of external factors and internal sources of energy were weakened. The relative stability of climatic characteristics over millions of years indicates this. The modern surface Earth temperature increasing over the past 150 years has been proved by analyzing the series of network instrumental hydrometeorological measurements. The authors of this study proposed a hypothesis to explain the observed warming of the climate. It is supposed that there was a land with enclosed water reservoirs in the past at the Arctic ocean site. Calculations and observations show that there were favorable conditions for the formation and growth of the perennial glaciers` without access of warm ocean waters in the polar region. Further the mass of the Arctic ice sheet increasing led to subsidence of the earth's crust under the influence of its weight. Low-lying plains under the ice were lower than the ocean level. The access of oceanic waters to the ice sheet led to the washing of the base by the waters of the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. Warm waters largely destroyed the floating part of the ice sheet. Heat which was spent on melting ice in the past warm up the atmosphere and ocean nowadays. Currently, the final stage of this process is observed and the factors discussed are the main cause of the observed warming.

  6. Archean Earth Atmosphere Fractal Haze Aggregates: Light Scattering Calculations and the Faint Young Sun Paradox

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boness, D. A.; Terrell-Martinez, B.

    2010-12-01

    As part of an ongoing undergraduate research project of light scattering calculations involving fractal carbonaceous soot aggregates relevant to current anthropogenic and natural sources in Earth's atmosphere, we have read with interest a recent paper [E.T. Wolf and O.B Toon,Science 328, 1266 (2010)] claiming that the Faint Young Sun paradox discussed four decades ago by Carl Sagan and others can be resolved without invoking heavy CO2 concentrations as a greenhouse gas warming the early Earth enough to sustain liquid water and hence allow the origin of life. Wolf and Toon report that a Titan-like Archean Earth haze, with a fractal haze aggregate nature due to nitrogen-methane photochemistry at high altitudes, should block enough UV light to protect the warming greenhouse gas NH3 while allowing enough visible light to reach the surface of the Earth. To test this hypothesis, we have employed a rigorous T-Matrix arbitrary-particle light scattering technique, to avoid the simplifications inherent in Mie-sphere scattering, on haze fractal aggregates at UV and visible wavelenths of incident light. We generate these model aggregates using diffusion-limited cluster aggregation (DLCA) algorithms, which much more closely fit actual haze fractal aggregates than do diffusion-limited aggregation (DLA) algorithms.

  7. The Shuttle era - A challenge to the earth scientist. [observations of land, ocean and atmosphere phenomena

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Muehlberger, W. R.; Wilmarth, V. R.

    1977-01-01

    Satellite observations of large-scale earth features and phenomena, with either instruments or astronauts, are discussed on the basis of earlier experience (mainly Skylab). Off-nadir views and photographs by astronauts have provided valuable supplements to instrument nadir views, providing cross-checks through remote sensing at different angles, different altitudes, and in different seasons. New information on plate tectonics, global cooling/drying trends, global oceanographic data (changing positions of major ocean current patterns, evolution of warm and cold eddies and their relation to sea temperatures and concentrations of marine fauna, location of internal sea waves, interactions between ocean currents and atmosphere, plankton blooms), storm development, snow cover patterns, lake and sea ice growth, sand-dune patterns, desert storms blown out to sea, effects of grazing and swidden agriculture, and other earth features and phenomena are surveyed.

  8. Dust storms and their impact on ocean and human health: dust in Earth's atmosphere

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Griffin, Dale W.; Kellog, Christina A.

    2004-01-01

    Satellite imagery has greatly influenced our understanding of dust activity on a global scale. A number of different satellites such as NASA's Earth-Probe Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) and Se-viewing Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) acquire daily global-scale data used to produce imagery for monitoring dust storm formation and movement. This global-scale imagery has documented the frequent transmission of dust storm-derived soils through Earth's atmosphere and the magnitude of many of these events. While various research projects have been undertaken to understand this normal planetary process, little has been done to address its impact on ocean and human health. This review will address the ability of dust storms to influence marine microbial population densities and transport of soil-associated toxins and pathogenic microorganisms to marine environments. The implications of dust on ocean and human health in this emerging scientific field will be discussed.

  9. The Afternoon Constellation: A Formation of Earth Observing Systems for the Atmosphere and Hydrosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schoeberl, Mark R.

    2002-01-01

    Two of the large EOS observatories, Aqua (formerly EOS-PM) and Aura (formerly EOS-CHEM) will fly is nearly the same inclination with 1:30 PM -15 min ascending node equatorial crossing times. Between Aura and Aqua a series of smaller satellites will be stationed: Cloudsat, CALYPSO (formerly PICASSO-CENA), and PARASOL. This constellation of low earth orbit satellites will provide an unprecedented opportunity to make near simultaneous atmospheric cloud and aerosol observations. This paper will provide details of the science opportunity and describe the sensor types for the afternoon constellation. This constellation by accretion provides a prototype for the Earth Science Vision sensor web and represent the building books for a future web structure.

  10. Spaceborne infrared Fourier-transform spectrometers for temperature and humidity sounding of the Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golovin, Yu. M.; Zavelevich, F. S.; Nikulin, A. G.; Kozlov, D. A.; Monakhov, D. O.; Kozlov, I. A.; Arkhipov, S. A.; Tselikov, V. A.; Romanovskii, A. S.

    2014-12-01

    A spaceborne Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer was designed for measuring the spectra of the outgoing Earth's atmosphere radiation and serves for providing for the needs of online meteorology and climatology with regard to obtaining the following kinds of data: vertical profiles of temperature and humidity profiles in the troposphere and the lower stratosphere, the general and altitudinal ozone distribution, concentrations of small gaseous constituents, temperature of the underlying surface, etc. At present, works are underway at the Keldysh Research Centre for creating IKFS-series FTIR spectrometers for satellites in Sun-synchronous orbits: the IKFS-2 instrument for the Meteor-M spacecraft no. 2 of the Meteor-3M space complex (developed and supplied for testing together with the spacecraft) and an advanced IKFS-3 instrument for the Meteor-MP fourth-generation hydrometeorological and oceanographic space complex for Earth monitoring (at the developmental stage). The composition, functional diagram, and technical specifications of the FTIR spectrometers are presented.

  11. The Shuttle era - A challenge to the earth scientist. [observations of land, ocean and atmosphere phenomena

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Muehlberger, W. R.; Wilmarth, V. R.

    1977-01-01

    Satellite observations of large-scale earth features and phenomena, with either instruments or astronauts, are discussed on the basis of earlier experience (mainly Skylab). Off-nadir views and photographs by astronauts have provided valuable supplements to instrument nadir views, providing cross-checks through remote sensing at different angles, different altitudes, and in different seasons. New information on plate tectonics, global cooling/drying trends, global oceanographic data (changing positions of major ocean current patterns, evolution of warm and cold eddies and their relation to sea temperatures and concentrations of marine fauna, location of internal sea waves, interactions between ocean currents and atmosphere, plankton blooms), storm development, snow cover patterns, lake and sea ice growth, sand-dune patterns, desert storms blown out to sea, effects of grazing and swidden agriculture, and other earth features and phenomena are surveyed.

  12. Huygens probe mission simulation in Earth's atmosphere: a stratospheric balloon experiment for the Huygens Atmospheric Structure Instrument (HASI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colombatti, G.; Gaborit, V.; Ferri, F.; Bettanini, C.; Bastianello, S.; Flamini, E.; Antonello, M.; Aboudan, A.; Lion Stoppano, P. F.; Fulchignoni, M.

    2003-04-01

    On May, 30th 2002, a balloon experiment was successfully performed from the ASI stratospheric balloons launch base of Trapani-Milo in Sicily, in order to simulate the descent of the Huygens probe into Titan's atmosphere. This test consisted of the release in the Earth's atmosphere of a 1:1 scale mockup of the Huygens probe, lifted up to the altitude of 32.5 km by means of a stratospheric balloon and decelerated by a parachute. The on-board payload consisted of the HASI instrumentation (pressure, temperature sensors and accelerometers), Huygens SSP tilt sensor, Beagle2 UV sensor and an add-on package of complementary sensors. The descent lasted about 54 minutes and was a unique opportunity to investigate the behaviour of the HASI sensors and to get a real data set for trajectory reconstruction. Other added sensors such as a three axial magnetometer, sun sensors and the tilt sensor were used to investigate the attitude of the probe along the descent. During the flight, all the instrumentation was nominally functioning providing data for the determination of the atmospheric vertical pressure and temperature profiles and the acceleration descent profile of the mockup. The whole data set has been used for the determination of the mockup descent and attitude, and to test the algorithms developed for the Huygens trajectory reconstruction. In the same way, the data analysis improved our understanding of the probe motion (mainly pendulum) and how this motion affects accelerometer measurements. From a scientific point of view, this flight was a success and a new balloon experiment is foreseen in summer 2003 in order to integrate other instruments of the real Huygens probe and to improve and complete the existing results.

  13. The Due Innovators II Apollo Project: Monitoring Atmospheric Pollution with Earth Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sellitto, P.; Del Frate, F.; Di Noia, A.; Sambucini, V.; Bojkov, B. R.

    2010-12-01

    In this paper we present the Innovators II - APOLLO (monitoring Atmospheric POLLution with earth Observation) project which has been carried out in the framework of the ESA Data User Element programme (http://www.esa.int/due). The projects aims at the development of an innovative service for the monitoring of the air quality from ground based measurements and by means of satellite data e.g. provided by the OMI mission. The core of the APOLLO project is the OMI-TOC NN (neural networks) algorithm.

  14. Possible effects on Earth's climate due to reduced atmospheric ionization by GCR during Forbush Decreases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Portugal, Williamary; Echer, Ezequiel; Pereira de Souza Echer, Mariza; Pacini, Alessandra Abe

    2017-10-01

    This work presents the first results of a study about possible effects on the surface temperature during short periods of lower fluxes of Galactic Cosmic Rays at Earth, called Forbush Decreases. There is a hypothesis that the Galactic Cosmic Ray flux decreases cause changes on the physical-chemical properties of the atmosphere. We have conducted a study to investigate these possible effects on several latitudinal regions, around the ten strongest FDs occurred from 1987 to 2015. We have found a possible increase on the surface temperature at middle and high latitudes during the occurence of these events.

  15. Earth and atmospheric remote sensing; Proceedings of the Meeting, Orlando, FL, Apr. 2-4, 1991

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curran, Robert J. (Editor); Smith, James A. (Editor); Watson, Ken (Editor)

    1991-01-01

    The papers presented in this volume address the technical aspects of earth and atmospheric remote sensing. Topics discussed include spaceborne and ground-based applications of laser remote sensing, advanced applications of lasers in remote sensing, laser ranging applications, data analysis and systems for biospheric processes, measurements for biospheric processes, and remote sensing for geology and geophysics. Papers are presented on a space-qualified laser transmitter for lidar applications, solid state lasers for planetary exploration, automated band selection for multispectral meteorological applications, aerospace remote sensing of natural water organics, and remote sensing of volcanic ash hazards to aircraft.

  16. Effect of atmospheric anisoplanatism on earth-to-satellite time transfer over laser communication links.

    PubMed

    Belmonte, Aniceto; Taylor, Michael T; Hollberg, Leo; Kahn, Joseph M

    2017-07-10

    The need for an accurate time reference on orbiting platforms motivates study of time transfer via free-space optical communication links. The impact of atmospheric turbulence on earth-to-satellite optical time transfer has not been fully characterized, however. We analyze limits to two-way laser time transfer accuracy posed by anisoplanatic non-reciprocity between uplink and downlink. We show that despite limited reciprocity, two-way time transfer can still achieve sub-picosecond accuracy in realistic propagation scenarios over a single satellite visibility period.

  17. Calculations of neutron flux spectra induced in the earth's atmosphere by galactic cosmic rays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Armstrong, T. W.; Chandler, K. C.; Barish, J.

    1972-01-01

    Calculations have been carried out to determine the neutron flux induced in the earth's atmosphere by galactic protons and alpha particles at solar minimum for a geomagnetic latitude of 42 N. Neutron flux spectra were calculated using Monte Carlo and discrete ordinates methods, and various comparisons with experimental data are presented. The magnitude and shape of the calculated neutron-leakage spectrum at the particular latitude considered support the theory that the cosmic-ray-albedo-neutron-decay mechanism is the source of the protons and electrons trapped in the Van Allen belts.

  18. Thermal Characteristics of Air in the Problem of Hypersonic Motion of Bodies in the Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alhussan, K.; Morozov, D. O.; Stankevich, Yu. A.; Stanchits, L. K.; Stepanov, K. L.

    2014-07-01

    The thermal properties of hot air needed for describing the hypersonic motion of bodies in the Earth's atmosphere have been considered. Such motion, as is known, is accompanied by the propagation of strong shock waves analogous to waves generated by powerful explosions. Calculations have been made and data banks have been created for the equations of state and thermal characteristics of air in the temperature and density ranges corresponding to velocities of motion of bodies of up to 10 km/s at altitudes of 0-100 km. The formulation of the problem of hypersonic motion in the absence of thermodynamic equilibrium is discussed.

  19. A satellite data processing and analysis software system for earth's atmosphere and surface research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dealy, B.; Gautier, C.; Frouin, R.; Bates, J.; Lingner, D.

    1988-01-01

    The OASIS (Oceanic and Atmospheric Satellite Imaging System) is a satellite data processing and analysis software system being developed by the California Space Institute (Cal Space) for support of interdisciplinary and integrated earth sciences research programs. The system's software applications are integrated under a common executive, NASA's Transportable Application Executive (TAE). In this paper, TAE and the system software and hardware are described, and specific techniques used for ingesting, processing, analyzing, and graphically displaying data from many of the sensors presently being flown are presented. Scientific uses of these capabilities that are, or will shortly be, running under TAE at Cal Space are described.

  20. Comment on the letter 'On the influx of small comets into the earth's upper atmosphere'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, P. M.

    1986-01-01

    A critical comment is made on the proposal by Frank et al. (1986) that a flux of small comets constantly impacts the earth's atmosphere. The seismic amplitudes generated in the moon by such comets impacting that body are calculated, and it is concluded that the proposed flux of comets is 100,000 times greater than would be supported by either the seismic impact rate of the moon or the amplitude of its steady state reverberation. Frank et al. reply that this discrepancy may be traced to the insensitivity of the lunar seismic stations for the detection of the impacts of tenuous, weakly bound comets relative to those of dense, stony meteoroids.

  1. The effects of atmospheric chemistry on radiation budget in the Community Earth Systems Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Y.; Czader, B.; Diao, L.; Rodriguez, J.; Jeong, G.

    2013-12-01

    The Community Earth Systems Model (CESM)-Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM) simulations were performed to study the impact of atmospheric chemistry on the radiation budget over the surface within a weather prediction time scale. The secondary goal is to get a simplified and optimized chemistry module for the short time period. Three different chemistry modules were utilized to represent tropospheric and stratospheric chemistry, which differ in how their reactions and species are represented: (1) simplified tropospheric and stratospheric chemistry (approximately 30 species), (2) simplified tropospheric chemistry and comprehensive stratospheric chemistry from the Model of Ozone and Related Chemical Tracers, version 3 (MOZART-3, approximately 60 species), and (3) comprehensive tropospheric and stratospheric chemistry (MOZART-4, approximately 120 species). Our results indicate the different details in chemistry treatment from these model components affect the surface temperature and impact the radiation budget.

  2. DETECTING INDUSTRIAL POLLUTION IN THE ATMOSPHERES OF EARTH-LIKE EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, Henry W.; Abad, Gonzalo Gonzalez; Loeb, Abraham E-mail: ggonzalezabad@cfa.harvard.edu

    2014-09-01

    Detecting biosignatures, such as molecular oxygen in combination with a reducing gas, in the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets has been a major focus in the search for alien life. We point out that in addition to these generic indicators, anthropogenic pollution could be used as a novel biosignature for intelligent life. To this end, we identify pollutants in the Earth's atmosphere that have significant absorption features in the spectral range covered by the James Webb Space Telescope. We focus on tetrafluoromethane (CF{sub 4}) and trichlorofluoromethane (CCl{sub 3}F), which are the easiest to detect chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) produced by anthropogenic activity. We estimate that ∼1.2 days (∼1.7 days) of total integration time will be sufficient to detect or constrain the concentration of CCl{sub 3}F (CF{sub 4}) to ∼10 times the current terrestrial level.

  3. Earth-atmosphere system and surface reflectivities in arid regions from LANDSAT multispectral scanner measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Otterman, J.; Fraser, R. S.

    1976-01-01

    Programs for computing atmospheric transmission and scattering solar radiation were used to compute the ratios of the Earth-atmosphere system (space) directional reflectivities in the vertical direction to the surface reflectivity, for the four bands of the LANDSAT multispectral scanner (MSS). These ratios are presented as graphs for two water vapor levels, as a function of the surface reflectivity, for various sun elevation angles. Space directional reflectivities in the vertical direction are reported for selected arid regions in Asia, Africa and Central America from the spectral radiance levels measured by the LANDSAT MSS. From these space reflectivities, surface vertical reflectivities were computed applying the pertinent graphs. These surface reflectivities were used to estimate the surface albedo for the entire solar spectrum. The estimated albedos are in the range 0.34-0.52, higher than the values reported by most previous researchers from space measurements, but are consistent with laboratory measurements.

  4. Detecting Industrial Pollution in the Atmospheres of Earth-like Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Henry W.; Gonzalez Abad, Gonzalo; Loeb, Abraham

    2014-09-01

    Detecting biosignatures, such as molecular oxygen in combination with a reducing gas, in the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets has been a major focus in the search for alien life. We point out that in addition to these generic indicators, anthropogenic pollution could be used as a novel biosignature for intelligent life. To this end, we identify pollutants in the Earth's atmosphere that have significant absorption features in the spectral range covered by the James Webb Space Telescope. We focus on tetrafluoromethane (CF4) and trichlorofluoromethane (CCl3F), which are the easiest to detect chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) produced by anthropogenic activity. We estimate that ~1.2 days (~1.7 days) of total integration time will be sufficient to detect or constrain the concentration of CCl3F (CF4) to ~10 times the current terrestrial level.

  5. Earth-Atmosphere Angular Momentum Exchange and ENSO: The Rotational Signature of the 1997-98 Event

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dickey, J.; Gegout, P.; Marcus, S.

    1999-01-01

    The impact of the 1997-1998 ENSO event is presented in context of Earth-atmosphere angular momentum exchange utilizing length of day (LOD), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and atmospheric angular momentum (AAM) data from 1970 to 1998; comparisons are made with previous events.

  6. The Role of Remote Sensing Displays in Earth Climate and Planetary Atmospheric Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DelGenio, Anthony D.; Hansen, James E. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The communities of scientists who study the Earth's climate and the atmospheres of the other planets barely overlap, but the types of questions they pose and the resulting implications for the use and interpretation of remote sensing data sets have much in common. Both seek to determine the characteristic behavior of three-dimensional fluids that also evolve in time. Climate researchers want to know how and why the general patterns that define our climate today might be different in the next century. Planetary scientists try to understand why circulation patterns and clouds on Mars, Venus, or Jupiter are different from those on Earth. Both disciplines must aggregate large amounts of data covering long time periods and several altitudes to have a representative picture of the rapidly changing atmosphere they are studying. This emphasis separates climate scientists from weather forecasters, who focus at any one time on a limited number of images. Likewise, it separates planetary atmosphere researchers from planetary geologists, who rely primarily on single images (or mosaics of images covering the globe) to study two-dimensional planetary surfaces that are mostly static over the duration of a spacecraft mission yet reveal dynamic processes acting over thousands to millions of years. Remote sensing displays are usually two-dimensional projections that capture an atmosphere at an instant in time. How scientists manipulate and display such data, how they interpret what they see, and how they thereby understand the physical processes that cause what they see, are the challenges I discuss in this chapter. I begin by discussing differences in how novices and experts in the field relate displays of data to the real world. This leads to a discussion of the use and abuse of image enhancement and color in remote sensing displays. I then show some examples of techniques used by scientists in climate and planetary research to both convey information and design research

  7. SPITZER TRANSITS OF THE SUPER-EARTH GJ1214b AND IMPLICATIONS FOR ITS ATMOSPHERE

    SciTech Connect

    Fraine, Jonathan D.; Deming, Drake; Gillon, Michaeel; Jehin, Emmanueel; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Benneke, Bjoern; Seager, Sara; Lewis, Nikole K.; Knutson, Heather; Desert, Jean-Michel

    2013-03-10

    We observed the transiting super-Earth exoplanet GJ1214b using warm Spitzer at 4.5 {mu}m wavelength during a 20 day quasi-continuous sequence in 2011 May. The goals of our long observation were to accurately define the infrared transit radius of this nearby super-Earth, to search for the secondary eclipse, and to search for other transiting planets in the habitable zone of GJ1214. We here report results from the transit monitoring of GJ1214b, including a reanalysis of previous transit observations by Desert et al. In total, we analyze 14 transits of GJ1214b at 4.5 {mu}m, 3 transits at 3.6 {mu}m, and 7 new ground-based transits in the I+z band. Our new Spitzer data by themselves eliminate cloudless solar composition atmospheres for GJ1214b, and methane-rich models from Howe and Burrows. Using our new Spitzer measurements to anchor the observed transit radii of GJ1214b at long wavelengths, and adding new measurements in I+z, we evaluate models from Benneke and Seager and Howe and Burrows using a {chi}{sup 2} analysis. We find that the best-fit model exhibits an increase in transit radius at short wavelengths due to Rayleigh scattering. Pure water atmospheres are also possible. However, a flat line (no atmosphere detected) remains among the best of the statistically acceptable models, and better than pure water atmospheres. We explore the effect of systematic differences among results from different observational groups, and we find that the Howe and Burrows tholin-haze model remains the best fit, even when systematic differences among observers are considered.

  8. New Data for Modeling Hypersonic Entry into Earth's Atmosphere: Electron-impact Ionization of Atomic Nitrogen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savin, Daniel Wolf; Ciccarino, Christopher

    2017-06-01

    Meteors passing through Earth’s atmosphere and space vehicles returning to Earth from beyond orbit enter the atmosphere at hypersonic velocities (greater than Mach 5). The resulting shock front generates a high temperature reactive plasma around the meteor or vehicle (with temperatures greater than 10,000 K). This intense heat is transferred to the entering object by radiative and convective processes. Modeling the processes a meteor undergoes as it passes through the atmosphere and designing vehicles to withstand these conditions requires an accurate understanding of the underlying non-equilibrium high temperature chemistry. Nitrogen chemistry is particularly important given the abundance of nitrogen in Earth's atmosphere. Line emission by atomic nitrogen is a major source of radiative heating during atomspheric entry. Our ability to accurately calculate this heating is hindered by uncertainties in the electron-impact ionization (EII) rate coefficient for atomic nitrogen.Here we present new EII calculations for atomic nitrogen. The atom is treated as a 69 level system, incorporating Rydberg values up to n=20. Level-specific cross sections are from published B-Spline R-Matrix-with-Pseudostates results for the first three levels and binary-encounter Bethe (BEB) calculations that we have carried out for the remaining 59 levels. These cross section data have been convolved into level-specific rate coefficients and fit with the commonly-used Arrhenius-Kooij formula for ease of use in hypersonic chemical models. The rate coefficient data can be readily scaled by the relevant atomic nitrogen partition function which varies in time and space around the meteor or reentry vehicle. Providing data up to n=20 also enables modelers to account for the density-dependent lowering of the continuum.

  9. Rare earth element components in atmospheric particulates in the Bayan Obo mine region

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Lingqing Liang, Tao Zhang, Qian; Li, Kexin

    2014-05-01

    The Bayan Obo mine, located in Inner Mongolia, China, is the largest light rare earth body ever found in the world. The research for rare earth elements (REEs) enrichment in atmospheric particulates caused by mining and ore processing is fairly limited so far. In this paper, atmospheric particulates including total suspended particulate (TSP) matter and particles with an equivalent aerodynamic diameter less than 10 μm (PM{sub 10}) were collected around the Bayan Obo mine region, in August 2012 and March 2013, to analyze the levels and distributions of REEs in particles. The total concentrations of REEs for TSP were 149.8 and 239.6 ng/m{sup 3}, and those for PM{sub 10} were 42.8 and 68.9 ng/m{sup 3}, in August 2012 and March 2013, respectively. Enrichment factor was calculated for all 14 REEs in the TSP and PM{sub 10} and the results indicated that REEs enrichment in atmosphere particulates was caused by anthropogenic sources and influenced by the strong wind in springtime. The spatial distribution of REEs in TSP showed a strong gradient concentration in the prevailing wind direction. REE chondrite normalized patterns of TSP and PM{sub 10} were similar and the normalized curves inclined to the right side, showing the conspicuous fractionation between the light REEs and heavy REE, which supported by the chondrite normalized concentration ratios calculated for selected elements (La{sub N}/Yb{sub N}, La{sub N}/Sm{sub N}, Gd{sub N}/Yb{sub N}). - Highlights: • TSP and PM{sub 10} samples were collected to analyze the levels and distributions of REE. • Enrichment factors indicated that REE enrichment was caused by anthropogenic sources. • The distribution of REEs showed a strong gradient in the prevailing wind direction. • Obvious fractionation between LREEs and HREEs is observed in atmospheric particulates.

  10. Atmospheric chemistry on Venus, Earth, and Mars: Main features and comparison

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasnopolsky, Vladimir A.

    2011-08-01

    This paper deals with two common problems and then considers major aspects of chemistry in the atmospheres of Mars and Venus. (1) The atmospheres of the terrestrial planets have similar origins but different evolutionary pathways because of the different masses and distances to the Sun. Venus lost its water by hydrodynamic escape, Earth lost CO 2 that formed carbonates and is strongly affected by life, Mars lost water in the reaction with iron and then most of the atmosphere by the intense meteorite impacts. (2) In spite of the higher solar radiation on Venus, its thermospheric temperatures are similar to those on Mars because of the greater gravity acceleration and the higher production of O by photolysis of CO 2. O stimulates cooling by the emission at 15 μm in the collisions with CO 2. (3) There is a great progress in the observations of photochemical tracers and minor constituents on Mars in the current decade. This progress is supported by progress in photochemical modeling, especially by photochemical GCMs. Main results in these areas are briefly discussed. The problem of methane presents the controversial aspects of its variations and origin. The reported variations of methane cannot be explained by the existing data on gas-phase and heterogeneous chemistry. The lack of current volcanism, SO 2, and warm spots on Mars favor the biological origin of methane. (4) Venus' chemistry is rich and covers a wide range of temperatures and pressures and many species. Photochemical models for the middle atmosphere (58-112 km), for the nighttime atmosphere and night airglow at 80-130 km, and the kinetic model for the lower atmosphere are briefly discussed.

  11. A mathematical model of the passage of an asteroid-comet body through the Earth's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaydurov, V.; Shchepanovskaya, G.; Yakubovich, M.

    2015-10-01

    In the paper, a mathematical model and a numerical algorithm are proposed for modeling the complex of phenomena which accompany the passage of a friable asteroid-comet body through the Earth's atmosphere: the material ablation, the dissociation of molecules, and the radiation. The proposed model is constructed on the basis of the Navier-Stokes equations for viscous heat-conducting gas with an additional equation for the motion and propagation of a friable lumpy-dust material in air. The energy equation is modified for the relation between two its kinds: the usual energy of the translation of molecules (which defines the temperature and pressure) and the combined energy of their rotation, oscillation, electronic excitation, dissociation, and radiation. For the mathematical model of atmosphere, the distribution of density, pressure, and temperature in height is taken as for the standard atmosphere. An asteroid-comet body is taken initially as a round body consisting of a friable lumpy-dust material with corresponding density and significant viscosity which far exceed those for the atmosphere gas. A numerical algorithm is proposed for solving the initial-boundary problem for the extended system of Navier-Stokes equations. The algorithm is the combination of the semi-Lagrangian approximation for Lagrange transport derivatives and the conforming finite element method for other terms. The implementation of these approaches is illustrated by a numerical example.

  12. 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?

  13. MECA Workshop on Atmospheric H2O Observations of Earth and Mars. Physical Processes, Measurements and Interpretations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clifford, Stephen M. (Editor); Haberle, Robert M. (Editor)

    1988-01-01

    The workshop was held to discuss a variety of questions related to the detection and cycling of atmospheric water. Among the questions addressed were: what factors govern the storage and exchange of water between planetary surfaces and atmospheres; what instruments are best suited for the measurement and mapping of atmospheric water; do regolith sources and sinks of water have uniquely identifiable column abundance signatures; what degree of time and spatial resolution in column abundance data is necessary to determine dynamic behavior. Of special importance is the question, does the understanding of how atmospheric water is cycled on Earth provide any insights for the interpretation of Mars atmospheric data.

  14. Entry-probe studies of the atmospheres of earth, Mars, and Venus - A review (Von Karman Lecture)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seiff, Alvin

    1990-01-01

    This paper overviews the history (since 1963) of the exploration of planetary atmospheres by use of entry probes. The techniques used to measure the compositions of the atmospheres of the earth, Mars, and Venus are described together with the key results obtained. Attention is also given to the atmosphere-structure experiment aboard the Galileo Mission, launched on October 17, 1989 and now under way on its 6-yr trip to Jupiter, and to future experiments.

  15. [Study on the modeling of earth-atmosphere coupling over rugged scenes for hyperspectral remote sensing].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Hui-Jie; Jiang, Cheng; Jia, Guo-Rui

    2014-01-01

    Adjacency effects may introduce errors in the quantitative applications of hyperspectral remote sensing, of which the significant item is the earth-atmosphere coupling radiance. However, the surrounding relief and shadow induce strong changes in hyperspectral images acquired from rugged terrain, which is not accurate to describe the spectral characteristics. Furthermore, the radiative coupling process between the earth and the atmosphere is more complex over the rugged scenes. In order to meet the requirements of real-time processing in data simulation, an equivalent reflectance of background was developed by taking into account the topography and the geometry between surroundings and targets based on the radiative transfer process. The contributions of the coupling to the signal at sensor level were then evaluated. This approach was integrated to the sensor-level radiance simulation model and then validated through simulating a set of actual radiance data. The results show that the visual effect of simulated images is consistent with that of observed images. It was also shown that the spectral similarity is improved over rugged scenes. In addition, the model precision is maintained at the same level over flat scenes.

  16. Rise of Earth's atmospheric oxygen controlled by efficient subduction of organic carbon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duncan, Megan S.; Dasgupta, Rajdeep

    2017-04-01

    The net flux of carbon between the Earth's interior and exterior, which is critical for redox evolution and planetary habitability, relies heavily on the extent of carbon subduction. While the fate of carbonates during subduction has been studied, little is known about how organic carbon is transferred from the Earth's surface to the interior, although organic carbon sequestration is related to sources of oxygen in the surface environment. Here we use high pressure-temperature experiments to determine the capacity of rhyolitic melts to carry carbon under graphite-saturated conditions in a subducting slab, and thus to constrain the subduction efficiency of organic carbon, the remnants of life, through time. We use our experimental data and a thermodynamic model of CO2 dissolution in slab melts to quantify organic carbon mobility as a function of slab parameters. We show that the subduction of graphitized organic carbon, and the graphite and diamond formed by reduction of carbonates with depth, remained efficient even in ancient, hotter subduction zones where oxidized carbon subduction probably remained limited. We suggest that immobilization of organic carbon in subduction zones and deep sequestration in the mantle facilitated the rise (~103-5 fold) and maintenance of atmospheric oxygen since the Palaeoproterozoic and is causally linked to the Great Oxidation Event. Our modelling shows that episodic recycling of organic carbon before the Great Oxidation Event may also explain occasional whiffs of atmospheric oxygen observed in the Archaean.

  17. From Sub-Neptunes to Earth-like Exoplanets: Modeling Optically Thick and Thin Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Howard; Rogers, Leslie; Kasting, James

    2016-01-01

    Exoplanet surveys have revealed a wide diversity of planet properties in the Milky Way. Here, we present the results from two projects modeling planet atmospheres; one considering the hydrogen/helium envelopes of sub-Neptune-mass planets, and the other, the climate of Earth-like planets.First, we modify the state-of-the-art stellar evolution code Modules for Experimental Astrophysics (MESA) to model the thermal evolution of gaseous Sub-Neptune sized planets. Including photo-evaporation, we find a resulting convergent evolution trend that could potentially imprint itself on the close-in planet population as a preferred H/He mass fraction of 0.5-3%.We also use an updated version of a radiative-convective climate model to calculate the upper atmospheric conditions of planets warmer than the present Earth. In our simulations, cold, dry stratospheres are predicted at lower surface temperatures. However, onset of moist greenhouse water-loss limit to habitability emerges when the surface temperature reaches above 350 K. This result places constraint on a more accurate calculation of the inner edge of the habitable zone around Sun-like stars.

  18. Study of strong interaction between atmosphere and solid Earth by using hurricane data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanimoto, Toshiro

    2016-04-01

    The original energy of seismic noise is in the atmosphere although the most well-known seismic noise (microseism) gets excited through the ocean, i.e. the atmosphere (winds) excites ocean waves that in turn generate seismic noise in the solid earth. The oceans work as an intermediary in this case. But there is some seismic noise that is directly caused by the atmosphere-solid earth interactions. An extreme example for such a direct interaction can be found in the case of hurricanes (tropical cyclones) when they landfall and move on land. If we had such data, we could study the process of atmosphere-solid earth interactions directly. The Earthscope TA (Transportable Array) provided a few examples of such landfallen hurricanes which moved through the TA that had both seismometers and barometers. This data set allows us to study how ground motions changed as surface pressure (i.e., the source strength) varied over time. Because effects of surface pressure show up at short distances more clearly, we first examine the correlation between pressure and ground motion for the same stations. Plots of vertical ground velocity PSD (Power Spectral Density) vs. surface pressure PSD show that there are no significant ground motions unless pressure PSD becomes larger than 10 (Pa^2/s). Above this threshold, ground motion increases as P**1.69 (P is pressure and 1.69 is close to 5/3). Horizontal ground motions are larger than vertical ground motions (in seismic data), approximately by a factor of 10-30. But we note that the variations of horizontal motions with pressure show a linear relationship. Considering the instrumental design of TA stations, this is more likely due to the tilt of the whole recording system as (lateral) strong winds apply horizontal force on it. This linear trend exists for the whole range of the observed pressure PSD data, extending to small pressure values. We interpret that tilt signals overwhelmed other seismic signals in horizontal seismograms for

  19. A Methane-rich Proterozoic Atmosphere: Possible Link to the Neoproterozoic Snowball Earth Glaciations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlov, A. A.; Kasting, J. F.; Hurtgen, M.; Arthur, M. A.

    2001-12-01

    anoxic, sulfate-poor Proterozoic ocean net production of methane could have been substantially higher. Towards, the end of the Proterozoic, oceanic sulfate abundances began to increase, as indicated by measurements of trace sulfate minerals in carbonates. The corresponding increase in the abundance of sulfate-reducing bacteria should have led to a decrease in methane production, by the arguments given above We propose that the Neoproterozoic Snowball Earth episodes at 750 Ma and 600 Ma may have been triggered by a rise in sulfate and/or O2 and a corresponding decrease in atmospheric CH4.

  20. How large is the cosmic dust flux into the Earth's atmosphere?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plane, John; Janches, Diego; Gomez-Martin, Juan Carlos; Bones, David; Diego Carrillo-Sanchez, Juan; James, Sandy; Nesvorny, David; Pokorny, Petr

    2016-07-01

    Cosmic dust particles are produced in the solar system from the sublimation of comets as they orbit close to the sun, and also from collisions between asteroids in the belt between Mars and Jupiter. Current estimates of the magnitude of the cosmic dust input rate into the Earth's atmosphere range from 2 to well over 100 tons per day, depending on whether the measurements are made in space, in the middle atmosphere, or at the surface in polar ice cores. This nearly 2 order-of-magnitude discrepancy indicates that there are serious flaws in the interpretation of observations that have been used to make the estimates. Dust particles enter the atmosphere at hyperthermal velocities (11 - 72 km s ^{-1}), and mostly ablate at heights between 80 and 120 km in a region of the atmosphere known as the mesosphere/lower thermosphere (MLT). The resulting metal vapours (Fe, Mg, Si and Na etc.) then oxidize and recondense to form nm-size particles, termed "meteoric smoke". These particles are too small to sediment downwards. Instead, they are transported by the general circulation of the atmosphere, taking roughly 5 years to reach the surface. There is great interest in the role smoke particles play as condensation nuclei of noctilucent ice clouds in the mesosphere, and polar stratospheric clouds in the lower stratosphere. Various new estimates of the dust input will be discussed. The first is from a zodiacal dust cloud model which predicts that more than 90% of the dust entering the atmosphere comes from Jupiter Family Comets; this model is constrained by observations of the zodiacal cloud using the IRAS, COBE and Planck satellites. The cometary dust is predicted to mostly be in a near-prograde orbit, entering the atmosphere with an average velocity around 14 km s ^{-1}. The total dust input should then be about 40 t d ^{-1}. However, relatively few of these particles are observed, even by the powerful Arecibo 430 MHz radar. Coupled models of meteoroid differential ablation

  1. Implications of solar irradiance variability upon long-term changes in the Earth's atmospheric temperatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Robert B., III

    1992-01-01

    From 1979 through 1987, it is believed that variability in the incoming solar energy played a significant role in changing the Earth's climate. Using high-precision spacecraft radiometric measurements, the incoming total solar irradiance (total amount of solar power per unit area) and the Earth's mean, global atmospheric temperatures were found to vary in phase with each other. The observed irradiance and temperature changes appeared to be correlated with the 11-year cycle of solar magnetic activity. During the period from 1979 through 1985, both the irradiance and temperature decreased. From 1985 to 1987, they increased. The irradiance changed approximately 0.1 percent, while the temperature varied as much as 0.6 C. During the 1979-1987 period, the temperatures were forecasted to rise linearly because of the anthropogenic build-up of carbon dioxide and the hypothesized 'global warming', 'greenhouse effect', scenarios. Contrary to these scenarios, the temperatures were found to vary in a periodic manner in phase with the solar irradiance changes. The observed correlations between irradiance and temperature variabilily suggest that the mean, global temperature of the Earth may decline between 1990 and 1997 as solar magnetic activity decreases.

  2. Subdiurnal atmospheric and oceanic excitation of Earth rotation estimated from 3-hourly AAM and OAM data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brzezinski, A.; Dobslaw, H.; Thomas, M.; Slusarczyk, L.

    2012-04-01

    Diurnal and subdiurnal variations of global atmospheric and nontidal oceanic angular momenta (AAM, OAM) contribute at measurable level to all components of Earth rotation, including precession-nutation, polar motion and universal time UT1. Here we study this problem using a new set of 3-hourly AAM and OAM series covering 1990-2009. The data is based on the ERA Interim short-term forecasts, which have been both used to derive AAM as well as force a OMCT (Ocean Model for Circulation and Tides) simulation that provides the corresponding OAM. We apply the complex demodulation technique to extract the diurnal, semidiurnal and terdiurnal signals from both the equatorial and axial components of the excitation series. Next we estimate parameters of the harmonic components of excitation and perform spectral analysis of the nonharmonic residuals. The estimated contributions to Earth rotation are compared to other results which are either estimated from alternative geophysical models or are expected from analysis of Earth rotation data.

  3. Sun Earth Day 2007: Living in the Atmosphere of the Sun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayo, Louis

    2006-12-01

    The NASA Sun Earth Connection Education Forum (SECEF) is sponsoring Sun Earth Day 2007: Living in the Atmosphere of the Sun. This year’s theme supports the International Heliophysical Year goals of educating international populations on the sun-heliosphere system and the impact it has on the Earth and the solar system. For 2007, we will be featuring web and pod casts of the November 2006 Mercury Transit at Kitt Peak National Observatory as well as two panel discussions on space weather. In addition, we will be launching Space Weather Action Centers in the US giving students the ability to predict space weather from satellite and ground based observations and then to create and broadcast their own multimedia space weather forecasts over the web and “Rock and Sol”, an international arts program helping kids share the wonders of space science through song . Anticipated participation is well over 10 million people in 200 countries, and over 2,000 amateur astronomers. For more information on SED 2007, go to our web site at http://sunearthday.nasa.gov

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-30

    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.

  5. The spaceborne infrared atmospheric sounder for geosynchronous earth orbit (SIRAS-G): pathfinder to space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kampe, Thomas U.; Chase, Holden

    2007-09-01

    The Spaceborne Infrared Sounder for Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (SIRAS-G) was developed by Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp (BATC) under NASA's 2002 Instrument Incubator Program. SIRAS-G is a technology development program focused on next-generation IR imaging spectrometers for sounding of the atmosphere. SIRAS-G is ideally suited for measuring atmospheric temperature and water vapor profiles, trace gases concentrations, land and ocean surface temperatures and the IR mineral dust aerosol signature from satellite, providing high-spectral resolution imaging spectroscopy over a broad IR spectral range and extended field of view. Instrument concepts for future mission in LEO and GEO are discussed, including an instrument concept to be flown in low earth orbit having the potential to provide high spatial resolution, comparable to that of MODIS, along with the high spectral resolution currently being demonstrated by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS). This capability would dramatically improve the yield of cloud-free pixels scenes that can be assimilated into Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models. The SIRAS-G dispersive spectrometer module is readily adaptable for missions in LEO, GEO and MEO orbits and can be optimized for spectral resolution over subsets of the total spectral range. We have completed the 3-year SIRAS-G IIP development effort, including successful testing of the SIRAS-G laboratory demonstration spectrometer that utilized the Hawaii 1RG MWIR FPA. Performance testing was conducted at cryogenic temperatures and the performance of the demo instrument has been quantified including measurement of keystone distortion, spectral smile, MTF, and the spectral response function (SRF) to high accuracy. We present the results of the laboratory instrument development including characterization of the demonstration instrument performance. We discuss instrument concepts utilizing SIRAS-G technology for potential future missions including an anticipated

  6. Climatic effects of cloud particles in the atmospheres of Earth-like extrasolar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitzmann, D.; Patzer, A. B. C.; von Paris, P.; Grenfell, L.; Rauer, H.

    2008-09-01

    ABSTRACT Clouds can have an important effect on the climate (and thereby also on the habitability) of terrestrial planets. While clouds in the upper atmosphere increase atmospheric cooling by scattering of the incoming stellar radiation, clouds in the lower atmosphere are leading to an enhanced greenhouse effect, resulting in higher surface temperatures. Due to the shortage of observational detail regarding the atmospheres of terrestrial extrasolar planets, particular studies of clouds are limited to basic questions about the predominant processes at work, which have to be adressed. In this contribution we focus on the climatic effects of water droplet distributions in the lower tropospheres of Earth-like extrasolar planets. As a first approximation, parametrized distribution functions are used in our study for the description of the cloud particles. The distribution function used here is the log-normal distribution, which is known to be a good approximation to observed size spectra of cumulus clouds in the Earths atmosphere (cf. [3]). This size distribution function is given by the expression f(a) = N p 2? a ln ?g exp ? -(ln a - ln an)2 2(ln ?g)2 ? (1) and depends on the three parameters: particle number concentration N, geometric standard deviation ?g and the median radius an. The particle radius is denoted by a, respectively. Our simplified cloud description scheme is coupled with a one-dimensional radiative-convective climate-model (see e.g. [4] and [2] for a general overview of the model) in order to study the basic effects on the climate. Optical properties of the cloud particles are, thereby, calculated by Mie-theory (cf. e.g. [1]), assuming spherical particles composed of pure liquid water and have been included in the models radiative transfer scheme. Results for e.g. different types of central stars are presented and compared with the respective cloud-free situations. References [1] C.F. Bohren and D.R. Huffman, Absorption and scattering of light by small

  7. Helium escape from the Earth's atmosphere - The charge exchange mechanism revisited

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lie-Svendsen, O.; Rees, M. H.; Stamnes, K.

    1992-01-01

    We have studied the escape of neutral helium from the terrestrial atmosphere through exothermic charge exchange reactions between He(+) ions and the major atmospheric constituents N2, O2 and O. Elastic collisions with the neutral background particles were treated quantitatively using a recently developed kinetic theory approach. An interhemispheric plasma transport model was employed to provide a global distribution of He(+) ions as a function of altitude, latitude and local solar time and for different levels of solar ionization. Combining these ion densities with neutral densities from an MSIS model and best estimates for the reaction rate coefficients of the charge exchange reactions, we computed the global distribution of the neutral He escape flux. The escape rates show large diurnal and latitudinal variations, while the global average does not vary by more than a factor of three over a solar cycle. We find that this escape mechanism is potentially important for the overall balance of helium in the Earth's atmosphere. However, more accurate values for the reaction rate coefficients of the charge exchange reactions are required to make a definitive assessment of its importance.

  8. CAM-chem: description and evaluation of interactive atmospheric chemistry in the Community Earth System Model

    SciTech Connect

    Lamarque, J.-F.; Emmons, L.; Hess, Peter; Kinnison, Douglas E.; Tilmes, S.; Vitt, Francis; Heald, C. L.; Holland, Elisabeth A.; Lauritzen, P. H.; Neu, J.; Orlando, J. J.; Rasch, Philip J.; Tyndall, G. S.

    2012-03-27

    We discuss and evaluate the representation of atmospheric chemistry in the global Community Atmosphere Model (CAM) version 4, the atmospheric component of the Community Earth System Model (CESM). We present a variety of configurations for the representation of tropospheric and stratospheric chemistry, wet removal, and online and offline meteorology. Results from simulations illustrating these configurations are compared with surface, aircraft and satellite observations. Major biases include a negative bias in the high-latitude CO distribution, a positive bias in upper-tropospheric/lower-stratospheric ozone, and a positive bias in summertime surface ozone (over the United States and Europe). The tropospheric net chemical ozone production varies significantly between configurations, partly related to variations in stratosphere-troposphere exchange. Aerosol optical depth tends to be underestimated over most regions, while comparison with aerosol surface measurements over the United States indicate reasonable results for sulfate, especially in the online simulation. Other aerosol species exhibit significant biases. Overall, the model-data comparison indicates that the offline simulation driven by GEOS5 meteorological analyses provides the best simulation, possibly due in part to the increased vertical resolution (52 levels instead of 26 for online dynamics). The CAM-chem code as described in this paper, along with all the necessary datasets needed to perform the simulations described here, are available for download at www.cesm.ucar.edu.

  9. Bidirectional Spectral Reflectance of Earth Resources: Influence of Scene Complexity and Atmospheric Effects on Remote Sensing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diner, D. J.

    1984-01-01

    Practical methods for remote sensing when scene complexity and atmospheric effects modify intrinsic reflective properties are developed. The radiation history from ground to space of light reflected from individual leaves is initially multiply scattered within the crop canopy, whose geometry provides a controlling influence, then scattered and attenuated as a result of transmission through the Earth's atmosphere. The experimental and theoretical tools for studying these effects quantitatively are under development. A new radiative transfer code which uses Fourier transforms to solve the 3-D equation of transfer was developed. The initial version permits inhomogeneous non-Lambertian surfaces but assumes horizontal uniformity for the atmosphere. The computational results are in excellent agreement with Monte Carlo calculations. Laboratory apparatus to study the variation of spectral reflectance of individual leaves as a function of illumination incidence angle and reflection angle was used. These data can then be used in models to determine canopy scattering effects. Stress tests by observing leaf reflectance at 0.9 microns as a function of time following clipping from the stem was performed. A reflectance increase due to loss of water has been observed.

  10. Atmospheric correction of ocean color imagery in the Earth Observing System era

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, Howard R.

    1997-07-01

    Sensors that can be used for the observation of ocean color in NASA's Earth Observing System era (SeaWiFS, MODIS, and MISR) have been designed with 2-4 times the radiometric sensitivity of the proof-of-concept ocean color instrument CZCS (coastal zone color scanner). To realize an improvement in the retrieval of biologically important ocean parameters, e.g., the concentration of the photosynthetic pigment chlorophyll a, from this increased sensitivity, significantly better atmospheric correction than was applied to CZCS is required. Atmospheric correction improvement necessitates the inclusion of the effects of multiple scattering, which are strongly dependent on the aerosol size distribution, concentration, and absorption properties. We review the basic concepts of atmospheric correction over the oceans and provide the details of the algorithms currently being developed for SeaWiFS, MODIS, and MISR. An alternate correction algorithm that could be of significant value in the coastal zone is described for MISR. Related issues such as the influence of aerosol vertical structure in the troposphere, polarization of the light field, sea surface roughness, and oceanic whitecaps on the sea surface are evaluated and plans for their inclusion in the algorithm are described. Unresolved issues, such as the presence of stratospheric aerosol, the appropriateness of the aerosol models used in the assessment of multiple scattering, and the identification of, and difficulties associated with the correction for, the presence of absorbing aerosols, e.g., urban pollution or mineral dust, are identified, and suggestions are provided for their resolution.

  11. Microwave Radiometric Complex for Studying the Thermal Structure of the Earth's Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryskin, V. G.; Shvetsov, A. A.; Kulikov, M. Yu.; Belikovich, M. V.; Bol'shakov, O. S.; Krasil'nikov, A. A.; Kukin, L. M.; Lesnov, I. V.; Skalyga, N. K.; Feigin, A. M.

    2017-01-01

    We describe a microwave radiometric complex intended for remote passive monitoring of the atmospheric temperatures from the Earth's surface. The complex consists of three spectroradiometers operating in a frequency range of 50-60 GHz, which covers the central part of the absorption band of molecular oxygen and its low-frequency slope. The radiometers have different spectral resolutions and allow one to simultaneously study the thermal structure of the surface air, the free troposphere, and the stratosphere. To ensure internal calibration of the intensity of the received atmospheric radiation, a built-in device of the modulator-calibrator type on the basis of the Schottky-barrier GaAs diodes is used. The complex is equipped with an automated system to control the measurement process, calibration, and preliminary data processing. Using the microwave sensing results, we intend to retrieve the atmospheric temperature profiles in an altitude interval of 0.05-55 km on the basis on the Bayesian approach to solving ill-posed inverse problems.

  12. The atmosphere of the primitive earth and the prebiotic synthesis of organic compounds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, S. L.; Schlesinger, G.

    1983-01-01

    The prebiotic synthesis of organic compounds is investigated using a spark discharge on various simulated prebiotic atmospheres at 25 C. It is found that glycine is almost the only amino acid produced from the model atmospheres containing CO and CO2. These results show that the maximum yield is about the same for the three carbon sources (CO, CO2, and CH4) at high H2/carbon ratios, but that CH4 is superior at low H2/carbon ratios. CH4 is found to yield a much greater variety of amino acids than either CO or CO2. If it is assumed that amino acids more complex than glycine were required for the origin of life, then these findings indicate the need for CH4 in the primitive atmosphere. The yields of cyanide and formaldehyde are shown to parallel the amino acid results, with yields of HCN and H2CO as high as 13 percent based on carbon. Ammonia is also found to be produced from N2 in experiments with no added NH3 in yields as high as 4.9 percent. These results indicate that large amounts of NH3 would have been synthesized on the primitive earth by electric discharges.

  13. Bidirectional Spectral Reflectance of Earth Resources: Influence of Scene Complexity and Atmospheric Effects on Remote Sensing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diner, D. J.

    1984-01-01

    Practical methods for remote sensing when scene complexity and atmospheric effects modify intrinsic reflective properties are developed. The radiation history from ground to space of light reflected from individual leaves is initially multiply scattered within the crop canopy, whose geometry provides a controlling influence, then scattered and attenuated as a result of transmission through the Earth's atmosphere. The experimental and theoretical tools for studying these effects quantitatively are under development. A new radiative transfer code which uses Fourier transforms to solve the 3-D equation of transfer was developed. The initial version permits inhomogeneous non-Lambertian surfaces but assumes horizontal uniformity for the atmosphere. The computational results are in excellent agreement with Monte Carlo calculations. Laboratory apparatus to study the variation of spectral reflectance of individual leaves as a function of illumination incidence angle and reflection angle was used. These data can then be used in models to determine canopy scattering effects. Stress tests by observing leaf reflectance at 0.9 microns as a function of time following clipping from the stem was performed. A reflectance increase due to loss of water has been observed.

  14. The atmosphere of the primitive earth and the prebiotic synthesis of organic compounds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, S. L.; Schlesinger, G.

    1983-01-01

    The prebiotic synthesis of organic compounds is investigated using a spark discharge on various simulated prebiotic atmospheres at 25 C. It is found that glycine is almost the only amino acid produced from the model atmospheres containing CO and CO2. These results show that the maximum yield is about the same for the three carbon sources (CO, CO2, and CH4) at high H2/carbon ratios, but that CH4 is superior at low H2/carbon ratios. CH4 is found to yield a much greater variety of amino acids than either CO or CO2. If it is assumed that amino acids more complex than glycine were required for the origin of life, then these findings indicate the need for CH4 in the primitive atmosphere. The yields of cyanide and formaldehyde are shown to parallel the amino acid results, with yields of HCN and H2CO as high as 13 percent based on carbon. Ammonia is also found to be produced from N2 in experiments with no added NH3 in yields as high as 4.9 percent. These results indicate that large amounts of NH3 would have been synthesized on the primitive earth by electric discharges.

  15. Helium escape from the Earth's atmosphere - The charge exchange mechanism revisited

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lie-Svendsen, O.; Rees, M. H.; Stamnes, K.

    1992-01-01

    We have studied the escape of neutral helium from the terrestrial atmosphere through exothermic charge exchange reactions between He(+) ions and the major atmospheric constituents N2, O2 and O. Elastic collisions with the neutral background particles were treated quantitatively using a recently developed kinetic theory approach. An interhemispheric plasma transport model was employed to provide a global distribution of He(+) ions as a function of altitude, latitude and local solar time and for different levels of solar ionization. Combining these ion densities with neutral densities from an MSIS model and best estimates for the reaction rate coefficients of the charge exchange reactions, we computed the global distribution of the neutral He escape flux. The escape rates show large diurnal and latitudinal variations, while the global average does not vary by more than a factor of three over a solar cycle. We find that this escape mechanism is potentially important for the overall balance of helium in the Earth's atmosphere. However, more accurate values for the reaction rate coefficients of the charge exchange reactions are required to make a definitive assessment of its importance.

  16. Investigation of the validity of the non-rotating planet assumption for three-dimensional earth atmospheric entry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karasopoulos, Harry A.

    1988-06-01

    The assumption of a non-rotating planet, common in most analytical entry trajectory analyses, has been shown to produce significant errors in some solutions for the lifting atmospheric entry to the earth. This thesis investigates the validity of the non-rotating planet assumption for general three-dimensional Earth atmospheric entry. First, the three-dimensional equations of motion for lifting atmospheric entry are expanded to include a rotating planet model. A strictly exponential atmosphere, rotating at the same rate as the planet, is assumed with density as a function of radial distance from the planet's surface. Solutions are developed for the non-rotating Earth equations of motion and for one of the rotating Earth equations of motion using the method of matched asymptotic expansions. It is shown that the non-rotating Earth assumption produces incorrect entry trajectory results for entry orbital inclination angles between 0.5 and 75.0 deg and vehicle speeds ranging from circular orbital velocities to low supersonic speeds. However, a variety of realistic trajectory states exist where some of the non-rotating Earth equations of motion are found to be valid for the same entry trajectory states.

  17. Response of the water level in a well to Earth tides and atmospheric loading under unconfined conditions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rojstaczer, S.; Riley, F.S.

    1990-01-01

    The response to Earth tides is strongly governed by a dimensionless aquifer frequency Q???u. The response to atmospheric loading is strongly governed by two dimensionless vertical fluid flow parameters: a dimensionless unsaturated zone frequency, R, and a dimensionless aquifer frequency Qu. The differences between Q???u and Qu are generally small for aquifers which are highly sensitive to Earth tides. When Q???u and Qu are large, the response of the well to Earth tides and atmospheric loading approaches the static response of the aquifer under confined conditions. At small values of Q???u and Qu, well response to Earth tides and atmospheric loading is strongly influenced by water table drainage. When R is large relative to Qu, the response to atmospheric loading is strongly influenced by attenuation and phase shift of the pneumatic pressure signal in the unsaturated zone. The presence of partial penetration retards phase advance in well response to Earth tides and atmospheric loading. -from Authors

  18. Causes and Implications of Persistent Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Biases in Earth System Models

    SciTech Connect

    Hoffman, Forrest M; Randerson, James T.; Arora, Vivek K.; Bao, Qing; Cadule, Patricia; Ji, Duoying; Jones, Chris D.; Kawamiya, Michio; Khatiwala, Samar; Lindsay, Keith; Obata, Atsushi; Shevliakova, Elena; Six, Katharina D.; Tjiputra, Jerry F.; Volodin, Evgeny M.; Wu, Tongwen

    2014-01-01

    The strength of feedbacks between a changing climate and future CO2 concentrations are uncertain and difficult to predict using Earth System Models (ESMs). We analyzed emission-driven simulations--in which atmospheric CO2 levels were computed prognostically--for historical (1850-2005) and future periods (RCP 8.5 for 2006-2100) produced by 15 ESMs for the Fifth Phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). Comparison of ESM prognostic atmospheric CO2 over the historical period with observations indicated that ESMs, on average, had a small positive bias in predictions of contemporary atmospheric CO2. Weak ocean carbon uptake in many ESMs contributed to this bias, based on comparisons with observations of ocean and atmospheric anthropogenic carbon inventories. We found a significant linear relationship between contemporary atmospheric CO2 biases and future CO2 levels for the multi-model ensemble. We used this relationship to create a contemporary CO2 tuned model (CCTM) estimate of the atmospheric CO2 trajectory for the 21st century. The CCTM yielded CO2 estimates of 600 {plus minus} 14 ppm at 2060 and 947 {plus minus} 35 ppm at 2100, which were 21 ppm and 32 ppm below the multi-model mean during these two time periods. Using this emergent constraint approach, the likely ranges of future atmospheric CO2, CO2-induced radiative forcing, and CO2-induced temperature increases for the RCP 8.5 scenario were considerably narrowed compared to estimates from the full ESM ensemble. Our analysis provided evidence that much of the model-to-model variation in projected CO2 during the 21st century was tied to biases that existed during the observational era, and that model differences in the representation of concentration-carbon feedbacks and other slowly changing carbon cycle processes appear to be the primary driver of this variability. By improving models to more closely match the long-term time series of CO2 from Mauna Loa, our analysis suggests uncertainties in

  19. Causes and implications of persistent atmospheric carbon dioxide biases in Earth System Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffman, F. M.; Randerson, J. T.; Arora, V. K.; Bao, Q.; Cadule, P.; Ji, D.; Jones, C. D.; Kawamiya, M.; Khatiwala, S.; Lindsay, K.; Obata, A.; Shevliakova, E.; Six, K. D.; Tjiputra, J. F.; Volodin, E. M.; Wu, T.

    2014-02-01

    The strength of feedbacks between a changing climate and future CO2 concentrations is uncertain and difficult to predict using Earth System Models (ESMs). We analyzed emission-driven simulations—in which atmospheric CO2levels were computed prognostically—for historical (1850-2005) and future periods (Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 for 2006-2100) produced by 15 ESMs for the Fifth Phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). Comparison of ESM prognostic atmospheric CO2 over the historical period with observations indicated that ESMs, on average, had a small positive bias in predictions of contemporary atmospheric CO2. Weak ocean carbon uptake in many ESMs contributed to this bias, based on comparisons with observations of ocean and atmospheric anthropogenic carbon inventories. We found a significant linear relationship between contemporary atmospheric CO2 biases and future CO2levels for the multimodel ensemble. We used this relationship to create a contemporary CO2 tuned model (CCTM) estimate of the atmospheric CO2 trajectory for the 21st century. The CCTM yielded CO2estimates of 600±14 ppm at 2060 and 947±35 ppm at 2100, which were 21 ppm and 32 ppm below the multimodel mean during these two time periods. Using this emergent constraint approach, the likely ranges of future atmospheric CO2, CO2-induced radiative forcing, and CO2-induced temperature increases for the RCP 8.5 scenario were considerably narrowed compared to estimates from the full ESM ensemble. Our analysis provided evidence that much of the model-to-model variation in projected CO2 during the 21st century was tied to biases that existed during the observational era and that model differences in the representation of concentration-carbon feedbacks and other slowly changing carbon cycle processes appear to be the primary driver of this variability. By improving models to more closely match the long-term time series of CO2from Mauna Loa, our analysis suggests that

  20. The upper atmospheres of the earth and planets; Proceedings of the Topical Meeting, Ottawa, Canada, May 16-June 2, 1982

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barth, C. A. (Editor); Offermann, D. (Editor); Labitzke, K. (Editor); Vette, J. I. (Editor); Taylor, H. A. (Editor); Rawer, K.

    1982-01-01

    Various topics concerned with the upper atmosphere of the earth and planets are discussed. The atmospheres of the terrestrial planets are addressed, emphasizing Venus. The energy budget of the mesosphere and thermosphere is considered, discussing current and particles as energy sources, the radiation field, and neutral atmosphere dynamics. The results of Pre-Map Project One are covered, and the International Reference Ionosphere is discussed, including electron density profiles, the lower ionosphere, the plasmasphere, plasma temperature profiles, and ion composition. Finally, the mass spectroscopy of atmospheres is treated.

  1. A High Performance Computing approach to model multiple Rayleigh scattering in the Earth atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franssens, Ghislain; Dekemper, Emmanuel; Mateshivili, Nina; Vanhellemont, filip; fussen, didier; pieroux, didier

    2016-04-01

    The retrieval of atmospheric trace gases and aerosols in the Earth atmosphere from light scattering measurements typically involves an iterative inversion algorithm. A key part of this algorithm is its forward model, which takes care of calculating the amount of light that the remote sensing instrument will see, for any assumed atmosphere composition. The forward model is usually an atmospheric radiative transfer code. It is a serious challenge for a radiative transfer code to be, at the same time, sufficiently accurate and sufficiently fast, so that it can be included in the iterative retrieval loop of an operational service. An accurate code must be able to calculate multiple Rayleigh scattering (important in the UV and/or at lower altitudes) by the air in a spherical atmosphere. This is something that currently only a Monte Carlo algorithm can do. However, any Monte Carlo code is far too slow to be included in the retrieval loop, even if we make use of the currently available HPC power. We report some first results that were obtained by a new solution to this old problem. We first use a HPC cluster to tabulate multiple Rayleigh scattering in a standard Earth atmosphere, using a Monte Carlo code, as function of 6 parameters (albedo, view zenith angle, solar zenith angle, relative azimuth angle, altitude and wavelength). Then, a well chosen empirical function is fitted on the tabulated data. From this function, correction factors are derived and appropriately inserted in a fast single scattering algorithm, which so effectively becomes a multiple scattering algorithm. Since the evaluation of the empirical function is also very fast, we end up with a radiative transfer code that is both accurate and sufficiently fast for operational data production. Our conclusion is that commonly available and affordable HPC systems can still not directly solve the retrieval problem with sufficient accuracy in real time. However, the above described two step approach now becomes

  2. Carbon Observations from Geostationary Earth Orbit as Part of an Integrated Observing System for Atmospheric Composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, D. P.

    2015-12-01

    This presentation describes proposed satellite carbon measurements from the CHRONOS mission. The primary goal of this experiment is to measure the atmospheric pollutants carbon monoxide (CO) and methane (CH4) from geostationary orbit, with hourly observations of North America at high spatial resolution. CHRONOS observations would provide measurements not currently available or planned as part of a surface, suborbital and satellite integrated observing system for atmospheric composition over North America. Carbon monoxide is produced by combustion processes such as urban activity and wildfires, and serves as a proxy for other combustion pollutants that are not easily measured. Methane has diverse anthropogenic sources ranging from fossil fuel production, animal husbandry, agriculture and waste management. The impact of gas exploration in the Western States of the USA and oil extraction from the Canadian tar sands will be particular foci of the mission, as will the poorly-quantified natural CH4 emissions from wetlands and thawing permafrost. In addition to characterizing pollutant sources, improved understanding of the domestic CH4 budget is a priority for policy decisions related to short-lived climate forcers. A primary motivation for targeting CO is its value as a tracer of atmospheric pollution, and CHRONOS measurements will provide insight into local and long-range transport across the North American continent, as well as the processes governing the entrainment and venting of pollution in and out of the planetary boundary layer. As a result of significantly improved characterization of diurnal changes in atmospheric composition, CHRONOS observations will find direct societal applications for air quality regulation and forecasting. We present a quantification of this expected improvement in the prediction of near-surface concentrations when CHRONOS measurements are used in Observation System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs). If CHRONOS and the planned NASA Earth

  3. Atmospheric Torques on the Solid Earth and Oceans Based on the GEOS-1 General Circulation Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sanchez, Braulio

    1999-01-01

    The GEOS-1 general circulation model has been used to compute atmospheric torques on the oceans and solid Earth for the period 1980-1995. The time series for the various torque components have been analyzed by means of Fourier transform techniques. It was determined that the wind stress torque over land is more powerful than the wind stress torque over water by 55\\%, 42\\%, and 80\\t for the x, y, and z components respectively. This is mainly the result of power in the high frequency range. The pressure torques due to polar flattening, equatorial ellipticity, marine geoid, and continental orography were computed. The orographic or "mountain torque" components are more powerful than their wind stress counterparts (land plus ocean) by 231\\% (x), 191\\% (y), and 77\\% (z). The marine pressure torques due to geoidal undulations are much smaller than the orographic ones, as expected. They are only 3\\% (x), 4\\% (y), and 5\\% (z) of the corresponding mountain torques. The geoidal pressure torques are approximately equal in magnitude to those produced by the equatorial ellipticity of the Earth. The pressure torque due to polar flattening makes the largest contributions to the atmospheric'torque budget. It has no zonal component, only equatorial ones. Most of the power of the latter, between 68\\% and 69 %, is found in modes with periods under 15 days. The single most powerful mode has a period of 361 days. The gravitational torque ranks second in power only to the polar flattening pressure torque. Unlike the former, it does produce a zonal component, albeit much smaller (1\\ ) than the equatorial ones. The gravitational and pressure torques have opposite signs, therefore, the gravitational torque nullifies 42\\% of the total pressure torque. Zonally, however, the gravitational torque amounts to only 6\\% of the total pressure torque. The power budget for the total atmospheric torque yields 7595 and 7120 Hadleys for the equatorial components and 966 Hadleys for the

  4. Atmospheric Torques on the Solid Earth and Oceans Based on the GEOS-1 General Circulation Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sanchez, Braulio V.; Au, Andrew Y.

    1998-01-01

    The GEOS-1 general circulation model has been used to compute atmospheric torques on the oceans and solid Earth for the period 1980-1995. The time series for the various torque components have been analyzed by means of Fourier transform techniques. It was determined that the wind stress torque over land is more powerful than the wind stress torque over water by 55%, 42%, and 80% for the x, y, and z components respectively. This is mainly the result of power in the high frequency range. The pressure torques due to polar flattening, equatorial ellipticity, marine geoid, and continental orography were computed. The orographic or "mountain torque" components are more powerful than their wind stress counterparts (land plus ocean) by 231% (x), 191% (y), and 77% (z). The marine pressure torques due to geoidal undulations are much smaller than the orographic ones, as expected. They are only 3% (x), 4% (y), and 5% (z) of the corresponding mountain torques. The geoidal pressure torques are approximately equal in magnitude to those produced by the equatorial ellipticity of the Earth. The pressure torque due to polar flattening makes the largest contributions to the atmospheric torque budget. It has no zonal component, only equatorial ones. Most of the power of the latter, between 68% and 69%, is found in modes with periods under 15 days. The single most powerful mode has a period of 361 days. The gravitational torque ranks second in power only to the polar flattening pressure torque. Unlike the former, it does produce a zonal component, albeit much smaller (1%) than the equatorial ones. The gravitational and pressure torques have opposite signs, therefore, the gravitational torque nullifies 42% of the total pressure torque. Zonally, however, the gravitational torque amounts to only 6% of the total pressure torque. The power budget for the total atmospheric torque yields 7595 and 7120 Hadleys for the equatorial components and 966 Hadleys for the zonal. The x-component exhibits

  5. Atmospheric Torques on the Solid Earth and Oceans Based on the GEOS-1 General Circulation Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sanchez, Braulio

    1999-01-01

    The GEOS-1 general circulation model has been used to compute atmospheric torques on the oceans and solid Earth for the period 1980-1995. The time series for the various torque components have been analyzed by means of Fourier transform techniques. It was determined that the wind stress torque over land is more powerful than the wind stress torque over water by 55\\%, 42\\%, and 80\\t for the x, y, and z components respectively. This is mainly the result of power in the high frequency range. The pressure torques due to polar flattening, equatorial ellipticity, marine geoid, and continental orography were computed. The orographic or "mountain torque" components are more powerful than their wind stress counterparts (land plus ocean) by 231\\% (x), 191\\% (y), and 77\\% (z). The marine pressure torques due to geoidal undulations are much smaller than the orographic ones, as expected. They are only 3\\% (x), 4\\% (y), and 5\\% (z) of the corresponding mountain torques. The geoidal pressure torques are approximately equal in magnitude to those produced by the equatorial ellipticity of the Earth. The pressure torque due to polar flattening makes the largest contributions to the atmospheric'torque budget. It has no zonal component, only equatorial ones. Most of the power of the latter, between 68\\% and 69 %, is found in modes with periods under 15 days. The single most powerful mode has a period of 361 days. The gravitational torque ranks second in power only to the polar flattening pressure torque. Unlike the former, it does produce a zonal component, albeit much smaller (1\\ ) than the equatorial ones. The gravitational and pressure torques have opposite signs, therefore, the gravitational torque nullifies 42\\% of the total pressure torque. Zonally, however, the gravitational torque amounts to only 6\\% of the total pressure torque. The power budget for the total atmospheric torque yields 7595 and 7120 Hadleys for the equatorial components and 966 Hadleys for the

  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. On the atmospheric drag in orbit determination for low Earth orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Jingshi; Liu, Lin; Miao, Manqian

    2012-07-01

    The atmosphere model is always a major limitation for low Earth orbit (LEO) in orbit prediction and determination. The accelerometer can work around the non-gravitational perturbations in orbit determination, but it helps little to improve the atmosphere model or to predict the orbit. For certain satellites, there may be some specific software to handle the orbit problem. This solution can improve the orbit accuracy for both prediction and determination, yet it always contains empirical terms and is exclusive for certain satellites. This report introduces a simple way to handle the atmosphere drag for LEO, which does not depend on instantaneous atmosphere conditions and improves accuracy of predicted orbit. This approach, which is based on mean atmospheric density, is supported by two reasons. One is that although instantaneous atmospheric density is very complicated with time and height, the major pattern is determined by the exponential variation caused by hydrostatic equilibrium and periodic variation caused by solar radiation. The mean density can include the major variations while neglect other minor details. The other reason is that the predicted orbit is mathematically the result from integral and the really determinant factor is the mean density instead of instantaneous density for every time and spot. Using the mean atmospheric density, which is mainly determined by F10.7 solar flux and geomagnetic index, can be combined into an overall parameter B^{*} = C_{D}(S/m)ρ_{p_{0}}. The combined parameter contains several less accurate parameters and can be corrected during orbit determination. This approach has been confirmed in various LEO computations and an example is given below using Tiangong-1 spacecraft. Precise orbit determination (POD) is done using one-day GPS positioning data without any accurate a-priori knowledge on spacecraft or atmosphere conditions. Using the corrected initial state vector of the spacecraft and the parameter B^* from POD, the

  8. Dating Earth Core and Atmospheric Formation Through Hf-W and I-Pu-Xe Clocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Q.; Ozima, M.

    2003-12-01

    It was the discovery of the radioactivities and nuclear energy at the beginning of last century that settled the long lasting debate about the ages of the Earth and the Sun, between elegant physical arguments advanced by Lord Kelvin favoring short timescale vs. Charles Darwin's trouble for not having enough time for evolution of species, hence resorted to geological observation of sedimentation rate favoring longtime scale. Claire Patterson­_s landmark work on Pb isotopes (1956) establishes the age of meteorites and the Earth at 4.56 Ga, albeit with somewhat wrong half-life of U and wrong sample (one ocean sediment landing on meteorite isochron). Modeling of planetary accretion rate via statistical approach pioneered by Safranov suggested planet formation lasted over 100 Ma. This long timescale was shaken by modern computer simulation. When actual orbital characteristics of the accreting bodies were considered (aided by ever-increasing computing power), the timescale for the inner planet formation is typically around 30 Ma. Discoveries of extrasolar planets place demanding constraints for the timescale of planet formation, i.e. gaseous giant planets must form before the disk dissipation (typically less than 10 Ma). No conventional long-lived isotopic systems are likely to place constraints for the planet formation with sufficient precision and resolution (30/4567), nor do we have 4.56 Ga-old terrestrial sample to work with. Modern approach to the problem is to exploit the now-extinct radioactive isotopes that were once extent at the beginning of the solar system, and look for radiogenic signatures of its daughter isotopes affected by planet wide fractionation. In this sense, we treat the Earth as one piece of whole rock; metallic core, silicate mantle and atmosphere are its mineral constituents. Both Hf-W and I-Pu-Xe clocks are uniquely affected by large-scale processes, core-mantle segregation in the Hf-W system and atmosphere-solid Earth segregation in the I

  9. A smooth and robust Harris-Priester atmospheric density model for low Earth orbit applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatten, Noble; Russell, Ryan P.

    2017-01-01

    The modified Harris-Priester model is a computationally inexpensive method for approximating atmospheric density in the thermosphere and lower exosphere - a vital step in low Earth orbit trajectory propagation. This work introduces a revision, dubbed cubic Harris-Priester, which ensures continuous first derivatives, eliminates singularities, and adds a mechanism for introducing smooth functional dependencies on environmental conditions. These changes increase the accuracy, robustness, and utility of the model, particularly for preliminary orbit propagation, estimation, and optimization applications in which fast, reasonably accurate force models and sensitivities are desirable. Density results and computational efficiency are compared to other density models. The Fortran code used to implement the model is provided as an electronic supplement.

  10. Ammonia photolysis and the greenhouse effect in the primordial atmosphere of the earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuhn, W. R.; Atreya, S. K.

    1979-01-01

    Photochemical calculations indicate that in the prebiotic atmosphere of earth ammonia would have been irreversibly converted to N2 in less than 40 years if the ammonia surface mixing ratio were no more than 0.0001. However, if a continuous outgassing of ammonia were maintained, radiative-equilibrium calculations indicate that a surface mixing ratio of ammonia of 0.0001 or greater would provide a sufficient greenhouse effect to keep the surface temperature above freezing. With a 0.0001 mixing ratio of ammonia, 60% to 70% of the present-day solar luminosity would be adequate to maintain surface temperatures above freezing. A lower limit to the time constant for accumulation of an amount of nitrogen equivalent to the present day value is 10 my if the outgassing were such as to provide a continuous surface mixing ratio of ammonia of at least 0.00001.

  11. A New Code SORD for Simulation of Polarized Light Scattering in the Earth Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Korkin, Sergey; Lyapustin, Alexei; Sinyuk, Aliaksandr; Holben, Brent

    2016-01-01

    We report a new publicly available radiative transfer (RT) code for numerical simulation of polarized light scattering in plane-parallel atmosphere of the Earth. Using 44 benchmark tests, we prove high accuracy of the new RT code, SORD (Successive ORDers of scattering). We describe capabilities of SORD and show run time for each test on two different machines. At present, SORD is supposed to work as part of the Aerosol Robotic NETwork (AERONET) inversion algorithm. For natural integration with the AERONET software, SORD is coded in Fortran 90/95. The code is available by email request from the corresponding (first) author or from ftp://climate1.gsfc.nasa.gov/skorkin/SORD/.

  12. Excitation of earth's polar motion by atmospheric angular momentum variations, 1980-1990

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chao, Benjamin F.

    1993-01-01

    We compute the polar-motion excitation function due to the atmospheric angular momentum (AAM) for both IB (inverted-barometer) and non-IB cases, as well as the excitation function from geodetically observed Earth orientation data for the period 1980-1990. The two are then compared in studying the AAM contribution to the polar motion excitation. The polar drifts with periods longer than about two years have similar characteristics, but the comparison is inconclusive because of data uncertainties. For the seasonal wobble excitation, the agreement is poor except for the prograde annual wobble, indicating the influence of other geophysical excitations than AAM. For the Chandler wobble excitation, a correlation coefficient of 0.53 for non-IB and 0.58 for IB are found for 1986-1990. Together with a coherence spectral