Articles on Atmospheric science

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ESA’s Swarm constellation reveals new rapid changes of our magnetic field, tied directly to the heart of our planet’s molten iron core. ESA/ATG Medialab

Earth’s magnetic heartbeat, a thinner past and new alien worlds

Space research never stops and it seems neither do the surprises. On ABC Breakfast News I covered some huge results from the last few weeks. Be still my beating (magnetic) heart Earth’s magnetic field…
New Horizons continues to help unravel the icy dwarf planet’s secrets. NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Picture of Pluto further refined by months of New Horizons data

After last summer's Pluto flyby, the New Horizons spacecraft started sending data back to Earth – at 2 kilobits per second. Here's some of what scientists have learned so far from that rich, slow cache.
For the first time, the February monthly average carbon dioxide levels at the Mauna Loa Observatory have passed 400ppm. NOAA/Wikimedia Commons

February carbon dioxide levels average 400ppm for first time

We have hit a new milestone in carbon dioxide levels: the average for February topped 400ppm. It's the first time this has happened in the northern winter, when levels are typically lower than in summer.
Why does the atmosphere over Tasmania record lower levels of CO2 than that over Hawaii? Ula Majewski

How is atmospheric CO2 measured in the Southern Hemisphere?

Last week the greenhouse gas monitoring site at Mauna Loa in Hawaii recorded daily levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide that approached the 400 parts per million molar (ppm) benchmark. Annual mean Southern…
The extreme rate at which greenhouse gases and temperatures are rising is leading to extensive fires. AAP Image/Kim Foale

As carbon dioxide hits a new high, there’s still no Planet B

On May 9, 2013, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the US recorded CO2 levels in the atmosphere at of 400 parts per million. This signifies a return to the atmospheric conditions similar…
Measurements in the skies over Hawaii show we’ve reached a carbon dioxide milestone, but geo-engineering won’t get us off the hook. J.S. Nawati

Carbon dioxide hits a new high, but geo-engineering won’t help

This week, carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere finally crossed the 400 parts-per-million mark. The last time that happened was 3-5 million years ago during the Pliocene epoch, several million…
People affected by floods move to higher grounds in Khoski, Sindh province, Pakistan, 17 September 2011. AAP

Weather extremes: atmospheric waves and climate change

The northern hemisphere has experienced a spate of extreme weather in recent times. In 2012 there were destructive heat waves in the US and southern Europe, accompanied by floods in China. This followed…

Study reveals warming’s sooty side

Black carbon is nearly three times more important in climate change than previously thought, research led by the University…
Understanding Venus’ atmosphere helps us understand Earth’s past, present, and a potential future. Keith Mosley

What Venus has taught us about protecting the ozone layer

SAVING THE OZONE: Part six in our series exploring the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer – dubbed “the world’s most successful environmental agreement” – looks at the atmosphere…
It’s not just greenhouse gases that affect climate: other air pollution could be changing atmospheric circulation. NASA Goddard Photo and Video

Poleward-shifting climate zones - where are they headed and why?

The Earth’s principal climatic zones appear to be shifting poleward. If this continues, as climate models project, the weather patterns that give rise to deserts in the subtropics, and stormy wet weather…

Why has the ozone hole spread to the Arctic?

An international team of scientists has unravelled how the first ozone hole over the Arctic formed last spring. A comprehensive…

Soil nitrite cleanses the air

Researchers have discovered that soil nitrite is released into the air in the form of nitrous acid (HONO). The atmosphere…
Methane, emitted in large amounts by wetlands and rice paddies, is being released into the atmosphere at a declining rate but the reason for this remains unclear. Flickr/Kansas Poetry

The case of the disappearing methane

Methane has been floating into the atmosphere at a slower rate over the last three decades but two new papers published in…

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