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Questions tagged [atmospheric-chemistry]

Chemical reactions that occur in the atmosphere of Earth and other planets. Relevant reactions include both those that take place only in the gas-phase, in the solid or liquid phases of aerosols or any reactions between the phases as well as the thermodynamics of the phase changes that take place in the atmosphere.

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CO2 IR extinction coefficients near the 15 micrometer band

I have searched multiple times for a spectrum or a table of the gaseous carbon dioxide Lambert-Beer extinction coefficients in the IR Earth thermal region. All I found was absorption spectra. Is ...
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1answer
43 views

Redox and acid-base reactions in planetary atmospheres

I'm a chemistry layperson looking for chemistry expertise regarding atmosphere composition. Earth's atmosphere is oxidizing, but it was somewhat reducing in the distant past before photosynthetic ...
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1answer
162 views

Why is carbon monoxide not a greenhouse gas?

Carbon monoxide is considered to be a toxic gas and, given that it is usually found along with $\ce{CO2}$, why it is not considered a greenhouse gas?
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Is the hydrogenation of carbon dioxide to methane a solution or a problem?

The hydrogenation of $\ce{CO2}$ to $\ce{CH4}$ is thermodynamically a favored reaction at ambient to moderately high temperatures. $$\ce{CO2 + 4H2 <=> CH4 + 2H2O (g)}\qquad G^\circ_{\pu{298K}...
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Does a live electrical wire change the surrounding atmospheric chemistry? [closed]

Background: I'm world building an Earth-like world for a writing project. One of the goals of this project is to talk about changes in atmospheric chemistry across multiple scales ('nano'-scale ...
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2answers
551 views

Calculate ozone layer thickness at a given temperature and pressure [closed]

The ozone concentration in the upper atmosphere averages $\pu{3.0 \times 10^13 molecules per cm3}$ in a region between $15$ and $\pu{35 km}$ high, at an average pressure of $\pu{0.001 atm}$ and ...
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How to convert the factors of radiative forcing of methane compared to carbon dioxide from ratio by weight to ratio by molecule?

The intergovernmental panel on climate change's fifth assessment report (IPCC AR 5) lists the radiative forcing (RF) of methane in chapter 8 as being $28\times$ and $84\times$ as potent as $\ce{CO2}$ ...
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1answer
656 views

Determining the rate of stratospheric ozone destruction

I am a sophomore. A friend and I ran across a kinetic chemistry exercise. We solved it in a slightly different way and we can't come to an agreement on who is right. We would appreciate some help: ...
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1answer
83 views

Ozone-Air Paradox [duplicate]

One day, I decided to calculate the density of air, so I searched for the individual densities of the 3 main elements that forms breathable air. I found the following data, at $\pu{0^\circ C}$ and $\...
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3answers
4k views

What properties of carbon dioxide make it a greenhouse gas?

Why is it that heat from the Earth reflects back off carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases but not gases like nitrogen or oxygen?
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260 views

Can't we reduce climate change by converting CO2 & CH4?

Straight off I want to say, I never took chemistry classes, so my understanding is very limited. My question is considering the equations below, why is it so hard to reduce greenhouse gases? Is it ...
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1answer
211 views

Why does NO have a residence time of 4 days?

If $\ce{NO}$ is unstable, why does it have an atmospheric lifetime of 4 days? I know that it has a lone pair and one unpaired electron making it highly reactive. Therefore, shouldn't it react ...
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69 views

Where does the energy of solar radiation hitting the atmosphere go?

I was reading about solar radiation, and there was a part that says that the atmosphere absorbs most of the radiation emitted by the sun. I wonder if when the atmosphere absorbs the energy, where does ...
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395 views

Why does nitrous oxide have 300 times the global warming potential of CO2?

Both nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide have roughly the same atmospheric lifetime (nitrous oxide slightly longer), so I thought that it would have to do with the infrared absorbance associated with ...
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(Why) is it difficult to liquidize the polluting exhaust of a vehicle? [closed]

Considering the hazardous effects of car and other vehicle exhaust when released into the atmosphere, I began wondering why we are not dominantly preventing the exhaust from entering into the ...
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1answer
234 views

What can I use as a fuel for an engine with carbon dioxide as the oxidizer?

On Mars carbon dioxide is abundant. It is plausible to utilize a fuel in an engine that can use carbon dioxide as an oxidizer? I know this is a strange inquiry, but could a engine be made to use $\ce{...
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1answer
67 views

Equating emissions to mass loading

I want to estimate aerosol mass loading by dividing emissions of the particular aerosol by the associated area. Assuming the air had no other particles in it to begin with - is this procedurally ...
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1answer
179 views

What is the variation of atmospheric pressure at large heights?

In an approximation (though not a very accurate one), temperature can be assumed constant throughout the atmosphere. The Earth's gravitational field can also be assumed constant (a better assumption). ...
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1answer
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How do I select a sub-freezing temperature for my experiment that will allow the formation of frost, but not supercooled liquid water (rime)

I once conducted a set of experiments in which I had to form ice by direct vapor deposition (not condensation of liquid water followed by freezing, aka riming) onto a Peltier-cooled glass-coated ...
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What happens to a radioactive carbon dioxide molecule when its carbon-14 atom decays?

When carbon-14 decays, the decay products are nitrogen-14 and an electron (and an electron antineutrino, but that's chemically irrelevant*): $$\ce{^14_6C -> ^14_7N + e- + \overline{v_e}}$$ Let's ...
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4answers
108 views

Why is atmospheric composition compared by volume?

The composition of the Earth's atmosphere by its constituent gases (nitrogen, oxygen, argon...), is often given by percent volume. (See this Wikipedia page, for example). Why are these compositions ...
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1answer
31 views

how to modify a transport device with an internal combustion engine with different atmospheres [closed]

How to modify a transport device with an internal combustion engine with: the methane-nitrogen atmosphere carbon dioxide atmosphere the atmosphere of argon and chlorine. Which substances will ...
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1answer
295 views

How to calculate atmospheric composition

Okay, so I'm a novice in chemistry and am trying to figure something out. Say that you want to turn carbon dioxide into oxygen using photosynthesis, given an infinite supply of water. Say that the ...
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1answer
168 views

Aurora borealis - less favored energy transitions higher in atmosphere?

This question describes how some energy transitions become more prominent as you higher in the atmosphere. Short summary: Some electron transitions are "forbidden" by quantum mechanical selection ...
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1answer
133 views

Anion-cation balance in particle phase

I'm now analysising the water-soluble ions in atmopsheric aerosol. With ultrasonic concussion and filtering impurity, the anion and cation from the particle sample are examined in Ion Chromatography ...
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1answer
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Does water freely absorb atmospheric CO2?

So, there has been a fairly groundbreaking new invention that can convert CO2 dissolved in water to Ethanol1. At face value, it's cheap, easy, and relatively energy-lightweight. All it requires is the ...
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Why don't heavy and light gases separate in the atmosphere?

Everyone must have heard that balloons are filled with helium, and the fact associated with it that helium gas is light and light gases always go upward. There comes a question to mind: if the molar ...
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3answers
643 views

Effects of atmospheric gases on colour of aurora

Recently I moved to the north of Norway, so I've seen quite a few auroras. Because the colour is mainly green, I was sure this must be due to electron transitions in $\ce{N2}$ (because the atmosphere ...
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1answer
68 views

How will metallic lithium react with atomic oxygen?

Very high in Earth's atmosphere, there's a lot more atomic oxygen than anything else. Although I'm sure the energies involved in keeping oxygen in this state are an important variable, I'm interested (...
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1answer
92 views

Is mg/m^3 same as ppmw (CO2)?

I'm trying to convert $\ce{CO2}$ ppm (volume) in the air into ppm (weight) in the water. I found this formula $\mathrm{mg \ m^{-3}}$ = (ppmv)(MW) / [($0.08205$) (¦$\mathrm{K}$)] where, ppmv = ...
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1answer
261 views

Relative atmospheric lifetimes of carbon monoxide and methane

In atmospheric chemistry, the lifetime of most substances is dictated by their reactions with the hydroxyl ($\ce{OH}$) radical. The rates of these reactions are listed by NIST as about $\mathrm{1.5e^{-...
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1answer
52 views

What are common procedures for lab absorption spectroscopy of gases?

I'm doing research for applications of absorption spectroscopy. I'm trying to find common practices such as how the gasses are mixed, measured, contained, and discarded. The gases involved will be ...
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1answer
92 views

How may the water from rain be tested to determine it is natural, or from cloud seeding?

This article lists several mechanisms that may be used to control the weather and/or induce rainfall. Apparently many states, other than the one listed in the headline, have experimented with such ...
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1answer
72 views

Why might PM2.5 concentration increase or stay the same when SO2 is reduced?

The question is in the title. I've made some research, but in every paper I found the correlation between $\ce{SO2}$ and $\mathrm{PM_{2.5}}$ is described as positive. Thus if $\ce{SO2}$ is reduced, $\...
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How to analysis the amount of reactive oxygen atom in specific molecules

From a Phd dissertation here, I read about the material follows: "Odd oxygen is a measure of oxidative capacity of the atmosphere. It contains species with an oxygen atom avaliable to serve as ...
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1answer
133 views

Value of mixing ratio and rate constant in Chapman mechanisn

In the Chapman mechanism (which tells about the activities of ozone in the stratosphere), there is a equation for the lifetime ($\tau_{\ce{O}}$) of an oxygen atom, $\ce{O}$ against conversion to ozone,...
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1answer
326 views

The chlorofluorocarbon reaction in the lab?

The putative reason for banning Freon and its class of chemical (chlorofluorocarbons) is that they will rise to the top of the atmosphere, to the ozone layer and "catalyze" the reduction of ozone to ...
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Does all organic matter originate from organisms?

The organic matter in the atmosphere, in the ocean, and on the land is very diverse. Does all of this organic matter originate from organisms?
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1answer
81 views

How to calculate the abundances of certain gases from the peak areas, GC-MS

In an experiment we had a series of air samples which were analysed through GC-MS, before using TargetLynx software to integrate the mass spectrum obtained. So I now have the specific peak areas for ...
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2answers
117 views

Why NOx will break the ozone sphere

I've found that a reason for people to oppose supersonic aeroplanes was the $\ce{NO_{$x$}}$ gases it released would do harm to the ozone layer. So what is the mechanism of this?
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1answer
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What's the relationship between chemical polarity and vapor pressure?

A question which confuses me now. Chemical polarity is one of microscopic properties for certain molecules. Vapor pressure is a macro thermodynamic properties for certain materials. But I often ...
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119 views

What chemicals used everyday will cause an explosive reaction if exposed into outer space? [closed]

What chemicals used everyday will cause an explosive reaction if exposed into outer space?
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Curious about the chemistry of Carbon-14 after it's produced in the atmosphere

It's often explained how $\ce{^14C}$ is formed in the upper atmosphere, a neutron hits a nitrogen atom and ejects a proton. Source. Since this is likely to happen to an $\ce{N2}$, I'm curious what ...
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1answer
602 views

Does combustion occur more easily at higher oxygen concentrations or just higher oxygen partial pressure?

I saw a trailer for The Martian and started thinking about space flight. I know that spacecraft and spacesuits often operate at low pressure with high oxygen content (near 100% $\ce{O2}$ at about 20 ...
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2answers
778 views

What causes methane to have 25 times higher global warming potential than CO2

What causes methane to have 25 times higher global warming potential than $\ce{CO2}$? I think it has to do with $\ce{CH4}$ being a less massive molecule, but I'm not sure.
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1answer
86 views

NO2 gas was detected in FTIR

We have a laser chamber full of $\ce{F2}$ gas (no air should be in the chamber) and several parts including steel, wires, ceramics, zinc.... This is for laser generation so the temperature is pretty ...
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3answers
3k views

Why don't gases escape Earth's atmosphere?

Some gases are lighter than others and rise. Why don't they continue going up, leave the atmosphere, and then enter outer space?
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The Salt Room, is there salt in the air?

I work in a restaurant where we dry age our uncut steaks in a cooler. Dry aging is a wonderfully complex process that improves the flavor of richly marbled steaks. Our particular type of aging cooler ...
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4answers
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How much CO2 could you remove from the atmosphere with 2 trillion USD?

I know it's possible to capture $\ce{CO2}$ with various chemical reactions. For example NASA's space shuttle had some kind of regenerative $\ce{CO2}$ scrubber. But how expensive is it? Could a huge ...
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POCP: How many ozone molecules can be created by one ethene molecule?

One ethane molecule can create two molecules of ozone, one ethanol molecule can create one molecule of ozone: In the following table the POCP is twice as high for ethene than for propane: From this ...