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Posts Tagged "atmosphere"

Guest Blog

How Much Nature Do We Have to Use?

It’s so easy to slip into debt, but so hard to dig oneself out. Just ask the typical wage earner—even business and national leaders. People who know better still wait for that next paycheck, assumed pay raise or small miracle to help them catch up. As any accountant will tell you, accumulating debt is not [...]

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Observations

12 Graphics That Contain Everything You Need to Know about Climate Change

earth-energy-heat-budget

Climate change is real, it’s here and it will be affecting the planet for a long, long time. That’s the lesson of the latest iteration of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change‘s state of climate science report, released in its entirety on January 30. Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have now touched 400 [...]

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Observations

400 PPM: Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere Reaches Prehistoric Levels

400 PPM: What’s Next for a Warming Planet Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached this level for the first time in millions of years. What does this portend? » On May 2, after nightfall shut down photosynthesis for the day in Hawaii, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere touched 400 parts-per-million there [...]

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Observations

Hurricane-Riding Microbes Make a Home at Cruising Altitude

microbe-culture

Sample a hurricane’s air from a plane high in the stratosphere and, in addition to the expected water and grit, you’ll find an abundance of microbes. Swept up from land and sea by the tropical cyclone’s power, the skyborne bacteria persist in the atmosphere for days—and some may even thrive there. A new survey of [...]

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Observations

Could a Balloon Fly in Outer Space?

Here’s the sort of crazy idea that animates our office conversation at Scientific American. It all started with my colleague Michael Moyer’s joke that a certain politician could build his moon base using a balloon: just capture the hot air and float all the way up. Ha ha, we all know that balloons don’t work [...]

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