Atmospheric science


Atmospheric science is the study of the dynamics and chemistry of the layers of gas that surround the Earth, other planets and moons. This encompasses the interactions between various parts of the atmosphere as well as interactions with the oceans and freshwater systems, the biosphere and human activities.


Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Collisions of dust particles with a planet’s atmosphere lead to the accumulation of metallic atoms at high altitudes. MAVEN spacecraft observations reveal a persistent—but temporally variable—metal layer of Mg+ ions in the Martian atmosphere.

    • M. M. J. Crismani
    • , N. M. Schneider
    • , J. M. C. Plane
    • , J. S. Evans
    • , S. K. Jain
    • , M. S. Chaffin
    • , J. D. Carrillo-Sanchez
    • , J. I. Deighan
    • , R. V. Yelle
    • , A. I. F. Stewart
    • , W. McClintock
    • , J. Clarke
    • , G. M. Holsclaw
    • , A. Stiepen
    • , F. Montmessin
    •  & B. M. Jakosky
  • Research |

    Brown carbon absorbs light, but its climate impacts in the upper troposphere are not well known. A series of aircraft observations in the US reveals that convection lofts brown carbon to high altitudes, causing greater warming than at lower altitudes.

    • Yuzhong Zhang
    • , Haviland Forrister
    • , Jiumeng Liu
    • , Jack Dibb
    • , Bruce Anderson
    • , Joshua P. Schwarz
    • , Anne E. Perring
    • , Jose L. Jimenez
    • , Pedro Campuzano-Jost
    • , Yuhang Wang
    • , Athanasios Nenes
    •  & Rodney J. Weber
  • Research | | open

    The composition of the early Earth’s atmosphere remains unclear. Here, the authors using fluid inclusions trapped within quartz crystals show that at 3.3 Ga the atmosphere had a lower 129Xe excess than today, and suggest that comets may have brought xenon to the Earth’s atmosphere during terrestrial accretion.

    • Guillaume Avice
    • , Bernard Marty
    •  & Ray Burgess
  • Research | | open

    Fully quantifying the influence of vegetation on atmospheric chemistry remains challenging. Here, the authors show that forest canopy shading and turbulence significantly modify air pollution throughout the atmospheric boundary layer, and must be taken into account in models of the atmosphere.

    • P. A. Makar
    • , R. M. Staebler
    • , A. Akingunola
    • , J. Zhang
    • , C. McLinden
    • , S. K. Kharol
    • , B. Pabla
    • , P. Cheung
    •  & Q. Zheng
  • Research | | open

    Understanding ice nucleation is important for the development of accurate cloud models. Here Bi et al. show that sharp wedges can enhance ice nucleation both when the wedge geometry matches the ice lattice and when such matching is absent, in which case nucleation is promoted by topological defects.

    • Yuanfei Bi
    • , Boxiao Cao
    •  & Tianshu Li

News and Comment