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Pollution

Although they are invisible to the human eye, chemical compounds in the atmosphere influence life on Earth. Even slight variations in the concentrations of water vapor or carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, and other greenhouse gases—not to mention variations in the two main atmospheric components, oxygen and nitrogen—can have dramatic repercussions.

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Super Computing
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The Sun

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The Sun

Although the Sun nurtures life on Earth, it can create costly problems for society. Geomagnetic storms, spawned by disturbances in the vast solar corona, may scramble radio waves, disrupt navigational systems, burn up electrical transformers and exert a drag on low-orbiting satellites. Even small shifts in the radiative output of the Sun may drive global changes in climate.

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Pollution
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Climate

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The Sun

Although the Sun nurtures life on Earth, it can create costly problems for society. Geomagnetic storms, spawned by disturbances in the vast solar corona, may scramble radio waves, disrupt navigational systems, burn up electrical transformers and exert a drag on low-orbiting satellites. Even small shifts in the radiative output of the Sun may drive global changes in climate.

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A quick guide to climate science

What is climate?

Climate is weather, averaged over time—usually a minimum of 30 years. Regional climate means the average weather trends in an area. For instance, summer along Colorado’s Front Range tends to mean warm days, a high likelihood of late-afternoon thunderstorms, and cool nights. Summer in southwestern India is the monsoon season, and massive thunderstorms tend to dominate. Global climate, an average of regional climate trends, describes the Earth’s climate as a whole.

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The Sun
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Weather

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