Please Explain: The Atmosphere

Friday, June 19, 2009

On today's edition of Please Explain, we’ll look at the Earth’s atmosphere—what it's made of, how it makes life on the planet possible, determines weather patterns, and how human activity is changing it. We'll be joined by Dr. Joel S. Levine, Senior Research Scientist at NASA Langley Research Center, and Dr. Richard Somerville, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Research Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, and author of The Forgiving Air: Understanding Environmental Change.

You find the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change here.


Dr. Richard Somerville

Comments [8]

Jay Diedzic from Williamsburg, VA

If atmospheric molecules escape from the upper edge of the atmosphere - does Dr. Joel Levine believe we can "move" CO2 molecules within the atmsophere and eventually off into the planetary medium.

Thank you

Aug. 15 2009 04:00 PM
Voisov from Winnipeg, MB

The panel's response to
"a strong correlation between solar flares and rise in temp" was hardly convincing.
Of course, only then is it revealed that the panel has been influential in promoting the junk science supporting mankind's influence on global warming.

Leonard, how about a balanced panel or debate about mankind's influence on 'global warming'.

Jun. 22 2009 12:35 PM
PL Hayes from Aberystwyth

“Is it true that radio / TV waves escape into outer space.” --Tom Sheckler from Park Slope.

Yes - and it is the reason we haven't been contacted by the little green men yet and probably never will be: they know that their civilisations' economies would be destroyed overnight by the enormous bill they'd face for copyright infringement if they ever showed up here. ;-)

Jun. 19 2009 02:20 PM

LOL- Scared of doing damage to the Moon and Mars? Wow, a real environmental fanatic.

Jun. 19 2009 01:59 PM
Hugh from Brookyn

After 9/11 -- when air traffic was grounded across the US -- there was a noticeable change in cloud cover over the US. (Times et al reported on this back then.)

Jun. 19 2009 01:57 PM
Tom Sheckler from Park Slope

Is it true that radio / TV waves escape into outer space. I read a long time ago that The Honeymooners episodes had escaped. Is that an urban legend?

Jun. 19 2009 01:50 PM
Bill from Dix Hills, NY

Two questions:
1. There are a group of scientists that dispute the idea that the rise in temperature is due to increased CO2. Their conjecture is a strong correlation between solar flares and rise in temp. What is your opinion on this?

2. Second, wouldn't an increase in atmospheric CO2 cause an increase in plant growth and would we not expect an equilibrium to eventually counter the increase in CO2 with increase plant life capturing the carbon?

Jun. 19 2009 01:45 PM

Who are the "they" on Mars?

Jun. 19 2009 01:29 PM

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