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The Air Up There

(Source)Before we wander down the yellow brick road of atmospheric chemistry, let's talk about the basics of the earth's atmosphere. The mass of earth's atmosphere is approximately 5.27 × 1018 k...

More About Aerosols

Desert Dust Bunnies? Aerosols from desert dust have an impact on climate. These large particles, comprised of minerals, are blown up so high in the atmosphere through intense dust storms that the...

Biogeochemical Cycles

Biogeochemical Cycles: A Chemical Merry Go Around Biogeochemical cycles describe how different species cycle through all the different spheres on Earth: the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the biosphe...

More About Biogeochemical Cycles

Le Cycle de Nitrogen In the short version of this section, we stuck to the basics and skipped ammonification and the more complex of the chemical reactions. If you felt short-changed, this section...

More About Ozone

Because you can never know too much about the Chapman reaction sequence: After ozone is split into two free oxygen atoms, one of these free oxygen atoms reacts with O2, forming ozone. Before this...

More About Tropospheric Ozone

Why smog makes us cry and how PANs can be used for good, rather than evil Smog is an eye-irritant, but we didn't explain why. The reason smog makes us cry is PANs (peroyxaacetic nitric anhydrides)...

More About Rain

The pH of Rain If you're crazy for reactions, you probably should read this section on the reactions that acidify the rain. We'll start with sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide. The dissolution of b...

Greenhouse Gases

Greenhouse Gas Basics A gas molecule of any kind will only absorb radiation at a given wavelength if it can use the energy to increase its internal energy level, or to transition to a higher state...

Common Mistakes

The Air Up There To remember thelayers of the atmosphere in order, remember that the squirrel monkey took everything = troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, exosphere. Aerosols are...

Test Your Knowledge

The Air Up There 1. How many grams of carbon monoxide can be formed from the photochemical oxidation (reaction 1.0) of 175.2g of carbonyl sulfide (COS)?  2. Describe several sources of carb...
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