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Earth's position in the Milky Way

Earth's position in the Milky Way08-09-2019 12:05
Third world guy
What is known about the influence on Earth's climate of its position in the galaxy beyond the formation of clouds by cosmic rays?

What could be the causes of the so-called Snowball Earth?

There are three kinds of climate change: that generated by natural factors; that generated by man; and that generated by economic interests.
08-09-2019 19:56
Into the NightProfile picture★★★★★
Third world guy wrote:
What is known about the influence on Earth's climate of its position in the galaxy beyond the formation of clouds by cosmic rays?

While a cloud can be formed by cosmic ray, they show up in tiny streaks. Cosmic rays are simply too weak of a factor in forming our clouds that we see. All it takes to form a cloud is for air containing moisture to cool beyond it's ability to retain that moisture. Since air cools as it rises, it eventually reaches a point where the moisture condenses out and a cloud forms.

This is why clouds tend to rather flat on the bottom. This tends to happen at the same altitude.

If the air is unstable (meaning it will cool faster than normal as it rises), the air rises faster and faster, condensing moisture out as it goes. At some point, it loses enough moisture that condensation stops. This is why many clouds have a 'lumpy' top, as if it were piled upon itself, what the weather service calls a cumulus cloud.

Clouds will tend to form along weather fronts, since warm and cold air don't mix well, and air is being forced to cool by the passing front. They take two basic forms: the cold front and the warm front.

A cold front means colder and denser air is plowing into warmer (and that containing more moisture) air. The warm air is thrown aloft suddenly, and it drops the moisture it contains out as it rises. Such fronts typically contain a line of cumulus and cumulo-nimbus (rain) clouds. This rain can be intense, and may include hail, sometimes damaging. If moving fast enough, this kind of front may cause tornado activity.

A warm front is much more docile, and is typical of what you see around west coast marine areas, especially around Seattle and Portland. In this front, warm moist air is advancing into colder and drier air. Being less dense, it climbs top, which cools it. Clouds form from top to bottom, forming a flat sheet of cloud with little 'piling up' at the top. The air is stable (or even a temperature inversion may form), so there is little vertical activity in the air. These sheets may form in layers. If they get thick enough, they will cause rain, but it comes as a light rain or drizzle. These fronts are typically slow moving and such weather may last for several days.

A stationary front is simply one that is not moving much. Weather may form at the boundary, but it won't be violent.

An occluded front is where one front overtakes another. You get BOTH effects, one after the other. Typically, you get the effects of a warm front followed shortly by the effects of a cold front.

Clouds may form between fronts as well of course, anywhere where the air is rising and where it contains moisture. The windward sides of mountain ranges, for example, where air is forced up as it crosses the mountains.

Hurricanes contain many fronts embedded in a single storm. They form the same way as any storm It is essentially a meta-storm, containing many individual storms. Warm water and cold air aloft create an unstable air mass, and the tropical storm is born. As long as there is warm water and very cold air aloft, the storm builds more and more and becomes the hurricane (or cyclone, if you are talking about the Pacific).

Any storm is heat made visible. It is the warm surface of the Earth (or ocean) heating the upper atmosphere by convection. This is why these are called 'convective activity' by the weather service.

All this easily overpowers any effect of cloud formation by cosmic rays.

The best place to see clouds formed by cosmic rays in your local science museum, which might contain a Wilson cloud machine. This display is often put near displays about nuclear radiation.
Third world guy wrote:
What could be the causes of the so-called Snowball Earth?

Was there ever a snowball Earth?

There are indications that glaciers covered much more land the we see today. We really don't know by how much or when it happened or how long it they remained, but there is conjecture about a periodic ice age that takes place on Earth every couple of hundred thousand years or so. This conjecture is the result of analyzing ice cores in Antarctica and Greenland and assuming they indicate a temperature of some kind. This is not science, it is pure conjecture.

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Edited on 08-09-2019 19:57
08-09-2019 20:32
HarveyH55Profile picture★★★★★
I do believe there was an ice age or two, but mostly the result of some random event, like a huge hunk of space rock slamming into the planet. I really don't understand ice core samples. I understand the hopes and dreams, that them hold some meaning. But it should be pretty obvious to most, that ice melts every year. Sometimes, like this year, it melts more than was deposited the past year, and then some. There is really know way of knowing how many years got melted away, only what was left behind. The accumulation each year, isn't just a single event for the year. Image there have been little to no accumulation, to add to the ice core records.

Funny thing about ice cores, I remember a movie we were shown (actual film, don't think VCRs were a thing yet). Movies were a treat, since we didn't actually have to pay attention, and we weren't actually doing school work, as usual. Anyway, they were pulling ice cores, to look for biological remains, plants and animals. But then again, this was before the Ozone Ice Age scare, and long before Global Warming. It would be interesting to dig up that movie, or something more about it. Likely no longer exists, wasn't that significant to take up shelf space, not to mention, I guess the research failed to find what they were looking for. Maybe, they just figure a new use for all that ice the hauled back from the Arctic. I would have voted keg party and move on, over global warming and scam more funding...

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