Earth’s Atmosphere and Rain Cycle

Appendix B- Earth’s atmosphere and rain cycle (a work in progress)

Due to the many factors involved, Earth’s atmosphere and rain cycle are complicated topics. Valid considerations include atmospheric pressure, the temperature at Earth’s surface, heat emanating from Earth’s mantle, solar intensity, interactions of global wind currents, the location of landmasses, and multiple properties of water at water’s three states. Global warming debates illustrate the rain cycle’s complexity.

Given the context of this book’s main body, an appendix on Earth’s atmosphere may seem off topic. Any conversation about global warming issues may seem even further astray. My attitude toward the global warming debate had been unconcerned indifference, but the topic exists in the middle of any atmospheric research; it continually returns front and center either providing answers or more often in the way of answers.

The search had been for data on a clearing atmosphere and an eventual modern rain cycle. For instance, Venus is hot and has perpetually clouded skies yet has no chemical rain cycle and why? When did hot but cooling Earth’s sky eventually clear? In addition, potential causes for a global deluge of rain could satisfy questions about the global flood remembered in all civilizations- Noah’s flood (Noah’s Ark).

Clearly, sunlight now controls Earth’s surface temperature but until Earth’s mantle had cooled, mantle heat controlled Earth’s surface temperature; a condition that would most certainly have completely clouded Earth’s skies; just as is the case with the planet Venus. At some time in Earth’s history, control of surface temperature made the transition to solar heat. Knowing when the transition occurred is telling about changes in atmospheric and surface conditions. As the transition occurred, Earth had its first clear skies and potentially its first rain cycle.

What causes rain? In modern conditions of fixed global pressure, sunlight is the predominate cause of rain showers. Warmed by sunlight at Earth’s surface, humid air rises up amongst adjacent cool air to the lower-pressure and cool altitudes where it forms dew- at its dew point. The dew collects into clouds. The clouds reach a saturation level and precipitate the water back out as rain. It takes sunshine at Earth’s surface and a suitable atmospheric pressure for a rain cycle. It takes a pressure drop to cause an extended global deluge.  It would take a pressure drop to cause Noah’s flood.

It was hoped that an accurate history of Earth’s surface temperature could be had- a history from ancient to modern. In addition to a surface temperature history, an accurate assessment of ancient atmospheric pressure trends, if available, would answer many questions about Earth’s evolution. Having either one may yield up the other. However, existing plots of ancient to modern temperature are mostly unfounded and atmospheric pressure plots, good or bad, seem nonexistent.

Earth is a planet immersed in refrigerant and as such, surface temperature and atmospheric pressure are inseparably linked. It seems that those who participate in the global warming debate, both pro and con, do not bother with the critical relationship between Earth’s temperature and atmospheric pressure but instead the conversations are about gas percentages. Gas percentages, those percentages of gases that at current conditions on Earth are non-condensable, are irrelevant. What is the global warming debate about?

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