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By Roger G. Barry and Richard J. Chorley

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The burning of fossil fuels is the primary source of these increasing trace gas concentrations. Heating, transportation and industrial activities generate almost 5 ϫ 1020 J/year of energy. Oil and natural gas consumption account for 60 per cent of global energy and coal about 25 per cent. Natural gas is almost 90 per cent methane (CH4), whereas the burning of coal and oil releases not only CO2 but also odd nitrogen (NOx), sulphur and carbon monoxide (CO). Other factors relating to agricultural practices (land clearance, farming, paddy cultivation and cattle raising) also contribute to modifying the atmospheric composition.

In Houghton, J. T. et al. (eds) Climate Change 1995. The Science of Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 65–131. D. (2001) Back to basics: the ozone hole. Weather 56, 222–30. Shine, K. (1990) Effects of CFC substitutes. Nature 344, 492–3. Simkin, T. and Fiske, R. S. (1983) Krakatau 1883: a centennial retrospective on the eruption and its atmospheric effects. Weatherwise 36, 244–54. Slinn, W. G. N. (1983) Air-to-sea transfer of particles. In Liss, P. S. and Slinn, W. G. N. (eds) Air–Sea Exchange of Gases and Particles, D.

With increasing height, the drop in air density causes a decline in this rate of pressure decrease. 1). The relationship between pressure and height is so significant that meteorologists often express elevations in millibars: 1000 mb represents sea-level, 500 mb about 5500 m and 300 mb about 9000 m. A conversion nomogram for an idealized (standard) atmosphere is given in Appendix 2. 2 Vapour pressure At any given temperature there is a limit to the density of water vapour in the air, with a consequent upper limit to the vapour pressure, termed the saturation vapour pressure (es).

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