Part 3 of Semi-liquid atmosphere questions:

  1. Weathery Patterns, Climates, etc. This is where I get a little more into guess-work. My fluid dynamics is not that great. But here's my best guess:

    • Pressure systems and thermals would form into layered currents and streams more than cells; and as a low-pressure stream heads from water over land (for example) it would turn skyward, expanding and losing velocity and temperature, and gaining viscosity and volume (which kind of cancel each other?).

      At some point, this would effectively equalize and homogenize with surrounding air, canceling the jetstream affect and then circulating more in cells. I feel like this would effectively level out into 2 or 3 distinct layers of atmosphere density, and therefore systems of sky-flow; (...I feel funny calling it 'air'...) going from distinct air/liquid currents, to semi-liquid cells, to mostly gas on top.

      I have little clue, however, how exactly these currents and cells would form and behave. Like... if you could see it move, what would it be shaped like? Look like? Etc.

    • Depending on where the temperature gradient is, i.e. the dew point, it might have a few effects. This is where I'm most fuzzy. But what I imagine:
      • Above the liquid layer, clouds would form basically normally; but they would kind of 'spout' from where currents emerge.
      • Below the liquid layer, I would like thin lakes and ribbons of collected (as opposed to condensed) water to form. I imagine this is because at some point, the rising tube of air wouldn't be able to support the condensing water, and it would 'cap off' there and eventually collect on super-dense pockets or currents. (For convenience, I might consider the ‘default’ dew point, and therefore current ‘cap’, to be just about at the liquid/air boundary.)These lakes might striate depending on the current formation; but I'm not sure in what 'shape' they might commonly happen. I'd imagine they'd happen MUCH more often on the open ocean, over heated sections especially.
        • I imagine a desert closed off by mostly-circular mountains, where a series of 'lens' lakes above it cooks it until it gets a thin layer of glass flakes and sheets. Sort of like cap clouds, but cooler. Woot.
        • I might imagine big water-spouts/spires or big storms over the ocean kicking up a bunch of water to collect/flow, aside from evaporation.
      • I'm really confused by how precipitation would work. I feel like it would form normally, but I can't really imagine how it would fall except through down-drafts that dump it in one area. (like from a fluted tube) How sky-lakes would drain off is also confusing. I'd like not to deviate too much; like, no weather at all would be kind of lame. But at the same time, different effects would be awesome.
      • I imagine one cool effect might be a inter-liquid-layer frozen cloud formed in super-freezing temperatures; towering into plumes, and creating a low wall of gigantic ice-crystal lattices/spikes that expand down and in the wind-direction and following heavy streams; occasionally breaking off and rolling back upward into the cloud or falling apart into crystal showers.
        • Another, more dangerous and scary effect would be if these legs actually touch ground, following a current. In real-world subarctic waters, sometimes a similar effect can be seen where a briny (and therefore lower freeze-point, higher density) flow will create a 'brinicle', that instantly freezes the water around it, as well as anything it touches; creating a frozen graveyard pathway in shallow waters.
      • In super-cooled but still air, I can see a sharp impact instantly freezing an area, similar to how a very cold soda will act?? And further, since it's technically flammable, would the air-solid be mostly stable or would it be susceptible to flash-explosions (or just kind or instantly 'vaporize’)? Would you get flash-freezing from rapid expansion? (Like liquid nitro or propane.) Mostly conjecture here. No idea.
    • Lightning! This is one of my favorite things. Something I am hoping would happen, assuming the sky can (a) accumulate a large enough electrical charge through friction, and (b) insulates enough to create a decent enough plasma pathway to relieve itself.

      Assuming so, then I can see it being (c) more curvy or following currents, and (d) creating more of a (destructive!) pressure shock-wave due to cavitation, as opposed to just a sound wave. If it did follow a current, I imagine it'd follow this pattern: (1) Lightning follows a convenient path or current, creating a typical plasma stream. (2) A cavitation shockwave bursts outward, shattering anything in the near vicinity; insert spectacular effects here if in an ice-crystal cloud; also insert potential 'atmospheric tsunami'? (3) A pressure collapse punches downstream, further obliterating everything in its path, and creating a second sound-wave. (4) Thunder. (5) The current may form a completely new path, considering it was obliterated along its whole length. Also, I imagine it might like salty currents more, and thus combined with a brinicle described earlier... Freezy giant finger of death > Shattering, rupturing, slicing destruction in all directions > Deadly downward column of heavy ‘wind’. Also, shipping/weather-maps are messed up now.

    • Whirlpools and Cyclones - these are kind of confusing to me. I imagine it might be more like a whirlpool than a cyclone? Or you might have an amalgam of both? Layering? (Eye-Whirlpool-Cyclone) Hard to say. Also, firespouts and dust devils. What’s the difference? Do they go up or down? Both?
    • Prevailing sea gyres/deep currents, ocean waves, even tsunamis, etc. would behave similarly, I'd think. But maybe there'd be similar atmospheric effects.
    • Tides would vastly affect weather, enough to create lunar 'seasons' and maybe even completely different flow-maps. I'd think sort of like bunching the sky layers upward; increasing weather and maybe also sky-lake chances. I might fiddle with the lunar periods for an interesting seasonal calendar.
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    $\begingroup$ What is the question you're asking here? $\endgroup$ – timothymh Oct 27 '15 at 6:35
  • $\begingroup$ See the link at top. For the base question. I know it's a lot, but I'm basically asking (a) if my theory would work, to get a very transparent, semi-liquid gas for an atmosphere, for the result I want; and (b) if the various implications are correct, or if there might be other effects. If that makes sense? $\endgroup$ – spicklesandwich Oct 27 '15 at 18:45
  • $\begingroup$ You need to narrow down your question, there are more than a dozen there. $\endgroup$ – John Aug 23 '18 at 19:07
  • $\begingroup$ This sounds like some kind of cold version of hell. $\endgroup$ – Clay Deitas Aug 23 '18 at 20:04
  • $\begingroup$ This feels an interesting and fun question, but needs an synopsizing edit to become a question, rather than just an incitement to ruminate on the general effects of a soupier atmosphere. Something like "How would a more viscous (semi-liquid) atmosphere affect weather and climate systems?" - though without clarification on what "semi-liquid" means, the answer's probably gonna be "look at the ocean's circulation patterns". Voting to close pending edits for focus and clarification. $\endgroup$ – Dewi Morgan Aug 23 '18 at 22:20

It appears your liquid atmosphere is possible and even has been discovered: http://www.space.com/23028-super-earth-water-atmosphere-alien-planet.html

So yes it's possible, but then you have other questions to consider, such as the size and temperature of the star your planet orbits, the size and type of planet you have (rock or gaseous),and what type(s) of liquid your atmosphere is made up of. I'm wondering if a petroleum layer or something could work and help you get striations of different layers. Perhaps the difference in weights of the liquids cause interesting swirls or weather when they meet.

I found many other articles about liquid and plasma atmospheres through a generic search. What a cool idea.

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  • $\begingroup$ the planet described in the article is nothing like the authors planet, it is not a intermingled liquid/gas atmosphere it is a diffuse plasma over a liquid. $\endgroup$ – John Aug 23 '18 at 19:05

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