The atmosphere is described as thin layer of vapor that borders the earth. The gaseous envelop that constitutes the atmosphere is comprised of three distinct layers. The troposphere is the layer closest to the earth’s surface and extends upwards for approximately 10 kilometers. The second layer is the stratosphere which extends from 10 to 60 km from the troposphere. Within the atmosphere the temperatures reduce up to the tropopause where the temperature begins increasing. The stratosphere is characterized with limited weather changes, as air moves mostly horizontally and the winds are almost steady. The steady winds in the troposphere enable the smooth flight of aircrafts (Teachertech.rice.edu). At the lower levels of the stratosphere, the temperatures are relatively cold. However, the temperatures begin rising at the higher levels of the stratosphere. This layer is followed by the ozonosphere.
In the ozonosphere, the ultra violet radiation to the earth’s surface is absorbed. This leads to an increase in temperature within the ozonosphere. This layer is followed by the mesosphere which goes from 60 – 100 km from the earth’s surface. The temperatures in this layer reduce steadily until the mesosphere is reached. This is the highest layer and begins beyond 100 km from the earth’s surface. The mesosphere is also called the ionosphere and is where oxygen and nitrogen are ionized. In addition to this, solar energy is absorbed within this layer leading to the high temperatures. The atmosphere is important to human life due to various reasons. First, the atmosphere offers both oxygen and water that is present in the oceans and other forms of natural life. In addition to this, the atmosphere also traps radiation from the sun hence preventing harm to humans (Scienceterrific.com 2).
Scienceterrific.com. “What Does the Atmosphere Do?” n.d. Web. 3 Jun 2013. <http://www.scienceterrific.com/atmosphere_function.php>.
Teachertech.rice.edu. “The Structure of the Atmosphere.” 2000. Web. 3 Jun 2013. <http://teachertech.rice.edu/Participants/louviere/struct.html>.
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