2 The AtmosphereEarth is surrounded by a mixture of gases called the atmosphere.Nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), carbon dioxide, and other gases are all parts of this mixture.
3 Composition of the Atmosphere In addition to gases, the atmosphere contains many types of tiny, solid particles (atmospheric dust)Atmospheric dust is mainly soil, but includes salt, skin, hair, bits of clothing, pollen, bacteria and viruses, and tiny, liquid droplets called aerosols.
4 Air PressureEarth’s atmosphere is pulled toward Earth’s surface by gravity.As a result, almost the entire mass of Earth’s atmospheric gases is located within 30 km of our planet’s surface.
5 Layers of the Atmosphere The atmosphere is divided into four layers based on temperature changes that occur at different distances above the Earth’s surface.
6 Troposphere Earth’s densest layer Closest to Earth’s surface Temp. decreases as altitude increasesWhere weather occurs
7 The Stratosphere The stratosphere is the layer above the troposphere. It extends from 18 km to about 50 km.Temperatures rise as altitude increases, because ozone in the stratosphere absorbs the sun’s ultraviolet energy and warms the air.
8 Ozone Ozone is a molecule that is made up of three oxygen atoms. Almost all the ozone in the atmosphere is concentrated in the ozone layer in the stratosphere.Since ozone absorbs UV radiation, it reduces the amount of UV radiation that reached the Earth. UV radiation that reaches the earth can damage living cells.
9 The MesosphereThe layer above the stratosphere is the mesosphere, which reaches an altitude of about 80 km.It is the coldest layer of the atmosphere, with temperatures as low at -93°C.
10 The ThermosphereThe thermosphere is the layer that is located farthest away from the Earth.In the thermosphere, nitrogen and oxygen absorb solar radiation, which results in temperatures that have been measured about 2,000°C.
11 Energy in the Atmosphere Radiation is the transfer of energy across space and in the atmosphere.Conduction is the flow of heat from a warmer object to a colder object.Convection is the transfer of heat by air currents.
12 Heating of the Atmosphere Solar energy reaches the Earth as electromagnetic radiation, which includes visible light, infrared radiation and ultraviolet light.The sun releases a vast amount of radiation, but our planet only receives about two-billionths of this energy.
13 The Movement of Energy in the Atmosphere Air that is constantly moving upward, downward, or sideways causes Earth’s weather.The continual process of warm air rising and cool air sinking moves air in a circular motion, called a convection current.
14 The Greenhouse EffectWhen the earth's atmosphere traps solar radiation, caused by gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane.These gases allow incoming sunlight to pass through but absorbed heat cannot re-radiate back into the atmosphere.