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The Atmosphere Miss Napolitano & Mrs. Rodriguez Environmental Science.

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Presentation on theme: "The Atmosphere Miss Napolitano & Mrs. Rodriguez Environmental Science."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Atmosphere Miss Napolitano & Mrs. Rodriguez Environmental Science

2 The Atmosphere Atmosphere: mixture of gases that surround a planet Includes nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, & other gases Gases can be added/removed by volcanic gases, automobiles, & living organisms Ex: photosynthesis, cell respiration

3 The Atmosphere The atmosphere insulates Earth’s surface Slows the rate at which the Earth’ surface loses heat Keeps a stable temperature

4 Composition of the Atmosphere Nitrogen: 78% Enters the atmosphere during volcanic eruptions & when plants/animals decay Oxygen: 21% Mostly produced by plants Other gases: argon, carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor Atmosphere contains many types of tiny, solid particles called atmospheric dust

5 Air Pressure Atmosphere is denser near the Earth’s surface Due to gravity Makes breathing difficult at higher altitudes

6 Layers of the Atmosphere Layers divided based on temperature changes The Troposphere The Stratosphere The Mesosphere The Thermosphere


8 The Troposphere Lowest layer of the atmosphere As altitude increases, temperature decreases Where weather conditions exist Densest atmospheric layer Extends 18 km above the surface

9 The Stratosphere Above the troposphere 10-50 km above the surface As altitude increases, temperature increases Airplane level Ozone (O 3 ) absorbs sun’s ultraviolet (UV) energy, warming the air & reducing UV to reach Earth UV can damage living cells

10 The Mesosphere Above the stratosphere Extends to an altitude of ~80 km Coldest layer

11 The Thermosphere Farthest from the Earth’s surface Nitrogen & Oxygen absorb solar radiation Temperatures >2,000 ° C Air is so thin that particles barely collide Little heat is transferred Would not feel hot to us

12 The Thermosphere (cont’d) X-rays & gamma rays absorbed by nitrogen & oxygen causes electrically charged atoms (ions) Ions radiate energy as light Causes auroras (Northern & Southern Lights) near the poles

13 The Greenhouse Effect Greenhouse Effect: warming of the Earth’s surface & lower atmosphere that occurs when gases absorb & reradiate infrared radiation Makes temperature warm enough for life



16 Greenhouse Gases Greenhouse gases: gases in the atmosphere that trap & radiate heat Most abundant: water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, & nitrous oxide None exist in high concentrations Quantities of greenhouse gases vary because of natural & industrial processes

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