Four Layers Of The Atmosphere, Their Functions, Purposes And Features

Our planet is covered by the atmosphere. It’s our barrier to space. It keeps us safe from radiation and ensures that there is enough oxygen to sustain life. The real question is how? Our atmosphere consists of four layers. Each layer is unique in its function and character.

The troposphere is our living layer and contains the most water vapour. All precipitation and clouds are made up of water vapor. Water vapor absorbs heat that is emitted from the earth. This is where most of the weather happens. Unequal heating of Earth causes weather. The Earth moves relative to the sun and creates winds. This heat is transported from the tropics towards the poles to try to maintain a balance of energy. These phenomena are known as weather. This layer has the highest air pressure and temperatures. Temperatures start to get colder, but then become warmer as they approach the top. The thicknesses of the troposphere vary with season and latitude. It is the most important layer, as we all live within it. You will reach the stratosphere by moving past the “tropopause” barrier. The temperature at this point is stable to about 20 kilometers high. It then slowly rises until it reaches a stratopause. This is because of the high levels of ozone in this area. The sun’s ultraviolet radiation is actively absorbed by ozone. The stratosphere is heated as a result. Earth wouldn’t be habitable if the ozone didn’t absorb these harmful radiations. Because jets can fly in this layer, they are able to avoid weather and have better fuel economy.

The mesosphere is reached after crossing the “stratopause” barrier. This layer is not often visited by humans. The mesosphere is the layer where meteors are able to withstand enough heat and temperature drops with altitude.

The thermosphere is below the last barrier known as “mesopause”. This layer is the most top-most in the atmosphere. It is extremely hot and has almost no air pressure. It only contains a small fraction of the atmospheric mass. Temperatures rise because of nitrogen and oxygen, which absorb high-energy, short-wave solar radiation. This is also where auroras are found.

Our atmosphere is also made up of air. Air is made up of a variety of gases. It is mainly composed of oxygen (21%) and nitrogen (78%). Argon is next at 0.93% with carbon dioxide at 0.039%. Variable components are also present in air. These components include water vapor and dust particles, as well as ozone. These components have an impact on climate and weather. Water vapor levels can vary from 0 to 4%. It is a small amount, but it accounts almost for all of the weather on Earth.

I have learned much about the composition of our atmosphere. Each layer has its own role and is crucial in keeping our planet habitable. Our atmosphere is unique on any other planet in our solar system.


  • paulwallace

    Paul Wallace is a 44-year-old anthropology professor and blogger. He has been writing about anthropology and other topics for over a decade. He has also taught anthropology at the college level for over a decade.

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