Layers In Atmosphere

Editorials News | Oct-30-2023

Layers In Atmosphere

Earth’s atmosphere is a complicated and intricate system that contributes greatly towards sustaining life in the form humans know. The air is not uniform but rather it comprises different strata each having distinctive characteristics associated with it. These layers are a prerequisite in understanding different atmospheric phenomena, climate, and Earth’s ability to support life. This paper is going to look at the many layers that make up the Earth’s atmosphere, and its main features.

The troposphere is the lower and most common layer of the atmosphere, which starts from the earth level up in the height between approximately eight to fifteen kilometers and it differs depending on the place and its time. It is this layer that houses most of the clouds and makes us witness day-to-day variations of our weather. The troposphere is the layer of the atmosphere closest to the earth’s surface and temperature normally reduces as one moves upwards since it decreases with altitude.

The stratosphere begins from the tropopause and extends upwards for about 50 kilometers above the troposphere. The stratospheric feature is defined by the Ozone layers; the ozone layer contains many ozone molecules that absorb most of the UV radiations coming from the sunlight. When moving towards the stratosphere, temperatures increase because of the ozone absorbing the UV rays.

The mesosphere lies beyond the stratosphere starting at approximately 50 kilometers from the earth’s surface and going down to about 85 kilometers. Meteors usually burn when they enter the atmosphere which is known as the mesosphere having extremely cold temperatures. Ozone is another component that makes up this thin layer. The layers rise as they progress towards the north pole, leading to a fall in temperature as one climbs higher into the mesosphere.

The thermosphere is the layer between about 85 km and 600 km above the earth’s surface. In contrast to the layers below them, the temperatures in the thermosphere are unusually high because of solar radiation absorption. Nonetheless, these high temperatures may not be so obvious as this layer of the atmosphere is extremely thin with very less gaseous contents. It is in this layer that many satellites as well as the International Space Station are located circling the Earth.

The exosphere is the outermost envelope or zone of the Earth’s atmosphere covering the upper region of the thermosphere up to space. This is a particularly thin membrane that goes right into the vacuum of space. The exosphere comprises several gases like hydrogen and helium, and this is the point at which most artificial satellites orbit Earth.

The atmosphere of Earth forms a multi-layer shield that is essential for the sustenance of life on planet Earth. The atmosphere is divided into several layers (including the troposphere where weather happens to the thermosphere where satellites and the International Space Station reside). One must know these layers because they are crucial to understanding how complex our environment is and also provide insight into finding solutions for these environmental and climate issues. It reminds us that our earth’s climate is an intricate web that requires careful watching.

By : Parth Yadav
Anand School of Excellence

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