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Atmosphere – Layers

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Atmosphere – Layers

shape Introduction

The earth is a gaseous envelope of a celestial body and is the whole mass of air surrounding on the earth. The article Atmosphere – Layers presents the important points related to the Atmospehere Layers with brief introduction.

shape Introduction

Atmosphere – Layers – Key Points:

  • The envelope of air that completely surrounds the earth is known as atmosphere.

  • The atmosphere extends to about 1000 km from the surface of the earth.

  • But 99% of the total mass of the atmosphere is found within 32 km.

  • This is because the atmosphere is held by the gravitational pull of the earth.


Composition of the Atmosphere:

  • Nitrogen – 78%

  • Oxygen – 21%

  • Argon -0.93%

  • Carbondioxide – 0.03%

  • Neon – 0.0018%

  • Helium – 0.0005%

  • Ozone – 0.0006%

  • Hydrogen – 0.00005%

  • Carbon dioxide is an important constituent of air because it has the ability to absorb heat and thus keep the atmosphere warm, thereby, balancing the heat of the earth.

  • The polluted particles present in the air not only absorb the larger amount of insolation but also
    greatly absorb the terrestrial radiation.

  • Dust in the atmosphere contributes to the red and orange color of sunrise and sunset.


Atmosphere – Layers – Layers of the Atmosphere:

There are 5 distinct layers of the atmosphere

  • Troposphere

  • Stratosphere

  • Mesosphere

  • Thermosphere

  • Exosphere


Atmosphere – Layers – Troposphere:

  • This is the rst layer of the atmosphere.

  • It extends to a height of 18 km at the equator and 8 km at the poles.

  • In this layer, temperature decreases with height.

  • This is due to the fact that the density of air decreases with height and so the heat absorbed is less.

  • It contains more than 90% of the gases in the atmosphere.

  • Since most of the water vapor form clouds in this layer, all-weather changes occur in the troposphere(“tropo” means “change”).

  • The height at which the temperature stops decreasing is called tropopause.

  • Here the temperature may be as low as -58 degree Celsius.


Atmosphere – Layers – Stratosphere:

  • This is the second layer of the atmosphere.

  • It extends from the tropopause to about 50 km.

  • Temperature increases due to the absorption of the ultraviolet radiations of the Sun by Ozone present in this layer.

  • The temperature slowly increases to 4-degree Celsius.

  • This layer is free from clouds and associated weather phenomena.

  • Hence, it provides ideal flying conditions for large jet planes.


Atmosphere – Layers – Mesosphere:

  • Above the stratosphere lies the Mesosphere.

  • The mesosphere extends to a height of 80 km.

  • Here the temperature decreases again, falling as low as – 90-degree celsius.

  • The end of this layer is known as the mesopause.


Atmosphere – Thermosphere:

  • This layer extends to a height of about 640 km

  • This increase in temperature is due to the fact that the gas molecules in this layer absorb the Xrays and Ultraviolet radiation of the Sun.

  • The electrically charged gas molecules of the thermosphere reect radio waves from the Earth back into the space.

  • Thus, this layer also helps in long distance communication.

  • The thermosphere also protects us from meteors and obsolete satellite because its high

  • Temperature burns up nearly all the debris coming towards the Earth.


Atmosphere – Layers – Exosphere:

  • The exosphere extends beyond the thermosphere up to 960km.

  • It gradually merges with interplanetary space.

  • The temperatures in this layer range from about 300 degree Celsius to 1650 degree Celsius

  • This layer contains only traces of gases like oxygen, nitrogen, argon and helium because the lack of gravity allows the gas molecules to escape easily into space.


shape Quiz

1. Which atmospheric layer contains ozone layer?

    A. Genosphere
    B. Zonosphere
    C. Stratosphere
    D. Ionosphere


Answer: Option B

2. The lowest layer of atmosphere is?

    A. Stratosphere
    B. Troposphere
    C. Ozonosphere
    D. Ionosphere


Answer: Option B


3. Ozone layer in the outer atmosphere helps us in?

    A. Reflecting radio waves and makes radio communication possible
    B. Regulating the temperature of atmosphere
    C. Absorbing cosmic ray particles
    D. Absorbing U-V radiations


Answer: Option D

4. Atmosphere has how many distinct layers?

    A. 3
    B. 4
    C. 5
    D. 6


Answer: Option C

5. Which layer of atmosphere contains greenhouse gases?

    A. Troposphere
    B. Ionosphere
    C. Stratosphere
    D. Exosphere


Answer: Option A

6. The ionosphere overlaps which two layers of the atmosphere?

    A. Troposphere and Monosphere
    B. Mesosphere and Stratosphere
    C. Ionosphere and Homosphere
    D. Exosphere and Thermosphere


Answer: Option D

7. Which is the hottest layer of the atmosphere?

    A. Thermosphere
    B. Troposphere
    C. Stratosphere
    D. Mesosphere


Answer: Option A

8. Which of the following atmospheric layers lies above the thermosphere?

    A. Stratosphere
    B. Mesosphere
    C. Exosphere
    D. Troposphere


Answer: Option C

9. The outermost layer of the earth’s atmosphere is _________.?

    A. Stratosphere
    B. Troposphere
    C. Mesosphere
    D. Exosphere


Answer: Option D

10. The lowest layer of our atmosphere extends how many miles upward above the sea level?

    A. 6.2 miles
    B. 31 miles
    C. 53 miles
    D. None of the above


Answer: Option A