10 Interesting Facts about the Atmosphere

One of these following facts about the atmosphere will provide you much information about this earth’s layer. The atmosphere is a layer of gasses surrounding the planet Earth that is retained by Earth’s gravity. The atmosphere protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation, warming the surface through heat retention (greenhouse effect), and reducing temperature extremes between day and night. The common name given to the atmospheric gases used in breathing and photosynthesis is air. By volume, dry air contains 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen. Furthermore, to get to know more about this gas layer, here are some other facts about the atmosphere you might be interested in.

Facts about the atmosphere 1: Thinner and thinner

The atmosphere becomes thinner and thinner with increasing altitude, with no definite boundary between the atmosphere and outer space.

Facts about the atmosphere 2: Atmosphere Effect

Atmospheric effects become noticeable during atmospheric reentry of spacecraft at an altitude of around 120 km (75 mi). Several layers can be distinguished in the atmosphere, based on characteristics such as temperature and composition.

Facts about the atmosphere - Atmosphere circulation

Facts about the atmosphere – Atmosphere circulation

Facts about the atmosphere 3: Aerology

The study of Earth’s atmosphere and its processes is called atmospheric science or aerology. Early pioneers in the field include Leon Teisserenc de Bort and Richard Assmann.

Facts about the atmosphere 4: Composition

Air is mainly composed of nitrogen, oxygen, and argon, which together constitute the major gases of the atmosphere. Water vapor accounts for roughly 0.25% of the atmosphere by mass.

Facts about the atmosphere - Atmospheric electromagnetic opacity

Facts about the atmosphere – Atmospheric electromagnetic opacity

Facts about the atmosphere 5: Concentration of Water Vapor

The concentration of water vapor (a greenhouse gas) varies significantly from around 10 ppmy in the coldest portions of the atmosphere to as much as 5% by volume in hot, humid air masses, and concentrations of other atmospheric gases are typically provided for dry air without any water vapor.

Facts about the atmosphere 6: Trace Gases

The remaining gases are often referred to as trace gases, among which are the greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone.

Facts about the atmosphere - Atmospheric water vapor

Facts about the atmosphere – Atmospheric water vapor

Facts about the atmosphere 7: Industrial Pollutant

Various industrial pollutants also may be present as gases or aerosols, such as chlorine (elemental or in compounds), fluorine compounds and elemental mercury vapor. Sulfur compounds such as hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide (SO2) may be derived from natural sources or from industrial air pollution.

Facts about the atmosphere 8: Principal Layers

In general, air pressure and density decrease with altitude in the atmosphere. However, temperature has a more complicated profile with altitude, and may remain relatively constant or even increase with altitude in some regions. Because the general pattern of the temperature/altitude profile is constant and recognizable through means such as balloon soundings, the temperature behavior provides a useful metric to distinguish between atmospheric layers.

Facts about the atmosphere - Endeavour silhouette

Facts about the atmosphere – Endeavour silhouette

Facts about the atmosphere 9: Temperature

Temperature decreases with altitude starting at sea level, but variations in this trend begin above 11 km, where the temperature stabilizes through a large vertical distance through the rest of the troposphere.

Facts about the atmosphere 10: Circulation

Atmosphere circulation is the large-scale movement of air through the troposphere, and the means by which heat is distributed around Earth. The large-scale structure of the atmospheric circulation varies from year to year, but the basic structure remains fairly constant because it is determined by Earth’s rotation rate and the difference in solar radiation between the equator and poles.

Facts about the atmosphere - Top of atmosphere

Facts about the atmosphere – Top of atmosphere

Hope you would find those atmosphere facts really interesting, useful and helpful for your additional reading.

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