Chapter 2, Responses to Review Questions______________________________________________________________________________1. The atmosphere encircles Earth as a relatively thin envelope of gases and tiny suspendedparticles (aerosols). The atmosphere shields organisms from exposure to hazardous levels ofsolar ultraviolet radiation, contains the gases necessary for the life-sustaining processes ofphotosynthesis and cellular respiration, and supplies the water required by all forms of life.2. Outgassing refers to the release of gases (e.g., water vapor, nitrogen) to the atmosphere thataccompanies a volcanic eruption or meteor impact on Earth’s surface. Outgassing was one of themajor processes involved in the evolution of Earth’s atmosphere.3. Within the lowest 80 km (50 mi) of the atmosphere (the homosphere) the ratio of nitrogen tooxygen is about 4 to 1. The homosphere includes both the troposphere and the stratosphere.4. Water vapor, carbon dioxide, and ozone are minor components of the atmosphere. Water
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