earth science 17

earth science 17 - Lab on Earth's Atmosphere The Earth is...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Lab on Earth's Atmosphere The Earth is surrounded by a blanket of air, which we call the atmosphere. It reaches over 560 kilometers (348 miles) from the surface of the Earth, so we are only able to see what occurs fairly close to the ground. Early attempts at studying the nature of the atmosphere used clues from the weather, the beautiful multi-colored sunsets and sunrises, and the twinkling of stars. With the use of sensitive instruments from space, we are able to get a better view of the functioning of our atmosphere. Life on Earth is supported by the atmosphere, solar energy, and our planet's magnetic fields. The atmosphere absorbs the energy from the Sun, recycles water and other chemicals, and works with the electrical and magnetic forces to provide a moderate climate. The atmosphere also protects us from high-energy radiation and the frigid vacuum of space. The envelope of gas surrounding the Earth changes from the ground up. Four distinct layers have been identified using thermal characteristics (temperature changes), chemical composition, movement, and density. Troposphere The troposphere starts at the Earth's surface and extends 8 to 14.5 kilometers high (5 to 9 miles). This part of the atmosphere is the most dense. As you climb higher in this layer, the temperature drops from about 17 to -52 degrees Celsius. Almost all weather is in this region. The tropopause separates the troposphere from the next layer. The tropopause and the troposphere are known as the lower atmosphere .
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Stratosphere The stratosphere starts just above the troposphere and extends to 50 kilometers (31 miles) high. Compared to the troposphere, this part of the atmosphere is dry and less dense. The temperature in this region increases gradually to - 3 degrees Celsius, due to the absorbtion of ultraviolet radiation . The ozone layer, which absorbs and scatters the solar ultraviolet radiation, is in this layer. Ninety-nine percent of "air" is located in the troposphere and stratosphere. The stratopause separates the stratosphere from the next layer. Mesosphere
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/19/2011 for the course ERTH 100 taught by Professor Jerryw.kousen during the Spring '11 term at Vincennes.

Page1 / 6

earth science 17 - Lab on Earth's Atmosphere The Earth is...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online