Atmosphere

1075 words 5 pages
Atmosphere

The atmosphere is the body of air which surrounds our planet. Most of our atmosphere is located close to the earth's surface where it is most dense. The air of our planet is 78% nitrogen and just under 21% oxygen; the small amount remaining is composed of carbon dioxide and other gasses.It is a mixture of gases encircling the Earth and held by the Earth’s gravity. This invisible mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, and water vapor protects the planet from harmful radiation and makes life on it. (Atienza et al., 2012)

Atmosphere and Ecology
The atmosphere implies the protective blanket of gases, surrounding the earth:
(a) It sustains life on the earth.
(b) It saves it from the hostile environment of outer space.
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The air in the thermosphere is so thin that air particles rarely collide, so little heat is transferred. Nitrogen and oxygen atoms in the lower region of the thermosphere (about 80 km to 550 km above Earth’s surface) absorb harmful solar radiation, such as X rays and gamma rays. This absorption causes atoms to become electrically charged. Electrically charged atoms are called ions. The lower thermosphere is called theionosphere. Sometimes ions radiate energy as light. These lights often glow in spectacular colors in the night skies near the Earth’s North and South Poles (Holt, 2004). • Exosphere The top layer of the atmosphere sits about 900 km above earth. The air is very thin and gas molecules are constantly exiting into space. This is why it is called the exosphere. the boundaries between this regions are named the tropopause, stratopause, mesopause, thermopause and exobase.

The Greenhouse Effect

Even though only a tiny amount of the gases in Earth’s atmosphere are greenhouse gases, they have a huge effect on climate.There are several different types of greenhouse gases. The major ones are carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, and nitrous oxide. All of these have molecules with three or more atoms. The atoms are held together loosely enough that they vibrate when they absorb heat. Eventually, the vibrating molecule will release the radiation. The radiation will likely be absorbed by another greenhouse gas molecule. This process,

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