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The atmosphere is a term used to describe the mixture of different gasses that surrounds Earth. These gases consist predominantly of nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, and water vapour. Most people believe the atmosphere is thick. However, it’s very thin. The two most important service functions of the atmosphere are storage and life protecting.

  1. Storage service for oxygen and carbon dioxide that are essential for the biosphere
  2. Protection of life from solar radiation

The atmosphere is one of the five reservoirs included in the Earth system; the four others are Geosphere, Hydrosphere, Biosphere and the Anthroposphere; finally, the atmosphere outermost layer is the boundary of the Earth system and separates us from other objects in space. The atmosphere consists of a set of layers whereof the first and closest to Earth is troposphere (sea level-11.000 metres) The layer nearest the Earth’s surface, rising from sea level to about 6 miles (11 km), is the troposphere. The primary heat source for the troposphere is infrared energy (heat) that radiates from Earth’s surface.

The next levels are called the stratosphere, rises from 11 km (11.000 metres) to 45 km (45.500 metres ) the layer is heated by the sun’s UV rays and with increasing proximity to the sun it gets warmer. The Stratosphere is also a host for the ozone layer which is measured between 15-30 km from Earth’s surface, this layer despite all the space it takes in media coverage it relatively small (measurement of 12 ozone molecules for every billion air molecules). This is also one of the reasons that the stratosphere warms with altitude. The last two layers of the atmosphere are the mesosphere and finally thermosphere

The layers of the atmosphere:

  • Troposphere
  • Stratosphere
  • Mesosphere
  • Thermosphere

Sources and recommended reading: Atmosphere by Dana Desonie. Published in 2007 by Chelsea House books


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Kenneth Lyngaas
Founder of buddha Jeans Company. We dig deep about denim culture, fashion, spirituality & philosophy for the twenty-first century sustainable community.
Kenneth Lyngaas
Kenneth Lyngaas
Kenneth Lyngaas
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