THE EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE. The atmosphere of Earth consists of several regions or layers having different properties (temperature, pressure, and composition) which vary with altitude in different ways.
(Ca, Mg)SiO3 + H2CO3 (Ca, Mg)CO3 + H2O + SiO2
Atmosphere (as CO2) 70
Oceans (as dissolved CO2) 4000
Fossil Fuels 800
Carbonate Rocks 2,000,000
Pressure in a planetary atmosphere decreases with height above the surface, at a rate that depends on the acceleration of gravity, g; the atomic or molecular weight, M, the temperature, T (°K); and Boltzmann’s constant, k:
which yields a pressure at altitude h, relative to the pressure p0 at the surface or reference altitude, of
where H is the scale height:
The scale height is the distance over which the pressure decreases by a factor of 1/e. Note, this relationship is complicated by the fact that temperature, acceleration of gravity g, and, in some cases, average atomic or molecular weight, M, vary with altitude.
Spectral Intensity of Sunlight in Near-Earth Space
Spectral Intensity of Sunlight at Earth’s Surface
Pressure in Millibars
The various gases in the atmosphere absorb or emit radiation at specific wavelengths, depending on their molecular structure. Aura’s instruments measure atmospheric constituents by observing Earth over a large range of the electromagnetic spectrum, including solar backscatter in the UV and visible ranges, and thermal emission in the infrared and microwave ranges.
O + O2 O3
Reduction in Antarctic Ozone Due to Chlorine Pollution of the Stratosphere
Minor Constituent Variations with Altitude in the Lower and Middle Atmosphere
Typical Density vs. Altitude of Atmospheric Constituents in the Upper Atmosphere
Primary Emission: H (Lyman-) 121.6 nm
Primary Emissions: O 130.4, 135.6 nm
(Diagonal Streaks are Instrumental Artifacts)