atmosphere Definitions. APES 2013-2014. Troposphere.
As altitude increases, temperature decreases—an exception occurs during temperature inversions, in which case temperature increases with altitude. An inversion can lead to pollution such as smog being trapped close to the ground, with possible adverse effects on health. An inversion can also suppress convection by acting as a "cap". If this cap is broken for any of several reasons, convection of any moisture present can then erupt into violent thunderstorms. Temperature inversion can notoriously result in freezing rain in cold climates.
Ozone has harmful effects in the troposphere, including chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion. It can also worsen bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma, reduce lung function, and may permanently scar lung tissue.
Human-produced chemicals are responsible for the observed depletions of the ozone layer. The ozone-depleting compounds contain various combinations of the chemical elements chlorine, fluorine, bromine, carbon, and hydrogen and are often described by the general term halocarbons.
The compounds that contain only chlorine, fluorine, and carbon are called chlorofluorocarbons, usually abbreviated as CFCs. CFCs, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform are important human-produced ozone-depleting gases that have been used in many applications including refrigeration, air conditioning, foam blowing, cleaning of electronics components, and as solvents.
The stratosphere’s temperature increases as altitude increases. This is due to heat created from the absorption of ultraviolet radiation by ozone in this layer.
Contains two layers: the ionosphere (charged particles that can interfere with radio broadcasts) and the magnetosphere (charged particles that can interact with the Earth’s magnetic field to produce Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis).
Although the thermosphere is considered part of Earth's atmosphere, the air density is so low in this layer that most of the thermosphere is what we normally think of as outer space. In fact, the most common definition says that space begins at an altitude of 100 km, slightly above the mesopause at the bottom of the thermosphere.