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Earth’s Atmospheric Layers
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  1. Earth’s Atmospheric Layers SC Standard: 6-4.1 Compare the composition and structure of Earth’s atmospheric layers (including the gases and differences in temperature and pressure within the layers).

  2. What is the atmosphere? The atmosphere is the layer of gases that surrounds the planet and makes conditions on Earth suitable for living things.

  3. Atmospheric Layers Earth’s atmosphere is divided into several different atmospheric layers extending from Earth’s surface outward. • The troposphere • The stratosphere • The mesosphere • The thermosphere * The Ionosphere • The exosphere

  4. The Troposphere • Nitrogen, CARBON DIOXIDE and oxygen are found in this layer. • Weather occurs in this layer. • Small planes fly in this layer. • Large jets can also fly in this layer • Weather balloons are used in this layer. • Water vapor and Carbon Dioxide – important gases for weather conditions, are found in the troposphere • The air is the most dense in this layer.

  5. The Stratosphere • Nitrogen and Oxygen are found in this layer. • The Ozone layer is found at the top of this layer, and absorbs radiation from the sun. • The jet streams are found at the bottom of this layer. • Large jets can also fly in this layer.

  6. The Mesosphere • Nitrogen and Oxygen are found in this layer. • Meteors burn up in this layer. • This is the COLDEST layer!

  7. The Thermosphere • Nitrogen and Oxygen are found in this layer. • It is the HOTTEST layer. • Space shuttles fly in this layer. • It is composed of two “layers” (or regions), the Ionosphere and the Exosphere.

  8. The Ionosphere • Nitrogen and Oxygen are found in this layer. • Ions are found in this layer. • Radio waves bounce off of this layer. • Aurora borealis are found in this layer.

  9. The Exosphere • Nitrogen and Oxygen are found in this layer. • Satellites orbit the Earth in this layer. • Space shuttles fly in this layer. • The air density is the lowest in this layer.

  10. Atmospheric Temperatures

  11. Atmospheric Pressure • Air pressure is the force exerted by the gases pushing on an object. • It is greatest near the surface of Earth, in the troposphere. • As the altitude increases, the air pressure decreases. • As you get further from the Earth, the pull of gravity from Earth decreases.