Earth's atmosphere is important for several reasons: it supports the exchange of life-sustaining gases, filters sunlight, regulates temperature and even plays a role in the water cycle. The atmosphere contains five distinct layers. Its first layer, the stratosphere, is closest to Earth and serves as the activity spot for weather production and cloud formation. It contains an ozone layer, which prevents dangerous sun rays from passing through clouds and modifies temperature, letting life exist.
The layers of the atmosphere decrease in thickness upon moving from the first layer, closest to Earth, to the fifth and farthest layer. Each layer has a particular purpose, such as retaining certain gases and modifying temperature.
The atmosphere plays a large role in regulating the type and quantity of gases necessary for supporting life on Earth. This includes regulation of oxygen and carbon dioxide, two of the most important gases. The atmosphere also controls the amount of greenhouse gases in the air, which affects temperature and air quality.
Earth's atmosphere plays a key role in the planet's water cycle. It stores water in the form of water vapor, and initiates formation and movement of weather cycles and precipitation. The atmosphere plays a distinct role in regulating life, but the introduction of excessive volumes of greenhouse gases and synthetic compounds interrupt the atmosphere's routine functions, leading to issues like ozone holes, acid rain and global warming.Learn More
The barometer is a tool that measures air pressure. Barometers are calibrated for a specific unit, that displays the current air pressure of the environment that the tool is exposed to.Full Answer >
Jet streams are areas of high winds that flow in a westerly direction on Earth. Occurring about 7 miles above the surface of the Earth, the jet streams do not take a consistent path because the flow of wind moves about slightly, altering the weather patterns as it does so. At times, slivers of wind may break away from the main flow and only rejoin the jet stream later.Full Answer >
According to the National Center for Atmospheric Research, wind exists because of the movement of air and the differences in air pressure within the atmosphere. When high-pressure air moves toward low-pressure air, the difference in pressure leads to a faster air current or stronger wind.Full Answer >
The greenhouse effect is easily explained to kids by comparing Earth to a greenhouse full of plants. The glass of a greenhouse traps heat and allows the plants inside to stay warm all year long, while Earth's atmosphere has gases that act the same as the glass of a greenhouse and trap warmth close to the planet's surface.Full Answer >