Earth Systems,
Structures and
Students will be able to understand how the
cycling of matter (water and gases) in and out of
the atmosphere relates to Earth’s atmosphere,
weather and climate and the effects of the
atmosphere on humans.
Students will be able to compare the composition, properties and
structure of Earth’s atmosphere to include mixtures of gases and
differences in temperature and pressure within layers.
---Objective 7.E.1.1.
Atmosphere: a blanket of air surrounding Earth
1. What is air?
What is air made up of?
The atmosphere is a mixture of gases. The
amount of each gas is usually very constant
from the surface of the planet up to the top of
the troposphere.
Atmospheric Gases
Processes that keep the mixture of gases constant:
1. respiration2. photosynthesis3. evaporation4. condensation5. weathering of rock6. decay of organic matter-
Gases are constantly being used and
The atmosphere has different properties at different
elevations and different locations around the Earth.
The atmosphere’s density decreases as you travel
upward. **Most of the mass of the atmosphere is
close to Earth’s surface!
The air pressure is less on top of the mountains than
in valleys.
At the equator the atmosphere is warmer, at the
poles it is cooler.
The uneven heating of land and water causes a
rising and sinking of warm and cool air masses,
creating convection currents and causing winds.
**This creates our weather!
Properties of the atmosphere
Like a hamburger!
Temperature layers
Layers of the Atmosphere
The Carbon Cycle
Living things take part in a repeated process
of gas exchange with the atmosphere.
Nitrogen Cycle
You and all other living things
participate in ongoing processes.
Water Cycle
Ongoing processes modify the atmosphere.
Volcanic eruptions
Forest fires
Dust storms
Dramatic events cause sudden changes in the
Solar Radiation can be absorbed or reflected by
Earth’s surface, clouds, and the atmosphere.
It provides heat and light.
Energy is moved throughout the atmosphere by
radiation, conduction, and convection.
The Sun supplies the atmosphere’s
Types of radiation:
Visible light
Ultraviolet radiation
Infrared radiation
The ozone layer in the stratosphere layer protects
life from harmful radiation.
Gases in the atmosphere absorb

Earth Systems, Structures and Processes