Name:
Date:
The Structure of the Atmosphere
Atmospheric
Layer
Troposphere
Stratosphere
Height above
the Earth
~ 20km
Equator
~ 17 km
Average
~ 7 km N/S
Poles
~ 10 to 50 km
~ 13 – 20km
Ozone Layer
Temperature and Other Information
Begins near 17°C around base and down to -52°C at top
-
99% of the Water Vapor in the atmosphere
Drives the Water Cycle
75% of the mass of the atmosphere
-
All weather occurs in this level
Begins around -52°C around base goes up to -3°C at top
-
Mesosphere
~ 50 km to 85
km
Begins around -3°C around base goes down to -100°C
Coldest Layer
-
Thermosphere
~ 80 km to 500
-1000km
a. Ionosphere
80 km to
550km
b.
Magnetosphere
1000km to
about 4000km
b. Exosphere
550km to
190,000 km
Planes fly at bottom of this level to avoid turbulence,
maximize jet fuel, and avoid storms.
Jet Stream is located (winds of 198mph)
Too high for aircraft but too low for orbiting spacecraft
Poorest Understood region
Most Meteors burn up in this range
Begins around -200°C and then up to 1500+°C
Hottest Layer
- Temperature would ‘feel’ cold to us because there are so
few molecules, even though they have a HIGH level of
energy.
Lower Level of Thermosphere
The ions here bounce radio waves back to Earth.
Solar flares can increase the ion levels here and cause interference
with radio transmission (one source of that static sound you hear)
Midrange inside of the Thermosphere
- Van Allen Radiation Belts - Made up of positively charged
protons and negatively charged electrons, given off by the
sun, and captured by the Earth’s magnetic field
- Aurorae - Collisions of these particles cause light energy to
be given off, called Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).
Outer Level of Thermosphere – extends into “space”
- The particles are so spread out that they are likely to not hit
any other molecules
- Artificial satellites orbit the earth up here. International
Space station, weather, television, and telephone satellites
Instructions: In the graph on the right, make a color-coded cross section of the 5 main layers of the atmosphere. Be
sure to include the starting (lower) and ending temperatures of each level, AND one thing that is actively happening in
900 km
that layer of the atmosphere.
Composition of Atmosphere
0Nitrogen – 78%
Oxygen – 20.9%
Ar, CO2, Ne,
He, CH4, Kr, = 1.1%
H2, N20, Xe,
O3, NO2, I, CO
Greek Roots
Sphere – Ball
Hemi – Half
Atmo – Air
Litho – Stone
Bio – Life
Meso – Middle
Exo – Outer
Thermo – Heat
Strat - Stratify
Trop - Turning
Ion – Ion
800
700
600
500 km
400
300
200
100 km
20
0
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Name: Date: The Structure of the Atmosphere Atmospheric Layer