Layers of Earth’s Atmosphere Page all

KOMPAS.comEarth’s Atmosphere has a series of layers, each of which has its own characteristics.

Starting from the closest to the Earth’s surface, atmospheric layer composed of the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, and exosphere.

Gradually, the exosphere, the outermost layer of the atmosphere, faded into the realm of interplanetary space.

Reported from University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), here is an explanation about atmospheric layers.

1. Troposphere

The troposphere is the lowest layer of the atmosphere. Starting at ground level, the troposphere extends upwards to about 10 km above sea level.

Read also: What is the Impact of Increasing Greenhouse Gas Levels in Earth’s Atmosphere?

Humans live in the troposphere and almost all the weather occurs in this lowest layer.

Most clouds appear in the atmosphere, mainly because 99 percent of the water vapor in the atmosphere is found in the troposphere.

2. Stratosphere

Atmospheric layer The next one is called the stratosphere. The stratosphere extends from the top of the troposphere to about 50 km above ground level.

The ozone layer is found in the stratosphere. The ozone molecules in this layer absorb high-energy ultraviolet (UV) light from the Sun and turn it into heat.

Unlike the troposphere, the stratosphere gets warmer the higher you go.

Read also: The Composition of Atmospheric Gases on Earth

This means that the air in the stratosphere has no turbulence and air flows upward from the troposphere below.

3. Mesosphere

Above the stratosphere is a layer of the atmosphere called the mesosphere, which extends upwards to a height of about 85 km.

Most meteors that enter Earth’s atmosphere burn in the mesosphere.

Unlike the stratosphere, the temperature of the mesosphere becomes colder the higher it is.

The coldest temperature in Earth’s atmosphere is around -90 degrees Celsius which is found near the top of this layer.

Read also: Functions of the Troposphere, the Closest Layer of the Atmosphere from Earth

4. Thermosphere

The very rare layer of atmosphere above the mesosphere is called the thermosphere.

High-energy X-rays and UV radiation from the Sun are absorbed in the thermosphere, raising its temperature by hundreds or even thousands of degrees.

However, the air in the thermosphere is so thin that it feels very cold to humans.

In many ways, the thermosphere is more like space than part of the atmosphere.

5. Exosphere

Although some experts consider the thermosphere to be the uppermost layer of Earth’s atmosphere, others consider the exosphere to be the “final boundary” of Earth’s gas envelope.

Read also: Study reveals exoplanet WASP-189b has an Earth-like atmosphere

The air in the exosphere is very thin, making this layer more space-like than the thermosphere.

In fact, the air in the exosphere is constantly, albeit very gradually, “leaking” out of Earth’s atmosphere into space.

6. Ionosphere

The ionosphere is not really a distinct layer of the atmosphere as mentioned above.

In contrast, the ionosphere is a series of regions in the mesosphere and thermosphere where high-energy radiation from the Sun has knocked electrons off their parent atoms and molecules.

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