About the Atmosphere: Background Information
What is the Atmosphere?
This sphere is the outer part of the Earth System that extends nearly 500 km above Earth's surface and includes an ever-changing mixture of gas and small particles surrounding the Earth’s surface. It includes meteorological features and phenomena such as weather, clouds, or aerosols (particles in the air).
Why is the Atmosphere important?
This sphere is integral to several key functions in the Earth system:
- Supports life on Earth by supplying the necessary chemicals for life
- Protects Earth's Biosphere from harmful solar radiation
- Cycles heat, water, and necessary chemicals through the climate system
What are the layers of the Atmosphere?
How does the Atmosphere interact with the spheres in the Earth System?