• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Atmosphere

Extracts from this document...


Atmosphere – thin envelope of gases surrounding earth

  • Energy of sun drives movement in atmosphere
  • Composition:
  • nitrogen 78
  • oxygen 21
  • argon 1
  • water vapour 0-4 (depending on location in earth)
  • Minute quantities of other gases (C02 + ozone) as well as solid particles (dust)
  • C02 absorbs infrared radiant energy
  • Maintains warmth in lower atmosphere layers
  • Ozone absorbs ultra violet radiation
  • Protects from the burning effects of radiation
  • Atmospheric composition has changed over time through volcanism and humans
  • Current threats to atmosphere;
  • C02 emissions contributing to global warming
  • Hole in the ozone layer
  • Acid rain from carbon monoxide/ sulphur oxide emissions
...read more.


  • 5-16km thick (thinner at poles and equator)
  • where weather occurs
  • drop in temp 1 C / 150
  • Stratosphere
  • Next closest layer (16-50km)
  • Temp increase
  • Ozone layer  
  • Jet stream in lower levels
  • Mesosphere
  • 50-80km – temp drops again
  • Thermosphere
  • 80-300km
  • Aurora borealis
  • Glow of ions attracted to magnetic poles
  • Exosphere
  • Beyond 300km
  • Space

Pauses between spheres – transitions

...read more.


Absorb- SW + LW more LW, O2 O3 H20, dust

Scattering – gas, dust, H20 droplets – scatter energy

Reflection – clouds, depend on thickness and nature and ice

H20 bodies higher albedo than land

Average albedo of earths surface 30%

March + Sept 21st – equinox, 0 degrees

June 23.5 S + Dec 23.5 N 21st – solstice


  • parts per unit of mass of the air
  • Heat - ^ - low
  • Elevation
  • High elev. – L
  • Low elev.  – H

Measurement – Barometer kPa

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE The Earth and Beyond section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE The Earth and Beyond essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Global Warming - Is it man Made?

    What if the sea level rises ? This global warming effect is a result of the polar icecaps melting. It is a fact that the sea levels have been rising and that the mass of the polar icecaps has significantly reduced over the last century. I think everyone knows what happens when the sea level rises.

  2. AS Chemistry: Chemistry of the Stratosphere

    Once again suitable replacements had to be found. Figure 4 - Graph showing global CFC production over time.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work