<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
The atmosphere, the gaseous layer that surrounds the earth, formed over four billion years ago......

The atmosphere

Introduction

The atmosphere , the gaseous layer that surrounds the earth, formed over four billion years ago. During the evolution of the solid earth, volcanic eruptions released gases into the developing atmosphere. Assuming the outgasing was similar to that of modern volcanoes, the gases released included: water vapor (H2O), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrochloric acid (HCl), methane (CH4), ammonia (NH3), nitrogen (N2) and sulfur gases. The atmosphere was reducing because there was no free oxygen. Most of the hydrogen and helium that outgassed would have eventually escaped into outer space due to the inability of the earth's gravity to hold on to their small masses. There may have also been significant contributions of volatiles from the massive meteoritic bombardments known to have occurred early in the earth's history.

Water vapor in the atmosphere condensed and rained down, eventually forming lakes and oceans. The oceans provided homes for the earliest organisms which were probably similar to cyanobacteria. Oxygen was released into the atmosphere by these early organisms, and carbon became sequestered in sedimentary rocks. This led to our current oxidizing atmosphere, which is mostly comprised of nitrogen (roughly 71 percent) and oxygen (roughly 28 percent). Water vapor, argon and carbon dioxide together comprise a much smaller fraction (roughly 1 percent). The atmosphere also contains several gases in trace amounts, such as helium, neon, methane and nitrous oxide. One very important trace gas is ozone, which absorbs harmful UV radiation from the sun.

Atmospheric structure

The earth's atmosphere extends outward to about 1,000 kilometers where it transitions to interplanetary space. However, most of the mass of the atmosphere (greater than 99 percent) is located within the first 40 kilometers. The sun and the earth are the main sources of radiant energy in the atmosphere. The sun's radiation spans the infrared, visible and ultraviolet light regions, while the earth's radiation is mostly infrared.

The vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere is variable and depends upon the types of radiation that affect each atmospheric layer. This, in turn, depends upon the chemical composition of that layer (mostly involving trace gases). Based on these factors, the atmosphere can be divided into four distinct layers: the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere.

The troposphere is the atmospheric layer closest to the earth's surface. It extends about 8 - 16 kilometers from the earth's surface. The thickness of the layer varies a few km according to latitude and the season of the year. It is thicker near the equator and during the summer, and thinner near the poles and during the winter. The troposphere contains the largest percentage of the mass of the atmosphere relative to the other layers. It also contains some 99 percent of the total water vapor of the atmosphere.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
Ali
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
hey
Giriraj
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
Bhagvanji
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Good
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Ap environmental science. OpenStax CNX. Sep 25, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10548/1.2
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Ap environmental science' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask