What a nice atmosphere, let’s keep it that way

The layers of the atmosphere

IImagine that the atmosphere is an onion: it has several layers and the more you peel, the more things get watery. The exosphere is the outermost layer of Earth’s atmosphere, the transition zone into space. Then you find the ionosphere, the mesosphere (the coldest part), the stratosphere, – which includes the ozone layer – and then finally the troposphere, the layer we associate with weather and the closest to Earth.  

Learn about all the gases in the atmosphere

Nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone: these are the seven gases that are absolutely essential to the health of the Earth’s atmosphere and they are all present in the troposphere. (Meaning they are also essential to us!) It needs to be said that of all the gases in the atmosphere nitrogen and oxygen are by far the two that make up approximately 99% of it. The continuous exchange of nitrogen and oxygen with the Earth’s surface supplies nutrition for plant growth, photosynthesis and respiration. The next most abundant gas is water vapour that varies in concentration: high concentrations will be found around the equator over the oceans, whereas none can be found in deserts and polar areas. 

Learn why co2 in atmosphere is bad news

The fifth most abundant gas in the atmosphere is carbon dioxide, but co2 in atmosphere has increased by over 35% in the last 300 years. Carbon dioxide in atmosphere contributes to the greenhouse effect but the human-caused increase of the co2 concentration has strengthened the effect and has definitely been contributing to global warming over the last 100 years.