Science Facts

What Is The Troposphere? – Composition & Temperature

Troposphere

The troposphere is the lowest layer of the Earth’s atmosphere. The troposphere has a nickname called the weather sphere because most weather occurs in this lowest layer. In this lecture, we will learn about the troposphere. Let’s start!

What is the troposphere?

The atmosphere is an important part of the earth, and it’s around the earth from all sides. It extends about 500 kilometers from the ground, and the atmosphere can be divided into many layers. And the variation of these layers is based upon the temperature. Temperature varies from minus 92 degrees Celsius to 1200 degrees celsius.

Atmosphere layers
Atmosphere layers

There are 5 layers of the atmosphere. These are the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, and exosphere. The troposphere is the first layer of the atmosphere. In this layer, we discuss its height, composition, importance, and temperature or lapse rate.

Height

The troposphere is the first layer of the atmosphere, so it is closest to the earth’s surface. Tropo means turning or changing, and the conditions in this layer are more variable than any other layer of the atmosphere.

We live in the troposphere. The average height of this layer is about from the earth’s surface 11 kilometers. Also, its heights depend upon the latitude season and pressure.

Composition

What is the troposphere made of? This layer’s composition depends on the gases present in it, and 70 to 75 percent of the gases present in this layer are nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide. These gases are water vapors, and dust particles are also present in this layer. The troposphere layer contains a dense amount of smog, which restricts visibility and is irritating to the eyes.

Temperature

The change in temperature of the atmosphere with an increase in height is called the lapse rate. This layer of the troposphere shows a positive lapse rate when the temperature decreases with the height increase. Then, it is known as a positive abstract.

Also, this layer shows a positive lapse rate. What causes the temperature to decrease with height in the troposphere?

The troposphere gets colder on average as you go up in this layer. It is the sunshine that shines down through the atmosphere. The atmosphere is transparent to sunlight.

By that, we mean that the predominant gases like oxygen and nitrogen don’t absorb the sunshine. So no absorption means no heating. It is the ground that absorbs that sunlight, and the ground warms up.

The temperature is decreased from 15 degrees Celsius to minus 56 degrees celsius. Because at the top, the pressure moisture content and density of air decrease with height.

Thus the temperature decreases at a rate of 6.5 degrees Celsius per kilometer as altitude increases. The troposphere its height is 11 kilometers from the surface of the earth. It consists of 70 to 75 percent of our gases. So this layer is cold or warm.

Color

The troposphere has a higher concentration of water vapor and particulates. What is the major source of water vapor on earth? The Earth’s oceans are the primary source of water vapor.

Importance:

This layer is essential because all the weather phenomena like cloud formation, wind, and rainfall occur. So this layer is responsible for all the weather phenomena that take place in an atmosphere.

Why do you think the troposphere appeared so different in color compared to the other layers? The troposphere has many more gas molecules, water droplets, ice nuclei, and particles. They reflect sunlight, and that’s why this layer appears in reddish. This is also a reason why you can see bright, beautiful sunsets.

Ozone layer

A recent study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research warns of a whopping 70% increase in the number of days with unhealthy summertime ozone levels by the year 2050.

The culprit is ozone pollution, not the beneficial ozone in the stratosphere that protects us from UV radiation. Still, the harmful ozone is produced down here at the ground level of the troposphere. Tropospheric ozone is warming the Earth.


Read More:

What Are The 5 Layers Of The Atmosphere Of Earth?

What Causes Lightning And Thunder?


Sources:

“Troposphere.” Concise Encyclopedia of Science & Technology. McGraw-Hill.
Danielson, Levin, and Abrams. Meteorology. McGraw Hill. Cite error: The named reference “DLA” was defined multiple times with different content.
Kittel and Kroemer. Thermal Physics. Freeman.
“Meteorology – MSN Encarta, “Energy Flow and Global Circulation.”
“American Meteorological Society Glossary – Zonal Flow.” Allen Press Inc.

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