The temperature of atmospheric layers is determined by air composition, movement, and density of each layer. In the troposphere, for example, it is warmer at the base layer because the air absorbs heat from the earth's surface. Because air density decreases with height, temperature also decreases.Continue Reading
In the stratosphere, the amount of water vapor decreases while ozone concentration increases with height. This brings about an increase in temperature because ozone formation produces heat and the ozone molecules absorb the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
Moving upward from the stratosphere to the mesosphere, oxygen molecules become less dense, and so the warm temperature begins to drop again with the increase in altitude. The temperature is coldest in this layer; it reaches -90 to -120 degrees Celsius.
In the thermosphere, temperature goes up to 2,000 degrees Celsius with the increase in altitude because molecules absorb high-intensity x-ray and ultraviolet rays from the sun. Surprisingly, air temperature in this layer feels cold to the skin because air density is very low. Astronauts in space prefer to stay in orbit in this layer. Air in the exosphere is too thin to warm up and the molecules escape to outer space. The temperature in some parts of space can be very hot, however, because of the solar wind.Learn more about Atmosphere
Depending on the layer of the atmosphere, the temperature can either decrease or increase at rising altitudes. The five layers of the atmosphere, from lowest to highest, are the troposphere, the stratosphere, the mesosphere, the thermosphere and the exosphere.Full Answer >
Earth's thermosphere, which consists of both the ionosphere and the exosphere, feels cold because of the low density of air at that level. Measurements of air temperature reveal how energetic the measured particles are, but with so few particles, the thermosphere is unable to effectively transfer heat.Full Answer >
Since the exosphere is the topmost layer of Earth's atmosphere, the air in it is very thin as it slowly fades into outer space. The air in the exosphere has multiple similarities to the vacuum of space, and it is generally characterized by the existence of light atmospheric gases like helium and hydrogen alongside trace amounts of atomic oxygen and carbon dioxide.Full Answer >
The biosphere is defined as the layer of land, water and air towards the outer surface of the Earth in which living things are capable of surviving. It includes both the living things found on Earth and the non-living elements that support them. The non-living part of the biosphere is divided into three subdivisions, the lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere.Full Answer >