Atmosphere

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According to How Stuff Works, the ozone layer works by ultraviolet light breaking apart oxygen molecules and then reforming them as ozone. Ozone converts the dangerous ultraviolet rays into harmless heat. With an adequate supply of ozone and oxygen, the ozone layer will absorb approximately 98 percent of incoming ultraviolet rays.

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  • What is the color spectrum?

    Q: What is the color spectrum?

    A: The color spectrum is the entire range of light wavelengths visible to the human eye. These range from approximately 400 nanometers per wavelength, at the violet end of the spectrum, to 700 nanometers per wavelength, at the red end of the spectrum.
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  • Where does oxygen we breathe come from?

    Q: Where does oxygen we breathe come from?

    A: Green plants produce the oxygen that humans and other animals require for life. Plants produce this oxygen via photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants create their own food. Oxygen is a by-product of the process of photosynthesis.
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  • Where do thunderstorms form?

    Q: Where do thunderstorms form?

    A: Thunderstorms originate in cumulonimbus clouds. Warm, humid air rises then cools, creating moisture to form the cloud. Thunderstorms produce heavy rain, strong winds and sometimes hail.
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  • When is an air parcel considered unstable?

    Q: When is an air parcel considered unstable?

    A: An air parcel is unstable if its temperature is and remains higher than the temperature of its surrounding environment as it rises above the ground. When this occurs, the parcel continues to rise. This is known as moist convection.
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  • Where do clouds come from?

    Q: Where do clouds come from?

    A: Clouds come from small liquid droplets or frozen crystals of water and float in the atmosphere above the surface of Earth, or any other planet known to have a gas in the atmosphere.
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  • Why does the atmosphere become less dense as altitude increases?

    Q: Why does the atmosphere become less dense as altitude increases?

    A: The atmosphere becomes less dense as altitude increases because there is less weight on the air molecules, making them less compressed. The air at lower altitudes is denser because it is pressed down by the weight of all the air molecules above. Also, the further away air molecules are from the Earth, the less weight they have because of a lower gravitational pull.
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  • Why is the ozone layer important?

    Q: Why is the ozone layer important?

    A: The ozone layer is important because it filters harmful ultraviolet radiation as it travels from the sun to the surface of the Earth. These ultraviolet rays can harm both plant and animal life. After observation of a depletion of the ozone layer from the addition of chlorofluorocarbons and other man-made chemicals, the Montreal Protocol was enacted on Jan. 1, 1989 as an attempt to eradicate these chemicals from the atmosphere.
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  • How does altitude affect climate?

    Q: How does altitude affect climate?

    A: Altitude affects climate in that the higher up you get, the more the temperature drops. The temperature goes down roughly 4 degrees Fahrenheit for every 1,000 feet you climb. Altitude is the subject's distance from the sea. This is why a lot of high-up places such as mountaintops often get snow for most of the year when other places do not, no matter how low the temperature drops.
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  • Why does the sky change colors?

    Q: Why does the sky change colors?

    A: There are many proximate causes for changes to the color of the sky, but they all involve the way light is diffracted through the air. Light from the sun can be bent as it moves through the Earth's atmosphere, and the wavelengths of light that are able to pass most easily through the air give the sky its color.
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  • What is an urban heat island?

    Q: What is an urban heat island?

    A: An urban heat island is an elevation in the temperature of outdoor urban air during the daytime. This is a result of man-made structures, such as buildings and roads, that have replaced outdoor vegetation, such as trees. As a result, more heat is absorbed, and the temperature is warmer.
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  • How does the ozone layer work?

    Q: How does the ozone layer work?

    A: According to How Stuff Works, the ozone layer works by ultraviolet light breaking apart oxygen molecules and then reforming them as ozone. Ozone converts the dangerous ultraviolet rays into harmless heat. With an adequate supply of ozone and oxygen, the ozone layer will absorb approximately 98 percent of incoming ultraviolet rays.
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  • What atmospheric layer contains the most ozone?

    Q: What atmospheric layer contains the most ozone?

    A: The ozone layer contains about 90 percent of Earth's ozone. It is part of Earth's stratosphere and lies between 6 and 30 miles above the planet's surface, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The highest concentration of ozone is found between 12 and 19 miles above the surface, notes Wikipedia.
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  • What are the three major wind belts?

    Q: What are the three major wind belts?

    A: The three major wind belts, also known as circulations, are the Hadley cell, the Ferrel cell and the Polar cell. The circulation of these winds is caused by the rotation of the earth and the energy of the sun.
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  • How was Cyclone Tracy formed?

    Q: How was Cyclone Tracy formed?

    A: Cyclone Tracy developed as a tropical low-pressure system in the Arafura Sea between Australia and New Guinea on Dec. 20, 1974. The low was 300 miles away from Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory. Cyclone Tracy killed 71 people, caused 650 injuries and destroyed 80 percent of the buildings in Darwin. As of July 2014, this storm is the deadliest in Australian history since modern record-keeping began.
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  • Why is the coolest time of day just before sunrise?

    Q: Why is the coolest time of day just before sunrise?

    A: According to USA Today, the coldest time of the day comes just before sunrise because the earth has had all night to expel the heat from the previous day into the atmosphere. As soon as the sun begins to rise, the earth will immediately begin to heat up once again.
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  • Why is air important?

    Q: Why is air important?

    A: Air is important for the planet because it contains the gases necessary to support plants, animals and other organisms. Additionally, the presence of an atmosphere keeps the Earth at a habitable temperature.
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  • Which types of gases did the early atmosphere primarily contain?

    Q: Which types of gases did the early atmosphere primarily contain?

    A: Earth's atmosphere has gone through multiple distinct phases throughout its life, from a hydrogen-rich early period to the modern oxidizing chemistry. The first atmosphere Earth had was chemically very similar to the composition of the primordial dust and gas cloud from which the solar system formed. This chemistry can be seen in some asteroids, and it is a combination of hydrogen, helium and complex organic molecules.
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  • What does a tornado do?

    Q: What does a tornado do?

    A: A tornado is a violently swirling column of air that forms at the base of a thunderstorm. When the tornado is visible, it's because the air gathered up water droplets, dust particles and debris. It is a destructive force of nature, with winds that can exceed 300 miles per hour, and it can damage areas as large as a mile wide and 50 miles long.
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  • What is the function of the atmosphere?

    Q: What is the function of the atmosphere?

    A: The atmosphere works as a place to contain the oxygen that is necessary for life, works as a blanket to shield the earth from radiation and helps to create the different types of weather that are felt on the Earth. The atmosphere also contains small amounts of carbon dioxide that is necessary for plants to be able to live.
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  • What are three greenhouse gases?

    Q: What are three greenhouse gases?

    A: Three greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Greenhouse gases rise up into the atmosphere and envelop the Earth, causing the planet to warm up. The increase in average temperatures around the world is called global warming.
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  • Where do you see the Northern Lights?

    Q: Where do you see the Northern Lights?

    A: Under normal circumstances, the northern lights occur in a narrow band around 10 to 20 degrees of latitude from the North Pole. In North America, this restricts their range to parts of Alaska, northwest Canada and Greenland. In Europe, Norway and parts of Siberia also experience the northern lights on occasion. However, changes in the Earth's geomagnetic field and solar activity can alter the range and activity of the aurorae.
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