Atmosphere characteristics


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  • This PowerPoint lesson and its content is copyright of Craig Warner [] - © 2005 . All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited other than the following: You may print or download to a local hard disk extracts for your personal and non-commercial use only. You may copy the content to individual third parties for their personal use, but only if you acknowledge the website ( and as the source of the material. You may change, add, or delete content for your personal and non-commercial use to fit your school’s curriculum. You may not , except with my express written permission via email , distribute or commercially exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system.
  • Atmosphere characteristics

    1. 1. Changing AtmosphereChanging Atmosphere created by
    2. 2. Origin of the AtmosphereOrigin of the Atmosphere • 4.6 billion years ago the earth’s atmosphere was probably made of hydrogen and helium. • Earth’s surface was covered in volcanoes and lakes of lava. –Volcanoes release large amounts of CO2, steam, and N2.
    3. 3. Origin of the Atmosphere CONT’DOrigin of the Atmosphere CONT’D • CO2 absorbs heat which warmed the atmosphere. • When the volcanic activity subsided steam condensed to form –Clouds –Rivers and lakes
    4. 4. Today’s AtmosphereToday’s Atmosphere • Today the atmosphere mostly consist of nitrogen and oxygen not hydrogen and CO2.
    5. 5. SmogSmog • Because of the Industrial Age our atmosphere is consistently being filled with pollutants. • When these pollutants accumulate in the upper atmosphere it creates a layer called smog.
    6. 6. Greenhouse EffectGreenhouse Effect • CO2 and other gases absorb infrared radiation that enters from space and reflects from the ground. • When this heat is trapped it warms the atmosphere – Greenhouse Effect.
    7. 7. Ozone DepletionOzone Depletion • Ozone is the layer of air in the stratosphere that protects us from UV radiation. • This layer is thinning slowly due to chemicals released into the air by styrofoam, air conditioners, aerosol cans called chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s).
    8. 8. Earth’s AtmosphereEarth’s Atmosphere • Layer of air made up of a mixture of gases with some suspended solids and liquids. • Other Gases: Argon, CO2, H2O • Trace Gases: Ne, He, Methane, Kr, Xe, H, O3 • Other types of gases are smog, O3 Atmosphere Nitrogen Oxygen Other Gases
    9. 9. Types of Solids & LiquidsTypes of Solids & Liquids • Dust, salt, & ice – How do you think those 3 solids end up in the air? • Water Vapor – Water is the only substance that appears in the atmosphere in all 3 states (solid, liquid, and gas)
    10. 10. Structure of the AtmosphereStructure of the Atmosphere • Troposphere – weather, clouds, and smog occur in this layer. “Tropos” means “changing” in Greek/Latin. At the top of the temp. is about –76 ºF. • Stratosphere – O3 (Ozone) layer keeps harmful levels of UV radiation from reaching earth’s surface. “Stratos” means “layer” . • Mesosphere – meteors burn up in this layer. “Mesos” means “middle”. Temp. here is about –130 ºF. • Thermosphere – extends out into space with no definite outer limit.
    11. 11. Atmosphere (Cont.)Atmosphere (Cont.) • Ionosphere – lower layer of the Thermosphere. The sun’s energy tickles little ions and molecules in this layer causing them to glow which creates the Aurora Borealis or the “Northern Lights”. • Exosphere – “Exos” means outer so this layer is the outermost layer of our atmosphere. Satellites travel in this region of space.
    12. 12. Air PressureAir Pressure • Air pressure – is the result of the weight of a column of air pushing down on an area. The column of air above your desk to the top of the atmosphere weighs about as much as a school bus.