Layers of the Atmosphere

A mixture of gases that surrounds the Earth is called the atmosphere. The Earth’s atmosphere is divided into four layers. These layers are all extremely important properties that protect us from the Sun’s ultra-violet rays, keeps the Earth warm and cool enough to live, and controls what the weather is like. First, in order to understand the layers we are going to break up each word into prefixes and suffixes.

-sphere: ball

– layer

Tropo– turning or change

Meso– middle

Thermo– heat

The lowest layer of the atomosphere is the troposphere. As you go higher in altitude, the colder the temperature gets. Sometimes you will see snow on top of mountains even in the summer time. The mountain peaks are higher up in altitude, therefore it is still cold enough to have snow. This layer is where almost all of the Earth’s oxygen, pollution, weather, and life-forms reside. This is also where all of the weather events occur. For example see the picture below. Where the cumulonimbus cloud stops is where the stratosphere begins.


The stratosphere is the layer right above the troposphere. Gases are not mixed together very well in the stratosphere. They are in layers which gives the stratosphere its name. The higher in altitude you go, the warmer it is. Another important part of the stratosphere is the ozone layer. This layer protects life on Earth by absorbing the Sun’s harmful Ultra-violet radiation.

See my next post about the final two layers in the Earth’s atmosphere!


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