Atmospheric Layering

The atmosphere has five distinct layers, each with different chemical compositions, different temperatures, and different densities. The layers are known as the troposphere, the stratosphere, the mesosphere, the thermosphere, and the exosphere.

The troposphere is the layer closest to the ground. It extends about 12 miles above the Earth’s surface at the equator, but only about 4 miles above the Earth’s surface at the poles. The troposphere has the right composition, pressure, and temperatures to make life on Earth (as we know it) possible. The further away from the Earth one goes, or the higher the elevation, the thinner and colder the air gets. Since the air is colder up higher, and heat rises, this means that there is likely to be a lot of air movement in this layer. It is also where all weather takes place.

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