In conversation, you will often hear the term “stratospheric”. It is used to describe something extremely high, such as the jumping ability of a basketball star or the national debt as described by a government critic.
The real Stratosphere, paradoxically, isn’t as high as other atmosphere parts. Only the second layer of the atmosphere – the troposphere, lies below it, and the mesosphere and thermosphere extend hundreds of miles higher.
Here are some Facts about the Stratosphere.
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What is the Stratosphere?
The Earth’s atmosphere has many layers, much like an onion. These layers include the troposphere and mesosphere and the thermosphere, exosphere and Stratosphere. The Stratosphere, defined as the second layer in the atmosphere, extends from approximately 6 miles to 30 mi, or 10km up to 50 km, above the Earth’s surface.
Sometimes, planes and jets choose to fly in the Stratosphere because there are no clouds or weather, which could affect their flight. Weather balloons can also be raised to this level to collect data without being affected by storm clouds. Some birds, such as cranes and vultures, will fly into the Stratosphere!
Facts about the Stratosphere
Many distinctive features make the Stratosphere unique in the atmosphere. Its location, composition, temperature range and density are some of its defining features.
It is an important part of Earth’s atmosphere due to its unique characteristics.
Where is the Stratosphere located?
As we have already mentioned, the Stratosphere is one of five layers that make up Earth’s atmosphere. It is found just above the troposphere, the closest layer to the ground. The mesosphere and thermosphere are located above the Stratosphere.
The image below shows the layers of Earth’s atmosphere and their distances from Earth’s surface. Elevation changes on Earth can cause these distances to varying slightly.
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What is the Stratosphere Made of, and How Does It Work?
The Stratosphere is primarily composed of nitrogen and oxygen. The Stratosphere also contains the ozone layer. This layer absorbs ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Ozone is a chemical substance that consists of three oxygen atoms. Because it shields Earth’s inhabitants from most UV radiations from the sun, the ozone layer plays a vital role. CFCs are chemicals that are derived from an aerosol. Some gases trapped in the Stratosphere include CFCs. This is because of the temperature fluctuations within the Stratosphere.
What Temperature is the Stratosphere at?
This layer heats up as harmful UV rays from the sun are absorbed into the ozone layer. Temperatures in the Stratosphere can rise from negative to positive because of this effect.
F is associated with altitude. This contrasts with what happens in the troposphere (the layer of the atmosphere closest to Earth).
Temperatures drop as altitude increases in the troposphere. It is colder at the top of a mountain than at sea level. The troposphere experiences convection because of this decrease in temperature as a function of altitude. Convection occurs when gases cool as they rise and condense onto air particles to form clouds.
Convection is rare because the Stratosphere’s temperature increases with elevation. This is how gases like CFCs or ozone get trapped in the Stratosphere. This layer of the atmosphere has less air circulation, making it more difficult for gasses to escape. Because the atmosphere is extremely dry, clouds rarely form in the Stratosphere. The troposphere is where most clouds form, just below the Stratosphere.
Air density in layers of the atmosphere drops as altitude increases. It is impossible to breathe at this height because the air in the Stratosphere has a very thin layer. At the Stratosphere’s highest point, the air density is almost zero. Humans would be unable to survive at this height without being in a plane, rocket or another enclosed environment regulating air density.
What does the Stratosphere do?
Each layer of the Earth’s atmosphere plays an important role in supporting life. What does the Stratosphere do for life?
The stratosphere shields Earth from harmful UV rays. The majority of the UV rays are absorbed by the ozone layer, which shields life from dangerous radiation. The Stratosphere is essential for life on Earth.
Stratosphere Facts: Fun Facts about the Stratosphere
The Stratosphere, a fascinating layer of Earth’s atmosphere, is full of unique fun facts.