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Structure and Composition of the

Warm-Up
Atmosphere

? Lesson
Question

Lesson Goals

Identify Distinguish
Describe the properties of the four main
Describe the Explain how
importance of air, including layers of the
composition of altitude affects
the
Earth’s air pressure
atmosphere to
atmosphere. and density.
living things.
.
and density.

W Words to Know
2K
Fill in this table as you work through the lesson. You may also use the glossary to
help you.

the amount of mass in a given volume

the blanket of gases that surrounds the surface of a


planet

a form of oxygen that absorbs harmful ultraviolet


radiation from the Sun

a measure of how high above sea level an area is

the force pushing on an area or a surface

the force of a column of air pushing on a given area

the amount of matter in an object

© Edgenuity, Inc. 1
Structure and Composition of the
Warm-Up
Atmosphere

Reviewing Earth’s Layers


Earth has three distinct layers.

• Outermost layer • Three parts • Two parts

• Solid rock; both dry land • Solid • Molten outer


and the ocean floor lithosphere core

• Thinner under ocean; • Thick, syrupy • Solid inner core


thicker under mountains asthenosphere

• Solid lower
mantle

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Structure and Composition of the
Instruction
Atmosphere
Slide

2 Components of Earth’s Atmosphere

The atmosphere is a layer of


Atmospheric Components
around Earth.
Water vapor 0.04%
Argon
Carbon dioxide 0.03%
• Supports on Earth 0.9%
Trace gases <1%

Oxygen
• Distinguishes Earth from other 20.9%

Nitrogen
78.1%

• Contains different gases

Nitrogen and Oxygen in the Atmosphere


The most abundant gases in the atmosphere are nitrogen and oxygen.

Nitrogen Oxygen

• Makes up percent of • Makes up percent of

atmosphere atmosphere

• Helps living things make • Needed by plants and animals

• Needed to burn fuels

• Forms  , which

absorbs harmful rays from the Sun

© Edgenuity, Inc. 3
Structure and Composition of the
Instruction
Atmosphere
Slide

2 Other Gases in the Atmosphere


Argon, carbon dioxide, and water vapor are also present in the atmosphere,

though they make up only a portion.

Argon Water Vapor Carbon Dioxide

• Makes up 0.9 percent • Makes up 0.04 • Makes up 0.033


of atmosphere percent of “dry air” percent of atmosphere
(amount varies)
• Is not • Used by
• Forms to make food

and on • Is released by animals


and burning of
very tiny particles
fuels

• Has increased over time

4 Importance of the Atmosphere

The atmosphere provides conditions that support on Earth.

• Provides

• Provides

• Keeps warm

• Filters out radiation

• Protects Earth from

Living organisms also affect the atmosphere.

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Structure and Composition of the
Instruction
Atmosphere
Slide

7 Characteristics of Air
Air can be described by the following characteristics.

• Amount of matter an • Amount of mass in a • Force pushing on an


object contains certain volume area or a surface

• How tightly molecules


are packed

• Equal to mass divided


by volume

Air Pressure
Air pressure is the result of a column of

air on an area.

• The column extends upward and


pushes down, creating air pressure.

• in air push in all

directions.

• Denser air exerts more

than less

dense air.

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Structure and Composition of the
Instruction
Atmosphere
Slide

9 Effects of Altitude on Air Pressure

Altitude is the above sea level

of a given point.

• As altitude increases, air

pressure  .

• The pressure decrease is due to

fewer air above

pushing down.

Effects of Altitude on Air Density

As altitude , density

decreases.

• molecules are farther


apart.

• Molecules in air push in all

 .

• air exerts more

pressure than less dense air.

© Edgenuity, Inc. 6
Structure and Composition of the
Instruction
Atmosphere
Slide

12 The Atmosphere of Earth


The layers of the atmosphere are classified according to changes in

 .

• These layers include the:

• troposphere.

• stratosphere.

• mesosphere.

•  .

Troposphere
The troposphere is located between 0 and 12 kilometers above Earth’s

 .

• Innermost, layer of the atmosphere

• Varying conditions: rain,  , storms, clouds

• air pressure of any layer

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Structure and Composition of the
Instruction
Atmosphere
Slide

12 Stratosphere
The stratosphere is located 12 to 50 kilometers above Earth’s surface.

• Above the

• Contains the layer

• Gets warmer as altitude increases

• Good place for airplanes to fly

14 Mesosphere

The mesosphere is located 50 to kilometers above Earth’s surface.

• Prevents from reaching Earth’s surface

• Gets colder as altitude increases

• Has an air pressure that is less than 1 percent of the air

of the troposphere

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Structure and Composition of the
Instruction
Atmosphere
Slide

14 Thermosphere
The thermosphere is 80 kilometers above Earth’s surface.

• Has no defined outer limit

• Is very

• Absorbs harmful from the Sun

• Is where northern/southern occur

• Includes and

16 Exploring the Atmosphere


Lidar devices help scientists study the atmosphere by using light.

• Lidar stands for light and ranging.

• Satellites carry -equipped instruments into space.

• Short of light reveal more about particles in each layer

of the atmosphere.

• Scientists use these data for a number of different purposes.

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Structure and Composition of the
Summary
Atmosphere

? Lesson
How is the atmosphere characterized?
Question

Answer

Slide

2 Review: Key Concepts


Earth’s atmosphere is made of gases—nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide,
water vapor, and trace gases.

The atmosphere provides conditions that make life possible.

• Provides

• Provides water

• Keeps Earth

• Filters out ultraviolet radiation

• Protects Earth from meteoroids

© Edgenuity, Inc. 10
Structure and Composition of the
Summary
Atmosphere
Slide

2 Review: Key Concepts


Earth’s atmosphere has four main layers.

Stratosphere

• 0–12 km • 12–50 km • 50–80 km • 80 km and


beyond
• Has changing • Has ozone layer • Protects from
weather meteoroids • Is very hot
conditions • Increase in due to radiation
temperature with • Decrease in from Sun
• Decrease in altitude temperature with
temperature with altitude • Is where
altitude satellites orbit

Use this space to write any questions or thoughts about this lesson.

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