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Meterology

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Submitted By abby1998
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What are the 4 major zones of the atmosphere called? What are their major characteristics?

The atmosphere is composed of four major zones the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere.
The troposphere, the first of the four zones, consists of the Earth’s surface to about 11 kilometers up. The weather we are most familiar with here on Earth is found in the troposphere. The word troposphere is from the Greek word tropein, meaning to turn, or change. Here one can find rising and descending air currents. The troposphere is a region of circulating air from the surface to the stratosphere.
The second zone, or the stratosphere, is where air temperature begins to increase with height, which produces a temperature inversion. This inversion reduces the amount of vertical motion in the stratosphere. The inversion is caused by the fact that the ozone heats the air at this altitude. If it wasn’t for the ozone the air would become colder with height as it does in the troposphere.
The mesosphere is the third major zone of the atmosphere. The air in this zone is extremely thin and the atmospheric pressure is low. The mesospheric air contains far less oxygen molecules than tropospheric air, even though it contains the same percentage of nitrogen and oxygen. Hypoxia, which is a condition where the brain is oxygen starved , will develop if proper oxygen-breathing equipment isn’t used.
The fourth and final layer, the thermosphere, is also known as the “hot layer”. This is called the “hot layer” because oxygen molecules absorb energetic solar rays, which warms the air. The thermosphere consists of a small amount of atoms and molecules. Here charged particles from the sun interact with air molecules to produce aurora displays. While the temperature in the thermosphere can exceed 900 ◦F, one might not actually feel hot because there are too few molecules in this zone to bump against something and transfer enough heat to make it feel warm.…...

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