Sky – Nature is Speaking – Joan Chen

The atmosphere of Earth is the layer of gases, commonly known as air, retained by Earth’s gravity, surrounding the planet Earth and forming its planetary atmosphere. The atmosphere of Earth protects life on Earth by creating pressure allowing for liquid water to exist on the Earth’s surface, absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation, warming the surface through heat retention (greenhouse effect), and reducing temperature extremes between day and night. All this happens in the sky.

The Sky

“Look up!
There I am
I am the Sky
I’m a warm protective blanket wrapped around everyone on Earth
I can bring clouds, rain and wind
I can be an Ice storm, without me you would fry
Every day I am the breath you take in
Yet you are making me sick
I am congested, off balance, polluted
You see, I am more delicate than you think
It took millions of years to get it just right
My perfect mix of gases, temperature and weather that you enjoy
But now your cars your factories and dust, they have pushed me past the limit
And you wonder why my typhoons and tornadoes are more intense, more frequent
I have become unpredictable
Less rain here, a lot more rain there
Hotter summers, colder winters
I cannot even control myself anymore
Enough about me, I will show my changes to you in the days ahead
But in the end I’ll be fine
Give me a few thousand years, I have weathered trauma before
I am not worried for myself
Look up!”


What Are The 5 Layers Of The Earth’s Atmosphere?

1. Troposphere

This is the first and the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere. All life on this planet is affected by the changes that happen in this layer, as all the weather changes take place in the troposphere. It starts from the ground (or sea level) of our planet and expands up to 10 km up in the sky.

This is when we talk about the levels of oxygen, the one layer that contains the most of this gas every living thing on this planet needs. The higher we go in this layer of the atmosphere, the ‘’thinner’’ the air gets, meaning it is significantly harder for us humans to breathe. That is why climbing high mountain peaks is so challenging.

2. Stratosphere

If we start from the top of the troposphere and go further into the sky, we reach the layer known as the stratosphere. This layer goes up around 50 km above the Earth’s ground. In this layer, the temperature rises as you go further up, and it has something to do with the ozone layer that is found inside the stratosphere.

The ozone layer serves a vital role in the protection of our planet, as the molecules of ozone prevent ultraviolet light from the Sun to hit our planet without stopping. The UV light is not technically stopped, but the conversion from UV light to heat happens (which is why holes in the ozone layer are so dangerous).

3. Mesosphere

As the name suggests, we are halfway up our atmosphere layers when we reach this part. The mesosphere goes up to 85 km above the surface of our planet, and the temperatures here behave as they do in the troposphere. In essence, the higher you go, the colder it gets. The air in this layer is absolutely not friendly for us, as it would be impossible to breathe in the mesosphere because of too low oxygen levels. Also, this layer of the atmosphere has the lowest temperature of all layers, and they drop down to -90° C.

4. Thermosphere

The layer that is located between 500 and 1000 km above the Earth’s level is known as the thermosphere. You have guessed it, high temperatures are the name of the game here. This layer is under constant attack from the X-rays and UV radiation coming from the Sun and the space around us. Because of this, the temperatures in this layer can even reach 2,000° C.

5. Exosphere

Unlike other layers, which are mostly distinguishable from one another, it is hard to say how far the exosphere is from the surface of the planet. Somewhere it is around 100,000 km, but it can expand up to 190,000 km above sea level. The air here is extremely thin, and the conditions here are more similar to the ones we find when we leave the Earth’s atmosphere entirely.

Source: Conservation International & WorldAtlas