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Role of Atmosphere in Climate Control

An Introduction to Climate Control

Last updated date: 18th Mar 2023
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The protective layer of the atmosphere is reported to safeguard the Earth. Air is a bad conductor of heat, hence, this atmosphere helps to maintain a steady temperature during the course of a year. As a result of global warming, the troposphere is reported to expand. The troposphere is the lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere and due to the industrial revolution, and the greenhouse gas effect, the climate has changed drastically. A rise in the boundary between the troposphere and stratosphere has been observed due to this.

Role of Atmosphere in Climate Control

The Earth is protected from the harmful effect of radiation and cosmic rays by the atmosphere. The molecular gases present in the atmosphere form a dense layer that is reported to absorb cosmic rays, gamma rays, and X-rays. The atmosphere also protects the Earth from space debris. In absence of an atmosphere condensation of water vapour into rain would not occur, and the water would have boiled away into space leaving our planet lifeless. Hence, the role of the atmosphere in climatic control is vital.

What are the Main Roles or Functions of the Atmosphere?

The atmosphere is the main component of Earth’s interdependent physical systems. It is composed of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% other gases that are present in the different layers of the atmosphere. The main function of the atmosphere is the protection of life on Earth by shielding it from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

The role of the atmosphere is to give insulation to the Earth. Gases like carbondioxide, nitrous oxides, methane, and ozone also form one-tenth of the 1% of the atmosphere. The weather condition of a particular region is predicted by the concentration of water vapour in the atmosphere. The condensation of water vapours leads to rainfall that helps life to sustain.

Atmospheric Changes

Due to global warming, the atmosphere is also warming. The intense heat waves and droughts are reflections of global warming. Due to the greenhouse effect, more carbon dioxide is released making the atmosphere more heated as it holds more water vapour. These atmospheric changes also alter the climate and in turn affect the local air quality.

Climate change has the potential to increase ground-level ozone which can be challenging. A huge amount of greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide that is released due to human activities as a result of the industrial revolution also contributes to the drastic change in the Earth’s climate. Natural processes, volcanic eruptions, and changes in the Earth’s orbit and rotation also affect the Earth's climate.

Climate of the Earth

The climate of the Earth is different from the weather. The climate is the long-term weather of a region whereas weather can alter with the seasons. The climate of the Earth is influenced by water, ice, air, and life. In the past, the climate was only affected by natural forces, but the industrial revolution and humanity have now proven to be significant contributors to the change in the climate.

The change in the level of heat-trapping gases largely impacts the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere. Microorganisms such as bacteria are reported to generate an increased amount of these heat-trapping gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides, and water vapour) in our atmosphere. Trees, on the other hand, have the potential to produce a cooling effect and can keep the levels of heat-trapping gas, and CO2, in check. The increase in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere occurs due to the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas in factories. Cutting down the forests has also contributed largely to global warming.

Methane is produced from farm animals, rotting garbage in landfills, and mining. Nitrous oxide is released into the atmosphere from the fertilisers that we use to grow our crops.

Interesting Facts

The atmosphere forms a protective layer that maintains the temperature and pressure at optimum level so that life can sustain on the earth. In absence of the atmosphere, there would have been drastic fluctuations in temperature.

Key Features of Role of Atmosphere in Climate Control

  • The Earth is protected from the harmful effects of radiation and cosmic rays by the atmosphere. The molecular gases present in the atmosphere form a thick layer that is reported to take up cosmic rays and X-rays.

  • The atmosphere prevents sudden changes in the temperature of the earth and keeps the average temperature steady.

  • Factors such as industrialization, excess burning of fossil fuel, deforestation, and release of greenhouse gases have contributed to drastic atmospheric changes and in turn climate change of the Earth.

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FAQs on Role of Atmosphere in Climate Control

1. What are greenhouse gases?

The main greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), and ozone. The concentration of these gases is increasing due to human activities. These glasses should be removed from the atmosphere by different procedures from time to time.

2. What are the factors that control the climate of an area?

The factors responsible for controlling the climate of an area are latitude, altitude, presence of water, ocean currents, vegetation, and existing winds.

3. What are the different layers of the atmosphere?

The different layers of the atmosphere are mentioned below:

The Troposphere, stratosphere, thermosphere, magnetosphere, and Ionosphere.

4. What is Global warming?

The excessive warming of the planet's overall temperature is known as global warming. The process is going on for a long time, but in recent years, its pace has increased due to the excessive burning of fossil fuels as a result of an increase in the human population.