One of the main components of Earth’s interdependent physical systems is the atmosphere. An atmosphere is the layers of gases surrounding a planet or other celestial body. Earth’s atmosphere is composed of about 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and one percent other gases. These gases are found in layers (troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, and exosphere) defined by unique features such as temperature and pressure. The atmosphere protects life on earth by shielding it from incoming ultraviolet (UV) radiation, keeping the planet warm through insulation, and preventing extremes between day and night temperatures. The sun heats layers of the atmosphere causing it to convect driving air movement and weather patterns around the world.
Teach your students about the Earth's atmosphere with the resources in this collection.