When we gaze up at the sky, it's hard to imagine the extent of what goes on up there.
It's hard to imagine that we're standing inside the earth's atmosphere every day. These important facts about the troposphere go into detail about the characteristics of the troposphere, what makes it different from the other atmospheric layers, and why it's so important to life on earth.
These facts are going to give you the low down on troposphere features and troposphere characteristics so you know all you need to about the closest layer in the atmosphere of Earth.
What Is The Troposphere?
These troposphere facts are the most important because they're here to help you understand what the layer of the atmosphere closest to the earth does for us.
1. In the same way that the earth we walk on is divided into lots of different layers, the air that hangs out above our heads is split up too.
2. This is called the atmosphere and is made from different layers of gases.
3. These layers keep the earth running the way it should, and make sure that plants and animals are able to live and grow.
4. There are five other layers in the atmosphere, but we know the troposphere best because it is the layer of the atmosphere that is closest to the earth's surface.
5. The troposphere is the lowest layer of the atmosphere.
6. It is between 5-9 mi (8-14 km) thick, depending on where you are measuring it from on earth.
7. In the earth's polar regions the troposphere is at its thinnest, and it is thickest in the warmest regions of the planet, so if you go to the North and South Poles you will find the thinnest tropospheric layer.
8. The troposphere includes the clouds and the air we breathe.
9. The troposphere contains three-quarters of the entire atmosphere's mass.
10. Most of the weather we experience is occurring in the troposphere.
11. Most of the water vapor in the atmosphere layers is in the troposphere, which is why clouds appear here.
12. When an airplane flies high up in the sky the air pressure and air density decrease, so we need to pressurize airplanes that fly at the highest altitudes.
13. The air in the troposphere is coldest when it's furthest from the earth and warmest when it's closest.
14. The air in the troposphere is 21% oxygen and 78% nitrogen, with the remaining 1 % being made up of a combination of carbon dioxide, water vapor, and argon.
15. Even though carbon dioxide only makes up a tiny portion of the troposphere's gas, it is the factor that determines whether the earth is warm or cold, and can put us into an ice age.
16. The troposphere contains 99% of the water vapor in the layers of the atmosphere.
17. The top edge of the troposphere is bonded by a layer of air called the tropopause. This separates it from the other next atmosphere layer, the stratosphere.
Interesting Facts About The Troposphere
These fun facts about the troposphere are some of our favorites, and help us to put the troposphere into the context of our daily lives.
18. You are experiencing the troposphere every time you see a cloud, watch a bird fly, or feel a breeze against your skin.
19. The height of the troposphere is affected by the time of day, the latitude, and the season.
20. Air pressure is at its maximum point when it is at sea level. When it gets higher up, the pressure becomes lower.
21. In places with a large human population, there can be a lot of smog in the troposphere. This is caused by pollutants that are close to the surface of the earth from cars and factories. Smog makes it hard to see and can irritate your throat and your eyes.
22. The name troposphere is derived from the Greek word 'tropos', which means 'change'. This comes from the fact that the weather is always changing the atmospheric gases.
23. The heat in the tropospheric layer doesn't come directly from the sun, but from the sun heating the ocean and land, and that heat radiating up into the atmosphere.
24. The troposphere contains the lowest levels of ozone, at just 10%.
25. When sunlight enters the atmosphere, some of the light reflects back into space straight away.
26. The lowest air temperature that the troposphere can reach is -110 F (-80 C).
27. Most of the dust particles that are in the earth's atmosphere are in the troposphere.
28. The troposphere is not constant in either time or space.
Why Is The Troposphere Important?
So we know it is one of the five layers of the atmosphere, and we know the troposphere is the lowest layer of the atmosphere, but what makes it arguably the most important one for human life? You're about to find out!
29. The processes of the troposphere like the greenhouse effect and the water cycle are really important influences on the climate and meteorology.
30. The troposphere warms our planet and keeps our temperatures relatively constant so that people can survive.
31. The composition of the troposphere changes the quality of our air. Even if there's a tiny change in the amount of some components, it can harm our health and our vegetation.
32. The troposphere creates the pressure that allows liquid water to exist on earth.
33. The troposphere is responsible for the water cycle, which allows plants to grow.
34. The study of the troposphere is important to human life because it is the layer we breathe air in.
35. As well as providing oxygen to allow us to live, the troposphere also provides us with protection from the harmful ultraviolet radiation that comes from the sun.
36. Because the troposphere heats the earth differently in different places, convection currents are formed. These are winds that move heat and moisture all over the planet.
What Puts The Troposphere In Danger?
It is super important that we look after our planet, and this includes the atmosphere too.
37. Because it's directly contacting the surface of the earth, the troposphere is extremely sensitive to the things that happen at this level like photosynthesis, oceans evaporating, and human activities.
38. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the troposphere has almost doubled since the year 1900.
39. Because of the increase in carbon dioxide, some of the earth's heat is trapped close to the surface of the planet. This stops it from being able to be released into space.
40. Scientists are worried that if the amount of carbon dioxide keeps increasing, the surface temperature of the earth would become a lot hotter over the next hundred years. This would change the world's weather a lot and raise the level of the oceans.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our troposphere facts then why not take a look at these awesome geologic law of superposition fun facts, or these mind-blowing mesosphere facts.
Emily has lived in London for ten years, and still loves discovering new places to explore in the capital with her two little brothers. She loves all things lifestyle and fashion, she is a fashion designer and artist, as well as working with arts charities to facilitate workshops and outreach on crafts, fashion, and design for children with special needs and children with difficult home lives who might otherwise not have access, from toddlers to teenagers. Emily is also a trained life coach and loves talking and writing about general wellness, mindfulness and healthy relationships.