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 keep the Earth running the way it should, and makes sure plants and animals are able to live and grow.
4. There are five other layers in the atmosphere, but we know the troposphere most 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 eight and 14 kilometers thick, depending on where you are measuring it from on the 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 increases, 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 its closest.
14. The air in the troposphere is 21% oxygen and 78% nitrogen, with the remaining one percent being made up from 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 favourites, and help us to put it into 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 depth of the troposphere is affected by the time of day, the latitude and the season.
20. The 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 high human population, there can be a lot of smog in the troposphere, which 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 derives 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 doesn't contain ozone.
25. When the 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 -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 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 from.
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, which 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, the 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 Earth's heat is trapped close to the surface of the planet, and 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.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.
We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.
Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.
We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.