We do not see it or hear it, we cannot taste or touch it, but that is one of the biggest reasons for our existence. The atmosphere, which continually surrounds people and other living beings, is inconspicuous. When seen from space, the atmosphere appears like an elegant bluish veil that wraps the Earth. But why Is The Atmosphere Essential For Life? Let’s find out.
It is the air that envelopes our planet. Compared to the diameter of the Earth, this shell is quite thin. To put it in perspective, if the Earth were as big as an apple, the atmosphere would be about the thickness of its peel, the outermost layer.
Why Is The Atmosphere Essential For Life?
Life would be impossible on Earth without the atmosphere because plants, animals and humans need air to breathe. It protects us from the cold and harmful radiation from space. It also burns meteorites before they can hit the surface of the Earth. Now we know, why is the atmosphere essential for life, but what does it actually consist of?
The atmosphere is essentially a mixture of various gases. A large part of this gas mixture is nitrogen at 78 percent, which is almost four-fifths of the entire atmosphere. Only 21 percent consists of oxygen, which we need to breathe. The remaining one percent is made up of various trace gases that only occur in traces in the atmosphere.
These trace gases include methane, nitrogen oxides and, above all, carbon dioxide, or CO2 for short. Although the CO2 content is quite low, this trace gas has a significant impact on our Earth’s Earth’s climate. It is reflected in the greenhouse effect that is heating our planet.
The increasing temperatures is anyway a problem for life on Earth and further stresses upon the fact why Is The Atmosphere Essential For Life.
Why doesn’t the atmosphere disperse into space?
The fact that the Earth even has an atmosphere at all is due to gravity. It holds the gas molecules on the Earth and prevents them from simply flying out into space. In fact, the air becomes thinner as the altitude rises, and the gravity decreases. Already at 2000 meters above sea level, this can have an unpleasant effect on people.
They suffer from altitude sickness with shortness of breath, headache and nausea. Extreme mountaineers who want to climb high peaks, such as the 8000 m Himalayas, usually take oxygen cylinders with them on their tour. If you visit the tallest mountain peaks of Himalayas, you would understand Why Is The Atmosphere Essential For Life.
We have listed the Functions of the atmosphere to better understand Why Is The Atmosphere Essential For Life.
1. Protects living beings from harmful or deadly radiation from space by filtering UV and X-rays from the sun.
2. Transmits essential sunlight to the surfaces of the continents and oceans, which serves as the most significant energy source.
3. Protects against rapid cooling and overheating by maintaining heat balance between day and night.
4. The atmosphere maintains the average surface temperature of the Earth of approx. +15 ° C, compared to approx. -18 ° C. It does so by trapping the heat from the sun and using it when the sun is shining on the other side.
5. Energy, including sensible heat of the air and latent heat of water vapour, is transported from areas near the equator to medium and higher latitudes.
6. Water vapour moisture is transported and distributed through the dynamic processes of general circulation, which determines the distribution of precipitation.
7. The atmosphere serves as the primary storage for nitrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen.
8. The atmosphere is involved in various vital material cycles.
9. Distributed natural and anthropogenic (man-made) emissions are converted and reduced in the atmosphere by oxidation reactions with radicals and photolysis. It reduces pollution by maintaining a consistent level of gases.
10. It protects against smaller meteorites, which burn up due to the high friction when entering the atmosphere and thus do not reach the Earth’s surface. Otherwise, the Earth might have looked like the moon.
11. The ionosphere is divided into intermediate layers that can reflect electromagnetic waves. These layers of the ionosphere are of great importance for the worldwide propagation of radio waves.
The Earth maintained its atmosphere for billions of years, which led to the evolution of life. Scientists warn about the changes in the environment that could potentially lead to permanent and disastrous changes on Earth that could also lead to the end of life on Earth. It is high time we understand Why Is The Atmosphere Essential For Life and take steps to protect it.