The atmosphere is an envelope of gases that surrounds the Earth and is held there by gravity. It is the air that all land creatures breathe, it moderates temperature and transports heat and water, and it filters out the Sun’s deadly ultraviolet radiation. While 99 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere is made up of just two gases — nitrogen and oxygen — it is the trace gases, primarily water vapor, carbon dioxide, and methane, that trap the Sun’s energy and keep the Earth warm.
Topic: Earth Science
The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased due to the extensive burning of fossil fuels, which started with the industrial revolution around 1850.
Wind circulation is powered by the Sun’s uneven heating of the Earth’s surface, and by the Earth’s rotation.
Solar radiation warms the Earth’s surface.
At the Earth’s surface, ozone is a pollutant, but its presence in the stratosphere is critical in protecting life.