How the Atmosphere Protects the Earth

The earth’s atmosphere is essential to the protection and survival of the planet and its living organisms.
••• Planets in the atmosphere Earth image by Photoeyes from Fotolia.com

The atmosphere is a combination of gases that surround the Earth. It is composed of approximately 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and one percent other gases (water vapor and carbon dioxide). The earth’s atmosphere is essential to the protection and survival of the planet and its living organisms.

Radiation Absorption and Reflection

Ultraviolet radiation (UV radiation) is energy created by the sun. UV radiation is harmful in large amounts and can cause sunburn, skin cancer and eye problems. The ozone layer is a section of the Earth’s atmosphere that acts as a barrier between the Earth and UV radiation. The ozone layer protects the Earth from too much radiation by both absorbing and reflecting harmful UV rays.

Meteorite Protection

A meteoroid is a small rock or object drifting in space. A meteoroid is called a meteor (also called a falling or shooting star) when it penetrates the Earth’s atmosphere. When a meteor hits the Earth, it is called a meteorite. Meteorites can be dangerous depending on their size and the location of impact with the Earth. However, harm caused by meteorites is extremely rare. The atmosphere provides protection against meteorites. Most meteors are small and will burn up when they pass through the Earth’s atmosphere.

Vacuum of Space

The vacuum of space is a region where there is very little pressure and air. It is a space of emptiness that contains little to no matter (has mass and can be a solid, liquid or gas). The atmosphere protects the Earth from the vacuum. The gasses and pressure of the atmosphere allow living organisms to breathe. The atmosphere also prevents water from vaporizing into space. Without the atmosphere, there would be no life on the Earth.

Related Articles

How to Use Petrified Wood Energy
What Are Meteors Made Up Of?
How Does the Earth's Atmosphere Protect Living Organisms?
Environmental Hazards of Limestone Mining
Facts on Convection Currents
Test Your Knowledge on Middle School Science
How Does Water Enter the Earth's Atmosphere?
What Protects the Earth From Harmful Solar Flares?
Gases That Cause Air Pollution
How Does the Earth Receive Heat From the Sun?
About Minor & Major Landforms
What Are the Elements of Uranus?
The Characteristics of Comets, Meteors & Asteroids
What Is the Difference Between Permeable & Impermeable?
What Are the Four Planets Closest to the Sun Called?
What Is the Difference Between the Crust & the Lithosphere?
Earth Atmosphere Facts
What Causes Metamorphic Rocks to Form?
Aquatic Ecosystem Facts
Why Does the Earth Not Get Very Hot or Cold?

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!