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Earth’s Atmosphere Outline

Fill in the missing words/terms.


The atmosphere is divided into layers according to major changes in _____________________.

Gravity pushes the layers of air down on the earth’s surface; this push is called ______________

________________________. 99% of the total _____________________ of the atmosphere is

below 32 kilometers.

The _______________________________ contains 75% of the gases in the atmosphere; this is

where you live and where weather occurs. As height increases, temperature decreases.

The __________________________ is located at the top of the troposphere; it separates the

Troposphere from the stratosphere. This is where the jet stream is located.

The ______________________________ contains the ozone layer which acts as a shield for the

earth’s surface. It absorbs U.V. radiation from the sun which causes a temperature

_______________________ in the upper part of the layer.

The ______________________________ is the coldest region of the atmosphere; it protects the

Earth from meteoroids.

The ______________________________ has very thin air and the temperature is very

____________________ in this layer because U.V. radiation is turned into heat.

The ______________________________ is the lower part of the thermosphere. Here, gas

particles absorb U.V. and X-ray radiation from the sun which electrically charges them (ions).
The ____________________________ is the upper part of the thermosphere. Air is very

_________ here; this is the area where ______________________________ orbit the earth.

The ____________________________________ is the area around the earth that extends

beyond the atmosphere. The earth’s __________________________________ operates here. It

is made up of electrons & protons. The Van Allen belts trap deadly radiation. When large

amounts are given off during a solar flare, the particles collide with each other causing the

_____________________________________________ or the northern lights.


In the first 500 million years, a ________________ atmosphere emerged from the vapor and

gases that were expelled during degassing of the planet’s interior.

The ________________________________ formed 4 billion years ago from the condensation of

water vapor, resulting in bodies of water.

The most important feature of the ancient environment was the absence of __________________

_____________________. Evidence of this was found in early _______________________


One billion years ago, ________________________________ began using energy from the sun

to create O2 through the process of _________________________________________. As

oxygen in the atmosphere increased, _______________ decreased.

The presence of _______________________________ enabled organisms to develop and live on

land. Prior to the existence of the ozone layer, life on earth was restricted to the

_____________________________. The ozone allows life as we presently know to exist.