Difference Between Troposphere and Stratosphere

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 14, 2022

       

Difference Between Troposphere and Stratosphere Difference Between Troposphere and Stratosphere

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Introduction

There are several zones in the atmosphere. Two of these are the troposphere and stratosphere. The troposphere, the lowest layer of the earth's atmosphere, is followed by the stratosphere, the second layer of the atmosphere, which is located immediately above the troposphere. Each stratum has a distinct air pressure and density.

Troposphere vs. Stratosphere

  • The troposphere is the first atmospheric layer and has an average height of over 10 km, which is the fundamental distinction between it and the stratosphere. The temperature in this air layer starts to drop as it gets higher. The stratosphere, on the other hand, is the second atmospheric layer of the planet and is located immediately above the troposphere at a height of about 50 kilometres.
  • The troposphere, which is the first part of the atmosphere to reach the cosmos, is made up of winds and water vapour. With an increase in height or altitude, the temperature in this layer will fall. Due to the presence of numerous gases, such as nitrogen, oxygen, and other gases like carbon dioxide, the troposphere layer's air is relatively thick.
  • The ozone layer, which shields the planet from the sun's damaging radiation, is present in the stratosphere, one of the major atmospheric layers. Between the mesosphere and troposphere, it is the second zone on Earth. This roughly 50 km-long layer is made mostly of ozone gas. This layer is free of any atmospheric disturbance.The lowest part of the atmosphere is called the troposphere. It rises from the planet's surface to a height of around 10 kilometres.
  • The tropopause is the term for the top of the troposphere. The equator has the highest value (20 km), whereas the poles have the lowest value (7 km). Most of the moisture, weather, and clouds in the atmosphere are found in the troposphere. With rising altitude, the troposphere's temperature drops. Just above the troposphere lies the stratosphere. It reaches 50 km above the surface of the Earth from the tropopause. The stratopause is the term for the stratosphere's highest point. The temperature rises with increasing height above the surface of the Earth because the stratospheric temperature gradient is positive.The ozone layer is located in the stratosphere.
  •  The mesosphere, which has some of the coldest temperatures in the atmosphere, the thermosphere, which has some of the hottest temperatures in the atmosphere, and the exosphere, which lacks a definite boundary but disappears into space as one gets farther from Earth, are the layers above the stratosphere. In that they both make up the lower atmosphere and are relatively thick in comparison to the upper atmospheric layers, the troposphere and stratosphere are comparable. They also vary in significant ways.The troposphere is continually convecting, has a negative temperature gradient, plenty of clouds, and lots of moisture. Except for near the poles, the stratosphere features no clouds, a positive temperature gradient, relatively stable air layers, and is dry.

Difference Between Troposphere and Stratosphere in Tabular Form

Table: Troposphere vs. Stratosphere
Parameter of comparison
Troposphere
Stratosphere
Height
The height of this atmospheric region is around 8–18 km.
It is possible to expand this atmospheric layer up to a height of 50 km.
Temperature
As height or altitude increases, the temperature in the troposphere drops.
 As height or altitude increases, the temperature in the stratosphere rises.
Humidity
Because it includes clouds and water vapour, this layer is quite wet.
This layer is dry because it is devoid of clouds and water vapour.
Clouds
It has lots of clouds.
With the exception of the region around the poles, it is cloudless.
Convectional current
It is regarded as a convection current zone.
It is regarded as the earth's atmosphere's non-convective zone.
Atmospheric Disturbance
This layer is the only part of the atmosphere that is being disturbed
No atmospheric disturbance is present in this layer.

What is Troposphere?

The portion of the atmosphere closest to the surface of the Earth is known as the troposphere. It rises from the surface of the Earth, on average, roughly 10 kilometres. It is both the densest and the region of the atmosphere that experiences the most weather. The tropopause, at the top of the troposphere, has a height that fluctuates with latitude and with the seasons. At the equator, at a height of roughly 20 km, the tropopause is greatest. At around 7 kilometres, it is the lowest in the polar regions. It will also fluctuate between lower and greater values depending on the season.

The earth's atmosphere is made up of several layers that are distributed throughout a range of elevations. The tropopause, which divides this layer from others, is the upper portion of this layer. More than half the mass of the atmosphere is carried by the troposphere, which is made up of several gases.

The Earth's water cycle is significantly influenced by the troposphere. When water is drawn by the sun through evaporation, which occurs in this layer of the atmosphere, the water cycle process begins. The gases that make up the clouds, including water, are produced.

The troposphere is in charge of supplying the weather to the earth's inhabitants. This layer has three key characteristics: the weather, clouds, and temperature gradient.

What three traits does the troposphere have?

  • Temperature Difference

With rising altitude above the surface, the temperature of the air in the troposphere drops. Because of this, even at the equator, the highest mountains will have snow, yet at nearby lower elevations, there may be rainforests or hot deserts. The temperature at the tropopause can drop to -55 degrees Celsius.

  • Weather

The absorption of energy from sunlight causes heat to radiate from the Earth's surface, gradually warming the air in the troposphere. Hot air is less dense than cold air. As a result, as the warmer air rises and the colder air descends to replace it, the warmer airmasses will displace the colder airmasses above them. One of the reasons the troposphere contains the most weather and very turbulent air is the mixing of warm and cold airmasses.

  • Clouds

The portion of the atmosphere with the highest moisture is the troposphere. Because of this, the troposphere contains the majority of the clouds in the Earth's atmosphere.

What is the Stratosphere?

The layer of the atmosphere above the troposphere is known as the stratosphere. It begins at the tropopause, which is about 10 km above Earth's surface, and ascends to a height of around 50 km. With height, the stratosphere's air becomes warmer. The stratosphere has less turbulence as a result. Because of the lower stratosphere's generally calmer air than the troposphere, commercial passenger aircraft will travel there. The stratopause is the term for the stratosphere's highest point.

The stratosphere contains the ozone layer (O3). Sunlight's UV rays are absorbed by ozone and turned into heat. Ozone also warms the stratosphere in this manner.

Dust from volcanic eruptions, impact events, and industrial pollutants from the troposphere that enter the stratosphere can stay in the stratosphere for lengthy periods of time, from years to millennia, since the air in the stratosphere is very quiet and stable due to a lack of vertical convection. The global climate might significantly shift as a result of this.

The second-lowest layer of the atmosphere, the stratosphere, is where the ozone layer is found. The term "tropopause" refers to the lower end of this layer (where it begins) and "stratopause" to its highest point. Ozone gas makes up the majority of this stratum.

The layer experiences very little weather disruption thanks to the comforting air circulation. Because there is little disruption from air movement and clouds, the stratosphere is thought to be an advantageous place for pilots to operate aircraft.

As the seasons change, so does the temperature in this stratum. It drops to a low temperature in the winter and vice versa. This layer absorbs damaging UV light and stretches for about 50 kilometres. It contains greenhouse gases, which make up around 20% of all greenhouse gases present on Earth. There is a significant atmospheric layer between the mesosphere and the troposphere.

What are the other atmospheric layers?

The mesosphere, thermosphere, and exosphere are three further separate layers that lie above the stratosphere.

  • Mesosphere

The stratosphere is followed by the mesosphere. It reaches up to 85 km from the stratopause, which is located at roughly 50 km. Compared to the lower atmosphere, the mesosphere has extremely thin air. The air pressure in the lower mesosphere is less than 1% of that at sea level, and it decreases with height inside the layer. The mesosphere also experiences very low temperatures, with the uppermost layer reaching -90 degrees Celsius. In the mesosphere, cosmic debris that is burning up in Earth's atmosphere often manifests as meteors.

  • Thermosphere

Between 500 and 1000 kilometres above the surface of the Earth, the thermosphere begins at the mesosphere's uppermost point. There are a lot of satellites in orbit in the thermosphere. Although the thermosphere may reach temperatures of more than 2000 degrees Celsius, the atmosphere is so thin that it barely affects the movement of things through it. The thermosphere is where the northern lights, or aurora borealis, and the southern lights, or aurora australis, may be seen.

  • Exosphere

Scientists studying the atmosphere argue over which layer of the atmosphere—the thermosphere or the exosphere—is the fullest. Since the "air" in the exosphere is so thin, it is difficult to tell the exosphere from surrounding space. However, some definitions place the maximum limit of the exosphere at a distance of between 100,000 and 190,000 kilometres from Earth.

  • Ionosphere

The ionosphere, in contrast to the other layers, is made up of ion-dominated regions of the mesosphere and thermosphere rather than being a separate layer. Ions are atoms and molecules that have a net positive or negative charge. This is often because they have had their electrons removed, in this case by the sun's high-energy radiation. The ionosphere has unique characteristics because ions predominate there.

Main Difference Between the Troposphere and the Stratosphere in Points

  • The earth's atmosphere is divided into two layers: the troposphere and the stratosphere. The earth's atmosphere, or troposphere, may be found 8 to 18 kilometres above the surface. On the other hand, the stratosphere may reach a height of 50 kilometres.
  • Temperature differences between the troposphere and stratosphere are closely correlated with changes in height. As height or altitude rises, the temperature in the troposphere drops. In contrast, the temperature rises with height in the stratosphere.
  • The troposphere, which is made up of water vapour and a variety of gases such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and other gases, is in charge of sustaining the weather on Earth. The troposphere has a lot of moisture because clouds and water vapour are present. On the other hand, the stratosphere, with the exception of the polar regions, is relatively dry since it is devoid of clouds and water vapour.
  • The alteration in air circulation and other variables frequently results in atmospheric disturbance. The disturbed atmosphere confines or constricts the troposphere, but since the stratosphere has horizontal air circulation and no clouds, there is no atmospheric disturbance there.
  • Although the stratospheric zone on the opposite side is thought to be the non-convective zone of the earth's atmosphere, the convection current happened in the troposphere layer of the atmosphere. While the stratosphere's temperature gradient rises with height, the troposphere's temperature gradient falls with altitude.
  • Due to heat from the Earth's surface, the air in the troposphere is constantly convecting and overturning, whereas the air in the stratosphere is stable and seldom convects.
  • The stratosphere doesn't have any clouds save nacreous clouds around the poles, but the troposphere contains a lot of clouds.

In contrast to the stratosphere, which is typically dry, the troposphere is relatively humid.

Conclusion

Atmospheric strata include the troposphere and stratosphere. These two zones are situated one on top of the other. The stratosphere begins at the highest point of the troposphere. They are extendable to a particular altitude. While the other shields the planet from dangerous UV radiation, the one that makes up the weather. These two zones, or strata, are very important to the atmosphere.

References

  • https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1034/j.1600-0870.1995.t01-1-00008.x
  • https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.2153-3490.1962.tb01349.x

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"Difference Between Troposphere and Stratosphere." Diffzy.com, 2022. Sun. 02 Oct. 2022. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-troposphere-and-stratosphere-1023>.



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