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Stratosphere: meaning and temperature

Stratosphere: meaning and temperature


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Stratosphere, one of the layers of which the Earth's atmosphere is composed. If you start from the closest to the earth's crust, it is the second after the troposphere and has characteristics that distinguish it. Primarily the temperature trend compared to the altitude, but not only.

Stratosphere: temperature

The reason why at a certain altitude, we pass from the troposphere to the stratosphere, is the presence of a variation of vertical thermal gradient. Translated into simple terms, if the temperature in the troposphere decreases as one moves away from the earth's surface, in the stratosphere on the contrary, the further one goes towards the sidereal space, the more the temperature increases. This increase is small, of course, but it is significant indeed the turnaround and that is why it was established to divide these two layers, studying their characteristics separately.

Stratosphere: what is it

Second of 5 "brothers" layers, it lies exactly above the tropopause which in turn comes after the troposphere. The other layers to follow, starting from the stratosphere and moving away from the earth's crust, they are Mesosphere, Thermosphere and Exosphere.

Stratosphere: distance from the Earth

Around the 12 km from the Earth begins, in truth this is only an indicative distance, because at the Poles this layer begins 8 km from the Earth while at the equator it is necessary reach 20 km away to end the tropopause.

The layer ends around 50 km, altitude corresponding to a temperature of maximum -3 degrees Celsius, after which the stratopause begins. This "pause" is not like the tropopause because it has no "thickness", it is more a symbolic entity that serves to better emphasize the change of vertical thermal gradient which once again is recorded by passing to the next layer, the Mesosphere.

Distance is important, because it affects thetemperature trend in this area of ​​the atmosphere. If the Earth emitted heat in the troposphere being the primary source, at higher altitudes this no longer happens, so the temperature begins to increase with altitude due to the presence of the ozone layer that captures the sun's rays from space. The Earth is no longer the main heat source because it is too distant.

Stratosphere and ozone

We have mentioned ozone and it is clear that in this layer it plays a leading role. In one part of the Stratosphere, ozone molecules dissociate and this causes a temperature increase with altitude. Why do they dissociate? Because the ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun affect the Ozone molecules formed by three oxygen atoms, the atoms divide, heat is produced and ultraviolet rays do not continue their course.

This is also why ozone is of essential importance to us, it absorbs solar rays that are dangerous for us. When we talk about the ozone hole, therefore, we intend to point the finger at the phenomenon that sees the ozonosphere increasingly thin and therefore less able to protect us from the harmful rays of the sun.

Stratosphere and planes

Planes do not fly in Stratosphere but at the limit, normally at an altitude of 12 km, just above the Troposphere. This for avoid perturbations since most of them occur in the troposphere where 3/4 of the entire gaseous mass of the atmosphere and almost all of the water vapor are concentrated.

Launch from the stratosphere

If you have heard of Stratosphere launch, learn about the businesses of Felix Baumgartner, the first man to have passed the sound barrier in free fall. On board a special capsule, he climbed for 2 hours and 37 minutes reaching a distance from the earth of almost 40 K, then opened the capsule and threw himself into the middle of the stratosphere. In his "fall" he touched the incredible speed of 1342 km / h, he arrived on Earth alive, amid applause.

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You might also be interested in:

  • Layers of the atmosphere
  • Ionosphere
  • Thermosphere: what it is


Video: Weather Balloon Flight to Stratosphere Uncut (June 2022).


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