Our planet (Earth) has a jacket like cover over it. The jacket covers the entire planet with several layers of gases. It is mostly made up of nitrogen and oxygen, but there are also good amounts of argon, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. These layers are held in place by gravity. These layers of gases do many different things to help living things on the surface of the Earth. It helps keep us warm and contributes to our supply of oxygen. It also absorbs a good portion of the ultraviolet (UV) rays coming from the sun. If the UV rays were not absorbed by our atmosphere, it would have very harmful effects for any creatures that are exposed to sunlight regularly. The atmosphere is where weather develops as it makes its way land and our oceans. The atmosphere is composed of six distinct layers. Each layer gets thinner as you travel from the bottom to outer space. There is no clear boundary between outer space and atmosphere.
This series of worksheets examines the function and composition of each of the layers of Earth's atmosphere. Students will also explore the composition of each of the gases found in these layers. We take some time to look at how human activities are leading to destruction and composition of these gaseous layers. We go a step further from there and examine how this is impacting life on Earth in the forms of weather, temperature, and pressure changes.