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QUESTIONS: (Seatwork 1-F) primarily in two regions of the atmosphere.

About 10% of atmospheric ozone is in the

1. According to what is the atmosphere
troposphere, the region closest to Earth
divided into 4 layers? (Describe the
(from the surface to about 10–16
structure of the atmosphere.)
kilometers (6–10 miles)). The remaining
 The four layers according to the variation of
ozone (about 90%) resides in the
temperature are:
stratosphere between the top of the
1. Ionosphere (Aurora) or Thermosphere
troposphere and about 50 kilometers (31
Above 100 km is the thermosphere and
miles) altitude. The large amount of ozone
ionosphere where the temperature
in the stratosphere is often referred to as
increases from 200 K at 100 km to 500 K
the “ozone layer”. The ozone layer extends
at 300 km. The temperature goes even
over the entire globe with some variation in
higher as the altitude increases. activity
altitude and thickness. The remaining
as the altitude decrease. In the outer
ozone, about 10%, is found in the
space, most particles consist of single
troposphere, which is the lowest region of
atoms, H, He, and O etc. At lower
the atmosphere, between Earth’s surface
altitude (200 F 100 km), diatomic
and the stratosphere.
molecules N2, O2, NO etc. are present.
The ionosphere is full of electrically
3. How thick is the troposphere? Discussion-
charged ions.
(At the top of the world highest mountain,
2. Mesosphere Below the thermosphere is
~10 km in altitude, the atmosphere is only
the mesosphere (100 > 50 km) in which
0.1 of that at sea level. This is the top of the
the temperature decreases as the
altitude increase. In this region, OH, H,
 This is the lowest atmospheric layer and is
NO, HO2, O2, and O3 are common.
about seven miles (11 km) thick. Most
3. Stratosphere Below the mesosphere is
clouds and weather are found in the
the stratosphere, in which the
troposphere. The troposphere is thinner at
temperature increases as the altitude
the poles (averaging about 8km thick) and
increase from 10 km to 50 km. Air flow
thicker at the equator (averaging about
is horizontal in the stratosphere. A thin
16km thick). The temperature decreases
ozone layer in the upper stratosphere
with altitude.
has a high concentration of ozone. This
layer is primarily responsible for
4. What type of gas is present in the
absorbing the ultraviolet radiation from
thermosphere? (Explain the chemistry
the sun.
taken place in the thermosphere?)
4. Troposphere is where all weather takes
 Gases made of different types of atoms and
place; it is the region of rising and
molecules are thoroughly mixed together
falling packets of air. The air pressure at
by turbulence in the atmosphere. Air in the
the top of the troposphere is only 10%
lower atmosphere is mainly composed of
of that at sea level (0.1 atmospheres).
the familiar blend of about 80% nitrogen
There is a thin buffer zone (or interface)
molecules (N2) and about 20% oxygen
between the troposphere and the next
molecules (O2). In the thermosphere and
layer called the tropopause.
above, gas particles collide so infrequently
that the gases become somewhat
2. Which layer contains the most ozone?
separated based on the types of chemical
(Describe all the details of ozone)
elements they contain. Energetic ultraviolet
 Ozone is a gas that is naturally present in
and X-ray photons from the Sun also break
our atmosphere. Each ozone molecule
apart molecules in the thermosphere. In the
contains three atoms of oxygen and is
upper thermosphere, atomic oxygen (O),
denoted chemically as O3. Ozone is found
atomic nitrogen (N), and helium (He) are power plants, industrial boilers, refineries,
the main components of air. chemical plants, and other sources
chemically react in the presence of sunlight.
5. How is the ionosphere different from other
layers? (The aurora is related to the ions in 8. Why are chlorofluorocarbons a gases
the atmosphere.) pollutant? (Ozone in the stratosphere
 The ionosphere is not a distinct layer like absorbs harmful UV C and UV B, which are
the others mentioned above. Instead, the harmful to humans and plants.)
ionosphere is a series of regions in parts of  Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) are gases used
the mesosphere and thermosphere where as refrigerant. When disposed into the
high-energy radiation from the Sun has atmosphere, they cause the ozone
knocked electrons loose from their parent concentration to decrease.
atoms and molecules. The electrically
charged atoms and molecules that are 9. Why is warming up of the Earth a bad thing?
formed in this way are called ions, giving Give your opinion on an issue.
the ionosphere its name and endowing this 
region with some special properties.

6. What causes the gas molecules in the

ionosphere to ionize and become charged
particles? (Describe the chemistry in the
 The ionosphere is the part of the
atmosphere that is ionized by solar
radiation. This portion of the atmosphere is
ionized and contains a plasma which is
referred to as the ionosphere. In a plasma,
the negative free electrons and the positive
ions are attracted to each other by the
electromagnetic force, but they are too
energetic to stay fixed together in an
electrically neutral molecule. The
ionosphere has irregular patches of

7. If ozone is a beneficial gas in the

atmosphere, why is ozone also a gaseous
pollutant? (Decomposition of ozone
releases O, OOH, OH radicals and they are
harmful to many living organisms.)
 Ozone at ground level is a harmful air
pollutant, because of its effects on people
and the environment, and it is the main
ingredient in “smog”. Tropospheric, or
ground level ozone, is not emitted directly
into the air, but is created by chemical
reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx)
and volatile organic compounds (VOC). This
happens when pollutants emitted by cars,
Ozone in the Upper Atmosphere

1. What is UV?
 In the electromagnetic radiation
spectrum, the region beyond the violet
(wavelength ~ 400 nanometer nm)
invisible to eye detection is called
ultraviolet (UV) rays. Its wavelength is
shorter than 400 nm.
2. How is ozone produced in the atmosphere?
 When an oxygen molecule receives a
photon (h\nu), it dissociates into
monoatomic (reactive) atoms. These
atoms attack an oxygen molecule to
form ozone, O3.
3. How much ozone is in the atmosphere, and
where is the ozone layer?

4. What is the interaction of ozone and UV?
5. What is ozone depletion?
6. What is ozone hole and how does it vary over
7. What are CFCs?
8. How do CFCs help deplete ozone?
9. How is ozone depletion in the polar region
different from other regions?
10. What has been done and what can be done to
reduce ozone depletion?