Overview of Earth’s Atmosphere

The atmosphere is comprised of of gases, consisting mostly of nitrogen and oxygen. It also contains lesser amounts of argon, carbon dioxide, and many other trace gases.

The different layers of the atmosphere have contrasting characteristics, the most fundamental of which is pressure, which decreases with altitude.

Each layer has distinct qualities in terms of temperature.

From bottom to top, the layers are:

• The troposphere
• The stratosphere
• The mesosphere
• The thermosphere
• The exosphere