UPSC Mains General Studies Paper – 1 Mains 2022Factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world including India.
- Start with explaining the keyword ‘troposphere’ with respect to the atmosphere.
- Discuss the specifications of the troposphere.
- Explain the Significance of the Troposphere in the Determination of Weather Phenomena.
- Conclusion/way forward accordingly.
- The troposphere is the layer closest to the Earth’s surface, and it contains most of the atmospheric mass. This layer is composed mainly of nitrogen and oxygen, with small amounts of other gases, such as carbon dioxide and water vapour. The troposphere also contains dust, smoke, and other particulate matter. Most of the mass (about 75-80%) of the atmosphere is in the troposphere and is where most weather phenomena occur. Weather refers to short-lived temperature, wind, and precipitation conditions that vary from place to place.
Specifications of the troposphere:
- The troposphere extends upward to about 10 km above sea level.
- The height of the troposphere varies with latitude because the temperature decreases with altitude, and this temperature gradient is more pronounced at the poles than at the equator.
- This layer is also where most of the Earth’s weather occurs, as it contains the majority of the Earth’s water vapour and is the site of the majority of cloud formation and precipitation.
- The troposphere contains 99% of the total mass of water vapour and aerosols in the atmosphere.
Significance of Troposphere in Determination of Weather Phenomena:
- Water vapour is primarily concentrated in the troposphere, with trace amounts in the poles and 4 percent or more in the tropic regions. The concentration of water vapour in the troposphere varies depending on temperature and location, with higher concentrations found in warm and humid regions.As the sun heats the Earth’s surface, water evaporates and rises into the atmosphere, where it forms clouds and eventually falls back to the surface as precipitation. This process is known as the water cycle and is a key driver of weather patterns in the troposphere.
- The decrease in temperature with increasing altitude is known as the lapse rate. On average, the temperature in the troposphere decreases by about 6.5 degrees Celsius per kilometer of altitude. This lapse rate varies depending on the location and weather conditions. Water vapour is also a greenhouse gas that absorbs and re-emits thermal radiation, contributing to the warming of the troposphere. The amount of water vapour in the troposphere plays a crucial role in regulating the Earth’s temperature and climate.
- The uneven heating of the Earth’s surface causes the air in the troposphere to rise and fall in convection currents, leading to the formation of high and low-pressure systems. This movement of air creates the wind patterns we see around the world. The circulation of air and the movement of weather systems are important for regulating the Earth’s climate.
- The water cycle, also known as the hydrological cycle, is the continuous process by which water evaporates from the surface of the Earth, rises into the atmosphere, forms clouds, and falls back to the surface as precipitation. This precipitation can take many forms, including rain, sleet, snow, and freezing rain, depending on the temperature and other conditions within the atmosphere.
- Smog is a form of air pollution that can occur in the troposphere. It is typically formed from a mixture of pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, that react in the presence of sunlight to form ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter. This can lead to a number of health and environmental problems, including respiratory issues, reduced visibility, and damage to crops and ecosystems.
Hence, the troposphere is a vital layer of the Earth’s atmosphere that plays a crucial role in determining the Earth’s weather and climate. It is the layer that is most affected by human activities and is also the layer that is most affected by the Earth’s changing climate. Understanding the processes that occur in the troposphere is essential for understanding and predicting the Earth’s weather and climate.
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