Why does Earth's atmosphere get thinner at higher altitudes?



Answer:
Combined effect of gravity and the fact that as you go higher, the volume increases. "Thinner" just means lower pressure. Gravity is what creates air pressure. All the mass of air is pulled downward creating pressure. The higher you go, the less air is above you and thus less force is pressing on you. Additionally, the volume occupied by the air is much larger at high altitude than it is on the ground. If the same mass of air fills (for instance)a 1000 foot thick shell with an inner radius of 1 Earth Radii it will have a higher pressure than that mass would have in a 1000 ft thick sphere with an inner radius of 1.1 Earth Radii. The volume is much larger so the pressure decreases.
Centrifugal force of the earth's rotation
There are fewer molecules in the upper atmosphere. Simply put, gravity is strongest at the Earth's surface with less gravity as you reach higher altitudes. Gravity exerts force on air molecules pulling them towards the surface, therefore greater numbers of molecules closer to the surface. Approximately half of Earth's atmosphere lies below 18,000 feet.

The answers post by the user, for information only, FunQA.com does not guarantee the right.



More Questions and Answers:

More Questions and Answers:
  • Any new alternative energy sources in the horizon?
  • i need a bit of information about rainforest homes. Where can i get the information?
  • could the discharge from desalination plants be used to farm salt via modern ways instead of the current way?
  • where could i get an article on consevation of resources?
  • How can you survive if the world ends?
  • How does the market economies operations impact on the environment?
  • Global Warming Cont...?
  • How do ticks benefit the environment?
  • list 4 abiotic factors that can effect organisms in an enviroment?