What is the atmosphere? How does atmosphere formation occur? When did the atmosphere begin to form? Did life begin with the atmosphere? Planet Venus and planet Mars have atmospheres but why not like Earth’s atmosphere? Read on for the answers to these questions.
Why does the earth need an atmosphere?
Earth’s atmosphere is so vast that it can even affect the course of the International Space Station. But why did this gas blanket surrounding the earth form in the first place? In other words, why does Earth have an atmosphere?
To put it briefly, the atmosphere exists because of gravity. When Earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago, this molten planet had an almost non-existent atmosphere.
However, according to the Smithsonian Research Center (SERC), as the earth cooled, so did its atmosphere, often with gases ejected from volcanoes. This atmosphere, which dates back to ancient times and is very different from today’s atmosphere, consisted of hydrogen sulfide, methane, and carbon dioxide in an amount equal to about 10-200 times today’s.
The formation of the atmosphere began 3 billion years ago
About 3 billion years later, the synthetic system (photosynthesis) evolved, in which single-celled organisms use solar energy to convert carbon dioxide and water molecules into sugar and oxygen.
According to Frey, a dramatic increase in oxygen levels occurred as the photo combination evolved. In a sense, this was the biggest pollution event caused by oxygen, which is the source of life. Because this increase in oxygen levels gradually began to transform the planet. Currently, about 80 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere is nitrogen and 20 percent is oxygen.
According to the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), this atmosphere also contains argon, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and many other gases.
It’s good that these gases are in the atmosphere. The most important of the benefits of the atmosphere. Our atmosphere protects the Earth from the harsh effects of the sun’s rays and prevents extreme temperatures by acting as a blanket that surrounds the planet. Meanwhile, the greenhouse effect means that the energy reaching the earth from the sun is stopped in the atmosphere, absorbed, and released with greenhouse gases.
Stating that there are many different types of greenhouse gases, experts point out that the most important ones are carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, and nitrous oxide. They also
underline that without the greenhouse effect, the temperature on Earth would be below zero.
Today, however, greenhouse gases are out of control. According to the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), as the amount of carbon dioxide that humans emit into the atmosphere increases, the greenhouse effect of the world is getting stronger day by day and the climate of the planet is getting warmer.
Our atmosphere is unique
Mars and Venus also have atmospheres, but these atmospheres are incapable of supporting life (or, at least, life on Earth).
Indeed, Venus’ atmosphere is mostly made up of clouds of carbon dioxide and sulfuric acid. The ‘air’ here is so dense and hot that a person can’t breathe.
According to NASA, Venus’ dense atmosphere of carbon dioxide traps heat escaping the greenhouse effect, making it the hottest planet in the solar system. The surface temperatures of this planet are high enough to melt lead.