The gases that surround the earth make up the atmosphere. From space, astronauts looking back on Earth call it the thin blue line.

To truly understand the impact of climate change on the earth, we need to have an understanding of the climate system. Weather and climate are interconnected parts of the earth’s climate system, which is a complex system of interrelated parts that work together to create the weather. There are five elements to the climate system: the air (atmosphere), all the living things on Earth (biosphere), ice (cryosphere), land (lithosphere), and oceans (hydrosphere). The Atmosphere The mixture of different gases that surround the earth is called the atmosphere . Without an atmosphere, life on Earth would not be possible. The atmosphere serves several functions. It gives us air to breathe, protects us from the ultraviolet (UV) radiation that comes from our sun, and keeps our planet at the temperatures necessary to sustain life. All of the other planets in our solar system, as well as a handful of moons, have some sort of atmosphere. The earth’s unique atmosphere is the only one that is suitable for life.


The New Weather: The Climate System

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