Stratosphere

The second layer of the earth’s atmosphere is known as the stratosphere. The stratosphere is located below the mesosphere and above the troposphere. This article will shed some light on the second layer of the earth’s atmosphere, i.e., stratosphere.

Stratosphere – Important Function

  • The stratosphere contains the ozone layer which is the most important layer as it protects the earth from the harmful ultraviolet rays emitted from the sun.
  • Life would not have been sustainable on earth without the ozone layer located in the stratosphere.

Stratosphere – Interesting Facts

  • The stratosphere layer is 35 km thick.
  • Cold air is found at the bottom of the stratosphere.
  • Light air is found at the top of the stratosphere.
  • Heavy air is found at the bottom of the stratosphere.
  • Warm air is found at the top of the stratosphere.
  • This is due to the absence of storms or turbulence to mix up the air.
  • In the troposphere layer, it is the opposite of the stratosphere, the air is cold at the top and warm at the bottom.
  • Very few clouds are found in the stratosphere layer.
  • The air in the stratosphere contains very little water vapour.
  • Different species of birds do fly in the lower levels of the stratosphere.

Stratosphere – Aeroplanes

  • All commercial aeroplanes fly in the lower level of the stratosphere to avoid the turbulence present in the troposphere.
  • Commercial planes usually cruise at an altitude of 30,000–39,000 ft which comes in the lower reaches of the stratosphere.
  • Due to low temperatures and lower air density, the parasitic drag on the airframe reduces thereby optimising the fuel efficiency.
  • It allows the aeroplanes to fly faster while maintaining a lift equal to the weight of the plane.
  • The famous SR-71 aeroplane of the US armed forces flew at a speed of Mach 3 in the stratosphere.
  • The famous Concorde commercial plane flew at a speed of Mach 2 in the stratosphere.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the stratosphere and its function?

The second layer of the earth’s atmosphere is known as the stratosphere. The stratosphere is located below the mesosphere and above the troposphere. The stratosphere contains the ozone layer which is the most important layer as it protects the earth from the harmful ultraviolet rays emitted from the sun. Life would not have been sustainable on earth without the ozone layer located in the stratosphere.

Give three facts about the stratosphere.

Light air is at the top of the stratosphere. Heavy air is at the bottom of the stratosphere. Warm air is at the top of the stratosphere. Cold air is at the bottom of the stratosphere. The stratosphere layer is 35 km thick.

Why do aeroplanes fly in the stratosphere?

All the commercial aeroplanes fly in the stratosphere to avoid the turbulence present in the troposphere. Very few clouds are found in the stratosphere layer.

Can birds fly in the stratosphere?

Yes, birds have been spotted flying in the lower levels of the stratosphere.

Can you breathe in the stratosphere?

The air would be toxic and too thin for normal breathing in the stratosphere.