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EarthA Tenant's Manual$
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Frank H. T. Rhodes

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801478239

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801478239.001.0001

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The Veiled Planet

The Veiled Planet

Chapter:
(p.61) Chapter 5 The Veiled Planet
Source:
Earth
Author(s):

Frank H. T. Rhodes

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801478239.003.0005

This chapter details the characteristics of the Earth's atmosphere—its layering, distribution, extent, nature, and broad composition—and the ways in which it sustains life. The Earth's remarkable envelope of air makes life possible by enfolding the planet in a protective embrace that shields and sustains living organisms. It provides the air we breathe, it shields us from the Sun's lethal ultraviolet radiation, it regulates and moderates Earth's temperature, it provides rain, it drives the endless cycle of erosion that produces the soil that supports our food supply, and it provides the carbon dioxide on which plant growth depends. Furthermore, is the atmosphere that paints the sky and oceans their distinctive blues.

Keywords:   atmosphere, Earth's atmosphere, air, climate, weather, temperature, erosion, ultraviolet radiation, sky

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