The gaseous envelope surrounding the Earth. The dry atmosphere consists almost entirely of nitrogen (78.1 percent volume mixing ratio) and oxygen (20.9 percent volume mixing ratio), together with a number of trace gases, such as argon (0.93 percent volume mixing ratio), helium, radiatively active greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (0.035 percent volume mixing ratio), and ozone. In addition the atmosphere contains water vapor, whose amount is highly variable but typically 1 percent volume mixing ratio. The atmosphere also contains clouds and aerosols. The atmosphere can be divided into a number of layers according to its mixing or chemical characteristics, generally determined by its thermal properties (temperature). The layer nearest the Earth is the troposphere, which reaches up to an altitude of about about 5 mi. (8 km) in the polar regions and up to nearly 11 mi. (17 km) above the equator. The stratosphere, which reaches to an altitude of about 31 mi. (50 km.) lies atop the troposphere. The mesosphere which extends up to 50-56 mi. (80-90 km.) is atop the stratosphere, and finally, the thermosphere, or ionosphere, gradually diminishes and forms a fuzzy border with outer space.

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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