an image representing the stratosphere, one of the layers of earth's atmosphere. this is where the ozone layer is

The layer made of layers

Above the troposphere and below the mesosphere, we have the stratosphere. “Strat” means layer. This layer of our atmosphere has its own set of layers. There are no storms or turbulence here to mix up the air, so cold, heavy air is at the bottom and warm, light air is at the top. That’s the opposite of how the layers work in the troposphere, where we live. If you were to climb a mountain in the stratosphere you would have to take off your warm clothes as you got closer to the top rather than putting them on like we usually do. But there are no mountains high enough to reach the stratosphere, so you don’t have to worry about that.

This layer is 22 miles (35 kilometers) thick. The stratosphere is where you’ll find the very important ozone layer. The ozone layer helps protect us from ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun. In fact, the ozone layer absorbs most of the UV radiation the sun sends to us. Life as we know it wouldn’t be possible without this layer of protection.

Visit other layers in Earth's atmosphere.

Where would you like to go?

a landscape with trees and mountains
article last updated November 20, 2015

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