Which term accurately describes the mesosphere?
- extremely low
- extremely cold
- extremely warm
- extremely high up
Answer d. extremely high up
In the atmosphere, the mesosphere is situated above the stratosphere and below the thermosphere. It reaches an altitude of about 50 kilometers (31 miles) above the surface and extends to approximately 85 kilometers (53 miles). Due to its high altitude in the atmosphere, the region is called the “mesosphere,” which describes its position accurately.
Why the other options are not correct
a. extremely low
The term “extremely low” is inaccurate when describing the mesosphere. In fact, it is situated in the upper regions of the atmosphere and not at a low altitude as compared to the Earth’s surface. As you go higher in the atmosphere, the air pressure decreases, resulting in thinner air. Because of this, the mesosphere isn’t “extremely low” but rather “extremely high.”
b. extremely cold
Although the mesosphere is extremely cold, with temperatures dropping as low as -90 degrees Celsius (-130 degrees Fahrenheit), it is not completely described by this term since it is located in the atmosphere. As a result of the absence of heat-absorbing ozone in this region, it cools significantly at night due to the extreme cold. Although the mesosphere is not only characterized by its temperature, its primary characteristic is its position high up in the atmosphere.
c. extremely warm
In reality, the mesosphere is one of the coldest layers of the Earth’s atmosphere. Describing it as “extremely warm” is incorrect. As previously mentioned, temperatures in this region can go as low as -90 degrees Celsius (-130 degrees Fahrenheit). Because the Earth’s atmosphere decreases in temperature with increasing altitude, the term “extremely warm” does not apply here.
The mesosphere is situated in the upper reaches of the atmosphere, above the stratosphere and below the thermosphere, and can be described accurately as “extremely high up.” There is no doubt that the mesosphere is extremely cold, and it is one of the coldest layers of the atmosphere, but its primary characteristic is its high altitude.
It is not accurate to describe the mesosphere’s location or temperature profile, respectively, using the other options: extremely low and extremely warm. It is essential to understand Earth’s atmospheric dynamics and the role it playas in supporting life on our planet by understanding the different layers of the atmosphere and their unique features.