The stratosphere is one of the layers that make up the Earth’s atmosphere and according to the order it is the second layer. It is located above the layer called the troposphere and below the mesosphere. According to the temperature it has, it stratifies into warmer and colder layers the closer they are to the earth. It is a region where many important interactions take place between the different radioactive , dynamic and chemical processes that occur in the atmosphere.

What is the stratosphere?

It is the layer of the atmosphere located between the troposphere and the mesosphere whose lower portion manages to maintain a constant temperature , while the temperatures in its upper levels increase according to the altitude. The stratosphere is the layer that contains the ozone layer and where many important interactions take place .

  • Stratosphere characteristics
  • Composition of the stratosphere
  • Height
  • Temperature
  • Function of the stratosphere
  • Ozone layer and its importance

Stratosphere characteristics

The main characteristics of the stratosphere are:

  • The bottom of the stratosphere is located 10 km above the ground at mid-latitudes.
  • The upper part  is located at an altitude of 50 km.
  • It is quite dry and the air in it contains little water vapor .
  • In it there is little amount of clouds .
  • It has a lack of vertical convection so the materials that reach it can remain there for a long time.
  • It has a circulation known as Brewer-Dobson which is a unicellular circulation.
  • In it planetary wave breaks occur .
  • In it there are different types of waves by the atmosphere that influence the stratosphere.
  • Its temperature increases with altitude.

Composition of the stratosphere

The main compound that we can find in the stratosphere is ozone . Approximately 85-90% of the total ozone in our atmosphere is found in this layer. This gas is formed through the photolysis of oxygen that already exists in the stratosphere. Most gases apart from ozone that manage to reach and enter this layer come from the troposphere due to their long life or, because these gases have been released through volcanic eruptions, which release a large amount of gases and some particles that go straight into the stratosphere. So, we can say that the main compoundsthat we find in the stratosphere are: nitrogen oxides , nitric acid, sulfuric acid, silicates, ozone and halogens .


Its  bottom  is located about 10 km above the ground when we are located in mid-latitudes. The upper part  is at an altitude of 50 km measured in the same way. The height of the bottom of the stratosphere varies and depends on the latitude. The lower limit  can be up to 20 km and is located near the equator and can reach a distance of 7 km at the poles during winter.


The temperature of the stratosphere ranges from approximately -260 degrees to about 153 degrees Celsius, however, its  thermal gradient  can behave in different ways according to the type of atmosphere that can be polar, tropical or mid-latitude.

Function of the stratosphere

The main function of the stratosphere lies in the different ozone and oxygen molecules found in it. These  absorb the ultraviolet light from the sun, earth providing a shield that prevents this radiation through the surface causing serious damage. The protective role played by the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere is so vital that scientists believe that life on earth probably would not have evolved since ancient times, and that without it it could not exist today.

Ozone layer and its importance

The ozone layer is a deep layer that is located in the Earth ‘s atmosphere and contains ozone , which is a natural molecule that contains three oxygen atoms . These ozone molecules form a gaseous layer in the upper atmosphere, in the layer known as the stratosphere . This lower region of the stratosphere that contains a relatively higher concentration of ozone is called the Ozonosphere located 15-35 km above the earth’s surface.

The ozone layer forms a thick layer in the stratosphere, this layer is the one that surrounds the earth and has a large amount of ozone. It was discovered in 1913 by the French physicists Charles Fabry and Henri Bouisson , and it has the ability to absorb almost 97-99% of the ultraviolet radiation that comes from the sun’s rays and that can produce devastating long-term effects on humans. , as well as in plants and animals. The ozone layer is responsible for protecting living beings on earth against the strong ultraviolet radiation that comes from the sun. These rays are harmful as they can increase the risk ofdeadly disorders such as skin cancer, cataracts and damaging the immune system of living beings and in addition, they are capable of destroying organisms of individual cells, terrestrial plants and aquatic ecosystems.

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