Friday, August 17, 2012

EARTH'S SHRINKING ATMOSPHERE BAFFLES SCIENTISTS

Scientists are mulling over why part of the Earth's atmosphere recently suffered its biggest collapse since records began, and is only now starting to rebound.

The collapse occurred in a region known as the thermosphere, a rarefied layer of the planet's upper atmosphere between 90 and 600 kilometers (56 to 373 miles) above the surface, which shields us from the sun's far and extreme ultra violet (EUV) radiation.

A report in Geophysical Research Letters by a team led by John Emmert from the United States Naval Research Laboratory has found that the thermosphere went through its biggest contraction in 43 years.