Clouds are masses of small water droplets or small crystals of ice that float in the atmosphere away from the surface of the Earth. When warm air rises into the sky, it cools down and condenses into small droplets of water around dust particles floating in the air. When billions of droplets of water come together around dust particles, clouds are formed.
Types of Clouds based on their shapes
- Cirrus: They are wispy and fleecy like wool, generally formed at higher altitudes.
- Cumulus: They are like cauliflower in shape and are rain-bearing clouds.
- Stratus: They are stratified or layered. They often cover the whole sky.
Types of Clouds based on their height in the atmosphere
- Low Clouds: These are generally rain-bearing clouds. Their bases are less than 2 km above sea level. Example: Cumulus
- Middle Clouds: These generally lie between 2 km and 6 km above sea level. Example: Altocumulus
- High Clouds: These lie more than 6 km above sea level. They are generally made of ice crystals. Example: Cirrostratus
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Various forms of Precipitation are 1. Rain: It is the most common form of precipitation. The droplet of water that precipitates from clouds is known as rainfall.
Evaporation changes the water from the liquid form to the gaseous form. Water vapour which is present in the atmosphere is known as humidity.
The exosphere is the uppermost layer of the Earth. Light gases such as helium and hydrogen float into space from this layer because of the lack of gravity.
The mesosphere is the third layer of the atmosphere and it lies above the stratosphere up to the height of 80 km. It is in this layer that the meteorites burn when they enter the atmosphere from space.
The thermosphere lies above the mesosphere. This layer extends to a height of about 640 km. In this layer temperature rises dramatically, reaching up to 1480°C.
The troposphere is the most important layer of the atmosphere. It extends up to 13 km from the surface of the Earth. The oxygen which we breathe exists in this layer of the Earth.