The atmosphere enveloping the earth is a vital part of the world we live in. It contains the oxygen we need to breathe, protects us from ultraviolet radiation and the extreme cold of space. It recycles energy, water and other necessities for life. Weather is a direct product of atmospheric processes and influences our pattern of living.
As a result of industrial and other activities, human society is now emitting gases into the atmosphere in such quantities that the composition and dynamics of the atmosphere are changing. The changes occurring in the atmosphere as a result of human activity can have significant environmental, health and economic effects.
In recent decades, global attention has focused on two environmental issues in relation to the atmosphere:
There are two national environmental indicators for atmosphere.
The first is a climate change-related indicator that provides information on emissions and removals of greenhouse gases.
The second is an ozone-related indicator that provides information on levels of stratospheric ozone.
For more information on other national-level atmosphere indicators see the:
Last updated: 10 October 2012