Discovering Atmospheric Layers
Leon Teisserenc de Bort discovered the lower two layers of the atmosphere using unmanned balloons. Today, the United States Navy also uses weather balloons to gather data.
Why It Matters
- Leon Teisserenc de Bort was a French meteorologist who pioneered the use of instrumented balloons in the late 19th century.
- Balloonists earlier had reported that the temperature of the atmosphere decreased at a rate of 0.6°C per 100 meters.
- de Bort sent instruments up in balloons higher than manned balloons had gone.
- The instruments saw that the change in atmospheric temperature did not continue forever upward.
With the links below, learn more about the discovery of the layers of the atmosphere. Then answer the following questions:
- Discovery, 100 Greatest Discoveries in Science: http://science.discovery.com/tv-shows/greatest-discoveries/videos/earth-science.htm
- WeatherOnline, Teisserenc de Bort: http://www.weatheronline.co.uk/reports/weatherbrains/Teisserenc-de-Bort.htm
- What feature caused de Bort to separate the lower atmosphere from the upper atmosphere?
- What did de Bort describe as the features of the lower atmosphere?
- What did he name the lower atmosphere and why?
- What did he name the upper atmosphere (as much as he could see) and why?