sphero-, spher-, -sphere-

(Greek: ball, round, around; globe, global; body of globular form; by extension, circular zone, circular area)

earth spinning.
cryosphere
The region, or portion, of the earth’s surface that is characteristically covered by snow and ice and so frozen throughout the year.

Studies of the extent and status of the cryosphere can provide insights into the present and the past climate changes.

cryptosphere
The habitat of cryptozoa or the collective name for the small (generally microscopic) animals that permanently live under conditions with high relative humidity.

Many of them can be found in any sample of wet soil; a large part of the cryptozoa has not yet been identified by science.

datasphere
A play on the word atmosphere and refers to data that is transmitted via satellites.
Earth's Multilayered Atmosphere

There are Layers in Space which Serve as Barriers to Gases and Radiations and so They Protect the Earth from the Many Dangers That Exist in Space

There is a mixture of gases in the atmosphere which is around the earth that is held in place by the earth's gravity.

The invisible mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, and water vapor protects our planet from harmful radiation and makes life on earth feasible.

The atmosphere's density decreases with its height or distance from the earth; however, not at a uniform or consistent rate. Above approximately 90 kilometers, or 55 miles, the air is extremely rarefied, but it extends thousands of miles above the earth.

Different layers of atmosphere are distinguished by the levels of their temperatures:

  • The troposphere extends 18 kilometers, or 11 miles, above the earth.

    It is warmed by solar rays re-radiated from earth's surface.

    This causes convection currents that bring changes in the weather.

    Temperature in the troposphere decreases with height to -60°C, -76°F, but in the stratosphere it rises close to the freezing point.

  • The stratosphere, which is just above the troposphere, extends to 50 kilometers, 30 miles.

    It contains ozone, which absorbs ultraviolet rays from the sun.

  • In the next layer above the stratosphere, is the mesosphere, which extends to 80 kilometers, 50 miles, above the earth and it is here that the temperature drops to -113°C, or -173°F.
  • The previous three layers form the lower atmosphere.
  • In the more rarefied upper atmosphere, temperature rises, reaching 227°C, 441°F, even at night where thermosphere and exosphere meet 450 kilometers, 280 miles, above the earth.
  • The upper atmosphere absorbs much of the harmful radiation and as it does this, it produces electrically charged particles called ions.
  • In this region, called the ionosphere, layers of greater ion concentration (the D, E, and F layers) exist, although they vary daily or seasonally.
  • Humans use the the ions to bounce radio waves around the earth.
  • Farther out in the ionosphere are two Van Allen Belts (Inner Van Allen belt and Outer Van Allen belt), which are zones of radiation concentration.
—Compiled from information located at
Reader's Digest Illustrated Encyclopedic Dictionary, Volume One, A-K;
The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.; Pleasantville, New York; page 117.
ecosphere, ecospheric
1. In ecology, the earth and the living organisms that inhabit it, along with all the environmental factors that operate on these organisms; biosphere.
2. In astronomy, the region of space around a star that is considered to be capable of supporting life.
3. The region of space, including planets, whose conditions are not incompatible with the existence of living things.
ectosphere
The outer layer or zone of a centrosome (small region of cytoplasm near the nucleus of a cell), seen at the poles of the spindle apparatus (structure that separates the chromosomes into the daughter cells during cell division).
electrosphere
A layer of the atmosphere, beginning a few tens of kilometers above the surface of the earth and extending to the ionosphere, in which the electrical conductivity is so high that the layer is essentially at a constant electric potential, or the work required to transfer a unit positive electric charge from an infinite distance to a given point against an electric field.
ergosphere, ergoregion
That part of space in which no physical object can remain at rest with respect to an observer at infinity.

The dragging of inertial frames is so extreme that all time-like world lines rotate with the star.

eubiosphere
That part of the biosphere in which the physiological processes of living organisms can occur; comprising the allobiosphere and autobiosphere.
Eurosphere
A number of western European countries that are integrated economically, as part of the European Union's single market or using its single currency.
exoatmospheric
Occurring or working outside the atmosphere.
exosphere
1. The outermost region of the atmosphere of the earth or another planet.
2. An outermost region of the earth's atmosphere, estimated at 300-600 miles, or 500-1000 kilometers, where the density is so low that the mean free path of particles depends upon their direction with respect to the local vertical, being greatest for upward-traveling particles.

Its lower boundary is often called the critical level of escape, where gas atoms are so widely spaced that they rarely collide with one another and have individual orbits or where atmospheric pressure is very low because the gas atoms are very widely spaced and the temperature is very low.

geodesic sphere
Also known as the geodesic dome, a dome or structure that roughly approximates a hemisphere constructed of many light, straight structural elements in tension, arranged in a framework of triangles to reduce stress and weight.
geosphere
1. The physical earth; a term for the solid mass (lithosphere) of the planet, or for the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere as a whole.
2. The solid matter of the earth, as distinct from the seas, plants, animals, and surrounding atmosphere.
3. The soils, sediments, and rock layers of the earth's crust, both continental and beneath the ocean floors.
4. Also known asgeophysiology or the study of the interaction among living organisms on the earth operating under the hypothesis that the earth itself acts as a single living organism.
geospherics
A reference to the combination of the earth's lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere.

Related ball, sphere-word units: glob-, glom-; hemoglobin-.