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Atmosphere vs. Environment: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Atmosphere refers to the layer of gases surrounding a planet, while environment encompasses all surrounding conditions affecting organisms.
Atmosphere vs. Environment

Key Differences

Atmosphere specifically denotes the layer of gases surrounding Earth or any celestial body. It is a physical and scientific term, primarily associated with meteorology and climatology. On the other hand, environment refers to the surrounding conditions — including physical, chemical, and biological factors — that affect an organism or a group of organisms. The environment encompasses not just the air, but also the land, water, climate, and ecological systems.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023
In everyday usage, atmosphere can also mean the mood or feeling in a particular place. For example, a restaurant may have a cozy or festive atmosphere. Environment, in a broader sense, includes the physical and social conditions that influence the life and development of people, animals, and plants. It's used in contexts ranging from ecology to social settings, emphasizing the interplay of various factors that impact living beings.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023
Atmosphere is measured in terms of its composition, layers, and the weather phenomena occurring within it, such as rain, wind, and temperature. The environment, however, is analyzed in terms of ecosystems, habitats, pollution levels, and human impact. It covers a broader scope, including societal and cultural aspects that affect life.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023
The concept of atmosphere is crucial in understanding climate change, air quality, and weather forecasting. It is a more specialized term when compared to environment, which has a wider application in disciplines like ecology, urban planning, and public health, discussing how various factors interact to shape living conditions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023
Atmosphere is often a subject of study in fields such as astronomy and atmospheric sciences, focusing on aspects like atmospheric pressure and gas composition. The environment, however, is a central concept in environmental science, biology, and geography, focusing on the relationships between organisms and their surroundings, including human interactions with nature.
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Dec 04, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Primary Definition

Layer of gases surrounding a planet
All surrounding conditions affecting organisms
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Dec 04, 2023

Secondary Meaning

Mood or feeling in a place
Physical and social conditions
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Scientific Focus

Composition, layers, weather phenomena
Ecosystems, habitats, pollution, human impact
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Dec 04, 2023

Associated Disciplines

Meteorology, climatology, astronomy
Ecology, urban planning, public health
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Dec 04, 2023

Contextual Application

Climate change, air quality, weather
Relationships between organisms and surroundings
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Dec 04, 2023
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Atmosphere and Environment Definitions

Atmosphere

The layer of gases surrounding Earth.
The Earth's atmosphere contains essential gases like oxygen.
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Dec 04, 2023

Environment

The surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives.
Marine animals thrive in a saltwater environment.
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Dec 04, 2023

Atmosphere

The mood or tone of a setting.
The candlelit dinner created a romantic atmosphere.
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Dec 04, 2023

Environment

The aggregate of surrounding things, conditions, or influences.
The company's work environment is very dynamic and fast-paced.
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Atmosphere

The envelope of gases around a celestial body.
Mars has a thin atmosphere, mostly of carbon dioxide.
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Dec 04, 2023
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Environment

An ecosystem, including both biotic and abiotic factors.
The rainforest is a rich and diverse environment.
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Dec 04, 2023

Atmosphere

The gaseous mass or envelope surrounding a celestial body, especially the one surrounding the earth, and retained by the celestial body's gravitational field.
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Oct 19, 2023

Environment

The totality of the natural world, often excluding humans
"Technology, of course, lies at the heart of man's relationship with the environment" (Mark Hertsgaard).
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Oct 19, 2023

Atmosphere

The air or climate in a specific place.
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Oct 19, 2023

Environment

A subset of the natural world; an ecosystem
The coastal environment.
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Oct 19, 2023

Atmosphere

Abbr. atm Physics A unit of pressure equal to the air pressure at sea level. It equals the amount of pressure that will support a column of mercury 760 millimeters high at 0 degrees Celsius under standard gravity, or 14.7 pounds per square inch (1.01325 × 105 pascals).
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Environment

The combination of external physical conditions that affect and influence the growth, development, behavior, and survival of organisms
"Conditions in a lion's environment ... can drive it to hunt people" (Philip Caputo).
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Oct 19, 2023

Atmosphere

A dominant intellectual or emotional environment or attitude
An atmosphere of distrust among the electorate.
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Oct 19, 2023

Environment

The complex of social and cultural conditions affecting the nature of an individual person or community.
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Oct 19, 2023

Atmosphere

The dominant tone or mood of a work of art.
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Oct 19, 2023

Environment

The general set of conditions or circumstances
A terrible environment for doing business.
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Oct 19, 2023

Atmosphere

An aesthetic quality or effect, especially a distinctive and pleasing one, associated with a particular place
A restaurant with an Old World atmosphere.
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Oct 19, 2023

Environment

The entire set of conditions under which one operates a computer, as it relates to the hardware, operating platform, or operating system.
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Oct 19, 2023

Atmosphere

The gases surrounding the Earth or any astronomical body.
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Oct 19, 2023

Environment

An area of a computer's memory used by the operating system and some programs to store certain variables to which they need frequent access.
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Oct 19, 2023

Atmosphere

The air in a particular place.
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Oct 19, 2023

Environment

The surroundings of, and influences on, a particular item of interest.
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Oct 19, 2023

Atmosphere

The conditions (such as music, illumination etc.) that can influence the mood felt in an environment.
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Oct 19, 2023

Environment

The natural world or ecosystem.
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Oct 19, 2023

Atmosphere

The apparent mood felt in an environment.
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Oct 19, 2023

Environment

All the elements that affect a system or its inputs and outputs.
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Oct 19, 2023

Atmosphere

A unit of measurement for pressure equal to 101325 Pa (symbol: atm)
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Oct 19, 2023

Environment

A particular political or social setting, arena or condition.
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Oct 19, 2023

Atmosphere

Extras in a scene who have no spoken lines.
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Oct 19, 2023

Environment

(computing) The software and/or hardware existing on any particular computer system.
That program uses the Microsoft Windows environment.
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Oct 19, 2023

Atmosphere

The whole mass of aëriform fluid surrounding the earth; - applied also to the gaseous envelope of any celestial orb, or other body; as, the atmosphere of Mars.
An atmosphere of cold oxygen.
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Oct 19, 2023

Environment

(programming) The environment of a function at a point during the execution of a program is the set of identifiers in the function's scope and their bindings at that point.
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Oct 19, 2023

Atmosphere

A supposed medium around various bodies; as, electrical atmosphere, a medium formerly supposed to surround electrical bodies.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Environment

(computing) The set of variables and their values in a namespace that an operating system associates with a process.
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Oct 19, 2023

Atmosphere

The pressure or weight of the air at the sea level, on a unit of surface, or about 14.7 lbs. to the sq. inch.
Hydrogen was liquefied under a pressure of 650 atmospheres.
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Oct 19, 2023

Environment

Act of environing; state of being environed.
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Oct 19, 2023

Atmosphere

Any surrounding or pervading influence or condition.
The chillest of social atmospheres.
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Oct 19, 2023

Environment

That which environs or surrounds; surrounding conditions, influences, or forces, by which living forms are influenced and modified in their growth and development.
It is no friendly environment, this of thine.
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Oct 19, 2023

Atmosphere

The portion of air in any locality, or affected by a special physical or sanitary condition; as, the atmosphere of the room; a moist or noxious atmosphere.
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Oct 19, 2023

Environment

The totality of surrounding conditions;
He longed for the comfortable environment of his livingroom
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Oct 19, 2023

Atmosphere

A particular environment or surrounding influence;
There was an atmosphere of excitement
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Oct 19, 2023

Environment

The area in which something exists or lives;
The country--the flat agricultural surround
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Atmosphere

A unit of pressure: the pressure that will support a column of mercury 760 mm high at sea level and 0 degrees centigrade
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Oct 19, 2023

Environment

The natural world, especially as affected by human activity.
Protecting the environment is crucial for future generations.
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Dec 04, 2023

Atmosphere

The mass of air surrounding the Earth;
There was great heat as the comet entered the atmosphere
It was exposed to the air
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Oct 19, 2023

Environment

The setting or background of social or cultural events.
The school environment plays a key role in child development.
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Dec 04, 2023

Atmosphere

The weather or climate at some place;
The atmosphere was thick with fog
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Oct 19, 2023

Atmosphere

The envelope of gases surrounding any celestial body
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Oct 19, 2023

Atmosphere

A distinctive but intangible quality surrounding a person or thing;
An air of mystery
The house had a neglected air
An atmosphere of defeat pervaded the candidate's headquarters
The place had an aura of romance
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Atmosphere

A unit of pressure.
Sea level pressure is often measured in atmospheres.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

How is environment defined?

The environment refers to all the conditions and influences surrounding an organism.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Can atmosphere mean mood?

Yes, atmosphere can also describe the mood or tone of a place.
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Dec 04, 2023

How do humans impact the environment?

Humans impact the environment through activities like pollution and deforestation.
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Dec 04, 2023

Is the atmosphere part of the environment?

Yes, the atmosphere is a component of the Earth's environment.
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Dec 04, 2023

Is the atmosphere important for weather?

Yes, atmospheric conditions are crucial for weather phenomena.
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Dec 04, 2023

Does environment include human-made conditions?

Yes, the environment includes both natural and human-made conditions.
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Dec 04, 2023

What is atmospheric pressure?

Atmospheric pressure is the force exerted by the weight of the atmosphere.
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Dec 04, 2023

What is the atmosphere?

The atmosphere is the layer of gases that surrounds Earth or another planet.
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Dec 04, 2023

Can the environment affect health?

Yes, environmental conditions can significantly impact health.
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Dec 04, 2023

Do plants contribute to the atmosphere?

Yes, plants release oxygen into the atmosphere through photosynthesis.
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Dec 04, 2023

Are environmental factors only natural?

No, environmental factors include both natural and artificial elements.
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Dec 04, 2023

Can environmental changes be reversible?

Some environmental changes can be reversible, but many have long-term effects.
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Dec 04, 2023

What gases are in the atmosphere?

The atmosphere contains gases like oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide.
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Dec 04, 2023

How does the environment influence organisms?

The environment affects organisms' survival, behavior, and development.
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Dec 04, 2023

What role does the environment play in ecology?

The environment is central in ecology, influencing ecosystems and species.
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Dec 04, 2023

Is atmospheric research important for climate change?

Yes, atmospheric research is crucial for understanding and addressing climate change.
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Dec 04, 2023

What is an example of an environmental issue?

Climate change is a significant environmental issue.
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Dec 04, 2023

Can the atmosphere be polluted?

Yes, the atmosphere can be polluted by emissions like car exhaust.
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Dec 04, 2023

How do built environments differ from natural ones?

Built environments are human-made, while natural environments are not influenced by human construction.
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Dec 04, 2023

How is the atmosphere studied?

The atmosphere is studied through fields like meteorology and climatology.
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Dec 04, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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