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Note: This transcript is given for your reference purpose only. It will not be given in PTE Academic examination.
The atmosphere forms a gaseous, protective envelope around Earth. It protects the planet from the cold of space, from harmful ultraviolet light, and from all but the largest meteors. After traveling over 93 million miles, solar energy strikes the atmosphere and Earth’s surface, warming the planet and creating what is known as the biosphere, the region of Earth capable of sustaining life. Solar radiation in combination with the planet’s rotation causes the atmosphere to circulate. Atmospheric circulation is one important reason that life on Earth can exist at higher latitudes because equatorial heat is transported pole-ward, moderating the climate.
The equatorial region is the warmest part of the earth because it receives the most direct and, therefore, strongest solar radiation. The polar regions are the coldest parts of the earth because they receive the least direct and, therefore, the weakest solar radiation. Here solar radiation strikes at a very oblique angle and thus spreads the same amount of energy over a greater area than in the equatorial regions. A static envelope of air surrounding the earth would produce an extremely hot, uninhabitable equatorial region, while the polar regions would remain inhospitably cold.
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