Find out what components make up the Earth’s atmosphere

We spend 24 hours a day using the atmosphere without even thinking about it. Our body needs the air that fills the atmosphere in order to breathe and live. The human body takes what it needs from the air and then releases the rest as you breathe out.

Interestingly, the human body actually needs one of the largest components of air, but it doesn’t get it directly from the air when you breathe it in.

The air in the Earth’s atmosphere is made up of gases, particles and water vapor. The percentage of major atmospheric gases changes somewhat as more moisture is added or removed.

The largest component of the atmosphere is nitrogen. Nitrogen is 78.084%! Oxygen represents 20.947%. Argon and carbon dioxide represent a much smaller percentage. Argon is 0.934% and carbon dioxide is 0.035%. These are the percentages of dry air. When water vapor is added, these values ​​will drop slightly.

There are also other components of the atmosphere in very small amounts. These components include neon, helium, methane, krypton, hydrogen, nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, xenon, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, iodine, and ammonia. .

The human body needs oxygen from the atmosphere. We breathe it in and our lungs do the job of exchanging it for our blood supply to help our body perform many functions.

The body also needs nitrogen for many functions in order to keep us alive. One of the functions is to help produce new cells. Nitrogen is the largest component of the atmosphere and our bodies breathe it in with every breath.

It is interesting to note that our body cannot use the nitrogen that we breathe because the nitrogen is not in the correct form that our body can use. We have to eat green plants to get the nitrogen into our body in the format that it needs for use. The chemistry of transferring gases from the atmosphere to our bodies has many complicated hurdles to overcome before they can be used.


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Richard V. Johnson