Meteorology/Makeup of the Atmosphere

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The Atmosphere[edit | edit source]

Gas Content of the Atmosphere
Gas Percent Composition
Nitrogen (N2) 78 .080
Oxygen (O2) 20 .946
Argon (Ar) 0 .934
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) 0 .038
Neon (Ne) 0 .00182
Helium (He) 0 .000524
Methane (CH4) 0 .00015
Hydrogen (H2) 0 .00005

The big blue wonder, filled with the air we breathe and pollution we create. As most everyone knows, we breathe in Oxygen. It's actually quite amazing that it is not the primary ingredient in the atmospheric mixture known as air, Nitrogen is instead. All kinds of gases make up the atmosphere, but a few stand out in our day to day lives, such as Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide, and Ozone.

You hear about Carbon Dioxide polluting the atmosphere on the news, in papers, in books, your parents, friends or teachers, but it isn't all bad. Carbon Dioxide is one of the gases that helps to keep our planet and us warm and not freeze to death. Of course, there is a bad side. Too much carbon dioxide will cause the earth to heat up and become too hot.

Ozone is a gas that most have heard of but don't know much about. Ozone, or O3, is Oxygen that has grouped into a group with three Oxygen atoms reather than the normal two. It helps us keep out harmful Ultra-Violet rays that could possibly burn our skin, cause cancer, or even cause death. Of course, most have heard of the "Ozone hole," but most don't realise that there is more than one hole and they are constantly growing. We will look into Ozone, the Ozone holes, and the problems it can cause later on.

Layers[edit | edit source]

Just from looking up, you wouldn't be able to tell that the atmosphere has layers. Indeed it does, just as a cake has layers of sometimes different flavours. These layers and the icing that holds them together are found almost exactly similarly in the atmosphere. Each of these layers provides a different purpose to our planet and weather. They will be discussed in depth more in the next section.