Have you ever thought about what you are breathing in? In this episode of Weather For Kids, we take a detailed look at what the air is made of.
The two main gases in the air are nitrogen and oxygen. Nitrogen makes up 78% and oxygen makes up 21%. Both nitrogen and oxygen are colorless and odorless.
Our bodies need nitrogen, but they tend to get most of it from other sources including food. Our bodies do rely on the air for oxygen, though. The oxygen is inhaled and then transferred to our blood to help our bodies live.
There are also other gases that are a small percentage of the air. Around 1% make up the others. A few of the main “1%” gases are carbon dioxide, hydrogen and neon.
We breathe in oxygen and we breathe out CO2 (carbon dioxide).
Plants take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.
It is a perfect cycle that plants help humans and humans help plants.
The air also holds aerosols like dust, pollen, smoke and pollution, to name a few.
The air holds water. We know this as humidity. How humid is the air? We use relative humidity to tell us what the drying power of the air is. It is measured in percentages — a low percentage is dry and a high percentage is humid.
The air also holds living things: small microbial organisms known as bioaerosols.
So, the air we breathe is made of gases, aerosols, bioaerosols and water.