Interesting Facts About The Air We Breathe
Dec 15, 2017
Breathing is an essential and involuntary activity that we do every second of our lives. But how many of these facts about the air you breathe did you know about?
The air around us consists of different gases.
The air around us is made up of various gases. The breakdown is as follows:
Carbon dioxide: 0.04%
Trace amounts of: helium, neon, methane, hydrogen, krypton, and water vapour.
The air around us is not just gas.
It is assumed that the air around us is made up of gases only. But, what people may not know is that it also contains lots of tiny particles called aerosols. Some are present naturally (like dust and pollen), while others are present due to man-made activities (like smoke from cars and power plants).
Burning of fossil fuels and factory wastes are a major contribution towards air pollution.
Burning of fossil fuels and factory wastes lead to combustion. Combustion is a process in which oxygen is absorbed and carbon dioxide is released. By burning these substances, we are not only reducing the amount of oxygen we need to breathe, but also increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.
Other pollutants are also a by-product of burning fossil fuels and factory wastes. Some of these pollutants can cause respiration problems. These problems can be tackled by using public transport, buying an air purifier, and planting trees.
Plants produce some of the oxygen we breathe.
Plants help to maintain the oxygen level in the atmosphere. This is because they undergo photosynthesis. In this process, they absorb the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and release oxygen back into the atmosphere as a by-product. By planting more trees, we help reduce the excess amount of carbon dioxide in the air.
The air in our atmosphere acts as a cushion.
The air in our atmosphere acts as a cushion for two reasons. The first reason is that it helps maintain the temperature of our planet. The second reason is that a layer in the atmosphere – called the ozone layer – stops UV rays from the sun from reaching the Earth’s surface. These rays can be harmful for living things on the planet.
An average person inhales 16kg of air in one day.
Let us compare this amount to an average person’s food and water intake. An average person consumes 0.7kg of food and approximately 1.85kg of water daily. Hence, it can be seen that it is important to have a clean source of air around us. This can be done through many ways such as:
Using air purifiers
Using air masks, etc.
Air exerts pressure in every direction.
Air is made up of molecules, like any solid and liquid you know of. These molecules consist of energy, hence allowing them to move around. During this movement, some of these molecules collide with a surface, exerting pressure. The hotter the gas, the more energy these molecules have. Hence, they will exert more pressure when they collide with a surface.
Did you know that this is the reason balloons pop when too much air is blown into it? This is because the amount of air molecules inside the balloon increase, leading to more collisions. More collisions mean that there is an increase in pressure on the walls of the balloon.
Wind is a result of difference in air pressure.
At times, some areas have less air pressure than others. This leads to the flow of air from higher pressure areas to lower pressure areas. The process of this movement results in winds of different speeds. There are many reasons that cause this change in air pressure. Some of these reasons include the Earth’s rotation, and the climate of the area.
Did you learn something new today? Then don’t forget to share this with your friends and family!
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