It is also a planetary defense system!

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Air is a mixture of gases. The mixture is unique and contains group of gases that is nearly constant within our atmosphere.

Measured in percentage by volume. Source.

To simplify,

Source.

But Air isn’t just gas. Air also has tiny particles called aerosols. Aerosols come in many shapes and sizes, for example dust and pollen. These are natural aerosols that get moved by the wind. Air is also susceptible of other types of aerosols (like soot and smoke) that can be harmful to humans and cause air pollution. To add to the diversity of it all, there is something called bioaerosols. These are microbes that can’t fly, but can travel enormous distance like its non biological counterparts, due to wind, rain and biological discharges, like say, a sneeze.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is part of air. It can actually be a good thing too! It is what plants need to breathe, and they exhale Oxygen-2. We have a symbiotic relationship going on between Fauna & Flora. The problem is when we have excess CO2 because it accumulates within our atmosphere. When this happens it traps the sun’s heat energy in the atmosphere warming the planet and the oceans. The planet is a very carefully balanced and self regulated environment, temperature shifts can produce huge consequences for the weather patterns that affect human activity. It is important to note that the planet will be here if our species dies, global warming is an imperative for the human condition and quality of life.

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Explaining Air Humidity

Humidity is really all about water being held in the particles of air. It is usually measured in percentages, and for example, air humidity is 100% before it rains.

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Explaining Air Pressure

Air is pushing down on Earth’s surface — that is what air pressure is. When at sea level you experience higher air pressure because you have the whole atmosphere (up to that point) pushing down on you. The higher you go the lower the air pressure is because, naturally, there is less air pushing down on you. The change in air pressure can cause your ears to pop, as you have probably experienced in a plain or driving up a hill or mountain.

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Air is an Insulator

Our atmosphere is filled with air. This air gap keeps our planet from getting too cold or too hot. The Ozone, which is basically three oxygen atoms (O3, our breathing oxygen is O2) is also the layer that protects us from harmful ultraviolet radiation.

“The concentration of ozone varies with altitude. Peak concentrations, an average of 8 molecules of ozone per million molecules in the atmosphere, occur between an altitude of 30 and 35 kilometers.” NASA

It doesn’t stop there though! Air, because it is composed of small particles, can rub against meteoroids. This friction causes the meteoroids to, more often than not, get burned before reaching the Earth.

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Air Movement

Even in a relatively still day, the air is always moving. The fastest gust of wind ever recorded was 253 miles per hour (MPH)!

Air Quality

If you check the weather the Air Quality Index (AQI) may pop up as part of the report. The lower the number is the better. 0–50 is good, 50–100 is okay, and 100–500 stay inside.

Why Make This Article?

Even though most of us get taught these terms and concepts at a young age it is important we review them every once in a while. When talking about sustainability, pollution, or even checking the weather daily, knowing more about how things work and are interconnected can allow us to generate more educated decisions and conclusions.


I am an Aspiring Architect. My goals are to help design the sustainable cities of tomorrow, build in outer space & help people be successful. If you’d like to never, ever miss my posts, consider following and subscribing! If that seems to be a huge commitment, perhaps consider joining Medium if you haven’t already, to have access to other informative articles within this incredibly diverse platform.