The Earth's Atmosphere


Our planet's atmosphere consists of ten principle gasses and trace amounts of some other natural elements.  The major components are more or less uniformly distributed up to 40-50 miles altitude in the relative amounts shown in the following table.


Gas
Percent of
  the Atmosphere  


    Nitrogen
    Oxygen
    Argon
    Neon
    Helium
    Methane
    Krypton
    Hydrogen
    Nitrous oxide  
    Xenon

        78.084
        20.946
          0.934
          0.0018
          0.000524
          0.0002
          0.000114
          0.0005
          0.00005
          0.0000087

In addition, our atmosphere contains regionally varying amounts of water vapor, ozone, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and some other man-made gasses.  The amounts of these latter gasses also vary with altitude, time of year, and weather conditions.

 

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Copyright 2000-2012 by Dennis O'Neil. All rights reserved.