About 99% of the complace of air consists of nitrogen, oxygen, and argon. Water vapor (variable) and carbon dioxide are the main map gases.

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Tbelow is no chemical formula for air because the Earth’s atmosphere is composed of a mixture of gases. Just three gases account for 99% of dry air: nitrogen, oxygen, and argon. If you number water vapor into the complace, then 99.9% of air is composed of 5 gases: nitrogen, oxygen, argon, water vapor, and also carbon dioxide.

Complace of Air

This table lists the chemical composition of air. Water vapor comprises anywhere from 0% to 5% of air, averaging about 0.4% (about the same as the amount of carbon dioxide). The amount of water vapor in air mainly counts on temperature. So, once it’s cold, tbelow is very little bit water vapor. In warm, humid climates, water is more plentiful than argon.

GasFormulaPercentage (%)
NitrogenN278.084
OxygenO220.946
ArgonAr0.9340
Carbon DioxideCO2~0.04
NeonNe0.001818
HeliumHe0.000524
MethaneCH40.000187
KryptonKr0.000114
HydrogenH20.00005
XenonXe0.0000087
OzoneO30.000007
Nitrogen DioxideNO20.000002
IodineI20.000001
Carbon MonoxideCOtrace
AmmoniaNH3trace
Composition of dry air by percent volume at sea level and 15°C.

While the percenteras of nitrogen, oxygen, and argon are sensibly steady, the boosting amount of carbon dioxide in air means older tables list a lower portion. For example, the 1996 CRC Handbook of Chemistry and also Physics listed the carbon dioxide percent as 0.0314%, while the 2019 number was 0.0497% and also the 2020 number is closer to 0.0415%! Any time the portion of carbon dioxide alters, it transforms the loved one percentperiods of other trace gases (e.g., neon, helium, methane, etc.). So, don’t obtain too caught up in the numbers. The relative abundance is what matters. So, tright here is almost 3 times more neon than helium, which is about 3 times more plentiful than methane.

Also, note that levels of carbon oxides, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur oxides might be greater close to local resources of combustion or volcanic activity. Air also has particulates, such as soot, spores, pollen, dust, and also volcanic ash.

Complace of Other Layers of the Atmosphere

The complace of air describes the chemical complace of the troposphere. The tropospbelow is the lowest layer of the atmosphere, extfinishing from the surface to about 12 kilometres or 39000 ft. The troposphere consists of around 80% of the mass of the Earth’s setting. Nbeforehand every one of the atmosphere’s water vapor exists in this layer.


The stratosphere is over the tropospright here. The tropopausage sepaprices the 2 layers. The stratospright here exoften tends to an altitude of 50 to 55 kilometres (164000 to 180000 ft). It includes very little water. The ozone layer is within the stratospbelow. Many of the atmosphere’s ozone lives in this layer.

The mesospbelow exhas a tendency from the stratopausage to 80 to 85 km (260000 to 280000 ft). It contains extremely little bit water or ozone.

The thermospbelow exoften tends from the mesopause to the thermopausage, at around 500 to 1000 km (1,600,000 to 3,300,000 ft). It includes the ionosphere. Tbelow is no water right here. This layer includes gas molecules, which might end up being ionized.

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The external layer of the Earth’s environment is the exosphere, which merges right into the solar wind around 10,000 km (33,000,000 ft). This layer is composed of hydrogen, helium, nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide. Molecular creates of the elements only happen towards the base of the layer. The density of “air” below is too thin for it to behave actually as a gas. The effect of the solar wind ionizes atoms to create plasma.