Natural Sciences

Air Characteristics

The sum of various gaseous molecules found in the atmosphere is what gives life to the characteristics of the air. This being a generally colorless and light element that allows the subsistence of all species found on Earth.

Air is essential for the development of various fundamental processes for our existence.

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Examples of characteristic substances in air

As we mentioned initially, air is composed of a fairly homogeneous group of chemical elements in a gaseous state, and whose percentages can be modified according to different situations and latitudes.

In general terms, the arrangement will be as follows:

  • 78% nitrogen.
  • 21% oxygen.
  • 0.93% argon.
  • 0.04% carbon dioxide.
  • Minimum proportions of other gases.

The other gases that make up the air will vary according to the location, time, pollution and environmental conditions.

Being able to find ozone, hydrogen, helium, neon, ammonia, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, methane, among other substances.

Likewise, water vapor is a frequent component of the air that will appear in different proportions depending on its proximity to the sea, except in the case of dry air, which lacks it.

Similarly, the air can contain numerous particles that constitute dust, volcanic debris, pollen and spores.

Importance of dust as a characteristic of air

The dust fragments contained in the air can be very convenient, on the understanding that they are necessary for the formation of clouds and rain , since they function as condensation centers for water vapor.

Examples of characteristic physical qualities of air

Air, being a set of gases, shares the physical characteristics of this state, so we can reason for each of the following properties:

  1. Volume

The air is not delimited within a space, since it lacks shape and the dimensions it occupies are imprecise, being able to adapt uniformly to any place.

  1. Density

This element has the particularity of being fluid and light , which makes it possible to pass through it without offering notable resistance.

  1. Pressure

Despite the above, it is possible that it exerts a compression force , a consequence of the power of the particles when they collide with something. An example of this is atmospheric pressure.

  1.  Temperature

Like all gas, it is susceptible to temperature variations. Air can increase the entropy of its molecules by heating, expanding and decreasing its density, which is why hot air balloons rise.

The opposite will happen when it cools down.

Examples of natural disasters characteristic of the air

There are two entities that can be devastating to life and are produced by atmospheric phenomena in the air. We refer to tornadoes and hurricanes .

  1.   Tornadoes

Tornadoes appear as a pillar of air that rotates impetuously in relation to its own axis.

They arise as a result of turbulence that is formed by a speed and temperature discrepancy between two air currents that meet.

They have the appearance of a cone whose upper base is made up of a cloud, while the lower vertex remains in continuous contact with the earth.

They are highly catastrophic because they have the ability to drag and attract everything in their path to their center.

  1. Hurricanes

Hurricanes are tropical meteorological phenomena that are based on a condensation system of humid air with a closed path, which occurs in the vicinity of a point of low pressure.

As a consequence of this process, high intensity cyclones and torrential rains originate, which can be eminently destructive for the areas located along their route.

Characteristics of air and its importance for medicine

It may be clear that air, being essential for life, is also essential in the field of human medicine.

Taking into consideration that it is essential for the breathing process to develop , vital for the full fulfillment of our organic functions.

However, knowing its characteristics has a relevance that goes unnoticed and is not thought primarily.

This importance is limited to the area of ​​intensive care and anesthesiology, whose physicians are continually faced with airway management with endotracheal intubation and subsequent connection to mechanical ventilation.

During general anesthesia, for example, the professional must ” breathe for the patient ” through the mechanical ventilator, since the person cannot do it himself.

In this sense, the anesthesiologist needs to know, among other things, the characteristics of the air and its interaction with the body.

Air and pollution peculiarities

The pollution of nature has been a topic on the rise for years, this is due to its importance in the evolution of the planet and life itself.

Atmospheric pollution does not escape this group, acquiring more and more relevance due to the repercussions it entails.

The existence of harmful materials and elements in the composition of the air represent a tangible threat today, both for humans and for animals and plant species.

At a biological level, air pollution is projected into pulmonary and systemic pathologies for the planet’s ecosystem, coupled with the impairment of visibility and the generation of odors that are repulsive and unpleasant.

This is without mentioning the consequences of the greenhouse effect and the deterioration of the ozone layer, this being our greatest source of protection against the damaging results of an increase in ultraviolet radiation.

The waste that emerges from the industries is the main cause of this injury to the natural world, becoming the source of harmful substances such as carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide.

On the other hand, nature itself is also responsible for the production of toxic compounds, being related to volcanic eruptions, the impact of fragments from space, the ammonia generated by the decomposition of animals, etc.

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