Q:

What gases do we breathe in and out?

A:

Quick Answer

The gases that humans breathe in are nitrogen, oxygen, argon and carbon dioxide, with nitrogen in the largest proportion and carbon dioxide in the smallest proportion. The gases that humans breathe out are the same, although more carbon dioxide and less oxygen is present.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Earth's atmosphere at sea level is approximately 78 percent nitrogen gas by volume. The second most common gas is oxygen, which makes up 20 to 21 percent of the atmosphere by volume. Other gases are present in much lower proportions, with argon making up around 1 percent and carbon dioxide around 0.5 percent. Trace amounts of hydrogen, ozone, water vapor and noble gases such as helium and neon are also present.

The exact proportions of gases vary according to elevation, location and humidity. Areas with higher humidity have a greater proportion of water vapor. The proportion of oxygen decreases with elevation, and regions with a large industrial presence tend to have higher proportions of carbon dioxide and various pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide. The only gases significantly taken in through human respiration are oxygen and carbon dioxide. When gases are inhaled, oxygen is absorbed to the bloodstream; when gases are exhaled, carbon dioxide is removed from the body.

Learn more about Atmosphere

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is air made of?

    A:

    Air is made mostly out of nitrogen, oxygen and argon that are kept in proportion to each other. Interestingly, the gas that's most abundant in air isn't oxygen but nitrogen. Air is made up of about 78 percent nitrogen, and oxygen makes up about 21 percent of air.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the percentage of gases in the stratosphere?

    A:

    The stratosphere is a layer of the atmosphere that consists of nearly 19 percent of the atmosphere's gases, which are nitrogen, oxygen, argon and trace elements like neon and helium. The atmosphere consists of five layers, and its gas composition is 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and 0.9 percent argon.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is found in the mesosphere?

    A:

    The mesosphere, which is the third innermost layer of the Earth's atmosphere, is comprised largely of nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide. Its chemical composition differs very little from that of the innermost layers of atmosphere, with the approximate composition being 79 percent nitrogen, 20 percent oxygen and 1 percent carbon dioxide and other trace gases. The density of these gases is lower in the mesosphere than in the lower atmosphere.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What gases make up the Earth's atmosphere?

    A:

    The Earth's atmosphere is primarily made up of nitrogen, oxygen and argon, but it includes trace gases in smaller amounts such as neon, helium, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone. The most abundant gases in the atmosphere are nitrogen at 78 percent and oxygen at 21 percent, while the trace gases methane, neon and helium make up around one-tenth of 1 percent of the atmosphere.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore