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Chapter 7 – Air and Atmosphere

The following Topics and Sub-Topics are covered in this chapter and are available on MSVgo:


Definition of Air

Anything that takes up room is matter. The presence of air in our lives is unavoidable. It is the most essential of the basic elements, as no existence will be possible for more than a fraction of a second without it. It is mandatory for the existence of all species.

In addition to breathing, it affects abiotic environmental variables such as wind, rain, and climate.

Definition of Atmosphere

The atmosphere is a gaseous blanket that covers the Earth. Earth’s magnetic pull holds the planet’s atmosphere. The three principal constituents of the atmosphere are nitrogen, oxygen, and argon.

The atmosphere: 

  • Contains the air we breathe and helps preserve the sun’s heat, stopping it from spreading out into space. 
  • It also preserves life from harmful solar radiation and plays a vital role in the Earth’s water cycle, 
  • Maintains livable conditions on Earth.

The atmosphere steadily grows less compact and less dense until it “blends” into the vacuum.

The composition of air differs from place to place and is not constant across the globe. For example, in heavily polluted countries, the air has a higher percentage of carbon dioxide. Below are the major components of air: 

  • Vaporized water
    The water in oceans and rivers evaporates and escapes into the atmosphere throughout the year. As a result, water vapor is one of the air’s constituents. It takes up a relatively tiny portion of the Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Oxygen (O2)
    One of the essential elements of the air we breathe is oxygen. Have you ever attempted to light a candle without any air? You will find that it does not ignite in the absence of air. Combustion is aided by the presence of a substance present in the air. This substance is oxygen. Its presence is vital for life to sustain on Earth. The oxygen content of air is nearly 21%.
  • Nitrogen
    You’ll find that if you blow on a burning torch, it goes out. Incombustible gases (gases that do not support combustion) are also present in the air. The presence of nitrogen plays a significant role in this. Nitrogen is the most common gas on Earth, responsible for about 78 percent of the atmosphere.
  • CO2
    Carbon dioxide is generated mainly by the respiration of plants and animals and the combustion of gasoline. It takes up 0.038 percent of the atmosphere on the planet. Its occupancy changes from one spot to another depending upon pollution levels.
  • Particles of soil and smoke
    Because of the combustion of fuels, our atmosphere also contains a certain percentage of smoke. It is a blend of gases that is hazardous. Apart from this, dust particles visible when a beam of light shines into a dim space are also present. Smoke and dust particles make up less than 1% of the atmosphere on Earth.

The term “air quality” refers to how pure or dirty the air is. Air quality is critical to monitor since contaminated air may be harmful to our health and the atmosphere. 

The Air Quality Index, or AQI, is used to assess air quality. The AQI is identical to a thermometer that varies from 0 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The AQI, on the other hand, instead of displaying increases in weather, shows changes in the volume of emissions in the environment.

Ozone is a layer of gas that forms a crust high in the Earth’s atmosphere. This layer is beneficial because it protects us from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Ground-level ozone, on the other hand, is harmful to human beings. Ground-level ozone is created when sunlight causes chemical reactions between gasses such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and methane. These gases are released into the atmosphere from various sources, including manufacturing plants, automobile emissions, fuel vapors, etc. 

Particles and liquid droplets floating in the air are known as airborne objects. Construction facilities, smokestacks, vehicle exhaust pipes, explosions, volcanoes, and a variety of other causes release these particles into the environment. Chemical processes in the environment may also generate particles.

In this chapter, we learned about the basics of air and atmosphere. We gathered knowledge about air and its constituents. We learned about the factors that affect the quality of the air index.

  1. What effect would air pressure have on the Earth’s atmosphere?
    Air pressure is generated as gravity pushes gas molecules in the atmosphere toward the Earth’s surface. The intensity by which air molecules push on a surface is measured by air pressure.
  2. What are the five different layers of the atmospheres?
    The exosphere, thermosphere, mesosphere, stratosphere, and troposphere are the five primary layers of the Earth’s atmosphere. The layers start becoming thinner as we move away from the Earth’s surface before the atmosphere blends into the vacuum of outer space.
  3. Which gases are the least abundant in the atmosphere?
    Pollutants, such as argon and carbon dioxide (CO2), are found in extremely small concentrations.
  4. The layer of the atmosphere is the hottest?
    Since the thermosphere contains a small number of molecules and atoms, even tiny quantities of solar radiation greatly raise air temperature, rendering it the hottest layer in the atmosphere.
  5. What is the importance of the atmosphere?
    The presence of the atmosphere makes life possible on Earth. The gases present in the atmosphere are vital for photosynthesis and other life activities. The water cycle would be incomplete without the intervention of the atmosphere. It moderates the temperature of the Earth.

To learn more about air and atmosphere through simple, interactive, and explanatory visualisations, download the MSVgo app.

High School Physics

  • Alternating Current
  • Atoms
  • Communication Systems
  • Current Electricity
  • Dual nature of Radiation and Matter
  • Electric Charges and Fields
  • Electricity
  • Electromagnetic Induction
  • Electromagnetic Waves
  • Electron Beams and Radioactivity
  • Electrons and Photons
  • Electrostatic Potential and Capacitance
  • Fluid Pressure
  • Force and Acceleration
  • Force And Laws Of Motion
  • Gravitation
  • Internal Energy
  • Kinetic Theory
  • Law of motion
  • Light – Reflection And Refraction
  • Magnetic Effects Of Electric Current
  • Magnetism and Matter
  • Management Of Natural Resources
  • Mechanical properties of Fluids
  • Mechanical properties of Solids
  • Motion
  • Motion in a plane
  • Motion in a straight line
  • Moving Charges and Magnetism
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Nuclei
  • Oscillations
  • Our Environment
  • Paths of Heat
  • Physical world
  • Ray optics and optical instruments
  • Semiconductor Devices
  • Semiconductor Electronics: Materials, Devices and Simple Circuits
  • Simple Machines
  • Sound
  • Sources Of Energy
  • Specific and Latent Heats
  • Spherical Mirrors
  • Static Electricity
  • Systems of Particles and Rotational motion
  • Thermal properties of matter
  • Thermodynamics
  • Units and Measurement
  • Vectors, Scalar Quantities and Elementary Calculus
  • Wave Optics
  • Waves
  • Work, Power and Energy

High School Chemistry

  • Acids, Bases and Salts
  • Alcohols, Phenols and Ethers
  • Aldehydes, Ketones and Carboxylic Acids
  • Aliphatic and Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Alkyl and Aryl Halides
  • Amines
  • Analytical Chemistry 
  • Atomic Structure
  • Atoms And Molecules
  • Basic concepts of Chemistry
  • Biomolecules
  • Carbon And Its Compounds
  • Carboxylic acids and Acid Derivatives
  • Chemical Bonding and Molecular Structures
  • Chemical Energetics
  • Chemical Equilibria
  • Chemical Kinetics
  • Chemical Reactions And Equations
  • Chemical Reactions and Their Mechanisms
  • Chemistry in Everyday Life
  • Chemistry of p-Block elements
  • Chemistry of Transition and Inner Transition
  • Classification of Elements
  • Coordination Compounds
  • Cyanide, Isocyanide, Nitro compounds and Amines
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electrolysis
  • Elements, Compounds and Mixtures
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Equilibrium
  • Ethers and Carbonyl compounds
  • Haloalkanes and Haloarenes
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Hydrogen
  • Ideal solutions
  • Introduction to Organic Chemistry
  • Ionic equilibria
  • Matter
  • Matter Around Us
  • Matter In Our Surroundings
  • Metallurgy
  • Metals And Non-Metals
  • Mole Concept and Stoichiometry
  • Natural Resources
  • Organic Chemistry – Basic Principles
  • Periodic Classification of Elements
  • Physical and Chemical Changes
  • Physical and Chemical Properties of Water
  • Polymers
  • Preparation, Properties and Uses of Compounds
  • Principles and Processes of Isolation of Elements
  • Redox Reactions
  • Relative Molecular Mass and Mole
  • States of Matter
  • Structure Of The Atom
  • Study of Compounds
  • Study of Gas Laws
  • Study of Representative Elements
  • Surface Chemistry
  • The d-block and f-block elements
  • The Gaseous State
  • The p-Block Elements
  • The Periodic Table
  • The s-Block Elements
  • The Solid State
  • Thermodynamics

High School Biology

  • Absorption and Movement of Water in Plants
  • Adolescent Issues
  • Anatomy of Flowering Plants
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Bacteria and Fungi-Friends and Foe
  • Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Biofertilizers
  • Biological Classification
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomolecules
  • Biotechnology and its Applications
  • Biotic Community
  • Body Fluids and Circulation
  • Breathing and Exchange of Gases
  • Cell – Unit of Life
  • Cell Cycle and Cell Division
  • Cell Division and Structure of Chromosomes
  • Cell Reproduction
  • Cellular Respiration
  • Chemical Coordination and Integration
  • Circulation
  • Control And Coordination
  • Crop Improvement
  • Digestion and Absorption
  • Diversity In Living Organisms
  • Ecosystem
  • Environmental Issues
  • Excretory Products and their Elimination
  • Flowering Plants
  • Genes and Chromosomes
  • Health and Diseases
  • Health and Its Significance
  • Heredity And Evolution
  • Heredity and Variation
  • How Do Organisms Reproduce?
  • Human Diseases
  • Human Eye And Colourful World
  • Human Health and Disease
  • Human Population
  • Human Reproduction
  • Hygiene
  • Improvement In Food Resources
  • Integumentary System- Skin
  • Kingdom Fungi
  • Kingdom Monera
  • Kingdom Protista
  • Life Processes
  • Locomotion and Movement
  • Microbes in Human Welfare
  • Mineral Nutrition
  • Molecular Basis of Inheritance
  • Morphology of Flowering Plants
  • Neural Control And Coordination
  • Nutrition in Human Beings
  • Organism and Population
  • Photosynthesis
  • Photosynthesis in Higher Plants
  • Plant Growth and Development
  • Plant Kingdom
  • Pollination and Fertilization
  • Pollution; Sources and its effects
  • Principles of Inheritance and Variation
  • Reproduction and Development in Angiosperms
  • Reproduction in Organisms
  • Reproductive Health
  • Respiration in Human Beings
  • Respiration in Plants
  • Respiratory System
  • Sexual Reproduction in Flowering Plants
  • Strategies for Enhancement in Food Production
  • Structural Organisation in Animals
  • Structural Organisation of the Cell
  • The Endocrine System
  • The Fundamental Unit Of Life
  • The Living World
  • The Nervous System and Sense Organs
  • Tissues
  • Transpiration
  • Transport in Plants

High School Math

  • Algebra – Arithmatic Progressions
  • Algebra – Complex Numbers and Quadratic Equations
  • Algebra – Linear Inequalities
  • Algebra – Pair of Linear Equations in Two Variables
  • Algebra – Polynomials
  • Algebra – Principle of Mathematical Induction
  • Algebra – Quadratic Equations
  • Binomial Theorem
  • Calculus – Applications of Derivatives
  • Calculus – Applications of the Integrals
  • Calculus – Continuity and Differentiability
  • Calculus – Differential Equations
  • Calculus – Integrals
  • Geometry – Area
  • Geometry – Circles
  • Geometry – Conic Sections
  • Geometry – Constructions
  • Geometry – Introduction to Euclid’s Geometry
  • Geometry – Three-dimensional Geometry
  • Geometry – Lines and Angles
  • Geometry – Quadrilaterals
  • Geometry – Straight Lines
  • Geometry – Triangles
  • Linear Programming
  • Matrices and Determinants
  • Mensuration – Areas
  • Mensuration – Surface Areas and Volumes
  • Number Systems
  • Number Systems – Real Numbers
  • Permutations and Combinations
  • Probability
  • Sequence and Series
  • Sets and Functions
  • Statistics 
  • Trignometry – Height and Distance
  • Trignometry – Identities
  • Trignometry – Introduction

Middle School Science

  • Acids, Bases And Salts
  • Air and Its Constituents
  • Basic Biology
  • Body Movements
  • Carbon and Its Compounds
  • Cell – Structure And Functions
  • Changes Around Us
  • Chemical Effects Of Electric Current
  • Chemistry in Your Life
  • Coal And Petroleum
  • Combustion And Flame
  • Components Of Food
  • Conservation Of Plants And Animals
  • Crop Production And Management
  • Electric Current And Its Effects
  • Electricity And Circuits
  • Elements and Compounds
  • Fibre To Fabric
  • Food production and management
  • Force And Pressure
  • Forests: Our Lifeline
  • Friction
  • Fun With Magnets
  • Garbage In, Garbage Out
  • Getting To Know Plants
  • Health and Hygiene
  • Heat
  • Hydrogen
  • Life Processes: Nutrition in Animals and Plants
  • Light, Shadows And Reflections
  • Materials: Metals And Non-Metals
  • Matter and Its States
  • Metals and Non-metals
  • Micro Organisms: Friend And Foe
  • Motion And Measurement Of Distances
  • Motion And Time
  • Nutrition In Animals
  • Nutrition In Plants
  • Organization in Living Things
  • Our Environment
  • Physical And Chemical Changes
  • Pollution and conservation
  • Pollution Of Air And Water
  • Reaching The Age Of Adolescence
  • Reproduction In Animals
  • Reproduction In Plants
  • Respiration In Organisms
  • Rocks and Minerals
  • Separation Of Substances
  • Simple Machines
  • Soil
  • Some Natural Phenomena
  • Sorting Materials Into Groups
  • Sound
  • Stars And The Solar System
  • Structure of Atom
  • Synthetic Fibers And Plastics
  • The Living Organisms And Their Surroundings
  • Transfer of Heat
  • Transformation of Substances
  • Transportation In Animals And Plants
  • Universe
  • Waste-water Story
  • Water: A Precious Resource
  • Weather, Climate And Adaptations Of Animals To Climate
  • Winds, Storms And Cyclones

Middle School Math

  • Addition
  • Area and Its Boundary
  • Boxes and Sketches
  • Data Handling
  • Fun With Numbers
  • Heavy and Light
  • How Many
  • Long And Short
  • Mapping
  • Measurement
  • Money
  • Multiplication and Factors
  • Multiply and Divide
  • Numbers
  • Parts and Wholes
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Patterns
  • Play With Patterns
  • Rupees And Paise
  • Shapes And Angles
  • Shapes And Designs
  • Shapes and Space
  • Similarity
  • Smart Charts
  • Squares
  • Subtraction
  • Tables And Shares
  • Tenths and Hundredths
  • Time
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