Nitrogen, Oxygen, Neon and Argon

Nitrogen, Oxygen, Neon and Argon

Structure of the Earth

  • The earth is divided into three main sections: the crust, the mantle, and the core.
  • The crust ranges from 5-70km in depth and is where we live.
  • The mantle is semi-fluid and extends from the bottom of the crust to around 3000km below the surface.
  • The core is divided into two sections: the outer liquid core and the inner solid core.

Plate Tectonics

  • The Earth’s crust and upper mantle are broken up into different plates.
  • These tectonic plates move on the semi-fluid upper mantle underneath them, which is called asthenosphere.
  • Plate tectonic movement is responsible for earth’s geographical features like mountains, volcanoes, and earthquakes.

Plate Boundaries

  • Plates interact at their edges or boundaries which are of three types - convergent, divergent, and transform boundaries.
  • Convergent boundaries result in the formation of mountains or deep sea trenches.
  • Divergent boundaries can form mid-ocean ridges.
  • Transform boundaries cause earthquakes.

Formation of the Original Atmosphere by Gases

  • The original atmosphere of the earth was formed over billions of years.
  • It was mainly composed of volcanic gases like water vapour, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide with little oxygen.
  • Over time, the composition of the atmosphere changed through processes like photosynthesis, which increased the oxygen content.

Present Composition of the Atmosphere

  • The present-day atmosphere is about 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, with small amounts of argon, carbon dioxide, and other gases.
  • Water vapour varies in quantity but is usually 1% or less.

Roles of Respiration, Combustion and Photosynthesis

  • Respiration, combustion, and photosynthesis play key roles in maintaining the composition of the atmosphere.
  • Photosynthesis by plants reduces the carbon dioxide level by converting it to oxygen.
  • Animals produce carbon dioxide during respiration which is then used by plants in photosynthesis.
  • Combustion of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Carbon Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide Emission Consequences

  • The emission of gases like carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide has repercussions on our environment.
  • Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.
  • Sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere can lead to acid rain that harms living organisms and infrastructure.

Addressing Global Warming and Acid Rain

  • Reducing the emission of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide can help mitigate global warming.
  • Limiting the use of fuels that give off sulfur dioxide can address the issue of acid rain.
  • Other strategies include promoting alternative energy sources and employing carbon capture and storage technology.

About Nitrogen, Oxygen, Neon, and Argon

  • Nitrogen is the most abundant gas in the atmosphere, vital for the formation of proteins in living organisms.
  • Oxygen, the second most abundant gas, is essential for respiration in animals.
  • Neon is a noble gas present in minute amounts in the atmosphere.
  • Argon is another noble gas and is used in various industrial applications due to its inert properties.