September 8, 2023

Clean air — blue sky!

Air is the most important resource for life, without which a person can live for only a few seconds. And our health directly depends on its composition and quality.
According to researchers, 99% of our planet is exposed to air pollution as a result of human activity, and this causes the premature death of 6.5 million people a year.

To draw attention to this problem, in 2019, the UN approved a new commemorative date on September 7 – the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies. In honor of this holiday, we would like to share with you interesting facts about the Earth's atmosphere.

1. The sky is not blue. In fact, according to the laws of physics, we should see it not blue, but purple. When sunlight passes through gas and water vapor, it dissipates. At the same time, short-wave radiation, including the violet tone of the spectrum, is absorbed more strongly. However, our vision is designed so that we perceive blue color better, so the sky seems blue to us.

2. The Earth's atmosphere is not the densest and not the most saturated with oxygen among the planets of the Solar system. The densest atmosphere on Venus. Closer to the surface, it thickens so much that it becomes liquid and flows smoothly into the ocean. And Mercury is the leader in terms of oxygen content in the atmosphere - 42%, while on our planet its share is only 21%.

3. Higher does not mean colder. We used to think that the further we rise above the surface of the planet, the lower the temperature will be. This is correct, but only up to a certain limit. In fact, the stratosphere is warmer than the troposphere, due to the ozone layer, which delays solar radiation.

4. You can predict the weather by following the trail from the plane. Of course, you will not be able to determine the air temperature for tomorrow, but you can understand from it that it will rain soon. A white stripe in the sky appears from the fact that hot and humid exhaust gases from the aircraft engine enter the cold atmosphere and moisture turns into crystals. If the trail is fuzzy and disappears quickly, then the humidity at the height of the clouds is low, and rain should not be expected in the near future. If the trail is clear and does not disappear for a long time, the humidity is high and there is a chance of rain and even thunderstorms.

5. Greenhouse gases are necessary for the planet. Due to them, heat is preserved and distributed between the climatic zones of the planet. If it were not for greenhouse gases, it would be even colder in cool climatic zones, and the heat would be unbearable at the equator.

But everything is good in moderation, and an overabundance of greenhouse gases does not benefit the planet. Therefore, it is necessary to take measures to control them. And the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies, which we celebrate today, is another reminder of this.


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