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How much air is there in NZ?


Air is Everywhere - The atmosphere around the Earth is full of air!


Air surrounds you on all sides. Starting on the ground it goes up, right up into the sky. Even though people say things like “ out of thin air” the air is not empty it's full of all sorts of molecules. Molecules all have weight, which means the air weighs a lot!

It's just as well then that air moves about easily, so that it is pressing on your body from all sides, otherwise with all its weight it might knock you over!

Wherever you are, that’s where you’re breathing. And you have to breathe! Try holding your breath. How long can you stop breathing – maybe a minute? Probably less. Everyone has to breathe and that’s what makes the air so important and what’s in the air.


What’s in the Air?

The air is made up of a huge mixture of gases and suspended liquids and particles. Most of the air we breathe (79%) does absolutely nothing – it’s inert. A small part (20%) is oxygen (O2) and our bodies need it for energy. That’s the whole reason we breathe!


The last tiny part (1%) is everything else put together but some of it can have a big impact. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) only makes up about 0.04% of the air but the Earth’s climate is changing because we keep making more of it.


We need trees to filter our air and to produce the oxygen we all breathe.


Did you know?


Generally we each breathe in about 9.5 tonnes of air in a year.


All of that air is not oxygen though, O2 (Oxygen) makes up about 23 percent of the air you take into your lungs, and we only take out a tiny amount of the oxygen from each breath, you use up about a third of the oxygen you breath (except when you are running!). That means that you breathe in and use around 740kg of oxygen per year.

That means you are using the oxygen produced by about seven or eight trees’.


Other Links: - How wind turbines work - Air pressure experiments,-35.40,1202/loc=174.939,-36.870 - Interactive climate map of the earth

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