Air around us

The air that we breathe is a mixture of solid and liquid particles suspended in a gaseous medium, which is in turn composed of:

  • oxygen (O2), (20.95% of volume) almost entirely of biological origin, produced by auto-trophic organisms (plants), thanks to the function of the chlorophyll in the photosynthesis;
  • carbon dioxide (CO2) (in varying proportions) of natural and anthropogenic origin (i.e. generated by man’s activities: for instance combustion processes);
  • water (H2O), (in varying proportions) that may be present in the atmosphere as steam or in a liquid or solid state;
  • nitrogen (N2), equal to 78% of the volume and argon (A) equal to 0.93% of the volume, both inert gases;
  • other gases such as neon, krypton, xenon, hydrogen and others that taken together make up just 0.01% of the volume of the atmosphere.  Solid and liquid particles (dust, spores, pollen, etc.) are present in limited amounts and their size, physical characteristics and chemical properties are extremely variable.

Special reports

  • 10 May 2008

    Bioindicators

    Monitoring the environment Ecologic research is more and more oriented towards an assessment of the quality of the environment and…

    7 November 2008

    Lightning

    Help! a storm! Man has always been afraid of lightning, in fact in the past lightning was considered a sign…

    7 July 2010

    What is the weather like?

    On a summer day On a beautiful, sunny summer day you may plan to spend the day out of town,…

  • 15 April 2007

    Climate and dynasties

    Scientific research Far worse than Attila the Hun, the true calamity that has led to the fall of flourishing civilizations…

    11 December 2013

    Typhoons, hurricanes and cyclones

    The typhoon in the Philippines and the flood in Sardinia On November 8, 2013 typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines with…

    7 January 2006

    In the eye of the cyclone

    A year of studies Recent studies confirm that the warming of the atmosphere causes an increase in the temperature of…

  • 23 October 2013

    Carbon Footprint

    CO2 emissions and lifestyles If your parents decide to buy a new car, they might be attracted by a car…

    29 April 2014

    What will the climate be like?

    Fiction vs reality In a famous scene of The day after tomorrow1, the paleoclimatologist Jack Hall presents the results of…

    30 May 2014

    Latest news regarding the Climate

    A short summary Polar temperatures in the USA, days in March that are almost like summer, extremely violent typhoons ...…

  • 10 May 2008

    Bioindicators

    Monitoring the environment Ecologic research is more and more oriented towards an assessment of the quality of the environment and…

    7 November 2008

    Lightning

    Help! a storm! Man has always been afraid of lightning, in fact in the past lightning was considered a sign…

  • 7 July 2010

    What is the weather like?

    On a summer day On a beautiful, sunny summer day you may plan to spend the day out of town,…

    15 April 2007

    Climate and dynasties

    Scientific research Far worse than Attila the Hun, the true calamity that has led to the fall of flourishing civilizations…

  • 11 December 2013

    Typhoons, hurricanes and cyclones

    The typhoon in the Philippines and the flood in Sardinia On November 8, 2013 typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines with…

    7 January 2006

    In the eye of the cyclone

    A year of studies Recent studies confirm that the warming of the atmosphere causes an increase in the temperature of…

  • 10 May 2008

    Bioindicators

    Monitoring the environment Ecologic research is more and more oriented towards an assessment of the quality of the environment and…

  • 7 November 2008

    Lightning

    Help! a storm! Man has always been afraid of lightning, in fact in the past lightning was considered a sign…

  • 7 July 2010

    What is the weather like?

    On a summer day On a beautiful, sunny summer day you may plan to spend the day out of town,…

From the Multimedia section

Facts

  • Exploring the air

    In order to have a three-dimensional view of the atmosphere it is necessary to record observations at the higher altitudes,…

    Astronauts in their bathing suits

    As we have already seen, in the thermosphere the temperature increases as the distance from the Sun increases. At around…

    How hot it is!

    When we feel an oppressive heat, our first thought goes to the mercury column of the thermometer. We associate the…

  • Blue skies

    If there are no clouds, the colour of the sky seems blue during the day; a more intense blue at…

    Weather over the Mediterranean Sea

    The weather in the Mediterranean areas is generally associated with fair weather in summer (except occasional formation of storms) and…

    GOES meteorological satellites

    The numerous civil and military satellites orbiting around us are currently able to observe practically every point of the planet.…

  • METEOSAT European satellites

    The first European meteorological satellite was launched in November 1977, the first of the METEOSAT series. At present there are…

    Radars in meteorology

    Radar (acronym for radio detection and ranging) monitoring techniques  are used to record the position of objects of any size,…

    Tornado chasers

    Tornadoes are one of the most violent and spectacular meteorological manifestations. They appear suddenly without any warning, they move rapidly…

  • 13 May 2011

    Exploring the air

    In order to have a three-dimensional view of the atmosphere it is necessary to record observations at the higher altitudes,…

    3 March 2011

    Astronauts in their bathing suits

    As we have already seen, in the thermosphere the temperature increases as the distance from the Sun increases. At around…

  • How hot it is!

    When we feel an oppressive heat, our first thought goes to the mercury column of the thermometer. We associate the…

    Blue skies

    If there are no clouds, the colour of the sky seems blue during the day; a more intense blue at…

  • 7 April 2011

    Weather over the Mediterranean Sea

    The weather in the Mediterranean areas is generally associated with fair weather in summer (except occasional formation of storms) and…

    GOES meteorological satellites

    The numerous civil and military satellites orbiting around us are currently able to observe practically every point of the planet.…

  • 13 May 2011

    Exploring the air

    In order to have a three-dimensional view of the atmosphere it is necessary to record observations at the higher altitudes,…

  • 3 March 2011

    Astronauts in their bathing suits

    As we have already seen, in the thermosphere the temperature increases as the distance from the Sun increases. At around…

  • How hot it is!

    When we feel an oppressive heat, our first thought goes to the mercury column of the thermometer. We associate the…