Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Atmosphere: Our Unseen Protector

I love science; it’s one of my favorite subjects. One reason is because I love exploring God’s creation. I am amazed how he’s made our world. Everything fits together like a well machine. I love looking at His creation, or His artwork.

Recently, I’ve learned a lot about our atmosphere. Before you say, how boring, remember that it is too apart of creation and very vital to our survival. I also think by the time we’re done, you’ll be amazed about the different roles our atmosphere plays.

First, the atmosphere and the air we breathe has the right mixture of gasses to support life. We need oxygen: “A person will die if deprived of oxygen for only five minutes” (Steele & Parker 23). Clearly, we need oxygen to live, but, too much oxygen is harmful to humans and can cause “lung damage, chest pains, and even blindness” (Wile). If we have too much oxygen, it is harmful, but if we don’t have enough, we’ll suffocate. We need to have a perfect mix of oxygen, which thankfully we do. According to Bakich, earth’s atmosphere is made up of 20.9% oxygen (7). This level of oxygen is “ideal for human life” (Wile). So now we have the right amount of oxygen we need, but makes up the rest of our
atmosphere? What is diluting, or thinning the oxygen? According to Bakich, 78% is nitrogen, and 1% is other gasses, like carbon dioxide and water vapors (7). The nitrogen helps reduce the amount of oxygen so it isn’t too potent for life. Nitrogen is the perfect gas to dilute since “it does not react with our bodies in any way. We breathe in nitrogen with every breath, but then we breathe it right out again because it does not interact with our bodies. Almost all other gasses- carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, etc. - are poisonous to human life” (Wile). While most gasses are harmful to life, our atmosphere is made up of elements that don’t hurt us.

Isn’t that amazing how God’s done made this? I love it! This is just one of the amazing traits that our atmosphere has.