Nitrogen compounds 351 Introduction

Several nitrogen oxides are known, including N20 (nitrous oxide), NO (nitric oxide), N02 (nitrogen oxide), N03 (nitrogen trioxide), N203 (dinitrogen trioxide), N204 (dinitrogen tetroxide) and N2Os (dinitrogen pentoxide). At normal temperatures and small partial pressures N203 and N204 decompose according to the following equations (Junge, 1963) For example, owing to this last decomposition, the N204 concentration is 106 ig m if the nitrogen dioxide level is 20 tg m3. Furthermore under normal...

Statement of the problem

It can clearly be seen from Table 1 that the Earth's atmosphere consists mainly of nitrogen and oxygen. However, this composition, which makes the present life on our planet possible, cannot be considered normal in the solar system. Thus, even the nearest planets like Mars and Venus have a very different atmospheric composition. The results of space research, especially the results obtained by the Soviet Venera and the American Mariner space-crafts, make it possible to estimate numerically...

Relation between atmospheric nitrogen and the biosphere

Rasool and De Bergh (1970) mention that nitrogen was accumulated in the atmosphere because of volcanic activity. On the other hand Lovelock (1972) and Lovelock and Margulis (1974) speculate that without the biosphere the Earth's atmosphere would be as depleted in nitrogen as the atmosphere of Mars. According to these authors the nitrogen abundance in the Earth's atmosphere is about 1010 times larger than its equilibrium value under our conditions. Lovelock and Margulis (1974) also think that...

Structure of the atmosphere

Atmosphere Structure Precipitation

One can see from Table 1 that in the Earth's atmosphere molecular nitrogen has the greatest relative concentration near the Earth's surface. The effective molecular weight of air is thus rather close to that of this constituent (the two values are 28.973 and 28.022, respectively). However, the composition of the air and consequently its molecular weight are constant only in the lower 80-100 km layer of the atmosphere which is termed the hoinosphere. Above this layer the so-called heterosphere...