Why Is There So Much Nitrogen In The Atmosphere?

Although the most abundant element in the atmosphere (78%) is nitrogen, there is no large amount of nitrogen on earth. For example, although the amount of nitrogen in the atmosphere is about four times the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere, given the entire Earth, the entire amount of nitrogen is only ten thousandths of the entire amount of oxygen. There are several reasons why nitrogen accumulates in the atmosphere.

First, almost all forms of nitrogen in nature, such as nitrogen gas (N2) and diazot monoxide (N2O), are volatile. So they accumulate in the gaseous atmosphere, not in the Solid-State center of the Earth. Second, since nitrogen-containing compounds are usually absent from the crystal structure, nitrogen atoms are not contained in solids located in the center of the Earth. Oxygen, the most common element on earth, is involved in the structure of many solid compounds that make up Earth, such as SiO2. In addition, 85% of the mass of the oceans is oxygen atoms, which are also involved in the structure of water molecules. Another reason why nitrogen is abundant in the atmosphere is that nitrogen gas molecules are more stable than oxygen gas molecules.

Stephanie Green
Stephanie is an Editorial Assistant and Journalist at Science atlas. She adores all living things, so it’s no surprise she mainly writes about biology, astronomy and earth. She holds a Bachelor of Science with honours, majoring in zoology and genetics, and a Masters in Science Communication. She has also worked as an exotics veterinary nurse, before joining the Science atlas editorial team. She is an accomplished illustrator and designer, and puts her skills to work when curating incredible images for Science atlas, and designing infographics such as our News or illustrations. In her spare time, Stephanie loves exploring wild places, stalking wildlife with a camera, reading, and drawing.

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