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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published August 14 2013

Weather Talk: Water vapor important gas in regard to weather

We all know there is oxygen in the air because we breathe oxygen in the air to live. But the air we breathe has a lot more to it.

Actually, air is mostly nitrogen. Nitrogen is fairly nonreactive and it is not poisonous. It has no smell or taste. And it comprises about 78 percent of the air in the atmosphere. About 20 percent of the air is oxygen, which is what we breathe, but it also is flammable and highly reactive.

The third most plentiful gas is the nonreactive argon, which comprises about 1 per cent. The remaining one percent of our atmosphere is made up of many gases, including carbon dioxide, water vapor and a large number of other gasses in just trace amounts.

Although it is a small part of the atmosphere by volume, it is water vapor that is the most important gas as far as weather is concerned.

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