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Did you know that there is the same amount of oxygen at altitude as there is at sea level? It's 23% whether on the beach or on the summit of Mount Everest. I only learned that this year at EMT school.


Contrary to popular belief, the percentage of oxygen in the air doesn’t change significantly with altitude up to about 85km from the earth! At sea level, oxygen comprises approximately 23% the air by weight and on the summit of Mount Everest it still comprises 23% of the air. So what happens? Why do you feel out of breath when you are up high and why do almost all climbers need oxygen to climb Mount Everest?

The further away from sea level you are, the pressure of the entire atmosphere decreases so in effect, there is less air to breathe. Less air means less oxygen. So it’s true that there is less oxygen the higher up you go, but there is also less nitrogen, argon and other gasses that make up the air we breathe. Nothing changes to the proportions of the gasses in the air, however one breath will deliver less oxygen to your bloodstream, hence you will feel out of breath.
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