? Smithsonian Institution You, like all aerobic organisms, use oxygen from the air to release energy from the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in your food. Oxidation of food to make energy—metabolism—takes place in your body's cells and also creates the byproducts water and carbon dioxide, which your body excretes. The presence of free, molecular Oxygen in our atmosphere makes Earth unique in the Galaxy. Oxygen comprises 21% of Earth's atmosphere and is critical to most life forms on the planet. Learn more about Oxygen in this retro-styled cartoon animation. Learn more about our atmosphere by visiting the online exhibition, Change is in the Air at: http://forces.si.edu/
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