England may be set to flood at the end of winter. Here's why

Within the space of a week in February 2022, England and Wales were affected by three severe storms (Dudley, Eunice and Franklin). Persistent heavy rain led to the flooding of around 400 properties and severe flood warnings ...

Faster-developing, wetter hurricanes to come

In a new study, researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory find that the U.S. Atlantic Coast is becoming a breeding ground for rapidly intensifying hurricanes. Fueled by environmental ...

Elusive atmospheric wave detected during Tonga volcanic eruption

The catastrophic eruption of the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai volcano in 2022 triggered a special atmospheric wave that has eluded detection for the past 85 years. Researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Japan ...

A more environmentally friendly air conditioner

Summer is in full swing in the U.S., and people are turning up their air conditioners to beat the heat. But the hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants in these and other cooling devices are potent greenhouse gases and major drivers ...

Help NASA scientists find clouds on Mars

NASA scientists hope to solve a fundamental mystery about Mars' atmosphere, and you can help. They've organized a project called Cloudspotting on Mars that invites the public to identify Martian clouds using the citizen science ...

Which parts of Mars are the safest from cosmic radiation?

In the coming decade, NASA and China plan to send the first crewed missions to Mars. This will consist of both agencies sending spacecraft in 2033, 2035, 2037, and every 26 months after that to coincide with Mars opposition ...

What is a bomb cyclone? An atmospheric scientist explains

A bomb cyclone is a large, intense midlatitude storm that has low pressure at its center, weather fronts and an array of associated weather, from blizzards to severe thunderstorms to heavy precipitation. It becomes a bomb ...

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Atmospheric pressure

Atmospheric pressure is sometimes defined as the force per unit area exerted against a surface by the weight of air above that surface at any given point in the Earth's atmosphere. In most circumstances atmospheric pressure is closely approximated by the hydrostatic pressure caused by the weight of air above the measurement point. Low pressure areas have less atmospheric mass above their location, whereas high pressure areas have more atmospheric mass above their location. Similarly, as elevation increases there is less overlying atmospheric mass, so that pressure decreases with increasing elevation. A column of air one square inch in cross-section, measured from sea level to the top of the atmosphere, would weigh approximately 65.5 newtons (14.7 lbf). The weight of a 1 m2 (11 sq ft) column of air would be about 101 kN (10.3 tf).

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