Water, Weather, and Climates - Research Article from UXL Encyclopedia of Water Science

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Weather Conditions: Pressure, Temperature, and Moisture

The atmosphere presses down on Earth's surface. (There is no atmosphere in outer space. Without their pressurized space suits, astronauts' bodies would explode.) The weight of the column of air molecules above a surface is called atmospheric pressure. The average weight of the atmosphere on one square inch of ground at sea level is 14.7 pounds. People do not feel this pressure because their senses are adjusted to it and the human body is designed to withstand it.

Meteorologists use an instrument called a barometer to measure pressure, and atmospheric pressure is also called barometric pressure. Evangelista Torricelli (1608–1647), an Italian physicist, invented the barometer in 1643. His instrument, "Torricelli's tube," was a glass tube full of dense, liquid mercury with its end in an open dish of mercury. His barometer works the same way that mercury barometers work in modern day. Air pressing down...

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This section contains 1,666 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Water, Weather, and Climates Encyclopedia Article
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UXL Encyclopedia of Water Science
Water, Weather, and Climates from UXL Encyclopedia of Water Science. ©2005-2006 by U•X•L. U•X•L is an imprint of Thomson Gale, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. All rights reserved.