Atmospheric pressure is the force per unit area exerted into a surface by the weight of air above that surface in the atmosphere of Earth (or that of another planet). In most circumstances atmospheric pressure is closely approximated by the hydrostatic pressure caused by the mass 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. Likewise, as elevation increases, there is less overlying atmospheric mass, so that pressure decreases with increasing elevation. On average, a column of air one square centimeter in cross-section, measured from sea level to the top of the atmosphere, has a mass of about 1.03 kg and weight of about 10.1 N (2.28 lbf) (A column one square inch in cross-section would have a weight of about 14.7 lbs, or about 65.4 N). This is approximately the same as having a small car press down on you.
Read more about Atmospheric Pressure: Standard Atmospheric Pressure, Mean Sea Level Pressure, Altitude Atmospheric Pressure Variation, Local Atmospheric Pressure Variation, Atmospheric Pressure Records, Atmospheric Pressure Based On Height of Water, Boiling Point of Water
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