Is the pressure in the atmosphere constant?



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    Pressure varies with altitude and temperature of the air as well as with other minor influences. As we move upward through the atmosphere, weight of the air above becomes less and less. If we carry a barometer with us, we can measure a decrease in pressure as weight of the air above decreases. Within the lower few thousand feet of the troposphere, pressure decreases roughly one inch for each 1,000 feet increase in altitude. The higher we go, the slower is the rate of decrease with height. There is a “surface” throughout the atmosphere at which pressure is 700 millibars. We call this the 700-millibar constant pressure surface. However, the height of this surface is not constant. Rising pressure pushes the surface upward into highs and ridges. Falling pressure lowers the height of the surface into lows and troughs.

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