Atmospheric pressure Atmospheric pressure


The atmosphere is a thin layer (relative to the size of the Earth) of air round the Earth. The atmosphere gets less dense with increasing altitude.

Air molecules colliding with a surface create atmospheric pressure.

The number of air molecules (and so the weight of air) above a surface decreases as the height of the surface above ground level increases. So as height increases there is always less air above a surface than there is at a lower height. So atmospheric pressure decreases with an increase in height.

Students should be able to:

  • describe a simple model of the Earth’s atmosphere and of atmospheric pressure
  • explain why atmospheric pressure varies with height above a surface.

WS 1.2 Use a variety of models such as representational, spatial, descriptive, computational and mathematical to solve problems, make predictions and to develop scientific explanations and understanding of familiar and unfamiliar facts.







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