Barometric pressure, or more commonly known as atmospheric pressure, is the force that is created against objects, by the weight of the atmosphere above them. That may seem like an unusual thing to fathom, as air is weightless due to the lack of mass. Or is it? However, look at it from this way, that gravity pulls objects down to the core of the Earth, including the air above us. This force upon the air is hence referred to as barometric pressure.
When it comes to measuring this pressure, a barometer is used to measure the downward force that the atmosphere exerts in a unit of a certain area. This instrument can come in different designs and functions, but the main function is to give the reading of barometric pressure. An example of a standard reading at sea level is estimated to be 101.325 kPA. This can also be referred to as 1 atm, which abbreviation is derived from the word 'atmosphere' of pressure. Basically, different places and weather patterns will give different readings, with elevated areas having less atmospheric pressure since they have lesser atmosphere present above them, and lower areas with higher readings as there are more atmospheres above them.
So what is the significance of having atmospheric pressure? The answer is that it maintains life. With gravity pulling the atmosphere down, it makes it difficult for it to leave Earth. Without the atmosphere, we will not have the air we breathe or food to eat since crops and animals will need them too. In the meantime, with atmospheric pressure, scientists can predict weather patterns better, for example, lower readings indicating bad weather like rain or storm as the air cools and become heavy as they condense into water or ice. Apart from that, knowing atmospheric pressure allows humans to acknowledge that there is difference when one is at higher elevations as compared to sea level, so they can create a protective layer on airplanes so that the changes in air pressure does not become life-threatening. Likewise, one should note that being exposed to low atmospheric pressure can be detrimental to one's health as well. For example, one can experience pulmonary embolism and aneurysms due to the low pressure, and for pregnant women, can induce labor. Hence, it is always important to take note of what effects atmospheric pressure can cause, and take the necessary precautions to avoid problems caused by it.
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