You’re right. If us took a trip into the mountains, we would find that the felt a lot colder. The all has to do with our atmosphere. We may not constantly think about it, however we are basically life in a giant ocean the air.

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“It’s a huge part of what makes earth livable,” said my friend Shelley Pressley. She’s an ecological engineer in ~ Washington State University’s activities for Atmospheric Research. “Without gravity and our atmosphere, every the oxygen us breathe would certainly fly out right into space.”

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Our setting contains little building blocks, or gas molecules, that make up the air we breathe, she said. We can’t constantly see or feel just how much gas there is, however we have the right to measure it. We have the right to calculate the fixed of gas, or the variety of molecules there room in a certain area.

Air is in reality pushing under on united state all the time, also if us can’t really feel it.

“Imagine you are standing ~ above Earth’s surface,” Pressley said. “There’s a pillar of air above your head the stretches as much as the peak of the atmosphere. The obelisk of waiting is pushing down on her head. This is pressure.”

“Now, climb the tallest hill you have the right to find and also stand on it,” she adds. “The shaft of wait pushing under on her head is shorter. It has less mass 보다 the pillar in the first spot.”

The air push is higher when you space closer to the level that the ocean’s surface. Here, the structure blocks or molecules are pretty squished together. When the gas’ push is greater, temperature increases.

Maybe you’ve heard human being say the air is diluent up in the mountains, where there is less pressure and the molecule or structure blocks are much more spread out. As soon as the press of a gas decreases, so does temperature.

Pressure is a big part of the answer come the an initial part of your question. The other component of your question requires the sun. Our sun is about 490 billion feet far from the surface of the Earth. If a mountain might seem tall, it’s pretty puny in comparison come the distance in between Earth and also our sun. It actually doesn’t make a substantial difference in temperature.

Pressley said that pressure and also our sun likewise have a lot to carry out with weather. When sunlight travels with the atmosphere, that heats the surface of the planet. As soon as the surface gets warmer, it sends heat ago up to air molecules close to the surface and warms lock up. The molecule of waiting rise. As they do, lock expand and also cool.

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Somewhere else, air end a hill that is even cooler actually starts come sink. This sinking air it s okay compressed, squished together, and also heats up. This mix of air is called convection and is at the love of our weather. This system additionally keeps the surface ar of our house planet warm enough to live—from the chillier mountains come the warmer beaches roughly our world.