How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works
 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
 
Question 100

How does altitude affect the presence of molecules?
As you travel upward, the air around you has less and less pressure. That's because it's supporting less and less weight above it. As long as the temperature isn't changing much, this decrease in pressure is caused by a decrease in density: the air molecules are become less tightly packed together. The result is that at high altitude, each breath you take delivers fewer air molecules into your lungs. Actually, air usually gets colder at higher altitudes, a change which keeps the air's density from decreasing so rapidly. The higher you go, the colder the air gets and the more molecules you need in each liter of air to maintain its pressure.
         

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