Vertical Profile of Pressure

Question for Thought:

Consider a column of air that is above a horizontal area of 1 square meter. What is the mass of air in that column:

a. above the earth's surface (assume that you are at sea level) b. above a height where the pressure is 500 hPa

a. above the earth's surface (assume that you are at sea level)

b. above a height where the pressure is 500 hPa

HINT: F_{g} = mg where F_{g} is the force due to gravity, m is the mass of an object and g = 9.8 ms^{-2}.