How much does Earth’s atmosphere weigh?

It turns out the phrase ‘light as air’ is a bit misleading…

2nd January 2018
How much does Earth’s atmosphere weigh?

Asked by: Richard Evans, Ashford

Just over five quadrillion tonnes. Air is surprisingly heavy. A cubic metre of air at sea level weighs about 1.3kg and all the oceans only weigh 270 times as much as the atmosphere. We tend to underestimate the mass of air because we spend all our lives surrounded by it, and it presses down on us from all directions equally.

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