# What is the mechanism that clouds with a few tons of weight can float in the sky?

By Pattys-photos

There are many people who have learned that the clouds floating in the sky are made up of waterdrops or ice grains, but there should not be too many people who have calculated the overall weight. A person who actually entered the airship into the clouds and who measured the weight said, "Why can clouds with a heavy weight of several tons float in the sky?"

Curious Kids: how do the clouds stay up in the sky?
https://theconversation.com/curious-kids-how-do-the-clouds-stay-up-in-the-sky-99964

It is Associate Professor Jim McKaid who is studying atmospheric composition at Leeds University in England to explain this question. Answer to the question "Why does the cloud float in the sky?" Received from the British boy Samsung.

As mentioned above, Mr. McKaid said that he had calculated the weight of the clouds. With other researchers riding on an airship and rushed into the clouds and measured the number of water droplets contained in the size of the cloud and the space using various measuring instruments such as laser equipment It seems that the weight of the clouds studied to actually reached 4 tons.

By Lonny Paul

In other words, the clouds are "steam clumps", so it is surprising that it is actually said that "the weight of clouds is 4 tons" even though somehow knows that there is enough mass. Mr. McKaid said that the following three points can explain about the mechanism that heavy things float in the sky.

◆ 1: Balance of gravitational forces and the forces generated by the atmosphere - Gravitational forces act on any and all materials on the earth. This is the same for small water droplets floating in the sky, and always applies the force to drop from the sky to the surface. However, because the droplet is very small and light, it can not get enough "falling power" to pass through the layer of air. Also, the ascending air current that is generated in the sky works to lift the water droplets to the sky. Therefore, very small water droplets can not fall towards the ground and will stay in the sky forever.

◆ 2: Water vapor is lighter than the atmosphere
The second reason is that it is the fact that molecules of water are lighter than the general atmosphere of the earth when compared at the molecular level. The dry Earth's atmosphere consists mostly of nitrogen and oxygen, and it contains argon and a small amount of other gases. For simplicity of calculation, we assume here that "the atmosphere consists of nitrogen and oxygen".

According to the periodic table, the weight of nitrogen atom (N) is 14, the weight of oxygen atom (O) is approximately 16. However, nitrogen and oxygen existing in the actual atmosphere exist in the state of molecules in which the respective atoms are united. That is, the weight of nitrogen molecules (N 2 ) with two nitrogen atoms attached is about 28 , and the weight of oxygen molecules (O 2 ) is about 32 .

On the other hand, if water molecule (H 2 O) is calculated in the same way, its weight is two hydrogen atoms + one oxygen atom, so 1 × 2 + 16 = approximately 18 . Then water molecules will be lighter than nitrogen molecules and oxygen molecules. Therefore, Mr. McKaid explains that water in the state of water vapor is "lighter than air".

◆ 3: Temperature
The third factor is "temperature". As a major rule, the warmed air rises and the cold and chilled air sinks. When the water in the air is in a warm state, there is a high possibility that it is gas (gas). Also, water in a cold state is more likely to take the form of liquid or solid such as water or ice.

As warm and damp air rises, it gets cold and cold above the sky. When the moisture-containing air is cooled, the water vapor contained therein gathers and waterdrops are born. At this time I think that "If waterdrops are formed, it will rain and fall on the surface of the earth", but in reality there are several processes so far.

By OiMax

When sweating in hot weather, the sweat that floats on the skin evaporates and the body cools. This is a mechanism that the coolness is felt by depriving the heat of the surface of the skin by the action of "heat of vaporization", but in the opposite "When gas changes to liquid", heat of condensation and Heat called is born.

What will happen when water vapor is cooled and water droplets are formed, and that heat is generated at that time, it means "there is something like a film of warm air around water drops". This warm air has the power to rise. And as it rises it cools again and solidifies. By repeating this cycle a number of times, the power to keep water droplets staying in the sky for a long time will work.

According to Mr. McKaid, "There are three reasons why the clouds that are supposed to be very heavy do not fall". In addition, it is said that "raindrops" that water droplets gather can not be described explicitly in mathematical terms. Nonetheless, why raindrops are formed and it rains can be read in the following articles.

Scientifically explain how rain grains that should not exist mathematically should be done - GIGAZINE

in Science, Posted by darkhorse_log