“This is How Much Water is in a Cloud : ScienceAlert

Researchers have calculated that the average cumulus cloud—that’s the nice, white fluffy kind you see on a sunny day—weighs a whopping 500,000 kg (or 1.1 million pounds!).

First, you need to realize that clouds are made up of many small water droplets, which means they must have some mass.

The next step is to then work out how close your cloud is.

Scientists have worked out that the water density of this cloud type is about 1/2 gram of water per cubic meter.

So, as Matt Soniak writes at Mental Floss, that’s about a marble’s worth of water in a box big enough for you and a friend to sit in.

Of course, the density of other types of clouds would be much greater, but let’s stay with the cumulus for now. Once you’ve worked out the density of your cloud, you need to figure out how big it is, which is a measurement that also varies widely.

Peggy LeMone, who led much of the cloud research at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, calculated that the average cumulus is about a kilometer in diameter and is roughly the shape of a cube, so it is as tall as it is wide. . the math on that, and you have a cloud with a volume of one billion cubic meters.

Or, as LeMone explained to Soniak, think of it as 100 elephants.

*Looks up nervously*.For starters, this weight isn’t all concentrated at one point, it’s obviously spread over a huge space.

Clouds are also made up of water droplets which are sometimes so small that the force of gravity hardly has any effect on them.

And due to condensation, the clouds are actually buoyant. Perhaps even more surprising is the fact that a cloud is actually less dense than dry air, thus keeping it buoyant, as Soniak explains.

Find out more in the episode of It’s Okay To Be Smart below, and never think of clouds the same way again.

width=”700″ height=”414″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen” seamless=”seamless”>Sources: Mental Floss, It’s Okay To Be Smart

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