Shuck and Jive

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Noah and Physics

King is Sailing came up with this hypothetical physics problem:

The flood of Noah drowned the entire earth, and covered all the dry land. Let’s assume this means it rained at least 9000 meters in order to cover Mount Everest. The atmospheric pressure at sea level before the flood matched our currect sea level, call it a pressure of 1 atmosphere. Noah carried a brand new Vaisala weather station on board the ark. When it finally stopped raining, Noah checked his atmospheric pressure.

What did the gauge read?

I don't even know how to start do you?


  1. I vote for just a skosh below one atmosphere. Will we be getting the answer from King is Sailing?

  2. I don't know if he will have the answer or not. My dumb question is this:

    If the sea level changes does the pressure at (the new) sea level change? Or does the pressure remain constant at sea level regardless of the level?

    So if all of our icecaps melt and the sea level rises, for instance, will the pressure at the new sea level change?

  3. Um, the pressure should rise but King is Sailing has not given us enough data to answer the question. I mean, even if we don't take the change in sea level into account, (and I don't think we should), how would we know how far the atmospheric pressure dropped before the storm, how constant it was during the storm or whether it was still humid or not?