Here is how thick our atmosphere is:

  • Troposphere: 7-20 kilometers
  • Stratosphere: 20-50 kilometers
  • Mesosphere: 50-85 kilometers
  • Thermosphere: 90-1,000 kilometers

Here is the thickness of the atmosphere of this hypothetical Earth-like planet:

  • Troposphere: 7-20 miles (11-32km)*
  • Stratosphere: 20-50 miles (32-81km)*
  • Mesosphere: 50-85 miles (81-137km)*
  • Thermosphere: 90-1,000 miles (145-1609km)*
  • Rounded numbers

For the sake of this discussion, everything else about this planet is the same as our Earth. Now, with the thickened atmosphere listed above, how high would the air pressure be at sea level?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Pelinore Let me get you one thing straight--I DON'T troll. $\endgroup$ Mar 20, 2021 at 2:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ My apologise, your atmosphere figures are the same accept for being miles instead of kilometres on one, I missed that, unless you edited it? have cancelled my vote to close, will cancel my downvote as soon as there's an edit to allow it, still a low quality question you could answer yourself with Google but not as bad as I'd thought. $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Mar 20, 2021 at 3:23
  • $\begingroup$ I think that you cannot scale all the layers equally by a factor of 1.6. But I'd welcome an explanation how come that such a scaling is possible. And I would definitely like to see a discussion how come that a planet which has so much more air than Earth can have the same surface temperature. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Mar 20, 2021 at 4:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Pelinore: ? I was speaking about scaling all the tropo- strato- meso- layers equally by the same factor. I am quite certain that a simple formula won't do. (Because for example the thermal effects will be quite different when the atmosphere is denser.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Mar 20, 2021 at 4:14
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Sorry, but this is a question based on false assumptions. The distinctions between the layers is based on changes in temperature lapse rates. These drive the (quite small) deviations from the simple inverse exponential density profile given by the Barometer Equation for an isothermal atmosphere. The missing figure in all this is the pressure at some known altitude. Without that, there is simply no way to determine the overall mass of the atmosphere, and in turn the pressure an any altitude. The layer designations refer to temperature characteristics, not (absolute) pressure or density. $\endgroup$ Apr 20, 2021 at 3:23

2 Answers 2


Um, the atmospheric thickness is the same as Earth’s. If you were to increase its thickness, the atmospheric pressure at sea level will be multiplied by a factor of e for every scale height, which with these conditions, would be 8.5 km.

Scale height

With about 11km difference, resulting pressure will be 3.6 times higher

  • $\begingroup$ I just want to point out that this atmosphere won't be very pleasant, assuming that the percentages remain the same as on earth. Nitrogen will be close to the point where one faces nitrogen narcosis. Mining will be an unpleasant experience. About 0.75 atm of oxygen is way abothe the pint where fire gets insanely dangerous, earth never exceeded 0.3 to 0.35 atm O2 for that reason. Finally four times the CO2 will get you a decent hothouse climate like we had in the Eocene. $\endgroup$ May 21, 2021 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ @TheDyingOfLight 0.75 atmospheres of oxygen kills you slowly. Whatever lives there has adapted to the different atmosphere. $\endgroup$ May 22, 2021 at 14:47

Pressure and depth are proportional. So if you atmosphere is 1.6 times as deep (the column of air from sea level to "the top" is 1.6 times as high), it will be 1.6 times the pressure.

1.6atm. 162kpa. 23psi

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The linked article only works for incompressible fluid. This answer is wrong. $\endgroup$
    – void_ptr
    Mar 20, 2021 at 3:47
  • $\begingroup$ You should first explain why it is possible to have the tropo- strato- meso- layers scale with the same factor... $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Mar 20, 2021 at 4:17
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP will that change the answer to the question? if not why is it important to address it in an answer, comments would suffice surely? particularly if it may be edited out, which is what you're angling for right? $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Mar 20, 2021 at 14:27
  • $\begingroup$ @Pelinore: If the situation as described is impossible then the answer will obviously change from a finite value to Not-a-Number. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Mar 20, 2021 at 14:43
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP But if the pertinent factors of the situation as described don't change the answer remains the same & the impertinent factors can do whatever they like , the presence or absence of red herrings in it doesn't stop the answer to the question 'is water wet' from being "yes" :)) $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Mar 20, 2021 at 14:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .