What is the difference in boiling point between Mount Everest and regular water?

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By Kristy Tolley

The Boiling Point of Water

Boiling is the process of converting a liquid into a gas by heating it to its boiling point. Water, one of the most crucial substances on earth, boils at a specific temperature known as its boiling point. At sea level, water boils at 100 degrees Celsius or 212 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the boiling point of water changes with altitude and atmospheric pressure.

Altitude and Atmospheric Pressure

Altitude and atmospheric pressure are two factors that affect the boiling point of water. At higher altitudes, atmospheric pressure decreases, which affects the boiling point of water. The lower the atmospheric pressure, the lower is the boiling point of water. For every 150-meter increase in elevation, the boiling point of water decreases by approximately 0.5 degrees Celsius.

Boiling Point Formula and Calculation

The boiling point formula can be used to calculate the boiling point of water at different altitudes and pressures. The boiling point formula is as follows:

BP = (100 + (ALT x 0.5)) - (ATM x 0.1)

Where: BP = Boiling Point in degrees Celsius, ALT = Altitude in meters, and ATM = Atmospheric Pressure in bars.

Mount Everest’s Altitude and Pressure

Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, stands tall at 8,848 meters or 29,029 feet above sea level. Due to its altitude, the atmospheric pressure is much lower on Mount Everest than at sea level. The atmospheric pressure at the summit is approximately 0.33 bars, which is one-third of the atmospheric pressure at sea level.

The Boiling Point of Water on Mount Everest

Using the boiling point formula, we can calculate the boiling point of water on Mount Everest. At the summit, the boiling point of water is approximately 68 degrees Celsius or 154 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that water boils at a lower temperature on Mount Everest than at sea level.

How Does It Compare to Sea Level?

The boiling point of water on Mount Everest is much lower than at sea level. At sea level, water boils at 100 degrees Celsius, whereas on Mount Everest, the boiling point is only 68 degrees Celsius. This means that it takes longer to cook food and sterilize equipment on Mount Everest due to the lower boiling point of water.

The Effect of Humidity and Impurities

Humidity and impurities in water can also affect its boiling point. Impurities such as salt, sugar, or other minerals can raise the boiling point of water. Similarly, high humidity in the air can make it harder for water to evaporate, raising the boiling point.

Why Does the Boiling Point Change?

The boiling point changes because of the change in atmospheric pressure. As altitude increases, atmospheric pressure decreases, which means that water boils at a lower temperature. Similarly, as pressure increases, the boiling point of water also increases.

Significance in Mountaineering

Understanding the boiling point of water on Mount Everest is crucial for mountaineers and climbers. They must use stoves and fuel that can boil water efficiently at high altitudes. Additionally, they must factor in the lower boiling point of water when cooking food and sterilizing equipment.

Applications in Science and Industry

The boiling point of water is an essential property in science and industry. It is used to purify water and create energy through steam turbines. It is also used in chemistry to separate mixtures and purify substances.

Conclusion: Understanding Boiling Point Differences

The boiling point of water changes with altitude and atmospheric pressure. The boiling point formula can be used to calculate the boiling point of water at different altitudes and pressures. Understanding the boiling point of water is essential for mountaineers, scientists, and industries that rely on boiling water.

Further Research and Exploration

Further research can be done on how impurities and humidity affect the boiling point of water. Additionally, more exploration can be done on the boiling points of different liquids at different altitudes and pressures. Understanding these properties can lead to better technological advancements and safer mountaineering practices.

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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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