Saturday, February 04, 2012

Learning to Say Hectopascal

"We will often lapse into using mb as units of pressure, because the unit sounds comfortable to atmospheric scientists. For calculations, though, it is important to convert millibars to pascals. This is easy, because 1 mb = 100 Pa. Hence, we should all learn to say 'hectopascal' in place of 'millibar.' It may take some time."

-- Raymond T. Pierrehumbert, Principles of Planetary Climate, p. 85
There is actually a lot of humor in this book (in the dry sense). But I wouldn't buy it for the humor if you're not also very interested in the science.

1 comment:

Dan Satterfield said...

I've tried and tried but I keep reverting back to millibars. Both are SI units and I suspect most forecasters like myself are going to hang with it except in cases where it is easier to convert to Hectopascals.

I have noticed that Canada weather casts now use hectopascals.